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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 - Stump and amaze your friends  

The next time you belly up to the bar with a friend or co-worker who thinks he knows everything about the game of blackjack, ask Mr. Know-It-All a few of these questions.QUESTION: How did the game of blackjack get its name?ANSWER: When "21" was initially introduced in the United States in gambling houses, it wasn't very popular. So casino...

2017-03-25 04:18:56

John Grochowski - The problem of fatigue  

QUESTION: I play a lot of blackjack, often in the $50 range. On innumerable occasions I have seen players who were hundreds or even thousands of dollars ahead go away empty-handed because they simply could not leave at a timely point, apparently having set no "win" targets or "stop-loss" points, or else just plain unable to stop.Player fatigue is...

2017-03-23 03:36:47

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Royal flush probabilities  

Question: My friend said that he once read an article that said you were more likely to get a royal flush when you're dealt three of the cards than when you're dealt four. That doesn't make sense to me. Is he right? Answer: I think I read the same article, many, many years ago. Your friend missed an important part of the article. The...

2017-03-23 01:35:22

Nicholas G. Colon - Increase your gaming value by using casino coupons  

The 2017 American Casino Guide (photo by Shmuel Spiegelman)Every person is looking for value in any purchase they make. For whatever reason, people want a bargain — most of us don't have the luxury of not worrying about the cost of something, so we instinctively look for a way to bypass the retail price.Gambling is like any other purchase one...

2017-03-21 05:43:51

Frank Scoblete - You can take it with you!  

There is an old saying, "You can't take it with you," that is supposed to encourage limiting one's greed and/or to encourage people to live for today because tomorrow, well, tomorrow you'll be dead. So all the riches you've amassed are meaningless if you think they will belong to you when you are no longer you.So go to it, boys and girls! Spend...

2017-03-21 03:28:44

Abby Messick - Top 10 U.S. states by number of casinos per capita  

A riverboat casino in Mississippi. For this week's top 10, Casino City is tapping into information provided by WalletHub, a personal finance website.While the No. 1 state (Nevada) on the list is a no-brainer, the other, less-populated states on the list may surprise you, as many of them are not the first destination on many people's casino bucket...

2017-03-21 02:05:38

John Grochowski - The magic bus  

Casino players know well the ups and downs of wagering, with more downs than ups for most of us. But it's the ups that are most memorable, like those relayed via e-mail by readers Betty and Pearl.Betty: "For me a perfect day is having a good time, a nice lunch out and not losing any money. As long as I get to play some bonuses, have some fun and...

2017-03-19 03:09:03

Jerry Stickman - Playing 8/5 Jacks or Better  

An acquaintance recently asked me to comment on playing the 8/5 version of Jacks or Better. He understands that 9/6 Jacks or Better is a better game to play, but says it is sometimes hard to find such a game.For those readers who are not familiar with video poker terminology, the Jacks or Better game is one of the first video poker games ever...

2017-03-18 04:56:27

John Grochowski - Yikes! 10 billion to one?  

QUESTION: I was thinking about slot odds and something you wrote about how they can make a video slot reel as long as they want since it doesn't take up space inside the game cabinet.Some of those video reels seem really long, so there could be 100 symbols, right? It there's only one jackpot symbol per reel, and there are five reels like most...

2017-03-16 01:02:44

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Hold pat straight flush or go for royal  

Question: My wife was recently dealt a straight flush starting with the 9 through king. What would you do, and what is the proper play? Keep the straight flush or throw away the 9 and go for a royal flush? Answer: What I would do is make the proper play, even though it's sometimes tempting to make a different play. On Not So Ugly Ducks...

2017-03-15 01:45:21

John Grochowski - Hole-card or no-hole-card blackjack  

Just about a year ago, I answered a reader's question about strategy adjustments for cruise-ship blackjack in which the dealer takes no hole card, waits until all player decisions to take a second card and more.Most Americans don't encounter that situation often, although some European casinos as well as some cruise ships have such games. However,...

2017-03-12 02:15:04

John Marchel - Managing your time at the tables  

In addition to managing your bankroll while gambling, you should also learn to manage your time.It's important to remember that most casino games have a built-in edge; the longer you play, the more the house edge kicks in, resulting in more of a chance of losing your bankroll. This is particularly true with games of chance like craps, roulette and...

2017-03-11 03:58:44

Gary Trask - Top 10 tips to winning your NCAA basketball pool  

Selection Sunday is just days away, which means — like it or not — you are about to be inundated by "bracket talk."Doesn't matter if you don't know Coach Cal from Coach K, or you have no idea if the Gonzaga Zags come from Washington state or Washington, D.C. Flip on the TV, walk into the lunchroom at work or listen to random conversations on the...

2017-03-10 01:57:15

John Grochowski - You must pay the piper  

QUESTION: When you see a slot machine like Wheel of Fortune or Seinfeld or Wonder Woman, are the people who were in those shows paid?ANSWER: Licenses for themed games have to be negotiated with the copyright holder. The owners of the TV shows, movies, board games and other intellectual property used in slot themes are paid. So are any actors,...

2017-03-09 04:29:26

Abby Messick - Michigan Senate Regulatory Reform Committee passes online gambling bill  

Michigan state capitol. (photo by Brian Charles Watson)Michigan's Senate Regulatory Reform Committee today held a hearing to discuss the latest in online gambling legislation.Senate Bill 203 - The Lawful Internet Gaming Act - sponsored by Sen. Mike Kowall, was introduced on 1 March 2017 and builds on last year's sessions.Despite concerns over...

2017-03-09 04:27:59

Abby Messick - Pennsylvania online gambling debate continues during legislative hearing  

Pennsylvania State Capitol (photo by Ad Meskens)Pennsylvania's House Gaming Oversight Committee and Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee held a three-hour hearing featuring 15 witnesses on Tuesday to discuss the fate of online poker in the state.While many of the speakers were opposed to online gaming — most notably,...

2017-03-09 03:55:53

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Adding symbols in a bonus round  

Question: I have a question about the Zeus slot machine. When you hit the free game bonus, there are two additional features with the free games. One is a symbol that awards one additional free game every time it appears on the screen. The other is the one I'm questioning. If any red-colored Zeuses appear on the far right column of the game,...

2017-03-08 05:04:51

Gary Trask - Top 10 March Madness in Las Vegas trip tips  

Your airfare and hotel room reservation were secured months ago. You've spent the last few weeks hydrating, padding your bankroll and preparing your body for the pandemonium.The countdown is on for your trip to Las Vegas for March Madness.Congrats. You're almost there. All the proper advance planning is done. Now, it's up to you to make the most...

2017-03-07 04:16:32

Frank Scoblete - Is it too much to ask?  

I am a calm player; I really am. I'm cool like a Zen monk.If someone is not playing basic strategy at blackjack and making all sorts of bonehead plays, that's fine with me. His play does not affect me positively or negatively. If some craps player is making the most idiotic bets; hey, it's his money. He can play intelligently or stupidly; his...

2017-03-07 01:54:08

Henry Tamburin - What does a dealer do?  

The answer to the above question seems obvious . . . a blackjack dealer deals cards. However, when I contacted the person who asked me the above question, I discovered that what she really wanted to know are more details about the job. (The reader lives in a state where demand for dealers has outstripped supply and she is considering a career...

2017-03-05 03:50:05

John Grochowski - Back-to-back wins  

I received an email recently from Mark, a video poker player who just found this column recently but who said he's been skimming an online archive to see what he'd missed."What caught my eye were some columns you'd done a while back on players who had jackpots close together," he wrote. "I wanted to add my story to your collection."This is topic...

2017-03-05 03:11:15

Gary Trask - The ultimate March Madness in Las Vegas viewing party guide  

Spring Break, St. Patrick's Day and March Madness.All three events collide in two weeks in Las Vegas, bringing millions of people to the area for four days of self-indulged debauchery.Talk about a perfect storm.Take it from someone who was in Las Vegas last year when this very same trifecta hit the city. As you can imagine, it's absolute mayhem...

2017-03-04 03:03:32

John Grochowski - 100x odds and touch-screen blackjack  

QUESTION: I was wondering about craps tables and free odds. Most of the casinos near me have 3x, 4x, 5x odds. That seems to be standard around here. When I travel, I've seen 5x, 10x, sometimes 100x odds.Why doesn't everyone offer the 100x odds and be done with it? The odds are an even bet, right? The house doesn't lose money on them, and players...

2017-03-02 02:34:22

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: How much to tip for a slot machine jackpot  

Question: When hitting a hand-paid jackpot, what is the courtesy regarding tipping the slot attendant that pays you? Do you tip higher for bigger jackpots? I hit for $1300 and $8000 last week and it seemed to me the attendants were truly appreciative of any tip. Answer: Something strange seems to be going on with hand-paid jackpots. It used...

2017-03-01 03:18:26

Abby Messick - Top 10 most-read columns by Mark Pilarski  

To card count, or not to card count? (photo by Bob Owen)You may have already heard the news: After decades of faithful service to the gambling industry, working for seven different casinos and writing informative, entertaining columns, Mark Pilarski retired late last year.For more than 20 years, Pilarski has answered burning questions from readers...

2017-02-28 04:25:23

Frank Scoblete - Worthy slot writers  

I know it is rare for a gambling writer to review other gambling writers, especially since some of these writers write for the same publications (including this one) and some of these writers are friends of his.My answer to the conundrum is this: So what?I enjoy reading other gambling writers, I do, although most of the genre is filled with...

2017-02-28 03:31:41

John Grochowski - Systems and More Systems  

It's not unusual to find a roulette player with a system. It's less common to find a systems player who wants to coach you in their method just because you happened to be standing next to them.That's what happened to Rob, who made the table minimum $5 wager on inside bets by putting his chips straddling the line separating 13-14-15 from 16-17-18....

2017-02-26 03:35:08

Gary Trask - Casino City writer-turned-poker-pro captures Foxwoods Winter Deep Freeze Poker Challenge  

No cheering in the press box.It's one of the first rules a young journalist learns, and the figurative and literal meaning is vitally important. You should never root for — or against, for that matter — the people or teams you are covering.Last week, however, we had a rare exception here at Casino City. Our former colleague Dan Podheiser reached...

2017-02-25 01:50:43

Jerry Stickman - Some video poker games earn different players club points  

Savvy players like Video Poker because of its low house edge. With some games the edge can actually be in the player's favor. By including slot club bonus points, even a slightly negative game can become positive.At one time (it now seems like the distant past), when the concept of player's club points was fairly new, all video poker and slot...

2017-02-25 01:04:40

Clare Fitzgerald - Q&A with Kara Scott, host of 888poker News  

Kara Scott, official 888poker brand ambassador. Kara Scott is one of our favorite poker personalities here at Casino City, so we were thrilled to hear that she's hosting a new show, 888poker News. The new show will air once a month online and, as you might have guessed from the title, is sponsored by 888 Poker, where Scott is a brand ambassador....

2017-02-24 02:09:55

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: What are the odds of being dealt a royal flush?  

Question: I recently was dealt a royal flush. What are the odds of being dealt a royal flush? Answer: Congratulations. All royals are great, but dealt royals are special because they happen so rarely. I was lucky enough to be dealt a royal twice last year, an occurrence I doubt will ever happen again. To find the odds of being dealt a...

2017-02-23 04:08:59

John Grochowski - A simple strategy for Caribbean stud  

QUESTION: You never write about Caribbean Stud anymore. Why is that? Also, can you give a strategy for when to bet and when to fold? I mainly play blackjack, but as a second game I like Caribbean Stud when I can find it.ANSWER: Your last phrase, "when I can find it," is the main reason I rarely write about Caribbean Stud. It's not as popular as it...

2017-02-23 02:50:05

Nicholas G. Colon - Gambling greats gather at annual Blackjack Ball in Las Vegas  

Anthony Curtis at the Ultimate Blackjack Tournament. (photo by Anthony Curtis)On a cool Saturday evening in late January, in the shadows of the most well-known casinos in the world, with the distant glow of the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip in the background, the most elite professional gamblers in the world gather to attend the...

2017-02-21 02:22:03

Frank Scoblete - Genetic roulette  

Everything in life is a gamble. Whether it's crossing the street, deciding what to eat, whom to date, whom to marry, flying in a plane, taking a shower, just sitting in your living room; all of these activities could end in happiness, misery and perhaps death. That's the way it is.Marriage is not the worst of gambles, because divorce is always...

2017-02-21 02:05:18

Clare Fitzgerald - Top 10 most bananas stories from Trump's time as a casino boss  

President Donald Trump (photo by Gage Skidmore)It's President's Day here in the U.S., and while we've certainly had our fair share of presidents who gamble — as I wrote about last year — for the first time in history, we have a president whose gambling experience comes from the operator side. In the 1980s and 1990s, Donald J. Trump was the Casino...

2017-02-21 01:30:10

John Grochowski - Some blackjack complaints  

Many of the stories I relay from other players come from conversations at blackjack tables. There's time to talk while cards are being dealt or shuffled, and while some player would rather not be bothered, many like to do little socializing.Sometimes the social experience turns sour. Not every player interaction is pleasant. Here are a few ...

2017-02-19 03:31:49

John Marchel - Quick start for blackjack  

In the game of blackjack, there are about 340 different dealer-player card combinations that can be received during any round of play. Using the system commonly called "basic strategy" will tell you the correct play for every hand seen.It will take anywhere from eight to 12 hours to memorize all those 340 combinations. The player then will be able...

2017-02-18 04:03:25

Abby Messick - New York online poker bill back on track  

New York State Senator John Bonacic A bill that would legalize and regulate online poker in the state of New York has, so far, encountered surprisingly smooth sailing.Sen. John Bonacic introduced bill S 3893 in late January. Counter to the drawn-out struggles some states have grown used to, the bill passed the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering...

2017-02-17 04:36:10

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: When does progressive 8/5 Jacks go positive?  

Question: I play the Progressive Joker Poker machines in Harrah's AC. I am wondering what the odds are of getting five-of-a-kind. Answer: You can expect to hit a five-of-a-kind about once every 11,000 hands, on the average on Joker Poker. The key phrase is on the average. You won't get a quint every 11,000th hand. But if you divide the...

2017-02-17 04:29:28

John Grochowski - Another awful blackjack hand  

QUESTION: Can I join in with my own blackjack hand that makes me queasy? It's when I have ace-7 and the dealer has a 10.The basic strategy card says to hit that hand, but I always seem to make it worse. Sometimes I get a 7 or 8, and then I have a 15 or 16 and have to hit again, and when I hit again there's a good chance I bust.Why should I take...

2017-02-16 04:22:47

Abby Messick - Top 10 Las Vegas casinos by number of poker tables  

Check out the views at the top of the Stratosphere. (photo by Gary Denness)As a follow-up to our Top 10 Las Vegas Casinos by number of slot machines, this week we're back with the top casinos by number of poker tables. If you're looking for a plethora of USB ports, must-have air conditioning, HD TVs and, oddly enough, thrill rides, look no...

2017-02-14 03:47:19

Gary Trask - Island Resort & Casino continues to thrive and expand  

An aerial view of the award-winning Sweetgrass Golf Club. With the open fire pit blazing and the sun setting into the emerald green fairway behind us, I sank comfortably into my chair, sipped a cocktail and shared story after story, and laugh after laugh, with three foursomes of golf buddies.Our jovial group had just completed a round at the...

2017-02-14 02:28:59

Frank Scoblete - Friends: Help or hindrance?  

It's nice to have friends. Certainly it's nice to have one or two good friends in whom you can confide, who you can sympathize with, and with whom you can play in the casinos. That last one can be good or bad, depending on the type of friends you have.If you are playing in the casino, it is great to be able to share the high and low experiences....

2017-02-14 01:49:35

John Grochowski - Video to slots  

When it comes to non-wagering video gaming, I'll admit to being a throwback. The old-school games are the ones I know best, and classic games such as Pong and Breakout from Bally Technologies and Centipede from International Game Technology have been right in my sweet spot.Another is on its way from Konami Gaming. Frogger, based on the megahit...

2017-02-12 03:33:06

John Marchel - When not to play blackjack  

In past articles I've tried to tell you the best way to play and be successful at blackjack. Now I want to tell you when not to play the game. There will be times when the count is going in your favor, but still the dealer is winning three hands to your one. You sit out a couple of hands but it doesn't seem to change. You move to another table but...

2017-02-11 04:32:08

John Grochowski - The payback puzzle  

QUESTION: Have the casinos reduced the payout percentages on their higher denomination machines, up to $1, or reduced the number of higher pays in the programs so the higher denomination machines payouts are very similar to the penny machines?Has gaming changed to such an extent that one must pay the $25 and up slots to have any chance of a...

2017-02-09 04:22:06

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Russians cheat a slot machine's RNG  

Question: The RNG can't be beat? Google the headline Russians Engineer a Brilliant Slot Machine Cheat and take a read. Answer: The headline refers to a recent article in Wired. The RNG cannot be beaten -- not without inside knowledge. I've written about RNG cheats many times in the past. Each time a vulnerability is discovered and...

2017-02-08 02:08:35

Gary Trask - Top 10 post-Super Bowl betting tidbits  

New England's pulsating 34-28 victory over Atlanta on Sunday is already being hailed as "The Best Super Bowl Ever Played," but bettors that were holding tickets on the Falcons and/or under 57 points may beg to differ.Trailing 28-3 in the second half, the Patriots not only completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history by scoring 31...

2017-02-07 03:28:29

Frank Scoblete - The broken record  

I am a broken record.My wife the Beautiful AP just said that no one talks about broken or even unbroken records anymore. She is not sure many of my readers have much experience with records of any type, so let me update that opening and say that I am a tape recording coming unraveled.No, wait; tape recordings are pretty old too, aren't they? So...

2017-02-07 02:35:52

Clare Fitzgerald - Del Lago Resort & Casino gets the details right  

A dealer starts one of the first blackjack games to be played at del Lago, just outside the high limit room. WATERLOO, N.Y. - By 9 o'clock in the morning on Wednesday, 1 February, the line in front of the casino was already spilling out into the parking lot. Boisterous New Yorkers chatted among themselves as they waited in the cold February sun....

2017-02-07 01:44:35

John Grochowski - The former slot machine king  

It's been a long time since three-reel slots were the most popular game in casinos. Video slots took over that slot more than a decade ago.But just because a game is no longer No. 1 doesn't mean it disappears entirely. When blackjack overtook craps, craps didn't just go away, nor did blackjack when reel slots started to draw more play. OK, you can...

2017-02-05 01:29:19

Jerry Stickman - Which casino has better video poker?  

All casinos today have some sort of slot player's club. By joining the club and inserting your player's card when you play video poker, points are added to your balance. These points typically are redeemed for food, drink, merchandise, free play or cash. Players who earn enough points in a set period of time (usually six months to one year) might...

2017-02-04 03:56:57

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Wheel of Fortune max bets  

Question: Your article on the Worst Video Poker Instruction Tape was hilarious! Can you put that on YouTube or somewhere to share? Answer: The column in question was published on this site on 09/14/16. I believe that the program is not in the public domain, so I can't post it. As I'm sure you did too, I searched for it online and couldn't...

2017-02-02 02:24:31

John Grochowski - Those Multi-Play Machines  

QUESTION: I am really struggling with a strategy on multi-hand Double Double Bonus and Triple Double Bonus. It relates to getting dealt three aces with a kicker on Five or Ten Play. There are people who hold the kicker and I just can't bring myself to do that.Yesterday it cost me a large hit when I got the fourth ace but had dumped the kicker. ...

2017-02-02 02:05:21

Frank Scoblete - New year, new you  

A new year is upon us, but, as often happens in our gambling world, we wind up treating the new years the same way we treated the old ones. The only thing that changes - at least in our casino playing career - are the dates on the calendar.So I say start this new year off with a radical suggestion: Why not do two things? Change some of the games...

2017-01-31 05:30:53

Abby Messick - Top 10 Las Vegas casinos by number slot machines  

The Las Vegas Strip (photo by Clement Bardot)New to Las Vegas? Don't know where to go to satisfy your craving for some serious slot machine play, and don't know where to start looking? Casino City has your back.We searched our database for casinos in the Las Vegas area with the biggest slot machine counts. For those of you who have been to Vegas,...

2017-01-31 05:04:26

John Grochowski - Those queasy hands at blackjack  

A few weeks ago I wrote about playing blackjack with a fellow who took a queasy turn every time he had an 11 when the dealer had a 10-value face up.The correct basic strategy is to double down, but he couldn't bring himself to do it.That column brought several responses from players who have their own queasiness about different parts of the basic...

2017-01-29 02:11:37

John Marchel - Money management is important  

It has been said by some that money management techniques can be just as important to your game as learning the game itself. Picking up any good book about gambling, including games like craps, blackjack, slots, roulette, video poker and live poker, you should find a chapter or two about managing your bankroll.You can't bet unless you have the...

2017-01-28 03:05:36

John Grochowski - Betting on other players' hands  

QUESTION: If the player next to me doubles for less, is it profitable for me to throw him a chip to make up the difference? Then if the bet wins, I keep the chip I gave him plus the winnings equivalent to my chip.ANSWER: As long as the double down comes on a hand in which doubling is the correct basic strategy play, then yes, it is a profitable...

2017-01-26 04:50:49

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Prosecuting a slot player who cashed out credits he didn't notice were on the machine  

Question: I recently had my first trip to a casino. I walked up to a slot machine to play it and put my ticket in to play and played once or twice and then cashed out. When I cashed out I noticed that the amount on the ticket was more than what I thought I had won. I redeemed the ticket and was done for the night at the casino. The next day...

2017-01-25 01:36:51

Frank Scoblete - Still more readers write  

FROM VICTOR: So I was standing at the craps table betting as the guy two away from me on the right was shooting. I was feeling kind of hot and icky but not really sick like.Next thing I remember was: "Why am I looking at the casino ceiling?"The in-house EMT was there quickly and put me on a high chair next to the railing. Of course the game went...

2017-01-24 04:18:06

Clare Fitzgerald - Visit the bizarre side of Vegas with 'Getting off on Frank Sinatra'  

Sure, it's a murder mystery. But it's not all doom and gloom. Here at Casino City, our coverage of Las Vegas tends to focus on its gaming industry, since that's sort of our wheelhouse. And anything not strictly gaming-related is still usually geared toward tourists.But there's a lot more to Las Vegas than its casinos, and it's these...

2017-01-24 03:50:13

Gary Trask - Top 10 common mistakes made by blackjack players  

Keep your cool and keep these tips in mind. (photo by Bob Owen)With nearly a decade of experience as a table games dealer, Alex Kim could tell stories literally for hours upon hours about the common mistakes casino gamblers commit on a regular basis."Yeah, I think I've pretty much seen it all," says the 30-year-old Kim, a Las Vegas native who was...

2017-01-24 03:30:50

John Grochowski - Multi-Strike video poker  

Multi-Strike Poker and Five Play Multi-Strike have been with us for well over a decade, long enough to settle in as niche games. Casinos that reach out to video poker players with a large selection of games offer Multi-Strike, but not every casino carries it.I've always loved the games and still get questions about it. One arrived via email in...

2017-01-22 04:39:52

John Marchel - Oh, those wonderful playing cards  

It's believed that playing cards were developed in China in the ninth century. They have moved around the world at various times and in many cases they were adapted to meet local desires. They were sometimes used for different purposes than they were made for. Here are some examples of "things" about playing cards.• In 1752, Benjamin Franklin used...

2017-01-21 04:42:02

John Grochowski - Triple-zero roulette  

QUESTION: Have you heard about the new Sands Roulette game at the Venetian? Above the 0 and 00, there is another green space that has a capital "S" and a Sands logo.Is that a game they had at the old Sands that they're bringing back? Besides having an extra bet, does it change the game?ANSWER: The Venetian stands on the site of the old Sands Las...

2017-01-19 04:36:46

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Why Nevada allows the wheel on Wheel of Fortune  

Question: I've heard that Nevada has a rule that says an electronic version of a game must have the same odds as the live game. If that's the case, why do they allow things like the picking bonus on 88 Fortunes and the non-random wheel on Wheel of Fortune? Answer: Regulation 14.040 Minimum standards for gaming devices subsection 5...

2017-01-18 01:52:41

Frank Scoblete - More readers write  

FROM BERNIE: I just finished reading your article about betting the 4 at craps. What you say is very true, the only right way to bet it is by making a come bet first that goes to the 4 then take your odds.I see players make all the stupid bets in the middle and then complain about their bad luck. All I do is make a pass line bet and take odds and...

2017-01-17 03:21:55

Gary Trask - Top 10 Las Vegas sportsbook etiquette mistakes  

The new sportsbook at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas (photo by Erik Kabik)With the Super Bowl just two weeks away and March Madness on the horizon, Nevada sportsbooks are preparing for some of their busiest days of the calendar.So, before you make your next pilgrimage to a sports bettors' Disneyland, avoid being "that guy" and don't break the simple —...

2017-01-17 03:08:52

Abby Messick - MGM Grand's LEVEL UP raises the bar for modern gaming  

Skill-based games are slowly but surely establishing themselves as the "new thing," waiting to change the face of the gaming industry.Casinos are looking to integrate this new breed of gambling machine into their repertoire to entice young customers and to add a new spin to the traditional gaming floor. And if skill-based games are the new thing,...

2017-01-17 01:30:24

John Grochowski - Locals versus destination casinos  

There are many ways to categorize casinos, and one of the primary divisions is locals casino vs. destination resort.All casinos strive to attract players from out of their region, but if you talk to players at a casino in the Chicago suburbs, for example, you'll find most of the players are from Chicagoland. But if you talk to players in Atlantic...

2017-01-15 03:26:02

Jerry Stickman - Video poker pay tables may deceive you  

Video poker games are commonly classified by the type of game and an indication of the payback.The type of game describes the major features of the game. Some of the more common game types include Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double-Double Bonus Poker and Deuces Wild.To further classify these games, an indication of the...

2017-01-14 04:50:31

Nicholas G. Colon - A farewell to 'old' Las Vegas  

The Flamingo still stands on its original 15-acre plot of land. (photo by Chris Alex Villal)On 16 August 2016 at 2:30 a.m., the 26-story Monaco tower of the Riviera Hotel and Casino was demolished. Since that Las Vegas staple opened in April 1955, it has been an integral part of the history of that morally ambiguous city. From being the crown...

2017-01-14 01:35:53

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: When does a Class II slot machine stop the bingo drawing?  

Question: Last week I went to a casino on Macau (I live in Hong Kong) to play 50 Lions. I got 24 lions mixed with diamonds on all lines. I love the game. I know that Las Vegas has regulations that the payback rate should be at least 90%. Do you have any information about the payback rate for slot machines in Macau? Answer: On 50 Lions, the...

2017-01-12 02:39:13

John Grochowski - Winning big and paying taxes  

QUESTION: A while back you wrote the IRS had proposed requiring tax forms on jackpots of $600 instead of $1,200. Have they made a decision, or is that still up in the air?ANSWER: I've received a number of e-mails asking this over the last several months, but I answered the writer directly and held off from bringing the issue here until a decision...

2017-01-12 02:31:23

Gary Trask - Top 10 highest house edge casino bets  

The casino floor of the Atlantis Casino Resort. (photo by Jim G. on Flickr)One of the biggest advantages a gambler has when walking into a casino is the number of options available to put his or her hard-earned money into play.Yes, it's true that you will be at a mathematical disadvantage no matter what game you decide to play, thanks to the...

2017-01-10 04:23:26

Frank Scoblete - Readers write  

FROM CLIFF: I totally agree with your article Don't Throw It Away. I have been a constant reader of the various games. I decided to read the articles about the casinos and the books about the games. Because of these decisions I will lose a small amount $300 or less instead of throwing money away. Now understand $300 is a lot but within my...

2017-01-10 02:27:15

John Grochowski - Squeamish Blackjack Hands  

It's a fact of life for most blackjack players that some hands will leave them feeling a little squeamish.I've often heard from players who hate hitting hard 16, even though they know hitting gives them the best chance to win whenever the dealer shows a 7 or higher. Splitophobia runs rampant with a pair of 8s against a dealer's 10 - splitting is...

2017-01-08 02:48:44

John Marchel - Creating an 'act'  

To be able to play successful blackjack requires both an accomplished skill and one that needs an "act." Good money management, playing basic strategy, and proper casino and table selection are some of the skills required. Each of these tasks has to be managed smoothly and effortlessly.After learning those many tasks, a player also needs to...

2017-01-07 03:24:12

John Grochowski - Royal flush on Facebook Play  

QUESTION: I play at home on Facebook apps more than I play in casinos. Some of it is slots, but I play a lot of video poker. It's pretty close to every day at home, and six or eight times a year in casinos.I seem to get royal flushes a lot at home, but I never get them in casinos. It's exciting on an app, but all I'm getting is points, not $1,000...

2017-01-05 01:09:42

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Which video poker paytable is best  

Question: I have been going to Atlantic City for years. Most of the video poker machines that used to payoff are gone and replaced with penny machines. The casinos are beating the people and what is the casino control commission doing? Which in your opinion is the best video poker machine to play? Answer: Penny slots are taking up more and...

2017-01-04 03:13:14

Frank Scoblete - Why Craps Is So Exciting  

I am guessing that many craps articles open with some form of the I know I've used something such as that opening many times. How can a gambling writer following sentence: "Craps is the most exciting game in the casino."escape writing something such as that? After all, craps is the most exciting game in the casino! Nowhere do you hear the cries of...

2017-01-03 03:14:10

John Grochowski - New Year's Resolutions for Gamblers  

For 51 weeks of every year, I write about new games, strategies to get the most out of hold favorites, how slot machines work and share stories from readers about their casino experiences.One week a year is reserved for my own little tradition for the New Year. I like to stop for a moment to remind myself and readers alike that we're all in this...

2017-01-01 02:10:26

Henry Tamburin - Blackjack Mini-tournament Playing Tips  

Blackjack mini-tournaments are becoming quite popular. The reason is because they offer the player a chance to win a few hundred up to a thousand or so dollars for a modest entry fee of $25 or less. Also the entry fees are usually returned to the player in prizes so the tournament is a good deal from the player's perspective.The objective of...

2016-12-31 00:00:00

John Grochowski - Those Pesky Slot Odds  

QUESTION: My brother and I have been playing slots for donkey's years, and we've been having the same argument about what "random" means all this time.He says that if you have a reel with nine 7s and one lemon, that means for the game to be truly random a 7 should come up nine times out of 10. I disagree. I say the game can be random, but still...

2016-12-29 00:00:00

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Do low top jackpots on slots hit more frequently?  

Question: I read your articles on 88 Fortunes. I hit the Major Jackpot recently at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes Barre, Penn. I was playing 68 cents and won $900 plus. I did not realize that I didn't have a shot at the Grand prize of $10,000 plus. I picked two Grands, two Major, two Minor, two Mini, and then another Major. I did not...

2016-12-28 00:00:00

Clare Fitzgerald - Top 10 gambling-related books I read in 2016  

Mike Sexton: your buddy during a layover. After discovering how much fun televised poker is at the end of last year, I decided that 2016 would be a good year to actually learn a thing or two about the gaming industry outside of what I was picking up during the 40 or so hours a week I spend here at Casino City, because work-life balance is a myth...

2016-12-28 00:00:00

Frank Scoblete - Gift of the Slots Magi  

Slot machines have changed very little and a lot over the years that they have been in existence. This dichotomy is easily explained. People play the machines to win money, a given that has never changed; but the mechanisms of the machines have changed from simple mechanical devices to electro-mechanical devices to super-sophisticated...

2016-12-27 00:00:00

John Grochowski - Successful slot machines  

There are lots of ingredients that go into the success of a slot machine. A great theme to entice players to try a game is a start, and attractive graphics, animation and sound help, too.Ask game manufacturers, and they'll tell you about the importance of having the right math model. A game where you don't win often enough to feel a jackpot or a...

2016-12-25 00:00:00

Jerry Stickman - The next best in video poker  

Casinos routinely change their inventory of slot machines. Usually this is done to add exciting new games or to eliminate games that aren't played enough.Video poker games are also routinely changed. They may be moved to different locations. Banks of one type of game may be changed to another type of game. The games available on multi-game...

2016-12-24 00:00:00

Abby Messick - Top 10 most-read top 10s from 2016  

With 2016 coming to a close, now is the time for us to take a look back at some of our greatest hits. Throughout the year, we've covered must-sees, must-visits, must-wagers and more. Below, we present the most-read top 10 articles from the past calendar year.But we're sure you've already got these bookmarked. Right?10. Top 10 casinos by number of...

2016-12-23 00:00:00

John Grochowski - About Those Side Bets  

QUESTION: I know side bets like Lucky Ladies, 21 + 3, Royal Match and so on have higher house edges than regular blackjack. Still, I can just play regular blackjack at those tables and not make the side bets. They don't hurt me at all.My question is, why don't they have side bets at every table? Then the house could make extra money from the...

2016-12-22 00:00:00

Frank Scoblete - Gift of the Magi  

I met my future wife the Beautiful AP when I was part owner of The Other Vic Theatre Company in New York. AP applied for the job of stage manager. When I saw her I loved her at first sight. She was a good stage manager and a good actress. As a wife she is beyond compare.She auditioned for the role of a depressed chorus girl Fran Walker in the...

2016-12-20 00:00:00

Clare Fitzgerald - Top 10 things I learned attending an eSports event  

BOSTON, Mass. -- We've been hearing a lot about eSports over here for the past year or so. While there's been some overlap between the eSports and poker communities for quite a while, casino operators have more recently started to look to get in on the scene: The Downtown Grand in Las Vegas opened up an "eSports lounge" earlier this year, and...

2016-12-19 00:00:00

Clare Fitzgerald - 'The Total Poker Manual' is a collection of industry, culture information  

Under that glossy cover is a wealth of gorgeous full-color photos. Last week I received an early Christmas present in the form of Eileen Sutton's new book, The Total Poker Manual: 226 Essential Poker Skills, published by Weldon Owen in conjunction with Card Player Magazine.It was a good Christmas present, and I think other people will also find it...

2016-12-19 00:00:00

John Grochowski - Let's Applaud Those Good Dealers  

If you play much blackjack, you've had dealers who make the experience breezy fun. They're friendly as well as efficient. They move the game along but will take time for inexperienced players.Players and dealers sometimes seem for form a community as the dealer asks players about their interests and gets the .When dealers are friendly, attentive,...

2016-12-18 00:00:00

John Marchel - Baccarat: A Simple Fun Game  

An early account of baccarat claims that it was based on an old Etruscan ritual of the nine gods, who prayed to a blonde virgin on their tiptoes waiting for her to throw a nine-sided die. The result of the die decided her fate. If an eight or a nine was thrown, she would become the priestess; if she threw a six or seven, she would be banned from...

2016-12-17 00:00:00

John Grochowski - Using someone else's player's card  

QUESTION: It used to be my wife and I shared slot club accounts. Now the casinos want us to have separate accounts. Sometimes, when we want to build up her account, I use one of her cards. Sometimes she uses one of mine. One thing worries me. What if I win a jackpot while using her card? Can they refuse to pay me?ANSWER: No, if you are playing the...

2016-12-15 00:00:00

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Another misleading pick-em bonus  

Question: I have a question about Treasure Chest video poker machines. You get to pick one of five treasure chests after hitting a four-of-a-kind. The amount you can win ranges from 140 quarters to $1199. Does it matter which treasure chest you pick? My belief is that it doesn't matter which one you choose. I have hit the $1199 once, as has...

2016-12-14 00:00:00

Frank Scoblete - Winning is the most fun  

A quarter century ago I coined the phrase "Winning is the most fun!" I thought it fit the casino experience for almost all players. Seriously, why play casino games if you didn't give yourself a chance to win? But I was probably not right in my assumption.I now know that many gamblers just enjoy the sheer act of playing; it does something for...

2016-12-13 00:00:00

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