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Craps Etiquette and You – A Complete Guide Tuesday, Apr 9 2013 

Craps is an exciting and enjoyable game that is simple for beginners to learn yet offers hours of fun for the veteran player. At the same time, it is a highly frustrating game. Whilst betting on whether the dice will hit ‘snake eyes,’ the goodwill and brotherhood at the table is unmissable. To take full advantage of craps, there are some important rules to follow.

It is an intimidating game as essentially it boils down to lots of people shouting at the table. However, to avoid those icy stares and periods of humiliation, players must follow the right etiquette. Even if some of the rules seem quite stupid and mundane, it is best to follow them at all times.

Buying In

Gamblers can buy in whenever they want. This doesn’t mean they should. There is an unspoken rule in craps where the player should wait until the dice are at the centre of the table. Wait for the dealer to motion with his hand or verbally with his voice to put money in. It is also wise to avoid trying to squeeze into small spaces on the rail.

Craps players are naturally superstitious, so it’s also a good idea to wait until the shooter hits a 7 before buying in. Many people, particularly in Vegas casinos, believe if people buy in before it they were the cause of the 7.

Placing Your Bet

Place the bet when the dice are positioned in the centre of the table. Never bet after the shooter has picked up the dice. This isn’t just about etiquette; it’s about practicality. Some people have tossed chips into the pot after the shooter has picked up the dice and the dice have hit these chips. It means the outcome was altered because of the actions of a player. This isn’t what craps is about.

Know the bet before playing. It helps the game move smoothly. Do not stare at the board and attempt to figure out the best bet during the actual betting sequence. It ruins the pattern of the game and leads to a lot of lost time. For place bets, wait until the dealer motions for the chips because they are responsible for putting them down, whereas players can make their own pass line and come bets.

Betting Orders

There is a very specific order in craps. The betting order applies to making the bets and claiming any winnings. Spotting the order of the betting is easy. Just wait until the person on either side makes a bet and assume it is time to make a bet. Pay offs differ completely.

Pay offs are made in a very specific order. All losing bets come first. After losing bets, come or pass line bet winners gain their winnings. The order of this splits the table in half. Firstly, one half claims their winnings and then the next half. After this, the place bets come in the same manner as pass line and come bets. Finally, centre bets like horn, hard way, and hops are passed out in sequence around the whole table.

It sounds more complicated than it is. In practice and in person it is quite a simple process. Moreover, there is normally a friendly gambler who will help newcomers with the betting pay offs.

Social and Superstition

After making bets, keep hands away from the rail. Do not even let them hang over the edge slightly. Some craps shooters are known for their powerful rolls, and if the dice happen to hit a finger, there are no prizes for guessing who is blamed for a seven. Whilst it isn’t actually against the rules, it is not likely to win any friends amongst other players.

Be cordial at the table. Despite the fact it’s not uncommon to see a particularly large man screaming at the dice, it doesn’t mean people like him. Remain calm and get involved. Avoid going over the top. Try to fit in with the group. Players should aim to tailor their approaches to the current mood and tone of the table.

After establishing the point, no gamblers should ever mention ‘seven.’ It’s a traditional superstition that says if someone mentions the number, it will hit. It is completely and utterly untrue as the odds will not change regardless of what someone says, but it doesn’t mean people will forget about it. Abstain from upsetting someone by sticking to ‘red’ or ‘devil’ if it’s necessary to mention the number.

Don’t Pass

The don’t pass and don’t come lines are dangerous bets. Essentially, what it means is the gambler is rooting for the shooter to not make the point. Craps players nearly always root for the shooter to make the point. Remain polite and quiet during this time or risk becoming very unpopular very quickly.

Tip Before You Go

Tip the dealers before leaving. Whilst most American tipping colloquialisms have very little basis, such as tipping the guy just for opening a hotel door, this one is vital. Most dealers earn minimum wage and have to do a complex job. Imagine the difficulty associated with tracking each person’s bet, getting the pay off order right, and dealing with any unruly customers.

Not only is it rewarding someone for a job well done, it gets them on side for the future. Later on, if the gambler commits a faux pas the dealer is likely to let it go, as they’ll remember the kindness shown to them previously. M.A.H.

Craps Rolling Truly Makes All the Difference Wednesday, Mar 6 2013 

Craps is the exciting betting and dice rolling game where a player ‘shoots’ the dice across the table and a group of gamblers eagerly anticipate the result. For many people, craps is a complicated game because actually rolling the dice is an art form. Roll them incorrectly and it can turn out extremely embarrassing for the player in question. Roll them right and many people think it gives them a better chance of success.

However, learning to roll the dice is something many players never get to because of a lack of will to study. This is why this guide aims to reveal the various options available to craps players rolling the dice.

In online casinos, the way the player rolls the dice does not matter because all they are doing is clicking a button. For land-based casino players it is a little more complicated, however.

Picking Your Spot

Craps is an extremely popular casino game. Most of the time, expect the table to have a large gathering of gamblers placing bets. All a player has to do to make a bet is squeeze an arm in, but when it comes to the person ‘shooting’ the dice, they need a little more room. Take note, every shooter fires the dice across to the other end of the table regardless of where they are standing. The dice hit the side of the table after rolling past the stickman; the stickman controls the rolling of the dice.

Each new shooter is chosen by following a clockwise direction around the table. Only people who have placed a don’t pass or pass line bet can shoot the dice. The inside dealer first offers the shooter a choice of dice (which is down to personal preference). Place the dice in one hand after choosing the two dice.

The ideal spot to choose is on the side of the stickman. It gives a better overview of the game and allows the use of both the right and left hands. The long side of the table is the ideal place for players who prefer to shake the dice and throw them with a sidearm, palms facing upwards. On the other side of the stickman are the players who toss them with a backhand, palms facing downwards.

Players who fail to hit the back wall of the table, or whose dice hits the floor, must try again as the call is a ‘no dice’.

Shooting Styles

The best way to deal with the dice is to try multiple shooting styles. It is not always about comfort. The concept of dice control and the theories surrounding the influence of the dice throw on the final result means many players ignore the concept of comfort. Much of it is down to personal preference.

Being positioned on the short side of the table means the player faces a long distance and cannot throw the dice in the sidearm fashion unless they have a considerable amount of power in their arms. Most people usually end up choosing the backhanded toss or the lob.

Backhanded Toss

The backhanded toss involves getting close to the table. Bend over the table’s edge and place the hand close to the surface. Shake the dice with the palm facing downwards and flick them out when ready. If done correctly the dice should tumble and roll before hitting the other end of the table. Be careful of using this method as it is quite hard to develop a good amount of accuracy. It’s easy to hit the chip stacks of the dealer when using the backhanded toss. According to many gamblers and dealers, hitting the chip stacks is a cause for bad luck.

Lob

The lob is the simplest of all throws. Arguably, it is the one that requires the least degree of skill as it’s a simple upward flick with the wrist. The dice are normally held between the thumb and finger or in the curve of a finger before being thrown. Try not to throw them too high as it is considered an offense to throw them higher than the eye-level of the dealer.

The dice, when thrown with the lob, should land close to the table wall at the other end. After they hit it, they come to a gentle halt and display the numbers for this round.

Dice Control Theory

The controversial theory about dice control is something that many successful gamblers swear by. In this case, the dice is held in a specific way before being tossed for the throw. Proponents of this method claim that through years of experience they have managed to control their power. When the dice hit the ground, they often get the results they were looking for.

There is definitely some stock in this throwing technique due to the way in which the dice roll. If the dice roll whilst having the number three held upwards it might display a six after it lands. Now, if the same throw occurred again with the number four held upwards, it would not display the same number. Of course, no gambler can get this right each time, but they can increase their odds by learning to control their power and technique.

It takes many years to develop proper dice control, but begin early and the results of a craps game will likely get better in the coming weeks and months. Don’t worry; there’s nothing illegal about this and it’s a perfectly valid method of reversing the casino’s house edge. M.A.H.

Super Texas Hold ‘Em Strategies to Give You the Edge Monday, Jan 28 2013 

Getting the edge in the game of Texas Hold ‘em can mean the difference between winning a lucrative tournament and being knocked out within the first few hands. The key to this card game is to learn to read the game and the opponents. However, before any of that it is important to understand the game as a whole.

The Game

The game is played between any number of people; however, usually no more than 10. It is played in both live tournament and online settings, so the game slightly changes to suit both of these environments. Whilst cards and hands have the same value, the difference comes with the player. It is much easier to read players in a live tournament setting simply because everybody can see each other. Many online card operators have implemented a special kind of game where everybody is on a webcam during the game in an attempt to replicate the same live poker settings.

The number one strategy is to know the game. Do not get caught up in the moment and assume things which simply are not true. Here are the two most important rules about winning by understanding the game.

  1. Never assume there are any differences between the players except the two cards on the table. Even the most experienced Texas Hold ‘em player can lose to a novice player if the other person has better cards, and it happens often. Successful players consistently win, whereas novice players have no consistency at all.
  2. The face-up cards, of which there are five if the hand makes it this far, are known as community cards. These are shared by all players and allow people to form hands. Just because a gambler forms a good hand does not mean it is going to win. Watch out for straight and flush opportunities as these can kill an otherwise winning hand.

Card Evaluation

When the hand begins, the dealer gives every player two face down cards. Before thinking about anybody else, it is time to evaluate the cards. In this game, a live tournament setting can enable smart players to win from the beginning. All it takes is an intake of breath to inform someone of a good hand. Keep those emotions in check from the very beginning.

What new gamblers have trouble with, though, is evaluating whether their cards are worth playing or not. The truth is that there is no hard and fast rule as to whether someone should play a hand or not. It depends entirely on the players in the game. In nearly every game, however, it is always a good idea to fold non-pair cards that are both less than 10. This cannot really guarantee a win unless the player acquires a full house or a three or four-of-a-kind. In the long run, this is not something any gambler can rely on so it is easier to simply fold.

If in the big blind position and nobody raises the initial bet it is a better idea to check and see the fold. Sometimes a seemingly poor hand can flop a three-of-a-kind, or even a flush. It does not mean the hand will win, but it can add a new dimension.

The bottom line, though, is positioning and the hands are the two most important things. Having a player act before is a massive advantage and allows the play of inferior hands. During the later betting rounds, lesser hands can force stronger hands to fold. Stay patient and play through the inferior hands to become a long-term winner.

Flop

The flop is where the dealer places three community cards on the table. Many players place a small bet just to see the flop. Even stronger hands should not necessarily go forward if the flop is not favourable. Smart players know to fold when the cards are not going their way. Do not attempt to play it out, as this is an easy way to lose a lot of money in a short period of time.

More players mean a better chance of having a strong hand. If more players are playing at this stage it means gamblers should remain wary. Unless they have two pairs or better, the winning hand is not guaranteed. Never play forward if a normally casual player suddenly becomes aggressive, it means they possibly have a winning hand.

If in a poor position, such as being the first player to act, just check if there is no strong hand. It does not reveal anything to players apart from the fact it could be a weak hand. Many veteran players actually hide strong hands in this way, though, just to get an overzealous player to commit themselves to a pot.

Turn and River

The turn and the river are two more betting rounds that reveal an additional community card each time. It gives gamblers the chance to increase the value of the pot or get out before committing themselves. Normally, there is at least two other players still in the pot, but it is not uncommon to have to face somebody alone. Be cautious at this stage since this is when the stronger hands become more noticeable.

On the turn, avoid staying in big pots in the hope a flush or a straight appears. Most of the time these hands will not appear, and if the hand has nothing to fall back on the final reveal could turn out to show absolutely nothing. Stay in if there is a chance of checking through, though. It is essentially a free card that could reveal a flush or straight and win the hand.

Moreover, once again, avoid any emotions. If a particularly irritating individual spends most of their time trash talking, never stay in the hand just to beat him. He is trash talking to manipulate his opponent’s emotions, so staying in with a weaker hand plays into his strategy.

Sometimes it is always worth remaining in the hand due to the amount already invested. A general rule of thumb is to leave a little slack if the gambler commits 40% of their chips or more. Adding another 5-10% is not necessarily a poor decision. Again, watch out and remain cautious, though. This is only a general rule and differs from player to player and from table to table. M.A.H.

Virgin Casino Reely Roulette Thursday, Nov 29 2012 

Virgin Casino features the latest slot machine game titled Reely Roulette. Just when casino players thought that every conceivable name out there has been taken to use as titles for slot games, Virgin Casino introduces a new title that most players are bound to have not heard of! Reely Roulette is an online slots game with 30 paylines and is themed on the game of roulette. Reely Roulette differs slightly to a normal slots game, which includes a side bet.

The numbers starting from one to twelve are the main symbols on Reely Roulette, although the color remains the same as you would find on a regular roulette layout. The payout is also performed similarly when three symbols or more appear on the screen. Number one is known to offer players the highest payout, whilst number twelve will bring players the lowest payout. The wild symbol on Reely Roulette is the roulette wheels itself and it is substituted for all other symbols except the bonus symbol which is completely different. When five matching symbols appear on the screen 10,000 coins are offered as the jackpot line payout. When two matching symbols or more appear on the screen the wild symbol begins its payout.

The player is offered an optional side bet which features Spin Your Roulette that can be activated or deactivated as desired. This is akin to a mini roulette game that contains twelve numbers on its layout which allows players to wager on. The wild symbol placed on the roulette wheel is zero. The fifth reel center position works like the wheels’ pocket. All paylines must be enabled to put this feature into play. The bet per line and chi value remain the same. Twenty chips can be placed by the player up to a maximum of nine chips per bet. The mini roulette game and Reely Roulette offer similar payouts to players. This is a side bet that players should avoid as odds are not always favorable. For instance, a straight up payout is 12 times, split payout is 6 times, column payout is 3 times, corner payout is 3 times and chance payout is 2 times!

The multiple wheel bonus on Reely Roulette is triggered when the three bonus symbols make an appearance on 2, 3 and 4 reels! A chip must be first selected by the players after which they are awarded the complete roulette game which includes wheels 3, 4 and 5! Twelve chips must be placed on the board where the maximum chips per bet are at nine. The payout table for bonuses on both the mini roulette game and Reely Roulette are similar. Reely Roulette is known to offer up to 95% on its average return! M.A.H.

Essential Video Poker Playing Strategies and Tips Tuesday, Nov 20 2012 

Video poker is one type of online casino game where the use of the best strategies can help you attain positive results on a more consistent basis. Most of the seasoned players would readily agree on a certain set of rules with regard to the cards that one has to hold and those that they need to discard. In contrast to table poker, this online casino games does not adopt rounds for multiple betting. Additionally, betting patterns and bluffing are not factored into the game play.

A typical video poker game consists of a single bet and the game only has a single round for discarding the cards and a showdown of the high cards follows. The last phase of the game is generally dependent on pure luck and there are practically no strategies that can be used to improve the odds of getting positive results.

The Search for the Best Strategies in Video Poker

There are some players of video poker that adopt a set of strategies for wagering. One of the more popular betting strategies is known as the 200-coin strategy. This strategy basically directs players to approach the game entirely based on 200-coin sessions. The primary objective of this strategy is to attain the highest probability of ending up with a high hand, which means a royal flush or a straight flush.

The principle behind this strategy for video poker is that the machines can go for more than 100 hands without even a single significant payout. Thus, by stretching the playing sessions, video poker players consequently end up playing more hands and this would logically increase the odds of hitting a royal flush or a straight flush. When playing video poker it is important to note that the statistical probability of hitting a high hand is about 1 in every forty thousand hands. However, results happen completely at random and a player may get a royal flush or straight flush after playing a little over 100 hands or it may even come up after playing 10 hands or less. The main idea is to extend the session for as long as you can hold out.

This video poker strategy is anchored on single-coin wagering. Thus a player would need a $10-bankroll for nickel wagers, $20-bankroll for dime bets, $50-bankroll when betting quarters and a bankroll worth $200 when betting $1 per hand. If you come up with a winning hand, you must add your winnings to the single coin that you are going to bet on the next round, and for as long as you are winning a hand, you stick with the betting strategy. In the event that you lose in a multiple coin wager, then you must revert to your usual single coin wagers.

The mechanics of this video poker strategy is in direct contrast to other betting techniques such as the Martingale as you don’t chase after your losses since you are actually using your winnings for your wagers. Once a player doubles his original bankroll, then they must set aside the incremental amount and start the sequence of betting single coins all over again using the same bankroll as in the previous cycle.

Strategies and Tips for Jokers Wild, Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better

Strategy #1 – Hold on to Paying Hands

This is one of the basic strategies in video poker, although it has one important exception. This rule is discarded if you have a hand with a potential Royal Flush. Thus, you discard a paying hand and go for the Royal Flush, which is the hand with the highest payout.

Strategy #2 – You must not risk your earnings for the bonus of the High Card Showdown

The High Card Showdown is extremely risky and everything boils down to pure luck, and the double winnings that you can potentially get is never enough to justify the risks associated with it. Players who are bent on chasing their losses with this bonus may end up losing more and it is best that they adopt a solid money management strategy instead.

Tips for Jacks or Better

Hold on to the following cards and discard the rest if you have the following:

  • Cards that have a potential of ending up with a straight flush or at least 3 cards with identical suits and difference between high card and the low card does not exceed 5-point values.
  • Cards that have a potential of ending up with a royal flush or at least 4 face cards plus an Ace or a 10 with identical suits.
  • Cards that have a potential of ending up with an ordinary flush or at least 4 cards with identical suit.
  • Cards consisting of all possible low pairs and the main objective of ending up with a 3 of a kind.
  • Cards consisting of all possible high cards, which include the 10-card up to the Ace card.
  • Any pair of high cards with suits that are not identical or a single high card.
  • Cards that have a potential of ending up with a straight or at least 4 cards with consecutive values with the difference between the low card and high card not exceeding 5 card values.
  • High cards from Jack thru King with suits which are not identical.

Tips for Deuces Wild

The general rule is to hold on to all deuces as well as the following cards and discard the rest.

  • 4 cards that have a potential of ending up with Royal Flush, even when you are already dealt with a hand with a smaller win, like the one consisting of a high pair.
  • 3 cards that have a potential of ending up with a Royal Flush or when you are dealt with cards that have no inherent winning hand and there are at least 3 cards, from the 10 card up to the Ace card, have identical suits.
  • Cards that have the potential of ending up with a straight flush or at least 3 cards with identical suits and the difference between the low card and the high does not exceed 5 card values.
  • Cards that have the potential of ending up with a flush or at least 4 cards with identical suits
  • Cards that have the potential of ending up with a straight or at least 4 cards with consecutive values with the difference between the low card and high card not exceeding 5 card values.
  • Any card pair and any 2 cards from the 10 card up to the King card with identical suit.

Tips for Kings or Better or Jokers Wild

The general rule is to hold on to all jokers as well as the following cards and discard the rest.

  • 4 cards that have a potential of ending up with a Royal Flush, even when you are already dealt with a hand with a smaller win, like the one consisting of a high pair.
  • 3 cards that have a potential of ending up with a Royal Flush.
  • All possible 3-of-a-kind combinations
  • Any dealt hands that have the potential of ending up with a high Straight Flush and this shall include 4 cards that have identical suits and with consecutive values and have at least an Ace card or a King card.
  • Any dealt hands that have the potential of ending up with a 3-card Straight Flush or any 3 cards with identical suits and the difference between the high card and the low card does not exceed 5-point values.
  • Any cards that make a high pair or cards consisting of at least 4 with identical suits but excluding the Ace cards and the King cards.
  • Cards that have the potential of ending up with a flush or at least 4 cards with identical suits but excluding the Ace cards and the King cards.
  • Cards that have the potential of ending up with a Straight or at least 4 cards and the difference between the low card and high card does not exceed 5-point values.

In cases where you don’t have the Joker in the dealt cards, hold on to the following and discard the rest.

  • 4 cards that have the potential of ending up with a Royal Flush, and this means that you forfeit all possible small paying hands.
  • 2 cards that have the potential of ending up with a Royal Flush or at least 2 cards with identical suit and the 10 card up to the Ace card.
  • Cards that have the potential of ending up with a Straight Flush or at least 3 cards with identical suits and the difference between the low card and the high card is not more than 5-card values.
  • Cards that have the potential of ending up with a Royal Flush or at least 3 cards with a 10 card or an Ace card with identical suits.
  • 4 cards that have the potential of ending up with a Flush
  • All possible pair combinations, from the 2 cards up to the Queen cards, with the aim of hitting a 3-of-a-kind.
  • Cards that have the potential of ending up with a Straight or at least 4 cards where the difference between the low card and the high card does not exceed 5-card values.
  • An Ace pair or a King pair with non-identical suits and this also applies to individual Ace cards and King cards.M.A.H.

Should Players Be Looking At Online Poker Or Live Poker? Tuesday, Oct 2 2012 

The debate over whether online poker or live poker is the best place to play has been raging for many years. Players all have their own opinions as to which method is better. The truth is that it’s completely subjective since every person will place a different weighting on each point. That’s why it’s best to simply state the points and to allow every player to make their own decision. Remember, a lot of players do play both equally well, so don’t be afraid of participating in both as every option has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Online Poker

Online poker is the most popular form of poker, as it stands, in the modern world. Millions of people have entered an online poker room at some point in their lives, and millions still do on a regular basis. With online poker there are no faces, no interactions, and only the cards matter. Many people refer to it as poker in its simplest form as the complexities of the human psychology aren’t a major factor like they are in live poker.

Live Poker

Live poker is arguably the hardest form of poker to deal with for most people since they have to concentrate on their cards, themselves, and the emotions of everybody around them. Only the greatest poker players can truly make a successful career from live poker. There are many more restrictions than online poker, but a lot of players wouldn’t even consider any other form of poker since they don’t consider any other form of poker to be as adrenaline-fuelled as a live poker tournament.

Play Now

Making a start in the live poker industry isn’t something that’s easy to do as there are only so many hours in a day and so many tournaments in a casino. Unless the player joins a live tournament and suddenly discovers that they are a poker god then they are not going to be carving out a niche anytime soon.

Online poker is different since people can play at any time of the day or night. Even players who don’t necessarily have casinos with live poker in their areas can take advantage of online poker. It provides an outlet for people who wouldn’t have necessarily ever come into contact with poker if it wasn’t for an online casino. More importantly, it allows players to hone their skills as they have an unlimited amount of chances to succeed. They can participate in tournament poker, no-limit tables, or even online casinos that offer poker games where everybody is visible via a webcam.

Expenses

What many players don’t take into account is the costs of actually making it to a live tournament. It can be quite expensive for a lot of people to fly to a specific city to participate in a tournament. And if they lose then it could cost them thousands of dollars. It’s why only those who have a significant amount of money can realistically take advantage of live poker, in most cases. With online poker there are no expenses other than the price of an Internet connection. The only thing that an online poker player could lose is the amount they take to the tables.

True Poker

The main reason why a lot of poker players prefer live poker is because they believe that it’s the ‘pure’ form of poker. The psychology is there and it suddenly becomes much more complicated as bluffing, facial expressions, and bladder control begins to seep into the mix. It’s a lot harder than the online version, that’s true. For the authentic gaming experience it’s strongly recommended that these players choose live poker over online poker.

Online poker does lack the atmosphere of a traditional casino. There’s nothing that can be done about it and casinos that try to mimic an authentic casino often fail at it. Still, the large majority of people still play online poker because it’s simply not a factor in their enjoyment of the game. Only a certain slice of the poker market truly takes into account the missing atmosphere. Unless they are particularly good at reading people then online poker is the place to go to.

Big Pots

In previous years, the large pots and the multi-million dollar tournaments were only available within the glitzy casinos and hotels of the world’s major cities. As the online poker market grew, more lucrative pots and tournaments were beginning to make appearances. When it comes to the size of the pot there really is no difference between live poker and online poker. The giant online casinos like Pokerstars and 888 Poker have been regularly running big tournaments with professional players coming in amongst the novice players from all around the world.

In fact, in many cases the online world has surpassed live poker in terms of big pots. If a player wants to experience an extended session of playing then they can potentially earn more than any live poker player. It works this way because if a player goes out in a live tournament they have to take the long ride home. Within the world of online poker all they have to do is to open another window and start playing a game. There are no restrictions!

Bonuses

Contrary to what a lot of people think, brick and mortar casinos do provide bonuses. These usually come in the form of memberships, free drinks, and discounts on meals. However, they just can’t compare with the bonuses that are experienced online. Online casinos can’t deliver physical goods, so they include free chips, sticky bonuses, and various other goodies for players who play with them for an extended period of time. ‘Bonus hunters’ can make a very lucrative living if they know how to take advantage of the situation correctly.

In fact, a lot of players will actually make up the large majority of their income from money gained as a result of bonuses. M.A.H.

Hitting Paydirt While Playing Online Roulette Tuesday, Jul 3 2012 

Some experts observe that online roulette has not really reached the level of popularity in the US as it has in Europe. Nonetheless, it is one of the table games in both brick and mortar casinos and online casinos that consistently maintain a strong following. Seasoned gamblers have long been hunting for a way to “crack the winning code” and achieve bigger payouts for roulette. There have been quite a significant number of “top secret” strategies and gambling systems that make all sorts of incredible claims. You are in a better position if you completely ignore them even if these are offered to you for free. In this article, we will be discussing the main difference between American online roulette and the European online roulette by focusing on how these 2 variants of the roulette game are played.

House Edge of Roulette Games

Unlike other casino games, the game of roulette does not offer a fairly attractive payout. We can describe roulette as some sort of a game of chance in the purest sense of the word. The best bets when it comes to the game of roulette are the even bet options, as these are the money bets which have a 1:1 payout. Specifically, the even bets consist of even/odd, high/low and red/black bets.

Despite this downside, the game of roulette remains to be a good choice for those who are looking for a casino game that racks up the level of excitement and fun. However, you have to remember that you are likely to go through more bets while playing roulette online as the wheel spins a lot faster and comes to a full stop sooner than in their live counterpart. In fact, if you are made of hard stuff, you can be gutsy with your approach of the game and choose to play the no-limit variant of the online roulette. Given the odds, this may not be a wise choice for most players. On the other hand, this great risk associated to online roulette results to great rewards. Thus, you have to carefully consider your options. You may opt to start with free online roulette before you take it to a more challenging and exciting level by playing with real money or go for no limit type of online roulette gambling.

Betting Options, Payouts and House Edge

For those who are playing the game for the first time, it is important for them to begin by familiarizing themselves with the payouts, bets and table layout. There are several betting options that are available to the roulette player and these are classified into two main groups – outside bets, which include the Dozens, Columns, High/Low and Red/Black; and inside bets, which include Five-Number, Line, Corner, Street and Straight-Up.  These betting options have varying payouts and you have to remember the basic principle that the outside bets are those with the lowest house advantage.

There are several variants of the game of roulette and it is likely that you are going to encounter them in a particular online casino at some point. These are the French Roulette, American Roulette and European Roulette. The distinction between these 3 variants of the game is usually minimal. However, we have to remember that American Roulette has the highest house edge among the three variants. And in the hierarchy of choices, this is the variant that takes on the last position.

Playing the Game of Online Roulette

A game of roulette begins when the chips are placed on the appropriate boxes on the roulette table, and these could be on the lines, numbers or the boxes around the table that are appropriately marked. It is important to note that when you are playing roulette in brick and mortar casinos, the chips used do not have the markings for the specific denominations as these are denoted by different colors. On the other hand, the chips used when playing online roulette are properly marked with their respective denominations. The dealer initiates the spinning of the ball around the slotted roulette wheel and the exact slot to which the ball ends up will determine who wins and who loses.

As we have mentioned earlier, the variant of the table game that has a lower house advantage is the European Roulette. This roulette variant offers the best returns when playing the table game online. The reason for this is that this version of the table game uses a roulette wheel with 37 slots while the American version uses a roulette wheel that has 38 slots. The slots in the American roulette wheel consist of the numbers 0, 00 and 1 to 36. On the other hand, the wheel used in European Roulette does not have a slot for the number 00.

In addition to this, we also have to take into account the unique “en prison” rule which is adopted in the European version of the online roulette game. This special rule that is adopted in European Roulette gives the opportunity to a player to take back half the amount of their High/Low, Red/Black or Odd/Even bet in case the ball ends up on the slot designated for the Number 0 or leave the bet on the Roulette table for the next spin, which is entirely an option given to the player.

If the player wins in the second spin, they get back the bet that has been “imprisoned” from the previous spin without the winnings. A related rule that is observed in the game of European roulette is known as “la partage.” This rule basically removes the option of the player to “imprison” their bet for the second time and automatically gives back half the amount of the even money bet when the ball ends up on the slot designated for the Number 0. These two special rules in the game of European roulette effectively lower the house edge and this should be seriously considered when looking for a site where you can play the table game. M.A.H.

The Distinction between Live Poker and Online Poker Tournaments Thursday, May 24 2012 

Live poker tournaments cannot be compared to online poker tournaments and they have several basic differences. Apart from the obvious fact that one must be played face to face at the designated venue (brick and mortar casino) while the other one can be played within the comforts of our homes, there are other features that differentiate online poker tournaments from live poker tournaments.

The general structures in poker tournaments played live are relatively more difficult compared to the structures of online poker tournaments. Live poker tournaments normally have blind levels that are longer and the chip stacks begin at a much larger level compared to those online poker tournaments played online. And because of the extended blinds as well as the hands per hour, and to the disappointment of entrants to live pokers tournaments, this poker event is by all intents and purposes not a straight-up skill-based activity.

Basic Differences in the Structures of Poker Tournaments

It is quite normal for the blinds in live poker tournaments to increase at a faster rate than the chips that are held by the player compared to online poker tournaments. For instance, the blinds may begin at 25/50 and the blinds then make a big jump to 2,000 as soon as players get to Level 10. This blind jump is equivalent to a 13 percent change from the level the blinds started off. Each level is generally played for 25 minutes in live poker tournaments and players start off with a total of 15,000 chips.

In the case of online poker tournaments, let us consider the $750,000 Guaranteed Poker Tournament of Full Tilt Poker. The number of chips in this poker event starts off at 5,000 and the blind levels run for 12 minutes. And in this online poker event, the jump to Level 10 is equivalent to 4 percent of the chip stack at the starting point which amounts to 200.

In addition to those that have already been discussed, there are also several variations when it comes to live poker tournaments. There are some poker events with play time on their blind levels that are shorter as well as starting chips that are relatively lower compared to the usual norm in live poker events, while maintaining the exponential increase in the blinds. A typical example for this is the poker tournament of the Imperial Palace. The starting chip stack in this poker tournament is pegged at 4,500 and when a poker player decides against the rebuy option, the starting stack is set at 3,000. Each of the levels of the poker tournament is played for 15 minutes, and the blinds increase at each level. At level 10, total chips can reach 8,000. Compared to the 3 big blinds, the optional chips, which are equivalent to 2,000, are deemed insignificant.

What makes a live poker tournament a hard nut to crack is the fact that fewer hands are dealt compared to their online counterpart. In the case of online poker tournaments, the hands are dealt a lot faster. In fact, you can deal twice as many hands as in the live poker tournaments.

The Relevance of Style

Because of the overall nature of the game, poker players tend to be more cautious when it comes to live poker events. In most cases, they want to make the most out of their poker game as early as possible. Their primary objective has a lot to do with the length of time that they can stay on the poker game and how long that they can keep their bankroll, instead of just snatching a win outright.

The pace of the poker game is much faster online than in live poker events. Poker players can take on one game and have another one standing by, which they can line up the moment the current game is finished. Of course, online poker players won’t have to worry about the prospect that they will run out of chips. In fact, it is quite normal to see large raises while playing poker online.

Another major hurdle of players in live poker events is the fact that bluffs don’t occur that often as they have the tendency to be overly cautious and a bit tight when it comes to their chip stack. In the same manner, it is quite easy to notice in live games if a player has a strong hand when they decide to raise. Generally, online poker players don’t dread the prospect of losing a game. The fear of having to leave the poker table and going home a loser is not an issue as online poker players are already at home. This means that they don’t have to experience the embarrassment of having to face other poker players and other casino aficionados after losing big in a poker game.

Factoring In the Environment

The variable nature of the environment or the setting of online poker games is one of its strongest suits. This translates to flexibility when it comes to the place where you can play a game of poker. It addresses issues related to your comfort, security, convenience and privacy. Live poker tournaments can be nerve wracking and all your senses are usually involved when you play poker live. This overall condition that prevails in brick and mortar casinos is an added pressure on poker players. You would want to play poker in a place where you feel secure and in complete control. And this is what online poker offers that live poker can only dream of. M.A.H.

Online Blackjack - Avoiding Costly Miscues and Playing to Win Monday, Apr 30 2012 

When it concerns online gambling, it is a must that you decide on what you are aiming for and set your personal goals before you take any action or make any major decisions. You have to carefully choose what is considered to be the “right” online casino and prepare yourself for the struggles and mistakes that are bound to happen when you start playing your favorite online casino game. Just like with the other popular online casino games, players must carefully consider their options, play their cards right and deal sensibly when playing online blackjack in order to get as close as possible to the magic number, 21, ahead of the dealer.

It is pretty easy to learn how to play online blackjack, that is, if one sticks and relies on the basic rules of the card game and understands the correct way of playing the card game. However, if a player wants to gain a clear edge over the dealer, then they have to focus on the finer details of the game and improve their skill at card reading. On the other end of the spectrum, a player who fails to cover the important aspects of the game is prone to commit costly mistakes during the course of the game. You have to remember that online blackjack is a fast-paced type of game and everything can happen so fast. Thus, you need to assess your chances and learn to make decisions under pressure.

You need to go through the various facets of the game and learn how it is played by the most successful online gamblers. Some of the variants of blackjack may have different approaches, and when you learn how the game is operated by online casinos, it will offer some substantial advantage to you. In addition to this, there may be some application updates that have been integrated into the game or some new rules that may have been introduced by the online casino operators. To make sure that you are still doing things right, it is a must that you spend enough time to read all the relevant information and updates so that you don’t commit costly mistakes while playing online blackjack.

Unique Blackjack Strategy

Players need to formulate their own unique blackjack strategy. One of the major challenges facing blackjack upstarts is the application of the strategies that they have learned to improve their game. There will be no problem if you have mastered the strategy that you have chosen for online blackjack. However, if you make any attempt to apply a strategy without understanding how it actually works or know the details and actions that are required to make it work, then you will surely commit a lot of mistakes. Thus, it is extremely important that you don’t just adopt any strategy simply because it worked well for others. Invest enough time to learn the finer details of the strategy before you use them in your online blackjack game.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Another major stumbling block of online blackjack players is their inability to control their emotions. When players go on a winning streak, they have the tendency of becoming reckless and end up betting non-stop. You have to learn how to keep your emotions in check so that you stick to your money management template at all times. The same rule applies when you go on a losing streak. Some players wager more to cover their losses. This can be a costly mistake and can result in the depletion of your bankroll. A savvy and thinking blackjack player knows how to control their emotions and avoid committing costly errors and rash decisions.

Maintain Flexibility in your Blackjack Game

You must be able to adapt to changing situations and react to different scenarios in the most appropriate manner. For instance, you may find yourself in a major dilemma when you have a pair of eights while the dealer comes up with a 10. The final outcome will largely depend on how flexible you are as a player. If you have mastered how to react in such situations, then you will be able to make a calculated move and increase your odds of winning. Constant practice and deeper analysis should help you make the right decisions on a wide range of scenarios. These are essential aspects of your game that you must develop if you want to become flexible while playing online blackjack.

There are important lessons that can be learned every time we commit mistakes. To become a pro online blackjack player, you must focus on these miscues and miscalculations so that you can create solutions that will help you avoid them in the future. M.A.H.

Essential Features of Good Online Casinos Monday, Mar 26 2012 

There are numerous online casinos that offer a diverse set of games, bonuses and other forms of entertainment options. However, our range of choices includes some rogue online casinos and it is extremely important that we learn how to detect and tell them apart from the legitimate operators of online casinos. Here are some of the important features that you need to look into in your search for the “right” online casino.

Safety and Security of Gambling Site
These are probably the most important features of online casinos that you need to take into account. Personal information and data related to the various plays at the online casino must be adequately secured. It is important that the online casino has the necessary measures in place to protect the privacy of their players. The foremost requirement is for the site to be accredited and verified by eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance or eCOGRA, which is an online entity that is charged with the protection of online gamblers from illegitimate online casinos and fraudsters.

Reviews and Testimonials
Of course, it is extremely important that you get a general idea of what you are getting into when you play your favorite games at online casinos. Online casino reviews provide detailed descriptions and insights about the important aspects of an online casino and these include games and software, bonuses and wagering requirements, banking and customer support. It goes without saying that we have to get information and insights from reputable sites that feature online casino reviews.

Bonuses, Promotions and Payouts
This is another set of important features that you have to look into when choosing the right online casino. We obviously want to have an account with the online casino that offers a good set of bonuses, promos and payouts. Online casinos are not created equal. There are sites that offer great bonuses while others don’t. On the other hand, you must be wary of sites that offer bonuses and promos that are too good to be true and you need to observe due diligence before you make your final choice and open an account with a particular online casino.

Range of Casino Games
The range and quality of games are also indicators of how good a particular online casino is. Top tier online casinos offer a good number of flashy games that can approximate the excitement and feel that is usually associated with brick and mortar casinos. Topnotch online casinos offer downloaded and online games and carry a comprehensive selection that can meet the preferences of their players.

Reliability
A good online casino should always provide for timely and quality customer service and support. Having a reliable customer support team is an indication that the operators values and puts prime consideration to the needs and interests of their players. They must be professional in dealing with your issues and concerns.

Software Provider
The software platform is the heart and soul of online casinos. The most important thing that you need to confirm is whether the site is using software that is licensed and verified by legal entities such as the eCOGRA. These are the marks of security and safety of the online casino.SB