Tag: poker

The Ultimate Guide to Live/Table Poker vs Video Poker

Travelers to Tunica tend to want the odds in their favor. With a wide variety of gaming spread across six different first-class casinos, some folks may wonder if certain poker games are more winnable than others. Spending money with plans of making a profit is an investment, but like all investments, profit isn’t guaranteed. That’s… Read more »

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.

Pair Plus Option in 3 Card Poker

I’ve mentioned there are several optional pay tables at Pair Plus in Three Card Poker. One reader asked “Why isn’t the pay table standard?”

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.

Three Card Poker: Pair Plus vs. Ante-Play

I’ve long used Three Card Poker as a change of pace game. I don’t play it as often as I play blackjack or video poker, but it’s easy and I enjoy relaxing over a session now and then.

When I play, I stick to the ante-play option, where you match up your hand against the dealer. Most of the other players bet both on ante-play and on the Pair Plus option, where any pair or better wins.

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. 

The dividing lines can seem arbitrary, but they’re not. For those who play basic strategy for Mississippi Stud, the dividers are based in the math of the game.


Mississippi Stud Poker Straight Strategy

In any game where strategy makes a difference, there are fine points and there are players who struggle with small differences.

One such game is Mississippi Stud Poker, in which players must ante to start, then may raise by betting one to three times their ante after seeing their first two cards, again after seeing the first of three community cards and a third time after the second community card is exposed.

10 Photos We Loved In March

We love seeing everyones photos from their trips to Tunica. Here are our top 10 for the month of March. 

Why Do You Sometimes Win on the Ante and Not the Bet in Poker?

Many modern table games include two stage betting, with an ante and a bet. Players with strong hands then must wait to see if the dealer has a qualifying hand. If the dealer’s hand isn’t good enough, you win only on the ante and the bet is returned to you.

Mini Royal Payoffs in Three Card Poker

Three Card Poker was designed with straight flushes as the highest paying hands.  The exceptions are at casinos that offer a bigger payoff on mini-royals – Ace, King, Queen of the same suit.

Chase the Flush vs Flushes Gone Wild

Most new table offerings are new riffs on familiar concepts. Every so often, that leads to different game developers hitting on similar ideas at the same time. This year, I tried out two games that paid off on flushes of varying lengths, American Gaming Systems’ Chase the Flush and Shuffle Master/Scientific Games’ Flushes Gone Wild.

Ultimate X Poker Bonus Streak

If you’re a video poker player, chances are you know Ultimate X Poker from International Game Technology. It’s the most successful multiline video poker game with an extra bet for bonus features.


How to Play Three Card Draw Poker

New table games shown each fall at Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas aren’t as quick to reach widespread distribution as new slots. There’s less turnover of games at the tables. Blackjack may be forever, but most new slots are here and gone in a few months.

Extra Bets in Super Times Pay Video Poker

Most of video poker games we play today have been around for decades. Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Bonus Poker and others have stood the test of time. Most innovation in video poker comes in games that require an extra bet to activate a bonus feature. Of these, the most popular has been Super Times Pay.

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.

How Does a Multi-Bet Format Affect the House Edge in Mississippi Stud?

Many poker-based table games involve an ante before you see your cards, and then a bet or multiple bets to keep playing. Caribbean Stud was the trend-setter, but we also see that format in Three Card Poker, Mississippi Stud and other games.

Video Poker Pay Table Strategy

When you see a strategy table for any given video poker game, it’s almost always going to assume a royal flush pays 4,000 coins if you’ve made a five-coin bet. That’s the standard payout on machines that don’t have a progressive jackpot.

Electronic vs Live Table Games

Table games players have consistently shown a preference for live action. They like to play with real cards and dice and with human dealers.

Still, there has been an increasing acceptance of electronic table games, especially in roulette. Touch screens for electronic betting speed play as wagers are settled automatically, with no mistakes. There’s no down time waiting for dealers to pay winners and collect chips from losing bets.

World Series Of Poker Returns To Tunica

When the World Series of Poker Circuit makes its Tunica stop Jan. 21-Feb. 1 at Horseshoe, it will be building on a tradition that began 45 years ago in Las Vegas. That’s when Benny Binion invited seven of the top poker players in the world to come to his casino for a tournament he called the World Series of Poker, and that’s grown into the mega-event that brings national ballyhoo and TV coverage every year.

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.”

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.

Best Ante Bet Strategy In Three Card Poker

Basic strategy for the ante-bet portion of Three Card Poker is to make the bet of equal to your ante any time you’re dealt Queen-6-4 or better, but to fold and forfeit your ante with lower-ranking hands.

That strategy led a reader to email me with two questions:

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.

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.

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?”

Get the Most from Caribbean Stud Poker

When I started going to casinos, the selection of table games was pretty basic. There were blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat. Some casinos had Big Six money wheels, and sometimes you’d see Red Dog or other change-of-pace games.

Ante-bet Strategy in Three-card Poker

I remember when Three Card Poker was a new game in the 1990s, struggling to carve out a niche. It had failed to make enough money to satisfy the house in a trial at the Stardust in Las Vegas, but it was a hit in Mississippi. The success of the game in Tunica was enough to convince operators in other states that maybe the Stardust experience was an anomaly.

Setting Your Hand in Pai-Gow Poker

An e-mail brought me a tale of woe from a pai-gow poker novice:

“My friend told me to make my bottom hand as strong as I can,” the player’s lament began. “But when I put a pair of Kings in the bottom hand and a pair of 9s in the top, I was told I arranged them wrong, and the dealer took my money.”

In pai-gow poker, you’re dealt seven cards, which you arrange into a five-card “high” hand and a two-card “second-high” hand. Both must beat the dealer for you to win your bet, but you get your money back if one wins. The deck consists of 53 cards, with the standard 52 joined by a Joker that can be used either as an Ace or to compete a flush or straight.

World Series of Poker Star Chris Moneymaker Talks to Down the Road

No player in the history of the game has done more to raise the profile of poker than World Series of Poker champ Chris Moneymaker. He calls Memphis home, but this jet-setting professional poker player visits some of the world’s most exotic locales—Monte Carlo, Macau, Australia—to play the game he loves. Chris took time away from the tables to talk to Down the Road about how he got his start, the famous Hollywood stars he’s played (and taken money from) and what he finds special about Tunica.

Video Poker: Chance vs. Skill

Video poker is a game that mixes pure chance with a dose of skill. You don’t know which cards are going to dealt, but you need to know which ones to hold to have a fighting chance to win.

21+3 Side Bet in Blackjack

Side bets at blackjack come and side bets at blackjack go. Mostly they go when players discover their money is disappearing a little too rapidly. One that’s lasted, though, is 21+3, which combine blackjack with a three-card poker hand.

Reason #1 Why Closer Doesn’t Mean Better – Gaming

In Tunica, Mississippi, we appreciate good entertainment. After all, we feature plenty of it for just about every taste. So, you probably are not surprised that we chuckled at the attempt at humor in recent commercials by a competitor across the river. Clever, but we have to ask: Why don’t they talk about any benefits, just about a shorter drive (and that depends on where you live)?

In Tunica, we also appreciate the difference between fact and fiction.

  • Fact: closer doesn’t mean better.
  • Fiction: you risk alien abduction, chainsaw-wielding maniacs and organ harvesting if you drive to Tunica.

So, in the spirit of good, clean competition, we would like to focus over the next seven days on the Lucky 7 reasons why closer doesn’t mean better. Because when you compare Tunica to Southland, it’s not even close. And be sure to read on to find out how to receive $25 in free slot play and a $5 food credit when you trade up to Tunica.

New Video Poker Options from IGT

You always can count on International Game Technology for an interesting twist on video poker. In the coming year, the twists will include games with new Ace-based multipliers and a marriage of poker and keno.

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.

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.

A Reader’s Good Fortune: 10 Royals at Once on Ten Play Poker

When you play multihand video poker games such as Triple Play, Five Play and Ten Play Poker, part of the attraction is that you get multiple chances to make a high-paying hand on the draw. Hold two pairs, and maybe you don’t pull the full house on hand No. 1, but the possibilities are still there on the draw for the second hand, or third, or however many you play.

Casino Spotlight: Step into the Action at Gold Strike

It’s hard to not be excited to talk about all the gaming options at a casino with the word “gold” right there in its name. With an award-wining slot machine selection, a team that will actually teach you how to play poker and high-rolling accommodations, Gold Strike is all about helping you find your pot of gold.

Casino Spotlight: More Than 2,600 Ways to Win at Harrah’s Tunica

As you walk through Harrah’s impressive entryway, you’re instantly hit with the casino feel. The bead-like lighting is reminiscent of Las Vegas, and at 140,000 square feet, Harrah’s says it’s the largest casino between Vegas and Atlantic City. I can’t believe how many slots they have: more than 2,000! On top of that, they have 60 table games.

Casino Spotlight: Risk Is Its Own Reward at Horseshoe Tunica

Filled with more than 1,700 slots and 70 tables, Horseshoe Tunica is definitely a gambler’s paradise. With 100X odds on craps and $10,000 limits at all the tables, Horseshoe Tunica knows what gamblers want and delivers. Step onto this well-designed casino floor, and you’ll feel the excitement.

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.

Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

A Caribbean Stud Poker player sent me an email to as about a hair-splitter of a hand.

“ I had Ace-King-8-5-2, and the card the dealer turned face up from her hand was an Ace,” he wrote. “I made the bet, because my Ace matched his Ace. Another guy at the table told me that was the wrong play, that you bet only if one of the other three cards matches the dealer.

No Five-Card Draw in Poker Rooms?

My e-mail in August brought a question from a poker player who wishes he could play his favorite game when he goes to casino card rooms.

“I know Hold’em has been all the rage for years now,” he wrote. “I enjoy playing some. But the game I grew up with was five-card draw. I used to play with my parents and brother and sisters, not for money, just for fun. I played a lot of it in the college dorm, too. But I can’t find it in casinos. Why not?”

Holding Aces in Double Double Poker

Double Double Bonus Poker is the one of the most popular video poker games around, largely because of the 2,000-coin bonanza for four Aces when the fifth card is a 2, 3 or 4.

Travel Tunica Tries Hand in World Series of Poker

Travel Tunica learned how to play poker recently, so when we were invited to the media event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) at Harrah’s Tunica, we were all in.

World Series of Poker Coming to Tunica Soon!

The World Series of Poker is the longest-running, largest, richest, and most prestigious gaming event in the world, and it will be in Tunica soon!  This marks the sixth season of WSOP Circuits, which are played at Harrah’s properties throughout the United States.  Harrah’s Tunica is the fifth of eleven WSOP Circuit stops scheduled this season.