Tag: games

Sports Betting and Parlays

There are times sports bettors think they’ve zeroed in on multiple winners and are tempted to bet parlays — betting multiple teams, with all required to win for the bettor to collect.

The temptation is in the payoffs. Let’s use parlays on point-spread bets as an example.

Sports Betting on Baseball

Sports Betting On Baseball 101 Blog

When sports bettors turn to baseball, point spreads, or a “run line,” are available just as they are in football or basketball. If the Reds are playing the Cardinals in St. Louis, with the Reds listed at +1.5, then Cardinals bettors need them to win by two runs or more, while Reds bettors win if Cincinnati wins the game or loses by only one run.

More commonly, though, baseball bettors focus on the money line. The run line isn’t as popular as point spreads in football and basketball.

Stories from the Casino Floor: Triple Double Bonus Poker

There’s nothing quite like snatching victory from the jaws of defeat to make you feel good about a day in the casino. One big win at the end that erases previous losses and makes you a winner doesn’t happen anywhere near often enough, but it feels great when it does.

Is House Edge Affected by Length of Play?

Table games players have their own styles and preferences. One of the divisions is between those who will play all night and those who prefer short sessions.

Sports Betting and House Edge

Sports Betting And House Edge With Money Blog

In a previous entry discussing the point spread, over/under and money line wagers at sports books, I mentioned that the house typically charges an extra 10 percent on point-spread and over/under bets. To win $10, you must bet $11.

Bettors are sometimes misled into thinking that gives the house a 10 percent edge, which would be very high casino standards.

Actually, the house edge is 4.55 percent. Here’s how it works:

Sports Betting 101

Sports Betting 101 Football Field blog

The legalization of sports betting no doubt will bring throngs of new players who need to know the ropes before they bet.

Old hands who have wagered in Nevada or online already know the basics, but for those finding a new betting experience in Mississippi, here are a few of the basic ways to bet.


Should You Play the Ultimate X Feature?

Among the many video poker games IGT produces that offer bonus multipliers in exchange for an extra bet, the most popular appears to be Ultimate X.

That’s especially true among low-denomination players, who love the Ultimate X option when playing nickel multiple-hand games. And it seems there’s an incentive for playing more hands.

Mississippi Stud House Edge and Risk Odds Explained

Players who try to sort good bets from the bad sometimes find difficulty with new games that involve more than one round of betting.

Those games have two figure that could fairly be categorized as house edges. A reader recently pointed out that wizardofodds.com lists a house edge of 4.91 percent for Mississippi Stud Poker, but also an element of risk of 1.37 percent.

New Slots Featuring Pop Culture Icons

Pop culture themes from movies, TV, music and games have long been part of the fun of playing the slots. Let’s check out a few of the new themes we’ll be playing in the coming year. 

Monopoly Hot Shot Mashup

Ever since Scientific Games acquired WMS Gaming in 2013 and Bally Technologies in 2014, it’s been inevitable that we would see WMS-Bally mashups in new slot machines.

Monopoly Hot Shot, on its way for 2018, combines long-standing successes from both companies. 

Throwback Thursday: Slot Player Favorites

Every year, slot machine manufacturers roll out dozens of new games, and I’ll be featuring several coming attractions next month.

Before we ring in the new, though, let’s ring out a few old. I asked some of my slot-playing readers to tell me about old favorites that are long gone but they wish they could still play.

Slots Coming in 2018: Konami’s Beat Square

Skill-based gaming is a niche slot machine manufacturers hope to grow, especially as young players who grew up on video games come of age. 

There are many approaches to attracting new gamblers, with one innovative new product being Konami Gaming’s Beat Square, expected to roll out early in 2018.

A Perfect Day at the Casino

A perfect day in the casino means different things to different people.

When I asked about players’ perfect days a while back, many told me about blackjack. Some told me about the terrific steak they ate – comped, of course – or about shows and shopping.

Betty is a reader whose perfect day involves a nice meal and a little shopping, and as long as she doesn’t lose big on the slots, she’s happy.

Are Video Card Games More Like Slot Reels or Card Tables?

One of the things that sets video poker and video blackjack apart from slot machines is that electronic games that use representations of playing cards must offer fair odds. Nevada took the lead, naturally enough, but Mississippi followed suit when its casinos opened in the 1990s, and so did other states.


Live Table Games vs Video Betting

Alex is a regular reader, a blackjack player who long has played at traditional tables with a live dealer and real cards and chips. He tried out a game with video betting, and later had some questions about the experience.

Video Slots are Gambling!

Regular readers of this blog might remember Charlene, a slot player who usually played three-reel games with her husband George, but who played video slots when she was on her own. In a blog entry published March 27, Charlene explained her husband wanted nothing to do with video slots, which he doesn’t see as real gambling.

Three Reel Slots Still Have Their Day

Casinos have a wide variety of game, and anyone who wants to gamble can find something that suits their playing personality.

That includes three-reel slots with mechanical reels. Over the last 20 years, they’ve been displaced by video slots as the most popular casino games, but three-reel slots still have their adherents.

Old-School Frogger Lives in Video Slots

In a new wave of video slots with skill-based bonuses, we can expect to see some based on old-school arcade games in an attempt to appeal to multiple generations.

Is Your Deal in Video Poker Random or is There a Pattern?

Video poker deals are as random as humans can program a computer to be, but one player thought he saw a pattern developing that could have worked in his favor if only there was a way to let it play out.

Here’s Looking at You, Kid – Casablanca Slots

I’ve seen “Casablanca” at least a dozen times. I’ve seen it in a theater as part of a series of classic films. I’ve seen it on TV in pre-home video days, and I’ve seen it on VHS and DVD. Until this fall’s Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, I’d never seen it on a slot machine. But when I saw a sign in the corridor touting a Casablanca slot at the Everi booth, I knew I had to take a look.

New Simpsons and Seinfeld Slots are Coming

Every year, I try out new games at the Global Gaming Expo and write about a few highlights. Most of the slot games are things you’ll see in casinos in the next few months.

Video Poker Players’ Favorites

One fundamental difference between video poker players and slot machine players is that video poker players are a loyal bunch, sticking with the same games year after year, while slot players are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest.

Great Slot Machine Themes

Slot machine themes have become important factors for those of us who play the games, those who design them and those who sell them to us. A great theme will attract players to the game. A great them used well will keep us coming back for more. Of the thousands of slot themes we’ve seen over the decades, which ones were used best? Which really captured the feel and fun of the source? I asked slot players for their opinions.

With the Lowest House Edge, is Baccarat all it’s Cracked up to be?

There’s more to choosing a game to play than the house edge alone. For one thing, there’s the fun factor. No matter how well you play any game, there are going to be frequent losing sessions. You might as well choose a game you enjoy playing even in the tough times.

To Play or Not Play: Hot Tables vs Cold Tables

Do you believe in hot tables and cold tables? Do you think it’s luckier to play where other players are winning than to play where the spaces are wide open because players have been leaving with diminishing bankrolls?

Royal Flushes In Video Poker vs. Table Poker

Video poker is a much different game than table poker. In video poker, you’re playing draw poker, is rare to nonexistent on the tables. You’re not playing against other players, you don’t have to try to read anyone else’s hand and you don’t have to evaluate whether to raise, call or fold.

A Roulette History Lesson

Roulette is one of the oldest games still played in modern casinos. Recognizably modern roulette wheels, with red and black numbers 1 through 36 along with zero and double zero, were in play in Paris in the late 1700s. The game itself has hardly changed at all, but some of the trappings have. For one thing, most roulettes tables in American casinos have a tote board showing recent numbers. When the boards were introduced, most showed the last 12 numbers, but now 18 is common, and sometimes there are more.

Stop Getting Burned At Blackjack

Some of the most frustrating hands at blackjack come when the dealer starts stringing out low cards. You see the dealer with a 14, and think there’s a good chance he’ll bust. Then comes a 2, and with 16, he just HAS to bust, right? Then, boom! Here’s comes a 5, the dealer has 21 and the whole table loses.

New Pro Wave Slot Machines Tunica Mississippi

If you’re in a casino that has slot games on the Pro Wave cabinet from the Bally Technologies division of Scientific Games, you can’t miss it. The Pro Wave is a eye-catcher, with a giant 40-inch, curved main screen for high-resolution graphics.

Do You Have What It Takes To Play Professional Poker?

For almost all of us, a day or evening in the casino, or even a trip of a few days, is a nice break from everyday life. We’re excited for the wins when they come, but we know that more often than not, we’re going to be paying for the day’s entertainment.

But there are a few who dream of playing professionally. When I hear from them, I always urge caution. Take the video poker player who emailed recently to say, “I can usually get a royal flush every 30 days. I can be a professional player? I play video poker every day.”

The IRS And Your Jackpot

The Internal Revenue Service has proposed changes to federal tax requirements on that could triple the amount of paperwork when we win big on slots, video poker and other electronic casino games. In one proposal, you’d still have to sign form W-2G on any jackpot of $1,200 or more, but also would require casinos to use their player tracking systems to trigger tax forms on cumulative winnings of $1,200 or more above losses in one day.

Video Poker Are The Odds Against You

Video poker games are designed to be as random as humans can program a computer to be. The odds of drawing winning hands are the same as cards were dealt from a real deck.

Still, when odd streaks happen, players can’t help but wonder if something more is going on.

New Slots From Multimedia Games Tunica Mississippi

When you’re a smaller slot manufacturer trying to compete with the likes of IGT, Bally, WMS and Aristocrat, you need to be nimble, creative and innovative.

Multimedia Games has been all of that, and expects to keep bringing the innovation now that it has been acquired by Global Cash Access. The new company is in the process of rebranding, and will reveal a new name in late August.

How To Choose A Video Blackjack Machine

One thing I’ve warned blackjack players about is games that pay less than the standard 3-2 on blackjacks. If you play video blackjack, you have to be extra watchful, as one reader learned.

Should You Place A Fortune Bet In Pai Gow?

Pai-gow poker is known as an even-keel, extended play kind of game. The Fortune Pai-Gow side bet injects a little excitement for jackpot hunters, including a big payoff of 5,000-1 on a seven-card straight flush that does not include the joker. That’s about a 4.8 million-to-1 shot, but hey, we can dream.

A Betting Mistake Pays Off

We all make mistakes in the casino. Blackjack players stand when they meant to hit, slot players forget to check to see all the paylines are active and players at any game sometimes have a brain cramp and make a bet that’s larger than they’d intended.

Is The House Edge Lower In Baccarat?

On most casino games, the house wins more often than the player, and it’s easy for the casino to get an edge on the game. All it has to do is pay players less than the true odds of winning the bet, and random results will lead to profit for the house.

“Big Bang Theory Slots” Give You More Bang For Your Buck

When video slots first came out, it took only a single bonus event to entrance players. Neighbors would stop their play to watch whenever someone went fishing in Reel ’Em In or chose their Chinese foods from the menu in Fortune Cookie. 

Should You Change Your Betting Strategy in Craps?

Just about every craps player has a favorite way to play. Some play the percentages and make sure they take the free odds offered when you back pass or come bets with additional bets. Some like the place bets on 6 and 8, to make sure they always have the most frequent non-7 numbers working. Some like to take their chances for bigger payoffs on the one-roll props such as yo-leven or any 7, and let the house edge fall where it may.

Recently, I got an email from a reader wondering if he should change his method.

Are Progressive Jackpots A Better Bet in Video Poker?

Video poker players in the know understand that on most games, payback percentages are changed by altering the returns on full houses and flushes. A “9-6” Jacks or Better game, where full houses pay 9-for-1 and flushes 6-for-1, returns 99.5 percent with expert play. If instead you see 8-5 Jacks or Better, meaning full houses pay 8-for-1 and flushes 5-for-1, then the average return is 97.3 percent with expert play.

However, when progressive jackpots are involved, even a game with a lower pay table can have high average returns.

New Slots Offer Entertainment And Extended Play

For gamemakers, attracting slot players is all about offering different play experiences to different segments of players. There are big jackpot games, high volatility games, second-screen bonus games, free-spin bonus games and more. 

Blackjack Changing Strategy As The Game Evolves

Blackjack basic strategy has been around as guide to when to hit, stand, split and double down has been around since the 1950s. It’s well-grounded in the math of the game, and it’s something anyone who’s serious about blackjack should learn.

However, the game itself evolves, and when the rules change, so does basic strategy.

Placing Bets In Roulette

There are so many different wagering options at roulette that it’s only natural that players would try to come up with combinations to try to overcome the house edge.

What A “Both Ways” Wager Means In Craps

Craps has language and terminology all its own, like “Yo,” or “yo-leven” for 11 and “hard way” for rolling a total with both dice showing the same number – 4-4 is 8 the hard way.

New Mad Men and Flintstones Slots From WMS Gaming

Slot machine manufacturers have drawn on TV, movies, board games and pop culture icons for years, and they’re not shy about crossing generations to do it. After all, the games need to appeal to a wide variety of players.

How To Bet In Craps For Higher Wins

Craps presents so many possibilities that players are continually exploring combinations seeing if they can find a magic formula for profit. One player asked me recently if he could combine place bets with hard ways for some giant-sized wins.

Sons of Anarchy Slot Machines

The video age has enabled game designers to get creative in any number of ways, and that includes the way they use reels and symbols. One of the latest wrinkles is Cluster Power, a new way to play you’ll be seeing in the coming year on Aristocrat Technologies’ Sons of Anarchy slot machine.


Hot Streaks, Are They For Real?

Not long ago, I received a note via email from a craps player who was taken aback when a shooter rolled five sevens in a row. “It would seem to me there has to be a makeup time to get the odds to come out right,” he wrote. “What’s the hidden factor that balances those five 7s in a row?”

Casino Strip Presents $100,000 Slot Tournament

Something exciting took place last weekend in Tunica and I’m not just talking about Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  Last week Hollywood Casino, Resorts Casino, and Sam’s Town Tunica Casino hosted the first ever Casino Strip Presents $100,000 slot tournament.  This tournament was the first of it’s kind here in Tunica and let me tell you, it was a lot of fun.

Adapt to the Ever-Changing Game of Blackjack

In his blackjack strategy post, John Grochowski tells us that players who learned basic strategy for stand-on-all-17s games need to make a few adaptations for today’s blackjack.

The Luckiest Day of the Year is Upon Us

The Fitz Casino goes all out each year for St. Patrick’s Day. And who better to hold Tunica’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day party than the casino that celebrates the luck of the Irish all year long?

Get Away for Presidents’ Day

Monday, February 18 is Presidents’ Day, a federal holiday celebrating the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Whether you have Monday off work or are just looking to blow off a little steam, why not make a long weekend of it just down the road in Tunica? We promise not to tell your boss.

Stir Crazy this Christmas? Visit Tunica!

For many families, a trip to Tunica at Christmastime is a tradition. Because most businesses are closed on Christmas, and the crazy shoppers are in full force making returns December 26, Tunica is your destination for relaxed fun that’s only a car ride away.

Date Night Ideas for Couples in Tunica

From poker experts to foodies to the couple who wants an adventurous variety, there are ways for every kind of couple to enjoy themselves in Tunica.

Fall Into October Casino Promotions

[caption id="attachment_8842" align="alignright" width="188"] Harvest of Freeplay at Gold Strike[/caption]

During October, there are plenty of gaming promotions, giveaways, hotel savings and buffet specials to help you make the most of your fall visit.

Gaming and Giveaways

At Resorts, there will be a $10,000 football frenzy table games drawing October 27. At 9 p.m., 20 players will win $500: $250 in cash and $250 in promo chips. Earn one entry for every hour of continuous play ($5 minimum bet per hand). Entries can be earned until 6 p.m. the day of the drawing.

On Wednesdays at the Hollywood Casino, the Silver Screen Slot Tournament gives Club Hollywood members the chance to win a $2,500 tournament. Players only need to earn 25 points in one day to enter, and those 55+ only need 10 points. In giveaways, players at Hollywood can enter to win a car every Saturday in October in the Choose Your Hybrid Giveaway.

Casino Spotlight: Play Big at Blackjack and Slots at Roadhouse

I’ve been giving you some tips about how to have some biker-style fun at Roadhouse, but now I’m wrapping up the Roadhouse spotlight with its main attraction. Use this guide to gaming at Roadhouse to see if you can be like one of the casino’s latest big winners who won $72,000 at the slots.

3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Tunica RiverPark

Grab your baskets and hop on over to the Tunica RiverPark & Museum for the 3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt on the River Saturday, April 7, 2012!
This is a free event for the whole family. The festivities will begin at 2 p.m. with an Easter egg hunt for
children ages 3-10 on the garden terrace with games and prizes to follow. Come early and visit to the Mississippi River Museum and see all of the updates since the 2011 flood. Adults can enter you to win a dinner cruise for two on the Tunica Queen and other prizes from the Museum Gift Shop.  Call 866.51RIVER (517.4837) for more information.

Aces In the Hole? Don’t Press Your Luck – Video Poker Strategy

Double Double Bonus Poker is the game of choice for many video poker players, and it’s not hard to understand why. There’s a 2,000-coin jackpot for four Aces accompanied by a fifth card that’s a 2, 3 or 4. On a quarter machine, that’s a $500 bonanza, a nice payday for a $1.25 bet.

Let It Ride: 3-card Side Bet

Table games manufacturers love to spice up their products with side bets, something to add a little extra action, a little extra interest to play. And if there’s one thing casino table games manufacturers love to see, it’s more action, with more money on the table.

Should you Just Keep One Pair in Video Poker Games?

When my wife Marcy and I go to a casino together, we usually spend some time playing video poker side-by-side. Her real casino love is the penny slots, for the animation and entertainment, but video poker is next.

Casino Spotlight: Check Out What’s New on Hollywood’s Casino Floor

In our last Hollywood Casino spotlight we promised to bring you the scoop on the newest game on Hollywood’s casino floor. Let’s dig in!

HollywoodCasino offers a variety of some of thenewest and most exciting slots in themarket. The premier gaming house now has 98percent payback available on select dollar IGT reel Double Diamond games as well as a slew of new games!

A 21-year-old’s Royal Streak

I recently was contacted by a reader who had a tale of extreme beginners luck. It seems the reader’s son drew a royal flush on a quarter video poker machine on his 21st birthday, on the very first hand he ever played. He played again the next day, and drew another royal, then did it again the next day. Three royal flushes, all within about 1,000 hands, starting from the young man’s first lifetime hand.

The King of Pop – Slot Machine Royalty

The King of Pop is looking a lot like slot machine royalty, too, if the crowds at October’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas were anything to go by. And it wasn’t just Michael Jackson’s music that kept casino industry professional swarming around the Michael Jackson: King of Pop games at Bally Technologies’ booth.

Choose Your Volatility Games

Each year at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, I’m on the lookout for new trends in the games slotmakers will be offering us. It seems that one thing we’ll be seeing more of are slots that let us choose our play experience. Both International Game Technology and Spielo International showed new games with “choose your volatility” options.