2019 NEW ENGLAND CASINO AWARDS

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Our New England Casino Poll Starts in Five Days!

The time has come for all you crazy (or serious) New England Casino visitors to vote for this year’s favorites. You don’t need to live in New England to vote – New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey – let your voice be heard!

This is the 4th year for NETimeGambling’s annual Awards celebrating the best in our expanding gaming landscape.  This year, we will have one additional casino, four new hotels, and more restaurants than ever before. Time to compare the reward clubs as well – MLife, Choice rewards (formerly Marquee Rewards), Twin River, Oxford, Momentum and Foxwoods Rewards.

New England Casino Awards votes can be made by:

  1. Subscribing to our Website NETimeGambling.com
  2. Following us on Twitter 
  3. Following us on our Facebook page
  4. Following us on the New England Casinos Facebook group page

Our survey starts on Friday, January 19th. You can only vote once, so make your vote count!

For a look at last year’s winners, check out: New England Casino Awards 2018 and New England Casino Awards – Final Analysis of 2017

2019 NEW ENGLAND CASINO AWARDS – TIME TO VOTE IN FIVE DAYS!!! 

Binbin

Thankful to Stay in New England for Casino Recreation

Photo by gabrielle cole on Unsplash

Today’s post is a short one.  It’s a post of acknowledgement and appreciation for where I live today, and have lived all my life – New England.

Like a said, this will be brief.  In the past few years, I have gone on tirades about the changes in Las Vegas. If you want to see my rants, click on Las Vegas – No Christmas Cheer, Just More Scrooge.

I used to regret being so far away from Las Vegas. I love Las Vegas for all it offers. But, this morning, I would like to quote from the above post, saying, “Here in New England, we have casinos for every desire – from small convenience casinos to Mega-resorts, two (three counting the future Encore Boston Harbor) that rival anything on the strip, without the fees, WITH free drinks, 5 star dining, enough “oonze” and clubs to get your groove on, fantastic entertainment, & FREE self & valet parking.”  Let’s not forget the two full-fledged mid-size resorts MGM Springfield & Twin River Casino / Hotel!

It’s true.  You can find anything here that you’d find in Las Vegas.  And if not in New England, then in Atlantic City with it’s resurgence and new casino resorts. Add to that the expansion in New York, and you have over thirty casinos of every size and type within a 5 hour radius of Connecticut.

Sure, Las Vegas is gambling’s Mecca with the convenience of more casinos and their provisions together than anywhere in America – but it’s so far away.  With the casino expansion in the northeast, is it really essential to visit Vegas as much as you used to?  Not me!

You want Steakhouses? Try Michael Jordan’s at Mohegan Sun, Slack’s at Plainridge, Foxwoods provides two outstanding restaurants with Cedars and David Burke’s. and the new kids on the block – Tuscan Chophouse at Tiverton and MGM Springfield’s Chandler Steakhouse (there are more, but I did say “brief”)

Prime Rib at Slack’s, Plainridge Park

You want entertainment? Try headliners at Mohegan Sun Arena, Fox Theater, Grand Theater, MassMutual Center and Twin River’s Event Center. Or maybe more intimate entertainment – lounges, comedy, karaoke, trivia…….

Award-winning Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville CT

You want sports? We have pro basketball, lacrosse, semi-pro hockey, the best in college basketball, CES fighting, boxing…….

How about different types of offerings – Foxwoods Thrill Rides, the iPourit wall at Tiverton, craft local beers at every casino in New England, retail shops, Tanger Outlets……

And with ten casino hotels with a total of over 4600 hotel rooms, including suites and villas, even convenience day trips can turn into enjoyable stay-cations.

So, as we end 2018, I’d like to look back and be thankful for what is near me.  In 6 years, it’s getting to the point that NETG can’t keep up with all the news and construction we’ve seen, including many highs and lows, but always pushing forward.

So instead of Viva Las Vegas, I say,

“VIVA NEW ENGLAND!”

 

Binbin

 

Blackjack – Which Casino Format is Best For You?

Blackjack Table

Blackjack Table

THERE ARE FOUR PHYSICAL FORMATS FOR PLAYING BLACKJACK IN CASINOS:

  1. the traditional live table game with live dealer
  2. stadium game play, with a live dealer, but played with community cards by many players
  3. electronic blackjack, played by up to six players around a blackjack table with a video dealer
  4. video blackjack on a solitary machine, usually the same terminal with video poker, keno, and a few slots.

IGT video blackjack

Is it better to play video blackjack at a video poker terminal or to shimmy up to the table and play the game the way it was meant to be played? (at least before 6/5 BJ and all the enhanced house edge rules.)

It really depends on what you are looking for in your blackjack experience. There are some players out there that refuse to play a video blackjack game. (To be honest, I’d rather play keno than video blackjack.) Some players feel video blackjack can’t be trusted. But, there ARE reasons to play video blackjack?  Let’s compare:

ADVANTAGES TO PLAYING VIDEO BLACKJACK

LOWER MINIMUMS – Video blackjack machines often have a lower minimum bet as little as $1. Compared to traditional tables, even $5 seems low, especially on weekends where limits can start as high as $15 – $25.

BETTER RULES – Video blackjack games can have better rules than any live blackjack game that can be found in the same casino. Check the rules and you may find standing on all 17’s, offering surrender, doubling after the split and split up to 3 hands, better rules than many traditional games offered in several casinos.

BETTER COMPS – Comps, the free perks casinos give to players, are calculated higher for machine players. Some casinos won’t even rate you if you play under $25, and those that will rate you will give you very little in the way of comps, and making some promotions available to you that only apply to slot machines since your play on video blackjack machines will count as a slot machine.

NOT A SOCIAL PLAYER? – Many of us have played at those serious tables of NFB (No Fun Blackjack).  The dealer might be grumpy, the players may be serious strategy or card counters, and heaven help you if play the wrong way (according to basic strategy).  Some players can be very intimidating, if not down-right nasty.  It is a belief that the wrong play will effect the other players’ hands.  Over time, this has been proven not to be true.  Your next mistake may actually help them win – but you’ll never hear a thank you for that.

Stadium Gaming Blackjack

This a hybrid that that crosses all lines  First, for solitary players, being social at the table isn’t necessary. You still have a live dealer, so it’s slower than video BJ, but still faster due to automatic payouts  Having other games immediately available gives more variety and not having the pressure to play every hand. Skipping hands, or socializing with friends around you it a less-stress situation and more fun. Stadium gaming can be lots of fun with friends, something a live table game can provide also. Besides blackjack, bacarrat and roulette are also usually provided. New England casinos that offer Stadium Gaming include Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods, Twin River Casino & Hotel, Tiverton Casino and Hotel. Plainridge has table game terminals, but is not allowed live dealers as a slots-only facility.

RULEs and Rewards

Points acrued at a standard table game is basically earned according to the the following:

  • Amount of Wager per hand
  • Time spent at the table
  • Table game house edge being played
  • Average hands played per hour.

But any video format, including stadium gaming, is more like slots and video poker, where your play and your points are decided by the casino software and a firmula

DISADVANTAGES TO PLAYING VIDEO BLACKJACK – NOW A WORD OF CAUTION FROM OUR FRIEND, THE CASINO ANSWER MAN JOHN GROCHOWSKI:

CHECK THE PAYOFFS –  “Given basic strategy for a single-deck game, the house edge is about 2.5 percent. If you got the full 3-2 payoff on blackjacks, it would be a 0.24 percent game, but even-money pays on two-card 21s add 2.27 percent to the house edge. That’s equivalent to a slot payback percentage of 97.5 percent, so yes it’s a higher payback than on penny slots. Returns vary from game to game, casino to casino and jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but penny slot paybacks almost always are less than 90 percent.

FASTER PLAY – A word of caution: video blackjack plays a lot faster than table blackjack. The video game doesn’t need time for dealing cards to other players, settling bets, stacking chips in trays, buy-ins and cash outs of multiple players, shuffles or cuts. As a video player, you can play just as fast as you can make decisions and hit the buttons. At a full table, you might play only 50 to 60 hands per hour. If you’re betting $10 a hand, you’re risking $500 to $600. At your video blackjack game, it’s easy to get in 500 hands per hour. Even with $1 bets, you’re betting $500 per hour.

Your hourly wager total is right up there with the $10 table players, and you’re playing against a house edge that probably is much higher than the table edge. On a six-deck game where the dealer hit soft 17, you may double on any first two cards including after splits, may split any pair up to three times and blackjacks pay 3-2, the house edge against a basic strategy player is 0.62 percent. If your budget extends only to $1 bets and you’re going to set a low loss limit, then you can have some fun at the blackjack machines. But for extended play, the table usually is the better play.

ADVANTAGES TO PLAYING LIVE BLACKJACK

A fun time was had by all!

WHILE VIDEO BLACKJACK HAS MORE OF A BEGINNER FOLLOWING, THERE ARE CERTAINLY ADVANTAGES TO A LIVE DEALER AND LIVE ACTION.

DRINK SERVICE – If you would like good drink service, you will get served more drinks in the table games pit than you will in the slot area where video blackjack games usually are located.

BETTER COMPS FOR HIGHER ROLLERS – If you are going to average $25 or more a bet then you will get noticed in the pit and you are likely to get better comps.

COUNTING CARDS – If you are going to count cards it will be much easier to do so at the table games. It is impossible to count cards on some blackjack machines. A full table game of blackjack will likely be faster than a video blackjack game because novice players are more likely to be on the machines.

SMOKE FREE TABLES – If smoke bothers you then table games might be best for you too. Casinos will often make a table smoke free upon request. That cannot be done in the slot area.

SOCIAL – Table blackjack games also tend to be more social than video blackjack machines. No, it’s not the fun commeradeie of the craps table, but with the right people, it can bring a bit of “the players vs. the casino” excitement.

BAD VIDEO BLACKJACK MACHINES – BEWARE

The machines that can be played advantageously are multi seat machines where blackjack pays 3 to 2. Some video poker machines such as Game Kings and Game Makers have a heads up blackjack game on them. These are terrible blackjack games. These games typically pay even money on blackjack. They typically do not allow doubling after the split either. Some of these machines do not allow doubling at all. It is best to avoid these games. Some multi seat games are single deck games that pay 6 to 5 on blackjack. Avoid these single deck machines as well.  Believe it or not, some video blackjack terminals include even money in blackjack.

One more word of caution concerns multigame machines.  Usually, the rate of  comps depends on the game of with the tightest house edge, and that includes the rest of the games on that machine-including the rest of VP, Keno, Slots and yes, Blackjack. Find video blackjack on machines with poorer VP pay tables to ensure the highest amount of earning comps.

CONCLUSION

There are advantages to playing both live and video blackjack. Each player has their own goal as to what they would like to get out of a blackjack game. Blackjack can be fun whether it is a video blackjack game or a live blackjack game; it is up to the player to decide which they enjoy more.er hour. Even with $1 bets, you’re betting $500 per hour.

Binbin