I’ve heard video poker (VP) players make seemingly logical statements that were simply incorrect. For example, the maxim “Never throw away a winning hand” is an untrue statement. There are, in fact, times when you’re dealt either a straight or flush that has to be tossed in favor of holding four cards to the Royal Flush (RF). It depends on the game’s pay schedule. Rely on tutorial software, like Dean Zamzow’s WinPoker, or the strategy cards in my book, “The Video poker Edge”, instead of another player with unknown credentials. Another assumption I frequently hear is “He’s from Vegas and told me…”; that, too, may be incorrect. Always fact-check for accuracy regardless of where the source lives or how frequently they play. Here are some tips for separating the wheat from the chaff while gambling. (more…)
I can remember my mom saying that when life deals you lemons you should make lemonade. Beyonce even had a blockbuster album called “Lemonade”, so I guess moms everywhere (and grandmothers in Bey’s case, since she passed the adage and recipe on to the star’s mom) have some of the same feel-good maxims. It’s not just true about life in general, but also applies to the world of gambling. You might logically assume that with all the competition for players, casinos would be offering better odds than before, but that’s not the case at all. Instead, there are more greedy hands stuck out for pieces of the pie than ever before and our legislative regulators are merrily lowering the minimum ER (expected return) on a state-by-state basis. You may have sworn that if house odds were increased at your expense, then you’d never again enter a casino, but that’s like an ultimatum when angry with your partner; it may not happen. In the mercurial case of casinos your best bet may be to make lemonade.(more…)
I believe that knowledge is a valuable asset if you want to excel at most things. That includes all sports, bridge, chess, science, math and a long list of myriad topics, including gambling. The gaming industry, however, is unlike most others in that certain topics are off limits and will never see the light of day.
For example, the highest level of device technologists is called a bench tech (most manufacturers have around ten levels) and you will never ever see one on any casino floor or even on site. I spoke to a bench tech once due to unusual circumstances and he told me that they take their secrets to the grave. So, when a level one or two technician tells you which machine to play or how they work you should take it with a grain of salt. But there are many branches of gambling facts that are not just accurate but potentially profitable. The tough part is shining a light on legitimate facts so you can differentiate between the sunshine and the fairy tales. (more…)
Not too long ago I was heading for my favorite bank of video poker (VP) machines when my friend asked why I didn’t play “real poker” in the card room. This, of course, wasn’t the first time a nose was subtly turned up regarding the felt game’s “superiority” to step-daughter, video poker. I honestly feel no need to get defensive about VP, but must say they are very different games and neither one is entitled to #special bragging rights.
As a game that allows players to exercise their skill along with having a strong element of chance, blackjack has more subtleties than most casino games. It also leaves plenty of room for question and comment. Let’s try to answer a few questions and relay a few comments submitted by readers.
When we sit down to play a slot machine, our task is simple: Make a bet, spin the reels and the machine takes care of the rest. Except in rare instances, there are no strategies to learn or skills to master. The flip side is that while we can’t affect the outcome in any predictable way, nor tell from the outside which games are the highest-paying, there are things we do know about slots and the casinos that operate them to get the most out of a day on the machines. Here are 10 things every slot player should know.