Sep 20

How to pick the best casino games to play for your personality.

How to Pick the Best Casino Games to Play by Personality

Well over 100 million people visit casinos every year in North America (with the exception of 2020, of course). It’s an extremely popular past time for adult vacationers; especially those who don’t have young children in tow. From the Hard Rock Vancouver, to MGM Las Vegas, Borgata Atlantic City to Casino de Montreal – billions of dollars are spent gambling in the US and Canada every year. And that’s just at land-based casinos.

For every casino goer, there’s always a ‘first time’. When planning that very first trip, some players want to dive right in, playing a little bit of everything. Others might be a little more cautious, picking and choosing the games they feel would best suit their personality. If you’re one of those – if you’re wondering, “Which casino games are right for me?” – please continue reading.

How to Pick the Best Casino Games For You

As you probably know, there are many different types of games in the casino. Slot machines dominate the gaming floor, and with good reason. They are by far the most popular games of all. But they might not be your cup of tea. Then there’s blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, video poker, and a slew of other games to consider.

In the following text, we’ll describe these games very briefly; just enough that you can get an idea of whether each one suits your style. Based on this information, you should be able to decide which games are worth trying, and which ones are not.

Slot Machines – They’re a “No-Brainer”

slot machines

Anywhere from 70-90% of the casino floor will be made up of slot machines. Players just seem to love them! The reason is simple. They require absolutely no knowledge or forethought to play. Insert money. Push button. Cross fingers. It really is that simple. Win or lose, it’s all up to luck.

If you’re looking for a ‘no-brainer’ game that you can enjoy playing, without having to think about what you’re doing, slots are for you. Don’t feel bad though – that’s not an insult in anyway. Remember, the vast majority of casino goers prefer slot machines. They are designed for sheer entertainment, and in that regard, they do deliver.

Baccarat – Win, Lose or Draw

baccarat

Pronounced “bah-kuh-rah”, this is the easiest table game you’ll ever play. As easy as a slot machine, except that you do have to make one decision – which hand to bet on. You won’t play the game. You don’t receive any cards. The dealer does all the work, based on a set of house rules. You only have to pick which hand you think will win.

That being said…

The game involves the dealing of two hands – the Player hand (but it’s not really yours), and the Banker hand. You choose to bet on the Player, the Banker, or a Tie between the two. The Tie is a sucker bet, so just don’t. The Banker has a higher chance of winning than the Player, so you should always bet on it.

So, strategically speaking, if you play baccarat, you should always bet on the banker, making this game just as simple as any slot machine. Drop your banker bet, cross your fingers. If you want to appear more sophisticated, without actually putting any thought into your game, choose baccarat.

Roulette – Easy as 1, 2, 3…34, 35, 36

roulette

Roulette is another game that takes virtually no skill to win (or lose). The only thing that makes this game more complex than slot machines or baccarat is that there are so many different ways to bet. You can drop your chips on a single number, two numbers, three, four, or six numbers, or you can make bigger group bets involving one-third or one-half of the numbers; except for that pesky 0 (and 00 in American Roulette), which is where the house gains its edge.

If you are looking for a more exciting game, with a communal (multi-player) atmosphere, but again, no mental strain, roulette is a good option. Please don’t play American roulette though. That double-zero also nearly doubles the house edge from 2.7% to 5.26%.

Keno – If You Like Playing the Lottery…

keno

If you’re going to the casino for the first time, keno games are an absolute waste of time and money. You might as well stay home and buy a few scratch off lottery tickets. Your odds of winning will be about as good, and you’ll save a lot of cash in travel expenses.

The game consists of 80 numbers on a 10×8 grid, labeled 1 thru 80. Your job is to pick 1 or more numbers that you believe will be randomly chosen by the game. The house edge can vary from one game to the next, depending on the pay table. However, a survey of keno games in Vegas once returned a variable house edge of anywhere from 20% to 35%, depending on the amount of numbers selected.

Those are horrible odds – the worst of all casino games. However, if you really enjoy scratching lottery tickets, or watching lotto numbers get drawn on live TV, maybe you’ll have enough fun playing to get your entertainment’s worth. Just because I don’t recommend it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it.

Craps – Not as Hard as it Looks

craps

The most intimidating of all land-based casino games is craps. It’s actually not a hard game to play. There’s just a whole lot of bets, with a whole lot of rules as to how and when they win or lose. Add in a crowd of very excitable people, and it can dissuade any newcomer from getting in on the action.

The truth is, it’s a very easy and fun game to play, once you figure out what’s going on. My advice would be to learn more about craps. Play online first, or download a craps trainer app. By the time you learn the betting system, you’ll either love it or hate it.

Blackjack – Play it Right, or Don’t Play It

blackjack

This game requires more mental capacity than any other. Not only should you know how to play with proper, basic strategy, you need to be able to do it in a timely manner. If you’re not playing with basic strategy, you’re only lowering your chances of wining the game. Basic strategy isn’t difficult, but it is situational. Every variation in the rules, the pay table, even the number of decks in use, can impact the correct decision for every opportunity to either stand, hit, split, or double down.

If you aren’t willing to learn blackjack strategy, don’t bother playing blackjack – at least, not in a live, multi-player setting. You’re just going to piss a bunch of other people off. Again, it’s not that hard to learn, but it does take constant mental fortitude on your part. We’ll talk more about card game strategy in a moment. First, there’s one more game you need to consider.

Video Poker – Take Your Time, but Play it Right

video poker

To me, video poker blends the best qualities of blackjack and slot machines. You get the low-edge benefits of playing with perfect strategy, combined with the solitude and relaxation of the slots. By making the correct decisions on every hand, you’re maximizing your chance to win. Yet, there’s no rush to make any decision.

You can look down at a strategy card between every play. Or, you can use a video poker strategy app, inputting your hand with each new deal and following its advice, play by play. No one cares. You’re not wasting anyone’s time. And some of these games carry a super low house edge – as low as, if not lower than blackjack.

Important Note about Casino Card Game Strategies

This last bit of advice applies to any and all card-based casino games that allow you to make a decision after seeing the initial hand. Whether it’s blackjack, video poker, pai gow poker, Caribbean stud poker, 3-card or 4-card poker, casino hold’em – whatever the game, if you can make any decision after placing your initial bet, listen up.

For each and every hand dealt, there is only one strategically correct decision to be made. That decision is the one that proffers the maximum probability of a positive outcome. It doesn’t mean you’re going to win, or that your odds of winning will be better than 50/50. Actual odds are circumstantial, determined on a case by case basis. But regardless of true odds, using basic strategy to achieve maximum probability is strongly recommended. Otherwise, you’re leaving your chances to fate, and fate is known to be less than kind, especially when it comes to casinos.

If you’re not physically or mentally prepared to put forth that kind of effort, these are not the best casino games to play. For someone else, maybe, but not for you.

Lastly, if you’ve read over each of these game descriptions and are still on the fence about what to play, there’s a simple way to find out for sure, without risking any money in the process. Simply visit an online casino, sign up a free-play account, and practice any game you wish. They are the same games, with the same odds (except slots – online slots pay out better; even the real money ones).

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Sep 09

Influence of sports on Canada slot machines online and on land.

Influence of Sports on Canada Slot Machines Online and On Land

You wouldn’t think sports betting and traditional casino games, like slot machines and table games, would have much in common. Yes, they’re both forms of gambling. And yes, both can be enjoyed at most of the world’s casinos; especially here in Canada, since single-game betting was legalized earlier this year. But the similarities end there… or do they?

In truth, sports have impacted the casino gambling market quite a bit. We’ll take a look at the influence of popular Canadian sports on different types of gambling, and how it’s helping to attract more players to the tables and machines; not just in land-based casinos, but online as well.

Sports in Canada Slot Machines Online and On Land

This is the most obvious casino gaming genre influenced by fan-based sports. Think about the types of athletics Canadians enjoy most. Of course, we absolutely love ice hockey. Seven of the NHL’s 32 teams are based in Canada. We’re also big basketball and baseball fans, home to the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies, and the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays. We don’t have an NFL football team, but we do host our own Canadian league, the CFL, and many of us enjoy watching (and betting on) American football, too. That’s not to mention soccer, tennis, golf, etc.

These are just the most popular sports in Canada. And if you’ve been to any casinos lately – especially the online variety – you may have noticed just how many slot machines integrate these sports themes into their gameplay.

Sports Themed Online Slots

Basketball Slots - Basketball Star

All the major gambling software companies have built slots for NHL fans. We have Break Away by Microgaming, the Ice Hockey Slot from Playtech, Hockey League and Hockey Hero by Pragmatic Play and Push Gaming, respectively. There are far more basketball themed slots to choose from; Microgaming’s Basketball Star, iSoftBet’s Slam Dunk, Playtech even has a license-branded slot machine called Dennis Rodman. Dozens of baseball themes exist as well. I’ll never forget the first time I came across Microgaming’s farcical 3-reel gem, The Umpire Strikes Back.

Even Table Games Incorporate Sports Themes

Surely you’re familiar with roulette, but have you ever played Touchdown Roulette? It’s a standard American roulette game with a side bet that goes into play if the ball lands in 0 or 00. If this happens, a simulated football game is played using four spins of the roulette wheel. Each qualifying player chooses a team – red or black – and the results of the next four spins determine which team wins.

There’s an exciting Touchdown Blackjack game, too. It’s a traditional game of blackjack on the surface, played hand by hand. At the same time, players start on the 20 yard line, gaining yardage for successful splits and doubles, or losing yardage when the dealer gets blackjack. Once a touchdown is scored, the player can kick the extra point and start another drive.

The most interesting sports-themed table game I’ve seen yet is Evolution Gaming’s Live Football Studio. It’s not the football we’re used to, but rather European football; a.k.a. soccer.

Sports Themed Table Games Live Football Studio by Evolution Gaming

What they did was take the traditional Asian table game, Dragon Tiger, and gave it a sporty twist. Instead of betting on Dragon or Tiger, players bet on the Home Team or Away Team. Otherwise, the rules are identical. What makes it really interesting for football/soccer fans is that the background displays live games, assuming any are actively being played. It’s especially fun when a big game is on. The crowd (of online players) really tends to get involved as the dealer commentates on the live game.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

May 18

Where to Begin: The most played casino gambling games in Canada

If you’re new to casino gambling, you may be wondering where to begin. Don’t feel bad – every gambler has a “first time” experience. We all had to start somewhere. Most people are far too intimidated to sit at a live dealer table right off the bat, leading us to the slots or video poker machines, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Building up a little confidence first can be a good thing.

For he most part, I believe casino gambling is an experience best enjoyed for entertainment value. To get the most entertainment out of it, you need to try a little bit of everything. Not all at once, mind you, but to get a good grasp of what’s out there, and what you enjoy most, you’ll need to spread your wings.

For beginners, I generally recommend starting out with the most popular types of games. That way, you’re most likely to find something genuinely exciting, without limiting yourself too much.

The Most Played Casino Gambling Games in Canada

You can’t go wrong playing the most popular casino games in the country. They may not all be your cup of tea, but there’s surely something fun for every Canadian on this list. After all, they are the most played games for a reason. So, without further ado, here they are…

#1 Slot Machines

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #1 Slots

Don’t look so surprised! Yes, these games draw the intimidated newbies like moths to a flame, but it’s not just their solitary nature that makes them so approachable. Slot machines are just plain fun. Manufacturers endow with them with incredibly attractive themes – everything from tropical destinations and unimaginable wealth, to hit TV shows and Hollywood films.

If there’s anything out there you genuinely love, you can bet there’s a slot machine themed around it. With crystalline graphics, enthralling animations, and exciting features, it really is hard to deny the entertainment value in a good old fashioned (or digitally modernized) slot machine.

#2 Poker

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #2 Poker

It’s true – Texas Hold’em (and other variants) draws a vast crowd of Canadian players to the felt; or the virtual felt, as the case may often be. There’s something about competing against other players like yourself that makes poker so intriguing.

Sure, the games are fun on their own, but when you know you have this much control over your destiny – when you know that your level of skill, the decisions you make, and your ability to convince someone that you have the best hand (whether you really do or not) is far more impact on your odds of winning than pure luck – it’s easy to see the appeal for live and online poker in Canada.

#3 Roulette

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #3 Roulette

None can deny the exponential thrill that takes hold when that wheel starts spinning. Your bets are on the table, and their fate is entirely up to the speed, weight, and trajectory of that little ball, bouncing and bobbling around the wheel’s many numbered columns. The adrenaline pumps ever faster as it finally makes its descent into that fateful pocket. Then, with wide-eyed wonder or the inevitable pangs of disappointment, we place more bets only to see the process repeated.

The thrill of anticipation is by far the main attraction of roulette. However, there are some things you should know before you choose this game. First and foremost, pay attention to the number of zeroes on the table and wheel. If there is a zero (0) and double zero (00), it’s the American version. It has the worst house edge of them all, 5.26%. If there’s just a single zero (0), it’s the European version, featuring a house edge of 2.7%. Better still, if it has a single zero (0) and features the La Partage rule, it is French Roulette, which features the lowest possible 1.35% house edge on all even-money bets, and 2.7% on all others.

#4 Blackjack

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #4 Blackjack

Just as roulette is loved for its simplicity, lacking any real strategy (aside from gamer selection) to increase your odds, blackjack is loved for the opposite reasons. In blackjack, players do have some control over their fate. A player’s decisions can make or break their experience. That doesn’t mean the smartest players will gain an edge over the house. The rules make that virtually impossible (without some fancy card counting techniques). But a smart player can easily achieve a house edge of around 0.25%.

It’s this knowledge that makes blackjack such a popular casino game in Canada. Not necessarily the strategic knowledge itself, but the knowledge that such strategy exists. Even knowing it’s available, you’d be surprised how many players don’t employ even basic strategy. The majority play on gut instinct. While professional may scoff at such behavior, there’s something to be said for the increased entertainment value of playing off the cuff, so to speak.

#5 Baccarat

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #5 Baccarat

I’m convinced that the popularity of baccarat (pronounced bah-kuh-rah, not back-a-rat) has everything to do with its depiction in Hollywood films. There’s nothing more dramatically suspenseful than watching James Bond play baccarat (aka Chemin de Fer) in so many of Ian Fleming’s iconic 007 films. – Casino Royale (1953), Dr. No (1962), Thunderball (1965), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), For Your Eyes Only (1981), and Golden Eye (1995).

The game itself is somewhat complicated to learn, and yet extremely simple to play. The way the cards are dealt, and the hands are built, is based on a complex system of rules. But you – the player – do not need to understand the rules to partake. All you need to know is how to place a bet. Drop your chips on the Banker, or the Player, or if you’re feeling particularly lucky, the Tie bet. That’s all you have to do. The dealer will take care of the rest.

As for strategy, the best thing you can do is bet on the Banker – always. There’s a 5% commission on all winning Banker bets, but the rules of the game still give the Bank hand a slight advantage, reducing the house edge to 1.6%. The Player hand carries a 1.24% edge. Don’t bother with those Tie bets either. They come in at a dastardly 9.5%.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Jan 13

Inside Look: ALC online casino comes to New Brunswick.

Inside Look: ALC Online Casino Comes to New Brunswick

Take a step back in time to nearly a decade ago – February 2011. That was when the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corp (NBLGC) first showed documented interest in launching an online casino for its adult population. They had already begun talking with the Atlantic Lottery Corp, which was in the process of filing draft regulations to expand further into online gambling.

The ALC, which supplies regulated gaming services for all four Atlantic provinces – New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island – was unable to get those regulations passed. Despite consistent lobbying within the provinces, no progress was made over the next nine years. And then, with no prior notice, residents woke up one morning in August with access to a New Brunswick online casino, courtesy of ALC.

A Look Inside ALC Online Casino New Brunswick

The quiet, overnight launch of internet casino gaming on ALC.ca was a surprise to just about everyone. The start-up came with a small variety of games from digital gambling powerhouse, International Game Technology (IGT); 34 online slot machines, 7 table games, plus IGT’s famous Game King, a dynamic virtual machine that features 9 of the most popular video poker games. ALC promises many more games to come, but for now, you can see the complete list of what’s available below.

Full List of Games (current Jan 13, 2021)

ALC Slot Machines
  • Anchorman
  • Cats
  • Cleopatra
  • DaVinci Diamonds
  • Double Diamonds
  • Doubleplay Super Bet
  • Elephant King
  • Foxin’ Wins
  • Ghostbusters Level Up Plus
  • Golden Goddess
  • Endless Treasure
  • King Kong Fury
  • Little Green Men Nova Wilds
  • Lucky Tree
  • Mad Mad Monkey
  • Medusa II
  • Medusa Megaways
  • Merlin’s Millions
  • Pixies of the Forest
  • Raging Rhino
  • She’s a Rich Girl
  • Siberian Storm
  • Spartacus Gladiator of Rome
  • Sphinx Wild
  • Starmania
  • The Big Easy
  • The Demon Code
  • The Mask
  • Wheel of Fortune On Tour
  • White Orchid
  • Wild Play Super Bet
  • Zeus
  • Zeus III
ALC Table Games
  • Baccarat
  • Blackjack
  • Blackjack Multihand
  • Let it Ride
  • Fortune Pai Gow
  • Roulette
  • Three Card Poker
ALC Video Poker (Game King 9-in-1)
  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Deuces Wild
  • Deuces Wild Bonus
  • Double Bonus Poker
  • Double Double Bonus Poker
  • Jacks or Better
  • Joker Poker
  • Triple Double Bonus Poker

Who Can Play at ALC Casino Online?

Anyone physically located within any of the Atlantic provinces of Canada is welcome to sign up an account and play the full variety of games in “demo” mode. However, only players in New Brunswick, age 19 and above, are able to deposit and bet real money.

Ways to Move Money In and Out

The ALC website accepts the follow methods of payment.

Deposits: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Interac and Web Cash.

Withdrawals: Interac, Cheque

Note that ALC offers an optional weekly deposit limit as part of its Responsible Gaming protocol. Players can set, increase, or decrease their weekly deposit limit by logging into the website, then choosing My Account > Play Responsibly, and entering a new limit. It takes 24 hours for a limit increase to be approved, whereas decreases take effect immediately.

What About the Other AC Provinces?

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are not currently able to gambling at the ALC online casinos. It is open only to eligible players located in New Brunswick. The ALC recently announced its intent to expand into Nova Scotia and PEI, likely to occur sometime in 2021. There are no known intentions of launching the ALC casino website in Newfoundland and Labrador at this time.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Jun 08

Following a spectacularly well-received debut at ICE 2020, Evolution Gaming officially launches Live Power Blackjack.

Evolution Launches Live Power Blackjack Following Spectacular ICE 2020 Debut

There aren’t too many ‘new’ casino games that are received with fanfare these days. New blackjack variants, in particular, generally lack anything unique enough to perk the brows of avid players. But every once in a while, something comes along that actually generates a double-take from the game’s biggest fans; or, in this case, maybe a triple-take or quadruple-take.

I’m talking, of course, about Power Blackjack, the newest addition to the Evolution Gaming live casino menu. As the name cleverly implies, this exceptional variation of 21 gives players more power. “
More power to what?”, you ask… the power to bet, and win, (or lose) more money! Instead of the usual Double Down, players can take it a step or two farther with options to Triple Down or Quadruple Down.

Evolution Launches Live Power Blackjack

It’s been four months since Power Blackjack Live debuted at the ICE 2020 expo in London. Late last week, it was officially launched under the wing of Evolution’s live dealer ‘Infinite Blackjack’ wing. The Infinitive suite of games delivers an unlimited player experience, wherein a single table can accommodate an infinite number of players.

With this game giving all players the power the win up to 4x their wager, it’s sure to become one of the hottest new blackjack games of the year. At least, that’s what Chief Product Officer, Todd Haushalter, and the rest of the executive crew at Evolution Gaming are hoping for.

“The mission was to give players more of what they love about Blackjack without changing the underlying gameplay,” explained Haushalter in a press release regarding last week’s launch.

“We know that players love classic Blackjack, but we are always looking for new ways to keep it fresh,” he said. “Creating a version where players can triple and quadruple down, instead of just double down, felt like a great way to do this.”

The CPO went on to explicate the series of events that led to their production of live dealer Power Blackjack.

A few years ago we created Infinite Blackjack, which is simply a Blackjack platform that allows an unlimited number of players at just one table, instead of the standard seven seats. Building on the success of our proven Infinite format, we have created further new Blackjack game types such as Free Bet Blackjack and now Power Blackjack, with more to come in the future.”

How to Play Live Power Blackjack

The rules of the game follow that of traditional blackjack, except for a few minor alterations. Having such a player-friendly advantage, the game’s creators were required to skew the rules back into the casino’s favor. The end result was a set of rules that look like this:

  • 8 Decks
  • Dealer Stands on All 17s (Hard and Soft)
  • Double/Triple/Quadruple Down on any two-card hand
  • Split once, up to 2 hands
  • Double/Triple/Quadruple after split
  • No drawing to split Aces
  • Dealer peeks
  • 6-Card Charlie pays 1:1
  • Blackjack pays 3:2

By these rules, the house edge gives the casino a 1.2% advantage, equivalent to an RTP of 98.8%. That’s higher than the average online blackjack game, but not a terrible trade-off for players who value the entertainment factor above a strategically rendered return on investment.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 26

Play Games Online: It’s good for your mental and physical health!

Play Games Online – It’s Good for Your Mental and Physical Health

I don’t think I have to explain the “physical” side of that statement right now. The world is currently in the grips of a global pandemic as the novel coronavirus – COVID-19 – bears down upon us. Everything from public schools to non-essential life-sustaining businesses are closed. Millions of people are going online to file for unemployment, and at the same time, looking for ways to entertain and amuse themselves and their families without leaving their home.

There’s not a parent today that hasn’t heard it’s vital we “limit screen time” for our children. Some advise no more than 30 minutes a day looking at a screen. I think we can all agree that everyone, no matter the age, is using screens far more than 30 minutes a day, and we have been since long before the term “social distancing” became a household phrase. Now, screen time may be the best thing for us – not all of the time, but a generous portion of it.

Play Games Online – It’s Good For Your Health!

As it turns out, online gaming can be extremely good for your physical and psychological well being. Yes, the physical aspect is that you can play games on a computer, smartphone or tablet while practicing social distancing. You don’t have to interact physically with anyone, or even leave your home, to do it. But what are the psychological benefits?

Let’s take a look…

  • Entertainment: The most obvious benefit to your psyche is the entertainment value. No one likes to be bored – especially children! Online games give us something fun and interesting to do while we wait for answers to the coronavirus crisis.
  • Interaction: Being locked up inside all day – and all night – has left billions of people all over the world craving for human interaction. We can call our friends and loved ones, and video chat with them on Facetime or some other video-conferencing app, but there’s only so much to be said in a basic conversation. Playing online games with each other enhances the interactive experience ten-fold.
  • Stimulating Brain Function: There are many games out there that are specifically designed to enhance brain function and motor skills. Other games do this naturally. A match-3 jewel game trains our brains to recognize patterns. Crossword puzzles keep our eyes, and our vocabulary, sharp. Online casino games like blackjack, video poker and Texas Hold’em, give us the opportunity to invoke mathematically and probability driven strategies. Even something as seemingly ineffectual as Angry Birds puts our cognitive mentality to work, considering the best trajectory for one-shot success. Many of these games can be played socially against other players, providing the same interactive entertainment mentioned above.
  • Stress Reduction: These are strange times we live in. There’s no denying an elevated rate of stress and anxiety among the global population. Games have forever been a go-to for stress relief. Recent studies have shown that those who play games online – particularly video games – are able to combat stress. If it can work for a 15 minute break during the work day, it can work at home during these unprecedented times.
  • Quality Family Time: I think we can all agree that quality time with the family doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. COVID-19 has certainly changed that. Families are digging out dusty board games, shuffling up decks of cards, and downloading digital PC and console video games more than ever. Fortnite’s 4-man squads aren’t just made up of school mates these days, but families. I can personally attest to that!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mar 17

Lowest house edge casino games and where to play them.

Different types of casino goers are attracted to different types of games. Some like fast paced games, while others like to take their time. Some enjoy single-player amusements, while others enjoy the communal atmosphere of multi-player games. Sometimes it’s not about the game play or atmosphere, but the odds of winning that draws a player to the action.

I don’t necessarily recommend choosing your games based solely on the house edge you face. Doing so implies disregard for the entertainment factor. If you’re not enjoying the games, you’re violating the most important rule of responsible gambling – to have fun, since the odds are never really in your favor. Then again, finding a game you enjoy that’s among the lowest edge games – that could be something worth looking into.

Lowest House Edge Casino Games

The following is a top-10 list of the casino games with the lowest edge. Having a low house edge means, in contrast, that the game has a high return to player (RTP). Please understand that the RTP is theoretical. It is based on mathematical probabilities, and as such, only applies in the long term.

Note: The RTP is, quite literally, the opposite of the house edge. If the house edge is 5%, the RTP is 95%. Together they make 100%.

Top 10 List of the Lowest House Edge Casino Games Online & On Land
  1. All Aces Video Poker – 0.08%
    All Aces is a video poker variant found at online casinos powered by Microgaming software. It’s house edge of 0.08% is so low that, over the years, many Microgaming casinos have decided to remove it from their menus. In order to achieve that fantastic 99.92% RTP, you’ll need to make every decision strategically. Learn more…
  2. Blackjack – 0.18% to 0.35%
    Blackjack is known for its low house edge, but there are dozens of rule sets offered at land-based and online casinos. The trick is to find the best games, where the edge does not exceed 0.35%. 1x2Gaming’s Bonus Blackjack and Red Queen Blackjack offer a super low edge of 0.18%, but isn’t the easiest to find. Microgaming’s Vegas Single Deck Blackjack comes in at 0.31%, and is available at hundreds of online casinos.
    Note: I’m not listing any other blackjack games here, although there are plenty with ~99% RTPs that could have occupied the list. Those above are the best – I’ll leave it at that.
  3. Spanish 21 / Pontoon – 0.40%
    Spanish 21 (a.k.a. Pontoon) is a game characterized by the removal of all 10s from each deck. In exchange, a host of player-friendly rules are applied. So long as the dealer is required to Stand on Soft 17, you’ll play against an edge of just 0.40%. (Note that Dealer Hitting Soft 17 increase edge to 0.76%).
  4. Jacks or Better with 9/6 Full Pay – 0.46%
    Another good video poker variant that’s widely available is Jacks or Better. Check the pay table. If it features a 9/6 Full Pay, you can achieve the optimal 99.54% RTP.
  5. Baccarat, Banker Bet – 1.06%
    Betting on the Banker hand in baccarat is as easy as dropping a chip on the table. It begets a decently low house edge of 1.06%.
  6. Baccarat, Player Bet – 1.24%
    Don’t want to bet on the Banker hand? Place your chip on the Player hand instead for a 1.24% house edge.
  7. Craps, Don’t Pass/Come – 1.36%
    They said it’s wrong to bet against the shooter, but who are “They” anyway? A bet on Don’t Pass or Don’t Come offers with a higher RTP of 98.76%.
  8. Craps, Pass Line/Come – 1.41%
    If you prefer to bet with the crowd, for an added 0.5% to the edge you bet the Pass Line or Come wager in craps.
  9. Pai Gow Poker – 1.46%
    This is one of those games you’ll either love or hate. If you find the 1.46% edge appealing, give it a try.
  10. Pai Gow Tiles – 1.50%
    Please know that this is not the same as Pai Gow Poker. Played with 32 dominoes, it is one of the world’s oldest casino games, reserved for casinos in the Eastern hemisphere prior to the online gambling revolution. It’s 1.50% house edge makes it a unique choice among the industry’s lowest house edge casino games.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Feb 14

How It’s Played: A detailed review of Evolution Gaming’s new and lightning-quick Live Dealer Speed Blackjack games.

How It’s Played: Evolution Gaming’s New Live Dealer Speed Blackjack

Evolution Gaming is universally recognized as the most innovative pioneer of the live casino gaming industry. It is more decorated than any other live studio supplier, by-far, and has published a host of the industry’s most beloved live dealer games; falling into the categories of both class-style table games (Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, etc), as well as some more unique, game show-style varieties (Dream Catcher, Lightning Dice, Monopoly Live, etc.)

A few weeks ago, the company announced the launch of a brand new game they call Speed Blackjack Live. It is, for all intents and purposes, the fastest live dealer blackjack game on the world wide web to date. In order to ensure the quickest game speed, this new title breaks the most traditional rules of etiquette. It’s not the seating arrangement, but rather speed that determines who’s hand is played first.

How It’s Played: Live Dealer Speed Blackjack

For the most part, this is your standard variety blackjack game. The usual rules of classic blackjack are employed, including the following:

  • Up to 7 players
  • 8 decks of cards
  • Dealer stands on all 17s
  • Double on any first two cards
  • Split up to two hands
  • No double after split
  • No drawing to split aces
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack
  • Blackjack pays 3:2

What sets this game apart from all the others are these more unique rules, designed specifically to promote faster game play.

Faster Timer: Once all hands have received their first two cards, a single timer starts with 7 seconds fewer than Evolution’s standard tables.

First Come, First Serve: additional cards are dealt to players on a first-to-act basis. For example, the first player to press the Hit, Double or Split button will be dealt cards accordingly. The next fastest to act will get the next card, and so on, until all player hands have been completed (Stand or Bust).

Auto-Hit: Any player who fails to act before the timer runs out with a hand total of 11 or less, will automatically take a Hit.

Auto-Stand: Any player who fails to act before the timer runs out with a hand total of 12 or more, will automatically stand on the current total.

Overall Game Speed: Evolution attests – and typical game play confirms – the overall speed of Live Speed Blackjack is approximately 30% faster than a standard, 7-seat live dealer game.

Experience Review and Recommendations

As a long-time blackjack player and stead-fast strategist, I found this game quite interesting, but not necessarily my cup of tea.

The speed of the game is only a plus if you’re a good strategy player looking to increase your rate of hands-per-hour; or, if you play for entertainment purposes only and like the heart-pounding challenge of trying to beat your fellow players to the punch.

Personally, I like a slower paced game with a higher RTP. The house edge here, according to its creators, is 0.71% (RTP 99.29%). There are far better paying games, both online and on land. As for the entertainment factor, I find that making rushed decisions can easily result in strategic mistakes. So again, unless you’re an extremely experienced strategist, or a recreational, gut-instinct type of player who loves an adrenaline rush, Evolution’s new Live Dealer Speed Blackjack may not be the game for you.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 29

Three easy ways to watch live blackjack online (and two good reasons why you might want to).

Three Ways To Watch Live Blackjack Online & Why You’d Want To

There is a very famous saying that goes, “Those who can, do; those who cannot, teach.” I don’t know if there’s any truth to that statement, but I do know that, since the dawn of Youtube, there’s a new phrase worth coining. “Those who can, stream; those who can’t, watch and learn.

If you’ve ever watched the live broadcast of a Twitch streamer playing a game – any game, whether it be casinos games like slot machines or blackjack, or PC and console video games like League of Legends, or Call of Duty – you know exactly what that phrase means. It is the new wave of modern gaming, wherein the best and bravest gamers exhibit their skills in live stream for all the web-world to see.

If blackjack happens to be your game of choice, sit back and take a moment to absorb the following information, as I’ll be tutoring a brief lesson in…

3 Ways to Watch Live Blackjack Online

There are exactly three ways to accomplish this. If you’re wondering why you would even want to, hold your horses. We’ll cover that in the next section.

#1 Youtube / Twitch Casino Channels

Twitch casino channels are extremely popular right now. They are hosted by regular online casino gamers who have large bankrolls and nothing better to do with their time or money than place big bets and stream the action live. Most people who like to watch blackjack do so on Twitch or Youtube, so this is where I’d suggest starting, unless you want to get in on that action yourself.

#2 Live Dealer Casinos

Live dealer casinos present a unique opportunity. They are essentially the online version of land-based casino games. They take place in a live studio, with professional dealers chucking physical cards. Players are able to watch it all happen and take part in the games, via any modestly equipped desktop computer, smartphone or tablet. Thus, live dealer casinos allow the viewer to watch and play the games at the same time.

#3 Live Tournament Feed

There isn’t a very substantial market for this anymore, but they do still exist. When a major blackjack tournament is taking place, you can usually find a live feed of it available – again, either on Youtube, Twitch, or some other live streaming website. If it is being hosted by a major live/online casino operator, you may be able to access the feed directly from the gambling site.

What’s So Great About Watching Blackjack Online?

I can think of two very distinct reasons why you might want to watch live blackjack online. The first and most obvious reason is for entertainment purposes. Think about it. If you love the game, but have a modest bankroll, wouldn’t it be fun to watch a high roller with thousands in their pocket place massive bets on a single hand? Sure, it’s not as exciting as if you were the one in the hot seat, but who doesn’t enjoy living vicariously through others now and again?

The second reason is to learn. Blackjack is the most strategically challenging game in the casino. Basic strategy decides how to handle each decision-making situation, but the best players have skills that go far beyond this. They are able to keep counts of all the cards; not just high and low counts, but deck sequencing, ace tracking, and other special techniques that – when the stars align – can give them a genuine advantage over the house.

There are plenty of books to read on the subject of blackjack strategy, but if you’ve ever used a video to help you do a task that was previously out of your scope of knowledge – something like fixing an electronic device or changing your own car parts – you know that video tutorials have changed the way we look at life. The impossible becomes possible, if only we can understand it, both verbally and visually.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Jan 23

Uncommon Sense: An illogical guide to beat online casinos.

Uncommon Sense: An Illogical Guide to Beat Online Casinos

Common sense would tell you that, to beat an online casino, you have to win more money than you lose. But as we all know, there is no such thing as a game with an RTP of 100% or greater. At 100%, theoretical results would dictate a break-even gambling experience. Every dollar you wager would be won back. No win – no loss – just breaking even. You can play any blackjack game on the internet – the one with the absolute best, most player-friendly rules – and you’re still not going to achieve an RTP of 100% or more. So there’s no way to beat them… right?

Uncommon sense would tell us otherwise. But most of us don’t have uncommon sense. We’re raised to be logical. We’re taught to use common sense to make smart decisions. Thus, an educated player who uses common sense must come to the undeniable conclusion that online casinos cannot be beat. But the player who thinks outside the box – with uncommon sense – knows there are ways around every barrier.

How to Beat Online Casinos

It’s not just about how much you win, but your overall return on investment, or ROI. What are you getting out of the experience, compared to what you’re putting into it? So long as the output exceeds the input, you win.

Let’s explore this theory for a moment, because there is more than one way to go about it. You could beast-mode the promotions of an online casino to turn low-edge losses into advantage-player profits. Or, you could ensure the entertainment value is greater than the cost of play.

Be a Promotional Beast

Online casinos present their players with all sorts of promotions. One of the most overlooked rewards is the loyalty program. Securing VIP status can get you a lot of perks. To become a VIP, you can either wager a whole lot of money at the online casino, or you can make substantial deposits.

The fastest way to become a high-level VIP is to register an account, then – before depositing – open a support chat. Tell them you just signed up and that you want to make a deposit, but that you aren’t satisfied with the usual welcome bonus. Maybe it’s only 100% up to $200. Tell them you plan to deposit much more than this, and think you deserve to receive an analogous bonus for it. Tell them you are a regular player and high roller, and that you want to start with a high level VIP status and dedicated VIP account manager.

If this doesn’t get their attention, nothing will. Of course, you’ll also need to be ready to back up your high deposit promises. If it works, and you’re granted the VIP level and better bonus, take full advantage. That higher level VIP status will generate faster comp points (up to 25% higher) with every wager. Plus, the 100% match bonus on your deposit will get you 2x the comps, for having 2x the wagering power.

Find the right casinos, engage the best promotions, and all those extra VIP bonuses and comps could turn the ROI tides to your favor.

Get Your Money’s Worth in Entertainment

Value doesn’t have to be a monetary thing. If you spend $25 to go see a movie – tickets, popcorn, drink, candy, the works – and that movie bombs, you’ll feel like you wasted $25. If, however, that movie blows you away, you will leave the theater feeling like it was worth every dollar, and then some.

Can we not look at the entertainment value of gambling in the same way? Considering the high RTPs of most online slots and table games, it wouldn’t take much to turn a losing experience into positive entertainment value.

Unlike land-based casinos, internet slot machine pay out an average of 96-97%. European roulette comes in at 97.3%. Baccarat banker and player bets pay 98.76% and 98.94% respectively. Blackjack and video poker can pay 99.35% to 99.92% when you pick your rules and your work strategies wisely. Manage your bankroll well, take your time, thoroughly enjoying the experience, and that minimal house edge, combined with the amount of fun you have playing the games, can be your key golden to beating online casinos.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,