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: , , , , , , , , ,

Mar 13

Internet Casino Gambling: Can I win real money at online casinos?

Internet Casino Gambling: Can you win real money at online casinos?

As a long-time iGamer, it seems strange to me that people still ask this question. Online casinos have been around so long, the industry itself is of legal gambling age! They actually started popping up in the mid to late 1990s. But alas, I do realize not everyone has been spinning digital slots reels and flipping virtual cardboard as long as I have, so let’s start from the top…

“Can I win real money at online casinos?”

Yes! There are thousands of internet gambling sites that permit customers to deposit money, make real wagers, and withdrawal their winnings as cash. But it’s not as easy as all that. You can’t go to Google, search “online casino”, click the first link you see and start playing. You can’t even type in “real money online casino” and get the right links these days.

In the next few paragraphs, I’ll explain (in brief) how the system works, how to know if you’re eligible to gamble online, and how to find the right sites to do it safely, securely, and fairly.

Internet Casino Gambling – The Basics

There are two types of internet casinos. The first and most common is a “social casino”. Their games are free to play, but will never award real money. Most of them are mobile phone apps with in-app purchases. You can pay cash for chips, but you can’t trade your chips back for cash. This is not gambling.

Online gambling can only be only done at “real money casinos”. They won’t offer the option to register your account via Google or Facebook. You have to fill out an inclusive registration form, complete with your real name, real address, real date of birth, etc. Once you do this, you’ll need to make a deposit from a financial account or credit/debit card belonging to you.

Once you’re account is funded, you’ll get a nice bonus of some sort to enhance your bankroll. You can then browse the full menu of casino games – slot machines, table games, video poker, etc. you’ll have the option to play the games for real money, or for free in demo/practice mode.

How do I know if it’s legal for me to gambling online?

Every jurisdiction has its own laws that apply to online gambling. They come in three distinct varieties:

  • Expressly Legal: These are explicit laws that specifically address the act of gambling online to be legal. Certain European countries (UK, France, Spain, Italy, etc.) and US states (New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, etc.) have these laws in place. These laws will define the age requirements for gambling in their respective jurisdictions.
  • Expressly Illegal: Like the section above, these are express laws that specifically name the act of gambling online – or certain forms of gambling online – to be illegal. In these jurisdictions, residents are not permitted to participate in real money online casino games. Australia, for instance, explicitly legalizes online sports betting, but expressly prohibits online poker and casino gambling.
  • Not Expressly Defined / Grey Market: The term “grey market” applies to a jurisdiction in which the laws do not explicitly permit or prohibit an activity. In short, it is not illegal, therefore it is legal. Canada is a perfect example.
    The laws in Canada are so unclear that it is considered legal to gamble online at offshore casinos, as well as the government-run casinos of certain provinces. The only ones that are truly “illegal” are online casinos operating within Canada, but without the regulatory consent of their local government.

If you’re still not sure, check with your local authorities for clarification.

How to Find Real Money Online Casinos

This has been one of the most frustrating problems for novice players. As I mentioned above, you can’t just search for a relevant key phrase on Google and expect to find one. While there are around 4,000 gambling sites online, there are literally millions of affiliate websites competing for your traffic. Thus, these affiliate sites will appear in the search engines long before an actual casino operator does.

The best advice I can offer is to be very specific in what you’re searching for, because most affiliate sites cater to anyone and everyone. Look for operators that apply to your situation. They should accept players from your country, process deposits and withdrawals in your preferred payment methods, offer the games you like most, etc. If they don’t fit your needs, they’re no good to you.

Use those affiliate links to make a short list of possible candidates, but you don’t have to take their word at face value. After all, affiliates are looking to make money, and to be honest, most of them don’t care about the players nearly so much as they do the profit. You can protect yourself by performing a bit of due diligence on the sites you shortlist.

Here’s a bit of reading material that should help you out with this.

If you find the above challenge too daunting, you can always skip all that and do your online gambling at Royal Vegas. Don’t trust me just because I said it. Trust me because Royal Vegas is 20 years old, employs the industry’s oldest and most respected software brand, Microgaming, is licensed in the immensely respected European jurisdiction of Malta, and offers upwards of 1,000 games, including live dealer casino games. Internet casino gambling doesn’t get any safer than that.

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

Mar 03

A quick look at the current financial ups and down of the world’s biggest online gambling companies.

Ups and Down for the Biggest Online Gambling Companies in the World

No company rides the wave of success forever. Even the biggest and brightest names of an industry suffer hardships now and again. Every wave has its crest and fall. It’s the companies that recover from each crash that attain ultimate success. The online gambling industry is a perfect example.

According to the latest revenue reports from all over the globe, major brands like Flutter Entertainment, Playtech and Gamesys are all experiencing the ups and downs of the pivotal waves of finance. Some are looking up; some are stumbling; others are recovering from errors of the past.

Ups & Downs of Biggest Online Gambling Companies

This week saw a trio of major iGaming operators and software vendors riding those waves. Ireland’s Flutter Ent announced a boost in cash flow, while Isle of Man-based Playtech reported a marginal loss. At the same time, London-based Gamesys is appreciating a bit of breathing room as that company crawls its way back out of debt.

2019 Revenue “Flutters” Skyward 14%

The head honchos at Flutter Entertainment have a lot to be grateful for as last year’s final revenue tallies come in. Following a strain of good fortune (including a pending merger with Pokerstars owner, The Stars Group), the Irish company, owner of Paddy Power, Betfair, Sportsbet.com.au, Adjarabet, FanDuel and others, proudly announced a 14.3% boost in revenue year over year.

The most notable increases came in sports betting and casino gaming, both online and on land. Sports betting operations were up 13.1% to £1.67 billion. Land-based gaming revenues rose 18.5% to £473 million. Online gaming jumped 6.1% to £1.01 billion. All told, the company pulled in £2.4 billion in 2019.

Flutter CEO Peter Jackson called the results a “testament to the quality of our products, brand and team.”

Playtech Records Net Loss Near €20 Million

The board room was less cheerful at Playtech headquarters this week, where the financial officers reported a total loss of €19.6 million on the year. It wasn’t all bad news, though. Overall, revenue was actually up an impressive 23% to €1.51 billion, thanks largely to a 56%, €900 million boost in B2C revenue.

Playtech Chairman Alan Jackson gave an optimistic statement that notes the strategically added expenses associated with “entering newly regulated markets, signing new customers, expanding existing relationships and continuing to innovate with new product launches.” Such elements combine to reflect the expected cost of “laying the foundations for our future growth,” said Jackson.

Gamesys Pays Down 7% of Debt

Last year, JPJ Group (JackpotJoy) purchased the flagging software brand, Gamesys Ltd, with hopes of revitalizing the once successful product. So far, so good. This week, the company reported a principle payment of £40 million on its loans, reducing its previous debt of £484.7 million by 7% ahead of their annual financial report, due March 17. The payment is expected to save Gamesys £2.7 million in interest payments this year alone.

Gamesys CFO Keith Laslop comments: “As we’ve stated previously, a key strategic goal for the Board is to have our long-term leverage ratio in-line with our peers… today’s paydown is an important first step in attaining that goal.”

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

Feb 20

Evolution Live Roulette Canada: The fast and the felicitous!

Evolution Live Roulette Canada: The Fast and the Felicitous

When it comes to any form of live dealer online gambling, Evolution Gaming has one thing none of its rival studios can claim – the absolute best live casino experience, bar none. A stickler for grammar might argue that this statement is merely an opinion, but there are 10 straight years worth of Best Live Casino Supplier awards in Evolution’s trophy case to prove otherwise. To me, that’s more than enough evidence to prove it a fact.

That being said, Canadians looking to experience the best live roulette games the boundless realm of cyberspace has to offer, would do well to look within Evolution-powered online casinos. There, you will find more than enough options to satiate your desire.

Live Roulette Canada – Evolution’s Way

One thing that sets Evolution apart from the rest of the industry is the company’s employment of the most sophisticated, state of the art hardware and software. It’s a commitment they’ve upheld since Evolution first launched in 2006. Similarly, what sets their live croupier roulette tables apart from their rivals, is the immense variety of classic and innovative games players can choose from.

All games offer player / croupier interaction and universal desktop / mobile OS compatibility.

Evolution Gaming provides its live casino licensees with the following types of live dealer roulette tables, ranging from the most basic, to the most diverse:

Live European Roulette

This is the most popular version of roulette played round the world; a basic single-zero game with a standard house edge of 2.7% on all potential wagers. Evolution presents these games in standard and VIP table formats. The interface is both user-friendly and intuitive, featuring a Favorite Bets menu that can hold up to 15 of an individual player’s most commonly placed wagers.

Live American Roulette

American roulette is the double-zero version popularized throughout North American casinos. Anyone who knows the difference is likely to avoid this game. That double-zero effectively doubles the house edge to 5.26%. But alas, not everyone knows the difference, and therefore it remains a classic favorite among more players than you might think. To encourage more players to choose this lower-odds- version, many online casinos will offer lower table stakes at American Roulette.

Live French Roulette

French Roulette is the game the most educated roulette enthusiasts turn to for maximum RTP. It features the same layout and pay table as European Roulette, but features the La Partage rule, in which all even-money bets are returned at 50% if the winning number is 0. This reduced the house edge from 2.7% to 1.35% on all even-money bets.

Live Speed Roulette

One of the most popular editions in the live roulette line-up, Speed Roulette is a quicker version of the classic European-rules game. It’s so fast that there is an average of just 25 seconds per round. That means the wheel comes to a halt quicker, and there far less time is allotted to get your bets on the table This one is obviously best suited for serious players only.

Immersive Roulette

Evolution’s award-winning Immersive Roulette tables are live croupier games of European rules with a lot more cameras in place. As the wheel spins, the view continuously shifts from one camera angle to another, zooming in, zooming out, following the ball around the wheel and creating a more cinematic experience. It’s quite thrilling, to be honest!

Auto Roulette

I’m not a huge fan of this one. Auto Roulette is a live game, but it doesn’t feature a live croupier. Instead, the tables are equipped with precision “slingshot” mechanisms that put the ball into play. It speeds up the games, but at the same time, takes away from the interactive, communal experience. To encourage more people to play it (since it’s cheaper to run), you can expect to find the lowest live roulette stakes of $0.50 at these tables.

Dual Play Roulette

This is one of the most popular forms of live roulette. Canada players can take a virtual trip to the genuine roulette tables one of many luxury casino resorts on the other side of the globe. Evolution hosts Dual Play Roulette tables from various locations, including Grand Casino Bucharest, the Dragonara Casino in Malta, Grosvenor’s Victoria Casino in London, and others.

Lightning Roulette

Last, but most definitely not least, is the crème de la crème of the live croupier roulette market – Lightning Roulette. It’s not called lightning for its speed, but rather the fact that lightning can and will strike various numbers on the digital roulette wheel as the game is played. Lightning strikes attach random multipliers to all numbers they hit. Any player who has bet on one of these lucky numbers will receive a payout boosted by the corresponding multiplier.

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 04

Understanding the commitment behind the most trusted online casino licenses and why it should matter to you.

The Most Trusted Online Casino Licenses and Why it Matters

The online gambling industry has been around far longer than any jurisdiction has been regulating it. In the early days, operators took one of two paths. They would either open an entirely upright business and rely solely on a stellar reputation to bring in customers, or they would open a website, see if it went well, and disappear with the cash if it didn’t.

There were, of course, a few that launched with every intention of taking the money and running, but for the most part, iGaming operators were trying to get off the ground successfully. And why not? There was – and still is – big money in iGaming. Unfortunately, without any proper regulation, they had no authority to answer to; therefore no good reason to ‘do the right thing’ if and when a business fell apart.

The good news is that regulation did come. Several jurisdictions began passing regulations around the turn of the century. They saw a severe need, and responded with legislation to either prohibit iGaming, or regulate the industry and protect players – and make barrels of cash in the process.

It is for this reason that we see so many small countries regulating online casinos; places like Alderney, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Curacao, and Gibraltar, just to name a few. These are mostly island nations with limited financial resources, so when they realized they could turn a necessary regulatory service into a cash crop, they jumped on it. Some did so with the people in mind. Others did it just for the money, and it shows.

Trusted Online Casino Licenses

A responsible authority puts the online casino clients ahead of all else. The operators they supply licenses to are given a strict regiment of laws to abide by. These laws protect the players, the operators, and the jurisdiction – a trinity of defense for all involved. If an operator does not comply with these laws, the penalty hammer drops swiftly. They could suffer anything from a massive fine, to license suspension or, in the most serious cases, revocation of said license.

Online casinos that hold such a license can be trusted. These are the operators that entered the market with good intentions, and were so determined to succeed in those intentions that they worked hard (and paid extra) to acquire a respectable license.

Best of all, any operator that is licensed by a reputable authority is required to segregate player funds. This means that every deposit is put in a separate bank account from the operator’s business funds. Therefore, if the business falls apart, all players will get their money back.

Licensing jurisdictions that fall into this category include (but are not limited to):

  • Alderney
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man
  • Malta
  • The United Kingdom

If you’re moderately educated in geography, you’ll realize these are all located in Europe. There’s a reason for that. The European Union holds its member states to supremely high standards of governance. In fact, any European nation that regulates iGaming is one that can be trusted. The UK is actually the strictest of them all, setting a high bar for all others to follow.

Unsafe Online Gambling Licenses

On the opposite end of that spectrum, there are licensing jurisdictions that don’t care what their licensees do. They can accept any players, whether they reside in a country that prohibits iGaming or not. They can supply uncertified and ultimately unfair software. They can accept deposits, then refuse to pay withdrawals on whatever false grounds they make up. Many of them are only bound to abide by two laws – pay your fees to maintain the license, and do not accept players from the country in which you are licensed.

Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. An irresponsible licensing authority will not allow its operators to accept players from within their own border. This should present a wildly-waving red flag for any player. If their own citizens cannot access the website, there has to be a reason; in this case, because the site’s themselves cannot be trusted, as they aren’t bound to uphold any decent business practice laws.

Some of the jurisdictions on this list are worse than others. Costa Rica is perhaps the worst, requiring nothing but a license payment and refusal to accept Costa Rican players (as detailed above). Curacao and Kahnawake aren’t as bad, but their governments do not prevent licensees to operate in illegal markets. That might be okay with the players who live in those illegal markets, knowing the operator could be shut down at any moment, but if you live in a legal jurisdiction like Canada, depositing at such a website is just asking for trouble.

Irresponsible licensing authorities that fall into this category include (but are not limited to):

  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Curacao
  • Kahnawake
  • Panama

An operator that is licensed in one of the above jurisdictions may be a perfectly trusted online casino, but the fact is, they don’t have to be. The law does not require them to do the right thing. Now that you know the difference between licensing jurisdictions, you can do the right thing too, avoiding any necessary risk.

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

Jan 31

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

The Best Casino Game for Beginners

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

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

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

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

The Best Casino Game for Beginners

Baccarat is the Best Bet for First-Time Casino Goers

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

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

The Rules of Baccarat

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

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

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

Baccarat Odds, Payout and House Edge

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 29

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

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

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

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

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

3 Ways to Watch Live Blackjack Online

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

#1 Youtube / Twitch Casino Channels

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

#2 Live Dealer Casinos

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

#3 Live Tournament Feed

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

What’s So Great About Watching Blackjack Online?

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

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

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

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