Jan 04

Curious Comparison: Online Slots vs. Virtual Video Poker Games

Curious Comparison: Online Slots take on Virtual Video Poker Machines

Online Slots vs. Video Poker Machines

Slot machines are beloved for their speed, unparalleled ease of play, and, despite a relatively low cost of play, the ability to win a life-altering sum of money in a matter of seconds. Video poker is also capable of paying massive multipliers, but you’ll need a little more knowledge than ‘how to press a button’ to do it. Let’s take a closer look…

Slot Machine Savvy

Slots are by far the easiest game to play in a casino. Online or on land, the requirements are the same. Choose an amount to wager, spin the reels, cross your fingers. A few seconds later, the results are in. You win some, and you lose some. That’s all there is to it.

Slot machines can also be confusing, though. The truth is, at least one-third of all slots players don’t really know what they’re doing; or rather, why they’re winning or losing. They just know that, if they keep pressing the spin button, they might win. Few players actually bother to read the pay tables, which detail all the winning combinations, their respective value, and in many cases, the average return to player (RTP) the game will pay back.

Why don’t so many players know about this? Because they don’t need to (refer back to the previous paragraph). Anyone interested in learning more can check out this UNLV paper on How Slot Machines Work.

Virtual Video Poker Games

Video poker takes a bit more knowledge and understanding of the game to play. Most of these machines revolve around on five card draw poker. After placing a bet and pressing the Draw button, you are dealt 5 cards. You can tap on any card you want to Hold (keep), then press Draw again to discard the others and replace them with new ones. If you finish with a worthy hand – usually a Pair of Jacks or better – you win. If not, you lose.

The winning conditions are laid out before you in the pay table, detailed right on the main screen. You’ll see what hands are worthy of a payout, and how much that payout is for each. So, while you are required to make decisions in these games, it’s not exactly a brain strain. Any player with a basic knowledge of poker can do it.

Slot machines are the most common of all casino games. Most players love them. Some are so draw to these virtual reel spinners, they’ve never even tried anything else. If there’s any other gambling machine worthy of your attention, it would have to be video poker. These two games a have a lot in common, yet they are very different in nature and appeal. We’ll take a look at what draws players to slots and video poker games, and what features should be considered when choosing between them.

What’s Better – Slots or Video Poker?

This is a decision every player must make for themselves. If you prefer the mind-numbing blur of ‘spin to win’, slot machines are your best bet. If you’d rather have some strategic control over the outcome of your game, you’ll want to choose virtual video poker games. If you’re serious about winning, we suggest giving this next article a read:

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , ,

Jan 31

The best casino game for beginners (Hint: It’s not slot machines!)

The Best Casino Game for Beginners

Preparing for your very first foray into a casino can be very intimidating. Casinos are often massive properties, lined with opulent décor, glimmering chandeliers, fancy carpets and elaborately dressed employees. For so many of today’s first-timers, walking into a resort-style casino can feel like entering a fine dining establishment in a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops.

Of course, the casinos don’t really care what you’re wearing, so long as you’ve got cash in your pocket, and a willingness to spend it. But the anxiety for a newcomer is real. Even playing your first casino game at an online gambling destination can set your hairs on end. If you aren’t familiar with the rules of any games, all of these fears become magnified tenfold.

The logical answer might be not to go to the casino. Common sense might tell you to hold off, learn some games first, better prepare yourself for the experience. But what if that’s not an option? I remember my first visit to a casino all too well. It was an impromptu choice, spurred by a group of friends who all decided we should go. Two of them had been before. Three of us had not. As a newbie myself, it was overwhelming, to say the least!

I did what so many first-time casino goers do. I stared in horror at the massive gaming floor, then went straight to the slot machines, where I stayed until almost all my money was gone. It was fun, yes, but I had no idea what I was doing. Within 20 minutes, I’d blown through $80. I spent the next half hour walking around, pinching my last $20 as I watched other people play games I had no clue about. So, if you want to avoid mimicking this tale of majority boredom, might I recommend…

The Best Casino Game for Beginners

Baccarat is the Best Bet for First-Time Casino Goers

If you ask most people the easiest game to play in the casino, they will say it’s a slot machine. Yes, push a button and cross your fingers does seem easy, but there’s so much more to those games. Did you ever try reading a video slot’s pay table? Page after page of symbols, line info, features, payouts, etc. They really aren’t so simple. The easiest game of all – one that features a far better return to player (RTP) than slots – is baccarat.

Baccarat is a card game that you don’t really have to play. All you have to do is choose where to place your bet – kind of like roulette, but again, with a higher RTP. The dealer will take care of everything else. Let’s take a quick look at how the dealer plays out hands.

The Rules of Baccarat

The object of baccarat is for one hand – the Player hand or Banker hand – to be closer to a total of 9. The closest to 9 wins. Each hand starts with two cars. If the total value of those two cards exceeds 9, 10 is subtracted.

For example, a hand of 3+8=11. You can’t exceed 9, so you subtract; 11-10=1. The new hand total is 1. If the cards are 4+5, the total is a perfect 9. Or, if the cards are 10+8, we subtract 10 for a total of 8.

There are certain situations where the dealer is required to give the Player and/or Banker hand a third card, depending on the totals of the first two cards. These are known as “house rules”, and give the Banker hand a slight advantage (51%) over the Player hand. But don’t worry, you can bet on the Banker Hand, too. Or, you can bet on the two hands resulting in a Tie.

Baccarat Odds, Payout and House Edge

Knowing the odds of winning each bet, the payout for winning it, and the house edge involved, will help you choose where to place your bets. The “odds” are the probability of winning each bet. The payout is the amount you’ll get back for winning, compared to what you’ve wagered on it. The house edge is a combination of odds and payouts that determines how likely the casino is to beat you on that bet. Hence, the lower the edge, the better the bet.

Note: You’ll notice that a winning Banker bet pays 1:1, -5%. The casino collects a 5% commission on all winning banker bets to offset the fact that the Banker hand will win more often. If it weren’t for the 5% commission, the casino would lose money on these bets in the long term.

Baccarat Bet Odds Pays Edge
Banker Hand 45.85% 1:1, -5% 1.06%
Player Hand 44.62% 1:1 1.24%
Tie 9.53% 8:1 14.36%

The low edge of 1.06% on Banker and 1.24% on Player bets makes this not just the easiest casino game, but the best casino game for beginners. It offers a communal table game experience, is easy to understand, and can sustain a modest bankroll far longer than slot machines.

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: , , , , , , ,

Jan 03

Going South: The Best Blackjack Odds in Vegas

Going South: The Best Blackjack Odds in Vegas (99.86% RTP)

If you’re planning your first trip to Vegas, don’t bother reading this. You’ll want to spend your time on taking in the glorious sites along The Strip and Downtown’s Freemont Street. On your first visit, it’s not about the games, but the experience. If you’ve already had that experience, and are looking for something a bit more, then by all means, continue reading.

I’m going to tell you about the best blackjack games in the city. You won’t find them on The Strip or in Downtown, despite the rampant finger-pointing towards El Cortez. That casino does have some nice games, clocking a 99.82% RTP with the cheapest table limits of $5 and up. If you’re willing to spend $25 per hand, you can do better.

Best Blackjack Odds in Vegas

Head south along Las Vegas Boulevard approximately 10 miles from the central Strip area (Bellagio / Caesars Palace); past McCarran International Airport; beyond South Point and The Grandview. Just as you cross the St Rose Parkway, you’ll come to the luxurious M Resort Spa & Casino, sticking up from the vast stretch of desert floor like a hitchhiker’s thumb.

Beating Vegas with M Resort Blackjack Odds

Its opulence may seem a bit out of place this far south of The Strip. Technically, you’re not even in Las Vegas anymore. You’re in the city of Henderson, but once you enter the property, you’ll never know the difference.

I suggest taking advantage of valet parking, unless you don’t mind long walks. Once you get to the doors, head inside and take the nearest elevator to the upper level. Follow the signs to the casino, and once you’re there, stop the first employee you see and ask them to point you to the blackjack tables. The pit boss should be easy to find, standing at his/her central kiosk with a birds-eye view of the dealers.

Tell this person that you heard the M Resort blackjack odds are the best in the city, and ask for directions to one of those tables. There should be three of them It wouldn’t hurt to do this with a tip sticking up between your fingers, ensuring you get preferential seating if there’s a line. Once you’re seated…

M Resort Blackjack Odds and Rules

At the right tables, you’ll find rules that dish up a delicious 99.86% RTP. That’s a mere 0.14% house edge. It isn’t some odd-ball game with wacky rules and side bets. It’s a standard game of classic blackjack, with just enough player-friendly rules to deliver the best blackjack game in Vegas.

These games are played with a double-deck shoe, requiring the dealer to stand on all 17s. Players can double after a split and are allowed to re-split Aces. By these rules, a basic strategy will deliver that beautiful 99.86% return. Making these tables even more appealing, the games have a 0.8 cut card with 60% deck penetration. Deeper would be great, but in a 2-deck shoe, that’s a nice mark for precision card counters.

To recap…

  • Shoe: Double-Deck
  • Soft 17: Stand
  • Double: Any 2
  • Double After Split: Yes
  • Re-Split Aces: Yes
  • Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2
  • Cut Card: 0.8
  • Deck Penetration: 60%
  • Min / Max: $25 / $5,000
  • House Edge: 0.14%
  • RTP: 99.86%

If you’re interested in testing your skills against the best blackjack odds in Vegas, set your destination for the M Resort Spa Casino, located at 12300 S Las Vegas Blvd South, Henderson, NV 89044.

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

Jan 01

Top 10 best gambling tips for recreational bettors in 2020.

Top 10 Best Gambling Tips for Recreational Bettors in 2020

Not every gambler is looking to strategize every game, spending big bucks to turn a major profit. Sure, we’ve all heard about big pro gambling gurus that took Vegas for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but to think we could ever become the next hot topic is laughable, at best. You’re more likely to win a multi-million dollar progressive.

The majority of today’s gamblers aren’t high rollers. They are casual gamblers with a modest bankroll and a desire to win some cash, or at least have a good time trying. If you fit into that category, today’s write up is for you.

10 Best Gambling tips for Recreational Bettors

A recreational gambler is one who plays casino games for fun. They don’t consider themselves strategists. As such, the following tips can help them make the most of their experience without going broke. I’ve put them in order of what I consider to be a need-to-know basis, based on experience levels of beginner and up.

#1 Take Your Time

If Aesop’s Fables have taught us anything, it’s that slow and steady wins the race. There’s no rush. The casino is not going to close up. Most of them never close at all! And as we all know, the casino always has the advantage. The faster you play, the faster you lose.

#2 Lower Your Expectations

Let’s face facts. You’re probably going to lose. The sooner you accept that fact, the easier it will be to relax and have a good time. It’s not impossible to win. People do get lucky. But casinos aren’t in the business of making winners.

#3 Enjoy the Experience

I’m going to elaborate once more on that previous notion, because it really is super important. Casinos are entertainment venues, just like psychic hotlines. Their terms of service both state “for entertainment purposes only”. The odds of getting a real psychic on the phone are about as good as your odds of turning the casino’s house edge to your favor. In the long run, the casinos always win more than the players. If you don’t enjoy the experience, it will only feel like a rip-off.

#4 Don’t Go Back for Seconds

Never hit the ATM for more money. Know what you are willing to spend, bring that with you in cash, and if you run out, be done. Besides, casino ATMs charge insane fees to withdrawal!

#5 Practice Before You Play

If you’re new to casino gaming, get some practice in first. Online casinos are a perfect medium for this. You can play for free as long as you want, trying out new games and learning the rules.

#6 Don’t Play Keno

Keno is by far the worst game in the casino. It’s like playing the lottery. Your odds of winning anything decent can be astronomical. You’re better off playing progressive slot machines. Which reminds me…

#7 Slots Aren’t as Cheap as You Think

Slot machines aren’t the cheap games they used to be. When you see penny slots or nickel slots, they are often loaded up with paylines. You have to pay at least the base price per payline to activate them. A nickel slot with 20 paylines doesn’t cost $0.05. With all lines active, it will cost you $1.00 per spin. A casual gamblers $25 bankroll can run dry real fast at that rate!

Not only that, sometimes what looks like a win is really a loss. If you’re betting $1.00, but only win $0.20 on a spin, the bells and whistles go off like you’ve won. In reality, you’ve lost $0.80. Pay attention to what each spin is costing you, and watch your bankroll close.

#8 Online Slots Pay Better

Having read #7, the next thing you need to know is that online slots have way better payouts than land-based casinos slots. Las Vegas slot machines are only required to pay back 75% of what they take in. Canadian laws require slots to keep a minimum of 85% to 88%, depending on the province. Online casinos aren’t under such regulatory restrictions, nor do they pay outrageous utilities and payrolls. Online, the average payout on a slot is between 96% and 97%. So if you really enjoy those lsots, like so many people do, online casinos are the best place to play them.

#9 Don’t Pretend to Be a Pro

If you’re not a blackjack pro, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can play like one. You’re welcome to practice strategies and card counting, but if you sit down at a Vegas blackjack table and try to count cards without the mental proficiency and training required to do it right, you’ll be laughed out of the casino like our foolish friend Ben Affleck.

#10 Video Poker is the Best Strategy Game in the Casino

Of all the best gambling tips on this page, this is the most important for anyone looking to improve their status in the casino. Forget the all-too-common assumption that blackjack is the best casino game for strategizing. It’s not. That title belongs to video poker, especially if you’re a nascent, casual gambler looking to up your game. With the right rules and pay table, you can achieve a return of 99.92% or better. No blackjack game can offer a recreational gambler those kind of odds. To top it off, with video poker, there’s no pressure from other players to hurry up your choices. You can take your time, and even look up the perfect strategy, hand by hand, as you play.

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

Nov 11

Evaluating the best video poker strategy books of the millennium.

Evaluating the Best Video Poker Strategy Books of the Millennium

Gambling strategy books used to be all the rage. Anyone hopping on a flight to Vegas would pick up the latest edition of a pro-authored tutorial to read along the way. In those days, the world’s most renowned gamblers – people like Edward Thorpe, Stanford Wong, and Doyle Brunson – were the best selling authors in the business.

Times have changed so much since then, as have the games they wrote about. Thorpe’s blackjack theories have been expounded upon. Stanford’s card counting seems almost primitive today. Brunson’s poker strategy could be picked apart by a college student going on three days of Monster energy drinks in place of sleep.

But there’s one game that hasn’t changed; one game that’s been strategically documented throughout the decades. And it just so happens to be the highest paying game on the casino floor – if you visit the right casino, that it. I’m talking about video poker machines. And while it’s true that the strategies in the older video poker books remain valid today, the way the machines are built has changed. And for that reason, today’s evaluation will only include guides written in the current millennium.

Best Video Poker Strategy Books of 2000+

In order to remain entirely fair and unbiased, I’m basing the following evaluations on the opinions of actual readers of these books – readers who bought them with the sole intent of improving their skills at the casinos.

Please note that, while I have provided links where you can purchase each book, I am not receiving any kickbacks for doing so, and cannot guarantee the price or availability of the books via those links past the publication date of this article.

The Video Poker Edge, Linda Boyd (2005)

The Video Poker Edge: How to Play Smart and Bet Right by Kinda Boyd

Linda Boyd published her second edition of The Video Poker Edge: How to Play Smart and Bet Right, in 2005. I’ve picked this book for two very important reasons. First of all, it’s written specifically for beginners. It starts by teaching you everything about the game, its history, proper etiquette, etc., then moves into the strategy department, detailing how to identify the highest paying games and how to play the most commonly profitable hands. Secondly, she is 100% honest about the nature of the games. She does not pretend that you can beat them – not without finding that one-in-a-million machine with an above 100% RTP. (Yes, they do exist). Ms. Boyd teaches players to be realistic, conveying that probabilities dictate you will lose in the long term, but that you can make your bankroll last a lot longer playing the “right” way.

Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner, Bob Dancer (2009)

Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner by Bob Dancer

Bob Dancer is the world’s leading authority on winning video poker strategies. His success stories are known far and wide. His authoring of Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner is aimed at players who want to learn the ABCs of the game, as well as the XYZs of becoming a video poker master. What impresses readers most is how easy Dancer makes it to identify games with a positive expectation. Most casinos don’t have them, of course, but when you find one, following his advice can net consistent profits. Strategy charts are provided for all the most common games and pay tables.

As for becoming a video poker master, this book comes highly recommended. If you want to learn more about Bob Dancer himself, check out his previous best-seller, Million Dollar Video Poker (2003). Any true enthusiast will enjoy the read.

“A Winner’s Guide to…” Series, Bob Dancer (Varies)

6 Volume Video Poker Winner's Guide Series by Bob Dancer

Starting in the early 2000’s, Bob Dancer wrote and published a 6-volume series on video poker games that’s since become known as his “Winner’s Guide Series”. Each book covers the precise game play strategy and charts for a single game, covering all known pay tables for each.

If you’ve already read a beginner’s guide and are looking to expand your knowledge about a particular game – maybe one that’s specifically available at your local casino – these volumes are lauded as the best video poker strategy books in the literary realm.

The complete series includes:

  • Vol. 1 – A Winner’s Guide to Jacks or Better
  • Vol. 2 – A Winner’s Guide to Double Bonus Poker
  • Vol. 3 – A Winner’s Guide to Full Pay Deuces Wild
  • Vol. 4 – A Winner’s Guide to NSU Deuces Wild
  • Vol. 5 – A Winner’s Guide to Pick’em Poker
  • Vol. 6 – A Winner’s Guide to Double Double Bonus Poker

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , ,

Jul 23

Dealing with obnoxious blackjack players and dealers.

Blackjack is widely regarded as the most entertaining game in a land-based casino. Socialites who enjoy the communal atmosphere of a multi-player game gather at the tables, alongside those who prefer blackjack for its supremely high, strategy-driven RTP. It’s a win-win for all but the most casual, solitary-minded casino goers.

Casino Casualties: Dealing with Obnoxious Blackjack Players and Dealers

But sometimes, the experience at a blackjack table isn’t quite up to par. Every once in a while, you may run across an obnoxious player who doesn’t know how to keep his opinion to himself. Sometimes, the dealer may forget his place, treating customers like second-class citizens instead of the bread and butter they are for their employers, the casino.

What do you do when this happens without losing your cool? Here’s some pro tips to help you out…

Dealing with Obnoxious Blackjack Players

The last thing we want to put up with at the blackjack table is another player who thinks he’s smarter than we are. If you’ve ever had your game play criticized by another, you know what I’m talking about.

Some do it because they’ve had a few too many drinks. Others do it because they’re under the impression that your decisions are effecting their game, and they’ve decided to take out their bad luck on you. Either way, it’s not appropriate.

You could just get up and leave, but you shouldn’t have to feel bullied in such a way. You could explain to him why you made the move you did, and that mathematical probabilities do not change based on the decisions of others. But I promise you that won’t go over well. And there’s always the chance that his argument is correct – not yours – and you come off looking like a total idiot.

The best thing you can do here is completely ignore him. Don’t leave. Don’t argue. Just remain calm, play your game to the best of your ability, and don’t show any emotion whatsoever towards this player. So long as you don’t appear perturbed by him, odds are he’ll become so frustrated he gets up and leaves first.

How to Handle a Rude Blackjack Dealer

The job description for any professional blackjack dealer will include supporting the players in their endeavor to beat the house. No dealer is ever told to root for his employer. They are trained to be polite, helpful, and give the best advice whenever a player asks for it. His boss doesn’t care, because he already knows the rules of the game give the house an edge.

If you happen across a dealer who’s blatantly hoping you lose, something is terribly wrong. This dealer is obviously in a very bad mood. Maybe he’s running a double shift and/or has had too many run-ins with obnoxious players of his own. Maybe he’s a disgruntled employee hoping to get himself canned so he can collect unemployment. Whatever the case, he’s out of line, and you’re left to deal with it.

There are three ways you can deal with this blackjack dealer, depending on the severity of their attitude. If they’re just being annoying, don’t tip them. If they’re beyond annoying, you may want to get up switch to another table. As an absolute last resort, you can report them to the floor manager, but only in extreme situations. Again, it could just be they’re having a really bad day, and we’ve all had those before.

The best advice I can give you is to think before you act. Consider all angles – all reasons why a fellow blackjack player or dealer might be acting the way they are. Then approach the situation with a cool, calm and collected demeanor. The high road is always the best road!

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

Jul 05

Caribbean Stud Poker tips & logical lines of defense.

Fundamental Gambling: Caribbean Stud Poker Tips & Logical Lines of Defense

The fundamentals of gambling teach us that the rules of a game are imperative knowledge. Not knowing how to play will require far more luck than skill to win. Thus, the rules are the first thing any smart gambler will learn before attempting to place a wager on any new game. But those who are familiar with the stochastic nature of casino games will strive to attain a greater understanding of the logistics behind them.

If you count yourself among that group, you’ll enjoy today’s lesson in Caribbean Stud Poker statistics and probabilities. We’ll delve much deeper than the ordinary theoretical RTP to see just how likely you are to hit specific payouts when implementing a perfect strategy.

Caribbean Stud Poker Tips & Logistics

I’m going to assume that you already know the basics of how to play Caribbean Stud Poker. It’s a standard Ante/Play betting game with streets (revealing of cards) rather than a draw phase (no in-depth decision making). The only decisions to be made are how much to Ante, and whether to Play the hand with a continuation bet (Raise).

As for strategy, these five rules are all you really need to know.

Easy Perfect Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

  • When you have any pair or better, Raise.
  • When your hand ranks below dealer’s qualifying hand (Ace+King high), Fold.
  • If you have exactly Ace+King High…
    • Raise if the dealer’s upcard is 2-Queen, and matches one of your cards.
    • Raise if the dealer’s upcard is King or Ace, and you have a Queen or Jack.
    • Raise if the dealer’s upcard is lower than your four highest cards, and you have a Queen.

Caribbean Stud Poker Probabilities

Why do the above tactics work so well? Because the mathematical probabilities of the game state that following these rules will, in theory, diminish the casino’s house edge to the lowest possible risk factor.

By hypothetical standards, Caribbean Stud Poker has a 5.224% house edge (or 94.776% RTP). However, the edge is traditionally calculated as the expected loss on the original wager.

When following the above strategy, player’s will raise 52.23% of all hands, which comes to an average wager of 2.045 bet units per hand. And when raising, the player has a slightly higher probability of winning, or achieving a hand worth a high enough payout to be worth the calculated risk (hence the recommendation to raise in the first place). Therefore the element of risk falls to 2.555%.

With that said, let’s take a quick look at the…

Probabilities of All Possible Outcomes

Result of Hand Ante Pays Raise Pays Probability %
Player wins w/ Royal Flush 1 unit 100 to 1 0.0001%
Player wins w/ Straight Flush 1 unit 50 to 1 0.0008%
Player wins w/ 4 of a Kind 1 unit 20 to 1 0.0142%
Player wins w/ Full House 1 unit 7 to 1 0.0834%
Player wins w/ Flush 1 unit 5 to 1 0.1097%
Player wins w/ Straight 1 unit 4 to 1 0.2198%
Player wins w/ 3 of a Kind 1 unit 3 to 1 1.1751%
Player wins w/ 2 Pair 1 unit 2 to 1 2.4482%
Player wins w/ Pair or Less 1 unit 1 to 1 11.7555%
Dealer doesn’t Qualify 1 unit 0 22.7385%
Push 0 0 0.0016%
Player Folds -1 unit 0 47.7745
Dealer wins -1 unit -2 units 13.6786%

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

Jun 29

Terrible beginner blackjack strategies could will cost you everything.

Terrible Beginner Blackjack Strategies that will Cost You Everything

I’ve spent plenty of time writing everything from tips to detailed strategies for the game of blackjack. I’ve described at length many of the pros most famous and effective card counting techniques. Today, I thought we’d try something a bit different – a reversal, if you will. Today we’ll be discussing the three worst blackjack game strategies that only beginners are known to erroneously invoke.

The problem is that, to a brand new blackjack player with no experience or foreknowledge of how effective tactics work, these concepts can actually sound like the perfect way to win the game. That’s absolutely not the case. So if you are new to the game, be careful you don’t fall for these all-too-common fallacies.

Three Terrible Beginner Blackjack Strategies to Avoid

I was passing through Edmonton a few weeks ago with a friend and we stopped in the River Cree Casino. While dining at the Kitchen Buffet (pricey, but ask for a 2-for-1 coupon when you join the players club, it’s excellent!) I overheard a conversation that made my gut wrench. This was obviously a kid who had never been to a casino before, and probably had one too many drinks before he got to the blackjack table… his “perfect blackjack strategy”, as he called, was this…

Follow the Dealer’s Rules

This poor kid thought that if he followed the same rules that the dealer is forced to abide by, he would have to have an above 50% win rate. It works for the dealer, why not the player? He was so excited by this idea of his that I felt guilty for correcting him, but I couldn’t let him go on believing that horrible distortion.

At first, he seemed to prepared to argue his point to the death, until he finally stopped long enough to ask me why mimicking the dealer’s moves doesn’t work. My response was simple – because you can bust before the dealer ever plays.

Think about it, I explained to him. If you have 16 and always hit it, you’re going to bust a lot (62% of the time, to be exact). The dealer must also hit 16, but only if the player has already completed their hand. The average player using basic strategy will bust about 16% of the time, thereby losing some of those hands before the dealer ever has to take that scary hit on 16.

Because the player goes first, and can bust before the dealer ever plays, following the dealer’s rules is a terrible way to play blackjack! It results in a house edge of about 6%; far worse than the ~1% edge in most games.

The kid finally caught on and realized the error of his ways. He then proceeded to question my knowledge, asking if this strategy would work instead…

Never Let Your Hand Bust

Oh, no, I told him, that won’t do either. Sure, it will save you from facing immediate disaster when the dealer drops a face card on your 12+, but it’s not going to increase your odds of winning – quite the opposite, in fact.

A more prosperous strategy requires hitting some hand values of 12 or more. When basic strategy instructs players to do so, it’s because your odds of busting are lower than your odds of losing against the dealer’s up card.

For example, if you’re dealt 12, and the dealer is showing a 10, odds are higher that you will lose with the 12 than the odds of busting if you hit it. There are 9 cards that won’t hurt you, and only 4 that will. That’s a 69.2% chance you’ll survive the hit. Thus it is the right move to hit.

Like our error-ridden ‘mimic the dealer’ concept above, never busting also proposes about a 6% house edge.

At this point, I told our young friend that he should take some time to study basic blackjack strategy, and warned him to stay away from this third and final bad tactic that’s cost some beginner blackjack players far more than they could ever afford to lose. I’m talking about the potentially expensive error of using a…

Blackjack Betting System

These systems are advertises as sure-fire ways to win at all sorts of casino games that pay even money. Blackjack doesn’t really qualify, since you can split and double down, but a lot of players make the mistake of using betting systems here anyway.

The idea behind a betting system is to bet progressively in such a way so that even if you lose many hands in a row, once you do win, you’ll make it all back, plus a small profit. These systems do not work. It doesn’t matter if it’s a straight double-or-nothing, a positive progression, or a negative progression system. They don’t work for one simple reason. Casinos have table limits.

You can only place wagers so high before you hit the limit, and all that takes is 8 consecutive losses. The odds of losing 8 hands in a row aren’t great, but if it happens, you won’t be able to continue. You’ll have lost hundreds upon hundreds of dollars, with no way to win it back. Learn more about the inherent flaws of betting systems here.

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