Tips for Playing Scratch Card Selection Games

December 17th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Scratch cards are one of the easiest games available at online casinos. Players simply scratch the digital cards to disclose hidden icons. Depending on the value and type of the matching icon, the player will receive a payout. Unfortunately, scratch cards have some of the highest house edge available with the lowest return. Therefore, the first tip is: do not wager on scratch cards.

The simplicity makes for an extremely attractive gaming option by allowing players to unwind and gambling without having to think. These are usually played between blackjack or video poker sessions where skill is necessary. This leads us to the second tip: if you must play them, keep the wagering as small as possible and to a minimum. This is a losing game for the player.

Many players wonder how to choose which scratch card to wager on. The most logical choice would be those scratch cards that provide the highest average return. Unfortunately, this information is not readily available in the public domain. Also, there is no specific metric for this calculation. Therefore, players must use other factors to determine which scratch game is best for them.

Similar to online slot games, scratch cards have themes, many of which offer a powerful appeal. Players with an affinity for that theme will be attracted to the game and find them pleasurable to wager on them. For instance, the Wild West theme is always popular among gamblers. Rival Gaming offers a game entitled, Gunslingers Gold which is popular among cowboy fans.

Cryptologic offers High Fashion, a shopping-themed scratch card game. This game typically draws in the female crowd by presenting all of the items they would like to purchase.

This leads us to our other method of selection: criteria of the game. There are two factors that must be considered:

  • The audio-visual effects
  • An innovative feature

The audio-visual effects must be prevalent to make the game more interesting thus enhancing the experience. Of course this will depend on the theme as all scratch card online games vary. Also, scratch cards must provide some type of innovative feature that changes the standard format. For instance, Hot Dice, created by Realtime Gaming, pays out if the dice roll a 7 or 11.

Scratch card games can be a fun and exciting way to kill some time and spend some money. However, keep the wagering to a minimum as these games typically do not present a favorable result.

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Following Blackjack Surrender Strategy

September 22nd, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

A surrender is an advanced Blackjack technique that allows the player to cut their losses during a losing hand. When used in the proper manner, this tactic can work to the players advantage and increase their average return on investment thus decreasing the overall house edge. The move is simple: after all cards are distributed and the dealer has checked for a natural Blackjack, the player can “surrender” their hand and fold there cards immediately which results in a loss of only half their wager.

There are specific instances where it is better for the player to discard their hand and take a loss of only half their wager upfront rather than losing it all by playing through. There are four specific situations that warrant a surrender by the player. These include:

  • Single deck with the dealer staying on a soft 17
  • Single deck with the dealer hitting on a soft 17
  • Multiple decks with the dealer staying on a soft 17
  • Multiple decks with the dealer hitting on a soft 17

The first situation is when the player has been dealt 16 and the dealer has a ten value card or an ace, it is in the player’s best interest to surrender. With 15 or less, it is more beneficial to attempt to improve the hand. With a hand of 17 or more, the player should stay with the hopes of the dealer busting.

With the second instance, this situation is a stronger position for the dealer so the player should surrender more frequently. With hand values of 15, 16 or 17 the player should surrender when the dealer also has an ace. Also, it is proper to fold with a 16 and the dealer has a ten value card. Additionally, the player is to surrender with a pair of sevens when the dealer has a ten value card or an ace.

The third situation occurs when the player has a hand that equates to 15 and the dealer has a hand of 16 containing a ten value card, 9 or an ace. The player should also fold if the dealer has a hand with a ten value card. It is improper for the player to fold with a pair of sevens.

The final instance is the most common reason for surrender. This is when the player has a hand equaling 15 with the dealer showing a ten value card or ace; when the player has 16 and the dealer has 9, ten value or an ace or when player has 17 and the dealer’s cards contain an ace. Additionally, it is correct to surrender with a pair of eights against an ace.

This strategy has been adopted due to the results of millions of simulated hands and is successful more often than not. If you want to elevate your game to increase your maximum return, then it is imperative to learn this strategy.

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Choosing the Best Online Roulette Game

September 6th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Surprisingly, online roulette has many variants, each offering a different house edge. As a result, game selection is extremely important. House edge is calculated by the total amount going to the casino for each $100 wagered. To maximize your profits, it is important to select the roulette variant with the lowest house edge.

There are two variants that should be avoided altogether. These include:

  • Mini Roulette
  • American Roulette

Mini Roulette contains the numbers 1 through 12 and 0. The rules are the same in that all bets lose if the ball falls on 0, except those that wagered on 0. Since there are less numbers on the board, 0 will occur much more frequently resulting in a high house edge of 7.69 percent. Since the edge is even higher than slots, it is a mistake to wager on this variant of Roulette.

American Roulette is a popular variant of the game. The board contains 38 total numbers: 1-36, 0 and 00. Once again all bets automatically lose if 0 or 00 is called, other than those that wagered on 0 or 00. Consequently, the house edge is 5.26 percent, which is also higher than the other variant of Roulette as well as most slot games.

There are two variants that will maximize profits and should be played including:

  • European Roulette
  • French Roulette

Although not offering the lowest house edge, the most popular form of the game is European Roulette. There are 37 total numbers, 1 through 36 and 0. Again, all bets lose if 0 is called, except those that bet on 0. This is a better game option because there are more numbers and only one that is an automatic loss. Also, the house edge is only 2.57 percent, a considerable improvement over slots and the other two Roulette variants.

French Roulette follows the same structure as European Roulette except one rule: La Partage. If 0 is called, half of all wages not placed on 0 are returned as opposed to an automatic loss. Therefore, the house edge is only 1.35 percent. The only issue is that French Roulette is not offered at many online or land-based casinos.

When searching for a Roulette game, it is advantageous to select French Roulette. If unavailable, the next best variant for maximizing your winnings is European Roulette. Try to avoid American and Mini Roulette games as the house edge is much too high.

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Is Wheel of Fortune Worthy of Your Gaming Dollars?

August 23rd, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

There are multiple games available online that offers only a small house edge which in-turn maximizes your winnings over the long run when playing correctly. Wheel of Fortune is not one of those games. Although it is a fun and exciting game with excellent audio and visuals, the house makes big bucks from their edge.

The wheel is comprised of 54 slots, each containing a symbol which indicates the winner if the wheel falls on that symbol. Most wheels contain seven different symbols with the following;

  • $1
  • $2
  • $5
  • $10
  • $20
  • Joker
  • Casino logo

In an online Wheel of Fortune game there are boxes to select the specific symbol you would like to place a wager (online casino interfaces vary). The dollar amounts indicate the monetary value9 you will win if the wheel lands on that slot. The rules of Wheel of Fortune are simple; you place your bet on the symbol (dollar amount) you would like to wager on and the dealer spins the wheel. Wherever it stops, the house pays out according to that dollar amount.

The average payout of hitting the Joker symbol is 40-to-1. This may appear to be a great return on a $1 investment. Unfortunately the odds of hitting are terrible since there is only a single Joker on the wheel. Therefore the odds are 53-to-1 to hit with the casino paying out 40-to-1. The house edge in Wheel of Fortune is 11 to 24 percent.  Some casinos offer a payout of 45-to-1 to hit the Joker symbol. This lowers the house edge a bit but it remains extremely high.

Next time you visit a land-based casino, take notice of how the Wheel of Fortune games are placed near the exit. Since this is a terrible way to make money because of the exorbitant house edge, casinos figure players will make one final Hail-Mary of a wager as they leave, hoping to recoup some of their losses. Usually this ends in even more of a monetary loss.

Although fun and exciting, the casino version of Wheel of Fortune is nothing like the game show. The odds are greatly against the player with poor payouts. Many visitors play this game for a short time due to never winning and losing a large chunk of their bankroll. A word to the wise, try to steer clear of this one unless you want some quick thrills with no payout.

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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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The Downside of the Martingale Betting System

February 16th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Many gambling players over the years have tried to use a system for betting. Most people believe these systems are a sure-fire way to beat the house edge and walk away from the casino with cash in hand. Truth be told, sometimes they work, but any wins you gain from using a betting system were simply luck and not the system. In fact, betting systems do more harm then good and can quickly zap a player’s bankroll.

What is the Martingale Betting System?

The Martingale betting system is a system of playing on your losses in the hopes of turning them around. Simply put, you place an even bet on the table, you lose the round. On the next round, you double your bet. Then you keep doubling your bet every time until you win. For example, you place a two-dollar bet on black at the blackjack table. You lose the bet. The next round you place a four-dollar bet on black at the blackjack table. You lose that bet as well. The third round you place an eight-dollar bet on black at the blackjack table and so on until you win.

The Downsides to the Martingale Betting System

Unfortunately, there are many downsides to the martingale betting system. For one, most casinos have a betting maximum limit set on their betting tables. It will not take too many rounds before you have exceeded this limit and cannot continue using the Martingale betting system. For two, the system only works with even line bets. This limits your betting options at the table. Finally, the Martingale system will only benefit you if you quickly turn your losses into a win. If you lose several hands in a row, you can be down hundreds of dollars before you turn it around, and that is only if you win a hand before you reach the house’s maximum betting rules.

The best betting system is to bet smart. Every time you gamble, start with a set bankroll. Divide that bankroll in to equal bets that will allow you to stay at the table for as long as you plan on playing. Once you get to the table, start with small bets. This will allow you to build a bankroll and keep playing, something the Martingale system does not allow. Playing smart will better your odds of walking away with cash in hand.

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