Apr 03

Is postponement in the cards for the 2020 WSOP schedule?

Is Postponement in the Cards for 2020 WSOP Schedule?

An unprecedented series of events flipped the world upside down in March 2020. Covid-19 went from a shocking news story out of China to a global pandemic that’s got everyone huddled in their homes; some voluntarily, some by government mandate. That includes the countless professional and amateur poker players who flock to Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas each year to attend the world’s most prestigious poker festival of them all – the World Series of Poker.

Last year, more than 182,000 people turned out for the 2019 WSOP, registering for one or more of the 90 events in the 50th anniversary edition of the poker tournament series. This year, just as many – if not more – were expected to attend. But with the current situation, it’s not certain what’s going to happen when it comes time to “Shuffle Up and Deal!

Postponement in the Cards for 2020 WSOP Schedule?

Seth Palansky, the WSOP’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, has been on the phone with numerous media outlets in the past week or so. The biggest question on the interview docket is an obvious one:

Will there be a 2020 WSOP?

There are only three possible answers to this question. It can either be held, canceled, or postponed. Unfortunately, that’s a question Mr. Palansky has been unable to answer. According to the WSOP spokesman, that’s not going to change for a while. He doesn’t expect organizers to come to a decision before May.

That’s a long wait for the countless poker players who are surely waiting for a decision. The 2020 WSOP was originally scheduled to run from May 26 to July 15, with a record-setting 101 gold-bracelet events on the roster.

To date, World Series executives have already pulled the plug on 10 WSOP Circuit events since March 13, when the global pandemic first led to social distancing. Future Circuit events schedule through May have already been scratched off the menu, as well. It only makes sense that the official WSOP bracelet series would be either canceled or postponed, but to date, officials refuse to make the call.

“We Don’t Need to Make a Decision Now”

Last week, in an interview with Jim Barnes of the Las Vegas Review Journal, Seth told the poker community that no decision will be made until it has to be, and until then, it will remain business as usual.

“We keep our heads down, keep planning in place,” said Palansky. “We don’t need to make a decision now.”

Further comments pointed towards potential postponement. Palansky said that the WSOP is normally unable to reschedule, due to the Rio in Las Vegas having a packed convention slate. Now, with many conventions being canceled, he says it could give them enough wiggle room to run the tournament series at a later date.

But again, no official word has come down, nor does he expect it to anytime soon. In another interview with CardPlayer Magazine this week, he reiterated his previous statements.

“Everyone’s health and safety is paramount in the decision making, and there is no need to make a decision today,” said Palansky.

As for what might impact the decision of organizers in weeks to come, he said:

There are a plethora of factors to consider, especially when you conceptualize alternatives. That said, the only factor that matters for the WSOP, for it to be held as planned, is the health and safety of guests and staff. So, if we can’t host an event like we have in the past 50 years in Las Vegas, where everyone can participate safely and without risk, we won’t.”

Seth added that contingency plans are being discussed everyday, but as the situation constantly changes and evolves, it’s impossible to come up with a definitive solution at this time. His best prediction for a final answer to the mystery of the 2020 WSOP schedule is early May, at best.

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 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: , , , , , , , ,

Jan 09

Realistic impact of Canadian online betting with international sites.

The Realistic Impact of Canadian Online Betting with International Websites

It was more than two decades ago now that the online gambling industry skidded across the proverbial tarmac to its launch. Times were far different in the 1990s. Computers, and the internet in particular, were still striving for mainstream household status. Security technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. Legal restrictions were virtually non-existent. At that time, everyone who trusted internet gambling enough to partake in its immaturity did so with operators all over the world.

Today, with global online and mobile gambling businesses generating billions of dollars each year, most governments are encouraging – if not legally mandating – residents to do their iGaming with a locally regulated operator. Odds are, if you live in a jurisdiction where internet gaming is legal, your government is taking steps to keep your wagering dollars within their jurisdictional borders.

Canada is one such nation. Every province that delivers a home-grown iGaming service (all but Alberta and Saskatchewan) encourages local play. The difference between Canada and some other jurisdictions, including numerous European and US states, is that Canadians can gamble at any website they wish. In Canada, iGaming is legal for players whether the online casino is locally regulated, or internationally operated. Freedom of choice is fantastic, but as is true of most things in life, every choice you make has an impact.

Canadian Online Betting with Offshore Sites

Our government tells us we should never gamble with offshore websites. So what is it that makes these websites so bad? According to provincial governments, there are three primary problems. We’ll take a look at these claims and dissect the reality of each situation.

#1 No Benefit to Provincial Coffers (True)

First and foremost, offshore sites aren’t providing our provinces with any revenue. The government has stated many times that millions of dollars are flowing offshore due to Canadians gambling with international websites. There’s no arguing with them on this one. They are 100% right.

If you lost $100 at BC’s PlayNow online casino, that money goes to the BC Lottery Corp, which reinvests it back into BC communities. If you lose $100 at Maltese-licensed Royal Vegas Casino, that money never sees the Canadian light of day again.

#2 Lack of Regulation / Player Protection (False)

Canadian provinces say international gambling websites are not regulated, and that they do not protect players from the potential harms of gambling. To address that first point, international gambling sites are, indeed, regulated. They just aren’t regulated here in Canada. The most reputable ones are regulated in European jurisdictions (UK, Malta, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, etc.), where player protections are actually more strict than Canadian law.

For instance, in the UK, licensees are required to monitor all gambling activity and intervene when at-risk behavior is detected, encouraging players to take a break and think about the potential consequences of their spending. Voluntary self-exclusion and deposit limits can be set by players. Regular software audits and fairness certification is mandatory. This is hardly different from the GameSense program promoted by most Canadian provinces.

#3 Offshore Gambling Sites are Illegal (False)

On several occasions, our provincial government’s have gone so far as to say international gambling websites are illegal. Anyone with a basic understanding of the English language, and the patience to read the relevant text in the Criminal Code, knows that’s not true.

Online casinos games, poker games, bingo games, etc. – these are not illegal. We can play them at Canada’s land-based casinos, as well as some of the nation’s provincial online casinos, so long as we are physically located in the province that offers them. We can also play them at international gambling websites, despite those claims.

Province’s like to call them illegal because it is illegal for them to offer some of those games. Take single-event sports betting for example. The Criminal Code says single-event sports betting cannot be authorized or presented to Canadians. It is illegal to do so. However, the law does not states Canadians can place single-event sports bets. The penalty of law lies with the receiver of the bettor, not the placer of the bet.

Offshore betting sites are not bound by Canadian law. If single-event sports betting is permitted in the country that regulates the website, it can be offered to Canadian players without consequence. Therefore, it is perfectly legal for Canadians to bet on sports, so long as the bets are placed with an international sportsbook.

What’s Better – Domestic or International iGaming?

That is a question that can only be answered by the person doing the gambling. If your home province offers an iGaming website that meets all of your needs and wagering desires, by all means, utilize its services. At the least, your losses will go back into the community. If you want more from your iGaming experience, so long as you only gamble at reputable, strictly regulated websites, you will be perfectly protected, and are not doing anything illegal.

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

Dec 30

Defunct Gaming: Concept and consequence of Unfold Holdem.

Concept and Consequence of Unfold Holdem, and How it Might Work Today

Seated among the a small but formidable group of hard-core grinders, you peak down at a questionable hand. It’s a pair of 8s. You’re under the gun. You want to make a move, but you’re out of position. You call, hoping the action won’t get too heavy, but it does. Sweat beads threaten to form on your temples, so you make the only move you can – you fold. The flop comes down, 8-4-4. Doh!

You should have stayed in. A full boat like that doesn’t come along often. With the right moves at the right moments, you could have exploited that for a big cash, if only you’d known what was caoming. But wait… what if it’s not too late? What if you could rewind? Stay in the hand and turn your unpredictably poor choice into a profit? What if you could… unfold?

Concept & Consequence of Unfold Holdem

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the marketing innovations team behind PokerStars and Full Tilt put their heads together in an effort to bring something fresh – something provocative – something enticing for players, and at the same time profitable for the brands, to the virtual felt. What they came up with was a new game that would allow players to “unfold” a mucked hand.

This new Unfold Poker concept was heavily promoted by both online poker rooms, and in the beginning, it drew a fair number of players to the tables. Before long though, the crowds dispersed. Its popularity waned. No longer was anyone interested in what could have been a very intriguing and opportunistic way to play Texas Holdem.

What Killed Unfold Poker Games

The rules of this intriguing new poker game were simple enough. The game was played just like Texas Holdem, except that an extra Ante bet would be required from each player, prior to each and every hand. This bet, equal to half the small blind, went into a side pot known as the Unfold Pot. If no one unfolded, or the hand was decided pre-flop, all Unfold antes would be returned. The Ante was a bit excessive, but the return rules were good.

The biggest problem was that, in order to unfold a hand, the player would have to place yet another bet – this one equal to the total size of the Unfold Pot. With a full table, that can get expensive.

If a player did unfold, they obviously couldn’t compete against fully active hands. They would instead compete against other Unfold-ing players. But if only one player folded pre-flop, they wouldn’t even be eligible to unfold, having no one to compete against.

If two or more players folded, then any one of them could Unfold. If only one player did, they would automatically win the Unfold pot. If more than one Unfolded, their hands were compared. The winner took to pot – minus the usual rake fee applied to standard poker pots, of course.

The problem was plain to see. It was just too expensive. Players felt they were being exploited by PokerStars and Full Tilt, who were collecting rakes on two pots. Everyone complained that Unfold’em Hold’em (as it clearly should have been named) was a rip off.

Could Unfold Games Ever Ride Again?

The only way Unfold Holdem could ever acquire the fame it was originally poised to acquire, would be to make the fees more reasonable. The rake should be reduced to match all other cash games. The Ante should be dropped to 10% of the big blind. This would make it cheaper to place the required bet to qualify for the Unfold Pot. Players who do unfold should be allowed to bet/raise on their hands, as well, encouraging them to fight for those pots, rather than letting one bold, bluff-happy player take every Unfold pot, simply because no one else is confident enough to risk enough chips to compete for it.

In essence, make it a good game that everyone can enjoy, without scooping so much off the top as to make it unprofitable. And please, to whatever company may eventually decide to restructure and introduce a better version, call it Unfold’em Hold’em. That is all…

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

Dec 19

Unique Casino Canada: The most interesting CA online gambling sites and what they have to offer.

Unique Casino Canada: The Most Interesting CA Online Gambling Sites

It’s amazing just how many real-money online gaming website there are these days; nearing the 5,000 mark, and that’s just the ones I know of. There are surely more on the underground web, as well. That being said, they’re obviously not all good options. If you live here in Canada, your selection is narrowed to around one thousand, and even then, there are only a few dozen you should consider reputably worthy of your wagering dollars.

That’s all well and good, but there’s still a common problem. After a while, the monotony sets in. Almost all of the online casinos in today’s market are practically mirror images of one another. So what if there are hundreds of slot machines to choose from. They’re still the same hundreds found at the next casino, and the next one. Teh tables are the same, promos are the same. There’s rarely anything unique to set these websites apart.

Unique Casino Canada: What Sets Casinos Apart?

Not every casino is a cookie-cutter of the rest. There are a few operators out there that go out of their way to provide something more for their members. Sometimes it’s a greater variety of ways to wager. Other times, it may be a unique promotional campaign. Whatever it may be, so long as it’s enough to take the monotony out of the equation, it’s worth looking into. Something like…

Live Dealer Casino Tables

Live dealer games can be far more entertaining than computer-generated, RNG-based gaming tables. Playing blackjack with a real dealer, among real players, all of which can communicate via real-time textual chat and/or audio feed, changes everything. It’s as close to playing in a land-based casino as you’ll get on a desktop or mobile device, and so long as the dealer’s have charisma, it makes for a much more unique and interesting experience.

Casino Games & Then Some

Online casinos provide a very thorough line-up of gambling options, but there are many more ways to place a wager over the world wide web. If you’re looking to expand your gambling horizons, try joining an operator that offers the full gambit. Major operators like Ladbrokes and William Hill provide an online poker room, online bingo hall, sports betting, horse and auto race betting, arcades, skill games, the list goes on. If you only like casino games, but want more of them, try LeoVegas. That operator has thousands of games, powered by more than 45 different digital software brands.

Wider Range of Promotions

The promotional aspect can be just as monotonous as the gaming side. Most online casinos offer the same old welcome bonus packages. Make a deposit, we’ll match it – blah, blah, blah. They might have a little birthday bonus, plus special reload bonuses once a week or month. But there’s nothing really special about them, compared to most other sites out there.

Every once in a while, you come across something more original. Royal Vegas Casino, for instance, would take a group of their VIPs out on a cruise across the Caribbean, treating them to a week or more of all-expenses-paid fine dining, live entertainment, casino gaming, and more.

Over at PlayOLG, the home-grown, government regulated online casino of Ontario, the welcome bonus package looks like everyone elses, but the terms are so much better. Wagering requirements are only 10x the size of the bonus – not the deposit + bonus; just the bonus. That drops the WR on a 100$ deposit + $100 bonus to just $1,000, as opposed to the usual $8,000 for a typical ‘40x WR on deposit + bonus’ promotion.

It’s things like these that set a few gambling sites apart from the rest. So if you’re looking for a unique casino, Canada does have a few to choose from. Don’t settle for the same old stuff. Take your time, find something special, and make the most of it.

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

Dec 04

The tireless search for secure online casino sites in Canada.

The Tireless Search for Secure Online Casino Sites in Canada

It’s amazing how far the online casino industry has come since the turn of the century. Where there were once far more rogue operators than dependable ones, the internet now caters to a majority of professional, responsible, distinguished members of the iGaming community. There are still some rogues out there, sure, but with regulations getting tighter every yer, the ratio has gotten so much safer for players.

Here in Canada, the laws aren’t so strict as they are in other major countries. The UK, for instance, has the widest range of regulation, delivering licenses and guidelines to operators both inside and outside the country. In Australia, online casinos are 100% prohibited. The US is a mish-mash, where some states allow

In areas with full legal regulation, security is not an issue. If the operator you choose to deposit with is licensed and regulated in the same locality in which you live, there is no question as to its integrity. If such an operator goes rogue, it has an entire jurisdiction worth of authorities to answer to. But when the operator is located outside of that jurisdiction, it takes more than their word to convince this seasoned iGamer that there’s nothing fishy going on.

2 Ways To Detect a Secure Online Casino

In Canada, there are no express laws permitting or banning online casinos – at least, not the offshore variety. By federal law, each province is capable of regulating and operating its own government-run gambling website, and a few of them do. Therefore most Canadians have access to two types of iGaming – the locally regulated and internationally regulated variety.

#1 Local Online Casinos

As I’ve said already, provincially regulated casinos are going to come with unquestionable security and fairness. After all, the local authorities in charge of enforcing security and fairness must answer directly to the ones that demand it. By default, they’re going to protect your personal and account information to the greatest of their ability.

#2 International Online Casinos

An international casino operator is one that’s located outside of Canada. You’ll hear a lot of government talk that these websites are “not regulated”, when in fact, most of them are. They just aren’t regulated in Canada. This does not make the online casino untrustworthy, although it does raise questions that must be answered to determine reputability.

In years past, you’d have to look into an operation’s history, longevity, ownership, customer satisfaction ratings and so much more. Now, what it boils down to is what international jurisdiction the online casino is regulated by, making it easier than ever to determine trust and security. Some are far more reputable than others.

I’ve recently written a complete guide on this subject, and I highly recommend giving it a read:

What’s the Better Choice for Canadians?

The best choice really depends on what you aim to get out of your internet gambling experience. British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec each offer a wonderful online casino experience for their respective citizens. In BC, Manitoba and Quebec, you’ll also find online poker and bingo games available. All of these locations, combined with the Atlantic provinces, offer online lotteries and pro-line sports lotteries, as well.

If you live in the appropriate area and are looking for a simple iGaming experience that falls within these perimeters, Canada’s home-grown online casinos will suit you just fine. If, however, you’re looking for more out of your iGaming experience, you may wish to venture into the offshore realm of secure online casino gaming.

Internationally regulated casinos are known to provide far better promotions and a much wider range of casino games to choose from. Slots fans, in particular, will find the offshore variety have way better payout odds than any Canadian casino, on land or online, can offer. Sports bettors will also discover better odds overseas, where single-event wagers are perfectly legal.

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

Nov 25

Introduction to Live Texas Holdem Bonus Poker from Evolution

Introduction to Live Texas Holdem Bonus Poker from Evolution Gaming

When you think of Texas Holdem, what comes to mind? Probably a group of players seated around a table, fiddling with their chip stacks, stoic poker faces revealing nothing of their underlying emotions. But there is another game of this nature known as Texas Holdem Bonus Poker, and anyone can play it, with or without a bluff-worthy poker face.

In its traditional format, Texas Holdem is a player-versus-player (PvP) gambling game; one wherein the players compete only against each other, and the casino profits by taking a commission, or rake, off the top of each pot. The Holdem Bonus Poker edition is more akin to every other casino-style amusement, where the player competes against a single house bank.

It didn’t take long for Texas Holdem Bonus Poker to catch on in land-based and online casinos. It became so popular, in fact, that everyone’s favorite Live Casino supplier, Evolution Gaming, chose to convert it into one of their award winning real-time streaming games. They call it Live Dealer Texas Holdem Bonus Poker.

Live Texas Holdem Bonus Poker by Evolution

The base game is incredibly similar to a normal Texas Holdem poker game. Hole cards, community cards and hand ranks are exactly the same. While other players can join in, you won’t have to worry about them. Much like blackjack, your only job is to beat the dealer’s hand to win. In that regard, it’s kind of like playing heads up poker – one on one against a single opponent.

Like any other house banked game, however, the casino always has an advantage over the player, no matter how slight. In this case, the rules give the house an edge of 2.04% on the Ante bet alone, 0.53% overall. Let’s take a closer look…

How to Play Live TX Holdem Bonus Poker

Casino Gaming Online: Live Dealer Texas Holdem

What draws most players to this game is the ability to increase ones bets when the cards are falling in your favor. It gives you the opportunity to control your own destiny in terms of situational hand value.

You start with an Ante bet (we’ll talk about optional side bets later). The dealer will then dealer two hole to the player and him/herself. The player’s hole cards are face up; the dealer’s face down. From here, you can either fold, forfeiting the ante bet, or play on, placing a Flop bet e1qual to 2x the ante.

After placing a Flop bet, the dealer will deal the first three community cards (the Flop). Next you can Check, placing no bet but staying in the hand, or place a Turn bet, equal to 1x the ante. The fourth community card (Turn) is played face up, followed by one last Check or bet – the River bet (1x ante).

At this point, the final River card is played. The dealer turns up their hole cards and both hands are compared. Each must come up with the best possible 5 card hand using any 5-card combination of the 7 cards available to them – these being their own two hole cards plus the five community cards.

Don’t worry, the computer will automatically generate the best possible hand for player and dealer. At this point, the two hands are compared, and the following win, loss and payout rules apply:

If… Then…
Dealer wins Player loses all Ante and Play bets.
Player wins Player wins even money on Play bets (Flop, Turn, River); Ante is a push.
Player wins with Straight or better Player wins even money on all Ante and Play bets.
Dealer and Player tie All Ante and Play bets push.

Live Dealer Texas Holdem Bonus Side Bets

Evolution’s live dealer Texas Holdem Bonus Poker comes with a pair of optional side bets known as the Bonus Bet and the First 5 Jackpot Bet. These wagers are entirely optional. They have no bearing on the base game, nor does the result of the base game have any bearing on the side bets. They can be won or lost irrespective of each other.

Bonus Side Bet

The Bonus bet is based on the player and/or dealer’s hole cards only. The best starting hands in Texas Hold’em are the ones you’re aiming for with this bet, including any pair, or any A with a Jack or better (A-A, A-K, A-Q, A-J), with suited hole cards paying more. You cannot combine the player and dealer cards. Either the player’s and/or dealer’s hand must match one of the winning hands shown in the pay table below.

Hole Cards Payout
A-A, Player’s and Dealer’s Hand 1000 to 1
A-A, Player’s Hand Only 30 to 1
A-K, Suited 25 to 1
A-J or A-Q, Suited 20 to 1
A-K, Mixed Suits 15 to 1
J-J, Q-Q or K-K 10 to 1
A-J or A-Q, Mixed Suits 5 to 1
Any Pair 2-2 thru 10-10 3 to 1

First 5 Jackpot Side Bet

This $1 side bet carries a progressive jackpot, paying out to any hand of high enough rank. Only the player’s hand rank counts towards the First 5 Jackpot bet.

The jackpot grows with every First 5 side bet placed, and pays out 100% of its girth when a Royal Flush is dealt (assuming at least one player made the bet). Since all players are sharing the same hand, all players who have placed the bet will share in an equal portion of the total jackpot. A progressive counter display on the right of the screen will show exactly how much of the jackpot each player is privy to if a Royal Flush is dealt.

The following hand ranks and pay table apply.

Hole Cards Payout
Royal Flush 100% of Jackpot
Straight Flush 2,500
4 of a Kind 250
Full House 50
Flush 25
Straight 10
3 of a Kind 3

Overall RTP

Each eligible bet within this game carries its own theoretical return to player. The Play bets have the highest return rate of 99.47%. The Ante bet only has an RTP of 97.96%, but is required in order to get the higher RTP on any Play bets.

The side bets are sucker bets, of course. The Bonus side bet will net you an RTP of 91.46%, equivalent to a house edge of 8.54%. If you think that’s bad, the First 5 Jackpot is far worse at 81.84% RTP (house edge 18.16%).

Don’t be fooled into making this bet. Many players feel the urge to place it, thinking the odds of winning at least a share of the jackpot will be so much higher with a large number of players participating, but it is nothing like the Bad Beat Jackpots on a traditional live Texas Holdem game (PvP). There is only one player hand being dealt – not one hand to each active player. The odds of a Royal Flush being dealt are still an incredibly low 1 in 43,316, no matter how many players are at the table.

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

Apr 20

It really is possible to get an edge at casino games.

Play Smart: It Really is Possible to Get an Edge at Casino Games

How many times have you heard that casino’s are in it to win it? That there’s no practical way to turn the tides in your favor? Or that you must have at least a little luck to walk away a winner? This is said so often because, for the majority of gamblers, it’s true. That’s only because the majority of gamblers are playing the wrong casino games.

Walk onto the gaming floor, and you’re immediately bombarded by the reverberating sounds and flashing lights of reel slots and video slots. Isle after aisle, they line the walls and gaudy carpets as far as the eye can see. The casinos would love for you to stop here – as so many players do – and start dropping your money into these machines. Those who aren’t fooled by these may still find themselves attracted to video poker, baccarat, roulette, the craps table, pai gow poker or the big money wheel.

There are so many games just waiting to take your money. And the casinos know they’re going to win, because these games cannot be beaten. A few players may get lucky and beat them, but many more players will lose, earning the casino its dues. That is, unless you know which games to play, and how to exact the ever-illusive player’s advantage at the casino.

Three Ways to Get an Edge at Casino Games

There are exactly three ways to gamble your money, and slide the advantage into your favor while doing it. Only one is found directly on the casino floor, and you can probably guess which one it is. I’m talking, of course, about blackjack.

The other two you’ll have to do a little extra walking to get too; one being the poker room, and the other the sportsbook. Unfortunately, for Canadians like myself, sportsbooks aren’t legal. You will either need to visit a foreign casino or take your wagering to international gambling websites to gain an edge with sports betting.

Blackjack Player’s Edge

The criteria for surpassing a 100% RTP in blackjack sounds simple enough. It only takes two things – a basic strategy and a good card counting technique. The strategy part is easy. You can print out a situational decision-making chart for the game and keep practicing until you get it down. Counting cards will be a bit tougher.

Being able to keep up with the count is only the beginning. You must be a able to do it flawlessly, size your bets appropriately, and be so perfectly nonchalant about it that the dealer, pit bosses and security surveillance team don’t suspect you’re doing it. Most casinos will kick you out for it, not because it’s illegal, but because they have ‘the right to refuse service to anyone‘.

Profitable Poker Pros

Casinos love to host poker games, because it doesn’t matter who wins or loses. The casino wins a small percentage of each pot (i.e. poker rake) regardless of the action on the table. Poker pits player versus player, and therefore the player who is most skilled is going to win more often. Like house edge casino games, luck can swing one players way over another regardless of skill, but in the long term, skill will prevail in any legitimate poker game.

Being the bet poker player at the table is no easy task, though, especially since the big live/online poker boom of 2003 (aka the Chris Moneymaker Effect). Its takes a special set of skills to truly excel in poker, calculating math quickly in your head, making smart value bets and accurately observing poker tells.

Sports Betting Advantage

If you’re a terrible actor and supreme mathematics isn’t your thing, how about trying your hand at sports betting? Pick a sport you follow, or want to follow, and learn everything you can about it. Get to know the athletes and/or teams. Understand outside influences that might impact a game, like weather, turf conditions, injuries or suspensions.

Having a good head for the games is just one aspect of being a good sports bettor. You have to understand the odds and different types of bets, like straight-up wagers, points spreads and over/unders, and live betting features. The more you know, the more you can slide the scales of profitability into your favor.

The average gambler relies on luck. The smart gambler doesn’t need luck. Choosing the right games and playing them with ultimate skill will produce a positive expectation for long-term profitable results.

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