x

Blog

Filter By

Filter By

Archive

Dec

28

2017

Would a Lower House Edge Prompt You to Change Games?

There are players who want to cut the house edge as far as they can, and will change games in order to do it. Most players, however, have a favorite game or a few favorite and will stick to those even if one outside their range has a lower house edge. I asked a few players who email me often in how far they go in pursuing the lowest edge, and whether they'd change games to get a better deal. SAM: Sam's my name, blackjack's my game. That's not going to change. I don't like craps, and I'm not going…

There are players who want to cut the house edge as far as they can, and will change games in order to do it. Most players, however, have a favorite game or a few favorite and will stick to those even if one outside their range has a lower house…

Dec

18

2017

How Rare is a Big Jackpot Win?

For most of us, hitting a really big jackpot is a rare event. You never know when -- if ever -- the next will come. The event has seemed to be not so rare for one woman, according to a reader who wrote that his sister-in-law had two $20,000 jackpots in a month and a dozen or more of $10,000-plus in the last three or four years. "I asked her how she does it, and she said she was just able to recognize the machines that were ready to pay off," he wrote in an email. "There was nothing she…

For most of us, hitting a really big jackpot is a rare event. You never know when -- if ever -- the next will come. The event has seemed to be not so rare for one woman, according to a reader who wrote that his sister-in-law had two $20,000 jackpots…

Dec

12

2017

Mississippi Stud Poker Straight Strategy

Mississippi Stud Poker calls on you to raise your bets or fold after seeing three cards and again after seeing four cards. Your raise can be from one to three times your ante, but as a practical matter, two times is never the right play. Either the hand is strong and you stay with a 3x raise, the hand is less strong but good enough to play instead of folding, or weak enough to cut your losses and fold. The dividing lines can seem arbitrary, but they're not. For those who play basic strategy for Mississippi Stud, the dividers are…

Mississippi Stud Poker calls on you to raise your bets or fold after seeing three cards and again after seeing four cards. Your raise can be from one to three times your ante, but as a practical matter, two times is never the right play. Either the hand is strong…

Dec

07

2017

Let’s Ring In The New Year In Tunica

Let’s ring in the New Year in Tunica, Mississippi! Here is your guide to New Year’s Eve events in Tunica. 1st Jackpot Win your share of $300,000 in the Marquee New Year Celebration at Tunica Marquee Rewards Properties – Resorts Casino Tunica, Hollywood Casino Tunica and 1st Jackpot Casino Tunica. You can win three nights in a row and three Grand Prizes each night! Earn entries daily beginning December 1st with one entry for every fifty (50) points earned on slot or table play. Plus on January 1 it’s the NEW YEAR NEW ME HOT SEAT at all three Tunica…

Let’s ring in the New Year in Tunica, Mississippi! Here is your guide to New Year’s Eve events in Tunica. 1st Jackpot Win your share of $300,000 in the Marquee New Year Celebration at Tunica Marquee Rewards Properties – Resorts Casino Tunica, Hollywood Casino Tunica and 1st Jackpot Casino Tunica.…

Dec

05

2017

What’s the Best Bet when Down to my Last 5 Dollars?

Most of the contact I have with readers is about game odds and strategies. Less often, someone will ask about hypotheticals and playing philosophy, and in this recent email: "You're in a casino, having a tough day, and you're down to your last $5 with time for one more bet before you go home. What do you do?" I replied that I leave and keep the $5 in case I need it for something on the way home. But if I'm to play along with the hypothetical and bet the $5, I might just try to double the money with…

Most of the contact I have with readers is about game odds and strategies. Less often, someone will ask about hypotheticals and playing philosophy, and in this recent email: "You're in a casino, having a tough day, and you're down to your last $5 with time for one more bet…

Nov

27

2017

When are Tax Forms Necessary in Video Poker Wins?

Unless they play at dollar level or above on single-hand games or quarter-level or above on multi-hand games, video poker players rarely reach the $1,200 threshold that requires a tax form before they're paid. A royal flush with five quarters wagered brings a $1,000 jackpot -- a nice bonanza, but well below the tax trigger. However, some multi-hand nickel games with bonus multipliers also can hit that level. The key is combining payoffs on multiple hands, a point that drew this question from a reader. "I was playing a Triple Play Bonus Poker on nickel Hot Roll, got an 4…

Unless they play at dollar level or above on single-hand games or quarter-level or above on multi-hand games, video poker players rarely reach the $1,200 threshold that requires a tax form before they're paid. A royal flush with five quarters wagered brings a $1,000 jackpot -- a nice bonanza, but…

Nov

20

2017

Betting on 7 vs 6 or 8 in Craps

Newcomers to craps sometimes are confused by the details. It can take a while to sort out the ins and outs of a game with so many different ways to bet. One such novice player asked me why the one-roll bet on any 7 is said to be such a weak play. "My friend who got me interested tells me that it's good to bet on 6 and 8, but bad to bet on 7," he said. "But he's also told me 7 comes up the most, so why wouldn't a bet on 7, paying 4-1, be better than a…

Newcomers to craps sometimes are confused by the details. It can take a while to sort out the ins and outs of a game with so many different ways to bet. One such novice player asked me why the one-roll bet on any 7 is said to be such a…

Nov

16

2017

When Should You Surrender in Blackjack?

One challenge facing blackjack players is that the rules aren't precisely the same in one casino as another, or even sometimes at one table as opposed to another in the same casino. There are a number of optional rules, including late surrender, which after the dealer checks to see if he has blackjack, allows you to give up half your bet instead of playing it beyond your first two cards. I received a note recently from a player who found late surrender offered in an eight-deck game. He wondered if the specific cards in his hand made a difference in…

One challenge facing blackjack players is that the rules aren't precisely the same in one casino as another, or even sometimes at one table as opposed to another in the same casino. There are a number of optional rules, including late surrender, which after the dealer checks to see if…

Nov

08

2017

Reel Power Gives You 243 Ways to Win

After 20 years of multiline video slots in casinos, I find most players don't even look to see the shapes of the paylines anymore. When there were five lines or nine lines, everyone wanted to check to see how the lines ran and how their winning symbols lined up. With 30, 40 lines or more, most players today just accept their total winnings and move on. The 243-ways-to-win slots with no traditional paylines are another matter. They've been with us for most of a decade, introduced by Aristocrat Technology as Reel Power and picked up by other game manufacturers. I…

After 20 years of multiline video slots in casinos, I find most players don't even look to see the shapes of the paylines anymore. When there were five lines or nine lines, everyone wanted to check to see how the lines ran and how their winning symbols lined up. With…

Oct

24

2017

Getting Wild in Stacked Reel Slot Machines

One of the tools slot machine designers use to keep the games fun and interesting is the stacked reel, where a number of consecutive symbols are the same. Things can really get interesting when the stacked symbols are wild, matching any other symbols to help form winning combinations. A slot-playing reader wrote to say she'd recently had a stack of wilds on the last reel of her penny video slot. "I said to myself more than anyone else, 'I hate when that’s on the last reel,' she wrote. " I guess I was loud enough for others to hear, because…

One of the tools slot machine designers use to keep the games fun and interesting is the stacked reel, where a number of consecutive symbols are the same. Things can really get interesting when the stacked symbols are wild, matching any other symbols to help form winning combinations. A slot-playing…