Sep 20

How to pick the best casino games to play for your personality.

How to Pick the Best Casino Games to Play by Personality

Well over 100 million people visit casinos every year in North America (with the exception of 2020, of course). It’s an extremely popular past time for adult vacationers; especially those who don’t have young children in tow. From the Hard Rock Vancouver, to MGM Las Vegas, Borgata Atlantic City to Casino de Montreal – billions of dollars are spent gambling in the US and Canada every year. And that’s just at land-based casinos.

For every casino goer, there’s always a ‘first time’. When planning that very first trip, some players want to dive right in, playing a little bit of everything. Others might be a little more cautious, picking and choosing the games they feel would best suit their personality. If you’re one of those – if you’re wondering, “Which casino games are right for me?” – please continue reading.

How to Pick the Best Casino Games For You

As you probably know, there are many different types of games in the casino. Slot machines dominate the gaming floor, and with good reason. They are by far the most popular games of all. But they might not be your cup of tea. Then there’s blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, video poker, and a slew of other games to consider.

In the following text, we’ll describe these games very briefly; just enough that you can get an idea of whether each one suits your style. Based on this information, you should be able to decide which games are worth trying, and which ones are not.

Slot Machines – They’re a “No-Brainer”

slot machines

Anywhere from 70-90% of the casino floor will be made up of slot machines. Players just seem to love them! The reason is simple. They require absolutely no knowledge or forethought to play. Insert money. Push button. Cross fingers. It really is that simple. Win or lose, it’s all up to luck.

If you’re looking for a ‘no-brainer’ game that you can enjoy playing, without having to think about what you’re doing, slots are for you. Don’t feel bad though – that’s not an insult in anyway. Remember, the vast majority of casino goers prefer slot machines. They are designed for sheer entertainment, and in that regard, they do deliver.

Baccarat – Win, Lose or Draw

baccarat

Pronounced “bah-kuh-rah”, this is the easiest table game you’ll ever play. As easy as a slot machine, except that you do have to make one decision – which hand to bet on. You won’t play the game. You don’t receive any cards. The dealer does all the work, based on a set of house rules. You only have to pick which hand you think will win.

That being said…

The game involves the dealing of two hands – the Player hand (but it’s not really yours), and the Banker hand. You choose to bet on the Player, the Banker, or a Tie between the two. The Tie is a sucker bet, so just don’t. The Banker has a higher chance of winning than the Player, so you should always bet on it.

So, strategically speaking, if you play baccarat, you should always bet on the banker, making this game just as simple as any slot machine. Drop your banker bet, cross your fingers. If you want to appear more sophisticated, without actually putting any thought into your game, choose baccarat.

Roulette – Easy as 1, 2, 3…34, 35, 36

roulette

Roulette is another game that takes virtually no skill to win (or lose). The only thing that makes this game more complex than slot machines or baccarat is that there are so many different ways to bet. You can drop your chips on a single number, two numbers, three, four, or six numbers, or you can make bigger group bets involving one-third or one-half of the numbers; except for that pesky 0 (and 00 in American Roulette), which is where the house gains its edge.

If you are looking for a more exciting game, with a communal (multi-player) atmosphere, but again, no mental strain, roulette is a good option. Please don’t play American roulette though. That double-zero also nearly doubles the house edge from 2.7% to 5.26%.

Keno – If You Like Playing the Lottery…

keno

If you’re going to the casino for the first time, keno games are an absolute waste of time and money. You might as well stay home and buy a few scratch off lottery tickets. Your odds of winning will be about as good, and you’ll save a lot of cash in travel expenses.

The game consists of 80 numbers on a 10×8 grid, labeled 1 thru 80. Your job is to pick 1 or more numbers that you believe will be randomly chosen by the game. The house edge can vary from one game to the next, depending on the pay table. However, a survey of keno games in Vegas once returned a variable house edge of anywhere from 20% to 35%, depending on the amount of numbers selected.

Those are horrible odds – the worst of all casino games. However, if you really enjoy scratching lottery tickets, or watching lotto numbers get drawn on live TV, maybe you’ll have enough fun playing to get your entertainment’s worth. Just because I don’t recommend it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it.

Craps – Not as Hard as it Looks

craps

The most intimidating of all land-based casino games is craps. It’s actually not a hard game to play. There’s just a whole lot of bets, with a whole lot of rules as to how and when they win or lose. Add in a crowd of very excitable people, and it can dissuade any newcomer from getting in on the action.

The truth is, it’s a very easy and fun game to play, once you figure out what’s going on. My advice would be to learn more about craps. Play online first, or download a craps trainer app. By the time you learn the betting system, you’ll either love it or hate it.

Blackjack – Play it Right, or Don’t Play It

blackjack

This game requires more mental capacity than any other. Not only should you know how to play with proper, basic strategy, you need to be able to do it in a timely manner. If you’re not playing with basic strategy, you’re only lowering your chances of wining the game. Basic strategy isn’t difficult, but it is situational. Every variation in the rules, the pay table, even the number of decks in use, can impact the correct decision for every opportunity to either stand, hit, split, or double down.

If you aren’t willing to learn blackjack strategy, don’t bother playing blackjack – at least, not in a live, multi-player setting. You’re just going to piss a bunch of other people off. Again, it’s not that hard to learn, but it does take constant mental fortitude on your part. We’ll talk more about card game strategy in a moment. First, there’s one more game you need to consider.

Video Poker – Take Your Time, but Play it Right

video poker

To me, video poker blends the best qualities of blackjack and slot machines. You get the low-edge benefits of playing with perfect strategy, combined with the solitude and relaxation of the slots. By making the correct decisions on every hand, you’re maximizing your chance to win. Yet, there’s no rush to make any decision.

You can look down at a strategy card between every play. Or, you can use a video poker strategy app, inputting your hand with each new deal and following its advice, play by play. No one cares. You’re not wasting anyone’s time. And some of these games carry a super low house edge – as low as, if not lower than blackjack.

Important Note about Casino Card Game Strategies

This last bit of advice applies to any and all card-based casino games that allow you to make a decision after seeing the initial hand. Whether it’s blackjack, video poker, pai gow poker, Caribbean stud poker, 3-card or 4-card poker, casino hold’em – whatever the game, if you can make any decision after placing your initial bet, listen up.

For each and every hand dealt, there is only one strategically correct decision to be made. That decision is the one that proffers the maximum probability of a positive outcome. It doesn’t mean you’re going to win, or that your odds of winning will be better than 50/50. Actual odds are circumstantial, determined on a case by case basis. But regardless of true odds, using basic strategy to achieve maximum probability is strongly recommended. Otherwise, you’re leaving your chances to fate, and fate is known to be less than kind, especially when it comes to casinos.

If you’re not physically or mentally prepared to put forth that kind of effort, these are not the best casino games to play. For someone else, maybe, but not for you.

Lastly, if you’ve read over each of these game descriptions and are still on the fence about what to play, there’s a simple way to find out for sure, without risking any money in the process. Simply visit an online casino, sign up a free-play account, and practice any game you wish. They are the same games, with the same odds (except slots – online slots pay out better; even the real money ones).

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

Jul 02

Is there a trick to playing online slots? What you need to know.

Online casinos aren’t the shady, unreliable, slow-loading operations of decades past. At the turn of the century, internet gamblers didn’t really know what they were getting into. Now days, iGaming is a global industry, embraced by the tech-savvy, secured by government regulation. The games that were once questionably partisan are now certified fair by respected watch-dog services. Slot machine jackpots aren’t just for show. Multi-million dollar payouts really do happen. With the clandestine smoke of yesteryear cleared, and player apprehensions faded, there’s really only one question left. Are there any real tricks to beating online slot machines?

Is there a trick to playing online slots

Is There a Trick to Playing Online Slots?

I’ve been asked this more times than I can count. The answer is, “Yes and no”. It really depends on what you mean by “trick”. If you’re asking if there’s a way to swindle, deceive, or conspire against the online casinos to win money – to somehow cheat the system or trick a digital machine into paying more prizes – then the answer is a steadfast, “No”.

Not only would that be fraud, which is rightly illegal (and the very thing people were so upset with rogue online casinos for doing in the late 1990s), it would be impossible to succeed without getting caught. Technology is far more advanced these days. There are security systems monitoring everything that goes on at online casinos. If a game’s software malfunctions, by chance or by tampering, the payout is void. Leave any trace of evidence, and you’ll be in deep trouble before you know it.

Then there’s the noble variety of winning slot tricks…

Honorable Tricks to Beating Online Slot Machines

These aren’t deceptive tricks at all. They are the kind that come with great knowledge of the way iGaming software works. These tricks will increase your chances of winning, but will not break any laws or breach any moral codes in the process.

With that in mind, it’s important to understand that you cannot increase a slot machine’s payout percentage above 100%. The payout percentage is the theoretical return to player (RTP), a figure that represents how much a machine will return in winnings, compared to how much players bet on that machine. For example, a 97% RTP slot would pay back 97% of it’s intake (i.e. $97 for every $100 wagered).

That’s a theoretical figure, of course, and only holds true in the long-term, over the course of millions of spins. In the short term, a machine could pay more or less than its intended RTP – in some cases, a lot more or less. This is how players are able to beat casinos.

The other thing you need to understand is what “fair” means in the casino industry. Players like to think that “fair” means they have a 50/50 chance of winning or losing. That’s not the case. Fair simply means the casino isn’t cheating. Remember, casinos are businesses, and businesses have to make money. Thus, a 97% RTP slot machine guarantees, over time, that the casino will earn a 3% profit on all bets made on that game. And if the casino wins, then the players must collectively lose. Some will win, sure, but more will lose than win. And that is what is considered “fair”.

With this knowledge in tow, let’s take a look at 3 valid tricks for playing online slot machines.

#1 Know the RTP Before Playing Online Slots

This is one of the greatest advantages of playing slot machines online. Land-based casinos rarely reveal the RTP of their slot machines. They might say they have 98% RTP slots, but they won’t say which slots pay that high. It could just be a single slot, mixed in a sea of low-paying games. Online casinos, on the other hand, will almost always reveal the RTP of each game. If you find one that doesn’t, don’t play there. You can always find a better casino that does.

It should be your right as the customer to examine a game’s payout percentage, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you should play or not. The best slot machines are always going to be the ones with the highest RTP. A game that pays out at 97.2% is more likely to be profitable than a game with a 94.3% RTP. Knowing what we know about the “fairness” of casino games, at the very least, you should be able to play a higher RTP slot machine longer than a low RTP slot, before your bankroll runs low.

Average Slot RTP and Where to Find It

The industry’s more reputable iGaming software labs will list each game’s RTP within its pay table info. If you don’t see it there, try going to the manufacturer’s website (Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, etc.) and look up the game title. Again, if it’s not easy enough to find, don’t play. It’s their loss, not yours.

The average RTP for online slots these days is about 96.15%. Anything above that is good – the higher the better. The only exception is progressive slots. Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, for example, is networked across a wide selection of games with RTPs ranging from 88.12% to 93.45%. Having a million dollar jackpot seed and an average hit rate of $6m every 8 weeks, it’s understandable that the RTP would be lower.

#2 Play High Volatility Slots, Carefully

Today’s slot machines have what we call “volatility”, or “variance”. A high-volatility slot machine does not hit winning combinations very often. However, when it does, the payout for those wins tends to be a lot better. A low-volatility game, on the other hand, will pay out very frequently, but in very small amounts – most often smaller than the amount you’re betting per spin.

The reason you should stick to slot machines with a high variance (or at least a medium variance) is because low-volatility slots are more likely to drain your bankroll dry. The wins you do hit won’t be very significant, which (purposely) convinces most players that they should just keep going. As they do, their bankroll slowly bleeds out. They get a good deal of entertainment for their wagering dollars, as the game tends to last longer, but the chance of profitability is slim to none.

If entertainment value is your goal, by all means play the low-volatility slots. But if you really are hoping to strike a big win, it’s the high-volatility slots you should be playing.

Remember, I said to play these games “carefully”. That’s because your bankroll is going to drop faster between winning spins. Make sure you have enough money to play with that you can spin the reels at least 100 times (i.e. minimum $100 bankroll at $1 per spin). Anything less, and the probabilities are stacked against you.

#3 Don’t Get Greedy, a Small Profit is Better than None

You have to go into your online casino experience with realistic expectations. Set a reasonable profit goal, maybe 15-20%. That might sound low, but when you consider the casino is happy to earn just 1-3%, not only is 15-20% more than reasonable, it’s actually rather high. Even blackjack players, who play games with average 0.5% RTP or better, rarely expect to make more than 10% in a session. Fortunately, slot variance makes it more reasonable to shoot for up to 20% profit.

If you hit your win margin, cash out and walk away. This is the most neglected trick to playing online slots. Most people get caught up in the excitement of the win, and lose sight of the real goal – to actually win something. If you keep going, you’re only helping the casino to reach its inevitable long-term goal of beating you.

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: , , , , , , , , ,

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 23

Uncommon Sense: An illogical guide to beat online casinos.

Uncommon Sense: An Illogical Guide to Beat Online Casinos

Common sense would tell you that, to beat an online casino, you have to win more money than you lose. But as we all know, there is no such thing as a game with an RTP of 100% or greater. At 100%, theoretical results would dictate a break-even gambling experience. Every dollar you wager would be won back. No win – no loss – just breaking even. You can play any blackjack game on the internet – the one with the absolute best, most player-friendly rules – and you’re still not going to achieve an RTP of 100% or more. So there’s no way to beat them… right?

Uncommon sense would tell us otherwise. But most of us don’t have uncommon sense. We’re raised to be logical. We’re taught to use common sense to make smart decisions. Thus, an educated player who uses common sense must come to the undeniable conclusion that online casinos cannot be beat. But the player who thinks outside the box – with uncommon sense – knows there are ways around every barrier.

How to Beat Online Casinos

It’s not just about how much you win, but your overall return on investment, or ROI. What are you getting out of the experience, compared to what you’re putting into it? So long as the output exceeds the input, you win.

Let’s explore this theory for a moment, because there is more than one way to go about it. You could beast-mode the promotions of an online casino to turn low-edge losses into advantage-player profits. Or, you could ensure the entertainment value is greater than the cost of play.

Be a Promotional Beast

Online casinos present their players with all sorts of promotions. One of the most overlooked rewards is the loyalty program. Securing VIP status can get you a lot of perks. To become a VIP, you can either wager a whole lot of money at the online casino, or you can make substantial deposits.

The fastest way to become a high-level VIP is to register an account, then – before depositing – open a support chat. Tell them you just signed up and that you want to make a deposit, but that you aren’t satisfied with the usual welcome bonus. Maybe it’s only 100% up to $200. Tell them you plan to deposit much more than this, and think you deserve to receive an analogous bonus for it. Tell them you are a regular player and high roller, and that you want to start with a high level VIP status and dedicated VIP account manager.

If this doesn’t get their attention, nothing will. Of course, you’ll also need to be ready to back up your high deposit promises. If it works, and you’re granted the VIP level and better bonus, take full advantage. That higher level VIP status will generate faster comp points (up to 25% higher) with every wager. Plus, the 100% match bonus on your deposit will get you 2x the comps, for having 2x the wagering power.

Find the right casinos, engage the best promotions, and all those extra VIP bonuses and comps could turn the ROI tides to your favor.

Get Your Money’s Worth in Entertainment

Value doesn’t have to be a monetary thing. If you spend $25 to go see a movie – tickets, popcorn, drink, candy, the works – and that movie bombs, you’ll feel like you wasted $25. If, however, that movie blows you away, you will leave the theater feeling like it was worth every dollar, and then some.

Can we not look at the entertainment value of gambling in the same way? Considering the high RTPs of most online slots and table games, it wouldn’t take much to turn a losing experience into positive entertainment value.

Unlike land-based casinos, internet slot machine pay out an average of 96-97%. European roulette comes in at 97.3%. Baccarat banker and player bets pay 98.76% and 98.94% respectively. Blackjack and video poker can pay 99.35% to 99.92% when you pick your rules and your work strategies wisely. Manage your bankroll well, take your time, thoroughly enjoying the experience, and that minimal house edge, combined with the amount of fun you have playing the games, can be your key golden to beating online casinos.

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

Jan 03

Going South: The Best Blackjack Odds in Vegas

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

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

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

Best Blackjack Odds in Vegas

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

Beating Vegas with M Resort Blackjack Odds

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

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

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

M Resort Blackjack Odds and Rules

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

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

To recap…

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

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

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

Jan 01

Top 10 best gambling tips for recreational bettors in 2020.

Top 10 Best Gambling Tips for Recreational Bettors in 2020

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

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

10 Best Gambling tips for Recreational Bettors

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

#1 Take Your Time

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

#2 Lower Your Expectations

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

#3 Enjoy the Experience

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

#4 Don’t Go Back for Seconds

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

#5 Practice Before You Play

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

#6 Don’t Play Keno

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

#7 Slots Aren’t as Cheap as You Think

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

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

#8 Online Slots Pay Better

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

#9 Don’t Pretend to Be a Pro

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

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

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

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

Nov 11

Evaluating the best video poker strategy books of the millennium.

Evaluating the Best Video Poker Strategy Books of the Millennium

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

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

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

Best Video Poker Strategy Books of 2000+

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

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

The Video Poker Edge, Linda Boyd (2005)

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

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

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

Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner by Bob Dancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

The complete series includes:

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

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , ,

Nov 02

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

Categorical Cacophony of Live and Online Slot Machine Player Types

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

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

Live & Online Slot Machine Player Types

#1 The Vulture

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

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

#2 The Over Achiever

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

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

#3 The Believer

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

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

#4 The Strategist

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

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

#5 The Realist

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

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

Aug 13

RTP comparison reveals the best paying slot machines in Nevada.

RTP Comparison Reveals the Best Paying Slot Machines in Nevada

When it comes to gambling, people have developed conceptions over the years as to how and where they can achieve better odds of winning. Some say it’s the games you play. Others say it’s the casino in which you play them. I (and everyone else with a higher education in gaming) say it’s both. But if there’s a specific game you want to play, location is everything!

I’m talking specifically about slot machines. Everyone knows these aren’t the best paying games overall. If you want the highest possible RTP, you have to play blackjack or video poker with a perfect strategy. That takes time and mental energy that some players simply aren’t willing to expend.

Slots fans play for the simplicity and entertainment value above all else. For these players, you won’t convince them there’s a better overall game out there. And since choice of game is out of the question, location becomes the primary focus. And with that, we’ve drug up statistical data that reveals…

…the best paying slot machines in Nevada.

Las Vegas, Nevada is the gambling mecca of the western hemisphere. When we think of casino hubs, The Vegas Stripis the first place that comes to mind. But it’s not the only place in the Silver State that caters to gamblers. There’s many more – some more famous than others. Downtown Vegas, North Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City, Henderson, Laughlin, Boulder Strip, Silver Springs, the list goes on and on.

When you compare the best paying slots from one area to the next, there are two locations that rank highest, appearing consistently on the list more than any others, Downtown Vegas and Boulder Strip. And then there’s the two obvious choices to compare – Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip.

If you think Las Vegas and The Strip are the same thing, think again. As far as reports from the state’s gaming regulators are concerned, Las Vegas refers to the casinos that are “off the Strip”. Downtown Vegas is the area North of the Strip, including Freemont Street. The Boulder Strip isn’t a single location, but rather a series of 30+ casinos that appear along a long strip of the Boulder Highway, from Downtown Vegas to Henderson and beyond.

Now that you know where they are, let’s compare the average slot machine RTP (return to player) between these four locations, based on recent data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). For absolute accuracy, we’ll divide the payout ratios by coin denominations (penny slots, nickel slots, quarter slots, etc).

Highest Paying Slots by Denomination

Location       RTP of 1¢ Penny Slot Machines
The Strip 88.38%
Las Vegas 90.88%
Downtown Vegas 89.15%
Boulder Strip 90.38%
Location RTP of 5¢ Nickel Slot Machines
The Strip 91.64%
Las Vegas 95.29%
Downtown Vegas 93.40%
Boulder Strip 96.21%
Location RTP of 25¢ Quarter Slot Machines
The Strip 89.35%
Las Vegas 96.41%
Downtown Vegas 94.25%
Boulder Strip 96.13%
Location RTP of $1 Dollar Slot Machines
The Strip 92.43%
Las Vegas 95.39%
Downtown Vegas 94.63%
Boulder Strip 96.13%
Location RTP of All Slot Machines Combined
The Strip 91.96%
Las Vegas 93.53%
Downtown Vegas 92.67%
Boulder Strip 94.34%

Best Paying Slots are Off The Strip and Off the Grid

The table above clearly shows that the Las Vegas Strip is, in fact (and as rumored), the worst place to play slot machines. The best paying slot machines in Nevada are found on the Boulder Strip, with Off-Strip casinos in Las Vegas coming in a close second.

Not surprisingly, the penny slots are the worst of all. No matter where you play them, the best average RTP in the reporting period was only 90.88%. The highest average, 96.41%, was found on quarter slots in off-Strip Las Vegas casinos. But overall, Boulder Strip casinos had the highest RTP average out of all categories.

On a final note, you’ll find similarly high RTP slot machines entirely off the grid. The online casino industry is famous for housing the highest paying slots of all. For the month of May 2019, Royal Vegas Casino recorded an average slots RTP of 96.87%. That’s higher than any of the slot machine RTPs recorded by the NGCB in a similar time frame.

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