Massachusetts Casino News Overwhelming Lately

So, where do I begin?  Let me take you back a few weeks to start because there has been a whirlwind of news in the Bay State concerning their new found obsession – casino gambling.  So I decided to make the casino news in Massachusetts brief, and if interested you can look for more info –

Where to begin, where to begin…..

  • International Game Technology (IGT) inked a deal with the Massachusetts Gaming CommissionIGT & MGC for the provision of a central monitoring system to 20,000 electronic gaming devices at up to four venues in the Commonwealth. The implementation of IGT’s INTELLIGEN System in Massachusetts will be its sixth in the United States.
  • Wynn Resorts is opening an office in Massachusetts to oversee the development of a planned $1.6 billion casino in Everett. The gambling company announced Thursday that the 7,626-square-foot office in Medford about two miles from the site of the proposed casino.  Meanwhile, the same casino is mired in a lawsuits from both the city of Boston and neighboring city of Somerville.
    Wynn, Everett Mass

    Wynn, Everett Mass

    Mayor Marty Walsh claims the process by which the permit was awarded was rigged in favor of Steve Wynn’s Wynn Resorts. The Mass. State Ethics Commission is now checking into a possible conflict of interest on the part of gambling commission chairman Stephan Crosby who had a longstanding friendship and past business dealings with one of the owners of the Everett land sold to Wynn for the project

  • MGM has targeted the opening of their Springfield casino for late 2017, but that may be delayed further. MGM Springfield, in response to questions regarding its construction schedule and permitting delays related to its $800 million casino project, has scheduled a meeting with the MGC originally scheduled for yesterday. imagesThe discussions will include the MGM project and the pending Interstate 91 viaduct rehabilitation project in downtown center planned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
  • In anticipation of the arrival of the expanded gaming industry, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is announcing the launch of the Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program. A future post will outline the program.
  • Developers proposing a Foxwoods casino for the city’s waterfront not only met a critical deadline set by gambling regulators, but a few days cleared a crucial step Tuesday as city residents overwhelmingly approved the proposal in a special election.

    New Bedford rendering

    New Bedford rendering

  • Of course the biggest news – Plainridge Park Opened to the public to start a new era in Massachusetts, Casino Gambling.image

That’s all for now.




When the Slot Machine Hesitates – What Does It Mean?

HC MoheganSun.jpgWe have all been there – those of us who play Video Poker and Slots.  You’re playing along, things are going well, and then it happens……the machine pause for a moment!  What does it mean?  Was I winning too much?  Did someone in the “Office Upstairs” turn on that switch that changes winning into losing?

Well, you know what it means?  NOTHING!  At least it isn’t a reaction to ant success you’ve had previously.

Yes, we think it might have stopped our winning momentum, or the rhythmic luck we had our mojo in, but nope – it doesn’t have a clue how much you were winning or how your mojo was – it’s a machine and it doesn’t have the consciousness or emotion to care!

So, what DOES IT MEAN? Well, certain machines – especially certain generations of Video Poker machine manufactured by IGT – pause every so often to do it’s accounting.  In other words, the counting of hands played, coin in & coin out, for example, are kept in short term memory.  On the IGT VP machines, for example, every 100 hands, it is downloaded into long-term memory, much like your computer does at times.  The more games and denominations on a single terminal, the longer it may take – a single game with a single denomination would be barely noticed.

Of course we, as human beings, may notice it happen when we are winning, and shortly after we start losing.  “They must have known I was winning!!!!” you might yell.  But, seriously, nothing could be farther from the truth.

That’s all for now.


Video Poker Play – That Speed Feature Could Be Your Friend

Full Pay VP

Here is a fact that we should all know before gambling at the casino – the faster you play, the bigger the advantage you give to the casino.  There are very few exceptions to this fact, and one is Full Pay Video Poker.

When I first started playing video poker, it was at a time when casinos, especially in Las Vegas, had “Full Pay” games. Full pay means paying back over 100% or just under over the long life of the machine. Games that included “full pay” pay tables included Jacks or better, Double Bonus, and Deuces Wild.  But. let’s face it, full pay Video Poker definitely is on the endangered species list.

If you are an advantage player and play video poker, you know it’s all about the pay table, which varies depending on the game available in whatever casino you visit. That is an entire post on its own, so let’s just say a bad pay table can make a big difference to your bankroll and be critical to decreasing the time spent for your recreational gambling.

Casino CityThis post was a inspired by Gaming Guru John Grochowski, featured at the website Casino City Times (included in links to the right) called “The Importance of Speed at Video Poker.” Thanks again, John.

John points out that speed is good with perfect strategy because it can increase your theoretical win. With full pay Deuces, a speedy player could increase his expected profit by up to $3.00. But that same speedy advantage player playing a game with an EV (remember our post on EV?) of only 2% less! according to the given pay table, can actually add to casino advantage up to 8%!

What do New England Casinos offer?  Here are the only Full Pay options in New England, according to

  • Mohegan Sun – 99.95% Pick EM at $1, $5, $10, $25 denominations;  99.54% Jacks or Better (JoB) at 25¢, 50¢, $1, $10, $100 denominations  (Full Pay VP does not accrue players points at Mohegan Sun)
  • Foxwoods – 99.54% JoB at $1, $2, $5, $10, $25 denominations

Yup – that’s it! And I’m sure so many of you play at that $100 level, like me…………….LOL

So, if you’re playing VP in New England, or anywhere that includes “crappy” pay tables, that speed button can be your best friend, especially if you typically play fast.  The speed feature is usually on the lower left hand side, next to more games button and is on the each VP machine and adds has the variation of playing slow, medium or fast. Playing on slow, or even medium, will help diminish the expected loss, and diminish mistakes you can make as well.  Every casino has video poker machines that have the capability of the speed feature, but you may also find machines at designated speeds, usually fast, and unable to be varied.  Remember, unless you are joined to the hip with that machine, there are many others in the casino, and they might have the speed feature.  Play slower, enjoy a decaf coffee or water and have more enjoyable casino time.

One final thing – a pro or advantage player ( not necessarily the same ) can play 600 to 800 hands per hour – or more!  At my best, playing a VP Tournament, I played over 800 hands per hour, but probably filled with mistakes due to the speed needed for a tournament. But here’s the bottom line:

Speed of play in Video Poker should never be the goal – ACCURACY in perfect strategy should be the goal! That’s what gives you the best mathematical chance to win.

Practice, use teaching software – check out Bob Dancer’s excellent software – or become a member of  Learn the best strategy for your favorite game and get the best possible return on your play.

That’s all for today – and have some Royal Flush fun out there.