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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.

Frank Scoblete - Three types of blackjack players  

There are three types of blackjack players and sub-categories of these three. If you are a self-styled blackjack player using your own unique and probably wrong strategy and you are easily offended, you might not want to read this article. That's my warning to you.Blackjack players who are card counters, meaning they can get a small edge over the...

2017-04-25 01:31:08

Gary Trask - Top 10 takeaways from the annual Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study  

The Fremont Street Experience. (photo by Las Vegas News Bureau)Right before our eyes, Las Vegas is changing.Everything — what is offered throughout the city, who visits, what said visitors partake in once their stay begins — has seen dramatic shifts during recent years.That's the primary takeaway from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors...

2017-04-25 01:05:08

John Grochowski - Fooling the RNG  

Slot machines don't give systems players as many possibilities as roulette or craps. There are no combination bets, such as hedging a pass bet with any 7 in craps or betting 0 and 00 along with red or black in roulette.Opportunities for variation in wager size also are limited. You can increase or decrease bets a little, but you can't really play...

2017-04-23 01:39:54

John Marchel - Super 7 tips for the lottery  

First of all, you should know that lotteries have the worst odds of any form of gambling, with a chance of 1 in 14 million when playing most jackpot games. However, it also promises the greatest potential payoff to the winner with prizes regularly amounting to tens of millions of dollars. Lotteries have several interesting factors. If the jackpot...

2017-04-22 02:13:13

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Slot jackpot dispute in Florida  

Question: Can you please comment on an incident that happened in Florida this last week? Someone was playing video poker at $50 per hand, and asked a friend to push the button for luck and won $100,000. The jackpot was paid to the person pushing the button per casino rules. This doesn't sound right to me. The person playing was playing...

2017-04-20 03:13:58

John Grochowski - Ultimate Texas Hold'em  

QUESTION: I tried playing Ultimate Texas Hold'em and kind of liked the game, but I was a little confused about when I should make the play bet and when I should check or fold. Do you have any strategy advice?ANSWER: My best piece of strategy advice would be to check out Michael Shackleford's strategy for Ultimate Texas Hold'em at

2017-04-20 02:36:07

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Slot jackpot dispute in Florida  

Question: Can you please comment on an incident that happened in Florida this last week? Someone was playing video poker at $50 per hand, and asked a friend to push the button for luck and won $100,000. The jackpot was paid to the person pushing the button per casino rules. This doesn't sound right to me. The person playing was playing...

2017-04-20 01:06:51

Gary Trask - Seven decades of Las Vegas sportsbook experience join forces at South Point  

LAS VEGAS - It's a relatively quiet Monday afternoon at South Point Hotel Casino and Spa, and Jimmy Vaccaro is down, but far from out.At 71 years old, the celebrated Las Vegas bookmaker looks trim and fit as he parks himself on a comfy chair in the sportsbook, dressed in his signature white top and blue jeans. He's still got plenty of spunk and a...

2017-04-18 04:14:15

Frank Scoblete - A reader takes me to task  

FROM: BIRDMAN: Mr. Scoblete I have been reading your articles for many years now, although I do not read books because books put me to sleep and what is the point anyway? I already know what I know. And I know you are wrong in your assumptions.I now know this completely and utterly, you do not know what you're talking about when it comes to...

2017-04-18 04:08:52

John Grochowski - A "Don't" Player Speaks  

I have nothing against don't pass/don't come players. I've been known to visit the dark side during session at the craps table, though I really prefer the win-together feel of betting with the shooter.The odds are slightly better on the dark side. A pass or come player faces a house edge of 1.41 percent. On don't pass or don't come, the edge...

2017-04-16 04:29:38

Henry Tamburin - Stump them at blackjack  

If your friends think they know the ins and outs of blackjack, here is a little quiz to (hopefully) stump them.QUESTION: For every 100 hands that you play, using proper basic strategy, how many will you bust?ANSWER: You will bust about 16 hands on average out of every 100 hands played, using proper basic strategy.QUESTION: What is the more...

2017-04-15 04:56:46

Abby Messick - Top 10 casinos in the US by number of employees  

If you run a successful establishment of any kind, you're going to need help - lots of it. That goes double for casinos, whose gaming floors are bustling with activity, often open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This week's top 10 list features casinos in the U.S. that get it - rest assured, if you visit any of these locations, you're in for a...

2017-04-15 01:01:48

John Grochowski - Payback percentage and baseball back-to-backs  

QUESTION: How is payback percentage on a slot machine calculated? I know I'm not really getting zero percent when I lose all my money, but I sure doesn't feel like 90, either.ANSWER: Payback percentage is all money paid out divided by all wagers, with the result multiplied by 100 to convert to percent.For example, if players make $1 million worth...

2017-04-13 03:30:01

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Why are penny slots so popular?  

Question: I hate penny slots, and that's all I can find anymore here in Oklahoma. I'd love to go back to Vegas but I'm pretty sure the situation is the same there. I used to sit for hours enjoying huge banks of quarter and sometimes dollar machines, while waitresses occasionally brought me free drinks. I could play all night and have a...

2017-04-12 03:15:34

Tadas Peckaitis - Top 10 most common poker mistakes  

Sometimes, as poker players, we become so focused on our own game that it becomes difficult to notice obvious errors and blunders.To help combat that, below is a list of common poker mistakes that you should review, assess and make sure you aren't committing. Avoiding these errors will surely improve your game in no time.10. Playing too many...

2017-04-11 04:01:17

Frank Scoblete - Our readers sound off  

FROM CLIFF: I loved the idea you have when playing slots. If I decide to play slots I look for the jackpot payouts being the same per coin, like: 1,500, 3,000 and 6,000. I have hit many a time 1,500 and very happy with the hit!I have two stories where I hit right away and went home.First was sitting down to play Three Card Poker. I put $10 on...

2017-04-11 03:08:51

John Grochowski - An automated argument  

A couple of months ago, I shared a few stories from readers about player vs. player tension at the tables. That brought several responses, with the most unusual coming from Elaine, who describes herself as a longtime low-budget player."You won't believe this, but I actually saw a big argument over a payoff at an automated table," she said.With...

2017-04-09 03:44:07

Jerry Stickman - Double Bonus Poker: 10/7/5 vs. 9/7/5  

Over the last few decades, casinos have consistently chipped away at the returns for video poker. In the golden days of video poker it was very common to see video poker games that returned very close to - if not more than - 100%. Now it seems that the best games available in many casinos return less than 99%. Some games have a return that is...

2017-04-08 03:25:04

John Grochowski - Reduced craps payouts  

QUESTION: OK, I'll admit it. I sometimes make the craps bets you and others think are nuts. I only do it when I'm winning and the shooter is on a roll. Then I try to spice up a nice session with some long shots. Hit a couple of 12s and a nice win becomes a big one.What I want to know is about payoffs. I'd always gotten my 30-1 on 12s, but my wife...

2017-04-06 03:38:26

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: Calculating a slot machine's volatility  

Question: I am a junior student of math from China. I have a term project to do statistical computation of a slot game when a paytable and reel strip are given. I learned some computations from books and your website. But I got stuck when tried to compute the volatility of a slot game. I appreciate it if you could answer my questions...

2017-04-05 03:32:41

Abby Messick - Caesars Entertainment introduces skill-based games to Las Vegas  

A Gamblit Poker unit. (photo by BSK Photo)Skill-based games have finally made their long-awaited debut in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in the form of Gamblit Gaming's Gamblit Poker and Cannonbeard's Treasure, with more titles to be added in the future.These interactive table games, played on Gamblit's Model G table, can seat two...

2017-04-04 02:44:07

Gary Trask - Top 10 golf handicapping tips for the Masters  

Golf has been responsible for a very small percentage of the record amount of dollars that have been wagered at Nevada sportsbooks in recent years. But there are certain events each year that generate widespread betting interest from those who otherwise couldn't care less about the sport.Everybody wants to place some sort of "prop bet" on the...

2017-04-04 02:25:06

Frank Scoblete - What would you do if?  

It's a simple question for you:The floor person takes the dice away from the shooter (for whatever reason: he isn't hitting the back wall, he's throwing the dice into the dealers' chips; he's obnoxious to other players) and the stick person passes them on to the next shooter. You have come bets with odds on several numbers and a pass line bet with...

2017-04-04 01:02:05

John Grochowski - Blackjack: To Be Great or Not So Great?  

A few weeks ago, I was called upon to speak with a park district group before they took a bus trip to a nearby casino. Most of them had played slots before and some had played other games, but I was asked to give a few basics for those who wanted to branch out.An older gentleman named Adam said he had tried blackjack a couple of times, just for...

2017-04-02 04:44:21

John Marchel - The cost of blackjack decisions  

When we play casino blackjack we are always trying to improve our odds and ultimately win more hands from the casinos. To help us better understand "the odds," Edwin Silberstang, the author of "Playboy's Guide To Casino Gambling, Volume Two, Blackjack," explains the science of odds in blackjack as "gains and losses" to the player. The example he...

2017-04-01 02:52:19

John Grochowski - What's so free about free odds?  

QUESTION: Why are free odds in craps called "free"? You still have to pay to make the bet.ANSWER: The "free" is meant to designate that the bet pays at true odds and that there is no tax, commission or other method of giving the house an edge. Regardless of whether you're a pass or come bettor taking the odds or a don't pass or don't com bettor...

2017-03-30 01:04:38

John Robison - Ask the Slot Expert: When to play video poker aggressively  

Question: I read with great interest your article about those who succumb to "Royal Flush Fever" and toss away a high pair, or other a winning hand, to go after the rare royal flush hit. May I suggest that once you have hit one of these long shots, you are "infected" for life and it is hard to play sensibly from then on? My infection...

2017-03-29 03:33:55

Abby Messick - Top 10 US states to watch for iGaming legislation in 2017  

As we travel further into the new year, online gambling bills are piling up. That isn't odd, of course, but something about 2017 makes us feel particularly hopeful about the passage of a few of these bills.Which states, if any, will finally legalize online gambling before the calendar flips to 2018? Some of these states have been chipping away at...

2017-03-28 05:46:55

Frank Scoblete - Slots vs. table games  

Slot machines and table games are two very different things - and the casinos know this quite well. Slot machines are the cash cows of casinos, bringing in often more than twice as much money as table games.It is easy to get a good idea of why such a case holds true. If we take a $1 slot of the traditional three reels variety, we can speculate how...

2017-03-28 04:26:04

John Grochowski - Some Views on Good Games  

Not too long ago, I answered a reader's question about whether blackjack with 6-5 payoffs on 21s was still the lowest-edge game in the house.I told him paying 6-5 instead of 3-2 on blackjacks increased the house edge by 1.4 percent, and that by itself is higher than the house edge on the best craps bets, on banker or player in baccarat, and on...

2017-03-26 02:20:52

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

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