Aug 06

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino Business

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino Business

If you’ve spent any time gambling in an online casino, you may have noticed a few things. For one, the games are extremely entertaining. There are hundreds to choose from, with rules and themes to appeal to anyone and everyone. With so many online casinos vying for your membership, there’s clearly some healthy competition in the industry. Perhaps most important of all, you’ve recognized that the house has a distinct advantage in every game.

If casino games are designed to win more money for the house than they pay out to players, wouldn’t it make sense to play on the side of the house? And what better way to do that than to own the house? With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at how to start and online casino. It’s not easy, and it’s certainly not cheap, but if you’ve got the means and the drive, it may very well be worth your time and effort.

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino

While the concept above – the casino always wins, so I’ll just open my own casino – is a common theory, it’s not necessarily a realistic one, which is why most people don’t do it. The truth is, there’s a lot that goes into opening an online gambling site; much more than most people realize. It’s a lengthy, step-by-step process, and an expensive one at that. The very first thing you’ll need to do is…

Register and Host Your Online Casino Domain

The first step is to choose a domain name. It should be something quick and catchy, and directly to the point. The shorter the name, the more likely people are to remember it. Betfair, LeoVegas, PokerStars – they all meet this easy-marketing requirement.

Once you choose your domain name, you need to register it with a domain registering service. Then you have to pay a server to host it.

Even if you don’t intend to launch your casino for a year or two, registering the domain should come first. Search engines take into account the longevity of a domain when indexing. Simply put, a website created two years ago ranks better than one launched two weeks ago.

Apply for an Online Gambling License

This is going to be the most expensive step, by far. Your operation must be licensed to garner any respect from the iGaming community. Where you obtain your license from will directly impact the cost and reputability of the operation.

Some jurisdictions, like Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, pretty much anywhere in Central America, offer very little in the way of regulation. You pay a smaller fee, but sacrifice the respect of strict player protections. Obtaining a license from the Malta Gaming Authority carries much more respect, as you’ll have to comply with their high standards. But, you’ll also pay a lot more for that license.

Also consider which countries you want to accept players from. Black markets, including much of the US, require lax regulation, but could get you into trouble down the line. To accept players from the UK, the world’s most productive iGaming market, you’ll need a UK license, which comes with the strictest standards, and highest price tag. A Maltese license will grant you access to most legal markets, including Canada.

Every license comes with fees. Expect them to be in the five-figure range. Then there’s financial reporting and taxes to be considered. Think very carefully about which way you want to go here, and do your research.

Employ One or More Casino Software Suppliers

Every online casino needs an assortment of games to offer their players. There are dozens of highly respected content studios to choose from. You may wish to go with a single platform with a large portfolio of games. Or, you could employ a collection of software brands to offer more diversity. Just keep in mind, you’ll pay a separate fee for each casino suite you integrate. Then there’s always the option of going beyond csaino games and into the field of poker, bingo, sports betting, etc.

Another thing to consider is just how involved you want the software supplier to be. There are generally three options.

  1. Casino Games Only: Employ the casino suite only, granting you a license to supply its games.
  2. Games + System Platform: This option comes with the casino suite license, plus a back-end platform that administers and manages player account services.
  3. The Whole casino Package: If you take the full package, you’ll get the casino suite license, the player account system, plus integration of security features, software certification, and a dedicated customer support / tech support team.

The more you want, the more you’ll pay for it, but the less you’ll be responsible for managing in the long run. Choose a full package from a major content supplier like eCOGRA-certified Microgaming, and you can rest assured everything that needs to get done, will get done.

Payment Processing – Choose Your Banking Methods

As any avid online casino gamer knows, the security and availability of payment methods is paramount to attracting new player sign-ups. Today, iGamers expect a wide selection of banking options for deposits and withdrawals.

Some players are very picky, and will only use eChecks, or Paypal, or Instant Banking methods like Interac or Citadel. Others are esteemed supporters of the cryptocurrency movement. If you want to cater to these types, you have to supply a long list of trusted payments to hit all niche players. And of course, credit and debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) are a must.

Once again, consider your options, do your research, and know your intended customers.

Catering to the Mobile Generation

Ten years ago, the mobile casino movement was hardly a quiver. Today, it’s rushing ahead like a locomotive. You don’t have to build a mobile app for your casino, but you could miss out on an entire generation of would-be customers if you don’t.

Now You Must Build It…

With all these steps out of the way, it’s time to put all the pieces together. You may want to hire a web design team for the website, as well as a mobile app developer. That’s more money going into your project. And once you get the casino up and running, you’ll need to factor in software and licensing renewal fees, plus additional costs like marketing and employee salaries.

As I said, this will be an expensive venture. There are cheaper routes, but as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for”. Like any successful business, the more you’re willing to invest into a quality product, the more you’re likely to get out of it.

If learning how to start your own online casino business was enough to make your head spin, maybe it’s not the right choice for you. Maybe playing those online slots and table games, despite their slight disadvantage to the player, weren’t so bad after all?

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

May 28

Where can I get paid to play games online?

Besides Casinos, Where Can I Get Paid to Play Games Online?

This is going to sound crazy, I know, but bear with me. There are actually companies out there that pay real money to play games on your mobile phone or tablet. Download games, play them, get paid – it’s that simple. I’m not talking about online casinos, either. You don’t buy anything. You don’t deposit any money. There’s no risk involved whatsoever.

If you’ve heard this before, and had some bad experiences, you’re not alone. For as many real paying game apps on the market today, there are 10x as many apps that don’t pay, or make it so hard to earn anything that it’s not worth it. I know, because I’ve used many of these apps myself. The good ones really are few and far between.

Where Can I Get Paid to Play Games Online?

Let’s start with the stuff you really want to know – which apps pay out. Here’s a quick list with brief descriptions for each.

Mistplay – Earn a Variety of Gift Cards

MistPlay Get Paid to Play Gaming Apps

Mistplay is my go-to app for earning free gift cards. I’ve been using this app for years, and never had a problem with it. They offer a very wide variety of games, catering to all types of players. They offer war strategy and city building games, tile matching games, cooking/ restaurant service games, card and board games, brainy word games, social casino slots – you name it, they have it.

Each game comes with a different point-earning level. The higher the level, the more points you can earn for playing it, and they rack up faster than you might think. You can cash in once you have as little as 400 points, but I suggest waiting until you have 3,000. That gets you a $10 gift card, where as it takes 1,800 to get $5. thus 3,000 gives you the best value.

As for types of gift cards, there’s a lot. If you want spend-anywhere cash, take the Visa gift card. Other options include Amazon, PayPal, Google Play, Uber Eats, Xbox, GameStop, Playstation, Apple, Starbucks, eBay, H&M, Nintendo, and Spotify.

The only problem with Mistplay – and it’s a big one – is that it’s only available for Android devices.

Rewarded Play – Earn Amazon Gift Cards

Rewarded Play Earn Gift Cards for Playing Games

Rewarded Play is another great gaming app that gives you free gift cards. This one awards points for the time you spend playing, and for achieving certain goals in those games. For example, a slot machine game might award points for reaching levels 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100.

You’ll need 45,000 points to exchange for a $5 Amazon gift card, but it doesn’t take long to get there, especially if you have multiple games downloaded. Plus, if you earn 5,000 points on consecutive days, you receive progressively larger bonus points (up to 5k) each day. I earned my first card after just two days, and have cashed in for well over $150 so far.

Only thing is, they only pay in Amazon gift cards; nothing else. If you like Amazon as much as I do, that shouldn’t be an issue. And, once again, you won’t find this app on the Apple Store – Google Play (Android) only.

SwagBucks – Earn Cash and Gift Cards

Swagbucks Make Money Playing Games and More

SwagBucks is an app that’s gotten far better over time. I downloaded it years ago, and while they did pay out, I wasn’t impressed. Back then, you had to take surveys to earn money. Anyone with experience taking online surveys knows that they can be tedious, boring, extremely time consuming, and you aren’t always able to complete them. The good news is that swagBucks has evolved into a variety rewards app. Surveys are still available, but you can also do things like play games, watch video ads or movie trailers, use their search engine, and/or earn cashback rewards on all your online purchases.

Everything users do converts to points, known as SBs. You can then exchange SBs for cash or gift cards. 100 SBs = $1, and you’ll need at least 500 SBs to convert to cash/gift card. Visit the Rewards Home and you can often find deals on gift card exchange, such as a 12% discount (2200 SB) on a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Lucktastic – Earn Real Cash or Gift Cards

Lucktastic App Win Money Playing Free Scratch Cards

Lucktastic has been around for a long time. You may have even seen their ads on television. It’s a scratch-off lottery ticket app that’s absolutely free to play. You scratch tickets to win prizes. Just like real lottery scratchies, you’ll lose more than you win, but at least these are free. Cash prizes range from $2 up to $1,500 per ticket.

All winnings are collected in your Lucktastic Wallet. Once you reach $5, you are eligible to exchange that for real cash in the form of a cheque in the mail. You can also choose a gift card, or tokens, which you can use to play more games and enter cash prize drawings.

You can get this app for Android or iOS devices. Unfortunately, it’s only available to players located in the United States.

21 Blitz – Free Blackjack Tournaments for Real Money

Free Blackjack Solitaire Game with Chance to Win Real Money

21 Blitz is a unique style of blackjack that combines 21 with solitaire. Card counting skills will really come in handy here! If you’re a blackjack player and want to fine-tune your counting skills, or just want to play for fun, Blitz 21 is a good option. As for making money, you’ll need some real skill.

When you first start out, you’ll get paid to play games they call ’21 Solitaire’. You get $2 free for playing 25 rounds. It’s not enough to cash out, but you can use it to compete in real money tournaments against other real players. The $1 tournament cost $0.60 to enter, and you play against one other person. But be warned – I only suggest doing this is you’re really good at it.

Due to an ultra high 20% rake, you’ll need to win way more than 50% of your matches to actually make money. If your cash balance runs out, you’ll have to make a deposit to keep playing for cash prizes. Think twice before you do, because you’re odds of winning real online blackjack are far better.

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 18

How to play Fast Poker online (even though you shouldn’t.)

Learn How to Play Fast Poker Online, Even Though You Probably Shouldn’t

New casino games are, well… nothing new. They come along all the time. Game inventors are constantly looking for the next big thing. Most games never even make it to the casino floor. Of those that do earn a trial run, most of them fail. Some new games skip the land-based option altogether, earning their stripes in the digital realm. Such is the potential fate of Fast Poker, a new online card game from SmartSoft Gaming.

How to Play Fast Poker Online

The first thing you need to know is that Fast Poker is a house-banked casino game, not a player-versus-player poker game. You won’t be competing against the dealer, either. In fact, Fast Poker is more like a video poker game, where players win for achieving a high enough hand rank. The difference is that you get to choose which cards to place in your hand, rather than being randomly dealt cards from the top of a shuffled deck.

Here’s what you need to know…

The game is dealt from a 20-card deck, consisting of four of each 10, J, Q, K and Ace. This set up increases the chances of being dealt high ranking hands – especially the highest paying a Royal Flush. All 20 cards are dealt face down at the top of the screen. The object of the game is to achieve a hand rank worth of a payout (see Fast Poker Pay Table below)

Fast Poker Rules & Game Play

  1. The game begins when you choose a bet size (0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, or 20) and press the Play button.
  2. From the 20 face down cards, you will select five cards to build you hand. Your chosen cards will turn face up and move to the bottom section of the screen, labeled Your Cards.
  3. Once all five cards are selected, they will automatically settle in the highest ranking hand position. If the hand ranks high enough for a payout, you win the corresponding amount displayed on the pay table. If not, you lose your bet.
Learn How to Play Fast Poker Online

How to Win – Fast Poker Pay Table

There are only five winning hands in Fast Poker, with payouts ranging from 2x to 100x the bet. Winning hands, values, and the probability you’ll receive them, are as follows:

5-Card Hand RankPayoutProbability
Royal Flush100:10.026%
4 of a Kind20:10.516%
Full House10:13.096%
Straight3:16.579%
3 of a Kind2:112.38%
Anything ElseLose77.40%
House Edge = 11.64%

The Good – The Bad – The Ugly

What’s good about this game is the overall entertainment value. I think allowing players to choose their own cards gives them a sense of control, increasing the overall enjoyment. It doesn’t change the odds in any way, mind you, but it does make players feel better. A happy player is a repeat player.

What’s bad about this game is the probability of actually winning. As you can see from the pay table above, odds are that 77.4% of your hands will be losers. That’s more than 3/4 of all games that will end in either a pair or two pair, both of which are losing hands. Only 12.6% will result in a 3 of a kind or anything better, worthy of a win.

Last but not least, the ugly part – the house edge of 11.64%. Players can only expect to win back 89.36% of their wagers. That’s as bad as most Las Vegas slot machines, and the reason we say you probably shouldn’t play Fast Poker online at all.

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

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: , , ,

Apr 09

It’s coming! Betting on Trivia Crack Video Gambling Machines.

Future of Casinos: Betting on Trivia Crack Video Gambling Machines

For about half a decade now, Las Vegas-based GameCo has been doing its part – and then some – to change the way gamers look at casinos. It all started with the creation of signature video gambling machines, or VGMs for short; a new wave of skillful video games designed to appeal to millennial-generation gamers.

As everyone knows by now, there’s not a land-based casino in North America that’s open for business at the moment. However, when operations return to normal, a new series of VGMs may be rolling out across the casino floors, based on the immensely popular mobile app known as Trivia Crack.

Betting on Trivia Crack Video Gambling Machines

If you own a smartphone, and have ever downloaded a gaming app for it, odds are you’re among the hundreds of millions of people all over the planet that have downloaded Trivia Crack, or the digitally renovated Trivia Crack 2. It’s the number-one trivia-based gaming app for both Android and iOS, not just here in Canada and the US, but in over 125 countries worldwide. It is the crown jewel of Argentina-based development studio, Etermax.

The game has enjoyed such monumental fanfare that GameCo came up with a unique way to capitalize on its popularity among millennials. They’ve decided to recreate the platform as one of their trademark VGMs. The games are just now in the early phase of development, but if progress goes as planned, these new machines could be lining the walls of land-based casinos from Buenos Aires to Saskatoon before the year is out.

The partnership between Etermax and GameCo just made sense for the two companies. Etermax said that its goal in the progressive development of Trivia Crack, from day one, was bring the game to where players are. That began with the original development of the smartphone app, and continued with integration to new devices, like smart watches, voice-powered utilities, consumer merchandise, etc. Assimilating to the video gambling market is nothing more than a natural progression in their eyes.

GameCo was more than willing to play the role of catalyst in this endeavor, and why not? Skill-based video gambling is their specialty, after all. The trick for GameCo’s programmers is, and always has been, turning a traditionally 100% skill-based game into something where players are still given a sense of control, without removing the casino’s ability to control wins and losses (eg the house edge).

How Will Developers Sustain RTP when Gambling Trivia Crack?

This is the big question surrounding the partnership between these two brands. Neither has commented publicly on the matter, but an article in VentureBeat confirms, “you will be able to play solo, head-to-head, or take part in tournaments”, per a statement from GameCo head of programming Rich Maryyanek.

Anyone familiar with the company’s past installments knows that GameCo thrives on its unique ability to combine video game style amusements, where a player’s skill impacts the payouts and winnings, with the same basic mechanics and economic values of slot machines.

So how might GameCo sustain predetermined RTPs for players betting on Trivia Crack video gambling machines? For head-to-head and tournament games, the answer is easy. Set it up like any other tournament. Present a buy-in/entry fee for all players. The casino skims a percentage off the top. But for solo-play, we’ll just have to wait and see what GameCo comes up with.

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

Mar 31

Three worst online casino game ideas that bombed.

What Were They Thinking? Worst Online Casino Game Ideas that Bombed

The online gambling industry is unique in many ways, one being that each internet casino presents limitless borders. An operator can pack in as many games as it wants and never run out of space. As such, virtual gaming floors are the perfect forum for testing out new game ideas.

In the last two decades, we’ve seen a lot of new games rise to ultimate glory. Microgaming’s 243 ways to win slots were a smashing success! Lottery-style sit-n-goes, first introduced by French operator Winamax in 2013, revolutionized internet poker. Live dealer casinos, debuted in 2003 by Playtech and perfected by Evolution Gaming in 2006, solved the lack of realism in RNG-based gambling.

Worst Online Casino Game Ideas that Bombed

Not every game created is an instant success. In fact, just like land-based table game inventions, the majority of them die on the virtual gaming floor – some faster than others.

7-Card Stud video poker was a perfect example. It made the games more complicated than they needed to be. Similarly, 7-reel slot machines failed to attract players, who found them to confusing to keep up with. Duplicate Poker turned players off by elimination the luck factor entirely. Yes, poker players love the skill element, but without the marginal influence of the luck of the draw, no one wanted to play anymore.

Those games were historically bad ideas, but none more so than the three games I’m about to tell you about. These titles died so quickly, today’s players may have completely missed their short-lived appearance.

#1 Showtime Hold’em Poker

Showtime Holdem Poker

Showtime Poker was an online poker variant introduced by PokerStars in May 2018. It was conceived under the premise that players believed it was “about time poker players show their folded cards”. At the end of a hand, all mucked cards would be revealed.

PokerStars wanted this game to take off like a rocket! They were so enthused about it that they contracted some of their most famous pros to build hype by streaming Showtime Poker tables on their live Twitch feeds.

There were two major problems with this format. Pro players hated it, because it forced them to give away their game play secrets. Amateurs hated it because they don’t give a crap about seeing mucked cards. End result – everyone hated it!

#2 Live Casino Slot Machines

In 2011, the creative minds at Evolution Gaming believed they’d had an epiphany. Live casinos are a perfect playground for table games, but they were unable to accommodate players of the most popular casino games on the planet – slot machines. Enter stage right, live dealer slots.

This bold introduction was meant to revolutionize the live casino industry. Evolution put a lot of thought and detail into its debut, going so far as to replace virtual reels with actual spinning wheels. A dealer would host the game, offering commentary and providing live chat interaction with players.

What went wrong? Well, slots players enjoy traditional slot games for a reason. They like the singularity. They like controlling the pace of the games. Turning slot machines into a social affair was unnecessary, uninvited, and unwelcome.

Of worthy mention, live dealer slot machines are attempting a comeback this year, although I don’t expect the results to be any different.

#3 Virtual Reality (VR) Gambling

VR Casino Gambling

This is one concept most of you will remember. It wasn’t long ago, around 2015-16, that the virtual reality movement made its push. The concept was spot on. Throw on a headset and enter a virtual casino world, where your real-life actions transfer into the virtual realm in the most realistic digital casino games ever imagined exist!

Yes, it was quite a concept, but it did not catch on, and for one very simple reason. The technology necessary, and availability of that technology, has not yet reached mainstream households. That’s not to say that VR gambling doesn’t still have a chance in years to come.

Microgaming was making mobile games back in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the first smartphones appeared. Who wanted to play slots on a flip phone? No one. Another five years would pass before the mobile gambling revolution actually gained a foothold, and now, it’s the number one way to play over the internet, and enjoy all the new online casino game ideas that developers are constantly spitting out – the good and the bad.

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: , , , , , , , , , ,