May 24

The thin line between advantage players and casino cheats.

Advantage Players versus Casino CheatsCasinos have some of the tightest security protocols on the planet. Like government banks, they handle exorbitant amounts of money, and will do anything it takes to keep that money safe. They also want to ensure they get to keep their fair share of it from the countless patrons who tread their gaming floors each day.

In order to accomplish that goal, land-based casinos employ a variety of security measures. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to place state of the art security cameras all over the premises, leaving no square-inch without continual supervision. Many of those cameras are equipped with facial recognition technology, instantly alerting security if a player who’s previously been banned happens to enter the establishment. And that’s just the electronic side of the process.

A multitude of muscle-bound security guards are tactfully positioned in key areas throughout casino. Specially trained employees man the security monitors 24/7/365 to spot any unsavory activity that may take place, and to review the recordings should a question arise. Dealers receive extensive training in spotting casino cheats, as well anyone attempting use advantage play to turn the edge in their favor.

Advantage Players vs Casino Cheats

On the surface, a player who uses mathematically skillful methods to gain an advantage over the house seems much less threatening than someone who’s outright cheating the casino. One act is perfectly legal, and the other is not. But casinos draw a very think line between the two.

By law, casinos have the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason, without prior notice. This gives them the right to remove, and/or ban, any player from the premises they deem fit. Players who compromise the intended house edge—for example, gaining an advantage by counting cards in blackjack—make up the majority of banned patrons. Despite being wholly legal, anyone caught trying to gain an advantage over the casino may find themselves subject to an abrupt and gruff dismissal by casino security.

Cheating the casino, on the other hand, can induce a whole other level of malevolent anger from security staff. This illegal activity won’t get a player immediately ousted, but they’ll wish it had. Instead, they’ll be detained in a back room, interrogated, stripped of their winnings, likely threatened, possibly roughed up, and—before it’s all over—taken into police custody. How long it takes authorities to arrive will generally determine the displeasure of the overall experience.

Advantage Play is Okay, Cheating is Not

If you want to count cards in blackjack, my advice to you is to get in a lot of practice first. The MIT Blackjack Team didn’t succeed for so many years by sending amateurs to the tables. They also didn’t work alone, so don’t expect to get rich quick, even if you do manage to be inconspicuous enough not to get caught.

If you’re thinking of cheating the casino, however, think again. Every casino cheat gets caught, sooner or later. Casino security is simply too high-tech these days. Fortunately, due to the same technology, they can’t just drag cheaters out back and ‘take care of them’, either. But the fact remains, only an intelligent and crafty advantage player can turn the tides into their favor.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , ,

May 19

The craziest video poker strategy that just might work! (Given enough time and money)

Craziest Video Poker Strategy EverLately, I’ve been researching some rather strange online casino cheats and questionable strategies. For the most part, I’m on a mission to debunk the truly inane ones in hopes of steering players in the right direction. But I came across one that literally had me scratching my head and saying, “Hmmmm”.

I’m talking about an online video poker cheat that is either outright ridiculous, or pure genius! I’m honestly not sure which. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time, patience, discipline or bankroll to test this theory for as long as it would take to find out. If any of you want to give it a shot, please let me know your results in the comments below!

UPDATE: No, this strategy does not work! See complete update at the end of this article for details.

Crazy Video Poker Strategy that Just Might Work

The goal of this video poker cheat is to force a machine to award its highest payout for a Royal Straight Flush. Those who tout its validity—which aren’t too many, bringing into great question whether it would work—say it’s a flawless trick. But we hear lots of crazy untruths on the world wide web, and seriously, how large would your bankroll need to be to pull it off?

The theory is that a player can force the machine to produce its highest-paying hand by simply avoiding any and all other payouts. How do you do that? By throwing away any good cards that would likely produce such a hand.

According to the online video poker cheat, a player should only hold cards if they include 3 or more cards that would make up a Royal Straight Flush. For example, an Ah, Qh and Jh should be held, but an Ah and Kh alone should not.

The problem with this plan…

…is that you must throw away any other potentially winning hand. If dealt a high Pair, or even 3 of a Kind, you must discard it. Three of a Kind generally pays about 15x the stake. How easy will it be for you to throw away a hand that pays for your next 15 attempts? It would take severe discipline and unwavering trust in this video poker strategy for anyone to bring themselves to do it.

However, the idea is that, since video poker machines run on a computerized random number generator (RNG), which produces a probable return to player (RTP), it will work. If the machine is taking in too much money, it will eventually have to make up for that by paying out a higher prize. And for this reason, it is at least possible that it could work.

On the other hand…

The theory behind this video poker cheat actually working is that the games operate on a combined RNG and RTP, the same way slot machines do. But is that really the case?

The RNG is the mechanism that randomly decides what cards will be dealt. The probabilities of being dealt any card are based on the exact same, random probabilities, of a real deck of cards that were shuffled and dealt by a live person. Therefore, it should not be required for a video poker machine to meet an RTP. In order to be certified for fairness, as all reputable iGaming software must be, it is only required that its RNG be accurate.

If the machine is not built to notice that it’s paying out at a lower rate, who’s to say that it will suddenly try to produce high-paying hands? How would that be as random as a real, live deck? And if that’s the case, players are throwing away one potentially winning hand after another on the false belief that they’ll produce a massive win.

This is something I’m going to have to look further into, because there’s no known information about it on the web (that I’ve found). I’ll be sure to update this page as soon as I gather more info. Until then, be careful about trying out this video poker strategy, unless you have a lot of extra cash to burn.

UPDATE: This Video Poker Cheat CANNOT Work

My previous fears were confirmed today. I’ve asked several experts with inside sources in Las Vegas and the online gambling industry. This is not a hack, and will not work. Video poker machines, both online and on land, do run on a genuine-probability RNG, but are are not required to meet an RTP.

According to one of my sources, a video poker expert and professional actuary whose business it is to study odds and probabilities, “The law states that the manufacturer can assume that the player always acts in his/her best interest… meaning that they play perfectly.”

Most, if not all, gambling regulators enforce similar laws. The end result… DO NOT attempt this highly erroneous video poker strategy!

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

May 12

Does it matter if online casino blackjack games re-shuffle every hand?

Online Casino Blackjack GamesAlmost every online casino blackjack strategy on the world wide web points out this crucial aspect of the rules. In online games, the cards are re-shuffled after every hand. This is important because it means strategists will not be able to count the cards in an RNG-based game. But the real question is… does it matter?

If you planned to count card, then yes, it matters very much. But how does it impact the player’s overall expected return? The truth is, there are actually benefits to shuffling after each hand of online blackjack. For one, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the card count! But there’s more to it than that.

Benefits of RNG Online Casino Blackjack Games

I’ve read numerous speculations by actual online players as to the benefits of automatic reshuffling. They include things like not having to tip a live dealer, playing one-on-one without other players, and getting in more hands per hour. It’s also been said that shuffling the deck after a specific depth is reached (at live casinos) works against the player.

We’ll examine each of these theories and see whether they really do afford an advantage to playing blackjack online.

No Tipping

Obviously this is true. You can’t tip a computer. In a land-based casino, it’s not required to tip, but it is good etiquette. Unless you lose all of your chips before walking away, a kind dealer always deserves a little something extra. Common procedure is to tip a few dollars if you’re placing $5-$10 bets, and a least $5 if your wagering $25-$100. If you win, a more generous tip may be in order.

Playing online blackjack means you don’t have to tip at all. Every tip comes out of your profits, so this really is a notable advantage to players of online blackjack games., having a significant effect on your rate of investment (ROI).

1-on-1 Player vs Dealer

Playing heads-up against the dealer with no other players might seem like an advantage, but it’s really not. The odds of receiving a specific card or set of cards does not change no matter how many players are present.

More Hands per Hour

Playing online will definitely increase your hand rate. Not only are you the only player, it’s all automated. Playing more hands in any given period of time isn’t necessarily a good thing, though. It will not increase or decrease your odds of winning in any way. It can, however, increase the speed at which you lose money. With an strategic RTP of 99.5%, playing 120 hands an hour at $5 per bet comes to a probable loss of $3 per hour. Playing the same odds with other players, at a rate of about 30 hands per hour, would result in a theoretical loss of $0.75 per hour.

Shuffling After Depth Deck

In a land-based or live casino blackjack game, the deck or shoe is usually reshuffled after reaching a specific depth. This actually works against the player. As the famous Wizard of Odds, Michael Shackleford, advises:

…more cards will be dealt when the shuffle point is reached in a deck rich in small cards than one rich in big cards. In other words, in a physical casinos the player will see slightly more small cards than large cards over the long run, which is bad for the player.”

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

Apr 20

Rules and strategy for Let it Ride at live and online casinos.

Rules and Strategy for Let it Ride PokerOf all the casino table games out there, Let it Ride isn’t the first one I’d recommend. It’s not even in the top 5; at least, not for the strategic-minded gambler who’s looking for the most profitable games. However, it can be extremely fun to play. And since entertainment should be the number one priority in gambling – after all, no game delivers a player’s edge – it may be one worth learning.

Beyond ascertaining the rules, a Let it Ride strategy isn’t difficult to memorize or adhere to. We’ll go over the basic rules of the game and standard pay tables, then talk about ways to maximize your odds of winning.

Rules for Let it Ride Poker

First of all, this game goes by several names, thanks to the expansion of so many online casino software platforms. Other common adaptations include Let ‘Em Ride, Let Them Ride, and Free Ride. If you see the word “Ride” in it, it’s safe to say it’s probably the same game (although the pay tables may vary slightly).

This is a rather simple game, where players aren’t forced to make any decisions outside of reclaiming a bet, or letting it ride. Here’s how it works.

  • The player makes three equal bets, placing one chip in each of the circles, generally labeled 1, 2 and $.
  • Each player receives 3 cards.
  • Two more cards are dealt face down as community cards.
  • Each player looks at their own cards, determining whether to reclaim (take back) Bet 1, or let it ride (leave it in play).
  • The dealer turns up one community cards.
  • Each player decides whether to reclaim Bet 2, or let it ride.
  • The dealer turns up the second community card. Bet $ (3) cannot be reclaimed.
  • Based on each players’ 3 cards, combined with the two community cards, their hands are evaluated. If a hand ranks high enough for a pay out (see Standard Let it Ride Pay Table below), all of their bets remaining on the table are paid at the corresponding rate. If not, all remaining bets on the table are lost.

Standard Let it Ride Pay Table

There may be some variation to the pay table, depending on where you play. The following is the most common Let it Ride pay table used.

Hand Ranks (Highest to Lowest)


Royal Flush

1000 to 1

Straight Flush

200 to 1

Four of a Kind

50 to 1

Full House

11 to 1


8 to 1


5 to 1

Three of a Kind

3 to 1

Two Pair

2 to 1

Pair of 10s or Better

1 to 1

Easy Strategy for Let it Ride

A player’s strategic decisions – reclaim a bet, or let it ride – can be split into two sections; 3-card decisions, and 4-card decisions. The following charts detail how to react in any situation, based on mathematical probabilities of developing a winning hand.

Three Card Hand

Let it Ride?

Any Winning Hand (Paired 10s or Better)


3 card Royal Flush


3 card Straight Flush


3 card Straight or Flush with 2+ 10-value cards


Suited J-9-8 / 10-9-7 / 10-8-7


Off-suit K-Q-J / Q-J-10


Off-suit A-K-Q / 9-10-J


Pairs 2-9


Anything Less


When the first community card is revealed, the situation changes drastically. At this point, there’s only one card left that can help you, essentially cutting your odds of developing a winning hand in half (unless you already have one).

Four Card Hand

Let it Ride?

Ant Winning Hand (Paired 10s or Better)


4 card Royal Flush


4 card Straigh Flush


4 card Flush


4 card Open-ended Straight with a 10+


4 cards to a High Straight, all 10+


Anything Less


If you’re new to the game, or new to invoking a strategy for Let it Ride, stick to these guidelines. You’ll have much higher odds of winning than playing on basic instinct.

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

Apr 13

Gambling on Lucky 13: Online casinos expect influx this Friday the 13th

Gambling on Lucky 13 at online casinos on Friday the 13thThroughout history, many cultures have deemed the number 13 to be unlucky. In the western hemisphere especially, 13 is seen as a bad omen in everyday life. For superstitious gamblers, however, it can be the perfect luck charm.

In fact, so many gamblers love the number 13, land-based and online casinos are anticipating an influx of patronage. Why? Because it’s Friday the 13th, of course! It will be a few more months (July 13, 2018) before gamblers get another chance to try their luck on this most auspicious of days.

Fear of Friday the 13th

Who decided that 13 was such a bad number to begin with? Why is it considered so unlucky in other facets of life, yet favorable in the gambling realm? The superstition that 13 is a minacious number dates back thousands of years.

Many believe it comes from Biblical times. Judas is said to have appeared as the 13th person at the Last Supper, shortly before betraying Jesus, who was believed to be crucified on a Friday.

Maybe it’s the legends of the Norse Gods that brought about the theory. Loki, notorious betrayer of Asgard, was said to be the 13th God. He’s also said to be the 13th mourner to arrive are the funeral of Balder, after allegedly arranging Balder’s death in the first place.

Going further back to around 1800 BC, the Babylonian Dynasty may have been influenced by the ominous number as well. One of the most ancient law codes known to man, the Hammurabi, didn’t have a 13th law. It went straight from 12 to 14, with no explicable reason for it.

The negative association with Friday and 13 can also be connected to one fateful day in history, Friday, October 13, 1307. That was the day the Knight Templar Order fell to the hands of King Phillip of France. Fearing their growing strength and financial might, he had them all executed that day.

In numerology, 13’s unlucky connotations are centered around the mere fact that it follows the number 12; considered the most “complete” of all numbers. There were 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 Gods of Olympus, 12 Tribes of Israel, 12 Labors of Hercules, 12 Signs of the Zodiac, 12 months in a year, etc. And since 13 falls just beyond the realm of a complete 12, it simply became unlucky.

The fear of 13 is so prominent in some cultures, it actually earned its own medical term; Triskaidekaphobia.

Gambling on Lucky 13

Lucky 13 Gambling CharmIn other cultures, especially Italy and China, 13 is a very lucky number. Gamblers in these regions thrive on Friday the 13th. Even in cultures where 13 is taboo in other circumstances, for many it’s a good lucky charm at the casinos.

Time and again, I’ve seen avid gamblers at the slot machines, blackjack or roulette tables wearing a charm bracelet with a #13 charm dangling from it. For most, the superstition is that the number 13 will actually ward off, or reverse, bad luck.

So if you’re the superstitious type looking for something to do on this Friday the 13th, consider visiting the local gambling hall, or logging into one of your favorite online casinos. You’ll be joining countless others, gambling on lucky 13 on this most propitious of days.

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

Apr 09

How to win Pai Gow Poker with a real edge over the competition.

How to Win Pai Gow PokerI’ve never been a huge fan of Pai Gow Poker. Like most card games (outside blackjack), its house edge is too high. And since I do the majority of my gambling online, there’s no way to reduce the 2.6% house edge. However, if you attend a land-based casino, there is one, and only one, way to beat Pai Gow Poker.

No, I’m not talking about getting lucky. Luck isn’t a strategy. It’s not consistent. You can’t count on luck. And no, I’m not talking about cheating, either. You’d never get away with that if you tried. I’m talking about a real Pai Gow Poker strategy that can give you an palpable advantage over the competition.

How to Win Pai Gow Poker – Be the Banker

As I said, you can’t do this at an online casino. But in most real, bricks-and-mortar gambling halls, players can actually request to be the banker. A lot of less experienced player don’t know this, but it’s true. You have every right to request the banker position!

As we all know, the house always has an edge. In Pai Gow Poker, the dealer gets an edge in several ways. Obviously, they use house rules to set their hands. Any player can do this, but it won’t give them the same edge due to two overriding factors.

First, the house wins on every exact-tie hand. Exact ties (ex. player and banker have A-J in the two card hand) occur in 2.6% of all hands. In about half of those hands, the player will lose the other hand, resulting in a total loss. In the other half, the players wins the other hand, resulting in a push. This alone gives a 1.3% advantage to the banker.

Secondly, the house collects a 5% commission on all winning player hands. This results in an additional 1.3% advantage. You can be the banker, but that doesn’t mean you’re the house. Therefore you won’t collect that commission as the banker. The casino still gets it. So, as the banker, you’ll get a 1.3% edge over the players.

Note that in EZ Pai Gow, there is no commission, which still leaves the banker with a 1.3% edge. However, you cannot be the banker in EZ Pai Gow.

Challenges of Being the Pai Gow Poker Banker

To use this strategy, you’ll need to know a few things. First and foremost, you must know the house rules of the casino inside and out. You have to know exactly how to set your hand, based on their house rules. The dealer can help you, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to have some very unhappy players around you. Not a good idea!

Next, make sure you have a large bankroll. You can’t be the banker if you don’t have enough funds to cover all bets for many hands. As I said above, you can’t count on luck. But, lucky streaks, and unlucky ones, do happen. If you have a bad run, being the banker can become very expensive, very fast. Be prepared!

Last but not least, you can’t be the banker all of the time. You’re going to have to take a player position more often than not. When doing so, keep your bets small and incorporate the same house-way strategy to minimize losses.

House Way vs. Average Player Way

House way rules are based on ensuring that the casino wins at least one hand. In this way, they cannot lose. Most players, however, will do their best to win both hands. For example, if dealt four Aces and three other low cards non-sequence, such as 2, 4, 5, what would you do?

Most players would put three Aces in the 5-card hand, and A-5 in the 2-card hand. This would have the highest odds of winning both, right? The house doesn’t think this way.

The house will put A-A-5-4-2 in the 5-card hand, and A-A in the other. This guarantees that they can’t be beaten. The 2-card hand will win (there are no more Aces to tie). The 5-card hand might lose, or it might not. But end result – the banker cannot lose.

At worst, the banker will push against all players, losing nothing. At best, the banker will have a better 5-card hand than one or more players, winning those bets and pushing against the rest. So if you really want to know how to win Pai Gow Poker, it’s simple. Play like the banker when you must, and be the banker as often as you can!

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

Apr 05

Is video poker beatable? Yes, but only if you play all your cards right!

Is Video Poker BeatableThere’s no more mysterious industry than casino gambling. On the one hand, they want you to think you can win lots of money every time you play. On the other hand, they want players to believe there’s no such thing as a beatable game. So which is it?

There are only two casino games that have been classified as ‘beatable‘ throughout history. The first won’t surprise you. It’s blackjack. Most casinos have tightened up the rules and pay tables, as well as reshuffling the deck too often to make card counting valuable. This ensures very few players make a profit without Lady Luck on their shoulder. The other is video poker. But how can a machine that’s run on a random number generator (RNG) be easy to win?

Is Video Poker Beatable?

Yes, you really can beat video poker machines at casinos. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to win every game, every time. The trick is to play the right games, with the right strategies, and take full advantage of the casino’s comp program.

Beatable Video Poker Games

The house edge can vary dramatically in video poker. I’ve seen games with a theoretical return to player (RTP) of a measly 93%, as well as games that offer up to 99.92%. Your job is to avoid the lower RTPs, and only play the games with at least a 99.5% RTP.

Although theoretical in nature, that RTP makes all the difference in the world. According to long term probabilities, a video poker game with 99.92% RTP will pay back $99.92 for every $100 you wager on it.

As I said, that’s a long-term expectation. Short-term results will vary. You may win a lot one day, and lose a lot the next, thanks to those RNGs. But in the long-term, you can expect the results to be on par with the RTP.

How is Losing $0.08 per $100 a Win?

You really can beat video poker as a VIPThis is where the comp programs come into play. Casinos are known to be very generous with their comps, especially for loyal members, VIPs and high rollers. If you’re getting regular bonuses and other perks, it makes up for that minimal loss.

At an online casino, you can expect to receive generous bonuses on all your deposits. You’ll also get comp points for every wager you make. Those comps convert to real cash after awhile. As a VIP member, you earn higher comp generation rates, plus other valuable benefits that add up to a lot more than the $0.08-per-$100 you’re losing.

At land-based casinos, the comps can go a lot further. Here, you can earn free casino credits, free meals, free hotel stays, free entry to VIP tournaments, the list goes on. Anything their resort offers can be comped, and for high rollers, they’ll do just about anything to keep you coming back for more.

How to Achieve 99.92% RTP in Video Poker

Just playing a game with a high RTP isn’t going to guarantee you’re getting that much value. You have to work for it, and by that, I mean using an absolute perfect strategy. Don’t worry, there’s no math involved. All you have to do is find the right game, enter the rules/pays into a customized strategy program, and print out the chart for it.

Microgaming All Aces Video Poker BeatableAs I mentioned, the highest video poker RTP I’ve come across is 99.92%. That can be found on Microgaming‘s All Aces Video Poker machine. It’s available on all Microgaming-powered online casinos. There are literally hundreds of them, so you should have no troubling finding a reputable gaming website that offers it.

In land-based casinos, Jacks or Better 9-6 Full Pay is easier to find. Full Pay means the Full House pays 9x, and a Flush 6x. These games should have an RTP of at least 99.5%. Once you’ve found one, look at the exact pay table. Whip out your smartphone, input the data, and find a strategy chart to match. Use it religiously, collect on comps, and you’ll find video poker beatable at almost any casino, online or on land.

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

Mar 28

Are online casinos rigged? Why do I keep losing?

Are Online Casinos Rigged?Have you played online casino games for any considerable amount of time? Have you been losing a lot? If so, you may be starting to lose faith in the internet gambling industry. You may even be asking yourself this question…

Are Online Casinos Rigged?

It may seem like it sometimes, and in rare cases, it could even be true. But if you’re playing at legitimate online casinos, the clear answer is, ‘No, online casinos are not rigged to make you lose‘.

The casino games you play online often supply the exact same odds you would expect in a land-based casino. If the odds are not the same, they’re actually better.

Table games, video poker games, specialties like keno and bingo, these games are played with the same odds as brick-and-mortar gambling establishments. That’s because the rules generate the RTP (return to player), not the manufacturer.

Online slots, on the other hand, pay much better than they do on land. The average online slot machine’s RTP is 96%, as opposed to 88-92% in physical casinos. The key is to make sure you’re actually playing with those odds. And to do that, you’ll want to keep an eye out for…

Online Casino Software Accreditation

Online Casino Software AccreditationOnly play legitimate casinos that employ accredited software. You can tell if the software is certified by scrolling to the bottom of the website’s main page. It should list the software supplier, and the logo of the third-party auditing firm that certified it. Microgaming, for example, is certified by eCOGRA. Other platforms may be certified by VeriSign, or Technical Systems Testing (TST).

These companies test the software rigorously, running each game through a million or more plays to ensure they meet their RTP.

While this explains the legitimacy of the software, there’s still that question of why some people just keep losing. And the simple answer is…

Casino Games Do Not Create More Winners than Losers

If you’re losing, you’re in the majority. Casinos – online or on land – are not in the business of creating winners. They make their money from all the losers. You can’t blame them for it. They provide an entertainment-based service, and players are expected to pay for that service.

Unlike most other entertainment services, though, some players actually do win – sometimes very large amounts of money. To make up for those big payouts, casinos need many more people to lose. That’s how it works, and any responsible gambler should understand this.

Let’s get back to those 96% slots RTPs I mentioned above. 96% sounds like really good odds for a casino, right? But it doesn’t mean you have a 96% chance of winning. What it really means is that, theoretically, you will win 96% of your money back, and lose the other 4%.

That’s a long-term evaluation, though. If you spend $100 wagering on the slots, you can’t simply expect to lose $4 and walk away with $96 in your pocket. Most players will continue spinning until they lose most, if not all, of that bankroll; even if they had a profit at one point during the session.

If the entertainment of playing the game supersedes the desire to win, a player will not stop once they win a small amount; a big jackpot, maybe, but not a $10-$20 profit. They’ll continue playing, resulting in an eventual loss.

To put it simply, the odds of winning are against you. They always will be. So when you ask, “are online casinos rigged?”, the answer is, “no”. Rigging the games would be illegal. Casinos are well within their legal rights to set the RTPs below 100%. It’s the players’ responsibility to enjoy the games for the entertainment purposes in which they were intended, knowing when to call it quits.

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

Mar 16

Understanding slots pay lines, and their effect on bankroll and win rate.

Slots Pay Lines ExplainedThere are many, many types of slot machines on the market today. They come in different shapes and sizes, featuring every theme imaginable (and then some). They include all sorts of bonus rounds and special games that can be triggered. The one thing they all have in common is the presence of slot machine pay lines.

Not all slots games call them pay lines. It really depends on how many there are. A classic 3-reel slot could have 1, 3, 5, 8, or 14 lines to win on. A 5-reel video slot could range anywhere from 9 lines up into the hundreds, even thousands! Most slots makers call these super-high line machines ‘ways to win‘ or ‘all-ways‘ games, paying every possible line, either left-to-right, or both left-to-right and right-to-left. I’ve seen games paying top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top as well.

They can call these whatever they want, but they’re still pay lines in my book. What separates their title is usually how they are activated.

Activating Slot Machine Pay Lines

In traditional (low) pay line games, the player will pay one credit to activate each line. A 9 line game played at $0.02 would cost $0.18 per spin (2*9). At 25 pay lines, the cost jumps to $0.50, and so on.

Other games feature what they call ‘Fixed Pay Lines‘. In these games, players don’t get a choice of activating lines. For low-line games, the cost per spin will be the same as the example above, based on the number of lines and coin size. For high-line games, such as 100 line games, or 243 ways to win game, a fixed, incremental cost is applied. These games are often played in betting increments of $0.40.

In this case, payouts are calculated by dividing the bet by the total number of lines. So, on 243 ways to win slot machine, with a bet size of $0.40, the player is actually betting (0.4/243=0.001646) about $0.0016 per line. Which brings us to our next topic…

How Slots Pay Lines Effect Win Rate

Slot Machine Pay Lines and Win RateIn truth, the number of pay lines won’t effect your long-term win rate. This is decided solely by the game’s random number generator (RNG) and theoretical return to player (RTP). However, in the short term, a larger number of pay lines will usually result in more frequent wins. But how valuable are they?

Based on the equation above, we can see that only a tiny portion of each bet is applied per pay line. Because there are so many lines, chances of many lines striking a win all at once are very high. However, if you win on 15 lines in a single spin, with an average 10x per line payout, you’re only going to win about $0.24 (0.0016*15*10=0.24).

In effect, you’ve actually lost. You spent $0.40 to spin the reels, then only came away with $0.24; an effectual loss of $0.16. And that brings us to another point…

Slot Machine Pay Lines and Bankroll Longevity

Lower pay lines don’t hit wins very often. Thus, with a modest bankroll, it can be easy to run dry in a short period of time. With just a bit of luck, though, each win you get can be large enough to restock your bankroll for many more spins to come.

With higher line slot machines, you’re going to win very frequently. Most of your wins will be on a multitude of pay lines, but as the above example shows, you could still be losing money on those spins. The most common effect is a bankroll that diminishes, but at a slower rate.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It can supply more longevity to your bankroll, and a much higher level of overall entertainment. Which brings us to one final, but ultimately important thought…

Beware LDWs: Losses Disguised as Wins

There’s a positive and negative side to this high-pay line set-up. On the positive side, your bankroll can last much longer when you’re frequently winning small amounts, and/or losing only a fraction of each bet. On the downside, those winning spins that are actually fractional losses can cause players to lose sight of the fact that their bankroll is still declining. These players get a sense of winning, despite actually losing.

Researchers actually have a name for this; ‘losses disguised as wins‘, or LDWs.

A player who recognizes LDWs can actually increase their level of entertainment. Unfortunately, studies show those who don’t recognize it can begin displaying signs of at-risk behavior; chasing losses, heading to the ATM for more money, spending more time in the casino than intended, becoming emotionally distraught when they lose, etc.

Knowledge is clearly power. Recognize LDWs for what they are, and you can experience a much more responsible and enjoyable session playing high-number slots pay lines.

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Feb 28

Chinese Year of the Dog: 2018 Not so Lucky Online Casino Pups!

Lucky Online Casino tips for Unfortunate Chinese Year of the DogSo many of us look forward to being the center of attention when the Chinese New Year comes around. 2018, for example, is the Year of the Dog. Anyone born in a year that places them on the Dog position of the Chinese zodiac might be cheering, but should they?

If you aren’t too familiar with the legend of Shēngxiāo (the Chinese zodiac), you’re probably among the enthusiastic doggy masses. After all, the exact philosophy isn’t very prevalent throughout Canada. We assume it’s a good thing, because it sounds like a good thing. But that’s not actually how Shēngxiāo works.

In reality, if it’s your birth animal’s year, you may be headed for very rough seas ahead. 2018’s Year of the Dog actually bodes misfortune for its pups. These people are supposed to keep their heads down, take no unnecessary risks, and prepare for the worst.

Last year’s prominent Roosters were said to be the unluckiest of 2017. The year before that, Monkeys suffered the wrath of misfortune. If the Chinese legends are true, peace and prosperity only comes in the 11 years between your animal’s 12-month reign on the calendar.

Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog

Is this your year to fear? Well, that depends on the year you were born. The Year of the Dog befalls anyone born in:


If your birth year appears above, there is some good news. According to the Chinese calendar, 2018 will a short year, ending February 5, 2019. The Gregorian calendar and Chinese lunisolar calendar vary dramatically. So all you dogs will only have to endure 11-1/2 months of potential misfortune.

2018 Unlucky for Online Casino Pups

While 2018 may not be the luckiest for all you online casino pups out there, it doesn’t mean you have to stop playing altogether. After all, gambling is a form of entertainment. Enjoyed responsibly, there’s nothing wrong with spending a few bucks to have a good time. And there are ways to increase your luck, according to Chinese folklore.

Lucky Online Casino Tips for Dogs

Here’s a few tips to consider if you take to the virtual felt or spin the reels at your favorite gambling site in 2018.

  • Make sure to trade your ‘tidy whities’ for ‘steady reddies’! Dogs are said to have the best luck when wearing red. Underwear, socks and accessories seem to be quite popular. However, the item is supposed to be a gift, not something you purchased for yourself.

  • According to the Chinese zodiac, a Dog’s lucky numbers are 3, 4 and 9. You could place bets in increments of these numbers. Try playing them on the roulette wheel. Stick to slot machines with 3 reels or 9 paylines. In contrast, your unlucky numbers 1, 7 and 8, so stay away from those!

  • A Dogs lucky colors are said to be green, red and purple. Only play table games with green, red or purple felt. Bet on any color but black at the roulette table. And since your unluckiest colors are blue and brown, avoid slot machines where these colors dominate the theme.

  • For a lucky online casino experience, only play games between the hours of 7:00pm and 9:00pm. This two hour window constitutes your luckiest time of the day.

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