Video Poker – When To Play Fast

Video poker is not like slot machines – there is skill to it. It’s knowing the probability of the dealt hands, memorizing the strategy and holding what gives the best advantage for the best winning hand.

Video Poker machines often have a button where the player can set the speed of the cards dealt. Mostly, it is about where your comfort level is with your speed of play, but there is a reason when playing as fast as you can is suggested, as long as it’s accurate perfect strategy.

One time, I sent a question to noted Video Poker Expert, Bob Dancer.  For great software to practice your Video Poker Play, go to bobdancer.com. I asked him, “When do you suggest to play as fast as you can?”

His answer – “Always.”

From his stand point, it was the correct answer.  However, he insists on only playing advantage games – full pay, or very close to it. That means he plays games such as:

  • Jack or Better – 9/6 **
  • Bonus Poker – 8/5 **
  • Double Bonus – 10/7 **
  • Double Double Bonus – 10/6 **
  • Full Pay Deuces Wild – 9(StrFl)) /5 (40faK)
  • NSUD (Dueces Willd) – 9(StrFl)) /4(40faK) / 4 (FH)

** Please note – The first number = payout for Full House, second number = payout for Flush in these games

 

Jacks or Better best paytable (called 9/6 because of the full house and flush pay out). Notice the jump in pay out from 4 to 5 coins.

These games are seen as full play because they have a pay out of 99.7% to over 100% with perfect strategy. Because Mr. Dancer plays perfect strategy on full pay VP, his answer is correct – full speed ahead always.

Playing Video Poker as fast as one can should only be played when the player has the advantage, as in the above VP paytables. For more information about which games are FULL PAY, go to vpFREE2 and the Wizard of Odds.

But, the rest of us have a few considerations that many advantage players don’t. Consider these:

PRACTICE

Whatever video poker game you play, you need to practice, and practice. Advantage players can play over 15 hands per minute. They only play full pay VP, and learn to minimize the time for each deal/hold play. Practice teaches AP’s what patterns of cards to memorize for whatever strategy is needed, no matter in what order the patterns are in on the deal.

Playing full pay VP also needs a technique that alleviates excess movement.  I average 400-600 hands if needed by using my left hand for the holding of cards and my right hand for the deal/draw.  By rolling my left hand slightly, I can hold whatever button is needed without looking down, keeping my eyes on the screen.

LACK of FULL PAY VIDEO POKER

No matter how good, or how fast you play video poker, the fact remains that full pay options are increasingly hard to find. Many casinos offer playable (like 8/5 JOB or 9/5 DDB) to incredibly bad (6/5 JOB, 7/5 DDB).  The only full pay video poker in New England can be found at Mohegan Sun – 9/6 JOB.

SPEED CAN KILL (your Bankroll, That Is)

Since most casinos in the country don’t offer full pay VP, playing fast is not a template for success. Playing any casino game – slots, tables, VP – with a higher house edge should be played accurately first, speedily second.  Playing slow can be a friend to your bankroll. Besides, if you play fast and make mistakes – don’t play fast.  Unless you are playing full pay VP, there is absolutely no reason to speed.

ACCURACY IS #1

The primary strategy is knowing the optimum strategy for the game you are playing.  Even with JOB (Jacks or Better, remember?) basic strategy, or the cards you hold, is different depending if the pay table is 9/6 or 8/5.

BOTTOM LINE

Jerry “Stickman” wrote the following in his post “How Fast Should You Play Video Poker?” in Casino City Times.

“First and foremost, if you are playing a machine where the house has the edge, you are best off pacing your play. The more you play, the more you will lose. Sure you may hit some big winners, but the more you play, the more the house will take your hard earned money. So if you don’t have an edge (including slot club points and possibly comps), take your time playing. Don’t rush to give the house any more money than you must. Only play as fast as you can be accurate. When playing with an edge, Wyatt Earp probably said it best when he quipped, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” Don’t get killed. Make sure you are playing correctly.”

Now, go get that Royal Flush!

Bin

Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast

There’s a new Gambling podcast on the horizon and it’s taking the casino airwaves by storm.  It’s “Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast.”

What’s so special about this podcast compared to all the others?  His passion!  Vito wants you to share in his experience of learning everything there is to learn about gambling, casinos, Vegas, ……. the works.

His purpose, starting with episode 1, is all about maximizing the experience for the recreational gambler.  Now, I have been listening to some of the best gambling podcasts for years.  (Check friends of NETimeGambling for examples!)  I have never heard someone learn so quickly how to entertain and bring it to his audience in such a short period of time.  Vito is intent on bringing the recreational gambler good information, and also engaging the listener with every episode.

I feel lucky to be a listener from episode #1. He reminds me of your best Italian East Coast gambling friend who sincerely wants you to have a good time.  Not stuffy, not “full of himself,” just the kind of fun guy you wouldn’t mind meeting at your local casino to play some craps.

And he’s a New England native – Connecticut raised.

While Vito himself is quite a character, it wouldn’t be a great podcast without great content.  Here’s some of the fantastic guests he has had already on his podcast: (their expertise is included)

  • The Wizard of Odds – Michael Shackelford (Gambling statistics & strategy extraordinaire)

    Mike Shackelford of The Wizard of Odds

    Mike Shackelford of The Wizard of Odds

  • Richard Munchkin of “Gambling With an Edge” (Advantage Players, Blackjack)
  • The Annoyed Pit Boss (Stories from the casino Pit)
  • Greg “Fossilman” Raymer (Poker)
  • Mark DeVol of “You Can Bet On That” (Craps)

That’s just a few of the many great guests Vito has interviewed. With 41 episodes, the spread of important gambling topics has been no short of amazing.

New episodes come out every Thursday. How do you follow Cousin Vito?  Easy.  

Subscribe first, then you’ll have his podcast delivered free to you every week.  More?  here’s from his website:

Call the show!

1(747) CASINO-1 or 1(747) 227-4661

Email the show! – CousinVito@Gmail.com

Tweet the show! @vitoscasino

As he always ends his podcast, Cousin Vito wants to help you “make luck happen!”

Check him out.

Binbin

 

13 Essential Gambling Websites

Rated #37 in 2017

By the way, NETimeGambling was recognized last year as the one of the top 75 Gambling Blogs, rated at #37. Our following has doubled every year, and in September of 2017, we were added to the TravelZork Team with a monthly post about New England Casino News, Events, Promotions and more.

Mark Gruetze of the Tribune-Review, or Trib-Live, posted an article last year about websites for Gambling fans.  It’s a great list, with some additions from your favorite Northeast gambling blog.

Many gambling websites cater to either beginners, AP’s (Advantage Players) or a special place.  There is a plethora of Las Vegas websites, for example, and caution is suggested since many Vegas websites are driven by entertainment and dining sales.

One thing is for sure, if you like swapping gambling stories, or gambling strategy, there are plenty of sites out there to help you.

Mark lists his favorites below.  You will also see NETimeGambling’s suggestions added as well.

General Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

“An original: Las Vegas Advisor, the brainchild of Blackjack Hall of Fame member Anthony Curtis, started in 1983 as a monthly newsletter, focusing on all things Vegas for people looking to get the most from Sin City through smart gambling and cut-rate deals. The recently updated website, www.lasvegasadvisor.com, features an encyclopedic guide to any type of Las Vegas offering, including 27 restaurant categories plus details on casino buffets; a rundown of shows and concerts; and blogs by gambling experts including Jean Scott, James Grosjean and Bob Dancer. A subscription, which costs $37 or $50 a year, gets you the monthly newsletter either online or hard copy, plus an annual Las Vegas coupon book that can easily cover the subscription cost and access to online forums.”

TravelZork – Complete with Vegas news, travel reports, loyalty program & hotel reviews.  A Vegas travel site within an up-and-coming travel site.

VitalVegas.com – owned and operated by Scott Roeben, who happens to be the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Freemont Street experience.

EatingLV.com – run by John Curtas, this is one of the quintessential blogs for foodies visiting Las Vegas and features numerous reviews and write ups of everything food.

Cheapo Vegas  – Around for years, it’s your guide to Las Vegas on the cheap.

The Vegas Solo! This is THE website for solo travelers headed to Las Vegas. What you’ll find on this website are pages of information to help you plan your solo trip to Vegas.

Las Vegas Advisor, For nearly 30 years, Anthony Curtis and his team have provided hundreds of thousands of visitors with all the information they need to get more out of Vegas than it gets out of them.

Playing strategy and advice

Blackjack Strategy Card

www.wizardofodds.com, started in 1997 by current adjunct professor of casino math Michael Shackleford. Shackleford sold his site in 2014 but remains the main content supplier. WizardOfOdds offers the best strategies for virtually every casino game…. The free site includes odds calculators that account for rule variations in blackjack and other games.

www.888casino.com/blog, operated by the world’s largest online gaming venue.  The 888 blog, also free to all, is relatively new but boasts an impressive lineup, including Henry Tamburin’s “Ultimate Blackjack Guide” and the AP Heat blog by gambling mathematician Eliot Jacobson, which analyzes ways that advantage players can attack a variety of games. The content gets updated frequently.”

GamblingSites, a trusted guide to help ensure safe online gambling and betting, they also rovide an abundance of gambling-related advice and information, written by experienced and knowledgeable experts. We cover sports betting, casino gaming, poker, bingo, daily fantasy sports and more.

Poker News, PokerNews.com is the world’s leading poker website. Among other things, visitors will find a daily dose of articles with the latest poker news, live reporting from tournaments, exclusive videos, podcasts and so much more.

Casino City Times – Gaming Gurus like Frank Scoblete, John Grochowski, Jerry Stickman, and John Robinson (only to name a few) have hundreds of posts for game strategy, facts & suggestions for all games and all players.  Their archives are listed as well, which include a wealth of information.

Casino news

www.cdcgamingreports.com provides news stories and analysis by its own writers and aggregates reports from publications throughout the United States. For a scholarly approach, check it out.

The Center for Gaming Research site, gaming.unlv.edu, fathered by Dr. David Schwartz at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a fantastic source for “casino math…..casino revenue figures from across the country, [&] offers podcasts and publishes research papers such as “Of the Rat Pack, Ashtrays, Cocktail Napkins and Grateful Losers: The Making of the Las Vegas Experience as a Historical Process in the 20th Century” and “Elvis Who? Understanding, Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation of Las Vegas Customers.”  Dr. Dave also has publishes some of the most amazing historical resources of the recent decade with  Roll the Bones: The History of GamblingSuburban Xanadu: The Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond, Cutting the Wire: Gaming Prohibition and the Internet, and Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas.

Dr. Dave Scwartz, Professor at UNLV

World Casino News – As well as great content, it includes information concerning casinos from all over the world.  Just ignore the onlinje commercials if that’s your thing.

Casino.Org – Latest Gambling & Casino News. Discover the important stories from around the world since 1995.

There are many specialty gaming sites on the net, and Mark lists a few in those areas. However, there are many sites for newbies and AP’s for all games – table, carnival, slots & video poker.  It would be a good idea to check out forums in each area you are interested in and ask for the preferred sites.  Let the experts in the forums lead you to the best advice on a particular game.

For the entire article by Mark Gruetze, just click on the title below. It’s a great article.

“Gambling fans should bookmark these websites”

That post should keep you busy for a while!

Binbin

Gamblers & Superstitions – If We Could Only Understand the RNG

senior-playing-slots

RNG = Random Number Generator

Sometimes, I have got to share my experiences – more cathartic for me than anything.  But may we all learn something while I rant…….

Last weekend I visited Mohegan Sun, played though the morning until it got was just too busy.  Here’s a few experiences that morning that need yet another mention:

1) Lady to my left playing Buffalo Stampede next to me keeps taking rewards card out of machine, then in, then out…..you get the idea.  At one point she had it out for a good 5 minutes.  I asked why.  She replied, “Whenever I take it out I get the bonus.”  To which, I said, “You realize of course that the rewards card and RNG that runs the machine are two separate systems.”  She says “Yes, I guess.  But it just feels that it makes a difference.”  ok – and I just kept playing.

Unfortunately, all the time she played without the card, she was denying herself 2X points and tier points – a hefty promo for Mohegan Sun.

2) Man to my right playing Buffalo Stampede is slapping the machine buttons like it’s a wack-o-mole game.  He’s unhappy.  I get a random bonus, but not much of a return.  He barks toward me that the machine is programmed to do that – “I’ve lost $600 already on this machine.  I would know.”  The fact is, the more interesting bells and whistles on a slot machine, the more volatile it becomes.  So, since he spoke first, I just reminded him that “it’s just a random bonus separate from the randomness of the RNG, so the machine doesn’t connect the two events on purpose.”  Unhappy with my non-emotional, scientific approach, he lost the rest of his money in the slot quickly, and left in a huff.

Moral of the story – It’s a machine! There’s nothing personal about it.  The machine has no brain, no emotional attachment to who’s playing it and no spiritual karma to rub and coerce out it.

IT”S A MACHINE!!

Enough said.

That’s all for now

Binbin

Gambling Books – Must Read Recommendations

While we don’t tend to cover news in Atlantic City, NETimeGambling.com does like to visit.  Of late, all three of us – Bin, Bert & Miguel – will have had the “Fly Borgata Experience.”  We love Borgata, and hope it stays the same, since  MGM recently bought out Boyd Gaming and now owns 100% of Borgata.  I, personally have also enjoyed the old days in Atlantic City – The Sands, The Claridge, and the AC Hilton.  Fun times at Bally’s Wild Wild West, and even up to the opening of Revel.

Times have changed radically from the years of being the East Coast answer to Las Vegas. To keep up with the latest news in AC, I also follow a great website/podcast called “Due For A Win.”  It covers Atlantic City casinos, from the closings to the recent news of Hard Rock buying the Taj Mahal.  Their Facebook group, which I also recommend, is a wealth of knowledge for the AC newbie and the AC regular.  The following recommended list is from a member of the “Due For A Win” Facebook Community.  With his permission (he only wants to be known as @Scan720 , here they are.

 

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner!

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner!

CRAPS

  • THE BASICS OF WINNING CRAPS by J. Edward Allen – This is a short no nonsense, no filler, book that teaches you what you need to Know to play the game
  • FOREVER CRAPS or CASINO CRAPS SHOOT TO WIN by Frank Scoblete
    Mr. Scoblete has numerous gambling books especially craps related. These two give you a nice overview of the game

BLACKJACK

  • BLACKJACK TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN BY Henry Tamburin
  • THE BIG BOOK OF BLACKJACK by Arnold Snyder
Blackjack

Blackjack

CARD COUNTING (BJ)

  • BLACKJACK BLUEBOOK II by Fred Renzey Proven method to beat the game in an easy to understand format.
  • GOLDEN TOUCH BLACKJACK REVOLUTION by Frank Scoblete.  A radically different method to counting that can be learned in a day.

ROULETTE

  • JOHN PATRICK’S ROULETTE: A Pro’s GUIDE TO MANAGING YOUR MONEY AND BEATING THE WHEEL.
    The wheel cannot be beat but Mr. Patrick’s “Big Four and Little three” are valuable in any casino game.

COMPS

  • WHALE HUNT IN THE DESERT: SECRETS OF A LAS VEGAS SUPER HOST by Steve Cyr
    A reminder that your host is NOT your friend. (Get the newer edition.)
  • COMP CITY by May Rubin Somewhat dated by interesting stories/info
  • HOW TO BE TREATED LIKE A HIGH ROLLER ..EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE NOT by Robert Renneisen
    Somewhat dated by interesting stories/info written by a former AC casino manager

GENERAL GAMBLING BOOKS

  • CASINO GAMBLING FOR DUMMIES by Kevin Blackwood
  • GAMBLING101 by Michael Shackelford

NOVELS

  • THE BOARD WALKERS by Fredrick Schofield. An Atlantic City Based Novel
  • MEGA CASINO THE 13th CASINO by Fredrick Schofield Atlantic City Based. Some characters form the authors previous book reemerge.
  • GOD DOSENT SHOOT CRAPS – A DIVINE COMEDY by Richard Armstrong
  • DICE ANGEL by Brian Rouff
  • FOOLS DIE by Mario Puzo

NON FICTION

  • 24/7: LIVING IT UP AND DOUBLING DOWN IN LAS VEGAS by Andres Martinez
    The author used his book advance on a Las Vegas Gambling spree
  • SUPER CASINO:INSIDE THE “NEW” LAS VEGAS by Pete Earley
    Published in 2001, details the changes form early Las Vegas to the 2000

What are your suggestions?  Let us know.

Gambling destinations?  Travel suggestions?  Video Poker and Poker?  Baccarat?  What would your list look like.  Send it to us and we’ll publish it for you!

Don’t forget to check out “Due for a Win.”

Bin

Casino Bankroll Planning – Q & A

“Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.” — Jonathan Clements

If you think about it, every time you visit the casino, that’s the goal. To enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you deplete your bankroll.Bankroll

ASK these questions before your next visit to the casino:

1)  “How long am I going to stay?”  Decide before you go.
2)  If using bus transportation, “Do I have plans on how to spend my free time?”  (Time without bankroll)
3)  “If I get ahead on a slot or video poker machine, how will I establish a stop value to cash out?”
4)  If it’s a longer visit that spans over a meal time, “Do I have a plan for dividing your sessions?”  and “Am I taking enough money to include downtime, tips, and meals?”
5)  MOST IMPORTANT – “Does my allotted bankroll equal the allotted time for my visit?”  In other words, will your time expectations match the $$ you brought?  (If not, be careful not to make that ATM your friend)

Bankroll Suggestions

 

$100 Funny Toilet Paper

 

Keep in mind that the following are suggestions.  While a suggested bankroll might give you the best run at a certain percentage of lasting, the opposite is also true. The house edge might not change in your session, but your success can get crazy bad or crazy good in a short session – after all, it is casino gambling.

 

SLOTS – John Grochowski says, “….as a general rule of thumb, to have a 90% chance of staying in action for three hours on the slots, your bankroll should cover 250 bets. If you’re betting 40 cents a spin on penny slots, a $100 bankroll gives you that 90% chance. If you’re betting 75 cents on quarter slots, the bankroll need rises to about $187.50, and when you bet $3 per spin on dollar slots, it’s $750.”

BLACKJACK – according to CountingEdge.com, “….always buy-in with at least 50 times the minimum bet. No exceptions. In other words, to play at a $5 minimum bet table you need to buy-in with $250. At a $10 table you need $500, and so on.

CRAPS – Its my understanding to bring to the table 7 to 10 times the amount you are betting. So a $5 table with 3-4-5x odds pass line w/ odds only ave bet $25.00 so $175 to $250.

VIDEO POKER – 150 bets to cover 400 decisions per hour (average player with perfect strategy).  In other words, playing quarter VP and five coins per single line, $1.25 X 150 = $187.50 (round up to $200).  Of course, the lower the pay table pay out, the more you will need.  Also, higher the volatility (Triple Double Bonus Poker as compared to Jacks or Better) would me a higher bankroll.

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

OTHER TABLE GAMES – Casino Player writer Basil Nestor, from “Casino Player” writes “…Blackjack and other table games are best played with a minimum of 50 bets. The only exception to this rule is Let It Ride, which requires 150 bets. For table poker, it’s 100 bets.”

Remember, my fellow recreational gamblers, it’s great to win.  But if you lose, only lose the bankroll you bring and the money you can spend for fun.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

10 Money-Saving Tips For the Casino – Jean Scott, The Queen of Coupons

There are so many people out there we can learn from.  Blogs, podcasts and books are there for our benefit.  Many people think gamblers are reckless – taking chances.  But the best gamblers are those who learn the best strategies on the best games and use any legal method to increase their odds and lower the casino’s advantage.  One of those authors practices what she preaches.  Anyone who ever wanted to get as much as they can out of the casinos – and has –  should know and follow Jean Scott – the Queen of Coupons.” But it’s not just coupons she is an expert in!

Before continuing on, check out two of her websites Jean Scott’s Queen of Comps  & Jean Scott’s Frugal Vegas.

Jean Scott is the author of the best-selling book “The Frugal Gambler,” ( a must for every gambler) a casino guide for thrifty low rollers, plus a sequel, “More Frugal Gambling.” She stresses sensible, responsible gambling and shows how to stretch out casino fun time whatever your gambling bankroll. Her exploits have been featured on “Dateline,” “Hard Copy,” “Extra,” “To Tell the Truth,” and “48 Hours,” where Dan Rather dubbed her the Queen of Comps. She appears frequently on Travel Channel shows on Vegas and gambling. Jean also stars in many “American Casino Guide” videos on YouTube.

Retired from the high school English classroom, her passion is still education while she continues as an active player in casinos all over the country. She is a popular speaker and writer on gaming subjects. Today, Jean Scott, who, in her words, is just an “ordinary grandmother,” is the world’s most famous low-rolling gambler and her fans are legionWhile all of Jean’s suggestions are with Las Vegas in mind, it would be a great idea to use or modify them for our local New England Gaming.  Check out these tips:
10 money-saving tips from the Frugal Gambler
1. Study before you go. Libraries and bookstores have oodles of casino and gambling books that will guide you on a money-saving path. The Internet is full of information on the various casino games. Learn which games have the smallest casino edge, or have a skill factor you could learn, or that enable you to risk your money more slowly. All of these will allow you to lose less and/or stretch your bankroll further.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

2. Treat gambling as a form of entertainment and budget it just as you do whatever else you do for fun, such as movies, eating out, and vacations. Nothing takes away the fun factor more quickly than losing money that you need for life’s essentials. Do not take your checkbook or ATM or credit card to the casino with you. Decide how much you can afford to spend (lose), and take that amount in cash or safe traveler’s checks as your gambling bankroll. Make your gambling bankroll last the whole time you plan to be in a casino by dividing it into segments, i.e., in thirds if you are staying three days, in three-to-four session bankrolls for each day. Then never “borrow ahead” from the next session bankroll.

3. Join every casino player’s club you can, even if you don’t plan to gamble there. You can join many online before you get to Vegas. Membership is free and many casinos give discounts to player’s card holders in their restaurants, gift shops, and for rooms.

4. Use your player’s card EVERY TIME you play, no matter how small the amount or short the time. This allows the casino to track your play and thus know how much to reward you with comps, those freebie meals, rooms, shows, and other benefits that the casinos want to give their players.

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

If you play machines, there is a place for you to insert your card. If you play the tables, you merely hand the card to the dealer of any game and ask that your play be tracked. Casinos cannot give you comps if they don’t know you are playing in their casino.

    An added benefit of joining and using a player’s card is that casinos often send mail offers to everyone in their database, sometimes even to those who have played little or not at all. You will be surprised at the money-saving offers that will appear in your mailbox when you get home.
5. Don’t drink too much alcohol, even if the drinks are free. It will cloud your judgment.
6. If you are losing too fast, go down in denomination. Change from the dollar slots to quarters or from quarter to nickels. At the tables, bet the lowest-value chip allowed.
7. Slow down your play — savor the noisy, fun-filled atmosphere. The bells and whistles, the clanking coins, the high fives at the tables, the excited screams of winners — this is what makes the casino such an entertaining experience.

Remember the days of casino trips with coupon books?

8. Look for coupons and specials for discounted meals, shows, and sightseeing tours. You can find many of these in the freebie magazines around town: at the bell desk, at rental car agencies and motels, at the airport, and right in your room. Read the marquees for menu specials.

9. Look for promotions that will add value to a game you play:
a. bonus players club points, like double points on holidays or on a certain day every week;
b. bonuses for certain events, like the top jackpot on slots, a certain quad in video poker, or a special hand in blackjack;
c. drawings for which you can earn tickets by playing your favorite game.
10. Make your bankroll last longer by taking frequent non-gambling breaks. Take in a show, go sightseeing, have a long, leisurely meal, take a tour or go shopping. Get your proper rest. A tired gambler is a gambler who will make decisions he will regret. Get a full night’s sleep and take a nap, if possible. Gambling is hard work!
The Royal Queen of Coupons has spoken!  Check out her books at Amazon

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Caribbean Stud Poker – Basic Tips by John Grochowski

Continuing with our “Beginner’s Tips, today we look Caribbean Stud Poker.

Carribean Stud Poker seems to have become popular in the 1980’s, while it is rumored to be invented by numerous people claiming the patent.

But it’s popularity has waned as the most popular poker-based game in casinos.  More popular poker-based gambling “carnival” games have taken that position, such as Three Card Poker, Mississippi Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

Basic Table Layout

Basic Table Layout

BASIC RULES

  1. Caribbean Stud Poker is played with a 52 card deck, which is usually randomized using an automatic shuffling machine. On the players’ side of the table, each player has a spot on the table where she can place an “ante” and a spot where she can place a “bet.”
  2. The ante is a mandatory bet, and if you want to play, you have to make the ante bet. Once all the players have made their ante bet, the dealer takes sets of five cards for each player and for herself from the automatic shuffling machine.caribbean-stud
  3. The dealer then reveals the top card of her five card hand to the players, who haven’t looked at their cards yet. Once she reveals her top card, she’ll push your five card set closer to you. That’s when you can look at your hand.
  4. If you don’t think you’re likely to win, you can fold. If you fold, you lose your ante, but no further money.
  5. On the other hand, if you like your hand, to stay in you have to place an additional bet, which is always twice the size of the ante bet that you placed earlier. For example, if the ante were $10, and you liked your hand, you would place an additional $20 in order to continue playing.
  6. After the players have each either folded or bet, the dealer reveals her cards and arranges them into the highest-ranking poker hand she can. She tries to “qualify,” meaning her poker hand needs to be Ace-King or better; if her hand is lower in rank than that, the dealer doesn’t qualify.
  7. If the dealer qualifies, then the players each compare their hand to the dealer’s hand to see whether or not it ranks higher. If the player wins, she gets even money on the ante.

That’s it!  I haven’t played the game in some time, so once again, we turn to John Grochowski for the “easy play version” of Caribbean Stud strategy, which is “to make the bet of twice your ante whenever you have any pair, or ace-king-jack-8-3 or better. With that strategy, Caribbean Stud has a house edge of about 5.32% of your ante. (ouch!) You can reduce the house edge to 5.23% of the ante with a more nuanced strategy.”

John Grochowski - the Casino Answer Man

John Grochowski – the Casino Answer Man

The following comes from his column found at CasinoCityTimes.

1. Bet with any pair.

2. Bet with ace-king provided one of your other three cards matches the dealer’s face-up card.

3. Bet with ace-king-queen or ace-king-jack if any of your five cards matches the dealer’s up card.

4. Bet with ace-king-queen if your next highest card outranks the dealer’s up card.

Let’s look at a few examples:

If you have ace-king with no pairs, no other face cards and the dealer has an ace up, you would fold because the dealer up card does not match one of your other three. However, if you have ace-king-8 and the dealer has an 8 up, you would bet.
However, if you have a queen or jack to go with your ace-king and the dealer has an ace up, then you would bet under strategy line 3.
Also, if you have ace-king-8, no pairs and no other face cards and the dealer shows a 7, you would fold. However, if you have ace-king-queen-8 and the dealer shows a 7, you would bet under strategy line 4. You need both to have the queen to go with ace-king and for your fourth highest card to outrank the dealer’s up card.

Thank-you John.

Binbin

12 New Year Resolutions for Gamblers

new-years-resolutionDo people really make resolutions and stick to them? C’mon now – really?

I think we make resolutions on January 1st with all good intentions. I really do! They represent hope – change for the better – improvement. Whether we follow them or not, they represent what we think are important changes to make as individuals and as a society.resolutions

So resolutions are good, right? But making too many is fodder for disaster! Let’s look at some gambling resolutions for the new year.  But, it’s always better to pick one or two below – and STICK TO THEM.

So, here are our suggestions courtesy of the Casino Answer Man, – John Grochowdki. Pick a few, or maybe one a month.  Whatever the case, try these

GAMBLING NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS:

1) I will stay within my Bankroll!Bankroll

Know what you can spend.  If you have a winning session, great! If not, stick to your limit. If losses approach the amount you’re willing to spend, slow down. Take a timeout, get a snack – people watch! If you hit your limit, it’s time to stop

2) I won’t bother people near me – I will respect other players space and focus.images

Instead of bothering others, I will do my own homework and learn the games myself. This includes not being a pain in the #$% to the dealer and wait staff. Remember to keep your advice to yourself, unless someone asks.

3) I will learn the games before I play:

Blackjack Strategy card.

Blackjack Strategy card.

A little homework goes a long way in helping to cut the odds against you at casino games. Learn basic strategy in blackjack and for each video poker game you play. Know the rules and best bets in craps. No matter your game of choice, buy a good book and read about the best methods of play.  If you have to ask a stranger about the game or machine, chances are you shouldn’t be gambling.

4) I will keep part of my winnings:

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

Your winnings are just that YOUR WINNINGS. It isn’t “their money.” As soon as you’ve won it, it’s yours, and you don’t have to give it back. On any sizable win, put at least half of it away. You can buy yourself a treat, go out for an evening on the town, put a little away for the kids’ or grand-kids’ educations, pay bills — whatever you want. Even better, keep part of your winnings for your next session.

5) I will keep track of my gambling.gdiary

Keeping track of stats such as time spent, casinos visited, promotions used, money won/lost, etc…will force you to look at your gaming experiences. Patterns of losing play, or machines played, may indicate that changes are needed.

6) I will play only with money I can afford to lose:

$100 Funny Toilet Paper

When the losses come, make sure you don’t have money earmarked for food, clothing, school, the rent or mortgage on the line. Play with money budgeted for entertainment, not for life’s necessities.

 

7) I will never chase losses:

Does money just seem to be floating away?

What’s worse than losing money? Losing even more in a desperate attempt to win it back. You’re never “due” to win, and wins and losses don’t have to even out in the time we play. A losing streak means it’s time to ease back or quit, not bet more.

8) I will never use credit card cash advances for gambling money:

Casino Redemtion / ATM machineThink the house edge is high on some games? Try comparing it to credit card interest rates. The house edge added to interest on borrowed money and ATM fees — that’s a tough combination to overcome.  Bring your cash, or if your a big player, get your marker from the casino.  Either way, hide those credit cards and ATM card in your car, or don’t bring them (locals.)

9) I will go easy on the alcohol:alcohol-gambling

If you want to have a drink while you play, that’s your business. You don’t want your judgment impaired with money on the line. Have a good time, but keep a clear head, too.

10) I will keep perspective and play for fun:

Shooting at the Craps Table - have fun whatever your game is.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

Keep perspective and play for fun. Gambling in a casino is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Only a handful of blackjack and video poker players have the skill, discipline and bankroll to enable them to make money in the long run. Most of us will lose more than we win at any game. Most players are best off to treat losses as the price of admission for a day’s entertainment. Casino gambling is a form of entertainment, a way to have a good time. On those days when we take a little extra cash home, so much the better. But even a losing day can be fun if you keep your expectations realistic. Remember, it’s not about luck, or casino conspiracies – it’s all about math + science = house edge.

11) I will pay attention to my TITO Tickets and my belongings in the casino.

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

 Be careful with your money. There are people out there who look to take other players money, TITO vouchers (TITO = Ticket In, Ticket Out) purses and more. That’s their job! Be careful out there and be aware of those around you.

12) I will be more aware of my Rewards Account. Players Club

Remember, all rewards clubs have different rules. 1 point in one club equals $1, but other clubs have 100 points equaling $1. Take advantage of Players Club promotions – especially 2X & 3X (or more) points days. Be aware of when your points expire.

I’m sure there are more. Whatever your resolutions may be, I hope you keep them as long as possible. I hope your New year is a prosperous one – make 2017 the best gaming experience yet. Get that royal!

That’s all for now

Binbin

Zen and the Art of Casino Gambling

 I can't recommend this book more highly. Not only is it well-written, but it is truly a pleasure to read, and it's one of my favorite how-to books

I can’t recommend this book more highly. Not only is it well-written, but it is truly a pleasure to read, and it’s one of my favorite how-to books

One of my favorite books I read cover to cover was”Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Years later, “Zen and the Art of Casino Gambling” by Miron Stabinsky & Jeremy Silman was one of the first gambling books I read cover to cover.  It was different than the usual “how to” gambling book, it was informative and amusing.  It was meant to “provide valuable insight into the vital but little understood aspect of maintaining the proper psychological and emotional balance needed ” to be more successful, or at least happier in the process.

Topics included in the book are:

  • Basic Rules & Strategies for Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Slots, & Video Poker
  • Psychology of the Successful Player
  • Realizing what you Control
  • Money Management
  • Determining you credit/budget line

But the best parts are interesting and entertaining quotes and anecdotes. Today’s post gives you a few – some of my favorite quotes.  I hope your enjoy.

keep-calm-and-be-zen-37

Concerning Money Management, “He who remains in his center endures.”  In others words, stop when your session is done and either you’ve won enough, or you have lost your daily bankroll.

Concerning Player Psychology, Oscar Wilde once said “I can resist everything except temptation.”

Can resist the temptation?

Can resist the temptation?

Concerning Player Psychology, “Disgrace is a fantasy that should be embraced. Misfortune is part of the human condition.” In others words, “Don’t let your ego make you play beyond your means.  When you resume play another visit you will realize how unimportant your previous anger in losing really was.

I like this one – “An optimist is a man who has never had much experience.”  If you have advice to give, DON’T – most likely you need more practice and more experience.  Then and only then will you realize offering without being asked is just bad.

Finally,

“I do not emulate the sages; I do not take pride in my own spirit.” – Ancient Zen Koan.  Gambler’s translation – Anyone can learn the basics of gaming strategy. Being egotistical about something you have no control over is the height of foolishness.

Don’t be foolish.  Make this book a staple in your gambling library.

Binbin

3 Reasons Why Your Gambling Sucks, and What You Can Do About It

Another losing gambling session?

I once read a self-help book called “Why Your Life Sucks” by Alan H Cohen. I guess I was in a dark place, or maybe looking for a different perspective on things. In any case, it was really quite good and pointed out many life “wake-up calls” to help us enjoy the life you were meant to live. It’s funny and informative, but most of all, it forces you re-evaluate the choices you have made, and how you can make better choices in the future.

So, I was thinking, “how many people leave the casino grumpy, as if losing is a huge surprise.”

Leaving Las Vegas - usually a quiet plane ride.

Leaving Las Vegas – usually a quiet plane ride.

Even the plane ride home from Vegas is so quiet and sullen compared to the excitement and hope on ride out there. Go figure….

So, does your gambling suck? Maybe it’s because you don’t embrace the realities of the gambling industry. Here’s some quotes from the book that may have implications about your gambling experience:

1) “Fortune isn’t something that happens to you, it is something you create”

Take advantage of point multipliers and

Take advantage of point multipliers to get the most out of your play.

So, you really think that recreational gambling is going to get you millions? I don’t think so.  But, there are things you can do that will enhance your visits, like:

  • Know the best strategy for the games you play
  • Take advantage of free play and multiplier reward points / tier points days
  • Don’t overplay you bankroll to gain higher status. Keep to your bankroll.

2) “Don’t get involved in the dark side” of gaming.

Losing at Gambling?

Guess what, the gambling industry is a business and like any other business, it needs to make money to continue. So:

  • don’t expect perks that you don’t earn
  • don’t expect the casino to ensure your winning because you’re a good customer, and
  • expect loses.
  • And stop thinking conspiracy and fixed machines. Look up what a random number generator does (RNG) , and how the house advantage is built in without switching machine computer chips or throwing that famous “switch upstairs” that immediately changes machines from loose to tight. In other words, be knowledgeable about the industry instead of continuing myths and superstitions to make you the unsuspecting victim.  “It’s not personal, it’s business.”

3) “It’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s what you make of what happens”

Shooting at the Craps Table - have fun whatever your game is.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

  • Enjoy the wins.
  • Enjoy casino employees who know the meaning of good service and are friendly.
  • Enjoy the excitement of breaking even – yes even. By breaking even, you’ve beaten the house advantage. Sure, it’s not what we are all looking for, but if you play for a few hours and break even, be happy for the free entertainment, the rewards points you’ve accumulated, and the free beverages you’ve consumed.

Now, back to the casino, but this time with an open mind, an awareness of the business and new flexible expectations. Acceptance could be the key to a happier gambling experience.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Video Poker Considerations for Lower Pay Tables – Jerry “Stickman” Stitch

Video Poker 3For those of you like me who play video poker, practice video poker and studies video poker, we have seen times a-changin’ over the past 10 years.
While we have seen casinos tightening up on amenities, raise hotel prices and resort fees, and basically squeeze as much as it can out of us – we have seen the full-pay VP go the way of the Dodo Bird.

pic_66Jerry “Stickman” Stitch has noticed it as well. In his article “Changing Times for Video Poker – Strategy changes for short-pay Jacks or Better,” he gives advice on how to cope with the lower paying VP machines we are now seeing as the norm in casinos.  The entire article is available by clicking on the title link above.

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The “Stickman” is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack’s advantage classes.  His many other articles can be found at www.goldentouchcraps.com and www.goldentouchblackjack.com.


videopoker_presentation

Basic Strategy Cards are available and most casinos allow you to use them. They will help you get a mathematical edge in your play.

Strategy changes for short-pay Jacks or Better

Gone are the golden days of video poker when you could readily find returns of 100+ percent. Those games are now virtually extinct. You can still find some full-pay Jacks or Better (9/6 – meaning 9-for-1 paid for a full house and 6-for-1 paid for a flush) which returns 99.54 percent with expert play. However, even these games are becoming harder and harder to locate. You are much more likely to come across short-pay version such as 9/5, 8/6, 8/5, 7/5 and even 6/5. (The only Full Pay JOB at $.25 level in New England is at Mohegan Sun)

Keep in mind that for every one unit reduction in pay, the game’s return is lowered about 1.1 percent……… it doesn’t take much to reduce the normally low house edge video poker to nothing more than a slot machine in terms of return. Also, keep in mind that these returns are for “expert” play—you need to work to get these returns!

Video Poker 2Obviously, as the pay tables change, so must the playing strategy. As the pay for one type of hand lowers, other hands start to become more desirable. In the paragraphs below I will examine some of the strategy changes required for some short-pay Jacks or Better pay tables. I am using simplified “basic” strategies when highlighting changes. Advanced strategies will likely have more changes. If you are serious about playing short-pay games, you should find a program or an app that generates strategies and abide by what is generated.

Mike Shackelford of The Wizard of Odds

Mike Shackelford of The Wizard of Odds

(Click HERE for Perfect Strategy VP for Jacks or Better 9/6) and pay table calculator from Wizard of Odds)

Now let’s assume you have scoured the casino for the best video poker you can find and came up with a Jacks or Better game that pays 9/5. The only change to the pay table is flushes are paid 5-for-1 rather than 6-for-1. While not fantastic, this game returns 98.45 percent with expert play and with the right combination of slot club points and other comp considerations, this game could offer over 100 percent return when counting the extras. How would playing strategy change with this minor pay table change?  As the flush becomes less important, the four-card straight with four high

8/6 Jacks or Better Strategy Changes – In this case, the full house pay is reduced to 8- for-1 from 9-for-1. The return of this game is reduced to 98.39 percent—just slightly less than the 9/5 version of the game.  Interestingly enough, the basic version of the strategy is exactly the same as for the full-pay (9/6) version.

video-poker8/5 Jacks or Better Strategy Changes
In these days of increased casino greed quite often the best Jacks or Better game you will find is an 8/5 version. It reduces the return to 97.29 percent from the 99.54 percent return for full-pay. If you can rationalize the nearly three percent reduction from 100 percent games by including slot club points and other promotions and comps, what changes are required to the strategy? [With 8/5 JOB] The four-card straight with four high cards and the suited QJ move up in importance. There are also several other minor changes in the strategy. (The Flush becomes slightly less important.)

7/5 Jacks or Better Strategy Changes – Sadly it is becoming more and more common that the best Jacks or Better games available are a truly atrocious 7/5. The games return a miserable 96.15 percent. In some extreme cases it may be possible to get a return over 100 percent by combining slot points, special promotions and other comps

6/5 Jacks or Better Strategy Changes – Very Simple – DON’T PLAY IT.  At 95% payback, if you play $1 slots you will make more in points, status and comps even with lower pay back of 90% – 93%.
He's happy - he played Max bet on a 9/6 machine and won 4000 coins - Royal Flush!

He’s happy – he played Max bet on a 9/6 machine and won 4000 coins – Royal Flush!

One more thing – for those of you who will play anything resembling Video poker without looking at the pay table first, you’re telling the casino “it’s OK….. I don’t care if you take more of my money quicker!  Seriously, even beginning VP players, I beg you – stay away from 6/5 VP and 7/5 if you can.

Jerry’s article goes on to discuss lower paytables, but on machines with progressive jackpots.
What are you waiting for, click the on the title above!
Binbin