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Casino City Times - Gaming Gurus

Casino City Times is The Source for the latest gaming news, gaming strategy and gambling tips from the industry's leading experts.

John Grochowski - The Martingale and full-pay Deuces  

QUESTION: I have a question about the double-up Martingale, where you keep doubling bets until you win.I've looked online and I know you recommend against it, as do lot of gambling experts. But suppose I decide to try, starting with betting $5 on black in roulette. I lose six in a row, so I lose $5, $10, $20, $40, $80 and $160.The next bet is...

2017-09-21 01:28:55

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Using earplugs while playing video poker  

Question: I was playing in the high limit area in Caesars AC a couple of years ago and someone hit something like two cherries and a Double Diamond on one of their $100 machines. Many people came to see what the hit was, but hung back in awesome respect of someone even playing a $100 machine. I took a look too, but did not note if he had one...

2017-09-20 05:57:54

Tadas Peckaitis - Top 10 pre-flop strategies for poker  

Pre-flop strategy is one of the most important poker skills to learn before jumping into games. If you are making mistakes pre-flop, it is going to be extremely difficult to play effectively post-flop as well, because you will end up with unbalanced ranges, having too many bluffs, with too many mediocre hands or in undesirable spots.To avoid this,...

2017-09-19 05:05:50

Frank Scoblete - How to be a good dealer  

If you think it is easy being a casino dealer then just give it a try. The public can be a real pain in the "you-know-what" in all situations but in a casino, losing money, the player-public can be downright nasty.Nasty players blame the dealers for bad luck, scold other players for making the "wrong" decisions, and generally make a nuisance or...

2017-09-19 03:21:23

John Grochowski - Their first time  

A while back, I relayed a story from a slot player who had a pretty bad time on her first casino visit. She's a regular player today only because a friend convinced her to give it another try, and she had more fun the second go-round.That drew responses from many readers who wanted to share their own first-time experiences.Kari: Like that woman,...

2017-09-17 02:13:17

John Marchel - Today's gambling  

The United States has had a long history of gambling. For example, the Virginia colony was financed by a lottery that was held in England in 1612. The American Revolution was paid for largely by state lotteries. Later, numerous states and towns followed this lead, and paid for roads and public works projects through the sale of lottery tickets.All...

2017-09-16 04:17:13

Abby Messick - Casino City's Friday Five: Gambling in Pennsylvania edition  

What was on the menu this week? The usual: Online poker's meteoric success, tools to help with problem gambling, and a giant art installation.Never a dull moment in the gaming world.1. NJ online casinos surpass $20 million in revenue for sixth consecutive monthNew Jersey's online casinos have raked in over $20 million in revenue for the sixth...

2017-09-15 02:34:03

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Birthday luck on a video poker machine  

Question: I had to laugh when I read your recent column that mentioned "birthday luck" as I have experienced it only once in my life (well, so far that is!). I was at Trop in A/C on my birthday about six or seven years ago playing video poker and feeling a bit reckless after a nice birthday dinner and drinks. I was playing a $2 machine and...

2017-09-14 04:10:38

John Grochowski - Video keno and blackjack  

QUESTION: In video keno, are you better off playing the same numbers every time, or changing them up? I like to bet hot numbers. If I see a number come up two or three times in a row, I include it in my set. If I see three numbers come up twice in a row, I bet them in a three spot.My niece works the other way. She figures if her numbers didn't...

2017-09-14 01:32:28

Abby Messick - Top 10 casino openings, expansions and renovations  

The Parq Vancouver will open later in the month. In the world of renovations, openings and expansions, there's no pause button. That's why we're bringing you the latest and greatest new developments.This week we have properties breaking records, new food additions, updates on the NHL team that's coming to Las Vegas and news from Canada.10. Mystic...

2017-09-12 05:50:39

Frank Scoblete - Hidden dangers and hidden pleasures  

There is math galore in casino games. The mathematics is the reason why and how casinos have the edge over the players. There are money management systems galore too - just about all players manage their money in some way or other, even if it is just to throw it away.But there are hidden dangers in casino games - germane hidden dangers at that;...

2017-09-12 02:41:46

John Grochowski - The search for the perfect roulette system  

The first time I ever played roulette, I kept it simple. It was a $5 minimum table, and I did nothing but bet $5 on red or $5 on black for the hour or so I played.I was alone in my one-bet method. Everyone else at the full table was spreading chips all over the layout, looking for that perfect combination.That search is both eternal and futile....

2017-09-10 01:21:11

Henry Tamburin - 100x odds at craps: great deal or not?  

One of the marketing ploys used by some casino managers is to implement 100-times odds in craps. They'll usually promote it in billboards, TV and radio commercials, in the casinos, and in print and advertising promotions to their loyal customers. Apparently, 100-times odds seems to be bringing customers to their tables, and casino managers are...

2017-09-09 05:39:26

Abby Messick - Casino City's Friday Five: Billions of dollars edition  

The Parq Vancouver. It's that time of week again, and we've got it all - compacts, debuts and (our personal favorite) multimillion-dollar jackpots.1. California ratifies compact with Wilton Rancheria TribeEarly this week, the California State Assembly and California State Senate ratified a tribal-state gaming compact with the Wilton Rancheria...

2017-09-09 01:34:20

John Grochowski - Progression betting  

QUESTION: I know you don't like the double-up systems where you keep doubling your bet after losses until you win. What if you do the opposite, and keep doubling wins? Isn't betting more when you're playing with house money the way to go?ANSWER: I never look at it as playing with house money. Any money I win is mine. If I choose to play with it,...

2017-09-07 03:42:44

Nicholas G. Colon - Gambling and superstitions  

The 777 slot reel has long been associated with luck. Superstition and gambling are complementary ideals. For as long as gambling has been around, players have been accustomed to the idea that some outside influences favorably or unfavorably impact the outcome of seemingly random events. Even though the law of large numbers will surely kick in at...

2017-09-06 04:41:39

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Do multiple denomination machines have different RNGs for each denomination?  

Question: Several machines have optional denominations from 25 cents to $2. Do all these denominations use the same RNG or do they change depending on the denomination chosen? Answer: I've received multiple answers to this question. Some people say that switching denomination causes a new game program, including RNG, to be loaded. Others...

2017-09-06 03:34:20

Frank Scoblete - Home or Away  

Do you enjoy going to a casino-hotel for a couple of days and/or for a vacation? Or do you prefer to drive (or walk) to a local casino and return home after your session is finished? And what about playing on the Internet? Are you a fan of sitting in your own home and gambling on the games?JIM: I don't want to drive to and from a casino on the...

2017-09-05 04:50:12

Gary Trask - Top 10 football bets for the 2017 season  

Labor Day Weekend annually marks the unofficial end to summer. And for those of us in four-season climates, that means no more trips to the beach, the continuous run of weekend cookouts is almost over, and it's getting dark earlier and earlier with each passing day.All of the above can be a bit depressing.But for people like yours truly, there is...

2017-09-05 03:37:47

John Grochowski - Learning those soft hands at blackjack  

My old blackjack-playing friend Bob has a son named Mike who is more or less a chip off the old block - enough so that he's working on basic strategy for when to double down on soft hands."The big things, like when to hit, stand, split and double on hard hands, I have down pat," Mike told me when the three of us met for lunch. "Now I'm practicing...

2017-09-03 03:27:20

Abby Messick - Casino City's Friday Five: The Las Vegas excitement edition  

MGM promises the pinnacle of VR tech. (photo by Zero Latency)Another week has come and gone, and the gambling world still turns. For this edition of Casino City's Friday Five, we've got everything from virtual reality excitement to penalty fine firsts.We've also got quite a bit of news coming out of Las Vegas. Not to spoil the surprise, but...

2017-09-02 05:11:19

Jerry Stickman - Saving an 8 in video poker  

Hi Stickman,With five-card video draw poker, assume you have the following: 7 of spades, 8 of diamonds, 8 of hearts, 9 of spades and 10 of clubs. Obviously you will discard one of the two 8's. My question is, does it matter which of the two you discard?In other words will the same replacement card come up no matter which of the two 8's you...

2017-09-02 03:52:41

Abby Messick - 888 Holdings fined over £7.8 million  

Players placed a total of £3.5 million into their accounts during those 13 months. 888, one of the largest gambling operators in Britain and owner of 888 Casino, has been slapped with a £7.8 million ($10 million) fine after a technical glitch in its software enabled self-excluded players to place bets via 888's bingo platform.More than 7,000...

2017-09-01 03:22:44

John Grochowski - Playing two machines  

QUESTION: Is there any advantage to playing two machines at once? I don't just mean slots. I mean video poker and video keno, too.My game is keno. I have a set of numbers I like, and it seems to me they come up more often if I'm playing two machines.ANSWER: Your numbers do come up more often, but that doesn't really help you. Because you are...

2017-08-31 04:03:30

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: How many RNGs are there in a multi-hand video poker machine?  

Question: A casino near me is offering a bonus for hitting a royal flush. Should I avoid playing video poker at other casinos and on my tablet until I go to that casino? I don't want to waste a royal. Answer: You can play as much or as little video poker as you like without affecting your chances for hitting a royal flush when you go to...

2017-08-30 02:22:07

Frank Scoblete - The unvarnished truth  

All players want to win. When I tell someone that I hate losing, that someone will laugh and say, "I hate losing too." I've never had anyone say, "I love losing." Since almost all casino gamblers face losing expectations, why do they play? Good question.Casino gambling has certain truths that are about as true as true can be in a world where truth...

2017-08-29 04:13:49

Tadas Peckaitis - Top 10 ways to reduce your poker variance  

Many players do not consider how poker variance can be affected by their own actions. Variance will not go away. Weaker players can win just because of its existence, so it can sometimes be a good thing. However, many players feel frustrated when running bad, so today I will explain how you can gain better results and even increase your win rate,...

2017-08-29 03:53:01

John Grochowski - Playing video poker one day  

When my wife Marcy and I went out to play one stormy July morning, I didn't expect my focal point to be a nickel multi-hand video poker game, but there are times a change of course is needed. This change, to Powerhouse Poker, saved my day.When we go out together, it's strictly low-roller day. Marcy loves penny video slots and we just look for...

2017-08-27 04:42:13

Gary Trask - Casino City's Friday Five: The Mayweather vs. McGregor edition  

The Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight is dominating headlines all across the globe. Everyone, everywhere, it seems, wants to talk about and/or has an opinion about the event that takes place Saturday night in Las Vegas - most notably, the gambling world.So, it's only fitting that our very first edition Casino City's "Friday Five" be covered...

2017-08-26 01:49:52

John Marchel - Managing your bankroll  

When it comes to managing your bankroll for gambling, you must have a basic money-management plan; however, it's also important to remember that such a type of plan will not help you win at the tables or machines. Rather, a good financial plan will help you to reduce your losses and give you a better chance to come out ahead in the long run...

2017-08-26 01:17:11

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Drawing a royal flush  

Question: Last night I played a Top Dollar machine with an extra bonus feature. It was $5 for the max credits. I got a Top Dollar and accepted the second offer of $115. Then the second bonus threw up an offer of $15. The casino host told me that if I declined that offer it would reset the first bonus, but it looked to me like the first bonus was...

2017-08-24 04:24:32

John Grochowski - Full-pay Deuces Wild  

QUESTION: When I learned to play Deuces Wild, I used Lenny Frome's strategy chart and it said to pick that when dealt two pair, you should pick one to hold and discard the other. I've been playing that way ever since. But last time I played, some guy next to me said, "You know, you should hold both pairs there." His friend agreed, nodding her head...

2017-08-24 01:35:55

Frank Scoblete - One and done  

Most craps players enjoy making multiple bets; in fact, many make some good low-house-edge bets (the pass line and come) mixed with some bad high-house-edge bets (the hard ways bets and many others). The average craps player is, usually more, sometimes less, an action player, looking for hits during every roll of the dice.In truth, being an action...

2017-08-22 05:25:18

Gary Trask - Top 10 ways to bet the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight  

One of the biggest sporting spectacles of all time is turning into one of the largest liabilities sportsbooks have ever had to sweat.Ever since the "super fight" between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was announced back in the spring, a flood of bets has been pouring in on the underdog, McGregor. In fact, the action has been so hot and heavy...

2017-08-22 02:22:04

John Grochowski - Hot dealers  

Every blackjack player has run into hot dealers.You know the drill. You have blackjack, the dealer has blackjack. You feel good with your 20, but the dealer pulls 21. You double down with 11 vs. 6, draw a 7 for a decent enough 18, but the dealer strings out three or four low cards to beat you with 19 or better.It's frustrating, but we all go...

2017-08-20 02:26:24

Henry Tamburin - Blackjack tips  

Tip #1Of all the casino games, why bet on blackjack? What makes it "different" than any other casino banked game?For one, the odds in blackjack are not constant. They keep changing from one hand to the next depending on the cards that have been played. For example, if four aces have been played from a single deck of cards, the chance of getting a...

2017-08-19 04:20:25

John Grochowski - Pitch blackjack  

QUESTION: I've always played blackjack games where the player cards are dealt face-up. You can't touch the cards.I had to make an adjustment when I was playing a two-deck game for the first time. The dealer didn't want me to pick up my cards until after all the cards were dealt. He wanted me to pick them up and hold them with one hand, and he got...

2017-08-17 03:28:25

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Are slot machine that pause illegal?  

Question: I have a question about certain slot machines I have been playing which freeze randomly after a play has been made. I am wondering if this is illegal because the game does not allow you to press play for random amounts of time, which in turn blocks specific sections of the RNG from being played. Example: I hit max bet. The reels spin...

2017-08-16 03:52:13

Frank Scoblete - The look, the voice, the truth  

When I mention to people that I am a writer and I often write about gambling and casinos, I will get "the look" from some of them. "The look" incorporates a scrunched-up forehead, a slight involuntary sneer, a tilt of the head often followed by the words, "Oh, you're a gambler?" The tone of the question is in keeping with the scrunched forehead,...

2017-08-15 02:03:04

Gary Trask - Top 10 Las Vegas sportsbook football news items  

LAS VEGAS -- The official start of the football season is on the horizon, so while we were in Las Vegas last month, we rode up and down the Las Vegas Strip and beyond to find out what's in store this season at the different sportsbooks. What we found was a mix of new openings, enhancements, contests and more that has us counting the hours until...

2017-08-15 01:28:56

John Grochowski - Not so winning ways  

When I've shared readers' stories of their first casino trips, they've almost always involved winning times.There's a great deal of selection bias there. The majority of players lose money on their first trip, just as most players contribute a little something to the casino's bottom line more often or not. But it's more fun to relive and retell...

2017-08-13 01:54:13

Jerry Stickman - How do you play this video poker hand?  

Hi Jerry,How are you? I hope you are well.This is Jody. It has been awhile since I contacted you.I just have one question for you here: How would you play the following sample?6s, 4s, 2s, 8d, 7d? Would you hold anything here or scrap the whole hand and re-deal five cards?I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.Thanks...

2017-08-12 01:15:47

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: What determines the payback percentage on a slot machine?  

Question: I vaguely understand the EPROM chip and its function. As you, and most readers, are fully aware, casinos order slot machines with a certain payback percentage for each machine. What determines the payback percentage on reel slot machines? Answer: Let's look at what happens during a spin and I think you'll see what determines the...

2017-08-10 02:22:55

John Grochowski - Probability of great hands  

QUESTION: I got three-of-a-kind two hands in a row in Three Card Poker. It was pretty exciting. I was betting $5 on Pair Plus, so at 30-1 I won $150 on the first time. Then I raised the bet to $10 and won $300 the second time. That's all in addition to wining ante-play against the dealer, too, and getting the 4-1 ante bonuses there.A couple of...

2017-08-10 01:11:22

Gary Trask - New player-friendly gaming options unveiled on Las Vegas Strip at The Cromwell  

LAS VEGAS - Even with his extensive background in gaming analytics, Blake Segal doesn't need an intricate spreadsheet to realize the limitations he faces as general manager of The Cromwell.There aren't any dancing water fountains in front of the Las Vegas Strip boutique hotel casino, and there isn't a gigantic buffet for guests to gorge on. In...

2017-08-09 02:04:01

Frank Scoblete - The craps debate  

There are two extremes when it comes to craps players. The first is the player who lets it all hang out, making every conceivable bet no matter how high the house edge. The second is the player who makes only the best bets at craps and ignores those high house edge bets.I brought two of them together to see what they would say to each other...

2017-08-08 04:06:31

John Grochowski - Talking jackpots  

Rick and Ellen are slot players who are friends of friends. I see them two or three times a year in group outings, but they're always ready to talk slots.The last group get-together was on a Friday in early June. Rick and Ellen were psyched for a casino visit the next night, and they asked if my wife and I wanted to come along.I declined, noting...

2017-08-06 03:52:17

John Marchel - Gambling potpourri  

In English, "potpourri" is often used to refer to any collection of diverse items. It's a kind of collection of miscellaneous literary extracts. In this case, we have a collection of gambling trivia that includes facts, events and oddities that do not fit into any specific category.The dictionary tells us that gambling is the wagering of money or...

2017-08-05 05:08:45

Tadas Peckaitis - Top 10 steps to winning more at poker  

There are plenty of things you can do to improve your poker game and even gain an additional edge over your opponents that are not related to strategy. This article is dedicated to these things, and hopefully will give you a few ideas on how to improve your game and win more.10. Set goalsLike with everything in life, setting goals is vital in...

2017-08-04 04:08:19

John Grochowski - Per-decision or per-roll craps bet?  

QUESTION: I've been looking at tables of house edges on craps bets, and for some I see different house edges per roll and per decision. The edge on a place bet on 6 or 8 is 1.52% per decision, or 0.46% per roll.Now, I've been playing craps for 30 years and have read a lot about it, and you, Frank Scoblete and everyone else always list the edge at...

2017-08-03 04:08:10

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: How do video poker machines deal cards?  

Question: Two questions: Have you ever had your bet refunded by a slot machine? If not, what would make it do this? There was a scratch ticket in Texas that guaranteed a winning ticket. You paid $20 and you were guaranteed to win at least $5. Is there a slot machine like this? Answer: First question: No, I have never had a slot...

2017-08-02 01:09:31

Frank Scoblete - The slot manager vs. the slot player  

This slot manager was a boss in the casino. He decided what machines were brought in and what machines were taken out. The player was, indeed, a slot player. They talked separately to me at different times at different places. I am taking the liberty of making it a conversation. The president was a he; the slot player a she. Enough said.SLOT...

2017-08-01 03:01:38

John Grochowski - Advantage video poker  

Video poker games in which skilled players can claim an edge over the house have become increasingly rare.Games such as 10-7 Double Bonus Poker, which pays 100.17% with expert play, and full-pay Deuces Wild, 100.76%, survive in limited numbers in Nevada. But in Atlantic City, there are a few 99%-plus games, maxing out with a 99.9% version of...

2017-07-30 03:28:46

Henry Tamburin - The quick and dirty guide to comps  

Comps is casino jargon for "complimentary," the freebies that casinos give players to keep them loyal to their establishment. Freebies include everything from free meals to free show tickets to even cash or free play offers in the mail. And contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be a high roller to get your share of the over $1 billion...

2017-07-29 03:57:16

Abby Messick - Top 10 casino openings, expansions and renovations  

Renovation season is upon us, and casinos around the globe are shelling out some serious bucks in the name of improvement — just another industry requirement. You can't expect to pull in the customers without the hottest new amenities, after all. Just wait until you see what's coming up on this list.As for the longstanding casinos who've made...

2017-07-29 03:19:20

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Converting slot dollars to cash  

This week, more comments I overheard in the casinos. How would you play 1,000 slot dollars? I overheard this while waiting to play in my session at a slot tournament. The top prize was 1,000 slot dollars. The game used for this tournament was one of the games in the Everi TournEvent series. It's a game where you have to do more than just...

2017-07-27 02:10:31

John Grochowski - Can card counting work at baccarat?  

QUESTION: Please explain something to me about baccarat. I've read that the only strategy is in choosing whether to bet on banker or player, and that all the decisions on whether a hand gets a third card are automatic.Still, baccarat has to be a game where the odds are always changing, like blackjack, right? After cards are dealt, they're not...

2017-07-27 01:44:20

Gary Trask - Top 10 Las Vegas trip experiences I tried last week  

LAS VEGAS -- The city of Las Vegas is ever evolving. That's one of the reasons I love visiting so much: There's never a lack of new and exciting things to do. Before every visit, I always try to map out a plan that allows me to experience something I haven't before, whether it's a bar or lounge, a casino, a restaurant, an event or some other...

2017-07-25 04:23:38

Frank Scoblete - Don't Be Afraid  

Many new casino players suffer from a strong case of fear, particularly when it comes to playing table games. Can they learn the game and play the strategies properly? This is especially true for blackjack, which has innumerable decisions to make, and craps, which has an amazing number of bets that can be wagered.Other players are a fear factor as...

2017-07-25 03:32:28

Gary Trask - John Hesp and family clear the air regarding business relationship with Uber driver  

John Hesp The feel-good relationship between sudden World Series of Poker sensation John Hesp and his Uber driver came to an abrupt end on Saturday before the start of the Main Event.As reported on Thursday night, Hesp, the colorful 64-year-old amateur player from England, who became an instant superstar in the poker world and beyond by making the...

2017-07-25 01:12:54

John Grochowski - Mary and Walker  

Every video poker player has favorites, whether they want the 2-for-1 two-pair paybacks on Jacks or Better or Bonus Poker, the wild cards on Deuces Wild or the big four-ace bonuses on Double Double Bonus Poker and many other games.At pick-and-choose time, Walker had another method."We're regulars at a casino that has an alcove with 50 video poker...

2017-07-23 01:42:13

Jerry Stickman - Throwing an ace in video poker  

Hi Stickman:I enjoy your articles and especially when you show sample hands and how to play them. I almost always know the proper play.In a recent example you showed the following hand: Ts Ac 6s Qc JsYou stated that the proper hold was the ace of clubs and the queen of clubs. That is what I would hold with this hand. I have a question, though....

2017-07-22 04:18:27

Gary Trask - Around the WSOP: Meet the Uber driver John Hesp hired as his new agent  

LAS VEGAS - Over the last year, David Perry has amassed more than 2,500 rides in his black Kia Sorento as a driver for Uber and Lyft. Thousands of people have gone in and out of his car as he has driven them all over Las Vegas Valley. But last week, a certain Englishman wearing a multicolored, floral suit jacket and Panama-style hat jumped into...

2017-07-22 03:41:12

Gary Trask - WSOP Main Event Final Table questions and answers  

LAS VEGAS - On Thursday afternoon, more than 40 hours after the final table bubble burst dramatically at the World Series of Poker Main Event early Tuesday morning, the nine players who scratched and clawed their way through the third-largest field in tournament history will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.Cards go in the air for the...

2017-07-21 04:42:59

Gary Trask - WSOP Main Event final table predictions  

Kara Scott (photo by WSOP)LAS VEGAS - John Hesp and his now-infamous multicolored jacket and Panama-style hat are the surefire sentimental favorites heading into today's World Series of Poker Main Event final table at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.That is the resounding reoccurring theme we saw when we asked a panel of poker pros and media to...

2017-07-21 03:45:49

John Grochowski - Real blackjack versus video blackjack  

QUESTION: My friend used to insist that he got a better deal on video blackjack than on tables. I showed him where the games he was playing paid even money on blackjacks and was a terrible game. He still insists some of the machines are better than tables. Have you ever seen a machine game that was better than the tables at the same casino?ANSWER:...

2017-07-20 02:30:08

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Holding two pair when it pays the same as a high pair  

This week I'd like to discuss some comments I overheard in the casinos. Don't hold two pair when it pays the same as Jacks or better. Two people were playing some sort of bonus poker paytable that paid the same for two pair and Jacks or better. The more knowledgeable player was giving the novice pointers. When dealt two pair consisting of a...

2017-07-19 04:41:52

Gary Trask - Top 10 random observations from the WSOP Main Event  

LAS VEGAS -- Spend more than 50 hours over six consecutive days watching the spectacle that is the World Series of Poker Main Event, and you're bound to come away with a notebook bursting with random thoughts and observations. Here are just 10 of the many items that drifted through this poker-overloaded brain over the last week while I was roaming...

2017-07-19 02:58:54

Gary Trask - WSOP Director Jack Effel talks Main Event mayhem  

LAS VEGAS - As Jack Effel instinctively recites the numbers off the top of his head, even he is impressed by the magnitude of it all.516 poker tables. 2,000 temporary employees. 300,000 transactions at the cage, worth $250 million. Participants from 111 different countries. Nearly 121,000 overall entries and 7,221 Main Event players, the...

2017-07-18 05:12:23

Frank Scoblete - Slot blasphemy  

If I were still in Our Lady of Angels Catholic Grammar School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and the nuns, led by my nemesis Sister Jerome Drake, would drag us over to the church for a serious bout of Confession, I'd be in great trouble now.I would have to confess my (many) sins to Father Sullivan, a mean little man who enjoyed scolding us and informing...

2017-07-18 02:09:04

Gary Trask - Around the WSOP: Hallaert trying to buck astronomical odds; plus tequila shots and Superman  

LAS VEGAS -- As the number of tables in play and participants in contention continued to plummet at a rapid pace on Saturday night at the World Series of Poker Main Event, Kenny Hallaert sat there in the middle of it all, smiling and collecting chips.Just like he has the last three years.In a profession where surliness and antagonism is prevalent,...

2017-07-17 02:43:31

John Grochowski - Money management and you  

Money management is an important concept in gambling. Anything that helps you discipline yourself to keep losses under control while making sure you keep at least part of any winnings is a good thing.However, when Jason, a loyal reader and slot player, e-mailed to ask "What's the best money management system to beat the slots?" I had to urge him...

2017-07-16 03:04:26

Gary Trask - Life coach and poker author Phil Hellmuth aiming to 'change humanity'  

LAS VEGAS -- Love him or hate him, Phil Hellmuth never disappoints.Whether it's sitting at the ESPN featured table under the hot lights, or bumping into a reporter in the hallways of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and taking part in an impromptu interview, Hellmuth's bravado gauge is always on full.You want salacious statements and audacious...

2017-07-15 03:44:20

Gary Trask - Around the WSOP Main Event: Money bubble drama; Matusow 'retires'  

LAS VEGAS - The tension created by the World Series of Poker Main Event money bubble is unlike anything else in the world of gaming.It was clearly evident early this morning inside the walls of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Amazon Room, when the countdown to making the money for the 48th annual playing of poker's most prestigious tournament...

2017-07-15 03:17:01

John Marchel - Warming up for blackjack  

It's Friday night, and you are planning to head to the casino to play some blackjack. Are you ready? Or are you going into the game cold?Are you sure you have a good recall of all the soft hands for doubling down? Does it take you playing time to get warmed up? Do you have a good handle on splitting against all possible up cards?If any of those...

2017-07-15 02:34:14

Gary Trask - Scott Nguyen still a fan favorite, despite WSOP Main Event bustout  

LAS VEGAS - It was early on during Day 4 of the World Series of Poker Main Event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino when Scotty Nguyen got his hand caught in the proverbial cookie jar. A bluff gone bad at the ESPN featured table cost him a 500,000 pot and suddenly his once healthy chip stack had dwindled from 600,000 all the way down to less than...

2017-07-15 02:20:29

Gary Trask - Expectant mother Natasha Mercier adjusting and contending at WSOP Main Event  

LAS VEGAS - Twenty-eight weeks into her first pregnancy, Natasha Mercier is battling fatigue, her ever-changing hormones and a fickle appetite, just like any other expectant mother.The difference between Mercier and most other women in her condition? She's not only going through her third trimester while sitting on the biggest stage of her...

2017-07-14 04:27:16

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Tax form after winning $2,000 on Double Up  

Question: On a slot machine such as Wonder Four, you can play four games on one spin. Does it matter what games you choose? Is it the game you choose or the position a game is in that determines the outcome of that spin? I see people changing one (or all four) to another game in hopes that it will hit. Answer: We'd have to see the PAR...

2017-07-13 04:52:24

John Grochowski - Creating the jackpot  

QUESTION: My wife has me playing these penny slots with multiple progressives. No matter how much you bet, the jackpots are the same size. Why would anybody bet more than the minimum?ANSWER: There are two methods that casinos and slot manufacturers use to offer jackpots to all players, regardless of how much they bet.One is to make the jackpots a...

2017-07-13 03:14:05

Gary Trask - With Negreanu's backing, KL Cleeton is living a poker dream at the WSOP  

Kenneth Cleeton peels the hole cards over for his son KL to see during Day 2C play at the WSOP Main Event. LAS VEGAS -- Defying the odds is nothing new for KL Cleeton.After being born with a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Cleeton's parents — Kenneth and Lilly — were told by doctors that it was highly unlikely their newborn son would...

2017-07-13 03:09:41

Frank Scoblete - Bad advice that sounds good  

I am guessing that all casino players have some kind of philosophy of play. If they are blackjack players, they either play basic strategy (the computer-derived play of every player hand against every dealer up card), or a kind of basic strategy which they have mashed together with their own ideas, or some truly inventive, creative but ridiculous...

2017-07-11 04:04:19

Tadas Peckaitis - Top 10 myths about professional poker players  

Poker is probably the most popular card game in the world. As a result, you will often see it in pop culture.There is an array of books and movies where the protagonist is a poker player. Even James Bond had a brief adventure at the tables in Casino Royale. However, quite often, the game is represented inaccurately, and there are many myths about...

2017-07-11 02:50:08

John Grochowski - Getting the Edge at Craps  

Last week, I mentioned that a number of readers had emailed recently asking for details on how the house gets its edge on various games. In response, I explored some of the arithmetic behind roulette.This week, let's focus on craps, which long has been the second most popular table game in American casinos, behind only blackjack. It has some of...

2017-07-09 04:48:44

Henry Tamburin - Blackjack: True or False?  

Which of the following statements about blackjack is true or false?1. Blackjack is more or less the same from one casino to the next.False. The playing rules are often different from one casino to the next and even within the same casino. Some tables use single decks, others use two up to eight decks of cards. In some games the dealer's must stand...

2017-07-08 05:18:58

Abby Messick - PokerStars announces plans to refund PKR players  

Today, announced its intention to pay back PKR players who lost money after the rival poker site's sudden shutdown.Back in May, online poker site PKR was suspended by Microgaming due to financial difficulties, leaving thousands of players high and dry. For more than 48 hours before the official shuttering of the site, PKR players...

2017-07-07 01:26:37

John Grochowski - What About 5-Card Charlie?  

QUESTION: Can I tell a story? I'd learned to play blackjack at home years before I went to a casino, and that was about 10 years ago. The rules differences were a surprise. The first time I tried to claim a five-card Charlie and the dealer not only said no, he called out to the pit, "We have a Charlie player here." I was embarrassed, but they...

2017-07-06 02:48:53

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Slot and video poker tournament advice  

Question: When invited to a slot tournament in which you have two to three minutes to rack up as many points as possible, are there any strategies players can use to improve their scores? Answer: Depending on the format of the tournament and how the tournament machines operate, there might be some things you can do to improve your score or...

2017-07-05 04:25:31

Frank Scoblete - Nostalgia  

I remember those old timers when I was a young timer waxing poetic about their youth, their days during the great Depression, in World War II, and how they raised their families, worked hard and believed in the American dream. Most pursued that dream and were by and large successful.That "greatest generation" is just about gone. Their lives are...

2017-07-04 02:15:03

John Grochowski - Getting the Roulette Edge  

Questions readers ask most frequently go in cycles.For the first couple of years I wrote this column, when legalized gaming was new to much of the country, "How do I get a casino job?" was top of the list. Soon that was replaced by "How do I beat slots?" and then by strategy questions on video poker and blackjack.One that's always been part of the...

2017-07-02 02:32:23

Gary Trask - Top 10 random thoughts and observations from the casino gaming industry  

Ten random thoughts and observations from the casino/gambling world as here in the U.S. we prepare for Independence Day, the second-best holiday of the year, behind only Thanksgiving. (The combinations of family, food and football on Turkey Day makes it difficult to top).10. Gaming and eSports numbers still on the riseIt might be my age, but I am...

2017-07-01 04:49:04

Jerry Stickman - Playing Video Poker Tournaments  

Frequently I get questions from readers about the proper strategy for video poker tournaments. In general, tournaments are so short that luck is the major factor in winning one of them. Actually, for the games in which skill is not a factor such as slots, keno or roulette, luck is basically the only factor. However, for games where player skill...

2017-07-01 04:27:13

John Grochowski - Odd Payouts  

QUESTION: In cautioning to check for unusual pay tables you said you saw a Bonus Poker game that paid 2-for-1 on two pairs instead of the usual 3-or-1. Isn't 2-for-1 the usual? I've never seen 3-for-1.ANSWER: That was a case my typing fingers moving faster than my brain. What I should have said was that I once saw a Bonus Poker that paid 2-for-1...

2017-06-29 01:12:41

Gary Trask - US Supreme Court to hear New Jersey sports betting appeal  

Hold the phone. Legal and regulated sports betting in New Jersey is not dead.The Garden State's fight against the major sports leagues in the U.S. that began way back in 2012 got a rare glimpse of hope on Tuesday, when the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear New Jersey's appeal in its case to bring above-board sports betting to its casinos...

2017-06-28 04:19:54

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Double Your Royal promotion  

Question: The Gold Coast in Las Vegas is running a Double Your Royal promotion on Sundays in June. Is this a good promotion? Should I change my strategy? And should I wait until the promotion to play video poker? I don't want to hurt my chances of hitting a royal during the promotion. Answer: Doubling the value of your royal flush is...

2017-06-28 04:12:41

Frank Scoblete - What Would You Do?  

Albert Einstein discovered the most revolutionary truths by just thinking about the world. He called these thoughts "mind experiments."We do mind experiments too, although not at Einstein's level. For example, in certain college ethics courses you are asked questions about what you would do in this or that situation. You see a couple kissing while...

2017-06-27 05:19:02

Clare Fitzgerald - A world of competition: Q&A with Maria Ho  

While the World Series of Poker is in full swing, soaking up all the attention of most of the poker world, the eSports circuit is continuing to expand. The latest big development is the Amazon App Store's new Mobile Masters invitational series, the first of which took place last weekend, on 23 and 24 June, in Newark, New Jersey.The Newark...

2017-06-27 01:42:02

Tadas Peckaitis - Top 10 ways to read your poker opponent  

Information is probably the most important thing in poker. The more you have, the easier the game gets.This is particularly true when it comes to your opponent's hand. If you know what the person across the table has, making the best decision becomes easy. Obviously, most of the time it is nearly impossible to determine the exact holding of your...

2017-06-27 01:04:13

John Grochowski - Two Bad Bets  

Casino games include a number of bets that should never be made. The house edge is so much higher than other bet on the same game that these are bets to avoid.Two prime examples are the tie bet in baccarat and the five-number bet in roulette. In baccarat, you have a fighting chance to win if you bet on banker (house edge: 1.06 percent) or player...

2017-06-25 01:48:29

John Marchel - Why You Double Down  

During a recent trip to Las Vegas, I was playing at a blackjack table when the dealer turned up a 6 as her up-card. I had an ace-7 and quickly doubled down. I immediately began to get calls from follow players that I had an 18 and should stay. The dealer hesitated, but I just smiled and said nothing. She game me another card; an 8 for my new total...

2017-06-24 05:43:36

John Grochowski - I Know This, Not That  

QUESTION: You write about so many games, but I can't help wondering about the games you don't write about. You rarely write about keno, and you never write about bingo or Texas Hold'em. Why can't you work them into your mix?ANSWER: I write about keno occasionally, mostly when a reader has a specific question. It's a game of pure chance and I'm...

2017-06-22 03:21:42

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