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 24

Live dealer casinos feeling the crunch of COVID-19 closures.

Live Dealer Casinos Now Feeling the Crunch of COVID-19 Closures

When news of the Corona virus first erupted, none could conceive of the disruption it would soon cause to everyday existence; not just in our home towns, but on a global scale. When the phrase “social distancing” became a household term, everyone began looking for ways to conduct their daily activities online. That included entertainment verticals, of course.

Online gambling was thought to be a perfect solution for those who already enjoy the occasional casino rendezvous. However, most online casino games are RNG-based. They are computer generated, offering no source of social interaction. Live casinos, on the other hand, are virtual mirrors of the table games played at land-based casinos, where real people gather virtually, and communicate digitally, as they play.

This particular iGaming vertical has harvesting more players than ever before in the last week. Now, it looks like this form of virtual gambling entertainment may not be around much longer.

Live Dealer Casinos Feel the Crunch of COVID-19 Closures

On Monday, March 23, news came down the pipeline that Evolution Gaming, the world’s premier producer of live casino games, had been ordered by the Georgian government to cease operations at its live casino studio in Tbilisi, Georgia. This marked the first – and at present, only – known mandatory closure of a live gambling studio.

A statement from Evolution Gaming confirmed the situation:

The Tbilisi studio adheres to current guidelines regarding social distancing and the company has taken an extensive number of infection prevention measures in the studio. Evolution Gaming is in close contact with local authorities in order to verify the taken measures and to be able to reopen the studio. The situation is developing, and Evolution will adapt continuously.”

Evolution stated that the vast majority of its operation would continue, as the Tbilisi studio represented just one of its 8 live studios around the world. It was a message meant to reassure audiences, but one that was surely given with a foreboding grain of salt as it predicated a similar future for its remaining properties.

Latvian Gov. Considers Suspension of Gambling Licenses

Today, evidence of that impending future is coming to light, slowly but surely. Word has it that the Latvian government is considering suspending the licenses of all its gambling operators. No official announcement has yet been made. It’s only a consideration at this time, but one I’ve no doubt will come to fruition in the coming days.

Evolution Gaming has been headquartered in Riga, Latvia since the company’s founding in 2006. Its oldest and largest studio is located in Riga Old Town. If the Latvian government goes through with this proposed plan, it could spell a quick domino effect of closures for all of Evolution’s live dealer casinos.

Don’t mistake the meaning in this. It’s not just Evolution Gaming that would be effected by the COVID-19 related suspensions. Playtech, NetEnt, Microgaming, every live casino operator licensed from here to Malta could soon feel the crunch of Coronavirus closures.

If and when it does come to it, we here at RealMoneyGambling.ca support the effort to protect the health of live dealers and all other staff members at these operations who’ve worked so hard to give us this unique entertainment vertical. To you, we say thank you. Go home, stay inside, stay safe, and we look forward to your return when the strange days of this global pandemic come to an end.

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 28

Things to see in Nevada when you’re over the Las Vegas Strip; Reno, Carson City, Silver Springs, and everything in between.

Things to see in Nevada when you’re over the Las Vegas Strip

If you’re not from around the area, you probably don’t realize just how much there is to see and do in Nevada. Everyone visits Las Vegas to see the casinos and myriad culture-shock of crowds along the Strip, but rarely do they ever take the time to see anything else. It’s like going to Disney World. There is so much to take in, you could spend a whole week there and never experience even half of it.

Once you get over the Vegas vibe, don’t make the mistake of thinking there’s nothing left to do or see in the Silver State. It is a beautiful place with a more diverse landscape than most people realize. From desert valleys, to mountainous terrain; deep canyons to breathtaking lonesome highways; this is not the kind of holiday you want to rush your way through.

Things to See in Nevada (besides the Las Vegas Strip)

There’s a fantastic, triangular region in West Nevada that can deliver the most amazing experience, without ever coming close to the fast-paced stress of the Vegas Strip. Whether you’ve been there so many times (or even once) that you’re over the sights and sounds of Las Vegas Boulevard, or you have no desire to step foot into what some consider a cesspool of anxiety, this out-of-the-way Nevada holiday will inspire and relax you to the core, and still provide a chance to do a little Vegas-style gambling. Our adventure starts in…

Reno – The Biggest Little City in the World

Reno Nevada
Now entering Reno, Nevada

Surely you know something of Reno. It is the third most famous gambling city in the United States, after Las Vegas and Atlantic City. What I was surprised to learn over the years is just how few people actually know that Reno is in Nevada. I did a little survey of this among ten purely random people – people I didn’t even know – and only 3 of them knew. Go figure?

Yes, Reno is a city on the western edge of Nevada, situated along the border of California just north of Lake Tahoe. It is quite literally a miniature version of Las Vegas. It even has a mini-Strip – they call it The Row – made up of its three major, inter-connected casinos – Eldorado, Circus Circus and Silver Legacy. There are plenty of other interesting things to see and do in the Midtown District, so take your time and enjoy it. When you’re done there, rent a car and hop on Interstate 580/Highway 395 South, where you’ll embark on a picturesque, 40 minute drive to…

Carson City – Modern Take on a Historical Treasure

Kit Carson Trail, Carson City, Nevada
Kit Carson Memorial - Carson City, Nevada

Carson City is the capital of Nevada, so it’s got a big city atmosphere. However, it’s also got a tremendous amount of historical sights and natural wonders to behold. If you like trains half as much as I do, the Nevada State Railroad Museum is a must. The Kit Carson Trail is a museum and national park all mixed into one – bring a picnic lunch, then head over to the Shoe Tree Brewing Company to unwind. If you’re more interested in the nature scene, Washoe Lake and Skunk Harbor are well worth the visit. Spend the last of your evening at one of the local bed and breakfasts – far better than any hotel you’ll find in the city – then get up bright and early for your next drive to…

Virginia City – A Town atop a Century Old Silver Mine

C Street Virginia City, Nevada - Almay Stock Photos
C Street in Downtown Virginia City, Nevada - Almay Stock Photo

Did you ever see a John Wayne movie? How about Wyatt Earp or Gunsmoke? Better yet, Bonanza – it was filmed on location. Entering Virginia City is like stepping into one of those historical towns, straight out of an old western. The drive out, which takes about half an hour via US-50 East and NV-341 W/342 N, is similar, but is clearly marred by the effects of time and modernization.

For instance, you’ll drive through Silver City, which may sound like something special – and believe me, at one time it was – but is now barely more than a fueling station and diner along an old desert road. Back in 1861, when the Sierra was brimming with silver, this bustling 4-hotel city had a population of 1,200. Now, and for many decades past, the population is listed at around 170 – a Ghost Town since 1869.

From there you’ll pass through the Devil’s Gate, a famously narrow, craggy pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and into Gold Hill, a small town with a similar history of desolation. A minute or two further along sets your destination, Virginia City.

The thoroughfare dividing the boardwalks of downtown may be paved with asphalt now, but the buildings along this stretch still bleed of the past. Remove the colorful but deteriorating paint, and the 150 year old hotels, saloons, and trading posts remain virtually untouched. Make sure to arrive early – by high noon, the Wild West tourists come piling out of the woodwork!

Nevada US-50 – The Loneliest Road in America

Nevada Route 50 Loneliest Road in America

If you still have some time, head back south to US-50 and bear east. Forget destinations – you don’t have one. Your path is one of uncertainty and contemplation. Just keep driving for as long as you feel like it. This stretch of road is what’s known as The Loneliest Road in America. It goes on for miles and miles – all the way to the country’s east coast, in fact – but the Nevada expanse goes on for nearly 400 miles. It can take around 7 hours to reach Utah, but the breathtaking views will last a lifetime.

Of course, odds are you’ll get tired of that drive within half an hour or so, at which point I recommend stopping off in Silver Springs. Once you pass Stagecoach, you can’t miss it. It’s hard to miss anything that exists out here in the middle of nowhere – but again, that’s they beauty of it. There’s not a whole lot to do in this small town, but there is a cozy little Silver Springs Airport that will fly you back to wherever you came from.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , ,

Feb 18

The UKGC has issued the temporary license suspension of Matchbook, a long-time online sports exchange and casino operator that vows to achieve compliance and a swift return.

UKGC Suspends License of Matchbook Online Sports Exchange & Casino

It’s no secret that the UK Gambling Commission has no patience for remote operators who fail to uphold its guidelines. It is universally recognized as the strictest online gambling authority on the planet. That’s bad news for operators with any misconceived notions of getting away with a lax regime; at the same time, great news for members of any UKGC-licensed operation, knowing they are well protected against everything from social harms to criminal activity.

The Commission has proved its intolerance for licensee failures time and time again. UKGC officials are constantly doling out fines to operators who’ve been found guilty of non-compliance. The severity of those fines continue to rise, not just with time, but with loss of patience for repetitive transgressions. However – and I’ve pointed this out on several previous occasions – it’s extremely rare, practically unheard of, in fact, for the Commission to actually suspend an operator’s license.

That point of interest makes this latest news all the more brow-raising. As of this morning, Tuesday, February 18, 2020, the UKGC has officially suspended the license of Triplebet Limited, d.b.a. Matchbook.com.

Online Sports Exchange & Casino License Suspended

Matchbook Sports Betting License Temporarily Suspended

A brief press release issued this morning by the UK Gambling Commission confirms that Matchbook has, indeed, lost its license; at least, temporarily. The suspension of Triplebet LTD’s license prohibits the Matchbook from facilitating any remote gambling activities, effective immediately.

According to the UKGC’s official announcement:

The Gambling Commission has undertaken a Licence review under s116 of the Gambling Act 2005 (“the Act”) into Triplebet Limited t/a Matchbook (operating licence no 039504-R-319407-011).

Pursuant to section 118(2) of the Act, the Commission has determined to suspend the above operating licence insofar as it pertains to the operator’s ability to offer remote facilities for pool betting, betting intermediary and to operate a remote casino.”

The Matchbook website is still up and running, as the operator has been instructed to continue settling any open wagers placed prior to the license suspension, and honoring withdrawal requests of customer accounts.

What the UKGC notably failed to mention was any innuendo into the reasoning behind their sudden course of action. There is no hint of why Matchbook is under investigation. The Commission simply directs any customer questions concerning the issue to Matchbook’s support team (email support@matchbook.com or call 0203 642 6867).

Matchbook Vows Swift Resolution and Return

Just as the UKGC was publishing its news of the license suspension and investigatory review of the operator, Matchbook was scurrying to get an email off to its customers warning them of the site’s impending fate, and reassuring them that the operator will be back up and running as swiftly as possible.

The email that went out this morning to all UK customer’s reads:

Today the United Kingdom Gambling Commission has taken the decision to temporarily suspend the operating licence of Triplebet Limited (t/a Matchbook).

As a result, from 23.59 on 17 February 2020 we will be briefly closed for all betting and casino activity in the United Kingdom. During this time we will continue to settle all open positions and you will have access to your account to withdraw your funds.

Matchbook has been in regular contact with the Gambling Commission and has agreed a path forward where it will deliver on a number of conditions. We will be back soon and we are committed to providing a betting exchange which adheres to very high standards.”

When all is said and done, I’m hopeful the UKGC will publish its findings, along with any sanctions against the company, and the reasons behind them. Until then, it’s worth noting that Matchbook has been in good standing with its customers and licensing authorities for many years. The online sports exchange and casino has been in operation since 2004, and by all accounts, has every intention of being back in business as quickly as UKGC investigators will allow.

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

Feb 10

A Question for the Modern Ages: Is Gambling Legal in Canada?

Question for the Modern Ages – Is Gambling Legal in Canada?

A simple question such as this deserves an equally simple answer. In today’s modern age, there are many different types of gambling. It would be easy to convolute the problem with legal jargon and complicated interpretations of the law, but I promise you, I won’t do that.

As an avid enthusiast of online gambling, I’ve spent more than enough time researching the Canadian Criminal Code to understand its meaning. Fortunately for you, as a career journalist in the field, I’d like to think I can translate it in a manner that is as easy as possible to understand.

Q&A: Is Gambling Legal in Canada?

The short answer is, Yes!, gambling is legal here in Canada. However, that is a vague question. There are many different types of gambling. I have no idea whether you’re referring to casino gambling, poker games, bingo, sports betting, horse racing, lotteries, raffles, etc.

Most of these are legal in some capacity, with restrictions. In the following sections, we’ll discuss each type of gambling, and just how legal it is.

Note that all of these laws extend into the online gambling realm, at least to some extent. To be thorough, I’ll give you a brief summary of online gambling laws to start.

Legality of Online Gambling in Canada

Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada

Online gambling is legal in Canada. Internet gambling sites come in two varieties – Provincialand International. Either way, both are legal.

Provincial online casinos are only available in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and only accept player’s who reside within their respective borders. International online casinos are located offshore, regulated by their own jurisdictions.

So long as an offshore operator does not have a physical presence in Canada (offices or servers on Canadian soil), they are not illegal.

Casino Gambling Laws

Casino games are legal in Canada, so long as they are conducted in a licensed gaming facility, or with a provincial charity-gaming permit. There are more than 100 commercial casinos in the country, from Quebec’s Casino de Montreal, to British Columbia’s Hard Rock Vancouver. We also have tribal casinos, like the Bear Claw Casino in Carlyle, Saskatchewan.

Charities are able to host “casino night” events, where table games like roulette and blackjack can be legally held, so long as the right permits are obtained from their provincial government.

As for online casino gambling, there are hundreds of legal, reputably licensed operators in Europe that accept Canadian players.

Poker Gambling

Poker-based card games are also legal in Canada. A commercial casino, poker room or charity may host poker games, and collect a “rake” (profit) for doing so, as long as they have the correct license or permit. Home poker games are legal, as well, but no rake (profit) can be taken by the host / home owner.

Online poker is also legal, either through provincially or internationally regulated websites.

Bingo Halls / Charity Bingo

Bingo games are among the most popular forms of game-based fund raising in the country. Again, with proper permits, bingo games are perfectly legal. Some Canadian casinos, especially the tribal variety, are famous for hosting organized bingo games.

Online bingo – same as casino and poker – can be done at provincial or international gambling sites.

Sports Betting in Canada

Canadian sports betting laws in 2020 are a topic of great import. As the law stands now, only provincially-run, parlay-style betting is permitted. It is conducted much like a provincial lottery. In fact, some provinces actually call it the Sports Lottery; others call it Pro-Line. In parlay wagering, bettors must select a number of correct picks from various sporting events, and they must all be correct to win anything. The payout is high, but the odds are higher.

It is for this reason that so many Canadian sports bettors are turning to offshore, online sportsbook operators – remember, these are not illegal in Canada – to place single-event bets. There’s a strong push in the federal government to pass a single-event sports betting law, but until that happens – of ever it does – most sports wagering dollars are flowing offshore.

Horse Race Betting

Horse racing is the oldest form of organized, legal betting in Canada. There are tracks all over the map, from B.C. to Nova Scotia. You can place bets at these tracks, at offsite betting locations across the country, or via online racebooks.

Lotteries & Raffles

The second oldest form of legal gambling are the national and provincial lottery games. The first drawings were held in 1973 to help raise money to pay for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. It was a huge success, raising $230 million from 1973-76. Lotteries have been helping to fund government budgets ever since.

Online lotteries are legal in Canada, too. Most of our provinces sell online lottery tickets to drawings, as well as the scratch off variety. Tickets for international lotteries can be purchased from offshore websites.

Raffles are most often held as charitable events; legal with appropriate permits.

Conclusion & Brief Word on Internet Gambling

By now, you should have more than enough information to answer the question; Is gambling legal in Canada? However, before I wrap this up, I have to issue a brief warning about gambling over the internet.

If you do not live in a province where online gambling is locally regulated – or if you choose to gamble at internationally regulated websites – please do so with caution. Not all offshore operators are reputable. Stick to websites that are licensed in major European iGaming jurisdictions, like Isle of Man, Malta or The UK. They are held to the strictest standards, and are considered the absolute safest, most secure operators in the world.

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 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: , , ,

Nov 02

What kind of live and/or online slot machine player are you?

Categorical Cacophony of Live and Online Slot Machine Player Types

There are all types of slots players out there. I don’t mean the types who play in land-based casinos, versus those who play online. I’m referring to categorizations based on game types, spending limits, and what exactly draws a person to the machines they play.

Below are the five main categories I’ve come across. Every player seems to fit into one of these groups. Some of you may fit into more than one, but if you don’t think you fit into any of them, odds are you either don’t play the slots much, or you’re in denial about the reality of your gambling situation.

Live & Online Slot Machine Player Types

#1 The Vulture

The vulture is an all-too-common type of player who stalks a machine, waits for it to become available, and dives on it the moment it does. This player lurks around the casino floor, watching and waiting patiently. They will find a machine that has been played for an extended period of time without delivering any substantial payout, then wait however long it takes for it to become available. This is a dangerous way to play for several reasons.

The vulture can become very annoyed if a machine they’re waiting on suddenly pays out before they get their hands on it – as if they’ve been robbed after investing so much time, and an angry gambler is never a good gambler. If convinced enough that their method is effective, once this player does get their hands on that machine, they are likely to revert to the next player type – The Over Achiever.

#2 The Over Achiever

This player is so thoroughly entranced in their game that they will continue playing and playing, refusing to walk away until they finally win a good amount of money, or (more often) go broke trying. They are under the (false) impression that the machine must be ready to strike, simply because it hasn’t paid out in a while, and of course if they walk away the machine will be intercepted by a Vulture who will win their big payout.

Be careful, over achievers! You lose more money than any other slots player, except maybe The Believer

#3 The Believer

This is similar to the type who above, who believe they are “due” for a win, except that the Believer is convinced that they can “manifest” a win, simply by believing it will happen. There are a lot of “new age” people out there that fall into this category, and I assure you, they are not all millionaires. Just as they believe they will win, they come up with other beliefs as for why they didn’t – at least, not this time.

Hope and faith are the foundation of so many people’s lives. But if your hope and faith lie in the belief that you’re going to strike it rich on a live or online slot machine, it may be time to reevaluate your priorities.

#4 The Strategist

This player is out to beat the system. They read every pay table, only choosing games with an above average return to player (RTP) and/or a massive progressive jackpot so high that it actually pushes the RTP scales northward. A strategist knows how many coins to bet to qualify for features and jackpots, and bets exactly the required amount. They tend to choose high volatility slots, starting with a large enough bankroll to play for an extended period of time.

Being a strategist isn’t a bad thing, so long as you carry some recognizable traits of The Realist.

#5 The Realist

Having a realistic perception of slot machines is the best way to play. This live and/or online slot machine player knows that the games are more entertaining than profitable. They know that they are more likely to lose than win. They are prepared for this reality, only spending what they can afford, and stopping when they are ahead. These players are more likely to enjoy games with interesting features and/or relatable themes to maximize entertainment value.

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