Blackjack is one of the most popular games in the world. The object of the game is to beat the dealer. Each player plays against the dealer but none of the other players. It is played with one or more standard 52 card decks. Cards 2 thru 10 have face value. Jacks, Queens and Kings have a value of ten. The aces have a value of either eleven or one. For the player to beat the dealer, he must do one of the following: 1) Get a blackjack (a ten value card with an ace) without the dealer getting a blackjack as well (in which case it is a "push", i.e., no money won or lost), 2)Get a total score higher than the dealer without going over 21, or 3)If the dealer "busts" (i.e., total of dealers cards exceeds 21).
Blackjack is played on a specially designed curved table. The surface of the table contains graphics where each players money and cards go in front of him. There can be up to eight players per table, depending on the establishment. The table graphics typically also contain other information such as if blackjack pays 3 to 2 and whether the dealer must stand on all 17's. Also, maximum and minimum wagers are specified somewhere on the table.
The basic advantage to the casino in Blackjack is in the fact that all players act on their cards before the dealer. This means that some players may bust before action even gets to the dealer so the house wins that money regardless of what cards the dealer is holding. Blackjack is played with chips. A potential player can obtain chips from the dealer by placing on the table in front of an available position. When the current hand is completed, the dealer will ask how you would like your money changed, i.e., chip denominations. At the beginning of each hand, the cards are dealt, the players must place a bet at or above the minimum in the designated spot on the table. The dealer then deals two cards to each player and two to himself, one face down and one face up. Players can request additional cards in turn in an attempt to get close to or at 21 without going over. Or the players can stand "pat" with the original two cards. There are four outcomes to this process: 1)The player loses (the player's total card count is less than that of the dealer or the dealer has 21), 2)The player wins (the player's total card count is higher than the dealer's but at or less than 21 - in this case the dealer pays the player even money, i.e., if the bet was $5 then the payoff is $5), 3)The player is dealt a blackjack (the player is dealt a ten value card along with an ace and the dealer does not have the same - dealer typically pays 3 to 2, so if the bet was $5 the payoff for a blackjack would be $7.50) or 4)The player "pushes" with the dealer (the total of cards is the same for dealer and player - the player keeps his bet).
One side bet that can be made is called insurance. This is offered by the dealer if his face up card is an ace. This is insurance against the dealer having a blackjack. To purchase insurance, a bet equal to the original bet is required. If the dealer does have a blackjack, the player gets his money back, if not, the player loses the insurance bet. Most experts on the game of blackjack do not recommend ever taking this bet.
Another side bet is splitting cards. This can be done if the player is dealt two cards of the same face value. An additional bet is required for the split cards equal to the original bet. Then the two hands are played just as one. If the first card dealt makes a pair of one of the split cards, most casinos will allow you to also split those. Then each hand is played to completion.
Doubling down means that the player is relatively certain that the two cards dealt to him will beat the dealer's hand. In such cases, the player is allowed to bet an additional amount up to the original bet. After the bet is made, one more card is dealt to the player.Go Back
Video Poker is much like a slot machine. Both use a random number generator. Neither require a dealer or another player to interact. They are the perfect games for those who want to play alone and at their own pace. However, a major difference between slot machines and video poker games is that after cards are dealt in video poker, the player must make a decision on what cards to hold and what cards to discard. A slot machine requires no such interaction. The player simply presses a button and waits for the outcome. In video poker, the decision on which cards to hold for optimum play can be calculated based on the number of cards available and the frequency of all outcomes. Consequently, at optimum play, i.e., learning and following the computed odds rules, a player can brings the odds of winning to their favor. However, this is only possible with what are known as full-pay machines. Full pay is based on the payoff for a flush and full house. For example, a 9-6 machine means that a flush pays 9 credits and a full house pays 6 credits. A 9-6 jacks or better video poker game is considered to be full pay. Most local casinos don't offer full pay video poker machines. In fact, most video poker machines in local casinos are 6-5 machines. Clearly with this reduction in pay offs comes a reduction in the odds of winning to the point of being little better than that of a slot machine.
Video Poker is an easy game to play. Basic knowledge of the rank of poker hands is required for informed play. When a player inserts money into the video poker machine, selects a bet amount and presses the "Deal" button, the video display shows five cards that have been dealt. There are buttons on the keyboard below the display that allow the player to hold or discard any or all of the cards. The video display is a touch screen display so the player may also touch the card images he wants to hold. When the card choices have been made, the player depresses deal again and enough cards are dealt to fill in the spaces where cards were discarded. The resulting cards value determines whether the hand is a winner or loser. A pair of jacks, queens, kings or aces is the minimum winner. Actually, it is NOT a winner. It means that you get your money back, so it's a push with the game. The player wins with higher ranking hands starting with two pair. The payoffa for all winning video poker hands based on a one credit bet are: a pair of jacks or better (1 credit), two pair (2 credits), three of a kind (3 credits), a straight (4 credits), a flush (6 credits), a full house (9 credits), four of a kind (25 credits), a straight flush (50 credits) and a royal flush (250 credits). Typically, the video poker player can choose to bet 1 to 5 credits per hand. In other words, if the selected betting unit is $1, a five credit bet would be $5 and the payoff for a straight flush for example, would be $250. All payoffs with the exception of a royal flush correspond to the amount of the bet. For example, the payoff for three of a kind based on a single coin bet is three coins, a payoff of six for two coins bet, a payoff of nine coins for three coins bet, etc. The payoffs for a royal flush are similar to the above with the exception of a five coin bet with pays 4000 coins. So for a unit bet of $1 and betting 5 coins would pay $4000 for a royal flush.
Strategies for winning at video poker are varied and range from the simple to relatively difficult to remember. A basic strategy, some of which should be intuitive is; 1) Always hold a royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind or two pair, 2)For three of a kind, discard the remaining two cards for a chance at a better hand, 3)Break up a straight or flush if the player has four cards to a royal flush, 4)Break up a pair of jacks or better if the player has four cards to a royal flush or straigh flush, and 5)Hold a low pair instead of a single jack, queen, king or ace. Following these simple rules can significantly improve the players chances of winning.Go Back
Craps is a very popular and exciting dice game. It is not for those who prefer a quiet and private gaming experience. Each craps table to handle up to 15-20 players who are lined up around the outside of the craps table. There is frequent screaming and yelling at the craps table since people tend to verbalize their success or failure in a way that is unlike any other casino game. However, if played correctly and according to a strict set of rules, a player can manipulate the odds to near even or potentially in their favor. The game is played by a player rolling two dice. These dice are made exclusively for the casinos and must adhere to a set of strict specifications. These dice are changed frequently. The game begins when the Shooter (one of the players), places a bet (at or above the table minimum) either on the Pass Line or Don't Pass Line. The player then selects two out of several dice presented to him by a craps table employee. Each player gets a turn to roll the dice progressing clockwise around the table. A player may choose not to roll, in which case the dice are passed to the next player in line. Each craps game is a round for each player. The player has a Come Out role and a Point role. The beginning of the game is the Come Out role. If the dice total 2,3 or 12 on the Come Out role (called Craps), Pass Line bets are lost and the player's round is ended. A Come Out roll where the dice total 7 or 11, is a win for Pass Line bets and the shooter continues rolling the dice for another Come Out roll. If the dice total 4,5,6,8,9 or 10, on the first (Come Out) roll, this number is called the Point. The dealer then moves the On Button to the number rolled. Prior to this, the button was flipped over and reads Off, signifying to point has been rolled. A player wishing to join the game must first look at the On/Off Button to determin if it is a come out role or a point role. If it is a Point role, the new player may make a Come Line bet but not a Pass Line bet. If it is a Come Out role, the new player may place a Pass Line bet. The Come Line bet is like a Come Out role for the new player and proceeds according to the same rules, but independent of the status of the current Point. If on the next roll after rolling a Point, the player rolls the Point again, all Pass Line bets win and a new game role is subsequently made. If the player rolls a seven before he rolls his Point again, the player is said to have "Sevened Out" and loses the round, at which time the dice are passed to the next player clockwise. Any other rolled number besides the Point and a seven cause a subsequent role to be made. Although, many bets can be made for any role of the dice, the Point is not effected by other numbers being rolled. The craps table employees consist of a Boxman, a Stickman and two Dealers.
The table is layed out into three areas. There are two side areas and a center area. The two side areas are identical and contain Pass and Don't Pass Line bets, Come and Don't Come bets, Field bets, Place bets and Odds bet. In the center area of the Craps table, are the Proposition bets which are considered a poor choice based on the odds. A sample of these is : 1)Any Craps, which wins if a 2,3 or 12 is thrown with a payoff of 8 to 1, 2)Any Seven, which wins if a 7 is rolled with a payoff of 5 to 1, and Eleven, which wins if an 11 is thrown with a payoff of 16 to 1. These bets are considered poor due to the odds, but they are very popular. These bets are considered best avoided because the odds of the winning combination or number being thrown with the dice is significantly less than the payoff for that action. For example, there are 6 ways of throwing a 7 and there are a total of 36 combinations on the two dice. So the odds of throwing a seven on any given roll is 1 in 6 and yet the payoff is only 5 to 1. This is the casino advantage on this particular bet. Plus these bets are only for the very next role of the dice and one time only. The overall casino advantage on Proposition bets is between 2% and 17%. This is a huge advantage for the casino. There are many bets available on a Craps table, however, most should be avoided due to poor odds. Pass Line, Come and Place bets all including taking the odds, have the best chance of winning. Like some other casino games, playing to a strict set of rules for optimum play, the odds of winning Craps can reach close to even or perhaps in the player's favor.Go Back
Roulette is a relatively simple game to play but is losing its popularity to other games. For those players who want to sit and gamble slowly, Roulette is a good game. There are typically around 30 games of Roulette played each hour. This is compared to significantly higher frequencies for such games as Black Jack and Craps. Consequently, it is possible for a player to lose money less quickly playing Roulette. Roulette would be an even money game if there were only the numbers 1 through 36. However, there are also a '0' and '00'. This creates the house advantage. The house advantage on Roulette is 5.26% and there is no way of improving that as in some other games. There are no systems that work for Roulette although some are touted.
The Roulette table consists of an elonged felt-topped layout area with a wheel at the end of the table. The felt layout area contains boxes for each number 1 thru 36, 0 and 00. It also contains other boxes for other bets such as odd, even, 1-12,13-24,25-36, and red or black. These bets are called outside bets. The numbers bets are called the inside bets. A new player may join a Roulette table with cash or casino chips. However,these are exchanged for special Roulette chips of different colors. Each color represents a different player so as to keep the winnings and bets separate. When the player is finished playing, he must make a request to the dealer to exchange his remaining Roulette chips for casino chips.
A game of Roulette is started after all bets are made. At that time, the dealer will spin the wheel one direction and a little white ball in the other. When this ball is about to drop into one of the slots on the wheel corresponding to the numbers in the felt area, he will say "No More Bets". When the ball settles into a slot, the dealer places a marker on the winning number, collects losing bets and pays the winners. No bets for the next game can be made until this process has been completed and the dealer removes the marker from the previous game's winning number. The payoff for hitting a winning number is 35 to 1. That is, if you bet $1 and you win, you will receive $35 dollars. There are many combinations of inside bets (bets inside the numbers layout area) that can be made. The numbers are placed in three columns of 12 numbers each. A player may place a chip on a single number or multiple numbers or a chip can be bet on several numbers at the same time. For example, a player can designate a bet on two adjacent number by placing a chip on the line between two numbers. He also may bet on larger combinations with a single chip as in placing a chip at the intersection of the lines bordering four numbers. Of course, as the chip is placed as described for more than one number, the payoff is reduced. For example, betting two numbers with a single chip reduces the payoff to 17 to 1 instead of the higher 35 to 1 for a single number payoff. A player may play several chips on one number, multiple numbers or spread chips around to separate numbers. Each row of three numbers is called a 'street' and a player may bet on three numbers with a single or multiple chips by placing that chip or chips at the edge of the row. Plus, many other combinations are possible. Of the outside bets, a player may bet on any odd or even number, any red or black number, either of two groups of 18 number or any of the three groups of 12 numbers. However, as stated earlier, to win the player must be able to somehow overcome the 5.26% house advantage and there is no viable system to help except for a blind winning streak of luck!Go Back