The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the simplest casino games, and is also the most popular of the entire casino banking games. Blackjack is also known as Twenty-one, and has been around for hundreds of years and has since become a staple of casino gambling and has also found a strong audience in the growing trend of online casinos.

The objective of Blackjack is very simple, with the clear goal being to accumulate cards that amount to or very close to 21 without going over that number. Reaching twenty one can be accomplished in a number of ways, with picture of face cards worth 10, Aces worth 1 or 11 (depending on which is needed more) and all other cards correspond to their own numbers.

If a player receives a 10 and an Ace then this is deemed Blackjack and is an automatic win unless there is a tie.

The Game
When you sit down at the Blackjack table you could be playing with up to five other players (making 6 including you). The dealer will be using either eight or six decks of cards all shuffled together, which are then placed in what is called a Shoe.

To win a game of Blackjack you need to reach the number of 21 without going over, this is called busting. The winner of a game is determined by which player gets the closest to 21 with out busting, although getting precisely 21 is perfectly fine.

In Blackjack you bet before receiving any cards. So unlike poker you cannot see your first two cards and make an educated decision, instead you must play the cards and bet before you are dealt in. After the wagers are taken the dealer will give each player two cards which will be dealt face down.

After these two cards are revealed each player can decide to stay (or stick) or can take more cards. A player may decide to stay if they feel they already hold a good enough hand to win, or if the risk is too high of busting if they take more cards. Those who take will likely do so because they do not have a high enough total to win, or want to risk improving an already promising hand.

After each player has decided the dealer will turn up the down card and the rule states that if the dealer has 16 or under then they must draw, but if they have 17 or over they must stick.

If you achieve a Blackjack (21 with a face card and an Ace) then you will win the hand automatically unless the dealer also makes Blackjack. In this event the hand ends as a tie.

The game of Blackjack is easy to play and lots of fun to play. Now you have the basics join us in part 2 to see some of the other bets available in Blackjack.

A surrender is where you “surrender” your hand and only lose half of your bet.

Early Surrender
An early surrender is where you give up your cards before the dealer checks for Blackjack.

Double Down
A double down is where you are allowed to double the amount of your bet after you have seen your two card hand. A rule of a double down bet is that you must take another card to add to the two you hold, but you may only take one more.

If the dealer is shown an Ace on his facing card then you may wager up to half the initial bet that he will then get Blackjack. If the dealer then receives a 10 and makes Blackjack you will win the bet at odds of 2-1, however if he reveals a card of any other numeration then you will lose.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack
Perfect Pairs Blackjack is a side bet that is available on a standard Blackjack gaming surface, and all wagers are decided at the end of the initial hand.

You must be playing in the regular Blackjack game to take part in Perfect Pairs and all bets must be completed prior to the cards being dealt. The concept of Perfect Pairs is simple, you just bet on the outcome of your two hand deal being a pair. For example if you are dealt a pair of 2’s or any other matching pair then you will win, but if there is no pair in the hand then you will lose.

There are three variants of a Perfect Pair bet:

Mixed Pair
A mixed pair is a pair that consists of one black suited card and one red suited card, for example a 6 of Diamonds and a 9 of Spades.

Colored Pair
A pair that is made up of two cards of the same color but of different suits; for example 7 of Hearts and a 5 of Diamonds.

Perfect Pair
This is the Perfect Pair bet that carries the most risk but also the most reward. A perfect pair is exactly that, for example two identical cards such as a King of Spades and a King of Spades (Remember that Blackjack is played with multiple decks of cards).

That concludes our beginners look at Blackjack. This basic guide will give you the stepping stones you need to enjoy this much loved game and experience the thrill of beating the dealer in the race to 21.

How to Play Online Craps

Craps is one the classic games of luck, where players bet on the outcome of a roll of the dice. It has become a casino favorite as the intensity and pot luck nature draw players to the game. It is a great game for those looking for casual gambling fun but is also suitable for high rollers, but be warned the luck is in the dice.

Being such a popular land based casino standard meant it was inevitable that Craps would make the transition to the casinos internet based cousins. The game is now found one almost all online casinos and gaming sites and if anything the popularity of this exciting game has grown.

Here we will look at how the game of Craps is played and how you can enjoy it as an online experience.

The Basics
Of course looking at a computer screen will mean there is no table in front of you, but the display is the same as it would be if you were at a land based venue. The Craps table is a specially designed gaming surface that has all the possible betting scenarios mapped out on it. The table is home to two dice and there can be as may as 16 players at any one time.

Any player who is currently betting and rolling the dice is called the shooter, and once one round of Craps is played the dice are passed to the next player. The dice move clockwise around the table and it is common practice for the shooter to be presented with five dice, from which he or she will choose two to play with.

The shooter makes a bet and does so either on “Pass” or “Don’t Pass” which are represented by boxes on the table. A round of Craps as two phases called “come out” and “point,” the shooter will begin the round with some come out rolls, and Craps is landed if they roll a 2, 3, or 12, and this will be a losing roll. If 7 or 11 are rolled then this is a win for “pass” bets and is called a natural.

The remaining possible rolls are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 and a landed throw on these numbers will initiate the point, and that number must then be rolled again, although a 7 will result in a loss. For example if a 5 is rolled the player will then need to aim to throw another 5 while avoiding landing 7.

The Game
Before any Craps round begins the players make their initial bets, and it is at this time of the game that the pass and don’t pass lines are bet on.

The shooter will now be able to begin the game by rolling the two dice in his possession, and this first roll is known as the “come out”. If a wager made is to come out as a winner at this stage the dice will need to land on 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12, and if this is the case the round is over.

If the dice land on the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 then the rolled number will then become the point number for subsequent rolls in the round.

This is known as the point and the player will now need to land the roll to win the game. For example if the dice roll to a 5 then to win the game a player will need to roll the 5 again, and avoid a 7 which is a loss for any point number bet on the pass line, and a win for those on the don’t pass line.

The Pass Line
The pass line bet is the most popular in Craps and is played by placing your bet in the pass line section of the gaming surface. Winning or losing this bet will now depend on the outcome of the dice roll.

  • If what is called a natural is rolled then a pass line bet will be victorious. A natural is a roll of 7 or 11.
  • A player will lose a pass line bet if the numbers 2, 3 or 12 are rolled, these numbers are also known as Craps.
  • If a number of between 4 and 10 comes out on the dice roll then this then becomes the point for further rolls.
  • If the point is rolled before a losing 7 then the pass line bet wins.

The Don’t Pass Line
If you wish to predict that the shooter will lose then the don’t pass line is the place to bet on the Craps table.

  • A roll of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 will set the point for further rolls
  • If a 7 or 11 is landed by the roll of the dice then this will result in a loss for the don’t pass bet.
  • A don’t pass win is claimed if a 2 or a 3 are rolled by the shooter.
  • If the dice land on a 12 then the don’t pass wager maker will have their money refunded.

Roulette School, a Beginners Guide

In this article we will be looking at the game of roulette and explaining how the game works and how it is one of the best casual gambling experiences.

The first thing that any roulette player needs to know whether you are a beginner or an expert is that the game is pure chance. There are no strategic ways in which you can increase the probability of victory, and if you come across any that claim it then ignore them.

The great thing about roulette is that it is possibly the simplest of all the casino games to learn, and in fact can be picked up in a matter of seconds. It is basically a game of choice and selection, and even kids can be familiar with the concept as it is similar to a toss of a coin in that the outcome is predetermined to be one of a set amount of options.

In the case of roulette you play against the house and bet on the outcome of colors on a spinning wheel. The wheel is made up of 37 or 38 numbers, and each number is indented into the wheel, with the numbers 1 to 36, zero and sometimes double zero represented. Odd numbers in the wheel are black while even numbers are the color red (Hence the famous red or black choice) and any zero section is green.

You will essentially be playing against a casino representative who may be known as the dealer, croupier, or banker, and it is he or she who will be spinning the wheel and handling any monetary transactions. After bets are placed the dealer will spin the wheel and then spin a white ball in the opposite direction to the already spinning wheel. Where the ball places itself at the end of the wheels revolutions will determine the winner of the game. The aim is to predict where the ball will end if you are to claim a victory.

There could be as many as 6 to 8 fellow players, which is the limit a roulette table accommodates, and each will place their predictions before the wheel is spun. Remember that it means little how many people are involved because it will not increase or decrease the chance of winning, roulette is decided purely by chance. If the ball lands on red 10 times consecutively, there is no guarantee that the next time it will land on black, it will again be a 50/50 chance. This makes roulette one of the few casino games that cannot hold a guaranteed win percentage, meaning that in theory during an hour of roulette there could be payouts on every spin, or conversely there could be no money won in that hour.

As the players align, they will each have a different color chip to bet with, this is done simply to keep track of which player has bet on which outcome. Being assigned a colored chip is mostly for those who intend to play for a while, but if you are just mulling around the casino and fancy placing a bet quickly it is perfectly fine form to put down cash or a regular house chip.

There are a fair amount of different bets available in roulette but for an absolute beginner you just need to know that these constitute either an inside bet or an outside bet.

At the start of each game there is a minimum bet posted, so if you are to participate you will need to at least match this low bet before proceeding. Next all the players will place their bets. The croupier/dealer does not do this and the player is allowed to place the wager on their own by simply putting their chips or cash into the center of the betting square or circle of their choice. There is a betting table that houses all of the numbers and betting options, and this counts as the gaming surface.

The dealer will now spin the wheel and then shortly after will “drop the ball”. This stage signifies the end of betting, any changes in bets can be made at anytime prior to the ball drop, however once the dealer has placed the ball all bets are closed. The dealer will signal this by waving his or her hand across the table and declaring “no more bets”, if you attempt to change anything now your placed bet will be immediately deemed as void.

When the wheel stops spinning and the ball comes to a rest on a specific number and color, the dealer will place a plastic marker on the gaming table where the winning number is represented. Next any losing bets will be collected by the dealer, and any player winnings will be issued. Beware not to retrieve your own winnings until the plastic marker has been removed, there is etiquette in roulette and it is one of the more leisurely gambling games. If you were lucky enough to win then claim your winnings at the appropriate time and decide to either chance your luck again or walk away with what you have won.

Now we will look at the specific bets that can be placed and the chance of winning off of each separate bet. There are two forms of roulette betting, and they are called inside and outside betting, and are named because of their relation to numbers on the table. Here we will look at inside betting, which is not the most commonly used betting system, but is the most famous when thinking of roulette.

Inside Bets
A roulette table is set up as a place to bet on the outcome of the spinning wheel. Each number of the wheel is represented on the table with the numbers 1 to 36 displayed in three vertical columns and twelve horizontal rows. Each row contains three numbers, so row one would consist of 1-2-3, and row two of 4-5-6, and so it continues over the twelve rows. There is also a green section which represents the zero. This whole part of the table is called the inside betting area.

There are various number bets which increase in both potential winnings and probability of success.

A six number bet is where you choose six numbers from two adjacent rows in sequence, for example 4-5-6-7-8-9. This is also called a line bet with odds of success at 5 to 1.

There is also a five number bet when you can choose numbers in combination with a zero, and this carries odds of 6 to 1.

A four number bet is where you choose a group of four intersecting numbers, for example 5-6-8-9. This is also known as a corner bet with odds of success at 8 to 1.

A three number bet is when you select three numbers on a row, for example 4-5-6. This is also known as a street bet and the odds of success are 11 to 1.

A two number bet is when you choose two numbers from a row, for example 1-2 or 4-5. This is more commonly known as a split bet, and the odds of success are at 17 to 1.

A single bet is where you place the chip on any possible number in the inside betting area. This is the largest potential win in roulette but also the one with the lowest odds, with a 35 to 1 probability of success.

Inside betting carries greater risk as you are lowering your chances of success significantly in the hope of getting a big win. For the casual roulette player inside betting can be the most fun if you are not too interested on the outcome, but for the serious player these bets carry a risk. Although sometimes the reward can be landing that high risk bet and winning big.

Outside Bets
As a beginner in roulette you will want to feel the exhilaration of victory, and although the rewards from inside betting can be higher, more often or not you will find yourself disappointed and out of pocket. With outside betting you will be increasing your chances of winning a game and also tasting the delight of the victory.

Outside bets are also easier to make than inside bets, and are a good way to do a spread bet and increase the probability of success. The outside betting area runs along the outside (hence the name) of the inside betting area, along the left flank and underneath.

There is one outside betting column for each group of four inside betting columns consisting of three numbers. So if you look at the four inside betting columns that house 1-2-3, 4-5-6, 7-8-9, 10-11-12 below it there will be one outside betting section that encompasses the twelve numbers. A bet in one of these outside betting sections means that you are gambling on any one of the 12 numbers landing, with odds at 2 to 1.

The remaining outside bets sit to the left of the inside betting area, and this is where the dozens bets lie. This is similar to the above outside bet option, but here the numbers table is split into three sections of 12, and you place a bet in one of these sections. If any one of the 12 numbers in your section lands then you win the game, with a payout of 2 to 1.

The remaining outside bets are classic choice games, and one is the famous red or black bet, where you make a choice between red and black. If you bet red and the ball lands on a red of any number then you will win the game, but if it lands on any black then you lose.

Even or odd is similar to red or black in that you make the choice between the ball landing on either an even number or an odd number.

Yet furthering the split chance scenarios on the roulette table is the high or low number option. A low number would be any number from 1 to 18, where as a high number would be any number from 18 to 36. If the ball lands on zero you lose.

These may seem like 50/50 games but in reality they are not because of the chance the ball will land on the zero. However, these split choice bets still offer a great chance for you to win the game.

That concludes our roulette school, and we hope that you can now enter the world of roulette with confidence. Just remember it is all chance and nothing you can do will change the outcome, so just enjoy the experience of playing this casino classic.

Out Of All The Casino Games Which One Is James Bond’s Favourite?

I was recently reading an article about Macau – the largest gambling capital in the known universe and I was struck when I discovered what the Chinese players casino game of choice was.

I mean here in the West, out of all the casino games available, Texas Hold ‘em undoubtedly takes the crown, however in the Far East, there’s another Daddy to be reckoned with. In the third quarter of last year, this game was responsible for over 90% of Macau’s revenue. When you have a gambling income as big as Macau’s it’s pretty impressive that one casino game is responsible for almost all of it.

Out of all the casino games you could think of it’s probably the most random, and no, before you leap to any assumptions, it’s not even a Chinese game such as Mah Jong. It’s actually a European game, the likes of which have faded out of popularity in Western casinos.

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What’s Your Choice Of Casino Software: Virtual Gambling Or The Live Casino

online casinoIf you play at an online casino you’ve undoubtedly come across the myriad of options offering different styles of play. From 3D Roulette to Multi Hand Blackjack and more slot machines than you can shake a stick at, the choice of games is as vast as it is varied. But it is not often we give a thought to the software that these casino games employ and how that effects our experience.

The two biggest software providers in the business are Microgaming and Playtech, both create reputable and reliable casino gaming platforms and both offer highly similar experiences when it comes to playing traditional games such as Roulette or Blackjack. It is only when it comes to slot games and scratch card games created by either company that you notice the exclusive content they provide for each online casino they power. To be honest it is unlikely most people care which company creates the software behind the games we play, however when it comes to the Live Casino option, it is a totally different kettle of fish.

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