The Essential Strategy for Video Poker

August 19th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Video poker is an extremely popular casino game because of the payouts. Some pay a return of over 100 percent while others pay close to 100 percent. When playing correct poker, over the long run, Video Poker has the potential to be profitable to many players. However, a few simple mistakes can take away the slight advantage you may have. Therefore it is vital to utilize strategy and play hands correctly throughout the course of each session.

Each video poker game has its own strategy in order to be successful. At a casino or online, it is beneficial to utilize a strategy card. It is similar to a cheat sheet, displaying the correct method of play for each hand. Utilizing this card will help you maximize your return. Practice at a play money table in an online casino using the strategy card prior to entering into a live game.

Once prepared for a live game, head to a real-money game with your strategy card. While utilizing the card, the main tactic to implement is the basic strategy. This is primarily used by beginners but is relevant to all players. The basic strategy can be used for three common Video Poker games including:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Double Bonus Poker

The strategy is based on the odds given on the chart. To use it, simply glance at the hand you are dealt. Next start from the top of the strategy chart and move down the list until you reach your hand. The hand nearest the top is the correct hand to play. Many charts come color-coded to make it easy to find the correct hand. Also, lower-case letters such as “s” indicate cards of the same suit. For example, QJs indicates Queen-Jack suited (of any suit).

Strategy cards are an invaluable tool in Video Poker. They can give you an edge which results in maximized profits with the correct playing technique. It is always beneficial to have handy at a casino or at an online casino in the case there is a hand which you do not know how to play.

Video Poker can be a simple game if you are familiar with the rules and hand-rankings in poker. Strategy cards will help you a considerable amount. There are other Video Poker strategies available, but for beginners, focus on the basic strategy. Once mastered, move on to the advanced strategy which is more complicated but can slightly further improve your edge.

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The Rules of Red Dog

July 28th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Red dog is not as well known of a game as casino staples like blackjack, Texas hold’em or 5 card draw. Like those three, it is a card-based game generally found online. Many internet gaming sites offer Red Dog, usually in the table games section. The rules are fairly simple as the same poker rankings apply to the game.

Red dog has two main differences from regular poker. These include:

  • Suit has no relevance
  • Aces are always the highest hand

The action begins with the player making a bet prior to the dealer distributing two cards face up. If the cards show consecutive values then it’s a push. If the cards are of equal ranking, a third card is dealt. If the third card equals the other two, the player wins and receives a payout of 11 to 1, if not the hand is a push.

The game becomes interesting when the two cards are not consecutive or equal. The dealer publicizes the numeric difference between the two cards. The player can bet the amount up to the original wager then the final card is dealt. If it falls between the value of the first two cards, the player wins; if not they lose. The payout is as follows: spread equals 1 payout is 5 to 1; spread equals 2 payout is 4 to 1; spread equals 3 payout is 2 to 1 and spread is 4 or more payout is 1 to 1.

The house edge for Red Dog is 2.75% which is comparable to European Roulette and far less than slots. If visitors wager on European Roulette, they should have no reservations placing bets with this game. Red Dog is much easier to learn than other casino games. Due to this simplicity players may quickly lose interest. At the same time, it’s an extremely fast paced game. If beginners know how to play poker, they should have an easy time learning Red Dog.

Red Dog is a fairly new and exotic form of poker. Its simple rules and fast paced game play make it a perfect game for beginners and those looking to wager on new contests. An increasing number of casinos are offering this game as its popularity continues to rise. Although it will never replace the standard casinos games, it is a nice addition to the repertoire of any online gaming casino.

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An Introduction to Craps

July 1st, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Craps is one of the most exciting, face-paced and loud games in the casino. Each time you walk by you’ll hear patrons yelling and hollering. As a result Craps is also one of the most intimidating games, especially to new players. On the other hand it’s a profitable game to learn with the house edge being 1.41 percent over the player.

The Betting Structure

Overall there are around 40 different bets that can be made most of which offer terrible odds. The most important wagers for new players to learn are the passline bets. A simple passline bet is made by placing your bet on the passline before a new shooter rolls (aptly named the come out roll).

The Rules

If the new shooter hits a 7 or 11 you’re a winner. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12 you lose. Any other number acts as the point number in which the shooter must hit that number before a 7. If they roll the point number prior to a 7, your passline bet wins even money.

Once a point number is reached, bettors can place additional wagers behind the passline bet (known as the odds bet). This is the only bet in the whole casino that offers true odds and doesn’t have a house edge. Most establishments allow the bettors to place twice the wager of the original bet.

The Payouts

The passline bet is one of the easiest bets to make. Since the odds bet has no house edge, it is one of the smartest bets to place. If you win, the standard payouts in craps are:

  • If the point number is 4 or 7, the payout is 2 to 1
  • If the point number is 5 or 9, the payout is 3 to 2
  • If the point number is 6 or 8, the payout is 6 to 5

Most casinos offer free lessons on how to play craps. The instructors present the basics along with table etiquette. These lessons are a great way to practice craps in a safe, money-free environment to prepare you for real money games.

Craps is by far the most exciting game in the casino and online. Due to the low house edge (even lower with the odds bet) and action on every role, it is also one of the most popular games on the casino floor.

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5 Tips for Playing Blackjack

March 15th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Blackjack is one of the most popular games at the casino. The main goal of blackjack is to reach a sum of twenty-one without going over. In blackjack a dealer will continue to deal cards to a player one at a time until the player tells the dealer to stop or goes over twenty-one, known as busting.

Blackjack is one of the most frequented tables at any casino. Blackjack can become an addicting game, and players often wonder how to increase their skills.

With a few simple tricks you can up your skill level no matter how experienced, or inexperienced, you are.

Tips for Playing Blackjack

1. Practice makes perfect. Blackjack is a fast paced game where players are expected to add quickly in their heads, and make instant decisions on their hands. This can be daunting to new players. If you are uncomfortable playing at the fast paced level of a casino table you can practice at an online casino, or during a home game of poker, until you feel more comfortable playing against casino dealers.

2. Gauge your bank roll. The longer a player is able to stay in the game, the higher their odds are of winning. If you can, start with a bankroll that is at least twenty times the minimum bet. This way you are guaranteed to play at least twenty hands of Blackjack at the minimum bet.

3. Start with small bets. Poker players, especially beginners, are prone to getting overly excited at Blackjack tables and tossing their entire bankroll in to one hand. This is a risky business, especially if you are playing with a limited bankroll. Instead, try starting off betting only the minimum. Not only will this increase your playing time, but it will allow to you develop a higher bankroll as you start to win hands. Once you have a high bank roll you can start betting those riskier bets.

4. Know your terms. Blackjack is such a popular game that there are entire websites, books, and television shows devoted to learning the skills behind Blackjack. Take time to read a book or two. Blackjack has its own set of lingo, betting rules, and skill sets. The more you know about the game, the better you will play.

5. Only bet when you feel comfortable. Blackjack tables can be intimidating places to some poker players. Instead of worrying about what your neighboring player is doing, worry about your hand. If you don’t feel comfortable betting on a hand, or betting to a certain amount, then don’t do it. Take the game as slowly as you wish. After all, Blackjack is meant to be fun.

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The Five Best Bets in the Casino

February 18th, 2010  |  Published in Casino Tips

Every game in the casino from Texas Hold ‘Em to the slot machines has a house edge. A house edge is how the casino ensures they keep some of their money and are able to stay in business. However, different games have a different house edge that can vary from less then one percent to five or more depending on the game. Knowing the best games to play in the casino with the lowest house advantage may help you walk away a winner.

The Five Casino Games with the Lowest House Edge

1. Video Poker- Video poker machines typically carry a house advantage of two percent or less, and some poker machines go as low as half a percent. You can determine the video poker machine’s house advantage by reading the payout scale. The payout scale is typically located on top of or near the poker machine. Occasionally the scale may be listed on the interactive menu.

2. Poker Tables- The poker tables may be the best seat in the house if a player is trying to beat the house edge. This is due to the fact that in the exception of a small sum removed from each pot, the house has virtually no advantage at the poker table. House winnings are completely up to the dealer and the luck of the draw. A highly skilled poker player can eliminate the house advantage at the table.

3. Blackjack- The blackjack table is another spot in the casino with a low house edge. Most blackjack tables carry a house advantage of less then one percent. By knowing the basic blackjack strategies, a player can reduce the house edge to half a percent.

4. Acting as the Banker in Pai Gow- At first glance, acting as the banker in Pai Gow does not seem that appealing, after all you have to pay a five percent commission to the house for the spot. However, the banker in Pai Gow collects on any player he beats, and if you are good at the game, the five percent commission is well worth it.

5. Baccarat- While Baccarat has a higher house advantage then blackjack or the poker tables; it is still one of the best bets in the house. Baccarat only carries slightly more then one percent on the house edge.

By playing games with a low house advantage a player has a better chance of walking away from the casino a winner, however, no player should play a game with high stakes until they are completely familiar with the rules and strategies.

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