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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.

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

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: How much do casino's win each day?  

Question: How much do casinos get from players on a daily basis? Answer: The answer to this question is relatively easy to find online. Multiple sources have this information. Publicly traded corporations publish revenue figures in their annual reports. State gaming commissions, in addition, frequently post casino revenue by casino on...

2017-06-21 02:47:56

Gary Trask - Top 10 reasons why Conor McGregor has zero chance to beat Floyd Mayweather  

The rumors of a fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather have been percolating for quite some time now. And all the while, I've been ignoring them.With apologies to those who are now hyperventilating over the now-locked-in boxing match set for 26 August at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, I'm not counting down the days. I'll probably just...

2017-06-20 02:51:22

Frank Scoblete - Avengers Assemble  

I am sitting at a slot machine lazily hitting the credits/spin button, not particularly paying attention, not even hearing the muted echo of today's simulated sounds of coins and music.This is routine slots play. I am almost not thinking, being lost in some altered state of consciousness; which isn't necessarily a bad thing in this exciting and...

2017-06-20 02:15:13

John Grochowski - Playing the Video Poker Hand Perfectly  

Video poker odds are not always intuitive, with relative frequencies vs. payoffs of full houses, flushes and straights being prime examples.In late May, I was playing video poker next to a husband and wife. He was playing 8-6 Bonus Poker Deluxe, with an average return of 98.5 percent with optimal play, while she was playing 7-5 Bonus Poker, a 98...

2017-06-18 02:19:46

Henry Tamburin - The ultimate blackjack test  

So you think you are a hotshot blackjack player? Take this short test and see how much you really know about the game. (Assume a six-deck game, with S17, and DAS.)1. You hold a pair of eights and the dealer shows a face card. Would you hit, stand or split?2. You hold an A-7 (8 or 18) and the dealer shows a five up card. Would you stand, hit or...

2017-06-17 05:17:32

Clare Fitzgerald - Ed Thorp's autobiography proves he's 'A Man for All Markets'  

Earlier this year, Dr. Edward O. Thorp, renowned card counter and author of the game-changing (literally) book Beat the Dealer, published his autobiography, A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market.While the title is long, the book itself is not overly so, running around 350 pages, plus some...

2017-06-16 01:27:58

Abby Messick - New York Senate passes online poker bill  

The bill will now head to the Assembly. The New York Senate yesterday passed a bill — S 3898A — that would legalize and regulate online poker, continuing last year's efforts and picking up where the Senate Finance Committee's vote in May left off. The bill received a 54-8 vote.In June 2016, the New York Senate approved an online gambling bill by...

2017-06-15 03:52:30

John Grochowski - Video poker too good to be true  

QUESTION: Once it became common knowledge to only play Jacks or Better video poker machines with a 9/6 pay table, Las Vegas casinos promptly responded by removing Jacks or Better games from their casinos. What is the next best game we should all look out for?ANSWER: It's an oversimplification to say that casinos promptly removed 9/6 Jacks or...

2017-06-15 03:28:24

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Hot tips for a Vegas visitor  

Question: A few weeks ago you had an article about someone who had a friend who pushed the button on his slot machine and the friend got a jackpot and the casino paid the friend. What happens when a stranger hits the button? A few years ago I was playing Wheel of Fortune at Ballys in AC. I got to spin for the Wheel of Fortune bonus. ...

2017-06-14 04:14:23

Abby Messick - Top 10 facts and figures about Foxwoods Resort Casino  

Foxwoods Resort Casino, owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut, is one of the most popular gaming destinations in the Northeast.The property has been going strong since its opening, undergoing multiple renovations and additions and hitting milestones that often accompany running such a large-scale operation.As...

2017-06-13 03:16:35

Frank Scoblete - Your not-so-quiet time  

The world-famous totally bald monk Swami Ylurt Enasni heads for his cave high in the Himalayan Mountains. He finds his favorite spot in his special place, his very own special place in his special beloved cave, where he assumes the lotus position and begins his slow and steady meditation to his very own personal mantra - an inner sound that takes...

2017-06-13 03:03:32

John Grochowski - Odd Blackjack Happenings  

Every veteran blackjack player has seen odd things happen at the tables. Other players' quirks, our own mistakes and interactions with players, dealers, pit supervisors and others lodge in our memories.Let's take a look at a few of those experiences readers have shared in the last couple of months.MARTY: I play at one of those places that used to...

2017-06-11 04:39:17

Jerry Stickman - Deuces Wild strategy with two and three deuces dealt  

Deuces Wild is a popular video poker game. The payback for full-pay Deuces Wild is more than 100%. The variance (which directly affects how much bankroll is required) is relatively low and the playing strategy is reasonably simple. But the real attraction of Deuces Wild is the additional bonus you win for getting four deuces.Because many...

2017-06-10 05:15:21

Abby Messick - Pennsylvania House says 'yes' to online gambling  

VGTs and tax rates are the major sticking points. Two weeks after Pennsylvania's Senate passed HB 271, a bill to legalize online gambling, the House concurred on Wednesday night, passing the bill as a gaming package that includes the legalization of online gambling and daily fantasy sports. The final vote was 102-89. Now the bill will head back to...

2017-06-09 02:19:30

Abby Messick - Massachusetts takes another step toward legalizing online gambling  

Efforts could continue in 2018. The Massachusetts Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy sports met on Tuesday to discuss the future of online gambling, bills for which have been introduced but haven't made much progress. It was agreed by a majority of commission members that an omnibus approach may be best....

2017-06-08 04:56:50

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: These are a few of my favorite slots  

Question: I'm a fan of the Top Dollar and two- or three-coin Double Diamond games. What are your favorite games? Answer: For video poker, I like Not So Ugly Ducks (NSUD) because that is frequently the highest-paying video poker pay table that gives full slot club credit in the Las Vegas locals casinos. Some casinos have Full Pay Deuces...

2017-06-08 02:27:04

John Grochowski - Three-hand blackjack  

QUESTION: I heard about a new blackjack game where you play three hands at once. Do you know it?ANSWER: The game is called Multi-Bet Blackjack, designed by SugarHouse casino and first available to New Jersey online players at only can you play three hands at once, you can make up to 12 wagers before the deal. That's because...

2017-06-08 01:47:16

Frank Scoblete - Some Things I Don't Know  

I am not a genius, although some people (including myself) think so. They base this on the fact that I have good knowledge about casino games and have invented, borrowed, and learned what I consider to be the best methods of playing various games. But even when it comes to gambling and casinos and casino players and dealers I am not the be-all and...

2017-06-06 05:23:06

John Grochowski - No Ray of Sunshine  

Among all the casino players I've met, Ray is unique. He plays about twice a month, mainly at blackjack, but says he hates to gamble."I'd rather stay home and watch TV, mow the lawn, do chores - anything," he said when I met him at a party. "But Joan (his wife) and her sister and parents like to play, so I play. Twice a month, month after month,...

2017-06-04 05:28:42

John Marchel - The number of decks in blackjack  

Playing blackjack in today's modern casinos, you will find a variety of decks, ranging from one, two, four, six and eight. What is the difference and which is best?Going back to the early 60s, all blackjack games in Las Vegas, Reno and other Nevada locations were played with a single deck. Around that time, Dr. Edward O. Thorp brought out his...

2017-06-03 03:33:09

Nicholas G. Colon - How casinos can bring back customers and increase revenue  

Ed Thorp, 2015. (photo by Ed Thorp)In 1962, Professor Ed Thorp published the first widely distributed, mathematically sound way to beat blackjack. His book Beat the Dealer terrified casinos so much that casino owners called a meeting and decided to all change the rules of blackjack concurrently. This did not have the effect they had hoped for. In...

2017-06-03 01:04:01

Abby Messick - Illinois Senate approves last-minute online gambling and DFS bill  

The Illinois State Senate. (photo by Daniel Schwen)The Illinois Senate approved on Wednesday a bill that would legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports, online gambling and online poker in the state.HB 479 passed with a 42-10 vote, and now awaits a vote by the House, which will reconvene on 8 June. Though Illinois has been attempting...

2017-06-02 03:31:10

John Grochowski - Is 9/6 video poker the best?  

QUESTION: I always heard that you should always look for 9/6 video poker games, but I overheard one player saying, "Look, this one's 9/6," and the other saying, "9/6 isn't great on that game. Let's keep looking."What would they have been looking for?ANSWER: The first video poker game to be a big hit with players was Jacks or Better, with the 9/6...

2017-06-01 04:11:52

Tadas Peckaitis - Top 10 ways to become a better poker player  

Poker has always been a dynamic game that requires constant improvement to stay ahead of the field. In the era of online poker, this is more valid than ever.If you want to be a successful poker player, you must keep learning. It is as simple as that. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve — and that being said, we can jump into a list of top...

2017-05-31 03:50:36

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Are slot tournaments and casino drawings worth it?  

Question: Is it worth it playing in VIP slot tournaments and entering casino drawings? Answer: If you win, it's definitely worth it. But many, many more people walk away with nothing than something. Don't be like a friend of mine who invariably says while walking away empty-handed, "Well, that was an enormous waste of time...

2017-05-31 02:30:36

Frank Scoblete - Your Money or Your Life  

In the Jack Benny Show of the 1950's and early 1960's, a sketch is performed where Benny is being mugged by a gunman. If you don't know the brilliant Benny, he portrayed himself as a cheap man, a skinflint, whose love of money knew few bounds.The mugger is holding a gun to Benny's head. "Mister, I'm telling you, your money or your life!"Benny...

2017-05-30 04:58:56

John Grochowski - Words from Experience  

Ten or 12 years ago, I took a park district bus trip to a casino, figuring I could get an article or two out of the experience.On board I met Mel and his wife Alice, a couple then in their 70s who got their first taste of casino gambling nearly 60 years ago. Mel had learned to play craps in his Army days and that was his main game for decades."It...

2017-05-28 03:59:10

Clare Fitzgerald - Engaged Nation links land-based and online social gaming  

In 2008, Jerry Epstein, a senior partner at PR firm FleishmanHillard, got a call from a client who was worried about the internet.A lot of people worry about the internet, but this client — Bill Paulos, owner of Cannery Casino Resorts — had a pretty good reason. In 2008, online gaming was thriving, but was pretty separated from the U.S. land-based...

2017-05-27 04:18:39

Henry Tamburin - Learning blackjack lingo  

Every game has its own jargon, and blackjack is no exception. To help you understand some common blackjack terms used by players, I've assembled this mini-glossary. I don't have enough space to include all the terminology associated with blackjack, so I've focused on some common terms that may not be familiar to most players.Anchor player: This is...

2017-05-27 01:47:36

Gary Trask - Top 10 facts and figures from the 2017 WSOP Media Guide  

Buckle up. The 48th World Series of Poker begins on Tuesday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Played at a dizzying pace, 74 events will take place over a 54-day span, culminating with the crowning of the $10,000 Main Event champion on July 22.Getting ready to host the 2017 @WSOP Main Event at #RioVegas!—...

2017-05-26 01:10:29

Abby Messick - Pennsylvania moves closer to legalizing online gambling  

Pennsylvania's HB 271, a bill that would allow online gambling, passed the Senate today with a 38-12 vote.The bill passed quickly through legislation on Tuesday, passing the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee by a margin of 11-3 and clearing the Senate Appropriations Committee with a vote of 24-2.The next stop is...

2017-05-25 01:26:41

John Grochowski - The world's worst blackjack player?  

QUESTION: I have a blackjack story for you. Full table, low-limit game, one guy was hitting everything but 20s and 21s every time the dealer had a 10 up. The first time, he signaled to hit king-9, and the whole table went "NO!" along with "You can't hit that!" and "Is that a serious play?"He insisted, and the dealer called out, "Hitting hard 19,"...

2017-05-25 01:15:46

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Another strange experience with found tickets  

Question: On a recent trip to Gun Lake Casino in Michigan, I found two tickets on the floor. The total was $90+. I went to a cashier window wondering what to do (I did not try to cash the tickets). She tapdanced around the question and said to go to security. Security said, "Those are not your tickets, give them to me" and "it is fraud for...

2017-05-24 05:59:03

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Another strange experience with found tickets  

Question: On a recent trip to Gun Lake Casino in Michigan, I found two tickets on the floor. The total was $90+. I went to a cashier window wondering what to do (I did not try to cash the tickets). She tapdanced around the question and said to go to security. Security said, "Those are not your tickets, give them to me" and "it is fraud for...

2017-05-24 03:16:57

Frank Scoblete - The hole  

There are some days and nights, I mean, there are just some days and nights when nothing goes right and the things that go wrong go awfully wrong. I am sure that those of you who are avid casino gamblers have experienced those days and/or nights of horror. I know I have. You begin in a hole, and you end in a deeper hole.Let's take a look at one....

2017-05-23 01:11:21

John Grochowski - What slots do players like?  

Slot players not only have favorite games, they have favorite types of games. Mary, a longtime slot player, e-mailed recently to say she didn't get the attraction of free spin bonuses."I love the ones where you pick things," she said. "You're part of the games in those, fate in your own hands, and you get to do something different besides watch...

2017-05-21 02:48:57

Jerry Stickman - Chasing losses  

Dear Stickman:I am trying very hard to become a better player in the casino. I have read some of your articles and several of Frank Scoblete's books and articles. I only play the better games in blackjack. I only make better bets at craps, and I only play the better video poker games.Sometimes I do OK, but other times I still lose big. I will lose...

2017-05-20 04:10:48

Gary Trask - Top 10 things we'll miss about the WSOP November Nine  

Full disclosure: I'm not a poker purist.Yep, go ahead and call me crazy. Tell me I know nothing about poker and that your opinion of anything I write about the game going forward will be tainted. You're entitled to do so. But it doesn't change the fact that I like — make that liked — the November Nine format the World Series of Poker Main Event...

2017-05-19 03:47:48

John Grochowski - Why are they still called slot machines?  

QUESTION: The name "slot machine" comes from the coin slot, right? Now that machines don't have slots, do you think that will change?ANSWER: It won't change anytime soon. After more than a century of use, the name is so ingrained that even online players who risk no money in social casinos refer to the games as "slots." Maybe as skill-based games...

2017-05-18 01:07:54

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Where I hit my royals  

Question: Always enjoy your articles and the information you publish. I just read your latest about royal flushes and the percentages of hitting a royal vs. how many cards to the royal you were dealt. We live in the S. Lake Tahoe area, so we play at the five casinos they have here. Reading your article to my wife, she asked, "Does it seem to...

2017-05-17 05:11:45

Gary Trask - Top 10 reasons to make the Gulf Coast of Mississippi your next gambling destination  

Gamble. Golf. Drink. Eat. Music. Sun. Beach.The Gulf Coast of Mississippi is overflowing with all of the above activities and attributes. Toss in the genuine Southern hospitality and charm of the good folks that live and work there, and it's really no wonder why the Biloxi/Gulfport area has become a favorite destination of yours truly over the...

2017-05-16 05:23:26

Frank Scoblete - When play is work  

I've heard them and I am sure you have heard them; in fact, just about everyone I know has heard them. Their famous quote is this: "I need a vacation from my vacation!"Even a singular one-day trip to the casino can elicit some such statement as "Oh, brother, I am beat" or "What an exhausting day I had!"I don't really need to say such sentences,...

2017-05-16 03:23:36

John Grochowski - Craps Tales  

About a month ago, I wrote about Herm, a don't pass player who said he mostly was left alone by craps player who prefer to bet with the shooter, but that he'd sometimes come across a player who made it a personal issue.Other readers have sent me their own craps yarns. They're not all tales from the dark side. Shopping for a winner comes from both...

2017-05-14 01:24:01

John Marchel - Best casino comp tips  

Gambling at the casino can be a lot of fun, but so is getting some free things for your time and action. Earning casino complementary items with your slot or table game play is a benefit offered by most casinos in the US. "Comps", which is the industry term for complementary items offered by casinos, can be especially rewarding.Comps are designed...

2017-05-13 05:17:44

Abby Messick - New York Senate Finance Committee passes online poker bill  

On Tuesday, the New York Senate Finance Committee passed online poker bill S3898, sponsored by Senator John J. Bonacic. The bill will now continue on to the Senate for further consideration.The bill, previously passed by the Senate in 2016 before being shelved in the Assembly, was re-introduced on 27 January this year.Under S3898, certain types of...

2017-05-11 09:43:29

John Grochowski - Russian hackers  

QUESTION: Have you heard about the Russian slot hack where they could predict the next spin? They won money at casinos around the world. If random number generators are truly random, how is that even possible? You can't predict random.ANSWER: The phrase I've often used in describing random number generators is, "as random as humans can program a...

2017-05-11 07:09:08

Tadas Peckaitis - Top 10 tips for winning poker tournaments  

10. Be prepared for the event ahead of timeNegative EV (expected value) is inevitable if you start a tournament unprepared. It is extremely important to stay fit, exercise constantly and eat as healthy as possible. This is true for both live and online tournaments.Many players miss this step and encounter fatigue, which is very common when playing...

2017-05-11 07:05:41

John Grochowski - Fooling slots redux  

A column on a woman's attempt to beat slots by fooling the random number generator into thinking she was a big player drew several questions from readers.Her theory was that making big bets early would establish her as a potential big player, and since casinos want to reward big players, she would get a better payback percentage. The fatal flaw...

2017-05-11 03:48:31

Frank Scoblete - Money matters  

FROM MAX: I want to know what the best money management plan to use when I play is. I know I can't win with money management, but at least I can control my overall losses. My wife always checks our bank account, and she notices when I take money out to go casino gambling.FRANK RESPONDS: What money should you use to gamble with in a casino? Your...

2017-05-11 03:39:35

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: How many cards I held when I hit my royals  

A few weeks ago I addressed an incorrect statement I overheard about royal flush probabilities. This person said he had read an article that said that you're more likely to get a royal flush when you're dealt three cards to the royal than when you're dealt four cards to it. Of course, that statement is wrong. You're more likely to complete the...

2017-05-11 03:34:17

Henry Tamburin - 21 blackjack no-nos  

The game of blackjack has its procedures, codes of conduct and playing strategies. The procedures are essential to ensure the security and integrity of the game. The codes of conduct encompass the playing etiquette, so you don't attract the ire of your fellow players or the dealer. The playing strategies help you win. When you don't follow any of...

2017-05-11 03:19:02

Frank Scoblete - Quittin' time  

In the epic Academy Award-winning movie Gone with the Wind, Big Ben, a delightfully happy slave who works tirelessly in the brutally hot cotton fields, calls out the end of the work day by saying, "It's quittin' time!" and all the other happy slaves end their day of backbreaking work for their kind and gentle masters.Yes, Gone with the Wind, an...

2017-05-11 01:16:16

John Grochowski - Machine mistakes and doubling on blackjacks  

QUESTION: A few years ago, I was playing a virtual craps game where the dice were vibrated to simulate a roll. The die was at an angle and I was not paid for the bet. I objected to the other players, and they said "ignore it, it happened yesterday" and that the attendant "wouldn't pay it." A casino suit came by and I mentioned it to him, and he...

2017-05-04 03:53:57

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