Stretch Your Dollar and Become a Winner on Penny Slots

Lincoln Penny With a Slots Background

Penny slots appeal to a wide range of casino gamblers. Many newbies stick to the machines because, after all, it’s only a penny. Veteran casino gamblers see it as a great way to extend their gambling bankroll.

Still, there’s a stigma surrounding the penny slots, and I’ve even witnessed prejudices against those who play them. Break the stigma to stretch your dollar and become a winner on penny slots.

What Are Casino Penny Slots?

My first casino experience was spent on the penny slots. I was a broke college student, and some of my friends invited me to go to Choctaw Casino in Durant, OK, for my birthday.

Choctaw Casino is a beautiful property with the latest amenities and a luxurious setting today. Twenty years ago, the small casino had 2 large rooms filled with slot machines and a bingo hall — and not a single table game.

I don’t think the parking lot was paved back then; I’ve been in dive bars with more ambiance. They didn’t offer free drinks, either; that goes a long way with a broke 21-year-old.

However, I was gambling in a casino for real money and couldn’t have been happier. I sat to real money slots and slipped in a $20 bill.

I spent an hour playing a single line at max credits $0.05 for an hour. Finally, a friend noticed my misplay and showed me how to bet max lines.

Closeup of Slot Machine

Wow, that was a game-changer. Suddenly, I was winning every other spin, it seemed.

I left the casino with over $135, and I was hooked.

Penny slots are among the most popular games in many casinos. In fact, many online casinos extoll the penny slots for their seemingly low cost.

I’ll stick to the machines in land-based casinos for our purposes. However, there are very few differences between the two.

Penny slots operate the same as any other slot machine you’ll find in the casino with a few major exceptions.

First of all, you’ll notice that these machines can run north of 25 pay lines. Actually, some of the most popular machines have 40 pay lines.

The sheer number of pay lines can quickly run the cost per spin well over $0.01, but the excitement of even small wins locks players into the game.

The Real Cost of Casino Penny Slots

You probably see penny slots and think, “Great, I’m gonna make this $5 last all night!”

Well, you very well might. However, it’s more common to find a penny slot machine and discover that there’s a 10, 20, or even a 50 credit minimum.

I’ve even played on “penny slots” with a 100 credit minimum. That’s not to say that the penny slots no longer exist, but you’ll need to pay attention.

I’ve seen a trend in casinos across the country regarding penny slots. The newer machines are trending upward on the number of pay lines they offer.

When I first walked through the darkened doorway of Choctaw 2 decades ago, I saw most games had 5-12 pay lines. Today, the penny slot machines being developed appear to have almost a standardized 40 pay lines.

Penny slots can quickly run up the cost of the machine you’re playing on. So, take that into account before you sit down.

Imagine you’re playing a game with 40 pay lines and play 5 credits per line. Suddenly, you’re spending $2 per spin.

If your bankroll isn’t built to play at this level, you’re going to be quickly relegated to the sidelines.

You should always bet max lines. If that means you start at a machine with fewer pay lines, so be it.

Betting max credits and max lines is the only way to get the most out of any slot machine’s return to player (RTP).

Pennies on The Dollar

When you look at the math between penny slots and the popular dollar machines, it becomes clear that the dollar slots reign supreme.

As I mentioned above, it’s not uncommon to find penny slots where the max bets can be much more than a penny, as the name would imply. If you’re on the hunt for the largest jackpots, you’ll often be required to wager up to $5 per spin.

The jackpots on penny slots start relatively low, even for the penny credits. However, you can find jackpots that soar to the life-changing sum of $1,000,000 or more.

Unfortunately, you’re almost guaranteed to drain your bankroll before you ever hit the jackpot. The RTP on the penny slot machines can be 91% on the high end, but many fall in the 88% range.

These RTP make penny slots some of the worst games in the casino from a strictly return on investment standpoint.

Conversely, many of the same players that flood the penny slots will scoff at the prospect of playing dollar machines.

Las Vegas Slot Machines

Many of the dollar slots are between $1-3 per spin. The jackpots start in the four-figures. Many of the mega-jackpots reset at $1 million or higher, like $7 million for Megabucks.

The games also come with a much higher RTP. You can get a return of 95% or higher on many of these games.

You’ll actually lose money on the dollar slots much more slowly. Assume you’re playing a 30 line machine for 10 credits at a penny slot machine, and your friend is playing a $3 max bet on a dollar slot machine.

You’re both wagering $3 per spin, and players average around 350 spins per hour. So, each player is putting $1,050 into play every hour.

Now, look at how the RTP affects that; at the penny slots getting 88%, you’ll lose $126 an hour. For the dollar slots and 95%, you’ll only lose $52.50 for the same hour.

Choose wisely before just blindly making a beeline for the penny slots.

Selecting The Right Penny Slots Machine

When choosing a penny slot machine, the most important factor is no different from any other denomination of slots, RTP.

How long you can play, which directly translates to how much entertainment you’ll be getting for your gambling dollar.

Volatility can play an important role in selecting a game. Some players prefer to extend their bankroll by taking small but frequent wins.

Other choose the less frequent wins, but the excitement of much higher dollar amounts.

One of the best resources for finding the hottest machines on the casino floor is other gamblers. Gamblers love to share their latest successes with pretty much anyone who will listen.

Closeup of Slot Progressive Slots

Take some time to do a lap through the massive casino banks, and you’ll bump into at least a dozen fellow gamblers itching to dish the latest gossip.

Above all, only play games that you enjoy. The number 1 rule of casino gambling is to enjoy yourself.

Otherwise, you’re just throwing money away. When you’re playing games in the casino, you’re paying for entertainment.

The excitement of gambling is electric and creates a buzz that hits you as soon as you walk through the doors. Please don’t feel like you’re stuck on a game because you think it’s due to hit. The best thing to do is walk away and find a game you actually enjoy.

Penny Slots Strategy for Success

Winning at real money casinos is a tall task. Still, there are several ways to extend your session and give yourself a chance at a jackpot.

The most important aspect of penny slots is finding the games with the highest Slots RTP. This should be fairly obvious at this point.

The less money leaving your pocket every hour, the better. Of course, you may get on a hot run and win over a couple of hours.

At the very least, I encourage you to pull those winnings aside. Your best option when you get a significant win is to simply walk away.

Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. All too often, players will roll their wins into a long string of losses until they’re wiped out completely.

Avoid this common gambling pitfall by cashing all big wins out immediately and buying back in with your predetermined bankroll for the session.

Finally, set limits. Don’t simply make a win limit and call it good.

Savvy gamblers set strict limits on wins, losses, and time spent playing. More importantly, they stick to their limit.

Make realistic limits. Don’t set a win limit of $100k playing penny slots; that day will likely never come. Base a win limit on your bankroll and expected hourly losses.

Penny slots clearly don’t have the best odds in the casino, but by taking a few precautions, you can extend your time on the casino floor by hours.

Conclusion

Before you stretch your dollar and become a winner on penny slots, do the research. By carefully examining the RTP and jackpot structure of the games you play, you’re in a better position to walk out of the casino happier than ever before.

While you’ll always want to play max lines, remember that there’s a wide range of games on the market today. You’re in control of how much you put into action on every spin, and if you’re having the maximum amount of fun, you’re doing it right.

Many Push Against Forcing LA Card Rooms to Close

Blackjack Hand and a Roll of Money

Over the weekend, news broke that the card rooms throughout LA County are being ordered to shut down. It was devastating for these businesses, many of whom have seen huge revenue dips throughout the year. Many county officials are now pushing against the closure of LA card rooms.

Some officials believe these venues are vital sources of revenue for many cities. They also provide employment for a huge number of people. Today, we’re going to talk about what could happen to LA’s popular card rooms this month.

Let’s get into it!

Los Angeles Could See “More Intense” Regulations Set in Place Soon

California, like all other states around the country, has been seeing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases lately. Hospital ICUs are filling up and some experts fear they could soon become overburdened. It’s a troubling development that state leaders are trying to solve.

Governor Newsom recently warned that more intense regulations could soon be set in place. The vast majority of the state is in the “purple tier” meaning continued high infection rates. These areas may soon be issued a stay-at-home order.

LA County, in particular, is likely going to be hit with intense regulations soon. This area of the state continues to see massive spikes in infections. Mayor Garcetti seems highly likely to crackdown on more businesses over the next couple of weeks.

Some of the businesses in LA are hurting worse than others. As many are aware, the restaurant business has been devastated over the past nine months. It now appears the commercial gambling industry around this area could begin hurting, too.

News recently broke that LA card rooms were being ordered to shut down. It’s a tough blow for these venues, which continue to experience low visitation rates and big drops in revenue. Many complained that these new rules could permanently destroy the industry here.

Recently, several officials in the LA area have begun pushing against the idea of closing down card rooms.

More Officials Call to Keep LA Card Rooms Open at Limited Capacity

California is home to a massive land-based casino industry. The only true Class III casinos here are run by Native American tribes. There are, however, a large number of card rooms run commercially that offer only certain types of table games.

State leaders have no real authority to force Native American casinos to shut down. They are able to close down card rooms. That’s exactly what state leaders called for last weekend as a way to cut down on infections.

Many feel this is a bad idea, though. City leaders in Commerce, Bell Gardens, and Hawaiian Gardens are now planning to request LA card rooms to remain open. They argue these properties are already facing significantly more regulations than other businesses in the state.

Keith Sharp, Gardens Casino’s General Counsel, made his argument for keeping card rooms open to the media this week.

“We recognize that this surge is serious, and we plan to continue to do our part if permitted to do so. But closing us down won’t impact the surge, but it will put thousands of Angelenos out of work right at holiday time, further harm our businesses, and put our cities in deeper financial peril,” he said. 

These officials are scheduled to meet with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week to plead their case. Some feel these efforts will be unsuccessful. We’ll offer more updates on this situation over the next few days.

Sports Betting is Proving Hugely Profitable for Many States

Many politicians in California have been pushing for sports betting to become legal for years. Unfortunately, this has proven to be extremely difficult. The efforts to pass a sports betting bill failed in 2020 and it now seems this form of gambling won’t come to the state until at least 2021.

Meanwhile, more than half the country now has legal sports betting bills approved. Most states that allow sports gambling are earning a huge amount of revenue every single month. 2020 has brought massive surges in sports betting revenue.

We can now add Rhode Island to that list. This state legalized sports betting in 2018. This past October, the state set a new revenue record with $4.4 million, up more than 75% compared to October of 2019.

Colorado and New Jersey are also seeing record sports betting figures. It’s a welcome development for these states, both of which are in desperate need of money right now. These new figures will likely push more states to embrace the sports betting industry in 2021.

California’s gambling industry continues to suffer. All of the land-based casinos here are seeing revenue figures drop. To make things worse, all of the LA card rooms are likely to shut down in the near future.

Do you think it’s fair to order California’s card rooms to shut down? When do you expect them to reopen? Let us know in the comments section below!

BetMGM and Yahoo Sports Partnership Continues To Expand

Person Browsing a Sports Betting Site on a Tablet
The sports wagering partnership between the MGM-GVC venture BetMGM and the Verizon-owned Yahoo Sports continues to flourish as the U.S. sports betting industry continues to grow.

Said Yahoo Sports general manager Geoff Reiss in an interview last week:

“What Yahoo brings to the partnership is the largest base of the most qualified, predisposed, and passionate sports fans. We have the ability to provide frictionless and seamless integrations between the products.”

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the original roll-out plan, the integration between these two giant companies has been seamless and both companies continue to come up with fresh ideas and new features.

New Features

The newest features include fantasy sports users in eligible stats being able to access player prop odds on the player card and players’ tab within several locations. Users are then able to place corresponding bets on BetMGM’s platform. Aside from that, BetMGM has also leveraged Yahoo’s fantasy scoring system by coming up with prop bets based on fantasy point totals.

For now U.S. sports betting enthusiasts in New Jersey, Indiana, West Virginia, Colorado, and Tennessee are able to use their Yahoo accounts to register and sign-in to their BetMGM accounts. After registering to their BetMGM accounts, these Yahoo Sports users can then make wagers via BetMGM without having to download the BetMGM App.

Exclusive Partnership

In October 2019, Yahoo Sports and BetMGM announced an exclusive U.S. sportsbetting partnership that was geared towards creating collaborative content experiences and live events for fans. At that time, BetMGM was active in only two states. But with Yahoo Sports’ over 60 million monthly users, the partnership was bound to be mutually beneficial for both parties. Today, BetMGM is live in seven states with still many in the pipeline.

With U.S. sports betting now legal and active in 19 states and Washington D.C. plus another six states expected to launch in 2021, the sports betting industry is at an all-time high in the United States and the Yahoo Sports-BetMGM partnership is capitalizing on the rapid development.

BetMGM Expanding

BetMGM has been expanding its business this year. It recently got a license to offer online casino and sports betting products in Pennsylvania with its casino gaming in the Keystone State expected to launch this month. BetMGM officials are hopeful that sportsbetting will follow.

The company also has marketing partnerships with the NFL teams Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, Detroit Lions, and Denver Broncos. Reiss sees these partnerships as part of the “fluid nature” of the growth of U.S. sports betting.

Card Rooms in LA are Shutting Down Once Again

Casinos in California

A rising number of hospitalizations has led to more health regulations being implemented in Los Angeles. It’s tough news for many of the businesses here already struggling to attract customers. Unfortunately, all of the card rooms in LA are shutting down until further notice.

The US land-based gambling industry has been hurt badly this year. That’s certainly the case in California. Today, we’re going to talk about how the new regulations here will impact card rooms here moving forward.

Let’s get into it!

California Casinos Continue to Face Difficulties This Year

California has one of the more unusual gambling industries in the country. The only Class III casinos here are operated by Native American tribes. The state does not allow any fully-operational commercial casinos to run.

There are a huge number of casinos spread around the state. Prior to 2020, these venues were hugely successful and helped to bring valuable revenue to the state every month. Like all other states, however, California has seen major revenue drops from its casino industry this year.

As many know, these casinos aren’t forced to abide by state regulations. They are able to operate independently. Most are still choosing to operate at limited capacity and have seen massive drops in their daily patrons.

The recent spike in Covid-19 cases has made this situation worse. Many California residents are now being advised to stay at home for anything non-essential. Despite their best efforts, the casinos here are struggling to bring in any players.

That’s particularly true in Los Angeles. LA County has been seeing some of the strictest regulations in the entire state. It now appears that the gambling venues in this area are set to shut down soon.

Here’s what we know about this situation.

Officials Order Card Rooms in LA to Shut Down Again

Native American casinos dominate the gambling industry in California. Interestingly, there are also a huge number of popular card rooms throughout the state. These can be run commercially, yet the number of games these venues offer is limited.

Several of the biggest card rooms in the state are located in the Los Angeles area. These properties have been struggling to turn a profit with a drop in players and capacity limits. Now, all of the card rooms in LA are being ordered to shut down.

County officials announced this news over the weekend. They claim the spike in infections and hospitalizations has led to this new regulation. Barbara Ferrer, LA county’s public health director, spoke about the impact of this new rule to the media this week.

“We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end,” she said. “We hope that L.A. County residents continue following Public Health safety measures that we know can slow the spread. Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge.”

This shutdown will have a major impact on many LA County cities that rely on revenue from card rooms. Obviously, it’s extremely difficult for these gambling venues and their employees, as well. These regulations will remain in place until at least December 20th.

We will need to wait and see whether or not the additional regulations will help to lower Covid-19 infection rates in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for updates!

California’s New Regulations Will Hurt Las Vegas

California’s gambling revenue losses pale in comparison to the losses seen in Las Vegas. This city is known for being the largest gambling destination in the country. Unfortunately, it’s been devastated by the events unfolding this year.

Tourism and gaming revenue remains very low throughout the city. Things have begun to improve in recent months. New reports claim that tourism increased by 9% in October, yet remains 50% lower than it was in 2019.

Many fear that the new regulations being implemented in California will hurt Las Vegas. With travel restrictions set in place, very few Californians will be making the trip to Nevada. Historically speaking, Californians make up the majority of tourists in Las Vegas.

It’s a difficult situation for the casino companies in this state. Health experts have been warning that the winter months will be the hardest yet. There’s even fear that Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak will order the casinos in Las Vegas to shut down again in the near future.

We’ll need to wait and see how the next few months go for the casinos in Nevada and California. This industry remains in uncharted waters and things are constantly changing. We will continue offering updates on the US casino industry over the next few months!

Are you disappointed to hear that card rooms in LA are closing again? When do you expect them to reopen? Let us know in the comments section below!

Weekly Poker Update: November 30, 2020

Poker Update November 30

In the past few weeks, news arrived that the World Series of Poker—which seemed like it would be confined to the online poker sphere in 2020—would indeed be taking on a live element this year. And the whole thing began on Sunday with the first cards dealt in the international portion of the event. It is all leading up to two Main Events where the final tables will be held in a live setting with players in the same room, one for international players and one focused on the United States.

International World Series of Poker Main Event Gets Underway

It seems all a bit of a mad rush to get things going on such short notice. But such was the desire to salvage some sort of World Series of Poker normalcy in terms of having live tables, especially in this chaotic year of 2020.

You have to keep in mind that these will not be live events from the get-go. In fact, the early parts of each of the two Main Events will come from online action taking place at WSOP.com and GGPoker. Hence, you’ll hear the word “hybrid” kicked around a lot in the next few weeks.

While this news has generally been greeted with excitement in the world of real money poker, there has also been some controversy as well. You see, there already was a Main Event conducted this year, and it took place entirely in the online sphere. That championship was captured by Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev.

At the time, Madanzhiev’s conquest seemed to be the be-all, end-all of the WSOP for 2020. No one had any idea, considering the stringency of health protocols, that there would be any chance at some sort of live event. And the way these latest Main Events have been hyped, they have cast a bit of a pall on Madanzhiev’s win, which doesn’t seem fair.

Czech Republic Casino Floor

The other thing to keep in mind is that there is no guarantee that the live final tables, currently scheduled for December 16th in Rozvadov, Czech Republic (for the international event), and December 28th in Las Vegas (for the domestic event) will take place. There is always the possibility that the health complications facing the world could cause a postponement or even a switch to the online sphere.

One other twist to all this—the two winners of these events are scheduled for a live head-to-head battle when all is said and done on December 30th in Vegas. It’s a new twist that could add some extra excitement to the proceedings. There will be a last person standing that can claim a kind of ultimate World Series of Poker champ.

This is all happening very fast. To be involved in the international Main Event, you have to get into one of the early flights on GGPoker, which, after Sunday, take place on December 5 and 6. The US Main Event begins with online play at WSOP.com on December 13.

The buy-in for these tourneys is $10,000. And unlike the online version of the Main Event, there will be no rebuys allowed for players who are eliminated. This certainly makes this version of the WSOP a bit more like what you would have expected in past years.

One other note: Players in the United States must be located within the states of New Jersey or Nevada to participate in the early, online portions of the contest. Remember, you don’t have to be a resident of those states. But you do have to be operating your connected device of choice within those two states at the start of the action.

Regardless of whether or not you believe that this version of the World Series of Poker is legitimate or is just a rehash of what we’ve already seem, the bottom line is that there will be big money on the line. And the action will likely feature the best of the best in the world of poker in terms of those playing the game. Certainly, we’ll be watching closely over the next month or so and letting you know, in the end, who comes out on top.

Polk Starts to Surge Past Negreanu

In the past few weeks, we’ve been telling you all about the so-called Grudge Match of the Century in poker. For those who haven’t been following, we’re referring to the battle between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk, who have long sniped at each other for various matters and finally decided to settle it on the felt. The Texas Hold’em battle has been raging since the beginning of the month.

For the most part, it had been a tight contest between the two. This flew in the face of what many oddsmakers at gambling websites had believed. Due to his relative inexperience in the online head-to-hear sphere, Negreanu was considered a 4 to 1 underdog to Polk, who thrives in that particular setting.

Daniel Negreanu Versus Daniel Polk

Yet Negreanu had been acquitting himself quite well. In fact, the lead seemed to be trading hands every single session. The two came into the week barely separated in terms of their totals over the course of the match.

But this week certainly changed things drastically. Polk took a significant lead with a couple of lucrative sessions. And then he really laid the hammer down on Saturday.

In a monster session, Polk took Negreanu for over $332,000 in just 684 hands. That pushed his lead to a pretty significant $596,197, the bulk of which was amassed this past week. There have been 5,751 hands played in the entirety of the match.

Let’s put that into perspective. There will be a minimum of 12,500 hands played. At that point, the loser can concede, or they can double the pot and go to 25,000 hands to complete matters.

In other words, Polk is starting to stretch it out to the point where Negreanu should be a bit concerned. Big leads can certainly be overcome in head-head matchups in the world of poker. But if you’re a Polk backer, you’re probably feeling pretty good about how things are turning out so far.

If you’re in Negreanu’s corner, you might be a bit encouraged by the fact that luck certainly seems to have been in Polk’s camp so far. Many lucky river cards helped him in the Saturday session. Polk, emboldened by that, played with a lot of confidence and started making all the right decisions even when the cards weren’t falling into his lap.

In any case, the next week of sessions could prove Negreanu. If Polk continues to widen his lead as the pair gets closer to that 12,500-hand mark, the pressure will be all on Kid Poker. A concession might have to be considered, which would be a tough pill to swallow, but might be a way to lessen the damage.

How the Coronavirus Changed the Way Las Vegas Casinos Operate

Las Vegas Strip and Coronavirus Background

On March 17 of 2020, Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada ordered all non-essential businesses to close across the Silver State – including Sin City’s iconic casinos. The executive order was made in the midst of the coronavirus (aka COVID-19) outbreak, as large crowds gathering in close confines like a casino has been deemed unsafe.

Of course, Las Vegas’ vital casino industry will return, but things won’t be the same when gamblers get back to their favorite venue. Below you’ll learn about five major changes to expect when revisiting Las Vegas casinos for the first time after the coronavirus closures.

Table Games Will Be Limited Due to Social Distancing

In early May of 2020, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) issued new guidelines for how casinos can safely reopen once Governor Sisolak gives the all clear.

Among the more noteworthy aspects of the NGC reopening plan are limitations on the number of people who can play a table game at any one time. Per the NGC guidelines, all gaming areas must reduce their maximum allowable occupancy by 50 percent.

To accomplish this, table games will remove several seats from the equation to ensure social distancing recommendations are satisfied.

If you’re a real money blackjack player, expect to see just three seats per table for the foreseeable future instead of the standard six-seat arrangement.

Las Vegas Statue of Liberty With Mask

Craps tables will have their capacity reduced to six players per table, and the ubiquitous crowds of cheering onlookers will no longer be permitted.

At the roulette table, what would normally be up to eight players enjoying the game together will now be halved to four players per table.

And for poker-based table games like Three Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, and the like, the lineup will be reduced to four players at a time.

In a statement explaining the new guidelines, NGC Board Chairwoman Sandra Morgan made public safety a priority over player comfort:

“These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented measures.

We are confident that these policies are sound, not only for our licensees, but for our employees and guests.”

As you can imagine, cutting the number of players present in a table game down by half will have obvious effects on the player experience. No more ganging up on a craps game with a big group of your best buddies, and no more meeting new friends while you win on the same number in roulette.

A big part of what makes gambling in a Las Vegas casino so much fun is the spirit of camaraderie that develops between players – even perfect strangers who have never met and will most likely never meet again.

Nonetheless, until the scientific and medical community has a firm handle on how to control the spread of coronavirus, taking common sense precautions like player limitations is the only prudent route for casinos to take.

Casino Staff Sanitize Tables, Chips, and Equipment

While you’re playing blackjack, craps, roulette, or another table game, don’t be surprised when the game is paused temporarily for a quick, but thorough, round of cleaning.

Per the NGC reopening guidelines, casinos must periodically halt play to disinfect and sanitize every conceivable aspect of a table game:

“Plans should ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of, without limitation, table games, rails, chairs, dice, card shoes, shufflers, roulette wheels, Pai Gow tiles, pit podiums, blackjack discard holders, and toke boxes when a new player or employee comes into contact with any of the aforementioned gaming equipment.

Plans should also address how licensees will disinfect cards and chips.”

For folks who have been stuck at home feverishly wiping down their kitchen countertops and door handles with alcohol wipes, you can only imagine how this process will play out.

Players will be asked to stand and step aside, while remaining socially distanced, as staff members scurry around the table to wipe down everything people come into contact with. And as the guidelines above make clear, that includes everything from the blackjack shoe to the cards that come out of it, to the chips being bet on every hand, and even the dealer’s toke box.

This will seem like a major inconvenience at first, but when you compare it to the health effects caused by severe coronavirus cases, taking breaks to sanitize surfaces is simply a mild one at most.

With that said though, just imagine how many craps players will explode when they’re “hot” dice are suddenly removed from the table for a quick spray down…

Live Poker As You Now It Just Might be Dead (For Now)

As noted above, poker-based games must have their seating limited to four players per table going forward.

That won’t make a huge difference for table games like Three Card Poker, but for traditional poker like Texas holdem and Pot Limit Omaha, four-handed play could be a death knell of sorts.

Whether you play cash games or poker tournaments in Las Vegas, you know that most tables usually run with either nine or 10 players present. Every so often, you might see a six-handed table running, as these are favored by more skilled players who like the additional action created by short-handed dynamics.

But unless you’re in the sorriest poker room in Sin City, you’ll almost never see four-handed tables running. That’s because the gameplay of traditional poker is fundamentally based on having a full table of players taking part. Nine-handed play, for example, allows for positional considerations what with the button, small blind, big blind, under the gun, cutoff, and hijack seats alternating after every hand.

CVS Las Vegas Strip

In a four-handed game, however, you’ll only ever be sitting in the button, small blind, big blind, or under the gun seat.

And when the rake – or the fee collected from every pot during a cash game – is factored in, paying blinds on half of the hands you play makes four-handed poker financially unfeasible.

That’s exactly the point made by local poker player Richard Gilliam, who made an official request with the NGC to revise its poker guidelines from four to six players:

“I understand the need for reducing the number of players as a safety measure, but these regulations are meant to strike a balance between visitor safety and enterprise economic viability.

Therefore, I ask the commission to reconsider this limitation and increase the number of players at each poker table to a minimum of six players.”

Whether the NGC obliges Gilliam’s request remains to be seen, but even if the agency does so, live poker in Las Vegas won’t look or feel the same going forward.

In widely shared photos found online (just search for “poker room reopening + safety measures), you’ll see what poker rooms have in store when it comes to social distancing.

Picture large Plexiglas dividers ringing the table and providing a germ-proof barrier between players. These dividers work like something you’d see in a bank, so you’ll be pulling cards off the felt through a slim slit near the bottom of the glass. When betting chips, you’ll also be sliding them through the slit one or two at a time, rather than pushing out big stacks in the typical fashion.

All things considered, it’s hard to see many recreational poker players joining the fray until the NGC guidelines are relaxed down the road.

Sportsbooks Won’t Be Where You Watch the Games

On a typical Sunday afternoon in Sin City, the major sportsbooks in town transform into raucous viewing parties.

Hundreds of sports fans and bettors pack the joint, all gazing upward to the massive TV screens to follow their team’s every move in real time. Folks cheer, high-five, and even hug when their ticket becomes minted a winner.

Unfortunately, that lively atmosphere will be a thing of the past under the NGC’s reopening guidelines:

“Plans must ensure that patrons do not congregate in groups and practice proper distancing in these areas.

Plans must address how the race & sportsbook, keno lounge, bingo hall, and any other gaming area will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.

Plans should also address the availability of hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes for patron use in these areas.”

With a ban on congregating in groups, Las Vegas sportsbooks will have to get creative in how they serve bettors. The South Point, for example, started its phased reopening by offering a “drive-thru” sportsbook service, allowing bettors to pull up, place their bet, and drive away.

As for the actual sportsbooks themselves, expect a similar “come and go” system to be in place. The lines you’ll stand in will be socially distanced, and once you’ve placed a bet, you’ll be asked to leave to make room for new bettors.

Slot Machines and Video Poker Will Be Spaced Out

One of the biggest economic engines for a casino is its machine games like the slots and video poker.

So naturally, the NGC provided stringent guidelines to safeguard casino machines upon reopening:

“Plans must ensure that the floor plan for gaming machines creates proper social distancing between patrons.

For example, chairs and stools in front of every other gaming machines could be removed so that patrons do not sit next to each another, or licensees could propose other measures to ensure proper distance between patrons. Additionally, licensees should assign employees to focus on ensuring guests do not congregate in groups.

Plans must address how gaming machines, devices, chairs, and other ancillary equipment will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.

Plans should also address the availability of hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes for patron use on the gaming floor.”

In a photo that has gone viral on social media, the Aria’s slot machine layout shows every other machine in a bank turned off to encourage social distancing. Furthermore, specially designed glass dividers have been installed between each machine.

Texas Station Las Vegas Sign

And to cap things off, these dividers come equipped with ultraviolet rays that are known to kill coronavirus upon contact.

This means no more nudging your neighbor to take a look at your royal flush draw, or high-fiving when a jackpot slot spin finally arrives.

Conclusion

Throughout its history as the casino gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas has experienced its fair share of trying times. In the wake of 9/11, restrictions on air travel and an atmosphere of fear plunged the city into deep economic hardship.

When the Great Recession struck, gamblers who normally had expendable income suddenly couldn’t afford their regular sojourns to Sin City. But in the end, the people who make up Las Vegas’ gambling industry – casino staff and players alike – worked tirelessly to bring their beloved city back from the brink, and they’ll do the same in a post-coronavirus world.

Fast Ways to Master Blackjack

Closeup of Blackjack Hand

Blackjack is the best game to concentrate on if you want to master any casino game. It has a high return percentage if you know how to play the best way, and once you master the base game you can advance to advantage play.

This article is designed to help you learn exactly how to master blackjack in 9 fast steps. You’re going to have to practice and dedicate some time, but in the long run this investment is worth it.

Once you become a blackjack master you can gamble any time you want without worrying about big losses.

Single Deck Blackjack Games

You can find real money blackjack games with a large number of rules combinations. Every rule changes the base return numbers, so it can be challenging to compare two blackjack games with different rules.

You want to find the games with the best rules. Good rules include surrender, dealer stands on soft 17, double after split, and can double on any two cards.

Understanding blackjack rules is important, but the main reason why I mention them in this section is because you need to compare games with the same rules when you look at how many decks are being used in the game.

Closeup of a Blackjack Game

When all of the other rules are the same, a single deck blackjack game is the best game to play. The next best game is a 2 deck game. This is followed by a 4 deck game. An 8 deck game is the worst, and a 6 deck game is only slightly better than the 8 deck shoe.

Standing on Soft 17

Blackjack tables have a set rule for how the dealer plays their hand when they have a soft 17. A soft 17 is a hand with an ace counting as 11 and 1 or more cards adding up to 6.

The 2 rules are that the dealer either hits a soft 17 hand or stands on a soft 17 hand. The overall difference between the 2 rules isn’t big, but a true blackjack master gets every small advantage that they can.

The best rule for you is when the dealer stands on a soft 17 hand. This means that if all of the other rules are the same, you want a game where the dealer stands on a soft 17 and uses the smallest number of decks as possible. A single deck game with the dealer standing on soft 17 is usually the best game.

Splitting the Right Pairs

The ability to split your cards into 2 hands when you have a pair is valuable for 2 reasons. And both reasons help you make the return of the game higher overall.

The first reason why splitting pairs is valuable is because it can help turn a bad situation into 2 situations that are better. When you start with 2 aces, you have either 2 or 12, and neither of these is a good starting total.

But you can split them and start with 2 hands at 11, which is a great starting total. The same is true for a pair of 8’s. Start with 16 or 2 hands at 8? The 2 hands at a total of 8 are much better.

Another reason why the ability to split is valuable is because you can get twice as much money in play when the situation is profitable. When you can start with 2 totals of 11 you have an advantage, so it’s profitable to get twice as much money in play.

Doubling Down Mastery

In the last section you learned that 1 of the reasons why the ability to split pairs is valuable is because you can get more money in play when you have an edge. This is even more valuable in some situations where you can double down.

To master blackjack you have to take advantage of every situation where you can bet more with an advantage. When you have a total of 11 and the dealer has a bad card showing, like a 5 or 6, you can double your bet and make a long term profit on the hand.

You’re not going to win every hand in this situation, but you’re going to win more often than you lose, which is profitable.

Getting Paid for 21

You’ve learned many important things about how to become a blackjack master so far, but this might be the most important thing in this article. The amount you get paid when you get a blackjack is either so bad that you can’t possibly overcome the edge, or it’s good enough that with advanced strategy techniques you have a chance.

This boils down to 1 simple rule that you can never afford to break. The rule is that if a blackjack table doesn’t pay 3 to 2 or better for blackjack, you don’t play. Far too many gamblers are willing to play on blackjack tables that only pay 6 to 5.

Ace of Diamonds Blackjack Hand

You can’t afford to do this. Playing 6 to 5 costs you money every single time you get a blackjack. And over time this adds up to a great deal of money. Don’t ever break this rule, because it guarantees that you’re not going to be a master of blackjack.

Strategy Is the Way

Just about everything that you’ve learned so far is a type of strategy. Blackjack masters know that they can use strategy when they play and they know the best strategy plays to make.

If you don’t already know the best play for every hand you can receive at the blackjack table this is the next step to becoming a blackjack master.

Eventually you need to memorize all of the best strategy plays, but until you have them memorized you can sue a card or chart that has all of the right plays.

Blackjack Comps

When you use strategy and good rules, blackjack has the highest return in the casino. But you still can’t push the edge to 100% until you start using techniques covered in the next 2 sections.

But there is something that you can do that helps a little beyond strategy and rules. You can start earning comps for your play. Comps usually come in a different form than cash, but they still offset what you lose.

Casino comps for blackjack are only a small percentage of your overall play, but even .1% helps. Play blackjack where you can earn comps for your play.

Learn How to Count

Next level blackjack mastery comes when you perfect everything covered in this article and move on to counting cards. Card counting is a real way to push the return to 100% and beyond.

Every blackjack player needs to reach this level eventually, yet most players never even try. Don’t make this same mistake. You’re never going to know if you can count until you try it.

Counting cards in blackjack is far easier than most gamblers believe. In fact, with some knowledge and practice almost anyone can learn how to count. If you can memorize basic blackjack strategy you’re smart enough.

Start learning how to count by researching a popular counting system like hi lo, KO, or Red 7. Once you see how a system works, then start practicing. This is all there is to learning how to master card counting. And once you learn how to count you’re going to start making money.

Keep Your Eyes Open

As a bonus I’m going to give you 1 more advanced blackjack technique. This isn’t something to work on until you master everything else in this article, but this can give you a huge edge in the right situation.

Sometimes you can see the value of the dealer’s down card if you watch closely. But you have to practice and keep your eyes open.

Start watching the dealer’s hands every time they deal. If you do this long enough you can identify some dealers that flash the value of cards.

Conclusion

Becoming a blackjack master starts with learning about blackjack strategy and how it works. When you find the right rules you’re starting with a higher return than other games.

The next step is learning everything about using the right strategy. This makes the return even higher. And the final step is learning how to count. This is what true blackjack masters do to beat the game.

Many other casino games are easier to play, but none of them offer the same opportunities that blackjack does. Take the time to learn the 9 fast ways to become a blackjack master in this article.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Panic if Your Wagered NFL Division Winners Are on a Cold Streak

NFL Flag on Field

So, your wagered NFL division winners started the year strong, but now they are just a mediocre 6-4 with the division leaders cruising ahead at 7-3 or even 8-2.

Now, you are panicking given the situation of your team now on a losing streak with seemingly no end in sight. Don’t worry. This could be nothing at all, and your wagered team can easily pick up the slack heading into the latter portion of the season.

Today’s post outlines 5 reasons you shouldn’t panic because of a simple cold streak. Not only do they often happen to almost every NFL team, injury bugs, playing to competition, and other factors come into play here.

Let’s take a closer look.

Your Team Can “Get it Together” in December

The 2018 and 2019 Philadelphia Eagles were notorious for this, climbing back into their division races with a 6-7 and 5-7 start, respectively. And while the 2018 team didn’t win the NFC East, they put themselves in a prime position to do so. The 2019 team ended up winning the division at 9-7.

Which teams are we often talking about here other than the Eagles?

Often, you will see this with cold weather teams with at least 50 percent of their final 8 games at home. This often occurs because when they play teams used to controlled environments and field turf as opposed to swirling winds and natural grass, it gives the cold weather teams an advantage.

Other times, roster and coaching shake ups happen with even the most talented teams in the NFL. And this can cause a team to stagnate for the greater part of the season until late November or even into December. Such moves can take a while for a team to “get it together” during the closing months.

NFL Quarterback Patrick Mahomes

So if your team is off to say, a 6-6 start, and experts projected them to go the distance, don’t panic. If you picked a cold weather team to win the division and they are playing 3 of their final 4 games at home, they may have an advantage.

Or, if they spent half the season on a crash course to learn a new offensive or defensive system, December is often the breakout month.

So sit back, take a breather, and remind yourself that there is still another month to play and factors that occurred earlier in the season can definitely be responsible for such stagnation.

Let’s explore those factors in the final 4 sections.

Injuries May Have Struck Your Team Early

The good old injury bug can strike, and it can leave positional units and entire teams devastated for the greater portion of the season.

So again, if your team is facing a mediocre record, be sure to see who is on IR these days and if the team designates them to return. Losing a quarterback or having a quarterback playing through injury is hard enough.

Sometimes a team’s entire offensive line or defensive line could find themselves on IR or spend the bulk of the season banged up. And if that happens, it can transform an otherwise good football team into one leaning on the other positional units on the field.

The good news in NFL betting these days is that if a player lands on IR, their season isn’t over and teams can designate them to return after a number of weeks. So if your team is struggling and they have a few key contributors on IR, don’t panic.

If they can get their key players back fast, you may see a quick turnaround and perhaps even a spotless record come late November or December.

Your Team May Have Hot and Cold Moments

Some teams are just streaky and they may hit a bump in the road between Weeks 7 through 11. They started off the season at 5-2 but here they are, clinging to their division title lives at 6-5 as they enter Week 12 and the final laps of the regular season.

But hey, if your wagered team has a history of doing this with an identical coach/roster, why are you panicking?

I get it. You put $300 bucks on a team with 8-1 odds to win the division back in the preseason and the rest of the division looked weak. But here we are in Week 12, and one of those supposedly weak teams is cruising along at 8-3 and your team struggles to the 6-5 mark.

But why are we panicking?

Perhaps your team has its cold moments during the mid-season mark because of injuries, teams figuring out their game plan, etc. Or, they may have a few teams on their schedule that they have a tough time with.

Take teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a history of losing to Tom Brady regardless of who he suits up for, and they are also a team that loves to play down to their competition. While the Steelers at the time of this writing are 10-0, there have been many times where they appeared down and out.

Only to win the division and a lot more by the season’s conclusion. Speaking of playing to competition, let’s talk about it.

Your Team Plays to its Competition

Some teams just play to their competition. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, handicapping your most talented teams aren’t playing the 1-15 New York Jets in the playoffs. So if your wagered division winner was also your wagered Super Bowl winner, you can still win even if your team didn’t win the division.

But say your team is 8-3 and they are playing in the league’s toughest division. And for some odd reason, the 3 losses on their schedule came against teams they should have beaten. Even if they had beaten the league’s better teams in 4 of their 8 wins and won out on their evenly matched games in the other 4.

It should be a good sign if 4 of your team’s final 5 games are coming against teams who have winning records and are playoff contenders. Better yet, they play these teams better than those division rivals who are also sitting at 8-3 or 7-4, respectively.

Perhaps those two teams are beating teams they should beat but are struggling against top-tier competition. In that case, your team has them right where they should want them, knowing the other 8-3 and 7-4 teams will probably crack under pressure. Perhaps finishing 2-3 and 3-2 in the last 5 games.

Watch how well your team plays specific levels of competition. If they play down to their competition and they have a supposedly tough slate of games ahead, consider it a good sign.

Or, if they struggle against top-tier competition but 3 of their final 5 games are coming against teams they should beat and they beat such teams all the time, it is also a good sign.

So stop panicking.

Your Team is Discovering What Doesn’t Work for Them

This often comes with talented football teams capable of beating anyone in the NFL, but perhaps they have a few new players, a few new coaches, or an entirely new coaching staff.

And they just spent three-quarters of the season discovering what does and doesn’t work for them. Come December, your projected division champions sit at 7-5 and are two games behind the 9-3 leaders. However, now your wagered division winners know how to win.

And perhaps they’re playing that 9-3 squad in Weeks 14 and 17, since the NFL loves backending divisional games anymore. It is highly likely that the Week 17 game will decide who wins the division if both teams boast the same records come crunch time.

If this sounds like your team, remind yourself this is just part of the process. It is something teams have to go through. While they likely won’t win the division, the 2020 Minnesota Vikings look like they are about to make a run as I write this article.

NFL Cardinals and Browns Linemen

After starting the season at 1-5, the Vikings saw a few new faces on the roster, plus a new offensive coordinator. And the otherwise talented team struggled before finally appearing to righten their ship.

The team discovered things that didn’t work, like leaving their new corners on islands and trusting quarterback Kirk Cousins too much in the passing game.

But once they went old school and centered the offense around Dalvin Cook and stacked the box to help the inexperienced corners, the Vikings started winning games. Now they’re in the thick of the playoff race as of Week 11 of the 2020 season.

And the Vikings were a team many thought would win the NFC North in 2020.

Conclusion

While sports betting mistakes is always a heartbreaking affair, there is usually no need to panic if your wagered division winner looks down and out as the final laps of the season take fold.

Teams need to find their identity. And injury bugs plus dysfunction earlier in the season never helps matters. Other teams may just naturally land on hot and cold streaks, while others get hot late in the season.

So study your team’s recent history, keep tabs on their roster, and see if they are shifting their game plan before calling your bet a waste.

Sad Facts About Casinos

Sad Man Pointing and a Casino Graphic

I’m like many gamblers when it comes to casinos. I enjoy going to the casino and I like the idea of winning more than I lose at the casino. But I learned several sad things about casinos years ago. And now I look at the casino an entirely different way.

The list of 7 sad facts about casinos in this article isn’t meant to get you to stop playing in casinos. These facts are presented here so you can understand just what you’re dealing with, and hopefully so you can find a better way to play at the casino.

Casinos Are Cash Machines

Two of the most profitable businesses in the world when they’re run correctly are banks and casinos. Banks keep your money and pay you nothing, or a small amount, and then use your money to lend it to other people at a higher rate of interest. As long as a bank is smart in how it operates, it cranks out a constant profit.

Real money casinos are very similar to banks. A well run casino is a cash machine for the owners. And even a casino that isn’t run especially well is likely to be profitable.

All casino need to do is offer games that have an edge and make sure that they don’t get cheated. The only other ingredient a casino needs for profits is gamblers willing to place wagers. It’s almost impossible for individual gamblers to overcome the casino profit machine.

Rewards Clubs Aren’t Designed to Help You

I want to make something clear before you read the rest of this section. If you’re gambling in a casino and they offer any type of VIP program, no matter what it’s called, you should be a member. You should earn every perk and comp that you can when you gamble.

Players Club Desk

But you also need to understand that rewards clubs are not there to help you. The only reason why rewards clubs exist is because casinos determined that if they offer a rewards program that gamblers who belong to the club gamble more often and they gamble longer when they play.

The key to using a rewards program is to sign up and take what they give you, but to never gambler more often or longer than you intended to because of the club.

Casinos Are Designed With a Purpose

The sole purpose of every casino in the world is to make money. Casinos don’t exist to give you a chance to win money and they don’t exist to entertain you. These are just the marketing vehicles use to make money.

Every single thing in a casino is designed with profit in mind. And this is never going to change. And this doesn’t mean that you should stop gambling in casinos, but you do need to be aware of why casinos are designed the way they are.

The most profitable casinos use psychological tricks on everything from where games are placed to where people walk to get to different places to maximize profits. You can’t change the way casinos are designed, but you can be aware of it to avoid them taking advantage of you.

You Have No Great Options

When you walk into a big casino it looks like you have plenty of options. You can play on many different types of slot machines or grab a seat at many different table games. You might be able to find a poker on or a place to make a sports wager.

But all of these options have one thing in common, and you already learned what this is. Every option in the casino is designed to make money for the casino at your expense. You can do some things to change how much you lose, but there are few things that you can do that put the edge in your favor.

You can learn more about a few games that you might be able to change the odds on in the last section in this article, but the fact is that there are really no great options in the casino.

Nothing Is Really Free

Have you ever received free drinks or a free ticket to the buffet or a free hat in a casino? If you play in casinos long enough and/or play in many different casinos, the odds are that you get something for free every once in a while.

I don’t know how many hats I’ve got over the years from casinos, but it’s too many to count. I usually wear a hat when I gamble, and the casino knows if they give me a hat I might wear it and give them some free advertising.

Casino Floor With a Variety of Machines

The point I’m trying to make is that nothing in a casino is really free. If they give you a hat or a shirt it’s because it’s a form of advertising when you wear it. If they give you free drinks it’s because they know that gamblers who drink while they gamble play longer and lose more money.

If you play for 5 hours and get a free buffet ticket, they know that you’re likely to play for at least 5 hours the next time you gamble so you can get another free meal. And the money you lose over 5 hours of play is far more than the cost of the buffet to the casino.

Whenever you receive a casino comp, take a close look at the situation to see how it really benefits the casino.

Finding an Advantage Is Problematic

Even though everything you’ve read so far paints casinos in a bad light, there is some hope. You don’t have to continue losing every time you go to the casino.

It’s never going to be easy, but there are ways to gamble in casinos that give you an improved chance to win. For example, some casino players know how to count cards when they play blackjack. These players can make money at the blackjack table.

Of course, it’s not easy to learn how to count cards, and even if you do the casino is going to kick you out if they catch you. But counting cards isn’t the only advantage you can find in a casino.

Casino Blackjack

The key is to understand that there are ways to find advantages. Then you just have to find at least 1 way and learn how to use it. Just keep in mind that casinos do everything they can to make this difficult, because all they’re interested in is continuing generating piles of cash at your expense.

In addition to counting cards, some poker players make money, as well as some sports gamblers. And some progressive jackpot games reach a high enough amount that they can become profitable to play. These are the best places to start when you’re looking for profitable ways to play in a casino.

Conclusion

Almost everything about casinos is sad when you take a close look. Most people go to the casino looking forward to the experience, yet they tend to leave with less money than they started with.

The main reason for this is because casinos are designed to be cash machines, and not in your favor. Reward’s clubs and free drinks aren’t really free. Everything is working against you.

Once you understand this you can start taking steps to change the game. You might decide to quit going to the casino or you might decide to find ways to use the casino to improve your chance to make a profit.

Gambling Habits That Turn A Profit

Closeup of Person Counting Money With a Casino Background

Hands down, gambling is one of the most exciting forms of entertainment in the world. Unfortunately, it can also be quite expensive.

Travel and hotel rooms can put a dent in your vacation budget before you ever step foot in the casino. However, certain behaviors will allow you to gamble as much as you’d like.

Turn your passion into payday with these real money gambling habits that turn a profit.

Make Attainable Gambling Goals

Every successful person I know makes detailed goals and pushes themselves to attain them.

I won’t even leave for the casino before setting a strict goal of how much I’d like to win. Sometimes I’ll even break it down by hour; making $40 an hour playing my favorite game won’t make me rich, but it’ll be a nice surprise for my spouse.

Making strict goals in gambling will only make you better each casino trip or gambling session. For example, a solid win limit will have you off the table and basking in the glory of your accomplishment instead of outstaying your good fortune and losing it all.

It’s imperative to make the goals attainable. If you consistently make unrealistic goals, you’re really just wasting time and energy.

Winning $1 million playing slot machines probably won’t ever happen for you. However, if you want to win $500 on your next trip, that’s attainable.

It’s definitely a lofty goal but manageable. You’ll be brilliantly served by breaking that $500 into smaller daily goals.

Row of Casino Slot Machines

So, if you’re on a 4-day vacation, your daily goal would be $125. Obviously, you’ll be able to make far more progress at a smaller amount.

Now, break that down to hourly wins. Let’s say you spend 6 hours a day on the casino floor. You are looking at an hourly win rate of only $21.

How much easier does that sound?

You win $21 an hour, and at the end of your 4-day trip, you take home your $500.

Gamblers that have mastered this practice are typically among the most profitable gamblers I know. Once they’ve hit their goal, they’re out.

The casino doesn’t get the chance to erase those wins until their next session. The players grow far less frustrated chasing millions because they’re consistently hitting their short term goals.

Become Master of Your Own Domain

You have no control over where the dice fall, what cards are dealt with, or how the slots reel land. None of that is in your control.

However, you have total control over how you respond to a cold deck or a streak of bad breaks. You and you alone must become master of your domain.

The physical and mental toll of gambling and life can result in a number of ill-advised and sloppy mistakes that will quickly drain your bankroll to empty.

Keep a calm mind when gambling and stick to your plan. When you begin chasing losses, you are essentially assuring destruction.

I’ve seen these meltdowns hundreds if not thousands of times. It’s among the most painful and yet most easily avoided scenes in the casino.

By controlling your emotions and not allowing anger or frustration to influence decision making, you are in a much better position to avoid a casino meltdown. It’s common to quickly lose your gambling budget for the session and instantly begin making your way to the room to grab extra cash. Or even worse, head to the casino’s ATM; you must avoid this impulse at all costs.

Only one of two possible outcomes will result from this. You’ll either lose even more money and completely wreck your bankroll. Or, an even more dangerous scenario unfolds, you’ll win it all back.

How can winning and recouping all of those losses possibly be negative?

Because it will get you in the habit of chasing your losses, chasing losses will end up with you losing your entire bankroll 100% of the time in the long run.

It can also be an indication of an underlying gambling problem. Not always, but it can certainly start you down a dark road.

Becoming a master of your domain takes practice, but it doesn’t take much to start. Simply focus on patience and calm, regardless of whether you’re winning big or watching the games siphon your money.

Be Positive, Stay Positive

To piggyback on not allowing your negative emotions to control your gambling habits, let’s look at a positive mental attitude.

“PMA!!” my former VP of sales would exclaim every morning on our morning call. I was the youngest regional sales manager in my company’s history. I didn’t have the decades of experience my peers had attained.

However, I woke up every day, and as soon as the clock struck 7 am, I was ready for greatness. The positive thinking was contagious. Team leaders that were near the bottom under my predecessor were suddenly Top 5 in the company.

You can make the same changes to the way you fundamentally see the world around you to effect change.

Casino Cards Laid Decoratively on a Blackjack Table

If you focus on the wins and on winning instead of the bad beats or tough losses, you’ll actually begin to believe you’ll win more.

The wild part is that you will win more. You’ll be making better choices, better bets, and you’ll trust what the information is telling you much more frequently.

When you’ve done the necessary research and put in the time honing your casino gambling or sports betting, you have to then have the belief in yourself to act.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a gambler tell me about the massive payday they missed because they were too afraid to make the bold play.

Positive thinking when gambling will take you to the next level. Make no mistake, believing you’re going to win is not going to outshine hard work.

However, when you combine the hard work to become a better gambler with a winning mentality, your gambling profits will be more lucrative than you’ve ever imagined.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Things Up

Be flexible in your gambling habits. If you are overly rigid, you’ll miss opportunities to make a profit.

In fact, you’re going to miss several great opportunities. This happened to me early in my gambling career all too frequently.

I remember a particularly brutal casino trip that I had decided to stay at the blackjack table. I wouldn’t spend another dime on any casino games.

About 2 hours into day 1, my cousin finds me and tells me that I need to get to the poker room. He had won about $350 in the same amount of time I’d won about $40.

He wasn’t a particularly great poker player, but I’d put him better than most amateurs. I was certainly much more skilled than he was at the time.

I started quizzing him about hands and lucky draws, but he hadn’t got any hot hands.

Apparently, there was some convention in town, and the poker room was flush with fish. I foolishly stuck to my guns and stayed at the blackjack table for the entire 4 days.

Holdem Pocket Aces Next to a Stack of Poker Chips

Meanwhile, my cousin had won over $2200 playing Texas Hold’Em. I went home with about $85 of the casino’s money.

My unwillingness to change my plan had likely cost me hundreds of dollars or more. It took me years to break this poor habit.

Perhaps you’re committing yourself to the poker tables, but you find an outstanding value bet in the sportsbook.

You need to have the necessary courage to step out and make a bet. Committing a portion of your gambling bankroll to other games will have a tremendous effect on your bottom line.

By the same token, don’t fall in love with your favorite slot machine. Many video poker games will pay almost even money with proper strategy.

Take the time to learn a new skill, and you’ll soon be turning a profit gambling.

Hone Your Casino Gambling Skills

The most obvious way to turn a profit gambling is by becoming a better gambler.

Honing your gambling skills takes time and patience. It’s the perfect time to begin implementing the other gambling habits that turn a profit.

You can practice for free playing online games or play low stakes casino games while you’re developing your new habits.

In order to be as sharp as possible, you also need to implement healthy lifestyle habits. Sleep, diet, and exercise are fundamentally important to making a profit.

One of my favorite ways to improve my strategy is by reading books and watching videos. There is a limitless supply of resources available online for minimal investment.

Investing in yourself is the single most effective habit to turn a profit in gambling.

Conclusion

Take these gambling habits that turn a profit and carefully integrate them into your game. You’ll soon find yourself among the top gamblers in your circle.

You’re never going to turn a profit long term without putting in serious time and effort. Most importantly, you should enjoy the challenge.

Taking steps toward becoming a profitable gambler is a great adventure.

Gambling Strategies That Will Take You From Zero to Hero

Super Hero Silhouette With a Casino Background

Spend much time in the gambling world, and you’ll quickly become overwhelmed with gambling systems that claim to guarantee a massive profit.

Don’t quit your day job. If some brilliant gambler discovered how to print money in the casino, they’re going to keep it under wraps for as long as possible.

Otherwise, the casinos would quickly combat the problem or go out of business. Either way, their potential billions fade into nothing.

Here are nine strategies that will take you from zero to hero without bankrupting the casino.

Take Advantage of Online Casino Bonuses

If you’re playing online casino games or thinking of making the jump, pay attention to the online casino bonuses.

Online casinos compete hard for your business, and you are the beneficiary. Before choosing an online casino, you need to do your due diligence.

After you’ve determined the top contenders to make your deposit, it’s time to get down to the excellent stuff.

Casino bonuses are free money deposit matches. They’re typically either offered as a percentage or dollar amount match on your initial deposit.

For example, if you make a $500 deposit, the casino may match 100% up to $350. This means your account starts at $850 instead of $500.

List of Online Casino Slots

The promotions vary and are changed regularly. So, you’ll need to do your own research on what bonuses work best for you.

You should pay close attention to the terms of your deposit bonus. You’re not going to get “free money” without some form of obligation.

Many times there will be a wager amount that must be met before you’re able to withdraw your bonus money. This is important because you may not be able to withdraw any winnings at all until you’ve completed these terms.

Play Against the Dealer in Blackjack

Playing real money blackjack on a table without other players can be tremendously advantageous. In fact, casinos hate when you’re playing the dealer heads up.

One of the biggest benefits of playing against the dealer 1:1 is the sheer number of hands you’ll be able to play. You’ll be playing approximately three hands for every one you’d play with a full table. This means if you can find a table with friendly rules and are playing basic strategy on every hand, you’ll be able to pad your chip stack quickly.

Secondly, you won’t have to worry about other players mucking up the action. We’ve all seen that one player that hits on 17 and gets a 10, only to have the dealer flip over a second 8 and catch a 5 to make 21; it’s infuriating.

Usually, when you get on a solid winning streak, the pit boss will send over house players to slow down the action. I’ve seen some casinos simply close the table I was at and forced me to move to another lower limit table.

If you’re counting cards, you know that the more hands you can play, the better. So, try to get on a table with only you and the dealer.

Always Play Max Lines

Slot machines have evolved from a simple 3 reeled machine with a single pay line to massive video machines with up to 7 reels and dozens of pay lines to wager on.

Regardless of whether you’re playing a 3 reel machine or 7 reels, you should always bet max lines. You’ll have a hard time staying afloat on a 25 pay line game, only betting one pay line per spin.

It may seem that you’re extending your bankroll by doing this. Still, today’s machines are designed to offer the highest payout available when all lines are in play.

Today, slot machines are packed with bonus games, and you’ll typically need to bet max lines to trigger the lucrative bonus games.

If you’re going to sit down on a slot machine for any amount of time, always bet max lines, and your bankroll will be better off for it.

Make Craps Odds Work for You

I’ve often touted the greatness and simplicity of the Pass and Don’t Pass bets in craps. Usually, I’m targeting casino newbies that may be intimidated by the craps table and want to encourage them to take the plunge.

However, there’s a bet that can take savvy players from zero to hero quicker than almost any other game.

Person Holding Dice Over a Craps Table

I’m talking about the odds bets. There’s zero house advantage on the odds bet.

That means the higher the odds you take, the more you increase your edge.

Unfortunately, sometimes the casino caps the odds bet at 5x, but even if you can make the 20x bet, you’ll need to have $400 to throw down on a $20 initial wager.

Don’t Pass for Success

While I’m on the subject of craps, let’s look at another great opportunity to make some casino cash.

Taking the Don’t Pass bet can also help that bankroll grow steadily. The obvious problem here is that you’ll be betting against the shooter and almost all of your fellow gamblers.

Craps is a very social game by nature, and part of the fun of the pass line is that you’re acting in unison to take down a common enemy, the casino.

Still, you’re probably not at the casino to make friends. If you are looking for a buddy, stick to the bar.

Although the house edge is only 0.05% smaller on the don’t pass, any advantage you can gain on the casino floor will help you move from zero to hero status.

Try not to gloat or be over celebratory when you win, though. Most of your fellow gamblers likely just lost.

Only Make Even Money Bets in Roulette

Roulette comes in a variety of games. The main three are American, European, and lesser-known French.

French roulette is played on a standard European table but has a unique rule that significantly reduces the house advantage.

La partage allows you to keep half of your wager on even money bets when the ball lands on zero. This simple change cuts the house edge to 1%.

That’s almost as good as playing blackjack with basic strategy.

You won’t find French Roulette in every casino, but when you’re fortunate enough to find a game take a seat. Make even money bets, and you’ll walk away from the table with a much larger bundle of chips.

Play More Tournaments

Playing in tournaments is one of my favorite ways to increase your potential winnings while simultaneously lowering your stake.

You don’t have to settle for poker tournaments. Especially steer clear if you’re a novice poker player.

Casinos offer tournaments for blackjack, slots, and even video poker. So, there’s something for everyone.

Typically, the buy-ins for tournaments are much less than you’d normally put in play in an hour. This can really save your bankroll some trouble.

Video Poker Screen Displaying Royal Flush

By minimizing your risk with the one-time buy-in, you won’t be slowly siphoning money out of your bankroll.

The tournaments operate on a pay scale that’s determined by the number of participants. It’s not uncommon to see the top prizes in the thousands.

Some of the larger tournaments each year, like the W.S.O.P., have prizes in the millions.

Check the casino’s website for any upcoming tournaments before your next trip and brush up on your skills.

Cashing a $10k check is a surefire way to check the hero box.

Always Protect Your Bankroll

It’s pretty common to see gamblers walk into the casino with $400 or less, sit down at a table, and begin betting $20 per hand.

This seems harmless on the surface, and if it’s expendable income, no harm/no foul. However, you’re going to run out of money relatively quickly.

If you’ve only got 20 losing hands in front of you, you’re betting too high. You’re going to get incremental wins to offset some of the losses, but it won’t be enough. Now, if you’d like to spend as much time as possible playing your favorite game at low stakes and your bankroll is $400, that’s doable.

You’ll need to lower your wager amount for each hand. The pundits will tell you never to bet more than 1-2% of your bankroll at any given time.

So, if you take that $400 to a table with a $5 minimum and play for $5 per hand, you’re golden.

Managing your gambling bankroll will keep you taking home more money consistently.

Don’t Go on Tilt

This should go without saying, but do not go tilt on the casino floor.

When you completely spin out for any reason at all, it always ends in disaster.

Stay calm, and if you’re getting lousy breaks or suffer an incredibly bad beat, get up and take a walk. Use the time to remember you’re at one of your favorite places, presumably engaging in one of your favorite activities.

Enjoy the moment, find something to be thankful for and get back to it only after you’ve settled down enough to make clear decisions.

Conclusion

Use these nine strategies that will take you from zero to hero and leave the casinos with more money in your pocket than you’ve ever imagined.

Keep in mind that sometimes heroes aren’t millionaires, but they aren’t destitute either.

$48M in Building Permits Filed For Repair of Gulf Coast Casinos

Poker Chip and Roulette and Casino Card Background
A recently published report revealed the severity of the damage caused by Hurricane Zeta to Biloxi casinos.

The city of Biloxi has issued several permits to repair the damages caused by the October storm. These repairs include exterior damages to buildings, electrical and plumbing systems, and damages to parking garages that were flooded during the storm.

Most of the casinos in the area were closed during the storm. Some were closed for several days until power was restored. The casinos have since reopened but some have been undergoing repair while continuing to serve their patrons.

Damage in the Gulf Coast

Mississippi has a total of 26 casinos and 12 of these are in the Gulf Coast, including eight in Biloxi. Of the eight Biloxi casinos, four have contracted the Mississippi based Yates Construction to do fix damages caused by Hurricane Zeta.

According to the Biloxi Sun Herald, Yates has filed building permits totalling $48M to repair damages suffered by the said Biloxi casinos. The permits were issued for repairs to Beau Rivage Casino and Resort ($20M), Hard Rock Hotel and Casino ($20M), IP Resort Casino and Spa ($5M), and Harrah’s Gulf Coast Hotel and Casino ($3M).

Record Breaking Hurricane Season

Hurricane Zeta landed in the early morning of October 28 South of New Orleans, near Cocodrie, Louisiana. With winds stronger than 100 mph, the storm battered the Crescent City, killing six people before moving east to Mississippi and beyond. Zeta was one of the five storms to hit Louisiana during this year’s hurricane season. It caused significant damage to the four casino mentioned earlier.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season has produced 30 named hurricanes so far and is one for the record books. Storms Ion, Delta, and Eta had winds that intensified by 100 mph in three or fewer hours. According to experts, that has happened only once in the last 169 years. The hurricane season ends on November 30 but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any major storms after that.

12 Minute Blackjack Guide for the Ride From The Airport to The Casino

Limousine With a Vegas and Blackjack Background

So, you’ve finally arrived in Las Vegas, and you’re on your way to the casino. How prepared are you to make your bankroll last the entire trip at the blackjack table?

My 12-minute blackjack pro will be your blackjack guide for the ride from the airport to the casino.

Rules to Know

Simplicity is one of the fundamental aspects as to why real money blackjack enjoys such stellar popularity.

Blackjack is essentially a game to 21 without going over. The game is played with 1 or more standard decks of 52 playing cards.

It’s important to note that the number of decks used in a game can significantly impact the game, but I’ll cover that later.

The numbered cards 2 thru 10 are played at face value. Jacks, Queens, and Kings are all worth 10, and Aces can be worth 1 or 11.

Your objective is simple, to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. A natural 21 is called a “Blackjack.”

Closeup of a Blackjack Table

Blackjack pays 3:2, which means you’ll make $15 on a $10 bet instead of the normal even money payout. Pay attention to the table rules; some casinos only pay 6:5 for a blackjack.

You never want to play blackjack on a 6:5 table. The decreased payout on a blackjack drastically alters the house’s edge over the longterm.

Other table rules will be clearly posted on the table for you as well. These can include things like “Insurance pays 2:1” or “Dealer Stays on Soft 17”.

While the house standing on a soft 17 can be advantageous for the player, you should never take the insurance bet. Insurance in blackjack is for suckers unless you’re hole carding. Hole carding is when you can catch a peek at the dealer’s hole card or face down card. It can be a quite profitable tactic when you’re at a table with a sloppy dealer.

Each player and the dealer are dealt 2 cards to create their starting hand. The players get 2 cards face up while the dealer gets 1 card face up and the other face down.

With the dealer being 12 o’clock, the action then goes clockwise. Each player may hit or stay, and the action progresses to the next player.

The hand concludes with the dealer completing their hand and collecting losing bets, and paying the winners.

Establishing a Blackjack Vocabulary

Casinos and gambling have a language all their own. The ins and outs of playing blackjack isn’t any different, and most of the terminology you’ll hear at the blackjack table should be at least vaguely familiar.

Let’s take a little refresher to keep you feeling and sounding sharp on the casino floor. Here are some of the key phrases you’re going to be using shortly.

Stand: To stand is to elect not to draw any additional cards. You’re essentially banking that your hand is strong enough to beat the dealer as it stands. You can gesture this to the dealer by waving an open hand palm down over your cards.

Hit: If a player wishes to draw more cards, they hit. Once a player hits, they may then stand or hit again. A player that hits and exceeds 21 has “bust” and automatically loses. In casino blackjack, a player must indicate a hit to the dealer by tapping or scratching the table near their cards.

A Hand of Blackjack

Split: If you’re dealt 2 of the same card, i.e., Aces, you may split the hand. You’ll place a second bet equal to your initial wager, and the dealer will split the hand and deal another card to your first card. You then play that hand independently. Once the hand is complete, you’ll receive a second card for the split’s remaining card and play that hand. Make a mental note that there are tables that will allow you to split any 2 cards. This can be beneficial to the player if the cards are right.

Double Down: I love doubling down. Of Course, only when it’s the best play. Doubling down is when you place a separate bet equal to your first bet in exchange for drawing only 1 card. Some games only allow you to double down on certain hands like 11, but others will allow you to double down on any 2 cards.

Keep these terms and their meanings in mind as you hit the casino floor, but never hesitate to ask the dealer if you ever have a question at the table.

The Basics of Blackjack Betting

The initial step to placing your first bet on blackjack is finding the right game. Obviously, you’ll need to find a table with the proper limits to accommodate your casino gambling bankroll.

After you’ve found the right table limits, you need to check a few other boxes. The first being blackjack paying 3:2; don’t even break stride if you see 6:5.

Why not?

Imagine you’re playing $50 per hand on a 3:2 table. Every time you get a blackjack, you win $75. Conversely, the same blackjack on a 6:5 table pays you $60.

Next, try finding a table that uses as few decks as possible. This is imperative for even the most novice card counters; the fewer cards in play, the easier to keep a good count.

Once you’re confident that you’ve found a player-friendly table, have a seat and place your chip or chips in the bets circle on the table.

You’ve done it! You’re playing blackjack, but there are some other things you’ll want to know.

Table Ettiquette Musts

When you take your seat at the table, allow the hand in progress to be completed before doing anything. Once the hand is completed, you may place your cash on the table and slide it toward the dealer, telling them you’d like change.

The dealer will then place your chips in front of you. Don’t make the foolish mistake of trying to hand the cash to the dealer. Dealers aren’t allowed to take cash in hand; it must be on the table.

Move your chips close to the table’s edge in front of you and place your wager in the bet box. Make sure you don’t touch your chips once the cards have been dealt.

Some players will try to stack their bet when dealt a good hand. Even if you have the best of intentions, this will draw the attention of security, the dealer, and the pit boss.

Blackjack Table With a Jack and Ace

Clearly, you don’t want to be on any of their bad sides.

Also, remember to tip your dealer. How you chose to go about this is a personal decision. I prefer to make a bet for the dealer; many others will simply tip the dealer after they’ve colored up and are leaving the table.

Of course, you can simply place a chip on the table anytime and let the dealer know it’s for them. An entire article could be written about tipping etiquette. Still, all that really matters is that you give something for the effort.

I suggest tipping 1 bet amount every hour. So, if you’ve been betting $10 per hand, a $10 chip is plenty.

Use Basic Strategy on Every Hand

If you ignore 99% of what I’m giving you, pay attention to this. Buy a basic strategy chart for blackjack and use it for every hand you play.

Basic blackjack strategy is the culmination of millions of computer-generated hands and how to play each one based on the dealer’s upcard.

This amazing formula can reduce the casino’s edge to as low as 0.5% in some games. If you land on the right table, you can actually gain a minuscule advantage over the casino. That advantage will guarantee you a profit in the longterm, but you must strictly follow the basic strategy guidelines.

Don’t stress that you haven’t spent years pouring over the data and memorizing detailed calculations on playing a soft 15 against a dealer’s 6 upcard.

You can purchase the detailed charts in the casino’s gift shop for a few dollars. That’s right; the casinos know all about basic strategy.

You can even use your basic strategy card at the table as long as you’re not slowing down the game. I suppose it follows the old adage, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

Conclusion

Blackjack is a favorite for many casino gamblers, and I’m confident it will quickly become one of your go-to games. After all, you’re a 12-minute blackjack pro.

Remember to be kind to your dealer and follow basic strategy. The blackjack guide for the ride from the airport to the casino has you set up for success.

Sad Facts About Slot Machines

Silhouette of Sad Man With a Slots Reel Background

I know plenty of gamblers that only play slot machines. I used to try to help them learn how bad the slots are, but I eventually gave up. If you’re in love with slot machines you’re probably not going to listen to reason.

But I still have hope for you. Casinos have many games that are better options than slot machines. And once you learn the seven sad facts about slot machines I cover in this article hopefully you find a better gambling option the next time you go to the casino.

Hard to Find Return to Player Numbers

Every gambler needs to be aware of something called the return to player or return to player percentage. Every casino game has one of these numbers, but most gamblers don’t know what they are or what they mean.

The return to player number is a percentage of the money that you bet that gets returned to you in the form of wins. The first thing to understand is that casino games always have a return to player less than 100%. This is how casinos make money.

Rows of Casino Slots

You can use return to player numbers to compare casino games. The game with the higher number is better because it returns more of your wagers to you.

Most casino games have return to player numbers that you can easily look up. You can do a quick search on your computer or even use your phone. You can quickly find a list of return numbers for just about every casino game except slot machines.

It’s almost impossible to find RTP percentages for slot machine games. And there’s a good reason for this. You’re going to learn why in the next section.

Terrible Return to Player Numbers If You Can Find Them

The reason why slot machine manufacturers and casinos don’t want you to be able to find accurate return to player numbers is because they’re so bad on slot machines. It’s not uncommon for a slot machine to have a return of 90% or less.

To put this into the proper perspective, many blackjack games have a return of 99.5% or higher. The same is true for some video poker machines. The banker wager in baccarat is just a hair short of 99%. The two come out wagers on the craps table are both over 98.5%.

The fact is that almost every game in the casino offers a better return to player number than slot machines. Even the best slot machines usually only go as high as 98%.

If you play slot machines you need to try to find out the return to player numbers for as many slot machines as you can. And you should only play the slot machines that have the highest number. But the best thing to do is to stop playing slot machines and start playing a casino game with a better number.

Deceptively Fast Game Play

Take a moment and think about the last few times you played a slot machine. It doesn’t matter if you played slots in a mobile casino, real money online casino, or in a land based casino. Once you started playing did you play as fast as you could or did you take your time?

Most slots players play as fast as they can. And they don’t even realize how many spins they’re taking. When you play slot machines as fast as you can you can take 400 to 600 spins every hour, and a few players and machines can get even more spins in.

It doesn’t seem like it costs much to play slots when you’re betting .50 or $1 or $2 on every spin. But when you multiply these low per spin amounts times 50o pins an hour you can see how much you’re risking when you play slots.

Even at .50 a spin, if you take 500 spins you’re risking $250. And if the return to player is only 90%, you’re going to lose $25 on average.

If you play slot machines the best things you can do are play slow and find a machine with a low cost to play. You’re still going to lose too much money, but at least this is one way to limit how much you lose.

Confusing Pay Lines

I remember playing on a slot machine that had three reels and only three pay lines. Of course, this was decades ago, but the slot machines were much simpler then. I also remember when a 20 or 25 pay line machine was big news.

Now you can play on slot machines with 100’s of pay lines. I don’t know what the exact number is, but it reaches a point where you can’t possibly track all of the available pay lines.

Megaways Online Slots Game

This is what the slot machine manufacturers want. They don’t want you to track every pay line. They want you to forget about the pay lines and let the slot machine take care of tracking everything. This way you can get back to spinning faster.

I don’t like to play on slot machines where I can’t rack every pay line. These machines are getting harder to find, but there are still a few out there.

Casino Comps Are Miniscule

In comparison to the low return to player numbers that slot machines provide, the amount you earn in casino comps from the slot’s club is miniscule. It’s hard to find out exactly how much slot’s clubs return to players, but for many games it’s as low as .1%.

Even if your slot’s club returns as much as .5% to you in comps, it’s still only a small fraction of the edge they have when you play.

If you’re playing a good slot machine that has a high return to player of 95% and you get .5% back in comps it still means that you’re losing 4.5% on average of everything you bet. And I bet that your slot’s club isn’t giving you anywhere close to .5% back.

Designed to Make You Chase the Next Thing

I completely understand the appeal of slot machines. Slot machines are designed to release pleasure chemicals in your brain so it feels good when you play. And the machines are also designed in other ways to keep you playing and keep you coming back to play again.

Whether it’s chasing a jackpot or a special bonus round or bonus game or trying to complete a story within the game, slot machines are made to be addictive. And this is dangerous.

Most slots players are able to stop playing before they become homeless, but a few aren’t able to stop. But even if you can stop when you’re in danger of losing too much money, it still costs you too much to fall into the slots chasing trap.

Jackpots Are a Marketing Tactic

How many times have you been walking past a slot machine and saw that it had a big jackpot and decided to play? This is exactly why many slots games have a jackpot, and why most of these jackpot amounts are flashing in red lights.

Casinos and slot machine makers both know that you’re more likely to stop and play a machine with a big jackpot, and they know that you’re more likely to play longer chasing the jackpot once you start playing.

How many big jackpots have you hit in your life? I’m not talking about $10,000. I’m talking about $100,000 or more. And how many people do you personally know that have won big jackpots playing slot machines?

Row of Tall Slot Machines

The odds are good that you’ve never hit a big one, and they’re pretty good that you don’t know anyone well that has hit two either. This is because big jackpot wins are rare on slot machines.

Yes, they do happen, but when you compare how many trillions of spins players take every year to the number of big jackpots that get hit, you can see that it doesn’t happen often.

That big progressive slot machine jackpot in flashing lights is a marketing tactic to get you to play more.

Conclusion

When you play slot machines you’re usually playing blind. You don’t know what the returns to player numbers are and you don’t know how to find out. And if you did find out how bad the numbers are, you’d probably quit playing.

Slot machine pay lines can be confusing, especially on the newer machines with dozens of 100’s of pay lines. And when you give up on tracking the pay lines you can play 100’s of spins in a short amount of time.

Everything about slots is designed to take your money, and if you play long enough that’s exactly what they do.

Rules Every New Sports Gambler Should Live By

Rule Book With a Sports Betting Lounge Background

The best in the business are professionals who devote most of their lives to researching and handicapping matchups. Even then, most of these professionals would be ecstatic with a 54% win percentage.

Having said that, it stands to reason that beginners can’t just luck into consistent wins at the outset of their careers.

While some beginners might start hot, eventually, the fabled beginner’s luck will run out.

Despite this fact, many new gamblers fully expect to break into the business and make money. Much to their dismay, profitable betting comes from hard work and dedication to becoming a better sports bettor.

If you’re considering giving sports gambling a try, there are several essential tips to help guide you. Here are seven rules every new sports gambler should live by if they aspire to win money.

Learn About the Sports Betting Industry

There is a massive difference between being a die-hard sports fan and a competent sports gambler.

Engaged sports fans are those people who watch sports and keep up with teams and leagues in their free time. While that extracurricular pursuit of sports-related information can serve you well, there’s more to it if you want to win.

It’s never been easier to be a new sports gambler. Betting is a challenge, but there is now an overabundance of information about the industry across the internet.

NFL Eagles Player Catching a Pass

It certainly helps that the stigma surrounding sports gambling has slowly worn off over recent years. Whereas most teams and leagues might have turned a blind eye to gambling in the past, most are now embracing it.

As a sports gambler, it’s crucial to take advantage of all of the extra content available. Popular media outlets and networks are chock-full of information to assist in your development.

So, before you begin your journey, invest time into learning about how the industry operates.

Pursue Solid Sources for Information

As most major networks and media outlets embrace sports gambling, it seems everyone now has an opinion on gambling.

But, being selective about which of these talking heads to pay attention to is a must. If sports are a significant part of your identity, then there’s a good chance you prefer some media outlets over others.

When you first break into the business, it’s important to remember that several of these talking heads aren’t gambling aficionados. Now that sports gambling continues to gain steam, producers and decision-makers within these entities are forcing gambling into conversations.

If you lack experience, it’s challenging to decide who you should pay attention to. A good rule of thumb is to figure out where a particular analyst or media personality got their start.

Certain personalities have been longtime gamblers, while others are merely faking their sports gambling acumen. Sifting through the mounds of gambling-related content requires diligence and media literacy.

But, once you establish strong sources of reliable information, the entire process will become infinitely easier.

Practice Before You Place Legitimate Bets

After you have dedicated enough time to understand how sports gambling works, you’re going to feel compelled to start betting.

That’s understandable, but here’s an uncommon practice that many of you will find useful.

Before making legitimate bets, you should consider partaking in a week of practice bets. Simply put, you will engage in the entire sports gambling process, but stop short of pulling the trigger on placing actual bets.

For a week or so, you should select wagers and keep track of their results as the week goes on. While there isn’t a financial benefit to this practice, it will provide you with a progress report on your development as a gambler.

If your winning percentage is above 50% at the end of the practice period, you can proceed by placing actual wagers.

Take Time off Once in a While

Everyone needs the occasional break; this is why society has weekends and vacation time.

If you don’t take a break from your job, you’ll burn out. Similarly, if you don’t take some time away from gambling, the same thing will happen.

New gamblers often struggle to control the amount they bet when they first start gambling. Eventually, it’s common for them to either run out of money or carry on at an unsustainable pace.

Empty Sports Betting Lounge

While I understand wanting to place as many bets as possible, it’s not advisable. First and foremost, that impulse will lead you to bet on sports you’re not familiar with.

Additionally, it can lead to you ruining your experience as a sports fan, especially if you’re losing money.

Everyone is different when it comes to how much action they can handle weekly. But, starting out, consider only betting a few days a week and taking several days off in between.

Practicing self-restraint will help increase the length of your time gambling. Also, the time off will give you plenty of opportunities for analysis and the accumulation of information.

Carefully Budget Gambling Expenses

Bankroll management is the most crucial facet of the business to master as a sports gambler.

If you are unable to handle money responsibly, you stand no chance as a sports gambler.

Gambling can be highly addictive, and the impulse to win money betting on sports is hard to resist. That’s why it’s necessary for sports bettors to set up a strict budget before they gamble.

This budget, known as a bankroll, should be made up of extra income that would typically be spent on hobbies.

You should not invest money into gambling if it’s already spoken for. Frequently, gamblers will do that very thing expecting to make their money back.

But, nothing is guaranteed in the world of sports gambling. So, if you bet with grocery money and lose, you’ll find yourself eating some cheap meals until payday comes.

Don’t Gamble Out of Boredom

It’s a common practice for bad sports gamblers to bet on games because they’re bored.

These ill-advised bets might come after a long day of watching football on Sunday. They might come during the middle of the week as a way to tie you over until the weekend.

Regardless of when these bets are made, they are rarely, if ever excusable for inexperienced gamblers.

Tennis Player Novak Djokovic

Every single bet you make should come after investigating lines and finding the best odds possible. When wagering to simply occupy your time, you can rush into the process and end up making sports betting mistakes.

Sometimes it’s best to enjoy sports as a fan of the game instead of someone who has a vested interest in the results. As I said earlier, overdoing it can lead to sports-related fatigue and spoil the sports-viewing experience.

Only Bet on Sports You Know

When you first start betting on sports, sticking to one sport that you know the best is optimal.

By doing so, you’ll set yourself up for success and enable yourself to gain a deeper understanding of the industry.

Let me reiterate a point I made at the beginning of this post. There is a major difference between being a sports fan and turning that fandom into profitable betting.

You might think that you know a sport well enough to make money off of it, but the opposite is likely true.

Before you start betting on any sport, you must understand the inner-working of the sport to win money.

Conclusion

Sports betting is a complicated business. Hopefully, any new sports gambler can get off on the right track and be successful with these rules.

Before doing anything else, make sure that you understand how sports betting works. Just because you’ve watched sports your entire life doesn’t mean you’re going to be a quality gambler.

One of the easiest ways to gain familiarity with the business is by consulting quality sources of information. Everyone has their tastes and preferences, but make sure the pundits you’re consulting are reputable.

Before depositing money into a sports betting site, consider making a series of practice bets. That way, you can track your progress and see if you’re prepared to put real money on the line.

Speaking of money, a gambler’s best friend is a properly managed bankroll. Always be responsible with your money, and don’t let your gambling habits get out of hand.

Finally, stick to betting on the sports you know best out of the gate. Gaining confidence in your abilities and becoming more familiar with how the industry operates can lead to successful gambling.

Ways That Poker Pros Play the Game Better Than You

Poker Player Wearing Shades Behind Poker Cards

Poker is possibly the most competitive it’s ever been. Even if you find a chair at the low limits table, you’re likely to run into other highly-skilled players.

So, how can you find an edge when everywhere you look, there are players either on your level or above it?

Not to worry! We’re here to teach you a thing or two about how professionals play the game. Here are seven ways real money poker pros play the game better than you.

Consistent Poker Strategy

Developing a solid poker strategy takes time and patience. You’ll have to endure countless tournaments, low-limit tables, and even local cash games on your journey.

Poker is a long-term game, and this long road to the peak is the optimal time to fine-tune your strategy. It’s also time that you should be using to build a bankroll that’s healthy enough to endure bad swings or get you into the high-limit games.

Once you develop a winning poker strategy, consistently applying that strategy to your poker sessions is the single most important of improving. Look, it’s easy to become complacent at the poker table. You get extended runs of mediocre cards, or other players seemingly fold every time you make a bet.

Texas Holdem Four of a Kind

I believe human nature is to become bored during these periods. But boredom is not an excuse to suddenly stray from the strategy it’s taken years to craft. Keep on playing your game for as long as it takes for other players to break and make a bad play. This is when you can strike, not when you’re tired of picking up blinds.

You should take whatever measures necessary to ensure that you avoid going on tilt, also. We’ve all seen it, and many of us have been there ourselves. We suffer a bad beat, and boom! The lights go red, and we’re lost in our own head.

Learn to fight those urges to become reckless or complacent, and you’ll walk away from the tables with a much larger chip stack.

Slow Play Preflop

I consistently see the poker pros trip up their competitors by slow-playing big hands preflop. A casual call or check with a huge hand can send your opponents reeling for the remainder of the game.

One particularly brutal strategy involves having an aggressive player behind you. They’ll basically lay the trap for themselves, then you can re-raise and get as much money as possible in the pot.

Be warned that this strategy can backfire if your opponent catches a flush or a set on the flop. However, more often than not, your stronger hand is going to hold up.

You’ll find that many players will just fold and let you have it, but occasionally, you’ll get an opponent that’s on tilt, and you can rake in a small fortune.

Slow playing big hands only once in a while makes it much more difficult to put you on a hand. In fact, mix in a single all-out bluff, and they’ll be hard-pressed even to get you within a range.

Knowing When to Fold

One of the most glaring differences between poker pros and average Joe’s is their ability to fold big hands. Knowing when you’re beat is one of the most difficult realities to face in all of gambling. Yet, you’ll consistently see the pros folding A-K when a tight opponent raises after the flop.

The incredibly rich pros will fold when playing pocket aces if a tight player goes all-in after the flop because they know that three 7s still beats two aces. They haven’t made millions playing poker because they’re sloppy.

Being able to emotionally detach from the cards in front of you is a skill that very few average players can embrace. Don’t get starry-eyed when you finally catch a great hand. Kenny Rogers said it best, “You’ve got to know when to fold’em.”

Become an Expert on Poker

Every time I’m sitting around talking to my poker buddies, I’m amazed by the number of variations they try to master. We have one regular at our poker game that is constantly talking about Omaha variants or Stud games. He’s always working out a new strategy for the month.

Unsurprisingly, he’s usually out of the game early in the night. I suppose that’s what frees him up to spend so much time learning a variety of games. Unfortunately, he doesn’t fare too well in any of those either. He’s plenty capable and is incredibly intelligent. So, why can’t he seem to have it click?

I have a theory, and I’ll use the poker pros’ approach as my example. Poker pros can sit down at any game on the planet and wipe the floor with amateur players. However, they focus on one discipline at a time.

Pro Poker Player Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu didn’t become just “okay” at Texas Hold’em then take up Omaha. No, he became a master of his craft, and only then did he become a master at another.

I’m not saying you should only play one game. Actually, I think it’s imperative to be proficient at multiple games. I am trying to stress the importance of becoming an expert at your go-to game first before bouncing to another.

Focus on the game that you’re going to be playing the most from the get-go. Then, only after you’ve become an expert, should you move on to another variation.

Vary Your Betting Range

Amateur players have a tendency to only raise the flop when they have a decent hand. Popular hands that amateur players raise are two pairs or a set. Poker pros confuse their opponents by varying their raising range on the flop.

If you’re across the table that’s only raising three to four hands after the flop, it’s pretty easy to make an educated guess as to what they’re holding. Please don’t make it that easy for your opponents. Mix in a bluff or try raising the flop with two overcards.

You may lose a few small pots by doing so, but you’ll also win some. Most importantly, it will make your opponent guess at a wider range of hands.

Poker pros use this strategy constantly in cash games because they know that the amateurs around the table play them scared. Vary your range on the flop, and you’ll become a poker shark in no time.

Playing the Right Poker Games

What do I mean by the right games? It’s simple; you want to play in games where you’re the best player at the table.

To make a decent profit at poker, you need to be head and shoulders better than your competition. Think about it, if you’re sitting at a table where all eight of you are about the same skill level, it’s going to be extremely difficult to make a profit.

Poker Pocket Aces

Sure, there may be a matchup where someone misplays a hand or gets a lucky card and takes a huge pot. However, in the long run, these breaks should largely even out.

Look for games where the competition doesn’t stand a chance and systematically break them down one by one. There’s a reason poker pros love high-stakes cash games. They know that they are superior to most of their opponents in every aspect of the game.

Keep Detailed Logs of Poker Sessions

When was the last time you made a record of your poker session? I’ll guess that you have probably never done this.

Don’t stress; most players don’t keep any log of how a session went.

Things like how you won or lost and the amount of money coming in or out can be incredibly beneficial. I personally can’t think of a better way to measure improvement than by comparing present results to past results.

Poker pros keep detailed records of their time at the table and make thorough notes to reference in the future.

Start a gambling journal of your time at the poker table, and you’ll quickly be able to diagnose weak points in your game. You’ll also enjoy looking back and seeing how far you’ve come in your poker journey.

Conclusion

Poker is one of the most amazing gambling games of all time. It has a rich history and a language of its own.

Use these seven ways poker pros play the game better than you to take your game to the next level. Focus on one aspect of the game at a time, and as it becomes ingrained in the fabric of your game, begin adding in other elements that you may need to work on until you master your favorite poker variation. Only then should you move onto another.

Casinos You Must Visit When Traveling in Bucharest

Bucharest Coat of Arms With a Casino Background

While it’s not known as Europe’s gambling capital, Romania first legalized gambling in the early 20th century. The Loteria Romania generated revenue for the government. The first modern casino was Casino Constanta, which opened in 1910.

A change in government in 1945 brought forth the end of legal gambling. This forced all casinos to close. The transition to a democratic government in 1989 led to a restoration of legalized gambling. The Intercontinental Hotel opened the Casino Bucharest on a lower floor in 1991.

The modest casino was considered one of Bucharest’s hidden gems for many years, but it has since been closed. The most recent traveler reviews were not complimentary. But Bucharest has many other casinos for curious visitors.

Palace Casino at Casa Vernescu

You’ll find all the usual games here, including real money blackjack, poker, roulette, and slots. Built in 1821, and rebuilt in 1822 after a devastating fire, Casa Vernescu was considered the most beautiful palace in Bucharest for many years. The palace is named for Liberal Party cofounder Gheorghe “Guna” Dimitrie Vernescu, who bought it from the Lens family in 1886.

Palace Casino at Casa Vernescu

The Palace Casino claims to be the only casino in Romania offering no limit maximum bets and the highest maximum payouts. They also offer their own original card game, Palace Poker. Lei and euros are the only accepted currencies.

Fortuna Palace Luxury Games

Fortuna Palace claims to offer the only Las Vegas-style electronic table gaming in Bucharest. Two electronic roulette tables provide players’ intimate experience.

Casino staff wear uniforms styled on traditional Romanian clothing and live performances by local musicians and dancers add to the ambiance.

High rollers play in a VIP room away from the main gaming area. The casino provides complimentary food and beverages to gamers throughout the day.

Grand Casino Bucharest

The Grand Casino Bucharest strives to live up to the promise of its name. The gaming areas are roomy and designed in elegant décor and lighting. The spacious table games section welcomes players who need a little space but want to be near the crowd.

Grand Casino Bucharest Romania

Semi-secluded dining areas provide a view of the gaming action while creating an intimate atmosphere for small parties. The buffet area is modest but open to gamers. Grand Casino Bucharest appeals to gamers who appreciate an upscale experience.

Casino table games include blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, roulette, Texas Hold’em, and Three-Card Poker.

Fortuna Palace Promenada

The most distinctive thing about this casino is that it’s located in a popular shopping center. The casino offers slot machine games and electronic roulette.

Fortuna Palace is designed to appeal to casual tourists and shoppers who want a little entertainment during their afternoon or evening shopping trips. While high rollers will have to look elsewhere, people visiting Bucharest may be pleasantly surprised to find a casino near a shopping center entrance.

Travelers report enjoying time spent in Fortuna Palace, so don’t let its location put you off.

All-In Poker Club

They claim to be the largest poker club in Eastern Europe. Founded in 2013, the club is located on the 4th floor of the COCOR store near the city’s center.

All-In Poker Club in Bucharest

Popular with local players, the club offers dozens of tables and a robust poker tournament schedule. Foreign travelers looking for a serious game have reported good experiences, but the locals do know each other.

This is a club, not a casino, so there won’t be many distractions or casino-like amenities.

Game World Bucharest Mall

Game World runs seven casinos in Romania. They opened the Game World Bucharest Mall in 1999 and still claim it’s the largest gaming room in Southeastern Europe.

Game World features slot machines from Bally, EGT, IGT, Novomatic, and WMS. Players can also enjoy roulette and lottery games.

Appealing to casual players, the casino offers complimentary drinks.

Platinum Casino

While the Radisson doesn’t provide a five-star experience for travelers, guests are invited to check out the hotel’s gaming room. Despite the colloquial décor, the casino has a large table game area separated from the slots.

Platinum Casino Bucharest

Most of the games are slots, although there is also a blackjack section with several tables. The number of open tables depends on how many guests are playing and available staff.

Other games include roulette and poker. VIP players may be able to ask for a private room, depending on availability.

Other Things to Do When You Visit Bucharest

Bucharest is not the Las Vegas or Macau of Eastern Europe. But Romania offers many other interesting experiences for travelers.

People have lived in the area of Bucharest for thousands of years, although a city has stood there for only a few centuries at most. Once established, Bucharest rose to prominence within a couple of centuries, eventually earning the nickname “Paris of the East” or “Little Paris” for its many beautiful palaces and cosmopolitan culture.

The modern city reflects the region’s storied history, from the Old Town district to the many parks. The Palace of the Parliament is the most popular tourist attraction. Built under Nicolae Ceausescu, it was originally named the People’s House and served as both his home and the government center.

The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest

The 19th-century concert hall used by the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra is the Athenaeum. The hall is constructed in the style of a Greek temple and is applauded for its interior acoustics. The Athenaeum also features select art, including a 70-foot fresco depicting scenes from Romanian history.

Curtea Veche is the heart of Old Town. This palace once served as home to the Wallachian princes who governed the city and surrounding lands. The name is translated as “Princely Court.” Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler, lived there. He was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Old Town is home to many other buildings of great interest. The Old Court Museum and Old Princely Court Church preserve much of the palace’s history. Visitors should also plan to stop by Carturesti Carusel, one of the oldest bookstores in Bucharest. The shop fills six floors and covers 1,000-square meters, surrounding a central skylight. The shop hosts art displays and media presentations throughout the year. A bistro café sits atop the building.

After Romania’s King Michael I abdicated in 1947, the old Royal Palace was converted into the National Museum of Art. It remains dedicated to that purpose today. The museum’s collection consists of more than 100,000 works of art, much of which was created by Romania’s own elite native artists.

One of the largest outdoor museums globally, the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum preserves 300 buildings that depict traditional Romanian village life. The homes and other buildings were brought to the museum from all parts of Romania beginning in 1936, and visitors can wander through the buildings.

King Michael I Park in Bucharest

The park is located in the 400-acre King Michael I Park, which also houses an open-air theater, sports club, and amusement park. City residents love boating on the park’s lake. Some of Bucharest’s most elite neighborhoods about the park, adding to the scenery’s beauty and majesty.

Another popular and historical park is Carol Park, where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (for Romania) is located. Carol Park is deemed by many to be the city’s most beautiful outdoor location and among its attractions is an open-air Roman-style theater named Aranele Romane.

Although Bucharest may be only a few hundred years old, the National Museum of Romanian History preserves artifacts from the past several thousand years. Items in the collection represent the Neolithic, Bronze, Iron, and Roman periods of history. Visitors can browse ancient treasures alongside medieval and modern jewels and other valuables.

Conclusion

Romania isn’t competing with Las Vegas or Macau for gambling tourism. But thanks to the country’s beautiful landscapes, dramatic history, and literary fame, over 15 million domestic and foreign tourists visit this popular European gambling destination every year.

Between 2 million and 3 million foreign tourists, many from the United Kingdom, visit this area annually. Romania is also popular with travelers from Spain, Poland, Hungary, and Austria. American and Canadian tourism have also increased in recent years.

One way to look at Romania’s casinos is as part of the local lifestyle. Some of them go out of their way to make foreigners feel welcome. Others obviously appeal more to the local population because they are more dependable customers.

If you’re passing through Bucharest on your way to Transylvania and want to drop a few euros on the tables or slots, you have many choices.

Live Dealer Blackjack: Why COVID-19 Has Made It a Hit

Laptop With Live Dealer Blackjack With a Coronavirus Background

Live dealer blackjack has been popular for over a decade. It offers social elements that you can’t find through traditional online blackjack.

However, the coronavirus has made the live dealer version even more popular than ever. Nowadays, numerous blackjack players are logging onto live gaming sites.

I’m going to discuss why live dealer blackjack is popular amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ll also cover what makes it so special in comparison to the traditional (virtual) online version.

COVID-19 Has Deeply Affected Land Based Casinos

Many industries have been impacted by the coronavirus. But few have been hit as hard as the brick-and-mortar gambling industry.

Most land-based casinos around the world shut down in March 2020. Many have since reopened with certain restrictions in place.

First off, casinos require players to wear masks on the gambling floor. This measure is meant to prevent gamblers from spreading COVID to each other.

Secondly, players must maintain proper distancing from each other. Casinos can enforce this policy by requiring players to sit at least one slot machine or blackjack seat apart from each other.

Online Live Dealer Blackjack Game

All of these measures are important with regard to stopping the spread of the virus. However, they don’t do casinos any favors from a business perspective.

After all, the average gambler’s vision of an ideal time doesn’t include wearing a mask for hours at the blackjack table. They also don’t want to be forced to sit one seat apart from friends that they may bring to the casino.

Some jurisdictions haven’t even allowed land-based venues to reopen. The UK, for example, was going to let their casinos open at the start of August 2020. However, they delayed this re-opening over fears that COVID numbers were too high.

Some gaming companies worry that they may never open certain establishments again. Station Casinos, which owns various properties throughout Las Vegas, has floated the possibility of permanently closing four of their Vegas casinos.

Live Dealer Blackjack Is the Perfect Substitute

Live dealer blackjack may not perfectly replicate the land-based casino environment. However, it’s a nice substitute if you don’t feel like visiting brick-and-mortar establishments during the COVID era.

Live dealer blackjack gives you an opportunity to chat with the dealer. You can also make comments to the table as a whole through the chat box. It streams gambling action from a brick-and-mortar studio straight to your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Therefore, you get to feel like you’re playing in a land-based casino—even when you’re miles away from one.

Most importantly, you get the convenience of online gaming when playing at live dealer sites. You don’t have to travel anywhere to play online. Instead, you simply grab your phone or hop on your PC and start playing.

You can also do all of this without worrying about wearing a mask or social distancing. Everything regarding online casino games takes place over the internet.

Best Aspects of Live Dealer Blackjack

Live dealer blackjack offers several elements that make it with trying. Here are the main aspects that make this type of blackjack so great.

Convenience

Perhaps you love playing at brick-and-mortar casinos. But even if this is the case, you may not always feel like getting in your car or hopping on a plane to visit a casino.

Live dealer blackjack is a nice option in these situations. You don’t need anything other than an internet-capable device and a Wi-Fi connection to enjoy it.

Casumo Live Dealer Blackjack

Of course, you do need to register for an account and make a deposit before betting real money. However, you can complete these steps and get started within a matter of minutes.

Afterward, you’ll never have to leave the couch to play blackjack if you don’t feel like it. You can log hands whenever as long as your phone is nearby.

Free Blackjack Bet

Live dealer gaming sites offer free online bonuses as a reward for you signing up and depositing. These deals give you a chance to earn back losses from a losing first bet.

Here’s an example on how free wagers work:

  • A casino offers a free live dealer blackjack bet worth up to $25.
  • You deposit and use the appropriate bonus code.
  • You place a $25 bet and lose.
  • You now have a chance to earn back $25 by meeting terms and conditions.

The last point is key to these deals. You need to satisfy all of the T&Cs before collecting your losses. In any case, free bets are still worth taking advantage of when they’re available.

You can also look forward to other rewards at live dealer casinos as well. Deposit bonuses, more free wagers, and VIP perks await at the average live gaming site.

Bet behind Feature

Live dealer blackjack is similar to the land-based version in that it has limited seating available. After all, live dealer studios only feature so many dealers and tables.

Live sites have added a bet behind feature in recent years. Bet behind essentially allows an unlimited number of gamblers to enjoy blackjack action. This feature lets you gamble on the action of another player. As an added bonus, you also get to enjoy the social aspects, such as chatting with the dealer.

One downside to bet behind, though, is that you’re entirely reliant on the gambler’s decisions and results. But at least you get to participate in the action.

Social Elements

Again, live dealer blackjack offers a social element that virtual blackjack can’t match. It lets you communicate with the dealer and even leave chat messages that other players can respond to.

You may even feel like you’re actually in a land-based casino at times. After all, games stream live from a brick-and-mortar studio.

Virtual blackjack is certainly a fun game. However, it puts you on a software-generated table with an AI dealer. This setup still allows you to enjoy simulated blackjack action, but it’s void of any human interaction.

Lower Stakes

Minimum bets at live casinos range from $1 to $5. The latter end of this range isn’t as cheap as the set $1 minimum wagers in virtual blackjack.

However, even $5 minimums are cheaper than what you’ll find at most land-based casinos. The latter often start bets at $10 or even $25.

Of course, you may have no problem with risking $25 per hand in live or brick-and mortar-casinos. But it’s nice to have the option to wager less.

Live Casinos Also Offer Plenty of Other Games

You don’t always need to play blackjack at live gaming sites. Instead, you can also look forward to plenty of other games at the average site.

Every live Gaming outfit that I’ve seen offers a minimum of live dealer baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. This selection alone might be enough to keep you entertained.

Live Dealer Online Blackjack

The biggest providers feature a much wider variety of games, including some or all of the following:

  • Baccarat
  • Blackjack
  • Caribbean stud
  • Casino hold’em
  • Deal or No Deal
  • Dragon Tiger
  • Dream Catcher
  • Money Wheel
  • MONOPOLY Live
  • Sic bo
  • Three-card poker
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em

You may like blackjack more than any other live casino game. But the options listed above give you more to try when you’re looking for something different.

Will Live Dealer Blackjack Remain as Big When COVID Subsides?

Nobody knows for sure when the coronavirus spread will slow down. In turn, no one can predict when the land-based gaming world goes back to normal.

Eventually, though, normalcy will return in brick-and-mortar casinos. At this point, the question becomes if live dealer blackjack will remain as popular.

The live online version of casino games already increased greatly in popularity within the past decade. In the early 2010s, many live casinos weren’t even compatible with mobile devices. Now, every live dealer outfit is compatible with Android and iOS devices. This single change has propelled blackjack and other live dealer games to new heights.

The effect of COVID-19 on casinos has only bolstered the appeal of live dealer blackjack. Many gamblers are simply staying at home and playing on their smartphones during the pandemic.

I don’t expect as many of the same blackjack players to stay glued to their smartphones when land-based venues are operating at full capacity again. After all, more players will split time between their phones and brick-and-mortar casinos.

Of course, live dealer blackjack will always remain a viable alternative to land-based establishments. It gives you an opportunity to experience blackjack without having to go anywhere.

Conclusion

The coronavirus continues limiting brick-and-mortar casinos to some degree. You must now wear a mask and maintain a reasonable distance from other gamblers when playing in land-based settings.

These measures don’t completely prevent you from playing blackjack. But they make brick-and-mortar venues less attractive.

If you have a problem with wearing a mask for hours and/or social distancing, then you should strongly consider live dealer blackjack. It offers many of the same elements of land-based blackjack—only with no mask involved.

Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal Bridged the Gap Between Mob Rule and Legitimacy

Frank Rosenthal With a Las Vegas Stardust Background

Back in the glory days of Sin City, casinos essentially served as private kingdoms for their flamboyant owners to rule with an iron fist. That era has largely faded into memory thanks to corporate consolidation, but Las Vegas’ most influential casino owners and operators left behind a lasting legacy.

It’s only natural to talk about Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, who famously straddled the fine line between a life of crime and his love for Las Vegas’ legitimate gambling industry.

Brief Background and Biography of Frank Rosenthal

Born in 1929, on the West Side of Chicago, Frank Rosenthal grew up immersed in the world of underground sports betting.

His father maintained a stable of thoroughbred racehorses, and soon enough, a teenaged Rosenthal was ditching school to pursue an education at the track. Sharing his father’s sharp mathematical mind, the young Rosenthal eventually branched out to Chicago’s two baseball cathedrals—Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park.

1919 Black Sox Players

The latter stadium was infamously the home of the “Black Sox scandal“, which saw the hometown White Sox fix the 1919 World Series at the behest of gangster Arnold Rothstein. Surrounded both by sports and the gamblers who wager on them, it’s no surprise that Rosenthal gravitated toward the murky mix of illicit bookmakers.

In an interview published on his personal website shortly before his death in 2008, Rosenthal explained the roots of his attraction to sports betting:

“My father was in the horse-racing business. That was my first attraction. And sports in general became my first love. I’d go to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs instead of going to school every day, and in the evening I’d go to Comiskey Park for the White Sox.

I was a regular at Chicago Stadium whether it would be hockey or NBA or college basketball and it all became…I just got focused on it. And not just focused, but trying to find a way to beat the odds. Which was not easy.”

Soon enough, Rosenthal began beating the local bookies out of significant sums courtesy of his acumen for spotting slim edges and “soft” lines.

But rather than deny him action, or take more aggressive tactics favored by the more unsavory bookies, the “Chicago Outfit” decided to bring Rosenthal into the fold. Originally controlled by Al Capone, the Chicago Outfit ran the numbers racket in the Windy City from its base in Cicero, Illinois. As an Italian mafia through and through, the Chicago Outfit couldn’t invite Rosenthal to become a “made man” due to his Jewish heritage.

Nonetheless, he could become an associate of the group known as “a friend of ours,” and that he did.

In his 30s, Rosenthal worked for the Chicago Outfit as their head bookmaker, tightening their lines and spotting fellow “sharps” who proved capable of beating the house. Rosenthal also delved into the criminal aspects of sports betting, paying bribes to players who would then fix games a la the Black Sox scandal.

Eventually, these illicit activities drew the attention of local authorities, forcing Rosenthal to relocate his bookmaking operation to Miami in 1961. Rather than testify against his backers though, Rosenthal simply raised his left hand dozens of times to plead the fifth—an act of defiance which led to his nickname “Lefty.”

History repeated itself, however, so Rosenthal packed his bags and headed to Las Vegas seven years later.

The Mob Installs Rosenthal as Their Inside Man

By 1968, when Rosenthal arrived in town, the era of unrestrained mob rule over casinos had largely come to an end.

To avoid the “heat” from Nevada’s increasingly strict gaming regulators, various mob leaders from Midwestern markets used a front man by the name of Allen Glick. A real estate developer out of San Diego, Glick was granted a $65 million loan secured through the mob’s control of the Teamsters’ union.

Vintage Hacienda Las Vegas Photo

But after using the funds to purchase four casinos—the Stardust, the Hacienda, the Marina, and the Fremont—Glick was told in no uncertain terms that Rosenthal would run the onsite operations.

Rosenthal focused his energies on the Stardust, making several innovative changes that quickly made the venue one of Las Vegas’ most visited destinations.

First and foremost, Rosenthal parlayed his background as a bookmaker to establish the first full-scale race and sportsbook within a Las Vegas casino. Instead of a basic desk where bettors exchanged cash for bet slips, the Stardust sportsbook offered seating for 300 guests to sweat their action on six large television screens overhead.

When you visit modern Las Vegas sportsbooks today, remember that the template was laid down in 1976 by the savvy Rosenthal. He also broke with Sin City norms of the era by eagerly hiring women to deal blackjack and other table games. At the time, men handled those duties almost exclusively, but Rosenthal’s addition of scantily-clad beauties in the box revolutionized the industry.

In the aforementioned interview, Rosenthal outlines his philosophy for preferring women dealers over men:

“There was this old-world mentality that women couldn’t do the job – that they were only good enough to serve cocktails or be showgirls – which was nuts.

When we had female dealers it increased the pot instantly. It was a no-brainer: You are a guy? Who would you rather have in front of you as a dealer?

Women proved to be our best dealers from the start. We made more money. They were better dealers. They knew men and how to handle them. And men didn’t seem to mind losing more to them.”

Rosenthal also saw potential in a pair of aspiring stage performers who had a passion for magic and big cats. By bringing the previously unknown Siegfried and Roy aboard to headline the Stardust’s nightly entertainment, Rosenthal made his casino an all-encompassing entertainment venue.

As a result, the Stardust’s various revenue streams skyrocketed under Rosenthal’s steady hand. In turn, a sophisticated “skimming” operation enabled the Chicago Outfit to reap the benefits, as duffel bags of cash flowed eastward on a nightly basis.

Lefty’s Legacy Lives Throughout Las Vegas Casinos

To maintain order within his burgeoning casino empire, Rosenthal enlisted the assistance of ruthless mob enforcer Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro. Despite his diminutive stature, Spilotro was a stone-cold killer who had no qualms about “digging a hole” in the desert to dispatch cheats, rivals, and anyone who disrespected Rosenthal’s operation.

Spilotro also supervised a burglary crew known as the “Hole in the Wall Gang,” a name earned by virtue of their tendency to knock a hole in a business’s exterior before robbing the place blind.

Frank Rosenthal With Friends and Family

As Spilotro became increasingly bold with his violent crime, local authorities began looking into Rosenthal’s influence at the Stardust and other Las Vegas casinos. Soon enough, they discovered that his official titles—ranging from food and beverage director to chief of entertainment—were merely fronts. Realizing that Rosenthal was essentially running several casinos without a gaming license, state regulators brought the hammer down.

In the end, despite his thoroughly researched application, Rosenthal was denied a gaming license due to his connections with Spilotro and the wise-guys back home.

Refusing to accept the rejection, Rosenthal arranged to host a television show broadcast from the Stardust. The ensuing publicity on their casino scheme prompted the mob to order a hit on Rosenthal, and in 1982, his car exploded in a fiery blaze.

Ever the lucky one, Rosenthal miraculously survived the blast meant to take his life because his vehicle had a steel plate installed under the driver’s seat. Seeing the writing on the wall, Rosenthal “retired” from his various roles in Las Vegas and departed the mob life for good. He continued his bookmaking wizardry in Boca Raton, Florida, settling into civilian life until his death in 2008.

Rosenthal’s life and times as a top casino boss were eventually memorialized in the Martin Scorsese directed hit Casino (1995), with Robert De Niro playing the role of Sam “Ace” Rothstein.

Conclusion

From the introduction of sports betting to the casino-going masses, the advent of female dealers, and even the addition of Siegfried and Roy to the Stardust’s stage, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal helped make Las Vegas history what it is today. Before his arrival, sportsbooks were still operated as underground bet shops beholden to criminal control.

In just a few years, however, Rosenthal legitimized the industry which would eventually become a multibillion-dollar concern in the 21st century. The next time you place a bet on your favorite team in Sin City, you can thank the boy from Chicago who grew up to conquer Las Vegas’ casino scene.

Lancadia II Gets New Jersey Approval for GNOC Acquisition

Casino Chips With a Casino Floor Themed Background

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission has given the green light for the acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming by Lancadia Holding II.

With the approval, GNOG is now a separate entity from its brick-and-mortar casino business. This move allows Lancadia II and GNOG to complete the merger announced earlier this year. Once that deal is consummated, the combined entity will go public and trade in the stock exchange.

Said Lancadia II co-chairman and CEO Tillman Fertitta:

“We are appreciative of the efforts of both the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Casino Control Commission in approving our transaction.”

A Special Acquisition Company

Lancadia II is a special acquisition company (SPAC) or blank-check company launched by Tillman Fertitta. Fertitta is the owner of five Golden Nugget casinos-two in Nevada, one in Atlantic City, one in Biloxi, Mississippi, and one in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Lancadia II is currently traded under the symbol “LCA” but will change its name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. with “GNOG” as its Nasdaq trading symbol.

Fertitta will remain as the chairman and CEO of GNOG. He will hold a controlling economic interest and a controlling voting interest in the merged company. Meanwhile, Thomas Winter, who was hired to develop Golden Nugget’s online gaming business, will continue to serve as the company’s president.

Second Publicly Traded Online Casino

Golden Nugget Online Gaming is affiliated with Golden Nugget/Landry’s hospitality, gaming, and restaurant business owned and operated by Fertitta. It started operations in 2013 and has seen a 50% CAGR revenue growth since 2014. GNOG will become only the second pure publicly traded online casino in the United States

GNOG’s merger with Lancadia II was first announced in June 2020. Once completed, the merged company will have an anticipated pro forma enterprise value of $645M. That amount is six times the projected $122M 2021 projected revenue of GNOG. Lancadia will assume $150M of GNOG debs while paying down at closing and additional $150M of its own debt, plus pay prepayment fees, transaction fees, and expenses.

Strong Presence in New Jersey

Golden Nugget reported an online gaming revenue of over $28M in New Jersey, easily the biggest for New Jersey online gaming operators. From January to October 2020, Golden Nugget had a total online gaming revenue of $263M according to the monthly state reports.

GNOG will enter the Pennsylvania and Michigan markets once their applications in those states are approved. It plans to enter both markets in early 2021. Last week, GNOG also entered into an agreement with the Danville Development LLC for access to the Illinois market for online gaming and sports betting once these are legalized. The Danville casino will also be branded as Golden Nugget.

How to Get Off to a Fast Start at a Texas Hold’em Table

Silhouette of Person Sprinting With a Poker Background

The importance of the first several hands of a game of poker cannot be overstated. While it’s always a possibility to bounce back from a slow start, any savvy gambler hopes to get off on the right foot.

Texas Hold’em can be significantly more difficult than other popular casino games. Because of this, a strong start is never guaranteed and can elude inexperienced players.

Every strong poker player should aspire to double their chip stack in the early stages of the game. If you’re not going to pick apart weaker players and take their chips, someone else will.

For those of you who can’t seem to play quality poker in the early going, there are a few things you can do to change your fortune. Here are seven tips to help you get off to a fast start when playing Texas Hold’em for real money.

Pick the Best Poker Game

Whether you’re playing a casual cash game or a more serious tournament, selecting a quality game is crucial.

Some of you might feel inclined to immediately pounce on the first opportunity to gamble. That’s understandable, but being picky about the games you choose to play will serve you well.

There are a few things you should consider before sitting down:

  • Make sure you’re comfortable with the price of the buy-in
  • If you can’t afford to buy in for the maximum, pick a different table
  • Analyze your potential competitors
  • If you’re playing online, make sure the quality of the competition isn’t too high

While the question of which kind of poker game is somewhat subjective, if you aren’t comfortable, you’re not going to win money.

When gambling, it’s always tempting to strike while the iron is hot. But jumping into action simply for the sake of satisfying your gambling itch isn’t a good reason to pick a game.

Figure Out Who the Weakest Player Is

Once you’ve selected a game, the real fun can begin. Hopefully, you’re competing against other players who are inferior to your skill level.

Novices and even intermediate players often struggle to pick up on the signs of a bad poker player. But picking them out of a crowd is much easier than you would think.

Bad poker players will sometimes be brash enough to admit their inexperience to other players. Count yourself lucky if you’re playing against someone like this.

Person Dealing a Texas Holdem Game

However, there are other, less blatant signs that you should be looking out for. Bad poker players will make a habit out of limping early, be overprotective of the big blind, and even attempt to bluff in the first few hands.

Before going in for the kill, make sure these mistakes are legitimate instead of a tactic to lure in players who might be too smart for their own good. It’s ill-advised to feign ignorance at the poker tables, but it’s a tactic I have seen used from time to time.

Be Slightly Aggressive Early

When playing poker, your goal shouldn’t be to tread water by keeping your chip count consistent. As I said, while you are playing conservatively, other players will continue to beat up on lesser players.

Unless you’re playing against quality competition, other players will most likely be overly cautious. This style of poker play, common among passive gamblers, is a sure-fire way to get bounced from the table. A trademark of these types of players is limping into pots and meekly folding if another player raises. Once you notice a trend with certain players, taking them out of the game should be straightforward.

Instead of emulating a passive style of play, be selective about the hands you play and play them aggressively. If you’re confident about a hand early, it’s worth attempting to assert your dominance at the table.

Other weaker players have no desire to stay in a hand with someone who is more aggressive than they are. Because of this, it can be easy to steal blinds and slowly but surely drain your competition’s stack of chips.

Never Reveal Anything to Other Players

There’s a fine line between being conversational and overly chatty at the poker table. Odds are you’re going to play with someone who will constantly try to strike up conversations at the table.

You might think they’re just friendly, and they very well might be. However, it’s never a bad thing to assume that these players are trying to get inside your mind.

At the poker table, information is a commodity that’s as valuable as the chips you’re playing with. What might seem like a harmless back and forth with another could potentially lead to your demise.

Home Texas Holdem Game

I’ll admit that better players have played me in the past. When I first started playing Hold’em, I fell into a more experienced gambler’s trap and talked far too much at the poker table.

While I didn’t realize it at the time, this gambler was psychoanalyzing me and reading me like a book. The best poker players can effortlessly figure out other players. If you’re new to the game, eventually you’ll run into someone like this.

If and when this happens, it’s crucial that you don’t reveal too much too early.

Know What Poker Strategy Works for You

Under no circumstance should you enter a poker game without a plan.

If you don’t know which methods are most effective for you, you need to devote more time to your development. There are far too many free resources online to waste your money on legitimate cash games.

Playing without any semblance of consistency or direction might work for a few hands. That’s only because other players won’t be able to figure you out. Eventually, though, you will make a false step and become vulnerable to gamblers who are capable of hanging with you.

Once you’ve hand-selected a strategy that you know works, you will start to see results at the table. While it’s critical for players to roll with the punches and never be too predictable, playing with a certain style is advisable.

Defer the First Round of Drinks

Drinking and gambling go hand in hand for a significant portion of the poker playing community.

It’s tempting to order a drink within the first few minutes of your game starting. But, the longer you hold off on the booze, the better you’ll perform in the long run.

In all likelihood, a few players at your table will be drinking. In my experience, some of these players might not be able to handle their alcohol. When that happens, these players might get reckless and commit careless poker mistakes. Those mistakes can lead to big wins for you and any other players who pick up on their decreased sobriety levels.

And when it comes to drinking at the poker table, it’s always best to try to play the waiting game. If you do choose to drink while you gamble, make sure to keep it in moderation.

Nobody wants to be the guy who makes a fool out of himself and has to go home early.

Losses Happen: Don’t Get Flustered

The odds of losing a hand in the early stages of a poker game are high. As you should know, Hold’em rewards higher caliber players. But the game also requires a fair amount of luck.

You might think certain hands are sure winners only to get burned by the river card. When a seemingly easy victory turns into a loss, it’s vital to your success at the tables that you don’t lose your composure.

Stacks of Poker Chips

Once your emotions are compromised, even if it is for a brief time, you can expose yourself to other players. If they realize you’re liable to react poorly to losses, players may make a point to turn up the heat and be more aggressive.

Instead, it’s always best to react to early losses with a degree of nonchalance. If other players see that losing a hand doesn’t rattle you, they will be less inclined to goad you on.

Conclusion

The first several hands in a game of Hold’em are paramount to winning at poker. It’s quite common for inexperienced players to stumble out of the gate, but there are several easy fixes to consider.

Before anything else, make sure you’re not setting yourself up to fail by picking out the wrong kind of game. If you can’t afford to buy in for the table maximum, I suggest finding another game.

Always be on the lookout for the dead giveaways of a bad poker player. If you can pick them out before anyone else, you can potentially take advantage of their inexperience and increase your chip count.

Contrary to popular belief held by several new players, you should never be too conservative. You might be tempted to maintain a consistent chip count, but other players won’t feel the same way.

When talking to the gamblers you’re competing against, don’t reveal too much about yourself. The information you disclose during a seemingly harmless conversation can be used against you down the road.

Finally, consider turning down the first round of drinks, and don’t get flustered if you lose a few hands early on. Maintaining a steely demeanor will show other players that you mean business and intend to stay at the table for a while.

10 Drivers Poised to Win the 2021 NASCAR Cup Championship

Nascar Logo With a Racing Track Background

Chase Elliott snagged the 2020 NASCAR Cup Championship, the first Hendrick Motorsports driver to do so in four seasons. Heading into 2021, you must think Elliott is the favorite to win back-to-back NASCAR Cups and perhaps someday join the likes of Jimmy Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, and Richard Petty.

Hey, it’ll be a safe bet for NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver to eclipse seven titles someday if he keeps up this pace. Especially as one of the youngest drivers to do so.

But did Elliott even grace this list of 10 NASCAR drivers who are safe bets to win the NASCAR Cup?

Read on and discover which drivers are the smartest bets to win the NASCAR Cup in 2021.

1 – Austin Dillon

  • 2020 Finish: 11th (Career Best)

Dillon has come on strong over the past year and for a while here in 2020 he appeared poised to return that #3 car where it belonged: In the Championship Circle.

But while Dillon tailed off down the stretch after a stellar start to the NASCAR Playoffs, he turned a lot of heads from fans, experts, analysts, and even fellow drivers.

Nascar Driver Austin Dillon

That said if Dillon continues to trend upward, expect him to be a dark horse to win the NASCAR Cup in 2021. You shouldn’t bet the house on Dillon, but if you’re taking a flyer on a longshot, Dillon is a good idea.

2 – Alex Bowman

  • 2020 Finish: 6th (Career Best)

Bowman barely missed a spot in the Championship Four, but he still finished a career-best 6th in the final NASCAR Cup standings. And now Bowman gets a golden opportunity with a new yet familiar ride in 2021 when he will sit behind the wheel of the #48 car that Jimmy Johnson won seven championships with.

With the #48 car’s equipment and legacy, coupled with Bowman making The Leap in 2020, expect him to be right up there with teammate Chase Elliott in contending for the NASCAR Cup Championship once again. Except in 2021, it’s wise to believe he will at least return that #48 car to the Championship Four.

Bowman’s career is still in its formative stages, and now he is arguably the most coveted ride in the sport. Many pro sports bettors and analysts may overlook Bowman. It would be foolish to do so.

3 – Kurt Busch

  • 2020 Finish: 10th

The 42-year-old Busch still has something left in the tank after what has been an up and down career for the 2004 NASCAR Cup Champion (then known as the NASCAR Nextel Cup). The controversial driver has experienced a career renaissance, and now he’s poised to carry it over into 2021.

Nascar Racer Kurt Busch

While he is still a mid-to-long shot in the eyes of many bookmakers, you can expect Busch to once again make a surprising run at the NASCAR Cup driving that #1 car for Chip Ganassi Racing.

4 – Kyle Busch

  • 2020 Finish: 8th

The younger of the Busch Brothers has two championships since 2015 and is still in the prime of his career. Busch has put together an illustrious NASCAR career in all 3 of the sport’s biggest series, which includes the Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series and the Xfinity Series to become NASCAR’s winningest driver.

Busch has pristine equipment with Joe Gibbs Racing, a racing team that is always a threat to win the NASCAR Cup, and his sheer talent always grants him solid expected value to win it all among bookmakers. Expect Busch to threaten for the NASCAR Cup in 2021 and for years to come.

5 – William Byron

  • 2020 Finish: 11th (Career Best)

William Byron is one of the youngest drivers on the circuit and is tasked with driving that legendary #24 car that Jeff Gordon made famous in the 1990s and 2000s. Though he barely made it into the NASCAR playoffs and has won just one race, expect Byron to make an identical leap that teammate Alex Bowman made.

Nascar Driver William Byron

And with the equipment team owner Rick Hendrick can afford, Byron is halfway there. You should still see Byron as a longshot considering his relative inexperience, but the former NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion is just now finding his groove in NASCAR’s most prestigious series.

It’s far-fetched to believe Byron will win it all in 2021, but with the way they set the NASCAR playoffs up, he only needs a few strong finishes at the right time to make history.

6 – Denny Hamlin

  • 2020 Finish: 4th

Denny Hamlin has done it all. He has won multiple Daytona 500 races. He has strung together 44 NASCAR Cup Victories. He was the first rookie driver to qualify for the NASCAR playoffs, then known as the Chase for the Nextel Cup back in 2006, and he has won at NASCAR’s most popular tracks.

Hamlin has never won a championship and is arguably the best driver in the series today to lack that bit of hardware on his mantlepiece. In fact, he has finished in the top-ten an astounding 12 times in a 15-year NASCAR Cup career.

So if you’re looking to bet on someone who is now running on sheer motivation, Hamlin is your guy. He has accomplished everything else in this sport and you can bet that as his career wanes, he will do anything he can to win that NASCAR Cup.

And he’s with the right NASCAR team in Joe Gibbs Racing to do it.

7 – Kevin Harvick

  • 2020 Finish: 5th

Harvick was easily the best driver in 2020 and if we still counted points as they did during the old NASCAR Winston Cup days, you could safely bet Harvick, not Elliott, would possess the hardware.

But after dominating for most of the season, Harvick had a bad race that cost him a spot in the Championship Four after he looked like a shoo-in for the first 34 races of the season.

Nascar Racecar Driver Kevin Harvick

You can bet that Harvick has unfinished business to attend to in 2021 and that he will once again threaten to win his second NASCAR Cup Championship and his first since 2014.

He is driving for the right team, has state-of-the-art racing equipment, and he has the talent and experience to make a run. And he knows the clock is ticking fast.

8 – Brad Keselowski

  • 2020 Finish: 2nd

Brad Keselowski came within just a few points of winning his second championship and man, is this guy ever the gamer. He is a regular contender for the NASCAR Cup, and you can bet safely that he will contend once again in 2021.

Still well in the prime of his career, Keselowski has enjoyed top-notch equipment and stellar teammates while racing for Team Penske. And he has often taken his #2 Miller Lite car into a familiar location that is Victory Lane 34 times in his ongoing NASCAR career.

He was and is still among the safest bets to land the coveted NASCAR Cup Championship.

9 – Joey Logano

  • 2020 Finish: 3rd

The teammate of Brad Keselowski, Logano is another driver worth noting if you’re betting on the safe side in NASCAR. Having won the 2018 NASCAR Cup, the 30-year-old future NASCAR Hall of Famer is just getting started as he moves into the second decade of a storied career.

Nascar Driver Brad Keselowski

Since moving to Team Penske, Logano has strung together 24 wins after winning just two races over the formative part of his NASCAR career when he drove for Joe Gibbs Racing. Look for yet another strong showing from Logano in 2021 and yes, his odds to win it all are favorable.

10 – Chase Elliott

No one saw Elliott winning this thing outright in 2020, even if he is one of the sport’s most popular up-and-coming drivers. Okay, you can no longer call him an up-and-coming driver these days, considering he just won the sport’s most coveted prize.

?
So will Elliott repeat? He may, but keep in mind it is rare to see a NASCAR driver win the NASCAR Cup in back-to-back seasons, with only Jimmy Johnson doing so over the past decade. However, with the way they set the NASCAR Cup playoffs up these days, it only takes a few solid finishes in the latter portions to win the cup.

And that’s exactly what Elliott did in 2020, winning his way into the Championship Four with a win at Martinsville in the penultimate race of the season before winning outright at Phoenix. If Elliott picks up where he left off in 2021, he is more than a safe bet to threaten for the 2021 crown.

We will see how the legend of Chase Elliott unfolds come February 2021.

Conclusion

Alright, so there are plenty of drivers not listed who can also threaten for the cup, like Kyle Larson, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, and Bubba Wallace. But the 10 drivers listed here have either done it recently and are still contenders or have put their best foot forward in recent years.

Further, NASCAR is far more predictable when choosing a sport to bet on, considering just a handful of drivers compete for and finish strong in just about every race, barring wrecks, engine failure, etc.

That said, expect consistency from the drivers listed in this post and they are perhaps the safest bets to win races, finish in the top half of the field, and ultimately take the 2021 NASCAR cup.

Who do you like for the NASCAR Cup in 2020? Let us know in the comments.

Harsh Truths Every Gambler Needs to Hear

Man Listening With a Hand to His Ear

The truth hurts. It’s a saying as cliché as they come. But like all clichés, there’s a reason it has persisted.

Gamblers, while typically well-intentioned, can fall into the trap of being unrealistically optimistic—even in the face of clear evidence that would suggest their positive feelings are unjustified. I guess if you’re rolling the dice and your financial state is riding on the outcome, you have no choice but to be hopeful.

In this article, I’ll dive into six harsh truths every gambler needs to hear, whether they like it or not.

You’re Probably Going to Lose Money

Speaking of clichés, have you heard the one that states, “There’s a reason those casinos are so nice.” The philosophy is that the opulent, excessive, luxurious casinos exist because people just keep losing. It’s hard to argue this sentiment.

The unfortunate reality of gambling, whether you’re talking about sports betting or casino games, is that the vast majority of people end up losing money. Don’t get me wrong, there are some who are able to win, but these players are few and far between.

Why exactly is winning so difficult? Part of it is the way the games are set up, and part of it is simply human nature.

Every single game in the casino is set up with a certain “house edge.” This refers to the percentage-advantage the games have over players and is one of the main ways that casinos make money. In games like blackjack or roulette, it may be small, but it exists nonetheless. Over the course of a long period of time, the advantage will almost always win out.

Man With Head Down on a Poker Table

Next, we have the human nature component. I don’t want to get into a debate over behavior psychology, but I think it’s safe to say that just about all of us have some “greed” gene which is responsible for bad betting decisions.

For example, if you go to a casino and win $200 in the first 30 minutes, you’re probably going to think, “How do I turn this into even more?” You know that you should quit while you’re ahead, but for some reason it’s too hard to walk away.

To reiterate, I want to make it clear that some people do win money gambling, it’s just that the vast majority do not.

You’re Probably Not “Good” At Gambling

All it takes is one lucky night of playing real money blackjack for your obnoxious friend to think that they’ve mastered the game. If you’re talking about sports gambling, it can be even more annoying to listen to.

It’s undeniable that some people are better than others at any form of gambling, but just about everyone can be classified as average. Sure, there are “sharps,”  or professional sports bettors, who have been able to quit their jobs and gamble full time. But these people account for a miniscule percentage of bettors.

Not to mention, those who are financially able to quit their jobs and gamble full time can typically take risks most people can’t afford to take.

Nobody wants to hear it, even though I think deep down most people know it’s true, but your success in gambling largely comes down to good ol’ fashioned luck. Once you’re able to recognize this, then you can actually start to be successful, I’ll explain why.

There Are Some Things You Can Improve Upon

As I stated in the previous section, whether or not you win or lose in gambling—especially casino gambling—it all comes down to luck. With that being said, if your goal is to be a profitable gambler, there are some things you can do to help your cause.

Because the results of the games are largely out of control, it’s important to look at the things you can actually control—namely, gambling money management.

Person Counting Money With a Calculator

The real difference between those who win money at the casino or sportsbook and those who lose money often comes down to discipline. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself “up,” walking away means that you’re literally walking away with free money. Don’t forget the fact and you’ll start to have better trips to the casino.

In addition to money management, there are a few other improvements you can add to your game that will help you become a little bit more profitable. For example, taking the time to learn basic blackjack strategy can do wonders. You might think you know what you’re doing, but if you’re not making the correct move at all times, the house edge is much higher than it could be.

Improving your skills isn’t going to guarantee success, but you might be surprised at how much luckier you get when you really know what you’re doing.

Gambling Can Be Addictive

This isn’t news, but gambling can become very addictive if you don’t take a step back every so often and recalibrate. Similar to drugs and alcohol, gambling triggers the dopamine center in a brain; it’s likely because of the inherent excitement that comes with the opportunity to win money.

In order to avoid becoming a victim of gambling addiction, it’s crucial to at least recognize the addictive nature of it. If you know that it’s a possibility, you have a much better chance of avoiding the negative consequences.

If you’re finding that you’re gambling on a daily or near-daily basis, consider taking a week off. Once you recognize that you can survive without betting on anything for a week, you’ll be in a much better place.

Another component of gambling addiction that’s important to mention is even if you’re winning, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a problem. Simply put, if you’re unable to go a week or more without gambling regardless of your results, then you need to slow down before it has a more serious impact on your life and finances.

The Casino Is Not Your Friend

If you’ve been to a casino recently, you probably noticed that the staff was extremely accommodating, friendly, and seemed to focus on making your experience as good as possible.

If you go to a casino with regularity, you might have even enjoyed some casino comps in the form of a free room, event tickets, or special treatment on the floor.

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you probably know this, but it bears repeating: The casino is not pampering you out of the goodness of their heart. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Female Casino Dealer

Nobody wants to admit it, but when you start racking up freebies from a business whose main objective is taking as much money from you as possible, something just doesn’t add up. In fact, if you’re frequently getting comps, you’re probably one of the casinos biggest customers.

Always treat casino staff with respect, and it is fine to appreciate the friendliness you’ll be shown at most establishments. With that being said, recognize that they aren’t there to help you out, and to them, the more money you lose, the better.

Betting Systems Don’t Really Work

Most gamblers have at least considered the prospect of using casino betting systems. The problem is that while they seem logical and rational, there are some problems that will inevitably show up if you utilize them.

The most popular of all betting systems is probably the Martingale system. This system essentially states that after you lose, you bet the same amount +1 unit until you’re back in the green. The problem is that if you suffer a bad run, and we all do, you could end up down a significant amount of money with no easy way back.

As a general rule, don’t go into the casino thinking that a betting system is going to have you walking out a millionaire. Just think about it—if there was really a foolproof system, the casinos would have found out a way to nullify it. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to gambling success.

Conclusion

Although I believe all of the things included in this article can get overlooked by gamblers, I don’t want to discourage anyone from doing it. In fact, if you play responsibly, you can make some money and have a great time doing it.

Casino Gambler’s Toolkit for Waiting out COVID-19

Man Looking at Watch With a Casino and COVID-19 Background

The coronavirus has definitely soured the land-based gaming market. COVID-19 has forced many casinos to enact social distancing policies or simply remain closed.

That said, you may feel as if the coronavirus is wrecking your gambling fun. However, you can wait out the pandemic and still get your gaming entertainment with the right approach.

This guide discusses more on how COVID-19 is impacting the gaming industry. It also covers exactly what do you need to enjoy gambling in the meantime.

Current Situation With Land Based Casinos

The coronavirus outbreak occurred in China in December 2019. Ever since then, countries have slowly been being affected by this pandemic.

Many industries were quickly hit by COVID-19. Casino gaming has especially been impacted by this virus to a great degree.

Gambling establishments in most parts of the world shut down for a few months. Many have since reopen, only with certain restrictions in place.

First off, casinos are enacting measures to automatically social distance gamblers from each other. One common policy includes requiring that slots players keep at least one machine worth of space between them.

Casino Dealer With a Mask and Barriers

Of course, gamblers must also wear a mask when they’re inside of casinos. Being forced to wear mask is nothing uncommon, considering that people must wear them at workplaces and in businesses.

However, the same people don’t particularly enjoy wearing a mask when they’re trying to have fun in the casino. This is especially true if they’re gambling for quite a while.

What Are Your Options for Casino Gaming Now?

Your options for casino gambling haven’t completely changed just because of the virus. But as you’ll see below, the brick-and-mortar gaming landscape has definitely changed.

Wear a Mask at Casinos

COVID-19 initially forced many casinos to close around the world. Some of these same gaming venues are open again—albeit with some restrictions in place.

First off, you need to wear a face mask when gambling in casinos. Wearing a mask can be bothersome if you plan on long gaming sessions. Secondly, casinos now enforce social distancing measures. For example, some table games require players to be at least one seat apart.

The good news is that you can play at land-based casinos in many countries once again. However, you may not like how the scene has changed.

Play Traditional Online Casino Games

Real money online casinos have been around since the mid-1990s. But they’ve definitely received an uptick in business in light of the current brick-and-mortar gambling situation.

Internet casinos give you the opportunity to enjoy slots and table games just like their land-based counterparts. The key difference, though, is that you can play through a smartphone, tablet, or computer, rather than having to visit somewhere.

Of course, the online gaming experience doesn’t quite replace the social atmosphere available in land-based casinos. However, it at least gives you an outlet to play casino games from your home or anywhere else.

Play at Live Dealer Casinos

Live dealer casinos are part of traditional online gaming sites. But they feature their own section and offer a much different experience than standard virtual table games.

A live casino features a real dealer, table, cards, and chips. You get to interact with the dealer through a chat box. This aspect gives you social interaction that’s simply not available with regular online casino games.

Live Dealer Online Blackjack

The only downside is that you’re looking at all of this action through a screen. Nevertheless, live gaming is the best substitute if you can’t or don’t want to visit a land-based casino.

Everything You Need for a Great Gaming Experience

Perhaps you’re still fine with playing at brick-and-mortar casinos despite all of the new measures in place. Then again, you may be looking for a new experience in the COVID-19 era.

You should be able to find this experience through live dealer and/or traditional online gaming. The following checklist will ensure that you have everything needed for a great gambling experience while the pandemic persists.

A Quality Smartphone

Up until the 2010s, many people played internet casino games through their desktop or laptop computer. These days, though, the large majority of gamblers rely on their smartphones.

A smartphone offers the most convenient way to enjoy internet gaming. It’s portable and allows you to essentially keep a casino in your pocket.

Of course, not all smartphones are created the same. They can differ in terms of their screen sizes and processing units.

Everything regarding a great mobile online gambling experience begins with the quality of your phone. That said, you should get a newer model of an iPhone, Samsung, or other top-notch product.

I’m not suggesting that you have to drop $1,000 on a phone. But you should at least ensure you have one of the better models.

Deposit Money

One great thing about online casinos is that they let you play games for free. You simply need to register for an account to get started.

Of course, you’re probably not playing casino games for free entertainment. Instead, you’ll likely to feel like betting at some point.

Therefore, you will need some money to make a deposit. Luckily, most casinos only require you to fund an account with between $10 and $20.

You can always deposit more money if you feel like playing for mid or high stakes. Again, though, you don’t need much cash to try real money gaming.

Welcome Bonus

You should always check out any available online casino welcome bonuses before officially making your first deposit at a new gaming site. A welcome bonus gives you an opportunity to earn extra money on the side.

These deals typically include a bonus that’s worth a match percentage of your first deposit. They may also throw in free spins too.

Here’s an example of a welcome bonus:

  • A casino offers a 100% match bonus worth up to $200 + 50 free spins.
  • You deposit $100.
  • You now qualify for a $100 bonus + 50 free spins.
  • The $100 is credited to your account immediately.
  • The free spins will be giving out 10 at a time over the next five days.

You’ll be able to cash out the entire $100 upon meeting terms and conditions. Meanwhile, you can withdraw winnings from free spins after satisfying T&Cs.

I definitely suggest reading the terms prior to placing your deposit. This way, you can ensure that a bonus deal is fair.

Online Casino Games

The whole point of going through this checklist is so that you can eventually play internet casino games. Most casinos offer a wide selection that includes hundreds of slots and dozens of table games.

List of Online Casino Slots

Gaming sites differ from land-based casinos when it comes to betting stakes. For example, you can often play many slots for $0.20 per spin and table games for $1 per round. If you’re a low roller, you should definitely appreciate this aspect.

Of course, you can also play for higher stakes if you like betting big. Slots and table game stakes generally go up to $100 and $500, respectively.

Live Dealer Games

You may long for the days of mask-free, land-based casino play. As it stands now, though, nobody really knows when these days will be back again.

The next-best option is currently live dealer gaming. This type of gambling gives you an opportunity to enjoy live baccarat, blackjack, Caribbean stud, roulette, three-card poker, and more.

As explained before, you can chat with the dealer at live casinos. You also get to see regular brick-and-mortar gambling action streamed to your phone or PC.

If you play at a live casino, don’t forget to check if any free bets are available. A free bet gives you an opportunity to win back losses from your first wager.

Conclusion

You still have the ability to gamble in land-based casinos throughout most of the world. But you also need to wear a mask and practice social distancing at brick-and-mortar venues.

Ultimately, you may not feel like dealing with these measures and are simply waiting for the pandemic to slow down. In this case, you can wait out COVID-19 by ensuring that you have all of the essentials.

A quality smartphone, deposit funds, a large bonus, online casino games, and live-dealer gaming are all you need to enjoy gaming now. These factors will help you satisfy your gambling itch until land-based casinos are running at full capacity again.

IGC Investigation Could Endanger Indiana Casino Projects

Casino Roulette Table
Indiana casino projects in Terry Haute and Gary could be in peril as authorities conduct an investigation on illegal political contributions involving a casino executive. That probe has expanded to 10 people who may have committed financial misconduct that would violate state casino regulations or laws.

Spectacle Entertainment, the owners of the Gary Casino located along Lake Michigan, are currently working on a replacement $300M inland Casino in Gary and a $125M casino in Terry Haute. But the company is currently under fire due to allegations that its executives funneled company money to the unsuccessful 2016 campaign of a former lawmaker.

Unsuccessful Congressional Bid

The subject lawmaker is Brent Waltz, a former state senator who ran for a congressional seat but was unsuccessful. Waltz was charged with one count of conspiracy to make conduit contributions, false statements, and to obstruct justice, one count of making and receiving conduit contributions, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements.

Former Spectacle Entertainment vice president John Keeler saw his casino license suspended last September after an indictment charged him one count of conspiracy to make illegal corporate contributions, false statements, and to obstruct justice, one count of making illegal corporate contributions, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements.

Keeler and fellow Spectacle executive Rod Ratcliff were forced by authorities to give up their ownership in the Terry Haute casino although they allowed one business partner to proceed with the project. The two pushed lawmakers last year to allow Gary’s Casino to move from Lake Michigan to a more strategic location along interstate 80/94 in Gary and permit Terry Haute to become the first new Indiana casino since 2008.

Long Active Lobbyists

Ratcliff was not named in the federal indictment and isn’t facing any criminal charges. He however, resigned as Spectacle’s Chairman and CEO last June but was allowed to keep his share in the company.

Keeler, who was a Republican legislator for 16 years during the 80s and 90s, and Ratcliff have long been active lobbyists in the Indiana legislature on casino matters and were the owners of the two central Indiana horse track casinos until the time they were sold to Caesars Entertainment in 2018.

The Terry Haute Casino is being spearheaded by a company called Spectacle Jack. The firm is led by Greg Gibson, a businessman from Terry Haute who is also the vice-chairman of Spectacle Entertainment. In a statement released last Tuesday, Spectacle Entertainment said that Gibson wasn’t a subject of the investigation but is cooperating with state officials.

Things to Consider When Gambling on the Upcoming NBA 2020-21 Season

NBA Basketball With a Money and Court Background

Just over a month ago, members of the Los Angeles Lakers hoisted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The Lakers’ championship capped off one of the strangest and most exhausting NBA seasons in recent memories.

While it seems like the season just ended, gamblers have little time to lick their wounds or celebrate their wins. Earlier this week, the NBA announced that the 2020-2021 season will tip-off on December 22.

Let’s face it, winning money gambling on basketball last season was a chore. COVID-19 completely changed the way the NBA conducted its business and altered what seemed to be a  potentially profitable season.

As case numbers continue to rise in the United States, the NBA will not return to a state of normalcy. The on-the-court product will look slightly different, as will the schedule.

To get yourself ready to gamble, here are things to consider about betting on the NBA for the upcoming season.

NBA Rosters Are Still in Transitional Period

In a typical year, teams typically have around a 4.5-5 month break between seasons. But, due to COVID, that break has been cut in half.

Because of this, teams are forced to prepare for the draft, make trades, sign free agents, and ultimately finalize rosters at an alarming rate. Next season tips off in a month, and several teams still have plenty of work to do.

There’s no way to know when gamblers can expect to have complete clarity about finalized rosters. While several teams have already announced moves, the free agency period doesn’t officially begin until Sunday, November 22.

NBA Player LeBron James

You read that correctly: free agency will begin exactly one month and one day before the season starts.

If you’re already desperate to scratch your basketball gambling itch, you should seriously consider pumping the breaks. While certain powerhouses should maintain some consistency, many rosters will look very different in a matter of weeks.

The Top Contenders Might Start Slow

The basketball season is incredibly demanding. A standard 82-game season, combined with travel and a brutal playoff schedule for the top teams, is exhausting for players.

The biggest superstar in the game, LeBron James, already came out and said he’s looking at the early stages of the season as a warm-up.

Players like LeBron are creatures of habit. Many desperately need the offseason to repair their bodies and prepare for the upcoming season. Without the benefit of a regular break, many top contenders could start slow compared to last season. Teams like the Lakers, Heat, Celtics, and Nuggets played meaningful basketball games just over a month ago.

While a shorter offseason has more implications on aging stars like LeBron, expect many top teams to be cautious early on. If certain teams decide to engage in load management, those decisions will impact futures, win totals, and player props.

Futures Will Be Challenging to Hit

As it stands, the Lakers (+350) are slight favorites to win the NBA Championship. Los Angeles is followed by Milwaukee (+500) and the Clippers and Nets (+600).

Each of the top teams has already experienced several shakeups. The Lakers will feature a new point guard in Dennis Schröder, after the team shipped off Danny Green and draft capital to the OKC Thunder.

The Bucks, who are coming off another incredibly disappointing playoff performance, also made significant moves. In what many think is a hail mary to retain Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks traded for Jrue Holiday.

Milwaukee is all in on this season, as one year of Holiday cost Milwaukee Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and 3 first-round picks.

NBA Bubble 2020

Both of those teams should be safe bets if you’re desperate for action. But, don’t be surprised if either squad continues to make somewhat significant moves.

Meanwhile, it might be a sound decision to stay away from any of the other top contenders, to avoid any betting mistakes. Brooklyn is too unpredictable given the injuries to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Additionally, the Nets’ pursuit of James Harden makes any sort of bet completely inadvisable.

Once again, it would be best if you considered monitoring roster moves and signings as free agency continues. Until gamblers have a better idea about opening night rosters, it’s going to be tough to get proper value on futures.

Consider Starting Out With Low Volume Betting

After the 2019-2020 season resumed earlier this year, basketball fans were greeted with a different product than they are used to it.

The NBA effectively eliminated potential exposure to COVID by playing the rest of the season in isolation. The Florida bubble was highly effective, and the rest of the season went off without any significant drama. Having said that, the version of basketball the NBA gave its fans was different. That difference resulted in some confusion amongst the gambling public as everyone scrambled to figure out the bubble’s impact on outcomes.

The upcoming NBA season will not feature a bubble. That means teams will be back on the road, playing a slightly modified 72-game schedule. Teams will travel less this upcoming season to limit potential exposure and keep the season on track.

While it seems like the NBA has a solid plan in place, there are still several irregularities that you’ll need to account for when gambling. For this reason, professional NBA gamblers should avoid high volume betting until there is a strong enough sample size to base your decisions on.

Some Superstars Will Coast Early

As I mentioned earlier, teams who made deep playoff runs will be reticent to play their rosters to their maximum capabilities. That means stars might see fewer minutes, and teams will demand more from backups and role players.

The load management movement has already dramatically altered the way teams approach the regular season. Now, it seems as though certain teams are perfectly content to play well enough to secure a decent seed without burning out stars.

That might make it challenging to predict player props and the MVP of the regular season. Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as the favorite (+390) to repeat as MVP. Trailing closely behind is Luke Doncic (+440), who should be a potential MVP candidate for the next decade.

It’s safe to assume that both Doncic and Antetokounmpo will be firing on all cylinders in the first half of the regular season. Antetokounmpo becomes a free agent after this season and is looking to put his postseason woes behind him.

NBA Player Kawhi Leonard

Meanwhile, Doncic will initially be without the assistance of Kristaps Porzingis, who will miss the beginning of the season. If Doncic can continue to improve and carry the Mavs to the playoffs, he will be a formidable MVP candidate to beat.

Both Giannis and Luka very well could be the outliers this season.

Many notable stars, including LeBron, Anthony Davis, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard, could get off to slow starts.

The Clippers’ sad showing in the bubble led to the firing of head coach Doc Rivers and raised questions about team chemistry. Kawhi Leonard might have something to prove, but his notable absences on back-to-backs decreases his value as an MVP candidate.

Meanwhile, Harden is trying to negotiate his way out of Houston, and it’s unclear which jersey he will be wearing in December.

The NBA Will Be Less Impacted By COVID-19

Both the NCAA Football and NFL seasons have been a whirlwind to follow from a gambling perspective.

Under normal circumstances, Sunday mornings are reserved for fantasy lineup adjustments and last-minute wagers. Now, gamblers have to be hyper-aware of which players and even teams aren’t playing due to exposures.

COVID has dramatically changed the football gambling landscape.

But, betting on the upcoming basketball season should be slightly less unpredictable for gamblers.

The league won’t be able to isolate itself from the rest of the country like it did last season. The plans to keep players healthy and teams intact that they have announced to this point seem promising.

The one difference between the NBA and the NFL that works in the NBA’s favorite is its smaller scope.

There are far fewer players, coaches, and team personnel to manage. Teams should be able to handle the virus more efficiently, which will provide gamblers with some consistency.

Conclusion

The NBA will get back to action in a matter of weeks. For some, that may provide a nice change of pace from a wild NFL season. But, others might struggle with the changes the league has made in response to COVID-19.

Before placing early bets, keep in mind that teams are still tinkering with rosters and will continue to make moves in the next few weeks.

Teams that made deep playoff runs will still be recovering, especially if their roster features aging superstars. Instead of placing ill-advised, under-informed bets, consider betting less frequently early on.

Futures will be challenging to bet on, but several potential wagers should gain value as we get closer to tip-off.

Expect teams to rely on load management to avoid fatigue and early-season injuries.

The sheer unpredictability of 2020 will require you to be locked in if you want to win money this season.

Tourism in LV Increased Once Again During October!

Las Vegas Sign With a Roulette Table Game Background

For months, officials in Nevada have been working hard to increase tourism rates to Las Vegas. Doing so while keeping things safe has proven to be extremely difficult. News has just come out that tourism in LV increased once again during the month of October.

It’s great news for the casino companies here. Of course, these tourism rates remain significantly lower than what was seen in 2019. Now is a great time to look at exactly how much tourism in the city of Las Vegas increased last month.

Let’s get into it!

Casino Companies in Nevada Brace for New Regulations

Nevada is home to many of the world’s biggest and most profitable casino companies. Throughout 2020, all of these companies have seen massive drops in their revenue. Progress has been made in recent months, yet many believe that a new set of regulations will soon be coming to the state.

It’s easy to see why. Nevada has been experiencing large increases in Covid-19 cases for weeks. As a result, Governor Sisolak announced new regulations towards many of the businesses throughout the state.

These are guaranteed to affect casinos in a major way. As of now, however, Sisolak hasn’t ordered any casino shutdowns.

Many of the casino companies are already bracing for more intense regulations. It’s clear that the governor doesn’t want to make this decision. The casino shutdowns back in March had devastating impacts on the state’s economy.

We’ll hear more about what is coming here by mid-December. State leaders are trying to understand how to keep the economy afloat while lowering rates of infections. More regulations will probably come, yet mass casino closures seem unlikely at this point.

Interestingly, visitation rates into Las Vegas are increasing right now. Let’s take a look at how many tourists visited Sin City last month.

Here’s a Look at Tourism in LV During the Month of October

Many analysts have been waiting to see where tourism rates in Las Vegas stand during October. Some feared that the increase of Covid-10 cases would cause these rates to plummet. It’s now clear that this is not the case.

Tourism in LV actually increased by 9% in October when compared to September. It’s a fantastic sign for the casino companies here. Tourism rates are still down by 50% compared to the same month in 2019.

1,856,900 visitors were recorded during October of 2020. That’s strong numbers this year, yet it’s significantly lower than the 3,668,100 visitors recorded in October of 2019. Unfortunately, it seems these numbers aren’t enough to keep all of the casinos in this city afloat.

News has just come out that MGM Resorts plans to close the Mirage, and Mandalay Bay from Monday to Thursday. Company officials claim there simply aren’t enough visitors in the city to keep these properties open.

“We are constantly evaluating occupancy levels and adjusting operations accordingly,” an official statement from MGM Resorts said. 

Available hotel rooms in Las Vegas were calculated at 104,658 in October. This also represents a massive drop from the 149,282 last year. Room rates remain significantly cheaper right now than they were in 2019, too.

It could take months, if not years for tourism in LV to get back to pre-pandemic levels. Additional regulations will only make this situation worse. We’ll need to wait and see how things play out throughout the next two months.

US Casino Revenue Remains Low Right Now

Nevada is far from being the only state with a struggling casino industry. Casinos around the entire country are seeing major revenue drops right now. Some states have even ordered their casinos to close down for the time being.

Over in Colorado, many of the casinos have been forced to close. Not all, however, are being ordered to abide by this new law. Some of the casinos in Cripple Creek are able to remain open, as infection rates in this city remain very low.

New Jersey is seeing fluctuating revenue from its casino industry. New reports claim that the state’s third-quarter casino earnings fell by 37% compared to 2019’s Q3. That’s a major drop, yet it’s higher than what many other states are seeing this year.

The next few months could end up reversing much of the progress being made here. Many experts are predicting additional regulations being set in place soon. Hopefully, no more casino shutdowns are ordered.

Tourism in LV is still increasing each month. It’s still not enough to keep major casino-resorts open during weekdays, though. We’ll continue offering updates on tourism rates here throughout the rest of the year.

Are you surprised at the tourism numbers in Las Vegas? When do you expect things to return to pre-pandemic levels? Let us know in the comments section below!

Ways to Improve Your Casino Results in 5 Minutes or Less

Excited Casino Gamblers and an Upward Arrow

I’ve spent 1,000’s of hours learning about casinos and casino games. I’m driven by the desire to find ways to win. And I’ve learned a great deal from this investment of time. And there are some things that I’ve learned that I can pass on to you to save you some time.

It’s still a good strategy to spend time learning about casinos and casino games. But you don’t have to spend forever to learn a few things that can help you now.

Here’s a list of five things you can do in the next five minutes that are going to help you get better results in the casino.

Give up the Slot Machines

Playing real money slots isn’t the worst thing you can do in a casino, but it’s not far from the worst thing. Slot machines have a combination of things that’s deadly to your bankroll.

The first issue with slot machines is that even though they have a small wager amount, they play very fast. In fact, most slots players risk more over time than casino table game players. It’s common to take 500 to 600 spins every hour you play slots, and some players get in even more spins.

You might think that betting $1 or $2 on a spin is cheap, but when you multiply these amounts by 600 spins in an hour you’re risking $600 to $1,200 every hour.

Konami Slot Machines

The second issue is that slot machines have a lower return to player number than most casino games. The return to player number is a percentage of money that the slot machine takes in that it returns to players. The lower the number, the less you get back.

On average, the return to player number for slot machines is 2 to 20 times worse than other casino games. When you have a low return to player number and so many spins every hour, slot machines usually drain your bankroll as fast, or faster, than other casino games.

If you’re wondering what the worst thing you can do in a casino is, it’s usually playing keno. Keno has an even lower return to player number than slot machines. Bingo is another terrible game, though it’s not available in most casinos. And lottery games, which also usually aren’t available in casinos, are even worse.

Get Some Free Stuff

Most casinos offer free thongs to gamblers. Whether it’s free drinks or buffet tickets or casino comps in a land based property, or free bonuses or free play in mobile and online casinos, you can get all kinds of free things if you play in the right places.

Getting a free buffet ticket isn’t exactly the same as winning money, but it does let you send less money. If you don’t have to send $10 or $15 on a meal it’s the same as winning extra money or losing less money.

Many land based casinos have some kind of rewards club or program you can sign up for. You get free comps when you gamble. And you don’t have to do anything other than sign up and gamble like you normally do.

If you play in mobile or online casinos you can get bonuses when you make deposits. Some of these casinos also have rewards clubs.

While getting free stuff from casinos isn’t exactly the same as winning more, it’s still better than not getting free things. Take advantage of every free thing that casinos offer to offset some of your losses. This immediately improves your overall return when you gamble.

Stop Playing New Casino Games

I’m like most casino gamblers. When I see a new game offered in the casino I want to check it out. It can get boring playing the same games every time you go to the casino. So when something new pops up it’s a chance to change things up a little bit.

But you should never play a new game when you first see it in the casino. This isn’t because all new games are bad. The main reasons why playing new games is a bad idea are that you don’t know anything about the return to player percentage and you don’t know if there’s a strategy you can use or how to use strategy if you can use it.

The reason you need to stop playing slot machines is because of the poor return to player numbers. And you have no way of knowing if a new game is just as bad or worse.

New Casino Table Game

The games that offer the highest return to player numbers are games where you can use strategy. I cover some of these games in the final section on this page, but when you use strategy it improves the return to player numbers.

When you find a new casino game, write down the name and when you get home do some research. Find out what the return to player numbers are and see if anyone has developed a strategy that can help you win.

After you learn these things you can go back to the casino and try the new game if you still want to play.

Get Control and Use It

The casinos want to control everything about your gambling experience. They want you to play games where they have a big edge and they want you to play as long as possible, as fast as possible, and risk as much as possible.

This means that there are only so many things that you can control. And you need to take control and use control of as many things as you can in the casino.

You get to choose which games you play and how you play them. You also get to choose how much you bet when you play, and if you use strategy or not. And when you play video poker or slot machines you control how fast you play.

When you play online or mobile casino games you control how fast you play every game. It doesn’t matter if you play slots or blackjack or another table game, you can play at whatever speed you want to play.

Take control of everything that you can when you gamble in the casino. Control how fast you play to limit the total amount you risk. This means that you lose less money.

Play Blackjack, Video Poker, or Baccarat

I recommended that you give up on the slot machines but I didn’t cover what you should play instead. That’s what you’re going to learn in this section.

I recommend three games when you gamble in a casino. two of the games offer extremely high return to player numbers if you use the right strategy. The other game doesn’t really require strategy, and still offers a decent return to player percentage.

Blackjack is almost always the best game in the casino. But you have to use strategy to get the best return to player numbers. Blackjack strategy isn’t extremely hard, but it does take some work.

Casino Baccarat Table

Video poker is another casino game that has a high return to player than most games, but it’s a little more complicated than blackjack. In addition to needing to use good strategy, you also have to find the right machines with the correct pay tables.

These things take some time, but none of it is too hard to do.

Baccarat doesn’t require much in the way of strategy and it has a decent return to player number. It’s not quite as high as good blackjack and video poker games, but the lack of strategy decisions make it a good trade off.

When you play baccarat the only strategy is using the banker wager. This gives you a higher return to player number than other games in the casino except for some blackjack and video poker games.

Conclusion

You need to invest time in learning how to get better results when you gamble in a casino. Even if it takes hours, learning new strategies and skills is beneficial. But every new technique and strategy doesn’t have to take a long time.

You just learned about five ways to get better casino results in less than five minutes. It only takes a second to decide to leave the slot machines behind for good, and this is going to improve your results immediately.

It only takes a few minutes to sign up for the rewards program, so there’s no excuse to play without getting comps. Learn which games are the best to play and stick with them to start getting better results.

Howard Hughes Ushered in the Era of Billionaire Moguls in Las Vegas

Vintage Photo of Howard Hughes and the Las Vegas Strip

Ask any gambler in the know about the folks who really run Las Vegas nowadays, and you’ll invariably hear them bring up billionaires like Sheldon Adelson. But before titans of high finance ever staked their claim to Sin City, it was Howard Hughes who helped end the era of Mafia-controlled casinos.

The famously eccentric heir to one of the world’s largest fortunes, Hughes wore many hats—film producer, pioneering pilot, and inventive engineer just to name a few—but he spent his latter years living in Las Vegas. And while he never left his penthouse suite, Hughes still managed to leave an indelible mark on the Nevada gambling industry.

Brief Background and Biography of Howard Hughes

The moment he was born in Humble, Texas on Christmas Eve of 1905, Howard Hughes Jr. was minted an instant millionaire.

As the only child of successful businessman Howard Hughes Sr.—who invented a rotary drill bit system that enabled oil companies to dig deeper than ever before—the younger Hughes was his father’s heir. And at the age of 19, following his father’s sudden death, Hughes assumed full control over the burgeoning business empire.

Before that though, the precocious Hughes demonstrated an uncanny aptitude for several forms of engineering and design. Before becoming a teenager, Hughes had successfully erected Houston’s first radio system that didn’t rely on wires, constructed a motorized bicycle, and even learned to fly biplanes.

Never content to rest on his laurels, Hughes started the Summa Corporation to take full advantage of his father’s fortune. Displaying a dazzling range of investment interests, Hughes acquired and expanded companies vested in interests such as engineering, manufacturing, aeronautics, and print publications.

Hughes’ greatest passion during his 20s turned out to be filmmaking, following his purchase of a struggling Hollywood studio. Showing his signature tenacity, Hughes shrugged off his first film’s status as a “bomb” to eventually produce several Academy Award winning movies during the ‘20s and ‘30s.

Howard Hughes in Aviator Suit

By 1938, Hughes had become a household name in every corner of the globe courtesy of his aviation hobby. By circumnavigating the globe in only 91 hours from the cockpit of his custom-built Lockheed airplane, Hughes set a new world record for flying around the world.

Under the auspices of Hughes Aircrafts and Hughes Aerospace Group, the intrepid flyboy engaged in a protracted battle for industry supremacy with rival Boeing. This battle spurred the design and production of cutting-edge jet engines, among many other advancements in aviation technology.

In fact, Hughes’ escapades soaring through the skies were memorialized on his beloved silver screen via Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Aviator” (2004).

Despite his lifelong love of flying, however, Hughes would eventually arrive in Las Vegas via railway to conquer yet another industry—casino gambling.

Hughes Holes Up in the Desert Inn

By 1966, Hughes was a sexagenarian who suffered from an extreme form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

He famously ate the exact same meal for dinner every single night, steak with salad and small peas only (he meticulously sorted and discarded peas which were “too large”). He forced subordinates to clean office spaces and warehouses over and over again, claiming that he could see microscopic germs lingering on every available surface.

And in a disturbing prolonged OCD episode, Hughes hid out in a screening room for four months, watching his movies naked and alone in a dark room. Afterwards, employees found dozens of Kleenex boxes stacked in precise formation, along with mason jars which Hughes used to collect his own urine.

Desert Inn Vintage Photo

At the time, these odd behaviors were largely explained away as the eccentricities of the ultra-wealthy. Others attributed Hughes’ erratic nature to the ill effects of a disastrous test plane crash that he barely survived.

In any event, Hughes snuck into Las Vegas in the dead of night in a private train car on Thanksgiving night. He then made his way to the Desert Inn, one of the original casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Hughes rented out two entire floors atop the Desert Inn, and when his two-week stay had concluded, owner Moe Dalitz asked him to depart so a fresh set of high rollers could be accommodated. As the preeminent high roller in the country, Hughes obviously had other ideas… An offer of $13 million—over $100 million in modern value when adjusted for inflation—saw Hughes assume full ownership of the Desert Inn in 1967. From there, Hughes set up camp on the ninth-floor penthouse and refused to leave or accept visitors in person.

Nonetheless, this reclusive seclusion didn’t stop Hughes from running his business empire, as he purchased several competing casinos over the next year. Soon enough, Hughes counted Castaways, Frontier, Sands, Landmark, and Silver Slipper among his casino holdings on and around the Strip.

Fittingly enough for the oddball billionaire, Hughes bought the Silver Slipper specifically to have its famous neon footwear signage removed. Apparently, the brightly lit slipper sign prevented Hughes from keeping his suite darkened at all hours, so he simply resolved the problem as only the uber wealthy can.

Silver Slipper Casino

For the next four years, Hughes was never seen by another human soul. These behavioral issues aside, Hughes worked hard to parlay his newly gained casino assets into a new vision of what Las Vegas could become.

Hughes Beautifies and Builds a New Las Vegas Strip

With the federal government long since wise to the “wise-guy” influence over Las Vegas, organized crime figures turned casino owners like Bugsy Siegel and Dalitz were largely being pushed out by the time Hughes arrived in town.

Hughes even helped on that front by booting legendary singer and mob-connected man Frank Sinatra from the Sands Casino. Hughes had a more elegant Las Vegas in mind. In a memo to one of his business partners, Hughes outlined how he believed Vegas visitors should view his casino venues:

“I like to think of Las Vegas in terms of a well-dressed man in a dinner jacket and a beautifully jeweled and furred female getting out of an expensive car.”

Another memo sent by Hughes positioned Las Vegas as the ultimate resort town, one capable of capturing market share from the era’s most popular tourist destinations:

“This is a hell of a note in a place that is being developed as a resort, which depends for its very life-blood on the tourists who come here voluntarily in open competition with Hawaii, and the many, many other resorts.”

The state’s gaming authorities tended to agree, and during a meeting of the Clark County Gaming Licensing Board held in 1967, Hughes’ application was rubber-stamped without hesitation. In explaining the unprecedented decision to grant Hughes his license without so much as an in-person hearing, District Attorney George Franklin alluded to the potential for a building a renewed public perception:

“This is the best way to improve the image of gambling in Nevada by licensing an industrialist of his stature.”

As his local influence grew, Hughes’ rivalries with fellow casino owners led to several ideas which were considered harebrained at the time. He wanted to invest countless millions to turn the Sands into a 4,000-room mega-resort, while providing standardized service that prioritized average Joes over connected stars like Sinatra.

Unfortunately, Hughes never had the pleasure of seeing these reforms enacted, as failing health forced him to abandon Las Vegas in 1970. He died six years later while travelling between offshore enclaves, but Hughes’ legacy in Las Vegas simply can’t be overstated.

Wynn and Encore Las Vegas

A new generation of billionaires like Steve Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian, and Sheldon Adelson soon gobbled up Hughes’ properties, seeking to realize his visions of a new Las Vegas. The Desert Inn was imploded to make way for the Wynn and Encore mega-resort casinos, the Sands was replaced by the glittering Venetian and so on down the Strip.

Conclusion

Howard Hughes may have been a man of many interests, but his brief dalliance in Las Vegas history has proved as lasting as his contributions to Hollywood and aeronautics. He proved that a “straight” operation could be more profitable, as well as more inviting to straightlaced guests than any casino operated by the mob.

In doing so, Hughes paved the path on which the Strip you know and love today was built. He may not have invented the concept of safe, clean, upscale gambling and entertainment venues, but Hughes surely perfected them while changing Sin City forever.

Casino Design Factors That Are Completely Intentional

Casino Text With a Casino Floor Background

Casinos have one single goal: to get you to empty out your wallet and wager as much money as possible.

Notice that I didn’t say the objective was to have you lose as much money as possible. Obviously, the house doesn’t want you to clean them out, but the games are all tilted slightly in their favor so the casino will always come out ahead. In fact, they don’t really care whether you win or not.

With this in mind, casino design takes on a heightened importance. In this article, I’ll lay out all the subtle ways casinos design gaming floors in order to encourage more spending.

Ugly Casino Carpets

Just about everything from eye-level up is beautiful at a casino. From the bright, flashing games with their cheerful soundtracks, to opulent chandeliers that hang overhead, it feels as if luxury just comes with the territory. Why, then, are most carpets in casinos notoriously unattractive?

The answer is simply: to keep you from looking down. Yes, the casino takes it that seriously.

Ugly Casino Carpet

Any second that your attention is diverted away from the casino games on the floor is a second that the casino isn’t making any money, now or in the future. When your eyes are up, you’re looking (even if subconsciously) for your next game—meaning the next opportunity for the house to make money.

To be realistic, the design or color on the carpet, no matter how ugly, probably isn’t going to be the difference between a casino staying open or having to shut down. However, it’s even more evidence that there is no detail left unexamined when designing a gaming establishment.

The Location of the Games

If you think the thousands of games spread out over the gaming floor were randomly-placed, you’re missing a major component of effective casino design psychology.

The most profitable games for the house are typically placed in the middle of the floor, because that’s where most patrons tend to spend the majority of their time.

You might be wondering, aren’t the games on the periphery of the floor more accessible? The answer is yes, but they’re also the least desirable. When people visit a casino, they usually want to be in the action. That means they want to be right at the heart of the gaming floor, surrounded by nothing but other gamblers and the endless opportunities to make a huge amount of money.

In most casinos, there’s a very real “central gaming area” that can be found if you walk inward long enough. Although you’ll always have those who prefer to stick to the low-limit tables and lower-risk slots that can be found on the edges of the gaming floor, the majority of players are going to spend most of their time in the middle areas—exactly where the house wants unwary gamblers.

Bathroom Location

Most businesses try to keep the bathrooms either out of sight or as convenient as possible. When it comes to the casino, however, there is much more at play.

You won’t find any bathrooms at the entrance or exit of most casinos. Rather, they’re usually placed toward the middle of the gaming floor (are you seeing a pattern here?). Obviously, this requires patrons to pass through the vast number of games offered on the way to the bathroom.

The casino designers are truly at an advantage when it comes to this particular component of design and layout. They know with almost near-certainty that everyone is going to have to take at least one trip to the bathroom. That gives them more than enough to work with in order to squeeze a few extra dollars out of the bankrolls of unsuspecting players.

The Lack of Clocks

If you’re an experienced gambler who has spent a good deal of time at land based casinos over the years, this one definitely isn’t going to be news to you. If you’re new to the hobby, though, it might come as a surprise that casinos don’t have clocks…or at least don’t have any that are easily visible for gamblers.

Progressive Casino Slots

As I mentioned at the start of this article, the goal of the casino isn’t necessarily to get you to lose as much as possible, but rather to simply bet as much as possible. If they’re able to remove any indications of how long you’ve been at that slot machine, you’re likely going to be pulling those levers for a much longer period of time than you originally had planned.

The good news? It’s easy to fight back against this by simply wearing a watch or looking at your cell phone. Personally, when I visit the casino, I set reminders on my device for every 30 minutes as a reminder that time is, in fact, passing even if I don’t notice it consciously.

The Lack of Windows

You know that casino floor with a great view? I don’t either. Again, another secret casino tactic is they try to remove the concept of time from your sense of awareness. And yes, it has proven to be very effective in getting patrons to spend more money.

I would go into more detail on the subject, but like the idea of removing clocks, a lack of windows is a straightforward concept. When you don’t see that midday sun setting as nighttime begins to fall, the only light you’re really concerned about is the one on the slot machine at which you’re staring.

To reiterate once more, wear a watch! It’s helpful.

The Noises the Games Make

If you’ve ever taken a stroll around a casino floor, you’ve undoubtedly heard the pleasant (or maybe not so much) noises emanating from any number of the vast array off video games. If you listen closely enough, you might just even hear, “Winner!” sprinkled in with regularity.

Unfortunately, these noises (or electronic voices) don’t necessarily indicate much success is being found by the people pulling the levers. Games are programmed to say “winner” even when the haul is merely a few cents.  Hey, I guess it’s better than losing.

When you sit down in front of a digital gaming machine, it’s important to recognize that the singular goal of the machine (or rather, the designer of the machine) is to keep you in that seat as long as possible.

Man in White Tuxedo Playing Slots

Following the theme of keeping you playing as long as possible, there’s one more notable tactic that slot machines employ to encourage you to stick around—the “near-miss.”

Our brains have evolved to recognize a near-miss as something that inspires us to try again. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that something is possible, even if it didn’t quite work out that time. Simply put, don’t fall for this trick.

You get the exact same amount of money for a total miss as you do for a near-miss, and coming “close” is not an indication that you’ve almost won. Don’t fall for the trick and you’ll save yourself a lot of money.

The Gaming Labyrinth

Have you ever felt like the casino floor was, in many ways, like a maze that was hard to escape? You guessed it—that’s by design, too!

If the house had their way, you’d be walking around in circles, passing game after game while having serious difficulty finding a way out. The more time you spend wandering, the higher the likelihood that you’ll throw a few dollars down on a game of your choice.

Don’t get me wrong, you aren’t actually going to get lost and struggle to get out. However, they certainly don’t make it easy to leave.

Conclusion

Part of the allure surrounding casinos revolves around these psychological design tactics that casinos have been using for decades to keep people hooked…even if just for a day.

As long as you’re able to recognize what’s going on, it shouldn’t cause you to lose any more money than you would have otherwise. Your best tools for combating the casino’s tactics are simply a watch, some common sense, and of course, your bankroll.

With that in mind, find your local casino, pull up a chair, and let the chips fall where they may.

Bad Habits Subpar Blackjack Players Should Break

Blackjack Hand With a Breaking Chain

Blackjack is one of the table games in casinos that everyone should learn to play. It’s among the most popular card games and can be enjoyed by anyone.

Due to the low-entry barriers, blackjack tables are often full of players with varying skill levels. Some players might be professionals, while others could be playing for the very first time.

While casinos should never ward off beginners, there are a few bad habits that are common amongst bad blackjack players. These are far too prevalent in the gambling community. And once they’re picked up, they can be nearly impossible to break.

If you’re still at the early stages of your gambling experience and notice yourself forming bad habits, it’s time to make a change. Here are seven bad habits that real money blackjack players should break immediately.

Failing to Learn Strategy and Casino Etiquette

In casino culture, there is a hierarchy of the types of casino games that gamblers play. For example, fringe gamblers and beginners often lean towards playing slots. While more accomplished ones gravitate towards games that place more of an emphasis on skill.

One of these skill-based games is blackjack. The game is slightly more complicated than others but not tricky enough to scare off new players.

Luckily for anyone who is somewhat new to the game, you can follow an infallible set of rules while learning to play. This is commonly known as the basic strategy of blackjack.

Dealer View of a Blackjack Table

Committing this strategy to memory is the simplest way to succeed at the tables. But if you refuse to consult it, you will risk losing money at an alarming rate.

Similar to basic strategy, standard casino etiquette should be displayed by every single player. Failure to do so can land you in hot water with other players, dealers, and most importantly, the house.

Putting Their Own Spin on Basic Strategy

Gamblers who are incapable of winning money at blackjack often commit the same type of careless mistakes.

As I said, anyone who refuses to play by basic blackjack strategy is essentially thumbing their nose at an institution that is proven to be effective. While you can’t shift the odds in your favor by using basic strategy, you can limit the house edge to less than a percent.

Some people think the best way to gain the upper hand on the house is by taking a few creative liberties. These tactics often involve:

  • Splitting face cards and tens to “increase” the likelihood of blackjack
  • Standing on 12 when the dealer is showing a 2
  • Abiding by the “only split aces and eights” ploy
  • Standing on 15 and 16 when a dealer is showing a strong card

These types of misplayed hands play out at casinos all the time and are one of the main reasons gamblers lose money. Deviating from basic strategy isn’t going to improve your chances. In fact, the opposite is often true.

The more blackjack you play, the more evident this will become.

Playing With the Wrong Crowd

It’s safe to say that most players have a friend or a group of friends that first introduced them to blackjack. It might have been at a party, a casual get-together, or even when you were a kid at summer camp.

One way or another, you came to learn and love one of the most popular card games on the planet. Speaking from experience, the people who introduce you to casino games can often offer you misguided gambling advice. Whatever the reason might be, gamblers can be prone to sharing the wrong information.

It’s always a good idea to cross-check every piece of gambling advice you hear, especially when your hard-earned money is on the line. New gamblers are impressionable, and the lessons they learn early on can stick with them for a long time.

Another common problem I hear about is some gamblers being unable to separate themselves from the pack. They might find it hard to gamble by themselves.

It’s a luxury to be able to gamble with people you enjoy. But you shouldn’t feel locked into a certain group of people. By limiting your gambling experience, you can easily put severe limitations on future earnings.

Not Being Open to Constructive Criticism

Blackjack is a social game. If you choose to play it at a casino, there’s virtually no way you can avoid conversing with other players.

For some of the more extroverted players out there, that probably sounds like a good thing. But if you don’t consider yourself to be a social butterfly, that might seem like a deal-breaker.

Most other gamblers are a joy to be around. The gambling community, at its core, is mostly good. And other players want you to succeed. In games like blackjack, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Casino Floor With Blackjack Tables

One of the things rookie players can’t seem to wrap their heads around is the blackjack culture. Unfortunately, many gamblers believe that the way other players play cards can affect their results as well.

While this is not the case, it means other players can be vocal when you make mistakes. One clear sign of a terrible blackjack player is being unable to handle any form of criticism.

Look, no one likes to be told they’re wrong. But if someone is offering you free advice, you should probably consider taking it.

In these types of in-game situations, it’s always best to verify everything with the dealer. Someone’s heart might be in the right place. But as I said earlier, misinformation is commonplace in casinos.

Letting Other Players’ Prosperity Ruin Their Mood

One of the cardinal rules of casinos is to leave your emotions at the front door. Unpredictable mood swings are a gambler’s worst enemy because they result in losing play.

While this piece of advice can be applied to several situations, there is one scenario in particular where it becomes a must. Winning money at the casino isn’t a given, especially if you’re bad at blackjack. When your gambling trip isn’t going according to plan, it’s quite easy to sulk and bring down the table’s mood.

To make matters worse, oftentimes, someone at your table will win consecutive hands and grow their chip stack.  Newer gamblers—younger ones, in particular—tend to hold feelings of animosity towards players who are succeeding. However, under no circumstance is this acceptable.

Being a buzzkill by resenting other players for playing well is petulant and has no place at the table. You wouldn’t want someone putting a damper on your success, so it’s important to keep a calm mind when gambling for real money.

Drawing the Ire of Other Gamblers

There are far too many different types of blackjack players at the average casino. The diversity makes the gambling experience enjoyable and interesting, but occasionally individual gamblers will stick out. Typically, new gamblers are either shy and unsure of themselves or raucous and braggadocious.

For example, the casino I commonly frequent is next to several colleges. Trust me when I say that one is more confident in their ability than a drunk college student who is gambling for the first time.

Blackjack Hand and Green Casino Chips

It can be irritating to play at a table with someone who is over the top and obnoxious. But if they can back up their excessive noise levels with quality play, there isn’t much to say.

However, new gamblers who are both cocky and terrible at gambling will make few friends and several enemies at the tables. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard when gambling is to act like you’ve been there before. Whether you’re up big or losing your bankroll, carry yourself like a veteran instead of a rookie.

Using Gambling as an Excuse to Drink

One of the biggest gambling mistakes to avoid at the blackjack tables is giving in to the temptation of free alcohol.

When it comes to games like blackjack, players should aspire to be at their best for as long as possible. A couple of drinks might not hurt. But after a while, your winning percentage will nose dive.

I can honestly say I’ve never seen a severely inebriated gambler be successful at blackjack tables. Instead, they often make foolish mistakes and ruin any chances they had of walking away with money.

Conclusion

Gamblers are all too susceptible to forming bad habits that decrease their chances of winning money.

When playing games that are more demanding than others, like blackjack, frequent mistakes are common. That can certainly be the case when analyzing the playing habits of subpar blackjack players.

One of the most common bad habits is an inability to learn and follow basic strategy. Instead, gamblers often choose to play by their own rules, fully expecting to flip the house edge.

Bad blackjack players often refuse to take constructive criticism and choose to get defensive.

While these unfortunate practices are mildly irritating, the most damaging is the tendency to resent other players for winning. Any player who is unable to celebrate the successes of other players is typically reviled.

Hopefully, none of these points are relevant to you. But if you’re like the slew of bad blackjack players who succumb to unfortunate habits, it’s important to recognize your mistakes and move past them.

Caesars Gets One Year Reprieve For Horseshoe Casino Sale

Casino Roulette Table
The Indiana Gaming Commission has granted Caesars Entertainment more time to sell the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.

On Monday, the IGC unanimously agreed to give Caesars a one-year reprieve to sell the Indiana casino. The commissioners sided with IGC executive director Sarah Tait who opined that selling the Horseshoe Casino right now “presents unique challenges” that include the uncertainty over the gaming expansion in illinois and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gaming industry in general.

She mentioned the lease agreement on the property as one of the reasons. The rapid expansion of the Illinois gaming market on the Chicago area of the region. Likewise, Trait mentioned the pandemic causing uncertainty in the gaming market.

Per Tait:

“Granting relief regarding divestiture timing is in the best interest of the state and local community, and will not negatively impact operations at the property.”

Complying With IGC’s Stipulations

The Horseshoe Casino is one of three Indiana casinos that the gaming giant must sell to comply with the IGC’s stipulations for El Dorado’s $17.3B acquisition of Caesars. The sales was directed to prevent an “undue economic concentration of the state’s gaming industry following the merger.

Last month, Caesars announced the sale of Tropicana Evansville to Twin River Worldwide Holdings for $480M. Earlier this month, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians signed a letter of intent that gives the North Carolina tribal nation a 45-day period to buy Caesars Southern Indiana.

Caesars is retaining Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand. The two racinos are the only properties that are situated less than an hour away from Indianapolis. Aside from that, state legislature has allowed the two tracks to offer table games this year. Caesars is planning to infuse a combined $60M to add more table games to both spots

Biggest Casino in the State

The Horseshoe Casino is the biggest Indiana casino. Located less than a mile from Chicago and the state line of Illinois, it has 2,135 electronic games and 1,105 table positions which are the most by any Indiana casino.

Per the Gaming Commission’s annual report, the Horseshoe Casino generated a revenue of $309.3M during the fiscal year. That amount is $85M more than the income of the second-largest Indiana casino. It also generated $99.8M in taxes which was nearly double the $51.1M paid by the Indiana Grand.

Horseshoe’s $24.9M in local development agreement funding outpaced the next closest Indiana casinos combined. Hotel Lawrenceburg, Tropicana, and Ameristar East Chicago which have a total of $23.1M.

Are Underground Casinos Illegal in the United States?

Question Mark With Legal Illegal Text

Here’s a question for you—are underground casinos illegal? Well, a lot of that depends on where you live… Or does it?

In this post, I examine the legality of underground casinos in various cities and states. It can really vary, so there’s a thing or two that you ought to know about underground casinos and gambling in general.

Keep reading below to learn more about the legality of underground gambling operations.

What Is an Underground Casino?

Before you can say whether an underground casino is legal or not, you need to know exactly what an underground casino is. Basically, an underground casino is any gambling business or establishment that’s circumventing the law by operating discreetly or “underground.”

This might include your local bar. I used to drink at a bar in Dallas that had three slot machines called eight-liners. And that’s what they were called because they each had eight paylines.

Row of Slot Machines

They weren’t supposed to pay out cash. In fact, if you won money on one of the machines, you didn’t get the money immediately. You had to come pick up your money in an envelope from the owner of the bar on Friday. The bartender kept records of who won each week.

I figure that each of those three games earned at least $100 a day, making them quite a bit of money per week in additional revenue. That could be a significant amount of money for any bar, but especially one that’s small.

Real money slot machines, by the way, are illegal in Texas. This makes that bar, by definition, an “underground casino.”

More Examples of Underground Casinos

The most common example of an underground casino in the Dallas area is the underground poker room or cardroom. These operations were commonplace 20 years ago when I started playing serious poker, but they went through a period where they were getting raided by the vice squad. Many of them closed.

I was friendly with a couple of guys who ran underground cardrooms who served some time on probation and had felony convictions after running these businesses. Yes, those underground cardrooms were illegal. In Texas, you’re not allowed to run a gambling business that collects a rake from poker players. And they were definitely doing that.

In a sense, these underground cardrooms weren’t really casinos because they didn’t offer “casino games.”

I always make a distinction between casino games and poker games because casino games are, by definition, banked by the house. Poker games are banked by the other players.

In the eyes of the state of Texas, though, an underground gambling den is illegal regardless of who’s banking the action.

Enforcement increased when the Winstar started getting bigger. I’m not convinced that this was just a coincidence either.

What Is It Like to Gamble in an Underground Casino?

If you’ve watched a lot of casino movies, you might have some idea about fancy high-roller underground casinos where the patrons are well-dressed, and everyone is drinking something expensive and fancy.

You’ll be disappointed at most underground casinos because that’s not what most of them are like at all.

Most of them are more like the bar I talked about earlier in this post. They tend to be dingy, small, and offer low stakes gambling.

Another example of an underground casino is the “game room.” In Texas, every now and then, someone gets the idea to open a game room. It’s a business that’s full of eight-liners, which are just slot machines by another name.

Rounders Movie Poker Game

They try to skirt the law in various ways. I visited one in a small town once where you weren’t allowed to put actual coins or cash in the machines themselves. You had to buy credits on a card that you inserted into the machines for credits. This was an attempt to stay within the law.

The other funny thing about this game room was how the prizes worked. You couldn’t win cash there, just points. You could use those points to buy prizes from the prize table.

I examined the prizes available on the prize table on a couple of visits. I laughed when I saw that one my options was a six-pack of canned cream style corn. I laughed again when I saw a cheap set of gardeners’ tools.

Slot Machines in Gas Stations and Convenience Stores

Depending on the neighborhood, you can often find convenience stores and gas stations with a bank of eight-liners in them. These are also, by definition, underground casinos. They’re just underground casinos that also offer things like snacks, chips, and gasoline.

These seem to have more luck than the game rooms, probably because they have a plausible business outside of their gambling activities.

Also, for the police to arrest you, they have to be able to prove that you’re running an underground gambling business. Presumably some of the businesses offering these gambling games are good at keeping these activities subtle, secret, and well… underground.

Underground Casinos in Gambling Destinations Like Las Vegas

You’re not likely to find underground casinos in gambling destinations like Las Vegas. The businesses offering gambling activities in a town like Vegas have a lot of money and influence. Why would they not use that money and influence to crush small competitors operating outside of the law?

Also, why would anyone want to gamble at your underground casino when they could just as easily visit a legal, above-ground casino with security, drinks, and scantily-clad cocktail waitresses?

Park MGM Las Vegas

I could be wrong, though. Maybe there are underground casinos all over Vegas. Did you know that there are homeless people living in the tunnels underneath the city?

I’ve read about them, but I don’t think they’re doing any gambling down there. It sounds like they lead a hard-scrabble life and are just barely surviving.

Besides, an “underground” casino isn’t literally underground. It’s a figure of speech.

Underground Casinos Have a Cultural Component

Some cultures and subcultures enjoy gambling activities specific to their heritage. For example, a lot of Asian communities enjoy gambling. If you’re visiting a city big enough to have a Chinatown, chances are good that there’s at least one underground casino in that part of town. And that underground casino probably offers games popular with Asian gamblers. Baccarat is popular among Asian gamblers, so are pai gow, sic bo, and pachinko.

Of course, slot machines seem to be ubiquitous in underground casinos everywhere in the country.

Are Tribal Casinos Considered Underground Gambling?

Several years ago, the United States passed a federal law related to allow Native tribe casinos. These tribes have some degree of autonomy from the United States government but, of course, they must still abide by the law.

Such tribes have agreements with their state governments called “compacts,” and these compacts agree to specific rules related to the operation of casinos by these tribes in these states.

These tribal casinos are NOT underground casinos. They’re operating in full view of everyone with the blessing of the state government, although occasionally, you’ll see a state’s government disagree with the legality of a specific casino. That’s rare, though.

What kinds of restrictions do Indian casinos have? It depends on the state, but one of the common restrictions has to do with the type of gaming the casino is allowed to offer. Until recently, Oklahoma casinos could only offer Class II games and no Class III games.

This means the slot machine games operated like a bingo game where all the players were competing with each other in a parimutuel electronic bingo game. It’s seamless for the customers, but the machines have an LED screen with a bingo card on them. The reels are just for show.

Woman in a Native Tribe Casino

Another restriction that’s common with Native American casinos has to do with how random results are generated. Many times, cards are allowed, but dice and spinning wheels are not.

This has led to some interesting innovations from these casinos who want to offer craps and roulette. They figure out ways to generate results using a deck of playing cards, then “translate” those results into a virtual roll of the dice or spin of the wheel. But the outcomes are always based on the cards that got drawn.

Tribal casinos are likely here to stay, but they’re operating on the up and up.

Conclusion

Yes, according to US gambling laws, underground casinos are illegal. That’s the definition of “underground casino.” If they were legal, they would be aboveground casinos.

And no, most of them don’t look anything like the underground casinos you see in movies. They’re a lot less glamorous.

If you’re a business owner, they’re also risky. Vice squads are no fun to deal with when you’re breaking laws. They also offer little in the way of security, and who knows whether they cheat or not.

My suggestion is to stick with legitimate casinos that are licensed and regulated. Stay away from the underground casinos. You can get more out of your gambling buck at online casinos or make a trip out to a state-regulated establishment for some real fun! Underground casinos just don’t offer a lot of upside.

Important Betting Tips During the NBA and NHL Seasons in 2021

NBA and NHL Logos With 2021 Text

Okay, so if you’re one to bet on the NBA and NHL during their pandemic-marred 2019-2020 seasons, you have a nice, little sample size on what to expect for a full year of potential bubbles, games behind closed doors, and other oddities.

Expect the entire NBA and NHL seasons to remain the way they did in the bubble over the latter portions of their seasons, plus the playoffs. Not that we won’t see the teams back in their home arenas playing in front of thousands of fans.

But for intents and purposes, let’s play the conservative card until league brass states otherwise.

This post will cover six tips that you can use when betting on NBA and NHL games for the 2020-21 season, which should begin in December 2020 or January 2021. So if you’re betting on your favorite teams, this is a post to pay attention to.

Expect Potential Sports Betting Abnormalities

You can place the winning bet that no one saw a four-month stoppage in play would occur, but that’s exactly what the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak brought to the sports landscape. And while the bubble theory worked well, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let your guard down.

In any strange season, the unexpected can always occur. Look for abbreviated training camps and lack of preseason to put a strange damper on every team playing this season. Expect a longer learning curve for the league’s rookies, expect opt-outs, and other curveballs.

While it isn’t likely that we will see another stoppage in play, never rule it out. If it happened once, it can easily happen again.

NBA Lakers 2020 Champions

So when you’re looking to bet on the NBA and NHL seasons, expect some strange and mysterious things to happen. Track player opt-outs, rookie progress, playing venues, and any potential unexpected disruption to the NBA season.

The same goes for the upcoming NHL season. You will see a similar setup to what occurred when the league restarted back in August and like the NBA, player opt-outs are likely. Given the circumstances of COVID-19 and travel, expect little exchange between the NHL and their AHL affiliates.

While the players are against a full-time bubble environment because of revenue losses, you also can’t rule it out. We should eventually see teams in their home arenas, but we won’t know how many fans the league will allow.

Expect Cellar Dwellers to Heat Up

The Phoenix Suns proved this one last season when they became the only team in the bubble to win all of their games. It resulted in the lowly team many experts proclaimed as “just happy to be there” to come within a game of making the NBA playoffs.

Given the likelihood of opt-outs and the surreal realm for the 2020-21 NBA and NHL seasons, betting on a team to go from worst to first really isn’t as far-fetched as it would be in a normal season. Not that this is a good idea; but the odds of a cellar-dweller “surprising” this year in both leagues are higher than the norm.

That said, you can probably throw out your NBA and NHL preview magazines when they hit the store and online shelves. With the potential lack of home-court or home-ice advantage, player opt-outs, and potential disruptions in the schedule as seen in the NFL and MLB, it is anything goes this season.

The only question is: Who will be this season’s version of the Phoenix Suns?

Expect the League’s Best to Grow Cold

And as with expecting potential Cinderella stories, you can also expect some potential collapses among powerful teams with new coaches, front office, and player personnel.

While it’s still a safe measure to bet that the LA Lakers and Tampa Bay Lightning will still rule their respective leagues, it’s also safe to bet that more than a few teams will collapse.

Where is the proof?

It’s right there with the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Toronto Raptors in the NBA. All of whom collapsed in the bubble, prompting the fourth-seeded Miami Heat to earn a trip to the NBA Finals.

This will hold especially true in the NHL if they keep the same playoff format for another season. Some of the league’s best teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators (courtesy of the Arizona Coyotes), and Toronto Maple Leafs collapsed early.

NHL Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Champions

A sixth-seeded team, the New York Islanders, played Cinderella in the bubble, knocking off the third-seeded Washington Capitals and the top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers, guaranteeing the 45th season since the Flyers’ last Cup.

So, when you’re betting on NHL playoff games, Stanley Cup appearances, and the ultimate Stanley Cup Champion, just as with the NBA, know that a few curveballs are coming to those top-ranked teams this season.

If a COVID outbreak stops a team from playing for a couple of weeks or if the games are still on yet their top players test positive and are forced to sit out, you can expect a strange NHL and NBA season. Stay on top of things, because those top-ranked teams may suffer.

But even if COVID is not a factor in roster shuffling, the sheer atmosphere can change a lot of things for the upcoming season.

Don’t Expect Revamped Teams to Contend

So, you can expect teams who finished in the league’s cellar to potentially contend, and you can also expect teams among the league’s elite to fall flat on their faces. In the last two subheadings, I discussed your stable franchises.

But what about those franchises who saw a roster makeover, new coaching staffs, and a new front office? What should you make of them?

If you’re placing a bet on them, it’s wise to bet against them. And if you can turn to proof anywhere, it is in NFL sports betting, where I’ve never seen such a discrepancy between the league’s best and worst teams in my near-three decades of following the sport.

In the NBA, you saw the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Philadelphia 76ers make coaching changes. These are hard teams to bet in favor of, even if a few of those names were contenders in 2019-20.

In the NHL, the same holds true with the Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, and New Jersey Devils.

Again, you’ll find a few teams were contenders, with the Stars earning a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. But with new coaches often come new systems and learning curves. Also, new coaching staffs also love to bring in new players who fit their system.

The above teams are hard to bet on, even if the talent is there for them to make a run.

As for teams who have the same coaching staff in place but faced roster makeovers, miracles occur, but it’s never safe to place a bet and hope for a miracle.

Don’t Expect Home Court or Home Ice Advantage

At least early in the season. This could always change, but let’s assume limited crowd numbers, at least for the upcoming season.

Perhaps we will see teams return to somewhat decent arena capacity in 2020. But let’s play the conservative card and think otherwise until our eyes see packed houses again. Until then, teams with the greatest home-court and home-ice advantage will lack it.

Similar to what we saw in the MLB and NFL, it’s safe to bet the players must motivate themselves other than feeding off the hometown crowd’s energy. So at least in the early stages of the season, don’t expect the home team to hold an advantage.

Fanduel Sportsbook Lounge

If the seasons begin in a bubble atmosphere, this is a given. But even with limited fan attendance to say, 500 to 1,000 fans, don’t expect the hometown crowd to make much of a dent in swaying the game toward their team.

Until we at least see a respectable number of fans in attendance, it’s safe to bet on each game as if they’re played in a neutral spot, as during the NBA and NHL playoffs.

Expect Lower Seeds to Advance in the Playoffs

We saw a preview of this in both the NBA and NHL, so when you’re betting on playoff matchups, don’t make the sports betting mistake of not considering the upset.

Not that an upset will occur, but if we’re once again stuck with the bubble or if there are still little to no fans in the crowd come the playoffs, you won’t see the same home court or home ice advantage. Now, if there is a talent discrepancy between the first and eighth seed, it’s one thing.

But if you see both teams with winning records or the lower-seeded team playing the higher seeds tough during the regular season in the projected environment, we may see more than a few upsets. That said, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to see the fourth-seeded Miami Heat advance to the NBA Finals.

Or the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks struggle with lower-seeded opponents. Ditto for the NHL, especially in the round-robin portion of their playoffs in which teams like the Coyotes pulled off major upsets against heavy favorites.

Conclusion

If there is one common denominator listed here, it’s expecting the unexpected during the 2020-21 NBA and NHL seasons. In the sports betting landscape, it also means that we can rule out factors like home court/ice advantage.

Projected favorites could falter, and we may see our fair share of Cinderella stories. Of course, for those of us looking to eek out a profit in the betting landscape, it means we’re looking at quite a chess game here.

But expect an abnormal season and don’t write off the underdogs this season. Especially if a potential COVID outbreak causes scheduling disruptions or sidelines a few star players for an upcoming contest.

If there is one thing to place a winning wager on it’s that this is poised to be an interesting season.

Atlantic City’s Third-Quarter Revenue Fell by 37%

Atlantic City Casinos

New Jersey’s casino industry is one of the biggest in the United States. Unfortunately, the events of 2020 have been extremely hard on the casino companies operating here. New reports have just come out that show Atlantic City’s third-quarter revenue fell by 37% this year.

It’s an astounding drop to see. Unfortunately, some believe that the year’s fourth-quarter earnings may drop even more. Today, we will take a look at which properties managed to bring in the most money.

Let’s get into it!

Governor Murphy Claims New Regulations Could Be Coming Soon

This has been a remarkably difficult year for state leaders around the country. Governors are being forced to implement measures that have a massive effect on the local economy. Trying to protect public safety while keeping the economy afloat is proving to be extremely difficult.

Unfortunately, Governor Phil Murphy has been warning that additional regulations could soon be on their way. New Jersey has been seeing a sharp increase in Covid-10 cases recently. This past Monday, an additional 4,790 cases were recorded in the state with 16 new deaths.

Murphy has already implemented several new regulations over the past few months. Many of these have targeted casinos. Earlier this month, he started ordering casino restaurants to stop offering indoor dining past a certain time.

Many now fear that the casinos in Atlantic City could be forced to completely shut down. Several different states have recently shut down their casinos. Unless New Jersey’s infection rate begins to drop, this could be coming here, as well.

More regulations will have a serious impact on the casino industry here. As many know, the casinos in this state have been hurting badly over the past nine months. No one knows how things will look in the future.

We’re now beginning to see how much money the casinos in New Jersey lost over the months of July, August, and September.

Here’s Where Atlantic City’s Third-Quarter Revenue Stands

Many analysts have been eagerly waiting to see how the casinos in New Jersey managed to fare during 2020’s third quarter. We’ve seen several other major casino destinations release their revenue reports recently. This week, New Jersey did the same!

Things are about as bleak as many predicted. The casinos in New Jersey saw a massive 37% drop in revenue during the year’s third quarter. Capacity limits and other intense regulations have contributed to this large drop in earnings.

Overall, the casinos in this state brought in just $150.5 million over the months of July, August, and September. The vast majority of casinos here saw a large drop in earnings. Only the Ocean Casino Resort, previously one of the worst-performing casinos in the state, saw a revenue increase.

Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of a gambling and tourism institute at Stockton University and respected gaming analyst, spoke about this drop to the media this week.

“The data released today confirms what many have already suspected: The current public health crisis has both suppressed consumer demand for brick-and-mortar casino gaming and related amenities, and increased the costs of operating these services,” she said. “This is a devastating equation for casino operators and their employees.”

Hard Rock Atlantic City’s gross operating profit fell by 14.3%. Tropicana AC saw a massive 43.8% drop in revenue. It’s an extremely difficult time for all of the casinos operating in the state of New Jersey.

We’ll continue offering updates on any additional regulations placed here over the next few weeks!

Nevada Casinos Are Now Limited to Just 25% Capacity

Things aren’t much better over in Nevada. This state remains the biggest casino destination in the country. Unfortunately, casino revenue has been dropping considerably this year and is likely to drop even further over the next couple of months.

Over the weekend, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced a new set of regulations on different businesses. Many of these regulations are directly targeting casinos. Under the new state rules, Nevada’s casinos can only operate at 25% capacity.

Sisolak understands the impact of these new regulations. He also understands that something needs to be done to lower infection rates in the state. It seems likely that these new rules will have an impact on tourism into the city.

The new rules put an end to all of the major entertainment shows in Las Vegas. Many of the major casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip were set to resume their big shows. These will now be put on hold for at least the next three weeks.

The US casino industry is being put to the test like never before. Hope is that new regulations help to lower infections around the US. Stay tuned for more news on the casino rules being set in place over the rest of the year!

Are you surprised to see where Atlantic City’s third-quarter revenue stands? When do you think things will begin to improve here? Let us know in the comments section below!

What the Casino Industry Has Done to Protect Guests From COVID-19

Umbrella With a COVID-19 and Casino Background

For anyone concerned about protecting their health on future leisure and business trips, there are two kinds of land-based casinos:

  1. Full resorts
  2. Simple gaming halls

Some resorts offer more amenities than others but any casino that has its own hotel is facing more complicated issues than a simple gaming hall.

The needs of the resort combine the needs of a local business with a hospitality business.

The needs of the local gaming room or hall are more like the needs of a local restaurant.

Although everyone agrees that the economic fallout out from the worldwide response to the coronavirus pandemic is devastating many communities, casinos fall in the category of businesses where customers and staff come into close, frequent contact.

You don’t even need to sit close to someone in a casino environment to pick up a random virus. They are all over the playing cards, casino chips, tables, and chairs.

Most viruses are too weak or harmless to sicken the vast majority of casino guests. But the novel coronavirus is one of the deadliest such diseases to come along in a long time.

Community health experts were right to be cautious about re-opening casinos to the public. And casino operators have had to be sincere about protecting their patrons because they may not get more than one or two chances to prove they can take reasonable precautions.

Here are seven things casino operators are doing to protect their guests.

Support Research Efforts for Vaccines and Treatments

This may not sound like something casinos need to do but the sooner effective vaccines and treatments are found the sooner the world can get back to living life as people wish.

Some casinos make contributions to medical research just like any other business.

Must they do this? Should they do this?

I doubt many politicians will insist on this kind of support from casino businesses. But their liability insurance costs may go up to reflect the need to assist with medical expenses and protect them from lawsuits if guests become infected.

Casino Slots With Dividers

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.

While investing in medical research hasn’t been a priority for casino operators, they may have to agree to pay higher local taxes to support public hospitals and clinics. Most people should agree that any venue that attracts large crowds should accept some responsibility for covering spikes in costs of local health crises.

Require Casino Guests and Staff to Use Masks

This is the “no brainer” solution everyone is already aware of. The public is expected to wear masks everywhere in most large cities around the world.

Whether a land based casino accepts a guest that doesn’t wear a mask is another issue. But casinos and local stores have a powerful motivation they can leverage against reticent customers.

They can refuse to do business with anyone who isn’t wearing a mask.

Local convenience stores and other small merchants have asked how they are supposed to compel their customers to wear masks. Small business owners object to being burdened with this responsibility by saying “we are not the mask police”.

Businesses have been enforcing dress codes for decades. It is common to see signs on doors and windows that say “no service will be provided to anyone not wearing a shirt and shoes”.

While these business rules are usually directed at vagrants or casual beach-goers who wander into the wrong places, they have easily been updated to read “no service will be provided to anyone not wearing a mask”.

If you stop in a gas station to buy something and you’re not wearing a mask the clerk only need refuse to take your money.

Stop Using Facial Recognition Technology

While facial recognition systems have been deployed by casinos for at least 10 years, the public has only recently become fully aware of what these technologies can do.

Privacy advocates are already clamoring for governments to regulate and even ban face recognition systems.

Casino surveillance operators are looking for scammers, card counters, and people they’ve banned for any reason. They may benefit directly from these systems but the benefit to their guests is less clear.

Casino Dealer and Guest Wearing Masks

Some security systems may be useful in helping to find lost children, identify violent and dangerous criminals, and provide other occasional benefits to the public.

But the bottom line here is that face recognition systems are designed for casino’s benefit and not for everyone else.

Since guests are required to wear masks when visiting casinos, facial recognition technology will have to be scaled up to interpret masked faces better. There are so many ways that can go wrong.

Casinos need to weigh the risks of continuing to use facial recognition technology against their guests’ needs to maintain safety and privacy. You can expect privacy advocates to raise this issue.

Provide Gloves and Sanitizer to Guests and Visitors

Requiring people to wear masks is one thing. Demanding they provide their own gloves is another.

While not everyone will be comfortable with donning gloves, it’s been easier to persuade the public to wear gloves in a casino if they are provided for free.

Latex-based gloves may be cheap but not everyone can wear them. Some biodegradable materials may be suitable for one-use gloves. Certain sectors of the food industry already uses these kinds of gloves.

Guests have been asked to use hand sanitizers placed close to gaming consoles and tables, too. Anything the casino industry can do to make it easier for gamblers to stay clean and healthy will be a major plus for the industry. These are low-cost ideas that have already been adopted by most retailers.

It’s common in American grocery stores to see a roll of paper towels or sanitizing wipes next to every entrance. While these dispensers run out of product quickly, casinos can afford to replace them throughout the day.

Upgrade Restroom Amenities

It’s creepy to see a guy standing in the corner of the restroom offering to clean your hands or help you with other sanitary needs. Some night clubs allow local vendors to work their restrooms and some casinos keep a staff member in there to prevent guests from engaging in embarrassing activities.

But most people get used to these special service providers and even tip them generously. They may be able to encourage people to wash their hands more often.

Every business with public facilities have had to give considerable thought to upgrading how they expect their guests to stay clean. And for many that meant replacing all existing faucets, hand-drying options, and toiletries.

It’s an expense that could save lives and keep a business open. It’s an expense that will be considered by many local governments. Even if most businesses are deemed incapable of paying for upgrades there won’t be much economic sympathy for large venue operators like the casino industry.

Install Plastic Sheeting and Dividers

While a simple plastic barrier doesn’t guarantee to stop the spread of pathogens it’s much better than nothing. Stores and food processing companies have already installed hanging or rigid plastic barriers.

Casinos have been able to do the same thing. They’ve had to solve some simple structural problems but instead of removing games and tables from their floors, they want to give players some protection.

No one wants to wear a hazmat suit while gaming but plastic barriers serve a useful purpose.

Blackjack Table With Dividers

This is no time for companies to care about the aesthetics of plastic sheeting. If anything they should have done this years ago because it’s healthier.

But with the simple solution comes the problem of maintenance. You can’t just set up a plastic wall between two game consoles and leave it there. These things become gross very quickly.

Casino employees have to clean the barriers. And the sanitization procedures have become onerous.

While there may be pushback in the industry sooner or later individual privacy and health needs are priorities.

Game console designers may have to rethink how they create their equipment. Some consoles are already standalone games but it will take time to replace all game consoles. Temporary measures may be more cost-effective.

On-Call Medical Staff

Whether it’s a full-time nurse or just someone trained to take temperatures, casinos have been expected to go the extra mile and provide guests with some in-house medical prevention.

Taking people’s temperatures in public is a questionable practice but the practice was widely adopted in China and other countries. Casinos have been in a better position to test remote temperature-checking technology than other businesses.

There have been ethical and legal questions around such proposals. Again, some casinos have had pushback against the idea, but Macau’s casinos have already set the standard by checking temperatures.

The rest of the casino industry learned many lessons from how Macau has handled COVID-19.

Conclusion

The short-term debate over how to run casinos during the pandemic has been resolved rather quickly.

The long-term question of how to keep casinos safe for the public requires thought, discussion, and some experimentation. Because it’s in the casino operators’ best interests to protect their guests they’ll quickly adapt to the new requirements.

Reasons Why Video Poker Is Better Than Blackjack

Thumbs Up and Down Icons With a Video Poker and Blackjack Background

Some video poker machines and some blackjack tables offer a return to player of over 99%. This makes these two games better than other casino games. But you have to learn the best strategy to achieve these results.

When you use strategy, you have to avoid making mistakes. That’s because when you make a mistake, it costs you money. And the best way to avoid making mistakes is to focus on one game rather than playing both or switching back and forth.

In order to pick the best game to focus on, you need to gather as many facts about each one as possible. You also need to learn about each of their advantages and disadvantages.

On this page, you’ll learn about five reasons why real money video poker games are a better option than blackjack games.

More Base Game Options

Every blackjack game is basically the same. A few rules vary from table to table, but there simply isn’t much in the way of variety. Video poker, on the other hand, offers many different base game variations.

I don’t know about you, but I get bored playing the exact same game in the exact same way over and over again. I like to have a little variety when I’m gambling. And a different video poker game is usually just a few feet away or a click away.

But when I move from one blackjack table to another, the same game is waiting for me. Even if I travel from one casino to another, all of the blackjack games are the same.

Online Video Poker Screenshot

You can do some things to keep blackjack more interesting. The best way to add a challenge to the game is counting cards, but this isn’t easy to do. And it can also get you kicked out of the casino. Nobody gets kicked out of the casino for playing video poker.

You should try every different video poker base game variation you can find. This way, you can learn about them all and find the ones that you like the best. I’ve played all different types of video poker games and now only play three base games. But I’d never have found all three that I like if I hadn’t tried them all.

Gambling Strategy Is Easier

When you play video poker, you need to use strategy. If you don’t use video poker strategy, you’re losing too much money. The same is true when you play blackjack. The only way to fight the odds is to use strategy.

You can use strategy with both video poker and blackjack, but video poker strategy is easier to use than blackjack strategy. The truth is that neither game is too hard to use strategy with, but if you’re looking for the easiest way to get started, video poker is definitely the way to go.

Some video poker games require more difficult techniques than others. If you’re looking for the easiest video poker strategies, look at Pick’em Poker and Jacks or Better. The strategy for Pick’em Poker can be memorized in a couple minutes. And the strategy for Jacks or Better can be memorized by playing online for free for a few hours.

You can always use a strategy card when you’re playing video poker, even if you don’t have the strategy memorized. The same is true for blackjack, but it’s more complicated than learning video poker strategy.

No Annoying Casino Gamblers

I prefer to gamble without a lot of noise and other players most of the time. A busy casino isn’t the best place to find peace and quiet. And a full blackjack table always seems to have at least one annoying player who either gives unwanted advice to everyone at the table or is always insulting the dealer.

Blackjack Dealer With Three Players

When you sit down at a video poker machine, you don’t have to deal with other gamblers. You might have to learn how to ignore a chatty person at the next machine, but playing video poker is a solo adventure.

The best way to avoid annoying gamblers is to play online or on a mobile device. However, some gamblers enjoy the noise and atmosphere in a casino, but they don’t like being around annoying players. Video poker is a much better choice for these players than blackjack.

Lower Minimum Wager Amounts

When you walk into a casino and sit down at a blackjack table, the smallest wager you can make is probably going to be either $10 or $20. And most $10 tables now only pay 6:5 for a blackjack. I can rant for hours about how bad 6:5 tables are, but that’s a discussion for another article.

For now, all I’ll say is that if your only option for blackjack is a table that pays 6:5, you should simply not play. Even if you can find a decent blackjack table with a $10 minimum bet, it’s still considerably less expensive to make a video poker wager. Many casino offer quarter machines, so the total wager is $1.25 for a five-coin wager. When you compare $1.25 to $10, it’s a big difference. And it’s a huge difference when you compare it to a $20 minimum.

Where you need to be careful is how many hands you’re playing every hour. If you’re playing 60 blackjack hands every hour at $20 a hand, your total hourly risk is $1,200. If you’re playing 400 hands of video poker an hour at $1.25, your total risk is $500. But if you’re playing on a $1 machine and betting five coins, your hourly risk is $2,000.

The good news is that you control how many video poker hands you play on an hourly basis. I cover more about this in the next section.

If you play Deuces Wild video poker or Jacks or Better, and use good strategy with a good pay table, the return to player percentages are close to what you get playing blackjack using strategy with decent rules. In fact, these games are almost interchangeable from a return to play standpoint.

Video Poker Machine Royal Flush

If you subtract the return to player percentage of a game from 100, then multiply the result times the amount of money you risk every hour, you can determine how much you can expect to lose.

What all of this means is that the amount you risk is directly related to how much you can expect to lose. Using a return to player of 99.5%, this means you can multiply .5%, or .005, times your total risk amount to get an expected loss.

Using the numbers I listed earlier in this section, here are your expected losses:

  • $1,200 x .5% = $6.00
  • $500 x .5% = $2.50
  • $2,000 x .5% = $10.00

The difference isn’t huge every hour, but it adds up the longer you play. At 10 hours of play, you lose $60, $25, and $100 depending on how much you’re risking. This is why smaller minimum wagers available in video poker are so important.

You Control the Speed of the Game

The only control you have over the speed of a live blackjack game is if you leave the table. When you play live video poker, you can play as fast as you can hit the buttons, or as slow as you want.

You learned how the speed of the game combined with the amount of each wager directly influences how much you lose in the last section. You’re always better off playing fewer hands with lower wager amounts.

You have control of these variables when you play video poker. You don’t have as much control when you play blackjack. This makes video poker a better option than blackjack.

If you play video poker or blackjack on your phone or computer, you have total control over how fast you play with both games. You can also find even lower bet amount limits when you play online or on mobile casinos.

Some online casinos offer five-cent video poker machines, and some of them offer blackjack tables starting at $1. This means you can play online or mobile video poker for 25 cents a hand, and you can play slow. This reduces your expected loss numbers by a large amount.

Conclusion

Video poker offer smore variations than blackjack. Blackjack is basically the same game everywhere, but there are many different video poker variations. And the strategy you need to use to have the best chance to win is easier for video poker than blackjack.

You can also easily avoid dealing with other gamblers when you play video poker, but this is tough to do when you play blackjack.

You also have more control when you play video poker. You don’t have to wait for the dealer when you want to play the next hand. Finally, video poker machines offer smaller minimum bets than blackjack tables.

Golden Nugget Online Gaming Expands To West Virginia Via The Greenbrier

Laptop Computer on Table, Roulette Wheel on Computer Screen
Golden Nugget Online Gaming continues its expansion. On Monday, it announced a definitive agreement with Greenbrier Hotel Corporation of West Virginia to launch sports betting and online casino games in the state, subject to the procurement of the required regulatory approval.

Its entry in West Virginia marks its access in a fifth different state. Golden Nugget has also entered the online sports betting and casino games in New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Last week Golden Nugget Online Gaming received access to Illinois via the Danville casino project which will be branded as a Golden Nugget property.

Said Golden Nugget owner Tillman Fertitta:

“The partnership with The Greenbrier is an important milestone for the Golden Nugget online gaming expansion plans. We look forward to providing West Virginian players with our best-in-class product.”

Meanwhile, Greenbrier President Dr. Jill Justice expressed excitement about the new partnership:

“The Greenbrier is excited about this new partnership and adding to the incredible casino offerings already in place for our guests, members and friends throughout West Virginia. Golden Nugget has proven itself as a market leader in the industry, and we’re confident it will deliver a product that matches the lofty standard that defines America’s Resort.”

Access To a 5th State

The partnership calls for Golden Nugget to pay the Greenbrier a percentage of online gaming net revenue, subject to minimum royalty payments. The Golden Nugget is the first to provide Live Casino Floor and Live Dealer products to the United States online gambling market.

Under state laws, land-based West Virginia casinos are allowed up to three skins for online sports betting and another three more for online casinos. The Golden Nugget is the Greenbrier’s third sports betting skin after FanDuel and MGM. It is also their second online casino skin after MGM.

Greenbrier Owner is WV Governor

With debts totaling $500M, the Greenbrier filed for bankruptcy in 2009 but it was saved by coal mining billlionare Jill Justice, who bought the historic luxury resort for $20M. In 2017, Justice became West Virginia governor and one year later, the U.S Supreme Court struck down the United States Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. That same year, West Virginia lawmakers passed legislation to allow West Virginia casinos to take sports bets.

Last year, West Virginia became the second state after New Jersey to fully legalize online casinos, including slot machines, table games, and sports betting. Gov. Justice allowed the legislation to become a law without his signature. Today, the Greenbrier has 320 slot machines and 37 table games. The venue also has a physical FanDuel sportsbook.

Ways to Double Up on Your Next Trip to the Casino

Man With a Stack of Money and a Casino Graphic

Nearly 100% of gamblers head to the casino with one thing in mind, and that’s to leave with some of the casino’s money in their pocket.

Sometimes, people even have the specific goal of doubling up on their trip. Doubling up takes a more aggressive approach than I would typically suggest. Still, gambling is entertainment. And there’s no doubt that going for broke will add another level of thrill to your casino adventure.

If you’re looking to spice things up and have some extra cash to blow, try these five ways to double up on your next real money gambling trip.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is becoming one of the most popular forms of gambling in the United States. As more US states move to legalize sports betting, a new wave of sportsbooks is opening their doors to punters.

Becoming a successful sports bettor takes years of carefully studying trends and decoding analytics. Even then, it’s a dicey proposition and requires at least a small amount of luck not to bust completely before you find your niche.

In order to even turn a small profit sports betting, you’ll have to win over 52% of your wagers because of the vig or juice. The vig is how the sportsbooks make their mountains of money.

Sports Betting Bar and Lounge

For example, you’ve probably noticed that when you make a $12 bet, you win $10. That $2 is the juice, and on losing bets, the casino keeps it. By drawing even action on both sides of a bet, the sportsbooks collect $2 and use the $10 to pay winners. I only bring this up because it’s difficult to truly double up sports betting due to the vig.

You’ll typically have to bet more than you’ll win. However, if you take that same $12 and win a bet, you’re at $22. That’s pretty close, but not truly doubled up. Still, take that $12 and win another game, and you’ve got $32.

Picking winners is difficult; sports are wildly unpredictable, and even the best sports bettors in history are correctly picking winners under 60% of the time.

However, if you’re particularly knowledgeable in a certain sport and want to double your money quickly, sports betting may be your best bet. Remember to bet with your head and not your heart, though.

Stick to One Bet

You’re not going to like this one at face value, but indulge me for a moment. Casino games are designed to casually reduce your bankroll to zero over hours or even days. You’ll win and lose seemingly back and forth.

You may even win five hands in a row to only lose eight of the next 10. It’s unquestionably a slow burn on the casino floor. What if I told you there was a way to double up almost half of the time you visit a casino?

Suppose you only make one bet on your next casino trip. That’s all. You walk straight up to your favorite table game and place a single bet. If you play the best bets in the casino, you’ll have almost a coin flip as to whether you win or lose.

Instead of taking your $250 to the blackjack table and watching your chip stack slowly whittle away to nothing, you confidently stroll up to the higher limit table and throw $250 on the table.

You’ll notice that your heart rate instantly spikes, and adrenaline begins coursing through your veins. Suddenly, you’re as excited as you’ve ever been on the casino floor. Then, BOOM! It’s over as quickly as it started. You’ve either doubled up or lost it all.

Some gamblers consider this an extremely boring way to gamble, and they may be right in some aspects. After all, you’re certainly not going to be spending much time gambling.

Yet, I don’t know anything more exciting than letting it all ride on a single shot. You’re going to lose more than you win if you take this approach enough times.

Still, almost half of the time, you’ll be walking out of the casino with twice as much as you came with.

Casino Craps Play

Craps is a ton of fun. The excitement surrounding the craps table in a busy casino draws players in like moths to a flame. Novice casino gamblers are often intimidated by the craps table. They see a complicated table with dozens of available wagers to make and are lost.

You shouldn’t be, though. Most of the bets on a craps table are sucker bets. However, there are two specific bets on craps that have a relatively low casino house edge. Yup, I’m referring to the pass line bet and the don’t pass line bet.

In fact, these two bets are among the lowest house edges in the casino. Both are below 1.5%, and the don’t pass line has a minute advantage over the pass line around 0.05%.

Casino Dice on a Craps Table

If you’ve never had the courage to belly up to the craps table, I challenge you to do so on your next trip to the casino. Your fellow players and the dealers will be more than happy to show you the ropes. You’ll quickly become a proficient player and fan of the game.

Be aware that the pass line bet is the most popular because you’re betting on the player rolling the dice. Play the don’t pass line, and you’ll have less of a disadvantage, but most players will be rooting for you to lose.

Well, maybe not overtly. Don’t be surprised if you’re the target of some light-hearted jabs. Another wonderful aspect of craps is that one round may take several rolls to reconcile. This reduces the speed of the game while simultaneously building added drama.

Give craps a go on your next trip to the casino, and you may walk out having doubled your money. Make sure to stay away from the selection of prop bets!

Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Many casino newbies don’t realize that it also has one of the lowest house edges in the casino. In fact, when applying the proper blackjack strategy, the house edge drops to nearly 0%. You aren’t going to find those types of odds at the roulette wheel.

Nearly 8.5% of blackjack hands are a push when you play basic strategy. This still leaves over 42% of hands where you’ll double your money. Take into account that a blackjack pays 3:2, and you’re suddenly primed for doubling your money. I’ve sat at a table and watched someone get on a heater, winning well over 15 consecutive hands.

Now, the probability of that happening is minuscule. However, since any particular hand results are largely random, it’s not out of the question. One incident of a heater stands out to me more than the others. This player never changed their bet amount.

Hand after hand, they simply collected their chips and left their original bet of $25 on the table. Inside of 30 minutes, this savvy bettor had taken over $500 of the casino’s money. I call them savvy for two fundamental reasons.

First, the player stayed consistent. Every single hand was the bet amount that they had clearly set as their predetermined bet amount for the session. There was no doubling down or letting it ride.

Online Casino Blackjack Game

Secondly, the player had obviously set a win limit for their session. I can make this assumption based on their solid play and resolution to resist the urge to double their bet size. Heck, I was internally screaming for them to double their bet amount. However, I would rarely make that mistake myself.

Once they hit their win limit of somewhere around $500, I’m guessing, they gathered their significantly larger stack of chips and headed to the cashier.

Suppose you’ve never played basic strategy in blackjack, that’s no problem. You can pick up a basic strategy card from the casino gift shop or print one out from home before you head to the casino.

The casino won’t have any problem with you using the card at the table as long as you don’t slow the game down. It’s imperative that you use the basic strategy on every single hand. Otherwise, you’re giving about 1% of the edge back to the casino.

All-In Poker

Texas Hold’em can be a great way to double your money at the casino quickly. In fact, there are a couple of ways to accomplish this feat.

The first and probably most obvious way to double up is by going all-in. Of course, you’re going to need the cards and fellow players to cooperate. I’ve sat in the poker room and watched players come in with the sole objective of doubling up their stack two or three times to get to the high stakes games.

They’ll wait for a fish to make a bad bet or poor call and push all-in. Sometimes, they’ll get a call and clean house.

Full House Poker Hand

Other times, their opponents will fold, but they add whatever’s in the pot to their chip stack. A few of these lucrative hands is all it takes to double up quickly. Still, it takes a tremendous amount of intestinal fortitude and nerves of steel.

A safer yet longer journey to doubling up is winning a poker tournament. Most casinos have several small poker tournaments every night of the week. For a relatively small buy-in, you have the chance to win well over 10 times your original buy-in.

Don’t overlook poker as a great way to double up on your next trip to the casino. Remember, you don’t have to be the best player in the room. You only need to be better than the player across from you.

Conclusion

Try out these five ways to double up on your next trip to the casino, and you may leave a tremendous winner. Of course, you could also lose it all, but at least you’ll have a blast doing it!

Esports Betting Has Boomed in 2020 – Here’s Why

Esport 2020 Text With a Money and Gamer Background

Esports betting has experienced rapid growth over the past decade. However, it has especially seen an uptick in 2020.

Many people are experiencing esports gambling for the first time this year. In turn, bookmakers are taking advantage of this situation to boost their bottom line.

What’s up with the extra crazy growth in 2020? Below, I’ll explain why this year has been so good to esports betting sites.

Coronavirus’ Impact on Traditional Sports Betting

Traditional sports run year-round. You can look forward to NFL football and soccer in the fall, basketball and hockey in the winter and baseball in the summer.

Therefore, you always have something to bet on with regard to sports. But the coronavirus has taken it’s toll on sports by reducing the amount of games available to bet on in 2020.

As you probably already know, COVID-19 currently makes it unsafe to pack stadiums full of fans. Bookmakers, who fully rely on sports to make revenue, are also struggling during this period.

Sportsbooks have turned to esports in an effort to continue generating revenue. They’ve had quite a bit of success with this type of gambling, considering that esports were already becoming more popular before COVID-19.

Empty Sports Betting Lounge

Despite their rising popularity, esports have still taken a backseat to the most-popular sports. Now, though, they’re enjoying the centerstage all to themselves.

Bookmakers are offering more esports markets than ever before. They’re also featuring plenty of live wagering opportunities—something that hasn’t always been the case in the past.

Those who love sports betting are desperate for as many things as possible to gamble on. They don’t care whether they’re risking money on video games or ping-pong.

Therefore, esports have managed to draw more fans during the coronavirus pandemic. Going further, their popularity is accelerating even faster than before.

Gambling Esports Nearly the Same as Betting on Sports

Before COVID-19 hit, many gamblers had yet to wager on video game competitions. Again, the average bettor sticks to standard sports.

But when sports leagues became sidelined, many people have taken the time to learn about esports betting. They’ve discovered that wagering on video game events isn’t much different than regular sports.

After all, esports gambling uses the same odds and wager types as betting on the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. Anybody who was already well-versed with betting on these leagues has experienced little trouble adjusting to esports wagering.

Regarding the odds, esports betting sites use American, decimal, and fractional odds. These are the same types of odds that are used for regular sports.

Esports bet types include moneylines, totals, outrights, prop bets, live wagers, and futures. Almost every one of these bets is also available for sports too.

An outright are the only exception to this rule. It sees you wager on which team will win a particular video game tournament.

Aside from maybe outrights, sports bettors have felt completely comfortable crossing over into the gaming world. The only differences involve the players and teams that they need to handicap to be successful.

Esports Betting Has Already Been Rising Anyways

As mentioned before, esports gambling has been a growth industry for a while. It has experienced a boom right along with esports competitions in general.

The latter has seen its fanbase increase exponentially over the last several years. Thanks to celebrity investors and more interest than ever before, esports events now compete with traditional sports in terms of viewership.

For reference, over 100 million people watch the League of Legends (LoL) World Championship. This viewership even beat the Super Bowl audience!

League of Legends Screenshot

The growth for esports shows no signs of slowing down. In turn, esports gambling also figures to have a bright future.

Experts forecast this industry will be worth $1.8 billion by the end of 2020. This forecast is quite impressive when considering that the industry was only worth $24 million in 2015.

COVID-19 has provided a jolt to an industry that is already drawing countless new fans every day. It has forced traditional sports leagues to shut down and allowed esports to shine.

Esportsbooks Are Luring Gamblers With Bigger Bonuses

Esports betting isn’t the only type of online gambling that has benefited from the pandemic. Online bingo, casinos, and poker sites have all seen an uptick in customers as well.

Everybody is looking for things to do while many industries either feature limited hours or are shut down completely. The internet gambling industry has taken advantage of the situation to the fullest.

Casinos, poker rooms, and esports betting sites are offering even larger online bonuses than ever before. They want to capitalize on all of the new potential gamblers.

As for esportsbooks, they’re featuring large free bets and deposit bonuses. Typically, these sites only offer one or the other.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of these opportunities while they’re hot, here’s more on what to expect with free wagers and deposit bonuses:

Free Bet

You receive a free wager worth up to a certain size (e.g. $25). Assuming you lose your first bet, you can recover the losses by meeting playthrough.

Here’s an example:

  • An esports betting site offers a $25 free wager.
  • You bet $25 and lose.
  • Playthrough is 6x.
  • 25 x 6 = $150
  • You must wager $150 to get the $25 loss back.

This offer only kicks in if you actually lose the bet. Assuming you win the first wager, then you just collect your profit.

Deposit Bonus

This deal matches a percentage of your first deposit. You need to satisfy playthrough before withdrawing the bonus funds.

Here’s an example:

  • A bookmaker offers a 100% match deposit bonus worth up to $200.
  • You deposit $100, thus qualifying for a $100 bonus.
  • Playthrough is 20x.
  • 100 x 20 = $2,000
  • You must wager $2,000 before cashing out the $100 bonus.

These offers typically force you to bet above certain odds (e.g. only bets at -150 or better count). Otherwise, you could just back heavy favorites and have an easier time meeting playthrough.

Will Esports Gambling Retain Its New Fans?

Esports betting sites won’t continue drawing new customers at the same rapid rate when the coronavirus slows down. They’ll face more competition from traditional sports once again at this point.

However, they’ve undoubtedly taken advantage of the pandemic. Sportsbooks have introduced new people to a form of wagering that they might’ve not tried otherwise.

NBA 2K21 Screenshot

Some of these new fans will divide their bankroll between other sports when the opportunity arises again. Others will leave esports betting behind and never look back.

The end result, though, is that more people are aware of this type of gambling than ever before. The same bettors who only found esports due to COVID-19 will consider wagering on video game competitions in the future.

If esports as an entire industry is to grow and compete with regular sports, then two things need to happen:

  1. Continued investments from outside sources
  2. Big TV deals

The investments have been rolling in from celebrities and wealthy businesspeople. Savvy investors see both competitive gaming and esports betting as growth industries that’ll offer a nice return. Therefore, esports probably won’t need to worry about outside money coming in for a while.

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Regarding TV deals, gaming has already benefited from a relationship with ESPN. The world’s largest sports network covers various games, including Dota 2, Hearthstone, LoL, and NBA 2K.

But the industry could always use another major television deal or two. After all, TV currently brings in more advertising revenue than live streaming.

Of course, gambling figures to be a key cog in making both the advertising and investments happen. Betting has driven the popularity of sports for decades and figures to do the same for video gaming.

So far, everything seems to be falling into place in this regard. Bookmakers are drawing more action from esports gambling than ever.

Conclusion

Esports betting saw tremendous growth last decade and bookmakers are still working to make it more widely available for sports bettors. They went from obscure competitions to becoming a global phenomenon.

Competitive gaming has kicked off 2020 in the right way. Fueled by traditional sports shutting down during COVID-19, both esports competitions and betting sites have experienced major success.

Video game leagues and tournaments remain one of the few things to bet on while sports are sidelined. Therefore, many new fans/bettors have rushed to the industry.

The growth will no doubt slow down once the pandemic does. Even then, though, some gamblers who’ve recently found esports will continue wagering on them.

Bugsy Siegel and “The Syndicate” Set Up Shop on the Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas Sign and Bugsy Siegel

These days, the glitzy resort casinos that define Las Vegas in the minds of millions are largely owned by corporate entities. But despite the progress made by mega companies like Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts, the seeds of Sin City were planted by bold entrepreneurs who made their own gamble on the casino gambling industry.

Beginning in the 1940s, these pioneers realized the potential held by a dusty outpost in the Nevada desert by building the Silver State’s first casinos. In the first installment of an ongoing series, we’ll look at the life and times of Bugsy Siegel, the mobster turned manager of The Flamingo, one of the very first casino resorts on the Strip.

Brief Background and Biography of Bugsy Siegel

Long before he became the notorious leader of the Murder Inc. crime syndicate, “Bugsy” was born in 1906 as Benjamin Siegel in a low-income Brooklyn neighborhood. Like many children of European immigrants during that era, Siegel quickly decided to ditch school altogether in favor of joining a street gang.

A string of petty crimes soon ensued after Siegel joined a gang, as he and other Jewish youths threatened shop owners and shook them down for paid protection. Siegel eventually hooked up with Meyer Lansky to form a small-scale mob which expanded into bootlegging and other lucrative illicit ventures. By the tender age of 21, Siegel had already committed several gangland murders to “off” rivals, while palling around with mob legends to be like Al Capone.

Siegel’s proficiency with a pistol led him to become a sought-after hitman, a trade he flourished in as the leading figure of Murder Inc. Essentially, when mob families needed a professional killer to do their dirty work, Siegel and his underlings accepted the contracts in exchange for cash and favors.

Siegel’s skills weren’t limited to violence, however, as he also flourished in the murky world of underground gambling. By the mid-1930s, with his Murder Inc. activities bringing down “heat” from major Mafia crime families, Siegel’s boss sent him to Nevada a la Fredo Corleone in “The Godfather.”

Bugsy Siegel Mug Shot

His objective in Nevada involved furnishing illegal services by night to members of the work crew constructing the Hoover Dam. Drugs and prostitution reigned supreme, but with legal casinos providing for the workers’ gambling needs, Siegel spotted an opportunity to go legit.

Before he could capitalize on legal casinos in Las Vegas, however, Siegel was dispatched to California to extend the mob’s reach from coast to coast.

Once there, Siegel successfully gained control over the Golden State’s various illegal gambling enterprises in the name his bosses back east, in an ambitious scheme they dubbed the “National Crime Syndicate.”

In 1944, following a brief incarceration on charges of bookmaking and racketeering, Siegel realized that another change of scenery was in order. With that, he picked up stakes and headed to neighboring Nevada to make his biggest gamble yet.

Siegel Takes Over the Flamingo Casino and Starts the Strip

At this time, the beating heart of the Nevada gambling scene was located in downtown Las Vegas along Fremont Street.

Siegel initially sought to stake his claim Downtown by purchasing the El Cortez casino, but local gaming officials used his criminal background to block the acquisition. Forced to adjust on the fly, Siegel expanded the scope of his search to include areas that were technically outside of city limits, and out of the Las Vegas authorities’ jurisdiction.

Other entrepreneurs had the same idea, including a publishing magnate by the name of Billy Wilkerson. In 1945, Wilkerson was hard at work breaking ground on a property he envisioned as the biggest and brightest casino resort in town. Wilkerson’s project was centered on a plot of land a few miles south of Downtown along a largely deserted roadway which eventually became Interstate 15.

Vintage Flamingo Las Vegas Photo

At the time though, this undeveloped desert land held nothing but promise, plus a handful of “sawdust joints,” or old-school gambling halls that skimped on the frills players enjoy today.

Wilkerson’s dream was a full-scale resort combining a casino with a hotel tower, swimming pool, golf course, concert hall, and several other amenities previously unheard of in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately for him, those dreams soon drained Wilkerson’s bank account, and he found himself in desperate need of additional funding to the tune of six figures.

Enter the ambitious Siegel and his mob connections back on the East Coast… With no need to disclose his true identity or background, Siegel and his associates made Wilkerson an offer he couldn’t refuse. No, not that kind of offer, simply an infusion of a half-million dollars to turn Wilkerson’s casino visions into reality.

Of course, what began as a joint investment quickly turned into the shake down to end all shake downs. Enamored with the Las Vegas lifestyle and its lucrative nature, Siegel strongarmed Wilkerson out of the latter’s share in the casino project.

After naming the joint The Flamingo Hotel and Casino, inspired by a long-legged paramour who loved wearing pink gowns out on the town, Siegel set to work. Soon enough, thanks to investments made by Lansky and the boys back in New York, Siegel was spending exorbitant sums to complete the most glamorous casino in all of Las Vegas.

In December of 1946, having co-opted his partners’ expenditure of $6 million—nearly $80 million in 2020 when adjusted for inflation—The Flamingo finally opened its doors. Siegel had spent the last year promising his mob cohorts a tremendous return on their investment, owing to The Flamingo’s supposed appeal for high rolling “whales.”

Unfortunately for him, a rushed opening ensured that those whales never showed up…

Arrogance and a Bad Attitude Sever Mob Ties

Having spent countless thousands to hire celebrity entertainers, Siegel expected wealthy gamblers from around the Southwest would flock to The Flamingo.

But when the venue held its highly anticipated grand opening, only the casino and lounge were fully functional while the hotel tower was still under construction. Gamblers were greeted by the constant background noise of construction crews, and with nowhere to stay onsite, they inevitably left in favor of staying in downtown casinos where the hotel was operational.

The losses began mounting almost immediately, with The Flamingo’s casino intake failing to make up for the continued cost of hotel construction. Siegel’s temper flared with regularity, and he was even seen berating a family who had the nerve to complain about the noise.

Soon enough, as the flow of cash his investors expected dried up, the mob’s leadership began pondering possible explanations for the shortfall. Lansky, who by that point was based in Cuba to control the island’s thriving casino industry, began openly speculating about Siegel’s possible malfeasance in conversations with his criminal cohorts.

In his memoirs, fellow East Coast gangster Charles “Lucky” Luciano penned the following indictment issued by Lansky during a meeting of mob figures known as the Havana Conference:

“Bugsy had skimmed this dough from his building budget, and he was sure that Siegel was preparing to skip as well as skim, in case the roof was gonna fall in on him.”

Lansky based his suspicions on a rumor that Siegel’s girlfriend in Las Vegas was secretly funneling major amounts of money to a shielded Swiss bank account.

Whether those rumors were true was beside the point when it came to the mob’s code of “honor.” With Lansky abstaining from the vote, attendees of the Havana Conference voted to issue a contract on Siegel’s life.

Siegel, for his part, attempted to stall in hopes that The Flamingo’s hotel opening would generate the financial windfall he had long promised. After the hotel’s completion in early 1947, his vision for The Flamingo finally began coming to fruition. Well-heeled gamblers showed up from Los Angeles and back east, putting The Flamingo back into the black for the first time.

It was a classic story of “too little, too late” for Siegel, however, as the contract on his life remained in effect.

Bugsy Siegel Crime Scene

While enjoying a quiet evening at his home in Beverly Hills, the 41-year-old Siegel was assassinated via multiple gunshot wounds from a military grade machine gun. In an apocryphal tale, Siegel was said to have been shot directly through the eye, but autopsy documents confirm his eye socket actually suffered from exit wounds.

In any event, Siegel’s life and death were used by author Mario Puzo in his book “The Godfather” to create the greedy casino owner character Moe Greene. To this day, mafia aficionados refer to a gunshot through the eye as the “Moe Greene Special.”

Siegel’s Legacy Lives on in Casino Mega-Resorts

While he may not have lived long enough to see The Flamingo flourish, Siegel’s vision for a flashy home for high-rollers lives on today.

After the new ownership group led by fellow mobster Moe Sedway took over, The Flamingo soon became the most profitable casino resort in Sin City. Topline entertainers like Sammy David Jr. and Lena Horne headlined the nightly shows, and Las Vegas’ first property-wide air conditioning system left guests gambling in comfort day and night.

Sahara Casino Las Vegas

Six years after opening its doors, The Flamingo was followed by a second major casino resort on the Strip when Sahara debuted. Tropicana (1957), Tally-Ho (1963–now known as Planet Hollywood), Caesars Palace (1966), and Circus Circus (1968) eventually rounded out the Strip’s casino lineup modern gamblers know and love.

But without Ben “Bugsy” Siegel betting it all on The Flamingo, the world’s leading casino destination along the Las Vegas Strip may have never existed at all.

Conclusion

The sanitized corporate casinos of the modern era may not like to admit it, but their place in Las Vegas history originated with an uneducated gangster who grew up on the streets of Brooklyn. By realizing that casinos could become all inclusive centers for every form of entertainment—dining, dancing, and hob-knobbing with celebrities—Bugsy Siegel revolutionized the industry.

While he wound up meeting his end in grisly fashion, and never had the pleasure of seeing The Flamingo strut its stuff, Siegel’s conception of a full-scale casino resort remains the template in 2020. And fittingly enough, while competitors from Las Vegas “golden age” have fallen by the wayside, The Flamingo’s bright pink façade still shines brightly amidst the Strip’s skyline.

How Will the New Regulations in Las Vegas Affect Casinos?

Governor Steve Sisolak

Over the weekend, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced a new set of health protocols being implemented around the state. Many saw it coming, as cases of Covid-19 have been increasing for weeks. Gaming analysts are now asking how these new regulations in Las Vegas could affect the casinos in the city.

It’s a difficult time for many of the gaming companies here. Today, we’re going to talk about what Sisolak is now ordering. We’ll also discuss what analysts expect to happen in Las Vegas over the next few months.

Let’s get into it!

Governor Sisolak Finally Announces New Regulations

No state has been as affected economically due to the pandemic as Nevada. For months, all of the casino-resorts in this state were shut down. These casinos eventually reopened in June and tourism has been very slow to recover.

In recent weeks, Las Vegas has seen a large drop in its tourism numbers. Infection rates of Covid-19 have been quickly increasing around the United States. Health experts have been advising against any non-essential travel.

Las Vegas itself has been seeing large increases of cases every day. Governor Steve Sisolak has been warning that more regulations could be on the way. He felt there was no other choice to prevent the state’s healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

Over the weekend, Sisolak officially announced his new regulations. Moving forward, bars, restaurants, and many other businesses will need to operate at just 25% capacity. Private gatherings must also be limited to less than 10 people.

“I know the majority of our bars and restaurants are doing their best, but these settings are proven to be high risk because they allow the opportunity for people to remove their face coverings in indoor settings around people outside of their household,” he said. “That’s how the virus spreads. “Our case rate growth is at a wildfire level — even outpacing neighboring states, such as Arizona. All available models indicate that Nevada is in a ‘red zone’ and our health experts anticipate continued case growth based on current trends.” 

This is tough, albeit expected news for the state’s tourism industry. Some fear this could have a permanent effect on the casinos in Las Vegas.

Here’s How the New Regulations in Las Vegas Could Impact Casinos

Governor Sisolak understands the impact of announcing new health protocols. The casino shutdowns back in March had a devastating impact on the state. Many analysts believe it could be years before cities like Las Vegas return to normal.

In the end, however, Sisolak felt he had no other option. The new regulations in Las Vegas are guaranteed to have an effect. Some casino operators seem happy with the fact that another mass shutdown was not ordered, though.

The Nevada Resort Association released a statement shortly after the governor’s announcement. They are pushing hard for everyone to follow the new orders to help bring down infection rates.

“Like every state in the nation, Nevada faces a grim future if the virus’ spread is not contained and reversed quickly,” the statement read. “With the public’s help, we are optimistic we can move through this situation swiftly and return to the business of bringing people back to work safely and moving our economy forward.”

Las Vegas’ entertainment industry could be the hardest-hit from these new regulations. Several major casino companies were about to begin hosting new shows. That is no longer an option.

This, in turn, could affect tourism rates. If things continue to get worse, it’s highly likely that casinos will need to shut down again. We’ll continue offering updates on the situation here over the next few weeks!

New Jersey’s Governor is Considering Tougher Regulations

Nevada isn’t the only state with a struggling casino industry. Over in New Jersey, land-based casino revenue has been dropping throughout the entire year. Atlantic City has been hurting and new regulations threaten the recovery here.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has been warning that new regulations could be coming soon. Not long ago, he began ordering new rules for casino restaurants and bars. Some feel he’s on the verge of temporarily closing down casinos.

This state has been faring better than Nevada in many ways. Here, both online casino gambling and sports betting is legal and regulated. This is helping to bring the state and casino companies a large amount of revenue each month.

No one knows how things will look here in the next few months. Like Nevada, New Jersey has been seeing a steady rise in cases lately. It’s a troubling development for one of the country’s biggest casino destinations.

The new regulations in Las Vegas are now set in place. Hopefully, these help to lower infection rates without crippling the tourism industry.

Do you think Las Vegas will suffer from these new regulations? Will casinos be forced to shut down here again? Let us know in the comments section below!

Take These Simple Steps to Increase Your Blackjack Winnings

Excited Man Holding Money With a Blackjack Graphic

Blackjack is a lot of fun, and casino gamblers can’t seem to get enough of this amazing game. Unfortunately, a lot of blackjack gamblers fail to maximize their time at the tables.

That’s where we come in. On this page, you’ll learn how to become a more profitable blackjack gambler. Don’t waste another second of your time without implementing these tips.

Take these seven simple steps to increase your blackjack winnings, and you’ll be at the tables longer. More importantly, you’ll be keeping more of your hard-earned cash in your wallet when playing blackjack for real money.

Only Play Blackjack Games With Friendly Rules

Blackjack tables are pretty standardized across the board. Still, some casinos or tables offer much friendlier games for the player than others.

Chief among these are games that pay 3:2 on blackjack. The 3:2 tables are the most common games. Unfortunately, I see tables that only pay 6:5 on blackjacks more and more frequently. Your best option when you see these tables is to walk on by and find a better table.

Paying 6:5 dramatically increases the house’s advantage because you’re getting significantly less payout each time you hit blackjack. Remember, stick to games that pay 3:2, and you’ll increase your winnings.

Super 21 Online Blackjack Game

Finding blackjack variants where the dealer stays on a soft 17 will also improve your odds at the blackjack table. It takes the house’s ability to catch up to better hands. That slight difference will swing the odds in your favor. When it comes to casino gambling, you want every advantage you can find.

Doubling down and splitting can also dramatically increase your blackjack winnings. When you find games that allow you to double down on any hand or double down after a split, you’ve found a friendly game.

Also, games that allow players to split any two cards can greatly improve your take. Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for casinos to offer games with different rules. So, be sure to take a quick stroll around the casino floor, as opposed to sitting at the first table you see.

Being diligent about finding the game with the best rules every time you step into the casino is a surefire way to increase your blackjack winnings.

Learn and Implement the Basic Gambling Strategy

Stop treating blackjack like a guessing game. Every time I am at the casino, I see the same thing. Players attempt to channel their inner psychic when it comes time to decide on whether to hit or stay.

Without any prior thought or strategy as to how the game has played out, they suddenly believe they can accurately predict the next card to be dealt. This strategy “works” maybe 20% of the time. Overwhelmingly, it blows up in the player’s face, and their chips become the casino’s again.

What if I told you there’s a basic system for blackjack that reduces the house edge to a very manageable 1%? Actually, the basic strategy knocks the house advantage below 1%. That makes blackjack one of the most player-friendly games in the casino.

Some of the greatest mathematicians on the planet spent decades decoding the game and working out the absolute best way to play every single hand based on the dealer’s up card.

The best part is that you don’t need to be a math prodigy to learn and use the basic blackjack strategy. All the work has been done for you. All you’ll need to do is stop by the casino gift shop, and you can buy a handy card with the basic strategy broken down in chart form.

That’s right, the casinos are aware of basic strategy. They don’t even mind if you use the chart at the table as long as you aren’t slowing down the game by looking for the perfect play on every single hand.

Learning and implementing basic strategy has been the single most important aspect of increasing my blackjack winnings. It will do the same for you, blackjack is a numbers game, and all of the math has been done for you.

Avoid the Insurance Bet

One of the worst bets in any casino is the insurance bet in blackjack.  I had a neighbor that was a casino dealer. He used to say, “There are sucker bets, then there’s the insurance bet.”

The insurance bet is a wager that the dealer has a card with a value of 10 to pair with their ace. The bet pays 2:1, which sounds fair enough at first, but it doesn’t pass closer inspection. If the dealer has a blackjack, that’s great.

You’ll lose your original wager but win the insurance bet. However, when the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack (which is an overwhelming majority of the time), you’ll lose the insurance bet. Then, you’ll still have your original wager to play out, and over 50% of the time, you’re going to lose that bet also. So, now you’re out $40 instead of $20.

Closeup of a Blackjack Hand

I don’t believe the casinos are out to get anyone. They don’t need to be; the odds are stacked immensely in their favor. However, they also aren’t going to start offering wagers where they lose money. It’s counterintuitive to everything that makes the well-oiled machine known as the casino industry tick.

Don’t forget, insurance is a casino sucker bet. Politely decline and move on. Sometimes, the dealer will have a blackjack, and you’ll need to learn to accept that. Avoiding insurance won’t win you money, but it’ll keep the money you’ve won where it belongs.

Don’t Fall Victim to the Gambler’s Fallacy

The gambler’s fallacy is the fallacious logic that because a particular event has occurred a disproportionate amount of times in the past, it’s suddenly more or less likely to happen going forward.

For example, imagine you have lost five consecutive hands. You may suddenly think your time has come to go on a hot streak. Players begin to believe they’re suddenly due for a win and begin to double their bet. This often leads to disastrous results. Each hand of blackjack is an independent occurrence, and any previous results have absolutely no bearing on the present.

You could just as easily win 10 hands in a row than lose 10 in a row. Stay away from the idea that you’re due for a win. Stay consistent on your bet amount, and hopefully, you’ll stay in the game long enough for those bad runs to even out.

Remember that by playing basic strategy on every hand, and staying away from the insurance bet, the house edge is under 1%. You’ll have your run of wins. But if you double down or go on tilt, you may be out of the game before they come.

Always Play for Casino Rewards

You should never sit down to a casino game without having your player’s card swiped. The player’s card allows you to earn casino comps based on how much you’re putting into action every hour.

The comps you can earn playing blackjack won’t necessarily put cash back in your pocket, but the comps you earn could save you on meals or rooms, which gives you more cash to use in the casino.

Casino Player's Club Desk

You can even find the occasional cashback perk during certain times. Although the percentages are incredibly small, every dime you get back will help offset losses slightly.

If you’re unfamiliar with the player’s card, ask any casino employee, and they can point you in the right direction. Sometimes, you can even earn some pretty cool gifts or perks for simply signing up.

Learn to Count Cards

Counting cards in blackjack is the most concrete way to increase your winnings. I don’t necessarily advocate card counting and haven’t personally taken any steps to learn the practice. However, by grabbing a book on the subject and doing some intense practice, you can pick it up relatively easily (from what I’ve been told).

Card counting, contrary to popular belief, is not illegal. Of course, you don’t want to get caught either. I’m sure we’ve all seen the movies where the card counting player is dragged to a dimly-lit room by large men and accosted by a guy in an expensive suit and slicked-back hair.

That’s Hollywood for you! I’ve personally never had anyone share that as their experience. Maybe in old-school Vegas, but it’s not as common in family-friendly Vegas 2.0. You will certainly be kicked out of the casino and you probably won’t be welcomed back. Your picture could also be shared with other casinos, and it may be hard to find a game.

Still, there isn’t a better way to increase your blackjack winnings than to gain such an advantage over the house.

Hole Carding

Hole carding can be extremely helpful. Your goal here is to spot the dealer’s hole card.

Spotting the hole card lets you know exactly what the dealer has. I’m sure you can understand how this can be tremendously advantageous.

Usually, the dealer needs to be pretty weak with their form. This is the only time it’s ever okay to buy insurance.

Since you’ll already know that the dealer has a blackjack, insurance is a no-brainer.

Conclusion

Take these seven simple steps to increase your blackjack winnings. Above all, remember that gambling is meant to be entertainment.

You probably won’t win every time you sit down, but if you enjoy the game, it’s a win! We hope you’ve enjoyed this tips and will begin to implement them into your gameplay. Good luck!

Weekly Poker Update: November 23, 2020

Poker Update November 23, 2020

Last week, we told you about the surprise announcement that the World Series of Poker has announced a pair of live “Main Events” for the prestigious brand. This came at a point where most people assumed that such a thing wouldn’t be, forgive the pun, in the cards. After all, live poker tournaments create all kinds of complications in terms of social distancing and protective precautions.

How Many Main Events Are Too Many?

The solution is a pair of hybrid events, one in America and one for international players. Early rounds of these Main Events are set to take place with players competing against each other online, as his been the norm this poker season. But those who eventually reach the final table will actually get together, as in the old days, to fight it out for the big prize.

For the most part, the announcement that the final table would be in person was met with enthusiasm amongst the poker community, considering the potentially massive pot up for grabs. After all, winning the World Series of Poker Main Event is generally considered to be among the most, if not the most, prestigious prizes in the entire game. The fact that it seemed to have been rescued in a year when most had written it off looked like a positive story on the whole.

But someone brought up some interesting points about this new undertaking that cast it all in a different light. And that someone, Stoyan Madanzhiev, has a pretty good perspective. After all, he is the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion.

Before you go thinking that you’re reading double, that last sentence is correct. Back in September, Madanzhiev took home nearly $4 million by winning the Main Event of the World Series of Poker Online edition that had taken place throughout the previous month. As such, it seemed like he would be able to add his name to a prestigious list of poker stars who won the coveted title.

Yet the new announcement, which insinuated that an actual World Champion hasn’t been crowned yet this year, seems to suggest that Madanzhiev’s title was somehow less than legitimate. Even though it was advertised as being the crowning achievement in the world of poker at the time. Can the two seemingly disparate statements coexist in any way?

Pro Poker Player Stoyan Madanzhiev

Well, in defense of the WSOP, they’ll take whatever marketing angle they can to try to sell this thing to the poker-playing public. And there are some differences between one and the other as well. For the upcoming World Series of Poker, there will be a higher buy-in, and there will be no buying back in for eliminated players to gain multiple chances, something that was allowed in the September event.

Still, to suggest somehow that what Madanzhiev did in September doesn’t count towards an actual Main Event win is definitely unfortunate, especially when nobody can be sure if those live final tables will actually manifest, considering the continuing uncertainty.

There likely will be continued debate over this going forward until these two World Series of Poker tournaments commence in a few weeks. Let’s hope the end game is that, no matter who wins these newer Main Event tourneys, that Madanzhiev’s accomplishment still gets the recognition it deserves.

Bitcoin Poker Boom

When you think about poker in an old-fashioned sense, you might think of big wads of cash on the felt as players throw their cards on the table. But according to recent reports, it’s all about the digital coins changing hands these days. Yes, the Bitcoin boom is being felt far more acutely in the world of poker than perhaps anywhere else.

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For those who aren’t that technologically savvy, Bitcoin is the most popular type of the monetary form known as cryptocurrency. The value of the coins has risen and fallen wildly over the past few years. And with the uncertainty surrounding the financial markets, it’s been a boom time for the Bitcoin gambling crowd lately.

In recent weeks, the value of Bitcoin has risen to its highest level in almost three years. And it’s not that much of a leap to say that poker players are helping to fuel that boom, at least in indirect fashion. According to the Winning Poker Network, a major player in the world of online poker, the network has had to really up their Bitcoin game just to keep in line with the demand for the digital coins.

Bitcoin Image on a Laptop Keyboard

The CEO of the company claimed in a recent interview that the vast majority of payout requests from poker players have come in Bitcoin. Players are certainly savvy to the rising value of the currency. As a result, Winning Poker Network has been forced to hustle just to keep up with the demand.

As for WPN itself, it usually quickly converts any Bitcoin that it receives into fiat money. After all, with a business at stake, they have to be careful about volatility factors. But it is interesting to see that the players themselves, guys and gals who really understand the importance of having a strategic edge, are so adamant about such major exposure to Bitcoin.

Polk-Negreanu Update

The grudge match of the century rolled on this week, with Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk trading haymakers. It’s been fun to watch the lead changing hands with such regularity. And there’s not much separating the two as we get deeper into the battle.

As of Sunday, these two had played 3,800 hands over the past few weeks. After the first session took place in a live setting, they’ve since been going at it in real money Hold’em action in an online sphere. Most experts felt that such a setting gave Polk a major edge, which is why he was a 4 to 1 favorite on many betting websites.

Negreanu has been far more than just competitive. In fact, he was in a solid lead over much of this week. That was until Polk came firing back with a session in which he outdid Kid Poker by over $200,000. So, where do we stand? With that big session win, Polk now holds a lead of only a little over $26,000. Considering that is well within the range of the margin for a single session, it’s a tenuous lead at best.

It’s important to remember that the end is far from near in this battle. Polk and Negreanu are scheduled to play at 12,500 hands, at which point, one of the two can call it quits. If they decide to stick it out from there, the stakes can be doubled, and the event will go to 25,000 hands.

In any case, this has been tighter than many expected. There’s no telling what can happen, and it’s certainly possible that one of these two can form an insurmountable lead with several big sessions in a row. But there also exists the possibility that this could come down to the last few hands of the marathon match, which is what everyone wants to see.

Island View Casino Parent Company Sues Insurer Over COVID-19 Losses

Casino Floor In Michigan
Gulfside Casino Partnership, the owners of Island View Casino Resort in Mississippi, has filed a $10M federal lawsuit against its insurance company for COVID-19 losses. Gulfside Casino Partnership is also demanding $90M in punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and interest.

The Misissippi casino says that it has lost $46.M when it was forced to close from March 16 to May 21, 2020 per instruction of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. However, the policy only covers up to $10M.

The case alleges breach of contract and negligence against the Georgia-based Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Co. which is affiliated with Chubbs. According to a report from the AP Westchester divided shares of the risk to nine other insurers.

Won’t Pay Unless There is Physical Damages

Gulfport lawyer Joe Sam Owen, who represents Chubbs, said that legal claims related to COVID-19 have boiled down to the definition of “physical damage”. As a general rule, insurance companies argue that properties must suffer actual physical damage to recover losses under their insurance policies.

But Gulfside Casino argues that its policy specifically covers the losses caused by its inability to accept bookings or cancelled bookings brought about by “a contagious or infectious disease at an insured location, and as determined by a public or civil authority”. Because its insurance policy had cancellation coverage, the Mississippi casino paid $408,268.00 per annum for the premium.

Not Covered

Last July, insurance consultant Crawford Global Technical Services was tasked to review the claim of the Mississippi casino. In a letter sent to Island View Casino, Crawford Global said that “As a general matter, the policies afford coverage only when there has been direct physical loss, damage or destruction. In the absence of such damage, there is not coverage.”

Crawford Global added that pollutants and contaminants such as virus are not covered. Likewise, communicable disease is not covered in other policy language. Last July, Circus Circus LV also filed a lawsuit against American International Group (AIG), joining a long list of companies in various industries pursuing litigation against its insurers.

Sweepstakes Casinos vs. Real Money Online Casinos

VS Text With Laptop and Casino Table Game

Real money online casinos have been around since the mid-1990s. They give you the opportunity to play real money casino games through your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Sweepstakes casinos, on the other hand, are somewhat new when compared to traditional gaming sites. Therefore, you might not know how real money and sweepstakes casinos differ.

This page covers how both types of gaming sites work. It also dives into the main ways that they differ and which kind of casino you should choose.

What Is a Real Money Casino?

People have been gambling valuable items for thousands of years. Real money casinos take this historic approach to gaming.

They see you deposit and place bets in real currency. Many of them also provide the option to display your bets in different currencies.

Vegas Lux Online Slots Game

If you’re from Canada, for example, you’ll select the CAD option. Assuming you’re from the United States, you’ll choose USD.

Once your account is funded, you can visit the games section and start playing games. Online casinos typically feature a nice mixture of games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and more.

How Does a Real Money Casino Work?

The name “real money casino” suggests that you must risk cash to play. However, the truth is that you can play at these sites without depositing.

Most online casinos require you to register for an account. But some casino sites even let you play for free without signing up.

Once you’re ready, you can simply open a game and start playing. If you see an interesting slot, for instance, you just launch it and begin spinning the reels.

Of course, you do need to be a registered member and deposit before placing real money bets. Here are the steps towards completing this process:

  1. Sign up for an account.
  2. Visit the banking section.
  3. Choose a banking method.
  4. Enter the amount that you’d like to deposit.
  5. Complete the transaction.

After depositing, you can start playing real money slots and table games. Upon opening a game, you simply choose your stake size and begin wagering.

What Is a Sweepstakes Casino?

Sweepstakes contests have been around for decades. Publishers Clearing House (PCH) made sweepstakes incredibly popular in the 1980s and ‘90s. The McDonald’s Monopoly continues to serve as one of the most popular models today.

Sweepstakes gaming sites are a hybrid of casinos and PCH/Monopoly. They feature typical online casino games, such as blackjack and slots. However, they also allow you to participate in contests and mail in to request more coins. The contests and mail-in aspects are where the sweepstakes factors come into play.

By nature, sweepstakes casinos don’t constitute real money gambling. Instead, they see you wager play-money coins in casino games.

They do feature some elements that make them similar to traditional online gaming in a roundabout way. Namely, you can exchange coins for virtual currency, which can be traded for money.

How Does a Sweepstakes Casino Work?

Sweepstakes gaming is similar to playing at regular online casinos. The key difference, though, is that it doesn’t revolve around a real money model.

You typically receive free coins or chips after signing up. These coins let you play the various games at a sweepstakes casino. Your goal is to use these coins to boost your bankroll. Assuming you lose your bankroll, you can reload it by purchasing more coins.

This process works just like placing a deposit at an online casino. You visit the banking area, choose a deposit method, and buy a coin package.

Sweepstakes Casino Game Select Screen

Sweepstakes casinos usually offer online bonuses for buying larger packages. For example, you might receive an extra 10,000 coins when you buy 100,000.

These gaming sites give you the opportunity to win bonuses through mail-in requests and social media, too. For example, a sweepstakes casino might give away coin packages to five people who like and comment on a post.

For the most part, sweepstakes gaming isn’t about real money play. However, many of these casinos provide the ability to exchange coins for some type of virtual currency.

You can then turn around and trade this virtual currency for money. In a roundabout way, you’re able to play for cash at many sweepstakes sites.

How Do Real Money and Sweepstakes Casinos Differ?

Sweepstakes and real money gaming certainly have key differences. Below, you can see the biggest ways in which they differ.

Sweepstakes Casinos Are Legal Nearly Everywhere

Traditional online casinos are available in many states and countries. In some cases, these gaming sites are even 100% legal and regulated.

However, real money gaming isn’t generally as accepted across the board. After all, most people still see these casinos as strictly gambling.

Sweepstakes gaming sites largely avoid the gambling distinction among players and governments. They use a unique model that helps them work around many laws. First off, sweepstakes casinos don’t see you directly play for cash. Instead, you receive and wager play-money coins.

You can trade these coins for virtual currency, which are actually worth something. But these casinos skirt the law by using a free-play model (at least initially) and sweepstakes contests.

Only Washington state and Washington DC ban sweepstakes casinos. Other states and US territories allow them, or at least tolerate them.

Real Money Casinos Are Only Legal in Some States

Real money gaming sites are considered much closer to gambling than the sweepstakes variety. They see you place a deposit and actually risk cash to win money.

Considering that they fall under the gambling umbrella, real money casinos face more legal scrutiny. Politicians mull over legal online gaming for months or years before passing legislation.

Most of the US gambling laws don’t go strongly for or against online gambling. Therefore, many offshore casinos serve gray market states with no legal troubles. But then again, offshore casinos don’t hold licenses or approval from the states they serve.

Sweepstakes Gaming Sites Don’t Let You Win Real Money (Directly)

Sweepstakes casinos give off the appearance being like real money sites. They feature fun games like baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and slots.

The key difference, though, is that they don’t let you wager money to win cash. Instead, you must take the following steps to win money:

  1. Buy coins or earn them through contests.
  2. Wager these coins through casino games (you can’t immediately trade free coins for virtual currency).
  3. Trade the coins for whatever virtual currency the casino offers.

The fact that you can eventually get money through sweepstakes gaming is appealing. However, you’ll need to go through a convoluted process to make it happen.

You Can Win Cash at Real Money Gaming Sites

Real money casinos offer a rather simple process towards earning money. You deposit, play games, and cash out winnings.

You don’t need to get play-money tokens, spin them into virtual currency, trade that currency for cash, and then withdraw money. No, you just play casino games and try to win.

Games Look Different at Sweepstakes Casinos

The traditional online gaming industry features plenty of unique games. It draws from dozens of software providers to deliver countless games to players.

Diamond Fiesta Online Slots Game

Nevertheless, you’ll still notice that sweepstakes casinos offer unique-looking games compared to the regular gaming industry.

Sweepstakes casino games feature a glossier appearance. They also have more-playful graphics than what the average casino does.

Real Money Casinos Offer More Games

When measuring the number of games between sweepstakes and real money casinos, the latter easily wins out regarding quantity.

The average real money casino boasts hundreds of online casino games. I’ve played at some casinos that feature 1,500+ game titles.

Sweepstakes gaming sites do provide some level of variety. You’ll typically find 50+ slots and a few table games. However, these casinos simply don’t have the same variety as what you’ll find through real money gaming.

Conclusion

If you’re strictly looking to gamble and play for big jackpots, then you should focus on traditional online casinos. Real money gaming sites give you an opportunity to bet and win money.

They also feature immense variety. You’ll enjoy hundreds of slots and dozens of table games at the average online casino. Sweepstakes sites make for nice fill-ins if you don’t have access to real money casinos. What you should understand about sweepstakes casinos is that they boast fun games and the ability to win cash through a bit of a convoluted structure.

But you may prefer sweepstakes gaming if you’re just a casual player. It offers a social media element and doesn’t typically cost much.

In summary, your personality will determine which type of gaming you’re most comfortable with. For me personally, though, I go with real money casinos due to the serious win potential. I think true rewards are a result of true risks. Good luck with your gambling!

Gambling Activities to Try If You’re Tired of Playing Blackjack

Images of Various Casino Table Games

Blackjack is the game of choice in the casino for gamblers who’re looking for a high return to player percentage. But you have to play by a strict set of strategies if you want to have the best chance to win, and this can get boring.

If you’re looking for some variety when you’re gambling there are plenty of options. But some of these options are so bad that you need to avoid them. On the other hand, some options are almost as good as blackjack.

Here’s a list of five gambling options you can try when you get tired of playing real money blackjack.

Let It Ride Poker

The first two games on this list are for blackjack players who don’t want to stray too far from blackjack. Both of the games in these first two sections are table games, but they’re based on poker instead of blackjack. If you want to stay as close as possible to blackjack but still want a change of pace, check out the last section in this article.

Let It Ride is a fun poker game available in some casinos. You can also play Let It Ride on mobile casinos and online casinos.

You start by placing three wagers of the same size and you receive three cards. You have the option to pull one wager back or let it ride. The dealer also places two cards face down on the table. After you make your first choice the dealer turns over one card.

Las Atlantis Let It Ride Poker

At this time you can either pull a wager back or let it ride. The dealer then flips over the second card and you get paid if your three cards and the two cards on the table form a paying hand.

The main thing that makes Let It Ride fun is that you have some control over how much you’re risking. If you have a good three card hand you can let all of your wagers ride, but if your hand is bad you have the opportunity to pull back two wagers and save some money.

You can use a fairly simple strategy when you play Let It Ride, but it’s not as good of a game as blackjack. The return to player percentage is worse than most blackjack games. But it’s a great way to play something different for a bit until you’re ready to get back in action at the blackjack table.

Mississippi Stud Poker

Mississippi Stud poker is another game where you have a lot of control over how much you bet during the hand. You can wager from one to 10 times your starting wager, depending on how the hand plays out.

To start a game of Mississippi Stud poker you make an ante wager. Then you get two cards and the dealer places three cards face down on the table. This is like the flop in Texas holdem, but the cards are revealed one at a time and there’s not a turn or river.

When you see your two cards you can fold the hand or place another wager of one, two, or three time your antes. So if your ante is $10, you can wager $10, $20, or $30. Then the first face down card is turned over. You can fold or make the same three wagers as you just had the opportunity to make. Then the second card is turned over and you have the same wagering options. Finally, the third card is turned over and you get paid if you have a winning hand based on the pay table.

If you’ve been adding up the wager options you can see that with a $10 ante wager you invest anywhere from $40 to $100 to reach the end of the hand. But you can fold at any time and save money. If you fold before the first card is turned over on the board your total loss is only $10.

This sounds like a game where you might have a chance to win in the long run because you can bet so much more when you have a good hand. This makes the games fun, but even playing with good strategy still has a lower return to play percentage than blackjack and Let It Ride.

High Return to Player Video Poker Games

Some video poker games have a return to player percentage similar to blackjack games. This makes these games a good option for blackjack players because you have roughly the same chance to win and are going to lose close to the same amount in the long run if you risk close to the same amount.

The key is playing the right video poker games. Notice that the title of this section is high return to player video poker games.

Online Casino Video Poker

In order to find these machines you have to learn which video poker variations are the best and you have to find machines with the right pay tables. And then you have to use strategy to make sure the return to player number is as high as you can make it.

The good news is that if you already know how to use blackjack strategy that it’s easier to use video poker strategy. And just like blackjack, you can get a strategy card for the most popular video poker variations.

Texas Holdem Poker

Smart blackjack players can beat the game, and smart Texas holdem players can beat the game. This is the main reason why Texas holdem is the best alternative for bored blackjack players.

The problem is that it’s hard work to beat either of these games.

The correct strategy for Texas holdem is much more complicated than blackjack strategy. But if you find a holdem table filled with bad players you can make a profit even if you make some mistakes.

I recommend picking up a couple decent poker books to help you get started. You need to learn as much as you can, but sometimes you have to get some playing experience to learn everything you need to know.

If you’re smart enough to beat blackjack, you’re smart enough to beat Texas holdem. It’s just going to take some work.

I can count cards and I’m a winning Texas holdem player. But it took close to 10 years to learn how to do both at a profitable level. It might not take you as long, but don’t expect to learn everything you need to know in a few months.

It’s much easier to concentrate on one game or the other. It’s also a much faster path to profits when you concentrate on one game.

Texas holdem poker is still a good game to learn. You can practice for free on your mobile device or online, and you can start playing for small stakes. This is a good opportunity to improve your skills without risking too much money.

Spanish 21 Variation

Spanish 21 is a variation of blackjack, so it’s a good choice if you want a change of pace but don’t want to stray too far. And if you learn the best strategy, Spanish 21 has a return to player percentage close to the best blackjack games.

The important thing to know is that the strategy for Spanish 21 isn’t exactly the same as regular blackjack strategy. So if you’re going to play Spanish 21 take some time to learn the important strategy differences.

Spanish 21 Blackjack Table

Spanish 21 is basically a blackjack game that has almost every good rule that you can think of. The trade off is that there are no 10’s in the deck. This reduces your chance of getting a blackjack, but all of the other good rules really make a big difference.

Another good reason to consider playing Spanish 21 if you’re a blackjack card counter is that there’s usually less heat on the game than on the regular blackjack tables. Counting is a little different in Spanish 21, but you can use it to beat the game.

Conclusion

If you can learn all of the strategies that you need to win, Texas holdem is the best choice on this list if you’re a blackjack player. But if you’re looking for a change of pace that’s a great deal like blackjack, Spanish 21 is a good game.

High return video poker games offer about the same return to player percentages as blackjack, so they’re a good option. If you’re looking for a new table game, check out Mississippi Stud Poker or Let It Ride Poker.

When you stick with one or more of the five options listed in this article you’re avoiding the worst games while still changing the pace a bit when you gamble.

How Is Macau Handling the Coronavirus?

Macau Seal With a Casino and Coronavirus Background

Founded by Portugal and once considered part of the Portuguese kingdom, the city of Macau has acquired a legendary reputation among foreigners for mystery and intrigue. China’s only city to offer legal gambling, Macau sits just across a river delta from Hong Kong through which international travelers poured into the casinos until recently.

Macau was indirectly hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic because its economy depends so much on tourism and gambling. The city has a population of just over 650,000 people and the world’s densest population. Amazingly, Macau managed to contain the viral infection to under 100 known cases.

While experts around the world are suspicious of any data coming from China and its autonomous territories, even multiplying the city’s published infection rate by 10 means fewer than 500 infections.

Macau dodged a bullet and the city’s residents are surely happy about that.

But the casinos were forced to shut down during China’s massive quarantine and recently re-opened. Their financial struggles haven’t surprised anyone, but industry analysts and investors haven’t given up on China’s gaming industry.

Here’s what you need to know about Macau as China re-opens its economy.

Macau Had Very Few Covid-19 Infections

Although epidemiologists don’t know how many people inside Macau contracted the virus, by all accounts, the city’s infection rate was quite low compared to other parts of China and the rest of the world.

Beijing moved quickly to isolate the city, which is popular among both domestic and foreign travelers. Hotels were converted to quarantine facilities and as many as 1,000 people at a time were placed in the hotels to ensure they didn’t infect anyone else.

Not everyone who was quarantined is thought to have had the virus. But the Chinese government enacted strict measures to prevent travelers and residents alike from spreading the disease once its contagiousness became apparent.

Macau Casino Entrance and Gambler With Mask

To that end, most of the city was locked down, forcing many local businesses to close. Restaurants were permitted to remain open for take-out or delivery service only. And grocers were allowed to continue operation.

Throughout China, residents were required to monitor their health closely, limit outside activity, wear masks, maintain social distancing, and pass through checkpoints. Macau’s leader Ho Iat Seng acted quickly to prevent spread of the disease in January and his measures are credited with preventing a larger disaster.

Travel Restrictions Remain in Place

When you read about travel restrictions you might think that all flights have been canceled. That’s not true for Macau. Some flights are still arriving in the city, although they are mostly domestic flights.

While China has restricted travel from other countries it’s allowing its citizens to move freely about in most areas again.

Air travelers bound for Macau must obtain a certificate of health confirming they recently tested negative for the virus. This requirement applies to Macau residents as well as other travelers.

Foreign nationals already in China are still not allowed to board domestic flights to Macau. And Chinese nationals who have been out of the country must quarantine for two weeks before they can move freely in Macau.

Gambling Revenue Took a Huge Hit

Although the city was able to function normally for part of early 2020, analysts have found that the city’s VIP baccarat revenue for the first quarter dropped by 60% over 2019’s performance.

The same article shows that mass baccarat revenue dropped by nearly as much. Baccarat is the most popular gambling game in Macau’s casinos. The city has been called the baccarat capital of the world. Second quarter estimates project that gaming revenue may be down by over 90% for both sectors.

Galaxy Casino in Macau

The earliest projected start for a recovery is June, according to Nomura Group analysts. They also project it could take up to three years for Macau’s gaming industry to fully recover from the pandemic.

While this might seem like a local economy problem, foreign casino operators have invested heavily in Macau and they look to revenues from the city to help their bottom lines.

Dividend investors were probably not shocked to learn that the Sands China board of directors decided to suspend distributions for the time being.

Other Sectors of the Local Economy Were Hit Hard

To help local businesses, the Government of Macau initiated a program of providing subsidies to city residents via debit cards. Consumers can only use the cards to pay for goods or services but they should keep the economy moving.

And while the city did not see many infections, two major hotels were converted into quarantine facilities for several weeks. They have now been released from that service.

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Mainland travelers to the city are still limited because Beijing stopped issuing individual visit visas (IVS). They didn’t just spend money in the casinos. They also rented hotel rooms and dined at local restaurants.

Like so many others around the world, Macau became a city whose residents had nothing to do but stay home. Until the IVS system is started again the city will remain dependent upon government subsidies for basic needs.

Most Casino Workers Will Be Entitled to Minimum Wages

Effective November 1st, Macau employers must pay a minimum wage to most workers, although maids have been excluded. Macau is the last city in China and its autonomous territories to enact widespread minimum wage requirements.

Macau Casino Employees Sanitizing Tables

Economic studies show that raising minimum wages don’t have the adverse impacts on business that many people fear. The new law should have a positive effect on the city’s economy going forward.

Residents Have Plenty of Internet Access

Although China’s mainland government limits what residents may see and do on the internet, coverage is very good in Macau. About 86% of households had internet coverage in 2019. Usage rates among the population with Internet access ran well above 9% last year.

Mobile internet access is very popular, and the city is building out a 5G network. But none of that is used for gaming because online casinos are illegal in China.

The lack of real money online gaming in China has drawn the interest of investors who would like to see the country allow it. Because of the threat of future waves of viral outbreaks, Macau’s casino industry might need to fight for online gaming just to survive.

So far, proposals are only being floated in gaming-friendly media and it’s not likely that Beijing will show much interest.

India May Become Important to Macau Gaming

According to recent news reports, Alibaba and Tencent are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in gaming apps for India.

While online gaming is illegal in China, it’s largely unregulated in other Asian nations. India has gambling laws, but they are old and don’t take the internet into consideration.

Among the types of prizes being offered to Indian app users are future trips to Macau. Mobile gaming apps are so popular that they may displace other forms of entertainment as India’s top revenue generators in the sector.

While only a small percentage of players may actually win trips to Macau, they could become drawn into Macau’s gaming-friendly culture through advertisements and promotional offers.

Conclusion

Macau’s future is cloudy. No one really knows when the city’s gaming industry will recover or if Beijing will introduce measures to help.

While gambling is illegal in China, the fact the central government has allowed Macau to become a gambling Mecca and set up the IVS program shows that the mainland sees the importance of gaming to the economy.

If nothing else, Macau’s casino industry may be a showpiece for Beijing to prove its tolerance to the rest of the world. While that strategy is being tested in Hong Kong, there has been little unrest in Macau.

As long as the government helps the city prosper residents should be happy. And long-term prosperity is unquestionably tied to the health and success of Macau’s gaming industry for the foreseeable future.

Danville Casino Will Be Branded As Golden Nugget

Casino Roulette Table

The Danville casino currently being constructed will carry a national brand when it opens .

In an announcement made last Friday, the Developers of the Danville casino project said that Wilmot Gaming Illinois has entered into a joint venture with Tillman Ferttita’s Golden Nugget to build and operate a casino in Danville, Illinois pending regulatory approvals. The casino will be branded as Golden Nugget and feature a Landry’s Steakhouse.

Said Wilmot Gaming vice president James A. Wilmot on the deal:

“Wilmot is pleased to deliver Golden Nugget and GNOG to the City of Danville and is excited to partner with Tilman J. Fertitta. The Golden Nugget is a nationally recognized brand and strengthens the submission, provides additional opportunities, and upgrades the overall project. The Wilmot family would also like to personally acknowledge the efforts and support of the City Council and Mayor of Danville, IL; without their diligence and attention to detail this project would not be possible.”

Market Access

Under the definitive agreement, Golden Nugget is given exclusive right to offer online sports betting and if granted approval, Illinois online casino games. The deal also stipulates that Golden Nugget will provide a mezzanine loan of $30M to Danville Development for the construction and development of the Danville casino.

The market access agreement is valid for a term of 20 years. It has a provision that requires Golden Nugget to pay Danville Development a percentage of its online sports betting and Illinois online casino revenues, subject to minimum royalty payments over the term.

Golden Nugget Expansion

Wilmot Gaming Illinois is a subsidiary of the New York-based Wilmorite Management Group. Earlier this year, the company was chosen as the preferred developer of the proposed casino in Danville. The Danville casino project was one of the six approved casinos in 2019 by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The Illinois casino and sports betting project is an important part of Golden Nugget’s expansion strategy. Golden Nugget became one of the latest U.S. digital gambling company to announce a SPAC merger to grow its business. It is set to merge with special purpose acquisition company Lancadia Holdings II and go public on NASDAQ to avoid the more complex IPO route.

About Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget LLC is wholly owned by Tillman Fertitta through subsidiaries and affiliate companies. It operates five Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino properties in Las Vegas, Laughlin, Atlantic City, Biloxi, and Lake Charles. Landry’s is a subsidiary of Golden Nugget and operates high-end and casual dining properties nationwide.

On the other hand, Wilmorite’s casino development portfolio include First Council Casino in Oklahoma, Harrah’s Northern California, and Del Lago Casino, New York.

How to Dig Yourself Out of a Hole at the Casino

Silhouette of Man Digging With a Casino and Money Background

No one expects to be out several hundred dollars just an hour into gambling at the casino. Given the unpredictability of several popular games around the casino, it can unfortunately happen to anyone.

Any professional gambler will tell you that losing is a part of the gambling experience. If you’re serious about gambling and aspire to win money, occasionally you might lose big.

But one thing separating good and bad gamblers is the ability to bounce back after a loss. However, it’s a challenge to avoid succumbing to feelings of anger and despair.

If you’re unable to keep your head straight after going down big, there is a better way to approach the recovery process. Here are a few days to dig yourself out of a hole at the casino.

Take a Few Minutes Away From the Casino Games

Typically a tough night gambling follows a consistent progression:

  1. You arrive at the casino expecting to win money at the table
  2. You select your casino game of choice and a table that works for you
  3. The cards aren’t falling in your favor, but you hold steady
  4. Your bankroll continues to vanish and you start to worry
  5. You start chasing losses and attempt to make up the difference
  6. Most, if not all, of your bankroll is depleted

Once things go from bad to worse, it’s always a good idea to take a break. In fact, I recommend standing up from the table every 30 minutes or so, even if you’re only stretching your legs.

Taking a step back allows you to clear your head, which is crucial when gambling. Certain games around the casino are mentally taxing, and their repetitive nature can be hard to break away from.

Figure Out What Got You Here

Deciding what led you to this point is arguably the most crucial part of getting out of a hole.

After you’ve pushed from the table, you need to think back to any mistakes you’ve committed along the way. Sometimes it’s just not your night at the casino, but often gamblers are to blame for severe losses.

These mistakes obviously vary depending on the game you are playing. But, figuring out when and where your missteps occurred will help you avoid significant losses going forward.

Closeup of Man Betting on Roulette

The most common gambling mistakes typically involve similar combinations of variables. Gamblers can either be playing games they’re unfamiliar with, playing games incorrectly, or are too intoxicated.

These first two mistakes are easy to fix, while the third is much more complicated.

Once you locate the problem, it’s time to address it and try to fix it so you can get back to winning money.

Lower Your Betting Amount

Lowering your betting amount is a humbling experience that some people might be incapable of doing.

But, decreasing your average bet can often help you in the long run. It benefits gamblers by keeping them at the tables longer and assisting them in finding a rhythm.

You’re not going to overcome significant losses in a couple of minutes. If you’re committed to winning your money back, it’s going to involve tenacity and consistency. One of the major keys to success at this point is proper bankroll management. Managing a bankroll is already a tall task for many gamblers.

But it’s even more challenging when a large portion of it is already gone. It’s genuinely indicative of which gamblers are capable of demonstrating self-control and which are not.

This is honestly the most simple and straightforward piece of advice I can offer gamblers. However, you’d be surprised how easy it is to ignore it.

Doing the same thing over and over again will likely lead to the same results. Instead, adjust your betting amount and manage your bankroll more effectively.

Consider Changing Games or Tables

I frequently find that consistent losing is a byproduct of my environment.

While other players can’t directly impact your ability to win standard table games, they can lead you astray. New gamblers in particular, can easily be influenced by their surroundings.

If your gambling party is full of terrible gamblers, then it might be impossible to win money. Even if you’re a more experienced gambler, other players can decrease your likelihood of winning.

These types of situations often happen while gambling with someone who distracts you from the game. When you’re unable to focus on games, you might as well start handing the dealer your money.

Red Casino Blackjack Table

This is most common in games like real money blackjack. If you are distracted by someone at your table, continuing to gamble, there is setting yourself up for failure.

Consistent losing might also be the result of simply playing the wrong type of game. Everyone has their favorite type of casino game, but occasionally your personal favorite might not be the best choice.

Instead of trying to win money by playing a game that’s already destroyed your bankroll, it might be worth exploring other options.

Go Back to Gambling Basics

If you consider yourself to be decent at gambling, then there should be a way to win some of your losses back.

There are specific landmarks most gamblers will pass during their progression as a player. Sometimes though, it’s easy to forget the basics of gambling.

When struggling at games like poker and blackjack, I often revert to a basic strategy I know has worked for me in the past. Familiarity breeds comfortability and consistency, meaning you’ll perform better. Both blackjack and poker can be mentally and emotionally draining.

So, when you’re at your most vulnerable, go back to the basics and remember everything you’ve learned along the way. You’ll be surprised to find how easy it is to calm yourself down using this method.

It’s worth mentioning that this point might not be incredibly relevant if you play games based on pure luck.

Don’t Be a Hero

As I said in a previous point: you’re not going to win your money back in a hand or two.

When you’re down big, it might be tempting to push all in and go for broke. If you’re lucky, you might be able to defy the odds and win your bankroll back.

It can certainly be tempting to try and win losses back with a big bet, but always remember to consider the alternative of walking away. There’s a reason you’re at the point where throwing caution to the wind is likely the best approach.

It might be due to bad gambling luck, poor play, or a combination of the two, but something has resulted in your losses.

If you are wavering between being smart and conservative or reckless, take a moment to analyze the situation. Knee jerk reactions rarely seem to go gamblers’ way when they’re getting beaten down at the tables.

Cut Your Losses and Call it a Day

When gambling, I often find myself recalling a sage piece of wisdom my dad shared with me during my childhood.

Some days it’s chicken. Some days it’s feathers.

Expecting to win every time you go to casinos is normal for any self-respecting gambler. But, being unable to accept defeat in a responsible manner is a mark of a terrible gambler.

When you lose, it’s best to tip your hat to the house and move along with your day. No one likes losing, of course, but there are usually valuable lessons to be learned after losing money while gambling.

A problem that is far too common amongst gamblers is an inability to walk away from the table.

Empty Casino Gaming Floor

Avoiding this reality is as simple as never gambling with money you can’t afford to lose. Once the money you set aside is gone, your day is over.

At that point, the writing’s on the wall. It’s almost as if the universe is telling you that you aren’t destined to win money.

However, by ignoring these clear signs, gamblers can put themselves into challenging financial situations.

Gambling should never result in unnecessary stress. If you find that it often does, it’s important to change your gambling mindset and seek assistance.

Conclusion

Digging yourself out of a hole is an important skill any quality gambler should have in their arsenal.

It might be one of gambling’s most supreme challenges, but it is doable if you approach the process correctly.

If you get down big early, the first thing to do is push back from the table. Clearing your head will help you assess the situation and figure out where you went wrong.

Until you get your mojo back at the tables, lower your betting amount, and try to stop your bankroll’s bleeding. But, if that doesn’t seem to help, you should opt to choose a different game or a new table at the very least.

Under no circumstance should you attempt to win back all of your money in one hand. These high-risk, high-reward decisions are impractical and ineffective.

Finally, if nothing seems to be working for you, it might be best to admit the house bested you and head for the exit. Like my dad always used to say: some days it’s chicken, some days it’s feathers.

Gambling Activities to Try If You’re Tired of Playing the Lottery

Online Baccarat and Keno Cards

Are you tired of buying lottery tickets, checking your numbers, and then throwing your losing tickets away? This get tiresome quickly, and many lottery players are looking for a better option.

The reason why you’re not winning the lottery is because it’s the worst form of gambling available in most places. You can find plenty of other gambling options where you can win big that offer better odds.

Here’s a list of five gambling activities you can try if you’re tired of losing your money playing the lottery. All but one of these options gives you a shot at a big payday, and the other option is easy to play and has a high return to player percentage.

Playing Keno Games

The reason why keno is the first alternative game on this list for gamblers who’re tired of lottery games is because playing keno for real money is very similar. It’s just a small change of pace if you don’t want to get too far away from the basics of the lottery.

Keno is a draw game that usually uses an 80 number pool. You pick anywhere from 1 to 20 numbers out of the pool depending on the rules of the game you’re playing.

20 random numbers are drawn from the pool and you win if your numbers match the numbers that are drawn. Depending on how many of your numbers match and the rules, you usually don’t have to match all of your numbers to win.

Online Casino Keno Game

If this sounds a lot like regular lottery games it’s because this is pretty much how all lottery draw games operate.

I recommend playing traditional keno instead of video keno. Traditional keno has a few drawings every hour. Video keno is designed so you can play it almost as fast as slot machines. Whenever you’re gambling you need to concentrate on making fewer wagers per hour and risking as little as possible when you do make a bet.

Keno offers one big advantage over most other lottery games. The return to player percentage for keno is not great, but it’s much better than almost every other lottery game available. This means that you’re highly likely to lose in the long run playing keno, but you’re going to lose a smaller percentage of your money than when you play other lottery games.

Most gamblers only buy lottery tickets a few times each week, so even though they almost never win, at least they aren’t risking too much money. You can do basically the same thing with traditional keno. Most keno games start at $1, so if you only play five or six draws every hour you’re not risking much money.

Progressive Jackpot Slots Games

I play the lottery because I want a chance at winning millions. I know the odds are terrible, but if I get extremely lucky once it’s going to change my financial life. Few other gambling activities offer a chance at life-changing money.

But slot machines with progressive jackpots offer life changing top prizes. Many progressive slot machines offer a top prize over $1 million. While most of the big lottery games have a top prize much higher than this, $1 million or more is nothing to sneeze at.

Slot machines also have a much higher return to player percentage than the lottery. They’re even better than keno games. The return to player for slots isn’t as good as many other games, but most other games don’t offer such big jackpots either.

Wheel of Fortune Progressive Slots

The only thing you have to be careful of when you play slot machines is that you might end up risking a lot more and losing a lot more than when you play the lottery.

If you spend $20 a week on lottery tickets it’s not a ton of money. But if you take 3,000 spins on the slot machines at $3 a spin you’re risking $9,000. And most slot machines are going to keep $100’s when you do this.

Small Table Casino Baccarat

Small table baccarat doesn’t offer a chance at winning a big jackpot. But it’s as easy to play as the lottery and offers a higher return to player percentage.

The only thing about playing the lottery that’s easier than playing small table baccarat is that you can buy a ticket at just about any convenience store. And with the availability of mobile and online small table baccarat the argument could be made that it’s actually easier to access baccarat than the lottery.

The biggest difference from the lottery is that small table baccarat has a return to player of 98.94% on the banker wager option and most lottery games are at 30% or worse. This is such a huge difference that there’s no question that small table baccarat is a better game.

But small table baccarat has one of the same issues that progressive slot machines have. If you’re not careful you’re going to risk more when you play baccarat and your losses can still end up being bigger than when you play the lottery.

If you risk a total of $1,000 every week playing small table baccarat, which doesn’t take long, your expected loss is $10.60. This is only 50 hands at $20 a hand, or 500 hands if you’re playing online or mobile at $1 a hand.

You can buy a $2 ticket to the big lottery draws for every drawing for the same amount of money you’re probably going to lose playing $1,000 of small table baccarat.

Bet on Horse Racing

Betting on horse races doesn’t have much to do with the way you play the lottery. But it does offer a fun change of pace for lottery players, and you have a better chance to win.

You can even place a small wager on a long shot and have a chance to win a big payout. You’re not going to win $1 million placing a $2 wager, but you can win $1,000 or more if you get lucky on a long shot horse.

Closeup of Two Racing Horses

Another option is to bet on the exotic wagers that offer the chance at a higher prize. You can bet on a superfecta, or even one of the multi race wagers if you want to shoot for bigger prizes.

And you don’t have to risk a lot of money to place a wager on every race on the schedule. Most race tracks run 15 or fewer races a day, so you can place a $2 wager on every race for $30.

Long Shot Sports Gambling

This is one of my favorite options for lottery players. Even if you’re a beginner sports bettor, you can find plenty of long shot wagers available that can pay off big.

The downside to betting on long shot sports teams is that you yarely win, but this is no different than the lottery. In fact, you have a better chance to win when you bet on a long shot than you have of winning the lottery.

Look for teams on the moneyline that have a big + number. The number following the + sign is how much you win if you bet $100 and the team wins. But you don’t have to risk $100. Put $10 down on a couple long shot teams and root for them to pull off the upset.

A quick tip is to look for heavy underdogs that are playing at home. Home teams always play better than they do on the road, so if there’s going to be an upset it’s likely to happen when the underdog is playing at home.

If you want a safer option, bet on a team with the point spread. I still like to bet on teams that are playing at home that are getting points, but really you have about the same odds of winning no matter which team you pick with the point spread.

When you make a point spread wager your team either receives points or gives points. These points are added or subtracted after the game to see if your team and wager win.

Conclusion

The five gambling activities listed in this article are good options for lottery players. They all offer better odds than winning the lottery, but you have to be careful or you’re still going to lose more than when you play the lottery.

Small table baccarat is easy to play, just like the slots, and it offers a much higher rate of return. Keno and progressive jackpot slot machines offer better odds than the lottery and still offer big top prizes.

And if you want to add some live action to your gambling, horses and sporting events can offer a different kind of excitement.

Michigan Casinos: Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Review

Soaring Eagle Casino Logo and Exterior and Interior Photos

Located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and owned by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is your number one casino slash hotel in the region.

Having opened in 1998, this casino resort has remained a staple on the Isabella Indian Reservation for over two decades and you can place a safe bet that its best years are far ahead, considering its growth over the past 22 years.

You are looking at a resort featuring slot machines, table games, Bingo, Keno, a poker room, and more.

Amenities are all over the place in this venue. Here, you will find a pool complete with an underwater sound system, an arcade, daycare, full-service spa, amphitheater, concert hall, and so much more.

Ready to take a quick tour of the place before you book your stay at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort?

This post will tell you everything you need to know about this Michigan gambling destination.

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Overview

Within Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort’s doors, you are looking at 210,000 square feet of gaming space featuring thousands of real money slots, dozens of table games, a poker room featuring your favorite games, nearly a dozen dining options, plus the greatest promos in the area.

And that doesn’t even include its on-site attractions. The Entertainment Hall, where you will see the greatest world-class acts, seats nearly 6,500 guests. And the outdoor arena’s capacity eclipses the 16,000 mark.

Soaring Eagle Casino Main Driveway

Soaring Eagle is also the ideal place to hold a business meeting or conference. Meeting rooms include the Saginaw Chippewa Ballroom, Three Fires Room, and the Ojibway Room. So if you are looking for the next best venue to fuel your business meeting, Soaring Eagle is the place.

Then when the work is over, you can hit the casino for a bit of fun, right?

Let’s take a closer look at what the casino gaming floor offers.

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Gaming

Casino gaming at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort includes thousands of slot machines featuring the latest and greatest games from a plethora of the industry’s hottest manufacturers. If you game at the casino often, you are always in for a new treat as this venue is always offering improved gaming.

Whether you’re down for penny bets or high limits, classic and traditional games or the newest thing, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort has what you are looking for. New slots include How to Marry a Millionaire, Golden Jungle Grand, Wild Pirates, Magic of the Nile, and more.

Enter the thick of what they describe as the hottest selection of table games in the Midwest. Whether you like to play Blackjack, Criss Cross Poker, Three Card Poker, or Chase the Flush, you will find your favorite table game here.

The poker room features the hottest and most popular games around, including limit and no-limit Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha, Seven-Card Stud, and more. Hop into your favorite poker games and test your skill against the area’s best.

Up for some Bingo? Soaring Eagle is the State of Michigan’s most popular Bingo hotspot. Whether you are a morning, afternoon, or evening player, you will find the greatest Bingo time slot that works for you.

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Dining

Dining at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort features nine impeccable options, each with their own flair. Whether you are looking for upscale dining, a sports bar, a casual night, or something quick, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort has everything you are looking for.

Ascend Sports Bar & Night Club is the best place in the venue to kick back and watch the big game and have some fun while the home team is winning.

Siniikaung Steak & Chop House offers the greatest upscale dining option around. Enjoy the award-winning menu and hand-cut steaks, chops, and seafood at this popular destination.

Isabella’s Taste Italy is your one-stop-shop for all Italian-related cuisine. You are looking at traditional flavors from old-world Italy featuring the area’s freshest ingredients from the area’s top chefs. So if you are looking for an authentic Italian experience, Isabella’s is where it’s happening.

Soaring Eagle Casino Diner Food

Legend’s Diner offers a classic atmosphere that will make you feel you stepped back in time. However, it’s also touted as a venue featuring a contemporary twist, so if you want something different, it is the place to be.

Aurora Buffet offers a potluck of favorites featuring food choices from all over the globe. For an affordable price, take advantage of the all-you-can-eat option for a lunch that will hold you over for a few hours after you return to the gaming floor.

Central Deli & SLICE features your favorite deli favorites. Here, you will find prime rib sandwiches, sub & deli sandwiches, pizza, and more of your favorite comfort foods.

The Native Grind Coffee Shoppe is your ideal location if you are looking for a variety of brews to prepare you for a morning or afternoon’s worth of casino gaming action. They also feature delicious desserts and snacks, so don’t be afraid to indulge a little.

Looking for a contemporary fast-food experience? Little Eagle Cafe is calling your name. Whether you are craving burgers, hot dogs, fries, wings, or whatever comfort food crushes your cravings, you can place a safe and winning bet that you will find it here.

Or, if you are looking for the ultimate relaxing experience, go over to Water Lily. Here, you will find the area’s greatest assortment of cocktails, wines, and craft beers. It is the ideal place for ultimate relaxation if you need a quick break from the gaming floor.

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Promos and Events

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort’s Promotions are always running wild. So if you are in the casino often, be sure to take advantage of Bonus Plays, Gift Giveaways, and more.

What is the best way to take advantage of Soaring Eagle’s promotions?

By joining the Access Club, of course. Whether you are gaming here or at another location owned and operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation, your Access Club Card is your one-way ticket to all the goods here at Soaring Eagle.

Just play your favorite slot, table, or Bingo game and you’re on your way to earn casino comps.

Soaring Eagle Casino Vip Lounge

For every $1 you bet at the slots, you will earn two points that can be redeemed toward any purchase at Soaring Eagle. For the same value, you will earn one point at video poker, 10 for a hotel room or RV space, 20 for Bingo, and four for dining, the spa, the golf course, or gift shop.

Yes, it definitely pays to be a part of the Access Club. And the more you play or spend, the more points you earn that can be redeemed for anything.

As mentioned in the intro and overview, Soaring Eagle has arguably the greatest concert space of any casino slash resort in the State of Michigan. That said, there are plenty of shows to get excited about. So check the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort event schedule to see who will be in town during your stay.

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Accommodations and Attractions

Need a place to stay during your time at Soaring Eagle?

Soaring Eagle Resort’s hotel provides guaranteed comfort whether you are looking for economy or luxury.

So what will it be?

A First Class Room, a room with a deluxe jacuzzi or fireplace? Premium suite? Superior room? Man, it all sounds luxurious.

What are you getting when you frequent here?

Amenities include a mini-fridge, microwave, in-bathroom Jacuzzi, soaking tub, living spaces, fireplaces, patio and balcony options, and so much more.  So pick your path to luxury, as even your cheapest rooms contain the world’s most enviable appliances and living areas.

Soaring Eagle Casino Water Slide

And for an on-site attraction, check out that 2,400 square foot “free form pool” that holds an astounding 66,000 gallons of water. Features include underwater music, lights, and 500,000 mini-glass tiles imported from Milan, Italy.

And if the pool isn’t enough to get you going, you will also find an indoor and outdoor jacuzzi waiting for you if your hotel room doesn’t already contain one.

Other on-site amenities include the Soaring Eagle Day Spa, where you can treat yourself to massages, facials, hair service, nail service, and so much more.

If you are at Soaring Eagle for a family vacation, your kids will love the Kids Quest outlet. So while you’re having fun at the casino, your kids can do the same at Kids Quest.

Other awesome activities await at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort that include golfing, bowling, boating, and more. So if you are looking for a day off from the casino to explore the resort or to rejuvenate the mind and partake in fun activities, there is an adventure at every corner.

Conclusion

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is definitely the best of the rest in the State of Michigan. And you can’t ask for much more than what they offer at this legendary casino slash resort.

From the slots, tables, and Bingo games to the luxury hotel and dining options, a trip to Soaring Eagle is the ultimate vacation destination for you and the entire family.

So if you are thinking about booking a trip to Soaring Eagle, hopefully, this post answered your questions.

And if you are reading this post and have visited Soaring Eagle, tell us about your experience in the comments.

What Is It Like to Be a Gambler in Texas?

Poker Player With a Question Mark and Texas Flag

It’s strange that Texas gives its name to the most popular poker game in the world, but you can’t play the game legally in the state.

In fact, Texas might be the least gambling-friendly state in the USA.

I live in Texas, and I’m a gambler, so I might be better suited to write a post about what it’s like to be a gambler in Texas than just about anyone.

Texas Has Some of the Strictest Gambling Laws in the US

Gambling in Texas is covered by Penal Code 47.01. That set of laws makes it illegal to engage in almost any kind of gambling in the state. The notable exceptions are dog and horse racing.

What kinds of gambling are illegal in Texas?

You can’t play any kind of casino game – that includes blackjack, craps, roulette, slot machines, or video poker. That’s not a complete list of casino games, but those are the big ones these days, and they’re all covered by Penal Code 47.01.

Texas Lottery Ticket

Betting on sports is also illegal in Texas.

Bingo has limited availability and legality in Texas, but it’s closely regulated. The lottery is also available in the state.

One of the big specifics in the law is that it’s illegal to “keep a gambling place.” In other words, you can’t legally operate a casino.

The big exception is on Native American land, but Texas – unlike many other states – doesn’t have much of a presence in the Native American casino market.

What Constitutes “Social Gambling” in Texas?

The law does state that social gambling is legal in Texas, but that phrase doesn’t mean what you think it means.

When I think of “social gambling,” I think of a home poker game or a casino night hosted by… well, by almost anyone.

But, in Texas, social gambling is specific to charity-based gambling like bingo and the lottery. It also includes charity raffles.

It does NOT include hosting a home poker night. It also doesn’t include placing a bet on a sporting event in a bar with a buddy, although that sounds like it’s more “social” than the explicitly legal forms of gambling mentioned.

Enforcement of gambling laws varies by jurisdiction. I’ve lived in Texas all my life, and I’ve played slot machines in bars and convenience stores throughout the state – they call them “8-liners” because of the number of paylines. I’ve played poker in friends’ homes and in fraternal organizations throughout the state, too.

I know of at least one fraternal organization near where I live that hosts actual casino games, or so they told me when they tried to recruit me.

I have friends who were present when their local poker game was raided by the SWAT team, too, although that’s been years.

Legit home games don’t get raided often, but if you have a fraternal organization that’s really just a front for a poker cardroom business, you’re asking for trouble.

More About 8-Liners

I used to hang out at a specific bar in Dallas that had a bank of three real money slot machines in it. They were called 8-liners. I saw old men who were regulars there lose $200 or $300 a night on payday there trying to win on those games.

My guess is that those games made the owner of the bar significant amounts of money. In fact, I suspect they made as much money from the 8-liners as they made from selling liquor – at least on the nights when I wasn’t there. (I always had a big bar tab.)

Depending on where you live in Texas, you’ll see so-called “game rooms” pop up from time to time. These are basically just casinos full of 8-liners.

How is this legal?

Apparently, the law allows the operation of such machines under a couple of conditions:

  1. You can’t have cash payouts.
  2. You can’t award prizes worth more than $5.

Of course, most places offering 8-liners are ignoring the legal restrictions. The way it worked at the bar where I used to hang out was that if you won enough money, you were supposed to show up on Friday when the owner of the bar was there to pick up your envelope.

A buddy of mine won $200 there one night and called the bar to ask about picking up his envelope.

The owner didn’t know him, so she told him, “I don’t give envelopes to people I don’t know.”

He called me, and I had to call down to the bar to vouch for him. She was worried about law enforcement, of course.

Texas 8-Liner Slots

8-liners don’t seem to be going anywhere, but occasionally law enforcement will crack down on the game rooms in a specific jurisdiction.

Why did the state of Texas legalize such games to begin with?

It probably had to do with Dave and Busters. The law was called the “fuzzy animal” law, and it was passed to make it legal to offer the kinds of games offered at Dave and Busters where you win toys and stuffed animals.

Restaurants that offer these kinds of games with prizes to kids are just conditioning them to enjoy gambling at casinos later in life. Spend some time at Chuck E. Cheese and listen to the sounds there. Then visit a real casino shortly afterward. They sound the same.

Native American Casinos in Texas

One of the most notable Native American casinos in the state is the Lucky Eagle Casino, which is owned by the Kickapoo Tribe. It’s located on the Rio Grande River, and it’s so close to the border that it’s practically in Mexico.

It’s a real casino, though, with over 1200 different slot machines on the floor. These include newer games like Forest Dragons, Jurassic World 3D, and Rakin Bacon. They also have some of the most traditionally popular slot machine games you’ll find in almost every casino, including Buffalo Gold, Dangerous Beauty, and Golden Eagle.

Lucky Eagle Casino in Texas

You can also play a variety of table games at the Lucky Eagle. Ultimate Texas Hold’em is one of the more popular games, and it’s available with a minimum bet of just $5 per hand. It features a progressive jackpot, too.

Other popular table games at the casino include Emperor’s Challenge, which is a Pai Gow Poker variation, Mississippi Stud, and blackjack (in many variations).

Craps and roulette are available, too. Bingo and keno are popular at Lucky Eagle, too.

Just like the casinos in Las Vegas and other popular gambling destinations, Lucky Eagle has multiple restaurants to choose from, including a buffet.

Texas Is a Huge State

Texas covers a lot more land than most states. In fact, it’s one of the two or three biggest states in the country. And most people just don’t live close to the Lucky Eagle Casino.

What do Texas gamblers do when they can’t make the trip to Lucky Eagle?

It’s easier than you think.

Many Texans live driving distance from Oklahoma, which has more casinos than just about any other state. The most notable of the Oklahoma casinos are Choctaw Casino in Durant and Winstar Casino in Thackerville.

Depending on which side of the DFW Metroplex you live on, you can probably drive to one of these two casinos in less than an hour.

It’s no surprise that a lot of Texas gamblers head across the Red River to get their gambling done.

People who live further east often drive to Louisiana to gamble. Shreveport isn’t far. If you’re traveling from Dallas, it’s about a 3-hour drive, but if you’re in Texarkana, you can get to Shreveport in two hours or so.

The Eldorado Resort is the biggest casino in Shreveport, and it’s a popular gambling hot spot for Texans.

Being a Gambler in Texas Isn’t That Bad

I live near Dallas, and I have no trouble finding a way to get my gambling done. Frankly, enforcement is so sporadic that it’s easy to gamble right here in the state. I know plenty of people who deal with a local bookmaker for their sports betting. You can find one just by becoming a regular at a bar where people watch sports and asking someone.

Texas Holdem Home Poker Game

Poker games are ubiquitous, too. Most bars offer free poker tournaments with cash prizes. I’ve never seen such poker games raided. That’s one way to scratch the itch, but if you’re making enough money, you might find such low-stakes action boring.

Of course, it’s easy enough to host your own poker game. I’ve written multiple how-to posts in the past explaining how to host your own home poker game.

I avoid bingo and the lottery because I don’t like the odds, but if that scratches your itch, don’t let anyone judge you for it.

Conclusion

Being a gambler in Texas is all right. It’s not the same as being a gambler living near Las Vegas, but that might even be a good thing. I know a couple of people who lost fortunes when they lived in Vegas. They just couldn’t control their impulses.

It just takes a little more effort to gamble if you’re from Texas.

Most gamblers I know don’t mind putting the work in.

Strategies to Avoid if You Earned a Profit Over the First Half of the NFL Season

Football Being Measured for First Down and a Sportsbook

Halfway through the NFL season, it’s very easy to get ahead of yourself if you’ve been winning 70 to 80 percent of the time. Many fantasies may run through your mind, such as being able to afford backstage passes at your favorite band’s concert the next time they hit up New York.

But other fantasies are betting-related, like having more betting power to wager more games, bet more money on those games, dive into alternate point spreads and over/unders. Some of us may even feel we’re so ahead of the game that we will consider handing in a letter of resignation to an employer.

That said, it’s never more important to exercise restraint and common sense than it is when it comes to keeping the same game plan you started with three months ago in August.

Here are five strategies to avoid when you’re ahead.

Upping the Ante

Alright, with more profits comes more monetary power. And yes, you won’t believe how many people make the mistake in upping the ante. Instead of betting $50 for their primary game, they’ll bet $60, $70, or even $100.

Look, even if you’re winning three out of four bets, never assume the dominos will fall your way that often 100 percent of the time. You will hit hot streaks in the betting realm, but you will also hit cold streaks.

By upping the ante you can very well be on your way to greater profits, but you can also be very well on your way to greater and sometimes devastating losses. And the last thing you need to do is to lose out when you’ve been up all year.

NFL Patriots Players Celebrating

If you’re up by a wide margin, it’s best to take the money you won out of your betting bankroll and use it for other investments like home improvement, the stock market, starting your own business, etc.

And I get it: Winning bets in the NFL can be easy money. You’re conducting research throughout the week, placing money on who you think will win you a profit come Monday (or Tuesday) morning, and hopefully when that time comes, operating in the green.

You don’t need to lift a finger, and the feeling can be euphoric.

But it shouldn’t give you a ticket to lose your head and turn that $50 bet into a $100 bet because luck fell your way far more than it avoided you. Stick to your initial strategy, bet with the same amount of sense you’ve been betting with all along, and don’t take that risk.

Betting on More Sports Games

Rather than betting more money on one game, perhaps you decide that to win more money, you’ll bet on five games this week instead of the usual three. So you place 50 percent of your wagering money on your usual game, 20 percent on two other games, and 10 percent on the two additional games.

If there is one thing to remember, it’s that the more you bet, the more you’re risking a loss. It’s easy to bet more if you’re winning, but knowing when to play it safe is also akin to smart, and often profitable betting practices.

As mentioned in the top heading, just because you have more potential betting power if you’re keeping your winnings in your bankroll shouldn’t give you a ticket to bet on more games and hope for a profitable outcome that you can’t control.

Instead, continue that climb into the green by betting the same number of dollars you would on the same number of games each week. Sure, the chance to win more money is always there if you bet on more games, but the chances of you losing also exist.

And in a realm we have zero control over, it’s always best to play it safe than bet aggressively only to see us nosedive toward the red.

Betting With Alternate Spreads and Over/Unders

Sometimes, we may try to bet more often on a single game. Therefore, we’ll place our usual bet then we’ll see what the odds are regarding alternate spreads and over/unders. Sometimes we have better odds to win with these alternates, and other times, our odds grow slim.

With slimmer odds to win come higher payouts and with better odds to win come lesser payouts. Often, we will think we can cover a few more spreads or predicting the upset because of our recent success over the first half of the season.

NFL Dolphins Player Closeup

Once again, you’re playing a dangerous game here that involves an increased chance of losing the bet. Especially if you’re betting on a spread where your odds to win are slimmer. Don’t fall for it. Just place your usual bet and move on.

Remember, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. And don’t attempt an upgrade if you don’t need one.

Quitting Your Day Job (Seriously)

You see this more often in poker than you do in sports betting. Not that there are people out there who are so desperate to quit working that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to leave the rat race and make a living from gambling.

Sports bettors sometimes get ahead of themselves when they spend the first eight weeks of the NFL season winning 75 percent of their bets. Look, do not try to become a professional bettor, because the odds of losing the bet are just as great as the odds of winning.

You will have weeks, months, and perhaps even seasons where everything goes your way and you earn a five-figure profit. Fantastic. And for some of us who love to roll the dice, it may mean enough to earn a full-time income.

Okay, great. But there will be times where there are days, months, and seasons where we crash and burn, operating in the red for months.

That said, save yourself the heartache and keep your day job. If you’re winning your bets consistently, think of them as another cash flow. A fun cash flow and a nice break from the rat race. But don’t go pro in such an unstable field.

Not Sticking to Your Tried and True Gambling Strategy

This one happens to the best of us, regardless of what sport we wager our money on. But sometimes we think we will never lose another bet. Or at least embark on the inevitable losing streak. When this happens, we often forget when to quit, believing luck will remain on our side.

Regardless of how much effort put into handicapping sports games, luck will always rejoin the dark side. Perhaps a team we think should easily cover a two-score spread catches a weeklong case of the yips.

Or worse, a star player goes down with an injury during the game or sits out the game as a game-time decision with an injury.

NFL Tampa Bay Quarterback

The aura of uncertainty is always alive and well in the betting realm, and with each subsequent bet we make beyond our usual amount, or monetary wagering, the higher the probability that we will lose the bet. Even if we have been winning consistently for two months.

Always adhere to the old saying to “Quit while you’re ahead.” Or better yet, “Stick to the same strategy while you’re ahead.”

Or in this case, don’t change your strategy and take more unnecessary risks that can set you back. Because if you take such risks and you operate in the red, the higher the likelihood you will resort to desperate measures to return to the winning track.

And that can lead to a downward spiral.

If your strategy involves betting on just three games per week, with a $100 bet on the game you believe possesses the most probable outcome, a $75 bet on the second-most probable outcome, and a $25 bet on the third most probable, don’t change it.

Don’t start betting $400 over six games with your highest perceived probability or worse, turn those $400 bets into $800 bets because you’re winning all the time.

Nope, stick to the strategy that led you to your winning ways. Don’t get rid of Drew Brees and opt for Philip Rivers, in other words, if you want a correlation.

Conclusion

It is easy to fall into the trap of wagering more money or wagering on more games if you have a hot hand in the NFL betting realm. But the more money you wager and the higher the number of games you bet on, you have just as much of a chance to lose as you do to win.

Stick to the same strategy that propelled you to operate in the green and don’t take unnecessary risks that can plummet you into the red.

It isn’t worth taking the risk, only to have to claw your way back into the green. Because often, you are prone to make common betting mistakes when playing catchup.

Instead, stay the course, don’t change the strategy, and keep up those winning ways over the second part of the season just like you did over the first half. And keep your day job.

Casinos in Detroit Will Lose More than $60 Million During Shutdowns

Casino Floor In Michigan

Michigan is home to a large number of commercial and Native American casinos. Several of the commercial gambling venues in the state are based in Detroit. Unfortunately, new reports claim that the casinos in Detroit are likely to lose more than $60 million due to the most recent shutdowns.

It’s tough news for the casino companies based in this state. Several other states have recently implemented casino shutdowns, as well. Today, we’re going to talk about how things are going for the casinos based in the state of Michigan.

Let’s get into it!

More States Begin Considering Additional Casino Regulations

The land-based casino industry in the United States has been working extremely hard to get back on track this year. This past March, all of the casinos around the country were forced to shut down. It took months for most casinos to start operating again.

Nevada’s casino industry has been slow to recover. Monthly earnings are increasing, yet they remain far lower when compared to the same months in 2019. Many of the casinos in Las Vegas have been forced to shift their hours due to a drop in tourism.

Atlantic City has been faring slightly better. The online sports betting and casino gambling options are bringing the state valuable revenue each month. Casinos here have already been seeing small restrictions being set in place. Not long ago, Governor Murphy announced that new, more intense restrictions could be coming soon.

Many states have recently begun ordering their casinos to shut down. That includes Michigan, Colorado, and Illinois. It’s unclear when exactly the casinos in these states will be given permission to reopen again.

It now appears that several other states are interested in shutting down casinos, as well. Many health experts have been warning that these venues pose serious risks to public safety. Casino officials are pushing against this idea and claim this could have permanent effects on the industry moving forward.

We’re now starting to see how much money these shutdowns are costing companies.

Reports Claim the Casinos in Detroit Will Lose More than $60 Million Since Shutting Down

Michigan has been implementing very intense regulations over the past few months. Earlier this week, Governor Whitmer ordered all of the casinos in this state to close their doors. Many complained that this was unfair to the gambling companies operating here.

Lawmakers disagreed and felt there was no other option. Michigan has been seeing a steady increase in Covid-19 cases over the past few months. Closing casinos was seen as a way to cut down on further infection spread.

It’s now becoming clear that this will have a dramatic effect on the state’s casino industry. That’s particularly true with the casinos based in Detroit. According to new reports, the casinos in Detroit will lose more than $60 million due to the recent shutdowns.

That is a staggering figure to hear. Prior to these shutdowns, Detroit casinos were bringing in impressive revenue figures. They are now being ordered to close for three weeks, which analysts predict will cost approximately $67 million.

Sports betting became legal in Michigan this year. Unfortunately, hopes that regulated online sports betting options would become available this year are now dead. Most predict this will happen sometime in 2021.

Regulated online gambling options are helping to bring in a huge amount of revenue for different states. Several states are interested in legalizing this industry now.

The US Online Sports Betting Industry Continues to Grow

It’s only been a few years since the US Supreme Court decided to strike down PASPA. This was one of the biggest moves for the country’s gambling industry in history. Immediately afterward, several states began allowing sports wagering.

This industry has continued to grow every single year. Today, more than half the country has approved sports betting legislation up and running. Most of these states are profiting massively, as a result.

Some states currently only allow sports wagers to be made in-person through a licensed sportsbook. Others have fully-operational online sportsbooks. Online sports betting platforms are proving to be the best option out there.

New Jersey, for example, has been seeing massive revenue earnings from its online sports betting operations lately. The sports betting handles here have been hitting all-time US records. It’s great for the casino companies here, all of whom have seen major drops in their gaming revenue this year.

Hopefully, Michigan’s sports betting industry will begin to expand soon. The casinos in Detroit are in for a tough few weeks. We’ll continue offering updates on this situation!

Do you think it was right for the casinos in Michigan to shut down? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Gambling Movies You Need to See

Images of Casino Themed Movies

For most of us, a trip to the casino or sportsbook has a high probability of resulting in the loss of a few dollars – if we’re lucky. Perhaps it’s for this reason that movies about high-rolling gamblers playing for millions of dollars strikes a chord within.

Over the course of cinematic history, there have been plenty of exciting examples of what is possible if you’re able to manipulate the casino through legal, but mainly illegal, means.

In this article, I’ll lay out four gambling movies that you need to watch before your next real money gambling adventure.

21 (2008)

I’m starting off the list with the Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey classic, because it’s probably my favorite gambling movie of all time. If you haven’t seen it – this should go to the top of your “must-view” list.

The movie tells the story of the MIT math major, Ben, who has recently been accepted into Harvard Medical School. The only problem? The $300,000 price tag for tuition is much more than he can afford…even factoring in for grants, scholarships, and some of his mother’s hard-earned money.

So, with no other viable options for coming up with that kind of cash, it was somewhat of a serendipitous occurrence when Micky Rosa – a professor at MIT – asked Ben to join the MIT blackjack team.

Comprised of a half-dozen brilliant students and led by their intrepid professor, the entire team conducts regular meetings to hone their skills in card-counting. Their ability to master the art (or rather, the science) gives them a substantial edge against the house.

Screenshot From the Movie 21

Once Micky feels comfortable that his team is ready to take on the biggest stage, a few trips to Vegas prove lucrative beyond anyone’s belief…especially Ben, who was able to justify the decision to manipulate the casino by telling himself the money will only be put toward his Harvard tuition.

The plan was going smoothly until Ben recognizes that he actually enjoys the high-rolling Vegas lifestyle. This leads him to break from the team’s strategy during an outing…frustrating Micky, the team’s leader, and also causing significant friction with the team’s other members.

The casino staff gets tipped off by an “inside” source that Ben is counting, and he subsequently gets roughed up and told not to come back under any circumstances.

How does it end? That’s something you’ll just have to find out for yourself.

Uncut Gems (2019)

Adam Sandler and Kevin Garnett star in this exciting, if not anxiety-inducing, depiction of a gem salesman in New York City who needs to secure an expensive gem in order to pay off gambling debts he’s incurred recently.

Sandler’s character is an example of what can happen when high stakes gambling goes wrong. He owes a large amount of money to his brother-in-law, who happens to be his loan shark. The film largely revolves around the storyline of Ratner (Sandler) finding the money to pay off his debts before something happens to him.

Luckily, through his Jewish connections in the diamond mines Africa, he’s able to secure an extremely valuable gem that could be the answer to his debt nightmares.

Another connection, this time his business associate, helps Ratner land some rather impressive clientele. NBA star Kevin Garnett – who is played by the former MVP himself – walks into Ratner’s jewelry store and upon seeing and feeling the rare black opal he recently obtained (the aforementioned valuable diamond from Africa), asks to keep it in his possession for the game that night.

Screenshot From the Movie Uncut Gems

Reluctantly, Ratner (Sandler) agrees, but only under one condition: he gets to keep Garnett’s 2008 NBA Championship ring as collateral.

Like any good gambling addict trying to find a way to pay off his debts, Ratner swiftly pawns the ring and places the money down on a six-way parlay (because those always work out, right?). Whether it as foolish intuition or a genuine belief in the powers of the gem, every bet in the crazy sports betting parlay involved Kevin Garnett performing at a very high level.

The next day, Ratner should be waking up with the relief of knowing his debts can be paid – his parlay should have netted him roughly $600,000. However, Garnett doesn’t want to give up his new prized possession, which he believes helped him perform at a high level.

In the end, there would be another massive win for Ratner, but the price was simply greater. I won’t spoil the ending as I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to experience the constant anxiety that comes with living on the edge.

The Ringer (2005)

Let me start off by saying that this movie, funny as it might be, would almost certainly not be made today. Politically-correct culture has at times made concessions for the arts, but in all likelihood The Ringer probably doesn’t get the greenlight even just a couple years after it was completed.

Comedy king of the early 2000’s, Johnny Knoxville, stars in the story of a man who does the wrong thing for the right reasons. Following an accident where a close friend, who is later revealed to be lacking health insurance, loses his fingers, Knoxville’s character (Steve Barker) feels obligated to come up with the $28,000 needed to reattach his friend’s lost fingers.

Screenshot From the Movie The Ringer

With time running out before the fingers are gone for good, Barker’s uncle, a degenerate gambler, hatches a plan to fix the Special Olympics in order to rectify his big gambling losses and their friend’s fingers. Obviously this idea is more than distasteful, but Barker (Knoxville) justifies it by reminding himself that he’s doing it for his friend.

Steve pretends to be high-functioning, but still mentally challenged, as he competes in the games. His uncle, assuming his able-bodied nephew will win the gold medal, bets against the odds-on favorite for a price of $100,000.

Again, I’ll continue on with the theme of not spoiling the ending. I will say that this movie has enough laughs to keep you entertained, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel a little bit dirty afterward. All in all, I’d recommend watching it with close friends who won’t judge you for putting it on.

Beyond the Edge (2018)

Russian gambling film Beyond the Edge might not have been the critic’s choice for best gambling movie, but it does provide viewers with a unique and creative take on the traditional casino flick.

Instead of finding the smartest people around like in ’21,’ this team revolves around players with superhuman qualities that come in quite handy to cheat the casinos. For example, members of this particular group are able to move small objects like a roulette ball or a die, change the cards in a player’s hand during a game of poker, or even simply manipulate the cameras within the establishment so that their nefarious deeds go unnoticed by the house.

Screenshot From the Movie Beyond the Edge

Now, with the strength of superpowers on their side, it seems like the team headed by Michael has the world at their mystical fingertips. Which is important because he has a huge debt to repay, and the consequences could be dire if he doesn’t come up with the money.

Michael is surprised to find that the superhuman forces his team possesses might not be enough to clear his debts, as they’re facing an opponent with similar abilities. Unable to find out exactly why they aren’t able to win as expected, a struggle ensues that will determine the fate of the “good guys” in the film.

Fans of science fiction are typically not indulged by casino movies, but this one is sure to hit the spot.

Conclusion

Regardless of your cinematic tastes, there is no shortage of good gambling movies to keep you entertained. From the absurd, to the irreverent, even the supernatural, studios across the globe have tried their hand at a movie that revolves around gambling.

On this list in particular I’ve included a few of my personal favorites, but there are many others out there to be explored. If the movies don’t include the disclaimer, I will here: after watching, just don’t try this at home.

Gambling Activities to Try If You’re Tired of Slots

Images of Various Casino Games

Most gamblers have played slot machines, and based on how many players are spinning the reels every time I go to the casino it seems like slots are as popular as ever. The problem with playing slots is that it’s easy to get bored. After I take a few spins I quickly get tired of the same symbols going by.

Of course, you can always switch machines and play with new symbols, but even this can get old after a while. The good news is that there are several other options if you’re starting to get bored playing slots.

Here’s a list of five good options if you’re tired of playing real money slot machines.

Jacks or Better Video Poker

It’s easy to recommend video poker machines as a good option for slots players, but I feel that it’s too general. Instead of just recommending video poker games, I recommend Jacks or Better video poker.

Jacks or Better isn’t the only option, and the truth is that it might not be the best option for every slots player, but it’s the best overall option.

The reason why I recommend Jacks or Better video poker is because it’s the easiest variation to play and it’s by far the most popular. If a casino has video poker, the odds are high that the casino has Jacks or Better machines.

Online Jack or Better Video Poker

The game is a simple five card draw poker game. You start with five cards and then you can fold as many of the five cards as you want and draw new cards. After you draw your replacement cards, if you have a hand that has a pair of jacks or a higher hand, you win the number of coins listed on the pay chart for your hand based on the number of coins you wagered.

Jacks or Better offers a few advantages that you can’t get when you play slot machines. The main advantage is that there are many Jacks or Better machines available that have a higher return to player percentage than slot machines.

A second advantage is that you can use strategy when you play. With the use of good video poker strategy you can increase the return to player numbers. And it’s easy to use strategy because all you have to do is buy a strategy card. You don’t have to remember anything other than to simply use your card when you play Jacks or Better.

Give Jacks or Better video poker a try the next time you need to take a break from the slot machines. If you decide you enjoy playing, get a strategy card and spend some time learning about the different pay table options.

Mega Millions or Powerball Lottery Tickets

I don’t usually recommend playing the lottery because the return to player number is so dismal. But if you’re playing slot machines, the truth is that you’re probably losing too much money now.

The return to player percentage is much higher on slot machines than on lottery games. But the difference is that you can buy a lottery ticket for Mega Millions and the Powerball for every draw for less than $10 a week. Even if you take the extra $1 wager on every ticket, it costs less than $20 every week to have a ticket for every drawing.

On the other hand, you can risk $1,000 or more every hour that you play slots. It doesn’t take long to lose $10 playing slot machines, so playing the lottery can save you a lot of money.

The sad truth is that you’re probably not going to hit the big jackpot on the slot machine or the big prize in the lottery. So you can at least save some money by taking a shot at your chances of winning the lottery.

Mini Baccarat

If you play slots because you want a chance at a big jackpot, this recommendation probably isn’t going to interest you much. But if you enjoy slot machines because they’re simple to play, mini baccarat is a much better game.

You do have a few options when you play mini baccarat, but the best option is always the banker bet. Once you make a wager decision, you just sit back and wait for the result of the hand. This is much like when you play slots.

The main reason why mini baccarat is a great secondary option for slots players is because it has a return to play number that’s much higher than slot machines. In fact, the return to player for mini baccarat is almost 99%. This is as much as 15% higher than slot machines.

Closeup of a Baccarat Table

You might wonder how mini baccarat can be better than slots if you can bet $1 on a slot machine and have to risk $10 or more playing a hand of baccarat. The first reason why was covered in the last paragraph. The return to player percentage is much higher when you play mini baccarat.

The second reason why is because you can play 10 time or more spins every hour playing slots as you can play hands at the mini baccarat table. Most slots players risk more every hour playing slots than baccarat players end up risking.

Even if you risk the same amount of money every hour playing live baccarat as you do slots, you lose far less because of the higher return to player at the mini baccarat table.

Casino Blackjack

You really can’t find much in common between slot machines and blackjack. They’re both gambling games that are available in most casinos, but this is where the similarities end.

Blackjack is a better option than slots in almost every way. The only advantage slot machines have is that it’s easier to play slots than blackjack.

Blackjack games have a higher return to player percentage than slots and you can use strategy when you play blackjack. Any casino game where you can use strategy is better than a game where you can’t use strategy.

You simply can’t use any strategy when you play slots. This means that you’re 100% at the mercy of the game and luck. While blackjack also has some luck involved in the short term, when you use blackjack strategy you reduce the luck involved.

If you’re willing to use strategy when you play, which takes a little bit of work, then blackjack is the best option when you get tired of playing slots.

Betting on Sports Games

This is a complete change from slot machines, but betting on football, baseball, or other sports can be a great change of pace. And you can do it without risking too much money.

If you’re a sports fan you should absolutely place a few wagers on sporting events when you get tired of playing slot machines. You don’t even need to spend any time handicapping games to have a better chance to win with simple sports betting strategies.

If you simply picked a team at random with the point spread, whether you get or give points, you lose less money gambling on sports than playing slot machines even if you bet the same amount of money overall. But you don’t have to risk as much gambling on sports as most players do when they play slot machines.

Las Vegas Sportsbook

Online sportsbooks offer small wager limits, which are often as low as $1. And you can walk into a live sportsbook and place wagers starting at $10 or $20.

The other great thing about gambling on sporting events is that you can place a wager and then spend two or three hours enjoying the game. This helps you avoid getting bored and reduces how much you risk on average every hour.

If you spend three hours playing a slot machine risking only $1 per spin and take 546 spins every hour you’re risking $1,638. Even if you bet $110 on a game and lose you’re going to lose less than playing the slot machine. And if you win you almost double your money.

Conclusion

You have a wide variety of gambling options so you don’t have to play slots all of the time. Whether you just want a quick break from the slot machines or are looking for something to replace slot machines with, this list of five activities is perfect.

Video poker games are the first thing most gamblers think of when looking for a slots alternative, but there are other good games to play. Lottery tickets are a good substitute, and baccarat is just as easy to play as slots.

If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, betting on sports or playing blackjack are good options.

How Las Vegas Handled the COVID-19 Casino Shutdown

Padlock and Chain With a Las Vegas Background

Covid-19 resulted in something unprecedented:

The shutdown of all the casinos in Las Vegas.

The logistics behind closing down Las Vegas casinos are more interesting than you might think, too. You might think that it’s just a matter of the manager turning off the lights and locking the door on his way out.

The reality of how to close down Las Vegas is more complicated, though.

First Things First

Make no mistake. Casinos are part of the hospitality industry, just like hotels and restaurants are. Never in the history of the United States has an entire branch of the hospitality industry been forced to close overnight.

The closest thing was probably after 9/11, which caused a lot of fear and grounded a lot of planes. But compared to this situation, 9/11 was small change.

Escalator Walkway on the Las Vegas Strip

I hate to break this to people who are in favor of re-opening individual businesses, towns, or states – that’s probably about as effective as having specific areas of the swimming pool designated as being okay to pee in.

It doesn’t matter that you’re in one of the areas of the pool where you’re NOT supposed to be. Everyone in the pool is going to suffer.

And you won’t get detailed specifics from casino staff about their processes when they shut down—for security reasons, of course.

But we do know some things.

Closing Casinos Isn’t Quite as Definite as It Sounds

When we’re discussing closing casinos, really what we mean is not allowing paying customers in anymore. Some of the staff are still on the premises working.

No casino cruise ship or casino resort shuts down completely unless they’re going out of business. They continue to have a skeleton crew to maintain operational status for that business.

A typical cruise ship might have a normal staff of 1500 crew members, but during a shutdown, only 250 of them will stay aboard. These folks include the captain and other officers, the cleaning crew, the cooks, and the fire fighters.

In fact, when it comes to cruise ships, they don’t even stay in port the whole time. Often, they must cycle in and out of port so that other ships can stock up on provisions.

Sunborn Casino Cruise Ship Entrance

Other cruise ships aren’t just waiting, either. With thousands of crew stranded, some cruise ships are travelling all over the globe so they can drop of the crew that aren’t working at their homes.

And since there are no customers on board, it’s relatively easy for these cruise ships to maintain social distancing measures.

Most casino cruises have plenty of experience being shutdown. After all, they don’t have gamblers on board most of the time, anyway. Their main concern is keeping the electronics rebooted periodically – none of this electronic equipment is meant to be left on or turned off for long periods of time.

Land-Based Casinos Are Another Story Entirely

When was the last time all the casinos in Nevada were closed?

If you guessed never, you’re close to right.

Casinos and gambling in Nevada were legalized in 1931, and never since have all the casinos in the state been closed. They shut down gambling occasionally for brief periods, though – the assassination of JFK and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. both promoted temporary cessation of gambling.

And even then, these closures weren’t complete. They shut down the table games. And they asked their customers not to play slots, which were still mechanical and hard to turn off.

Earlier this year, though, all the Las Vegas casinos had to shut down entry from the general public.

They also had to stop taking bets.

Thus ended an almost 90 year run of almost-unlimited casino gambling in Nevada and Las Vegas.

Occasionally, individual casinos have had to close their doors because of a fire.

So, Vegas has had to look to casinos in other jurisdictions for procedures. In multiple other locations, casinos have had to shut down because of natural disasters. Hurricane Katrina is a notable example of an event that shut down casinos.

There Are Rules for Casino Shutdowns

Casino gambling laws are one of the most heavily regulated topics in the world. There are legal rules they must follow when shutting down. And some security measures are obvious, too.

Any casino will have a large amount of cash on hand at any given time. One of the first things a casino shutting down must do is move that cash reserve somewhere safe.

In Las Vegas, the casinos were told on March 17 that they would need to suspend all activities by midnight.

This meant that they had to do something with all the money in the cage. They also had to clear out the change banks. Casinos keep money in lots of places, though – all the slot machines have currency in them all the time, too.

Even the chips need to be safeguarded.

Empty Las Vegas Strip

And all the computer programs used to help run the casino must be made secure, too. After all, even hackers have plenty of free time in this time of partial quarantines.

Las Vegas casinos aren’t much different from the casino cruises I talked about earlier, really. They still had to have a skeleton crew keeping things up so that they would be ready to re-open.

This crew consists of engineers, managers, and security personnel.

Even though no one was in the casinos gambling, they still needed to maintain everything, and that’s a bigger job than the general public understands.

Conclusion

The effect of COVID-19 on US Casinos is unprecedented, and I can’t explain the exact details about Las Vegas’ procedures during the shutdown, but it should be obvious the amount of logistics involved must be. With all that cash and all those employees, a lot of work had to get done to shut the casinos down.

And a lot of employees tended the casinos waiting for the day they re-open, too.

William Hill Shareholders Approve Caesars Entertainment Takeover

Odds Board and MoneyCaesars Entertainment’s proposed takeover of William Hill has been approved by the latter’s shareholders, paving the way for the “historic acquisition” to be completed next year.

In a virtual vote held on Thursday, over 86% of William Hill shareholders accepted Caesar Entertainment’s $3.7B bid for the U.K. bookmaker, subject to the approval of the English court. The number was easily more than the 75% needed to consummate the deal.

Both parties are said to be making progress towards securing all the necessary regulatory requirements needed to close the transaction. According to Caesars, they are expecting to conclude the deal by the end of the second quarter of 2021.

Said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg:

“We are pleased to have received William Hill shareholder support for our recommended cash offer. We will continue to work towards satisfying the remaining regulatory conditions and look forward to completing the transaction next year and integrating William Hill US into our Caesars sports betting and iGaming franchise.”

Focus on US Assets

Caesars Entertainment has made it clear that its focus is on William Hill’s U.S. bookmaking business which consists of 170 retail shops in 13 different states. The owners of Caesars Entertainment added that they intend to sell the U.K. bookmaker’s non-US operations, including 1,400 U.K. betting shops.

Last week, GVC Holdings CEO Shay Segov said via Bloomberg that his company is interested in making a bid for William Hill’s UK and European assets. Also reportedly interested in bidding for William Hill’s non-US assets is Apollo Management Corporation which previously backed out of a bidding war with Caesars Entertainment for the entire William Hill business. Apollo is said to be particularly interested in William Hill’s UK business. William Hill’s online revenue in the UK is twice as large as its overseas online income.

Monumental Acquisition

Last September, Caesars Entertainment agreed to a monumental acquisition of the British-based gambling company. The move was aimed at the expansion of its share in the U.S. sports betting industry which has exponentially grown since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Caesars Entertainment currently owns 20% of William Hill’s U.S. operations. Under the current partnership, William Hill  has the exclusive right to operate sports betting under the Caesars brand. Caesars believes that merging the assets of both companies represents a compelling opportunity to improve the offering and experience for their customers.

Gov. Sisolak Hints at New Regulations Coming to Nevada

Governor Steve Sisolak

Back in March, something that many felt was impossible took place. All of the casino-resorts in Nevada were forced to shut their doors to the public. Unfortunately, some feel a similar order could soon be made. Governor Steve Sisolak claims we could soon see new regulations coming to Nevada.

Everyone in the state is anxious to hear what is announced. No one wants to see another major shutdown like the one in March.

Today, we’ll take a look at what is expected to take place here.

Nevada’s Gaming Revenue Dropped Again in September

Nevada is and always has been the biggest gambling destination in the United States. Over the past few decades, a large number of world-class casino-resorts opened their doors here. In February, rumors began circulating that the casino industry here could be shut down.

Health officials started warning about upcoming regulations in the state. Finally, in March, officials in Nevada came to the conclusion that intense measures needed to be set in place. Governor Sisolak officially announced that the state’s casinos would be temporarily closing down.

The hardest part was not knowing when these restrictions would be lifted. Finally, in June, Nevada’s casinos slowly started opening back up. Tourism and gambling revenue has been slowly increasing since that time, albeit not by very much.

The casinos in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, managed to bring in $666.7 million in September. The casinos located on the Las Vegas Strip saw just $354.7 million in revenue. Overall, Nevada’s gaming revenue dropped by 22.4%.

Many analysts predict even larger revenue drops over the next few months. Covid-19 infection rates are rising sharply around the United States. There are now many travel restrictions set in place and fewer people are willing to visit and gamble inside a crowded casino.

It now appears that things could be changing in Nevada once again.

Expect to See New Regulations Coming to Nevada Soon

Nevada, like all other states, has been seeing a massive spike in infections over the past few weeks. It’s becoming a trend that state leaders can no longer ignore. Many analysts began anticipating a big announcement was on the horizon.

These predictions seem to be correct. Earlier today, Governor Sisolak announced there was likely to be new regulations coming to Nevada soon. He did not report that any casinos would be forced to shut down.

“I am incredibly concerned about the severity of COVID-19 in our state, as demonstrated in the increase in numbers,” Sisolak said. “My administration is exploring all mitigation options available to get this under control, while walking a tightrope to balance public health and economic impacts. The goal is to have the most impact on mitigating the spread and the least impact on our fragile economy.”

The Governor went on to say that the new measures would be announced soon. He also claimed to be “aware of how consequential these decisions are.” Nevada’s economy relied heavily on tourism and gambling. If the tourism industry is shut down here once again, the effects would be devastating.

Not many predict an outright shutdown of casinos. Instead, the Governor may force casinos to further reduce occupancy and implement more intense safety regulations. Operating hours at casinos may also need to be reduced.

This is all speculation. If things begin to get considerably worse over the next week, the dreaded shutdowns could be set in place once again. Make sure to stay tuned for updates!

Other States Have Begun Ordering Casinos to Shut Down

Nevada isn’t the only state seeing its casino industry being severely affected right now. Gambling revenue is down around the entire country. Some states have recently ordered their casinos to shut down, too.

That includes Illinois. Back in 2019, lawmakers here approved a new capital plan to open several new casinos around the state. Officials here seemed excited to expand the number of gambling options available.

As many are aware, Illinois is now seeing a huge increase in hospitalizations. Governor Pritzker finally announced that casinos here would be shutting down starting on Friday. It’s tough news for the gambling companies here.

Many of Colorado’s casinos have been ordered to close their doors, too. Three cities are home to nearly all of the gambling venues here. Fortunately, the state’s new regulated sports betting options are bringing in some valuable revenue.

There are new regulations coming to Nevada soon. The extent of these regulations is unknown. Many of the casino companies here have already been struggling. Another shutdown could have permanent effects on the city of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada.

Do you think Governor Sisolak will order casinos to shut down again? How do you think this would affect Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments section below!

The French Lick Resort Overview: Indiana Casinos

French Lick Logo and Casino Exterior Background

When you think of small towns in the Midwest, you often think of endless cornfields on flat land. You probably don’t think of a Vegas-style casino resort sitting right in the middle of the cornfields, hills, and backwoods. But that’s where you’ll find French Lick Resort Casino.

A Vegas-themed casino in the heart of America’s heartland. In a town of 1,777 people per 2019 estimates.

But French Lick is much more than your average land-based casino in small-town Indiana. The resort boasts three hotels and golf courses along with its 1,300 slot machines and variety of table and poker games.

So, if you want a true vacation that explores both the high life and the Heartland, then you will love French Lick more than any location in Indiana.

Want to discover more about gambling in Indiana?

Let’s go into the resort and see why this is one of the hottest destinations in America.

French Lick Resort History

The State of Indiana originally gave Patoka Lake a license to host the casino back in 2006, given the state’s law that at the time only allowed riverboat casinos. So, they intended the first riverboat casino to be floating in the middle of a small pond, or the Boat in the Moat, if that makes any sense.

French Lick Resort Dome Ceiling

In 2008, they filled the moat surrounding the boat, and it moved inland to become Indiana’s first land-based casino, where it has since grown into a fully fledged resort and vacation destination.

Which we will now cover in the next section and you will discover why you can make a family vacation in the unlikeliest of places.

Casino Gaming at French Lick Resort

As mentioned in the intro, French Lick Casino’s gaming options include 1,300 slot machines, 37 live dealer table games, and a sportsbook.

Enjoy the open and comfortable atmosphere while playing some of your favorite real money slots that include Blazing 7’s, Wonder 4, Buffalo Thundering 7’s, Fate of the 8, Lightning Link, Dancing Drums, and more.

French Lick offers table games of both skill and chance. So take your pick and dive into games like Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Craps, Sharpshooter, Mini-Baccarat, Three Card Poker, and more.

French Lick Resort Casino Floor

If you’re not up for the tables or the slots, you can always head over to the sportsbook.

Place bets on up to 20 different sports from the NFL to something as simple as sailing. Just head on over to the south end of the casino between the bar and player service area and you will find the sportsbook.

Take advantage of the three betting windows or go at it alone in a self-serve kiosk. The kiosks are open 24 hours a day, so if the windows are closed, you’re still in luck.

Often, the casino section is the longest. But given its conciseness, you can safely bet that the casino itself is nothing more than a sliver at French Lick. There is a lot more to this venue.

Dining Options at French Lick Resort

French Lick Resort’s dining options range from fine dining at 1875: The Steakhouse to grab and go and in-room dining. And if there is ever a plethora of dining options available at any casino in Indiana, it’s at French Lick. So let’s get to the good stuff.

1875: The Steakhouse, named to commemorate the first running of the Kentucky Derby, gives you an atmosphere like none other in elegance featuring iconic gardens and the Pluto Spring gazebo. Top class, right? 1875: The Steakhouse offers only the finest aged cuts for pristine flavor and tenderness of 100 percent premium angus beef.

Casual dining makes up most of the casino’s dining destinations with seven dynamic options.

If you’re looking for a hotspot for drinks, then the Power Plant Bar & Grill is the place to be. But they also serve a fair share of appetizers, salads, burgers, and sandwiches.

Spring No. 8 serves the finest craft beers, wines, and cocktails. And like Power Plant, this poolside bar is rocking with gut-filling burgers and appetizers.

French Lick Resort Restaurant Table

Receive a taste of history at the Grand Colonnade Restaurant, the site of the 1931 National Governors’ Conference. This former ballroom is known for its breakfast options which include breakfast pizzas, biscuits and gravy, omelets, French Toast, waffles, you name it.

And if you’re in the mood for the ultimate comfort food, head over to Pluto’s Pizzeria. Find a variety of homemade calzones, pizza, or Stromboli. Order in full or by the slice and you’re in Pizza Heaven.

Each of the above dining options is located in the French Lick Hotel. So if you’re frequenting there, you don’t have to go far for the best food in the area. And boy, do you have choices galore.

But if you’re staying at West Baden Springs, you’re also covered with two stellar dining options.

Located in the hotel’s original dining room, Cafe Sinclair’s is the ultimate location for breakfast or a fine brunch. Whether you’re looking for something simple like fresh fruit or something more sophisticated, you’ll find it at Cafe Sinclair’s.

Ballard’s in the Atrium is your mutant hybrid of casual and upscale dining. Enjoy the view of the West Baden Springs Hotel Dome while you immerse yourself in salads, appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, double entrees, etc.

Hanging out at the Donald Ross Golf Course? Hit up Hagen’s ClubHouse Restaurant and enjoy the panoramic view of the course while you dine in to the restaurant’s world-famous ribs and sandwiches. If you’re at the Pete Dye Golf Course, then The Mansion is where you want to be. You’ll get the best views in the house of Indiana’s bounding backwoods while you enjoy a hearty lunch in a quiet setting.

Over in Valley Tower is French Lick’s latest dining option, Valley Bar. Down regional craft beers and customized cocktails and light cuisine. Conveniently located near the Events Center, it’s the perfect place to gather after the big show or if the Colts are playing, it’s a fantastic spot to catch the action.

Casino Park Grill is the perfect place for a grab and go breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Located just off the casino floor, stop in for a quick bite then get back to the gaming action.

There are two more grab and go options, the French Lick Mercantile and Xanadu Coffee and Creamery. You’ll find the former in the French Lick Springs Hotel and the latter West Baden Springs. Regardless of where you’re staying, if you’re in the mood for something quick, you know where to find it.

Gambling Promotions and Entertainment

The easiest and finest promotion at the casino is French Lick Rewards, where you’ll earn points for stepping into the casino and playing your favorite games at the slots and tables.

Sign up, play, and start earning casino comps, exclusive offers, and promotional giveaways. Casino play earns are tiered from Ruby to Amber to Emerald, and the higher your tier, the more perks and benefits you’ll have coming your way.

Oh, and you can also earn and redeem credits resort-wide either through dining, shopping, and staying overnight. The more time you spend at the resort, the more perks you’re earning.

What perks are we talking about?

When you accumulate points, you can redeem credits at any dining venue, golf course, shop, spa, hotel rooms, and more. As long as you’re redeeming at French Lick-owned locations, the perks keep on coming.

French Lick Resort Hotel Accommodations

As mentioned, French Lick Resort is the home of three hotels. So if you’re looking for a place to stay while planning a casino trip in small-town Indiana, you need not venture far.

When you take one look at West Baden Springs Hotel, you’d think you’re looking at a small castle. Described as anything but ordinary, you can expect an extraordinary experience at West Baden Springs. And if you’re a history buff, take note that you’re stepping in a 120-year-old National Historic Landmark.

French Lick Resort Hotel Room

Now, if you want something even more historical than West Baden, then the French Lick Springs Hotel is where it’s at. Originally built in 1901, the hotel’s “miracle waters” attract visitors from all over the world.

If history and old buildings aren’t your thing (hearing footsteps on wood at one in the morning is often alarming) then check out Valley Tower. Valley Tower offers a modernized complement to the two historic hotels at the resort.

French Lick Resort Signature Attractions

At most casino locations, you must venture off the beaten path if you want to take a day off from the casino. Not at French Lick, whose signature attractions include three golf courses and two spas.

The golf courses at French Lick are nothing short of legendary and fit for the elite golfer. So much that the Pete Dye Course hosted the 2015 Senior PGA Championship, and it has also hosted the LPGA Championship since 2013.

The century-old Donald Ross Course at French Lick was designed in 1917, and the course itself hosted the 1924 PGA Championship.

French Lick Resort Golf Course

If you’re looking for a quick game with a twist, check out the nine-hole Valley Links Golf Course. What’s the twist? The original course was an eighteen-hole course recently converted into a nine-hole course. Good luck.

If you’re looking for a challenging game featuring breathtaking scenery, then Sultan’s Run is where it’s at. This course is technically located 30 minutes away in Jasper, Indiana. But if you’re a golf enthusiast, you definitely want to make a pit stop here after playing at the French Lick courses.

Now, if you’re looking for rejuvenation, hit up the spas at French Lick.

If total relaxation is in your future, The Spa at French Lick is where it’s happening. Take advantage of the diverse treatments in 28 different rooms and receive a one-of-a-kind experience in the legendary Pluto Mineral Bath before finishing with a Sacred Stone Massage.

If you’re looking for relaxation with a fitness twist, The Spa at West Baden is your prime destination. Enjoy 12 rooms of world-class treatments, a hair salon, plus a fitness center and indoor lap pool to get in the best workout of your life while staying at the resort.

Conclusion

As you can see, the French Lick Resort and Casino is the ultimate vacation destination nestled in south-central Indiana’s hills.

Whether casino gaming, fine dining, golf, or spa treatments are your thing, this venue has it all. And for you history buffs who love classic architecture, staying on-site is a definite treat.

So if you scoffed at the beginning of the article about French Lick’s many amenities, you should now see just how much you can do even if you get away from the grind of the modern-day rat race in a small town like French Lick.

Have you experienced French Lick Casino Resort? If so, tell us about your experience.

The Sale of Bally’s AC Has Officially Concluded!

Bally's Atlantic City

Back in April, news broke that Caesars Entertainment was selling Bally’s Atlantic City to Twin River Holdings. It was one of the largest acquisitions for Twin River as a company in its history. New reports claim that the sale of Bally’s AC has now officially concluded.

Twin River is now going by Bally’s name. This company has worked hard to expand around the United States over the past few years. Today, we’re going to talk about what this sale means for Atlantic City moving forward.

Let’s get into it!

Caesars Entertainment Has Undergone Some Major Changes Recently

The name Caesars is synonymous with flashy hotels and casinos. This company was founded back in 1990 and quickly took control over some of the biggest and best gambling venues in the country. Over the past decade, however, the company began seeing large revenue declines.

In 2019, news broke that Eldorado Resorts paid an astounding $17 billion to acquire Caesars Entertainment. It was the largest casino sale in history. As many expected, however, it took more than a year for this deal to go through.

In order to gain approval from state gambling commissions and the SEC, both of these companies needed to make some major changes. Much of that centered around casino sales. Commissions wanted to ensure that this merged company would not form a monopoly.

This merger has been completed and things seem to be running smoothly. Not long ago, the new Caesars purchased Willaim Hill for more than $3 billion. This was done in an effort to break into the fast-growing US sports betting industry.

Caesars has also sold many of its properties recently. To the surprise of analysts, the company allowed Twin River to take control of its Bally’s brand name. Twin River is now known as Bally’s Corporation and is focused on expansion, too.

We’re set to see some big changes with Bally’s casino in Atlantic City sometime in the near future.

The Sale of Bally’s AC Has Finally Concluded!

As we just mentioned, Caesars Entertainment has gone through several major casino sales over the last year and a half. The company announced it was selling Bally’s Atlantic City to Twin River Holdings back in April. This sale was instrumental in Caesars getting its merger approval from the New Jersey Gaming Commission.

A major casino sale like this cannot happen overnight, though. There were several hoops that both Caesars and Twin River (now known as Bally’s Corporation) needed to jump through. Fortunately, this sale has now officially concluded.

The acquisition price for this venue was $25 million. That’s a good deal when considering the venue is situated in one of the country’s biggest gambling destinations. Historically speaking, however, Bally’s Atlantic City is one of the worst-performing casinos in New Jersey.

Officials within Bally’s Corporation are confident they can turn things around. Earlier this month, the company pledged to invest more than $90 million towards renovations for this venue. The goal is to make this the best new gambling venue in the city.

George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation released a statement this week on the final sale of this venue.

“We strongly believe in the potential of the Atlantic City market and are confident that we can restore Bally’s to its former glory,” he said. “We are pleased to close on this transaction, which represents the latest addition in our ongoing portfolio diversification strategy, and look forward to implementing our capital improvement plans to completely renovate the property with first-in-class amenities and offerings. We have a proven track record of implementing strategic initiatives at acquired properties in order to drive growth and revenue improvements, and plan to bring the iconic property to a level not seen in years.”

This is one of the biggest moves for Bally’s Corporation in years. Atlantic City has been improving massively over the years. 2020 has halted much of the progress being made, yet many analysts expect things to recover next year.

New Jersey’s Online Gambling Revenue is Holding Strong

The country’s land-based casino industry has been hurting badly this year. For months, all casinos around the US were completely shut down. Many, including some of the ones in Las Vegas, have remained closed to this day.

New Jersey started allowing its casinos to open again in July. Like casinos in other states, these venues struggled to attract players. As time went on and regulations were lifted, more people began flocking to Atlantic City.

Land-based casino revenue remains low, even with the uptick in tourism. Fortunately, New Jersey has a regulated online sports betting and casino gambling industry. These online gaming platforms are bringing the state some much-needed revenue right now.

New Jersey is proving how valuable these online gambling options can be. In October, for example, the state broke its own all-time revenue record for sports betting and online casino gambling. Many other states are now looking more into the regulation of these gambling options.

Many expect additional regulations to begin hitting the casinos in New Jersey. Earlier this month, Governor Murphy began ordering casino restaurants to close at night. He has warned that if things do not recover, the casinos here may be forced to shut down again. With the sale of Bally’s AC now finalized, everyone hopes that things are better here by the time the venue’s renovation is complete.

Are you excited to see what Bally’s Corporation does to its new casino in Atlantic City? Do you think the casinos in New Jersey will need to shut down again? Let us know in the comments section below!

So You Want to Be a Sports Bettor? Read These Tips to Help You Get Started

Man Thinking With a Sportsbook and Money Background

Perhaps you’ve been watching a bunch of football games with your buddies who are constantly talking about the betting odds. Maybe you’ve been tuned into the mainstream sports channels that now spend a significant amount of time airing segments focused on gambling. Whatever the reason, you’re ready to put some skin in the game.

Betting on sports is a pastime as American as the sports themselves, and the chance to make money makes it hard to resist. In this article, I’ll lay out four things you need to know to get started betting on sports.

Your Sports Betting Bankroll Is Everything

I hate to start off with this, but I would be remiss if I didn’t make it clear how important it is to your long-term success.

Your bankroll, if you’re unfamiliar with the term (and you probably are if you’re new to gambling), is the amount of money you’ve set aside for the sole purpose of gambling. This should happen before you ever place your first bet.

You should only set aside an amount of money that you feel completely comfortable losing. Nobody wants to think that they’re going to lose it all, but if you don’t take this approach you can find yourself in a dicey financial situation. In fact, the best way to look at it is like a purchase or investment where you might get your money back, but you also might lose it all. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

World Series 2020 L.A. Dodgers

After you’ve determined what our overall bankroll amount is, the next step is to determine a percentage rang of your overall bankroll number between which you’ll bet. For example, if your bankroll is $1,000, you might decide you’ll only bet between 2% and 5% of your total amount on one play (these percentages are what most experts recommend).

That means on any one play, you won’t bet less than $20 or more than $50. The reason these percentages are so important is because they keep you from running through your bankroll too quickly by making ill-advised big bets. Keep in mind that the 2% and 5% amounts will change as your overall bankroll total changes.

It’s hard to make money betting on sports, but it’s nearly impossible if you aren’t keeping track of your finances. A bankroll isn’t fun to talk about, but if you’re serious about gambling, its importance cannot be overstated.

Find the Right Sportsbook(s)

Once you have your money set aside, the next step is determining where to place your sports bets. It sounds easy enough, but it can be a little bit overwhelming at first.

Due to relaxed gambling laws, there are more viable options than ever before for gamblers. What used to be a seller’s market (gamblers being the buyers, betting platforms being the sellers) has turned completely upside down.

So what makes one site better than another? Truthfully, it often comes down to preference. However, there are a few additional things to look for that can help you make your decision.

First and foremost, you should feel comfortable with the user-interface of any site you use. It sounds obvious, but there are many platforms out there that translate poorly on mobile devices – something you don’t want to find out after you’ve deposited hundreds of dollars.

Rivers Casino Sportsbook

Next, there are bonuses to consider. While they seem too good to be true, they’re almost always legit and should be taken advantage of in all cases. These bonuses can be things like: deposit matches, where a site will match your first deposit up to a certain amount of money, free entry into tournaments with massive prizes for the winner, and much more.

Finally, save yourself some frustration by finding out what the withdrawal process is on each site you’re considering. Speaking from experience, there is nothing worse than having a bunch of money sitting on a site with no easy way to get it back into your bank account.

Often times the issue has to do with your state’s laws regarding gambling. Even if you can’t find a site that’s perfect, some are undoubtedly better than others. Just make sure you don’t neglect this step before signing up.

Learn the Sports Betting Options

Now that you’ve completed the work on the “administrative” side, you’re ready to start placing bets! But first, you need to get acquainted with all your betting options and the associated terminology.

The most popular way to bet on games (assuming you’re going to wagering on team sports) is to utilize the point spread. For example, if the Cowboys are playing the Eagles, you might see something that looks like: Cowboys -3 (-110).

The “-3” represents the point spread. In this case, it would mean the cowboys are giving three points. The easiest way to explain how it works is to say that the Cowboys are starting out the game with a 3-point deficit. Meaning if you bet on the Cowboys, they must win by more than three points in order to win the bet.

NFL Cowboys Versus Eagles

The “-110” refers to what’s known as the juice (or the vig). The juice is, for lack of a better term, is how sportsbooks make money. In this case, it would mean that you have to bet $110 to win $100. That -110 number is the most common when betting with the spread, but you might occasionally see it at -105 or -115.

The second most popular way to bet on team sports is the moneyline. When betting with the moneyline, all that matters is who wins the game outright.

Continuing with the Cowboys vs. Eagles example, you might see something like: Cowboys -185, Eagles +165. This means that you must bet $185 to win $100 if you choose the Cowboys, or bet $100 to win $165 if you choose the Eagles.

While the moneyline and the spread are the two most popular betting options, many more do exist. However, if you’re just starting out in your sports betting career, I would highly recommend sticking to those two until you feel comfortable getting more creative with your plays.

Track Your Gambling and the Results

Just as any good business keeps a budget and a balance sheet, as a sports bettor you need to be keeping track of where your money is going.

It’s not necessary to have a fancy bookkeeping system that provides every insight imaginable, but you should be tracking your plays. Not only will this help you know where your bankroll stands at all times, but it can also help you identify where you’re having success.

Whether you decide to use an excel sheet, an online program specifically designed for tracking sports bets, or even just a pen and paper, the important thing is that you have a way of monitoring your bets over a long period of time.

Aside from being a financial necessity, conscientiously tracking your bets will allow you to see things you might not have noticed they weren’t on paper. For example, you might recognize that you’re hitting on your NFL bets at nearly 60%, while your NBA plays are losing you money each week. These insights will give you the opportunity to adjust your strategy accordingly, which will hopefully lead to improved success long-term.

The bottom line is that if you aren’t keeping a record of where your money is going, you run the risk of getting down big without even realizing it. Find a method that works for you, and update your tracker each day that you’ve made a bet.

Conclusion

Sports betting has become so popular because it allows fans to have a true rooting interest in every game – whether it’s from betting on the Super Bowl, or a Wednesday night MAC game that you’d otherwise ignore.

As long as you have the financial stability and don’t bet more than you can afford, gambling on sports can become a lifelong source of fun and enjoyment.

Keep this list in mind when setting up shop, and you’ll have a chance to be successful.

What We’ve Learned About the Casino Economy During the Pandemic

Las Vegas and Macau With Coronavirus Images

Chips were flying, restaurants were packed to the gills, and Las Vegas was bouncing reopening weekend as Sin City returned after more than two months of shutdown due to public health concerns centered around the Covid-19 pandemic.

The good news: Hotels and casinos were much busier than anticipated, prompting many Las Vegas resort companies to accelerate their plans to open more of their properties.

The bad news: According to field reports from casino floors and the busy sidewalks lining Las Vegas Boulevard, few visitors were wearing face coverings or practicing social distancing. The two primary precautions that local and federal public health officials encouraged in order to slow the spread of Covid-19 through the summer.

Put simply, Vegas is back. In fact, this scenario has been playing out across the globe. While there is certainly much to be excited for going forward, I want to take a look at what we’ve learned.

What did we learn about the casino economy during the pandemic?

Let’s take a look.

Macau’s Gambling Industry

In Macau, known for its luxurious casino resorts, more than 80% of local revenues are earned by the operation of casinos or gambling-related businesses.

However, due to the pandemic, Macau hosted just around 3 million tourists in January and February, down nearly 57% year on year. Gambling revenue plunged by 80% year-on-year in March.

The dramatic decline in gambling-related earnings has been widely attributed to both Macau’s proximity to mainland China, where the outbreak of COVID-19 originated, and the Macau Government’s decision to close the border in phases from mid to late March. Essentially prohibiting non-Chinese nationals as well as those from Greater China from gaining entry.

Casino Tourists in Macau

The Chief Executive of Macau reported that gaming revenues for the first three months of 2020 saw a 60% year-on-year fall to about US$3.81 billion.

Since gaming revenues are expected to remain relatively low for the remainder of the year due to the uncertainty of the public health crisis, the government has cut Macau’s gross gaming forecast for 2020 by half, to US$16 billion.

It is probably worth noting that visitors to Macau from the Greater China region, including mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, account for over 90% of local tourists.

Therefore, the recovery of Macau’s casino economy and businesses dependent on it will remain limited unless travel bans and restrictions are lifted and potential Chinese visitors are comfortable that COVID-19 is contained in the region.

Even if restrictions on visas and transportation are lifted, business will likely remain slow as Chinese gaming players are probably unwilling to travel at this point.

Yet, if Macau and the Greater China region can continue winning the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak and prevent a catastrophic second wave, then tourism in Macau may show a swiffer recovery than expected.

Las Vegas Casinos

From the Aria to the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas was a virtual ghost town. With the exception of the security guards who remain posted outside casino entrances and the occasional joggers, the Las Vegas Strip was deserted.

This was the scene in early 2020.

The haunting emptiness is a version of what many Americans have witnessed in the places they call home. Vacant subways, wide open freeways and unoccupied shopping centers became the norm for many.

Tourists Walking the Vegas Strip

But as measures to control the spread of the coronavirus shut down businesses across the country, those who live and work in Vegas worry that they’ll suffer more and longer than most.

Just a few months later after Las Vegas shut down, the casinos began to open back up in limited capacity. Unfortunately, the damage has been done.

There are thousands of unemployed casino workers in the wake of the pandemic. The reality that nobody wants to talk about is this:

Imagine you own your own casino. You are a relatively small operation employing only 50 blackjack dealers. You are relieved to be back open, but you can only operate at 50% capacity. The new restrictions also mean that you’ve gone from 10 tables down to 5. So, you have half the people (best case scenario) playing half the tables. Pretty clear that you don’t need 50 blackjack dealers. Wouldn’t you say?

Now imagine broadening to include all facets of casino operations. Then multiply it into the hundreds if not thousands.

Catastrophic.

Like many other states, Nevada closed all nonessential businesses to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The economic well-being lives and dies by the booming and busting of a single, extremely fragile industry.

This month last year, 3.5 million tourists came to visit Las Vegas. A complete halt to the beating heart of the casino economy is devastating.

Real Money Online Gambling Boom

While most sports leagues were on hiatus and casinos across the country closed because of the pandemic, a lot of people were placing bets online from home, leading to several record numbers with real money online casinos.

Among the states that have seen meteoric rise in online poker numbers are New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

New Jersey took in a record $79.9 million from online poker and casino games in April, a 118% increase from the $36.6 million in revenue the state had in April 2019.

The four most popular online games during the boom were unsurprisingly slots, blackjack, craps and roulette.

Online Casino Game List

Google searches for online poker reached a five-year high during the coronavirus pandemic, with the increase beginning in mid-March, the week when most sports leagues called it.

While the boom in real money online poker has helped the struggling sportsbooks during the pandemic, it has not made up for all the losses. The revenue from a typical month of sports betting when sports were still operating dwarfs any extra revenue casinos have seen from online poker.

There will likely be lasting ramifications from this surge in online gambling interest. A behavioral shift that makes online gambling permanently more popular is likely to continue even after casinos are back at 100%.

However, the reality is that despite the gains made at online casinos, the shutdown of brick and mortar casinos left a revenue hole that can’t be made up.

The People That Work in Casinos

About 206,000 of Nevada’s casino workers have been affected by the mandatory closings.

For Las Vegas, shutting down the hospitality industry means wiping out the economic security of entire families. The coronavirus pandemic awakens memories of the 2008 financial crisis. In fact, many casino centric areas have only recently recovered from that recession.

But casino leaders seem to have learned from past mistakes under immense pressure. Matthew Maddox, the chief executive of Wynn Resorts, cited the lessons of 2008 as the reason his 25,000 employees were still paid during the mandatory closing. Some other casino leaders also kept workers on payrolls.

Las Vegas Showgirls Wearing Masks

But the largest casino employer, MGM Resorts, which employs over 75,000 in Nevada, could only guarantee their furloughed workers two weeks of pay. And for those workers at small businesses or franchises that operate inside casino walls, layoffs became the new norm.

Even with tourists free to return , I am curious if they will. Concerns about their physical health and safety may likely keep them off planes and out of hotel rooms for months. That $1,200 check certainly won’t stretch far enough to cover the cost of a post-pandemic vacation, for those that got them.

Without additional help from the federal government, it will take a stroke of good fortune for the average Joe to survive this crisis.

It’s very likely that casinos will struggle to make money under these conditions, but the big three will certainly move to reopen. The necessary COVID-19 precautions very closely mimic the ones being used in Macau.

Las Vegas hasn’t seen a complete return to normal, but it’s been baby steps toward that. In theory, Caesar’s, Wynn, and MGM will cut their losses and bring back more than a few eager casino gamblers.

It will, however, be a very slow journey. Until there is a vaccine, effective treatment, or herd immunity, normal operations will not return to the casino industry. Having long lasting impacts on the casino economy.

Conclusion

It is far too early to be able to say what the future of casino gaming will look like. I know that there are people hurting because they are not able to work.

Fortunately there are also a large group of people that are in desperate need for a getaway. The distraction of a casino trip would most certainly be beneficial to both groups.

I don’t know when the right time to get back to business as usual is, that’s above my pay grade. However, I do believe that the sooner we are all able to resume our lives, safely, the better.

In these uncertain times, I am completely confident in one thing; the resilience of the human race. Gamble on.

The Greatest WSOP Victories of All Time

WSOP Logo and Binions and Rio Background

The Main Event at the World Series of poker has provided electric action and incredible drama for half a century.

Since 1970, poker stars from around the world have made the pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the annual event.

Let’s take a look at nine of the greatest WSOP victories of all time.

Amarillo Slim – 1972

In the event’s third year, a star was born. Thomas Preston burst onto the scene, preventing the only man to ever take home the title, Johnny Moss, from claiming a 3rd consecutive victory.

Okay, some of you have probably never heard of Thomas Preston. That’s because he’s better known by his alias, Amarillo Slim.

Amarillo Slim became a media darling and the instant face of real money poker in the United States. In fact, Amarillo Slim made a total of 10 appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Pro Poker Player Amarillo Slim

Amarillo Slim won the 1972 Main Event and was able to help integrate poker into mainstream America.

Amazingly, only eight of the registered players even bothered to show up for the event. So, essentially in 1972, you could’ve bought your way into the final table for $10,000.

Last year’s event had over 2,800 players advance to Day 2 of the event. Clearly, the media efforts of Amarillo Slim did wonderful things for growing the game.

Doyle Brunson – 1976, 1977

Doyle Brunson is a poker legend. Many would argue that the man who penned one of the must-read poker books, “Super System,” is the first face on the Mount Rushmore of poker.

Spend much time in poker circles, and you’ll quickly hear poker hands being referred to by names like snowmen, cowboys, bullets, or Big Slick. Doyle Brunson is such an icon that he’s even got a hand named for him.

The first time I heard another poker player refer to the “Doyle Brunson” hand, I mistakenly thought they were referring to cowboys.

After all, you’ll rarely see him without his trademark cowboy hat. So, it seemed logical.

Besides, he’s considered to be a king by many in the poker world. I was caught completely off guard when I learned that the Doyle Brunson hand is actually 10-2.

Pro Poker Player Doyle Brunson

Why such a mediocre hand for such a pioneer of the game?

That’s because Doyle turned 10-2 at the final table into a WSOP Main Event victory. Even that in itself may not be worthy of naming a hand for a player.

However, accomplish the feat in two consecutive years, and suddenly you’ve got a hand named for you. That’s exactly what Brunson accomplished in 1977 when he took down his second consecutive title with 10-2.

So, the next time you’re dealt 10-2, give the nod to Doyle and see what the flop has in store for you.

Jack Strauss – 1982

The 1982 event was the first World Series of Poker Main Event to draw over 100 entries.

Strauss wasn’t a WSOP rookie; he’d actually won a bracelet in the 1973 Deuce to Seven Draw event. In 1981, Strauss nearly took the title but was forced to settle for a fourth-place finish.

Things didn’t appear to be going his way in 1982, either. Strauss pushed his chips to the middle of the table and lost the hand. Strauss then stood to leave the table and found that there was a single $500 chip under a cocktail napkin. Because Strauss had never declared himself all-in, officials determined that he was still in the tournament.

Strauss took that single $500 chip and fought his way back to the top, earning $520,000 and coining the phrase “a chip and a chair.”

As far as I’m concerned, it’s the greatest underdog story of all time, and I have little doubt that it would make for a far more interesting 90 minutes than “Rudy.”

Phil Hellmuth – 1989

By 1989, Johnny Chan seemed unbeatable. Chan had won the Main Event in 1987 and 1988 and was poised for a third consecutive title.

The 1989 win would have further cemented him as the GOAT, making him only the second three time winner. Chan must’ve thought he had it in the bag as he headed to the final table.

Pro Poker Player Phil Hellmuth

That’s where up and coming poker professional Phil Hellmuth was waiting to challenge Chan. Hellmuth defeated the field, and Chan was resigned to a second-place finish.

Hellmuth became the youngest player ever to win the event at the time and has had a massively successful career as a professional poker player.

Stu Ungar – 1997

The 1997 running of the Main Event is a story of redemption. Stu Ungar had won back to back World Series of Poker titles in 1980 and 1981.

However, by 1997, Ungar had largely disappeared from public view as he struggled with addiction. Fortunately, poker pro Billy Baxter decided to give Ungar the financial backing to take another swing at glory.

Ungar battled through the ranks like the Stu Ungar of old and found himself with a final table spot. There was so much buzz around the event in Las Vegas that the venue had to be changed to the famous Fremont Street.

Ungar, who had dedicated his performance and his attempt at turning around his life to his daughter, played brilliantly.

Ungar went on to become only the second 3-time champion, and hope abounds. Ungar even made another run in 1998 but fell short.

A few months after his failed attempt in 1998, Ungar was found deceased in a Vegas motel room. Ungar died without a penny to his name.

It was a sad end to an amazing gambler, and one of the best poker stars of his generation.

Scotty Nguyen – 1998

The 1998 Main Event made history for having only five players make it to the final table. These five were whittled down from a player pool of 367 entrants.

This final table was down to only two remaining players, Scotty Nguyen and Kevin McBride. That’s when Scotty Nguyen delivered possibly the greatest line in poker history.

As Nguyen coolly smoked his cigarette and sipped his beer, he told McBride, “You call, it’s gonna be all over, baby.”

Pro Poker Player Scotty Nguyen

McBride foolishly called, and it was all over, baby. Scotty won a cool million for his troubles and, of course, another coveted World Series of Poker bracelet.

Scotty has five WSOP bracelets to his name, and in 2007 he was on the cusp of another huge payday. Unfortunately, his cocky style and big mouth backfired on him as he fell apart heads up versus Phillip Hilm.

Chris Moneymaker – 2003

If you’re heads up against a player named Moneymaker, do you just get up and leave?

Sam Farha is certainly not one to back down from a challenge. Moneymaker and Farhas battled it out at the final table, with Chris Moneymaker edging out the charismatic pro.

What’s most notable about the 2003 win is that Moneymaker became the first player to win the event after qualifying through an online poker site.

Moneymaker turned his $39 investment into a $2.5 million payday and earned the World Series of Poker Main Event title. More importantly, Moneymaker was the catalyst for the immense expansion of the online poker boom.

Online poker went from the fringes into mainstream poker culture. It legitimized the activity in a way that nobody could’ve imagined.

Joe Cada – 2009

Several times throughout the WSOP Main Event’s history, a young and shining star has risen to the occasion.

That’s exactly what happened in 2009 when Joe Cada became the youngest player to win the Main Event.

Cada found himself at the final table with juggernauts in the poker world like Phil Ivey and Jeff Shulman. Initially, Cada floundered and was down to only four big blinds left.

Pro Poker Player Joe Cada

Then he went on a tremendous run and ultimately found himself heads up against the chip leader at the beginning of the day, Darvin Moon.

Moon definitely had the crowd on his side, but Cada came out the champion after a lengthy game of cat and mouse.

He earned over $8.5 million while becoming the youngest winner in the event’s history.

Greg Merson – 2012

2012 was quite the year for an American player, Greg Merson.

More specifically, the 2012 World Series of Poker was extremely lucrative for the poker star. First, he won the No-Limit Texas Hold’Em Six-Handed event, which netted the young player his first WSOP bracelet and over $1.3 million.

He didn’t stop there, though. Merson locked horns with Jesse Sylvia and Jacob Balsiger at the final table of the Main Event.

Pro Poker Player Greg Merson

After 11 hours of 3-way play and about 250 hands, Merson emerged victoriously and earned his second bracelet. He also picked up another $8.5 million.

Making for a nearly $10,000,000 week and earning himself 2012 Player of the Year honors. Definitely an impressive accomplishment for a professional poker player, but the real story is the epic battle from that final table.

Conclusion

The best part about making a list of nine of the greatest WSOP victories of all time is the nostalgia of childhood favorites like Scotty Nguyen.

The worst part is deciding on only nine when the event is overflowing with wonderful champions and battles.

Illinois Casinos Ordered To Shut Down Again Beginning Friday

Casino Chips and a Deck of Cards

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced in a news conference on Tuesday the complete shutdown of Illinois casinos. The decision comes in the wake of a surge in the COVID-19 virus cases during the past week.

Said Pritzker during the briefing:

“The simple fact is that COVID-19 is spreading quickly and widely. Our hospitals are beginning to experience real strain, and at the current infection rate they will be overwhelmed.”

Pritzker added that the effort would “pause a number of indoor activities where science shows us this virus can can easily spread.” He hopes that the measures will help bend the state’s current coronavirus curve without having to enforce a stay-at-home order for its constituents.

The shutdown follows the actions of Michigan after Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered the state’s three commercial casinos closed for three weeks beginning Tuesday to curb the spread of the pandemic. Unlike Michigan’s shutdown, Pritzker didn’t give a timetable as to when the Illinois casinos can reopen. Illinois was one of the first states to shut down its casinos at the height of the pandemic last March Illinois casinos were forced closed on March 15, 2020 and were allowed to reopen on July 1st.

Tier 3 Mitigations

Pritzker’s move puts the state into what he termed as Tier 3 mitigations beginning 12:01 am on Friday. Under the new shutdown, retail establishments are ordered to drop to 25% capacity while groceries and pharmacies are limited to 50% capacity. Gyms car stay open at 25% capacity if masks are worn at all times and locker rooms are closed.

On the other hand, museums, theaters, and Illinois casinos will be completely closed. Impacted by the order are Caesars Entertainment and Penn National Gaming who each have three casinos in the state, Rush Street Gaming and Boy Gaming who each have one Illinois casino, DraftKings which has licensed its name to Casino Queen, and Jumer’s which is in the process of beng sold to Bally’s Corp.

Rise in COVID-19 cases

State Health Officials reported 12,601 probable and new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That was the 12th straight day where the state had more than 10,000 cases During the past week, Illinois has averaged 12,381 COVID-19 cases per day. Overall, the state has accumulated a total of 597,849 cases since the pandemic began.

97 deaths were also reported on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 10,875. Over the past week, Illinois has been averaging 84 deaths per day which is the highest weekly average since June 2nd. During the height of the pandemic, the average deaths per day in the state was 100 deaths per day.

Best Ways to Enjoy Atlantic City Outside of the Casinos

Man Pointing With Thumb to Atlantic City Seal With a City Background

Atlantic City is a destination for 27 million people every year. Many of those tourists are gamblers making their way to one of Atlantic City’s fantastic casinos.

Even the most grizzled of casino gamblers occasionally need a break from the action, though. Fortunately, Atlantic City has plenty of fun to offer.

Here are the top seven ways to enjoy yourself outside of Atlantic City casinos.

Atlantic City Aquarium

The Atlantic City Aquarium is open seven days a week. So, you can get a break from the baccarat table nearly any day of the year.

Plus, admission won’t break your casino bankroll. Adults get in to see the fish for $10, and children (12 and under) are only $6. Little ones under the age of three are free.

The aquarium is definitely geared towards the younger demographic or at least the young at heart. You’ll find several interactive exhibits that will keep the kids engaged and excited.

While, technically, the aquarium isn’t the only place in Atlantic City where you can pet sharks. It’s highly recommended you stay away from the sharks that inhabit the Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic City Aquarium

In fact, sharks aren’t the only hands-on exhibit at the aquarium. You can even touch living coral and pet stingrays as they glide over the sandy bottom of a shallow pool.

You won’t have to worry about paying for parking at the aquarium, and you’ll be in the middle of the hopping Gardner’s Basin.

Here you can find some great restaurants, shopping, and even ticket booths for water rides and boat tours of the harbor.

Don’t miss the Atlantic City Aquarium if you need a break from the casino or are traveling with kids.

Absecon Lighthouse

Reaching an impressive 171 feet into the air stands the historical Absecon Lighthouse. The lighthouse is the tallest in New Jersey and the third tallest in the United States.

The lighthouse has a beautiful museum inside, which gives a full history of the lighthouse and shipping in the area. This Atlantic City staple also hosts various events throughout the year.

These special events range from art exhibits to live shows. It’s best if you check ahead of time as they may impact the usual hours.

Most people come for the climb to the top of the lighthouse. The price to make the ascension for adults is $7, and for children is $4.

After climbing the 228 spiraled steps, you’ll be greeted by one of the finest 360-degree views in Atlantic City.

Absecon Lighthouse is a great way to get out of the casino and breathe some fresh ocean air high above the busy city street.

Lucy the Elephant

Don’t even visit Atlantic City if you aren’t going to go see Lucy the Elephant. This National Historic Landmark was erected in 1881 as a means of attracting homebuyers.

The 6-story Lucy weighs in at a cool 90 tons and has weathered everything the harsh North Atlantic has thrown at it. Although, as you can imagine, there have been numerous renovations over the years.

For over a century, guests have climbed Lucy to stand atop her and bask in all of her magnificence. Thanks to the recent push and designation as a National Landmark, visitors will be able to enjoy Lucy for decades to come.

Lucy the Elephant Atlantic City

Lucy will bring out the kid in even the grumpiest of visitors. It’s difficult to be mad when you’re standing face to face with a 6-story elephant.

Probably the coolest aspect of Lucy is the recent addition to the Airbnb portfolio. For only $138 per night, you can sleep in the belly of the massive beast.

You’ll have to get lucky to stay inside Lucy. The initial offering is minimal. However, the listing may see an extended offering in the future.

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to have a group photo taken at the Atlantic City attraction.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk

The Boardwalk is probably Atlantic City’s main attraction. The Boardwalk truly has something for everyone.

This 4-mile stretch of Americana has unique shops, lively bars, fresh seafood restaurants, and dozens of carnival-style games to play.

You may walk away from the Boardwalk with a giant bag full of saltwater taffy or a giant Teddy Bear for your special someone. Atlantic City is the largest producer of saltwater taffy in the world.

This massive entertainment venue is perched along the shoreline and has several piers that reach out into the ocean. Some of the piers are full of fisherman looking to get the freshest seafood available.

However, others are owned and operated by entertainment companies and offer an amusement park experience high above the crashing waves.

You may want to stick to the casinos after dark. The Boardwalk has some less desirable aspects late in the night when the bars begin to close.

Atlantic City Beach

The star attraction of Atlantic City is, without any question, the ocean. The Atlantic City Beach fills up during nice weather.

The water at the Atlantic City beach is perfect for body surfing. The small waves will also delight the kids as they jump into the pint-sized surf.

Adults may prefer to lounge under an umbrella in their favorite beach chair. The popular site offers some truly unique people watching.

Atlantic City Beach

The beach also provides the perfect setting for a relaxing stroll after hours on the casino floor. You can also rent kayaks nearby to paddle out and drop a line.

The piers are available to the beachgoers and make an excellent spot to grab a bite to eat or enjoy some cold beverages.

Best of all is that unlike many New Jersey beaches, the Atlantic City beach is completely free.

If you’re looking for activities that won’t dent your gambling budget, the beach is a great way to spend an afternoon. You can even spend your days at the beach and, after a shower, head down to the casino.

Storybook Land

Storybook Land is for the kids. However, it makes this list for the parents and grandparents.

If you’ve ever traveled with kids, you understand the importance of tiring them out. A day full of activities at this literary-inspired stop will have them in bed early.

When my wife and I travel with our siblings, we alternate nights of being on parenting duty. So, one couple will be in charge of the little ones for the night while the others are free to play.

Storybook Land is precisely the type of place my wife and I would choose on our day with the kids.

This 20-acre amusement park has small roller coasters and trains for the kids to ride. The entire park is based on favorite children’s books and fairy tales.

You can go to grandma’s house to avoid the big bad wolf or sit down for lunch at the Gingerbread House.

Admission for the park is $25, which’s an excellent bargain for the number of attractions. Be sure to check online for discounted tickets and specials.

The amusement park is 100% geared towards children, but the adults will appreciate the perfectly manicured gardens. At the very least, the smiles on the kid’s faces should be more than enough to make this stop a value.

Tanger Outlet Mall

Tanger Outlet Mall is located a few blocks from the Boardwalk and directly behind the Caesars and Bally casinos.

The shops are a great place to spend hours window shopping and browsing. The expansive shopping area has stores from retailers like Brooks Brothers and the Beef Jerky Outlet.

If you didn’t do well on the casino floor, there’s even a Dollar Tree outlet store. I’m not sure what’ll find at a dollar store outlet, but you can surely buy a lot of whatever they have.

Tanger Outlet Mall Atlantic City

While you’re here, you can do some Christmas shopping or spoil your loved ones with treats from Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Polo.

In fact, the Atlantic City outlet mall has over 65 different retailers for you to browse. Indeed, you won’t have trouble finding the perfect gift for even the pickiest family members with so many choices.

The shops are obviously free to visit, but the shopping excursion will be much more fun with a pocket full of the casino’s money. So, take them for all you can.

Conclusion

The fabulous Atlantic City has plenty of things to do to keep gamblers entertained. However, it’s unhealthy to spend all of your time on the casino floor.

Give yourself a break and check out these top seven ways to enjoy Atlantic City outside the casino.

Current Observations About the NFC North for Sports Gamblers

NFC North Logo With Bears and Packers Players

One of the more popular takes among experts prior to the 2020 NFL season was that the NFC North was up for grabs. Coming off of a season in which the Packers finished 13-3 but fell flat in the playoffs, that prediction seemed legitimate.

The Chicago Bears jumped out to a perfect 5-0 start, which would usually result in the rest of the league taking them seriously. However, anyone who took a closer look could easily conclude that the Bears winning streak was unsustainable.

Now that stellar start to the season seems like a distant memory. Meanwhile, Green Bay is the best team in the North, and the Lions and Vikings are struggling to keep up.

With a sizable portion of the regular season remaining, there’s still time for the Bears to put pressure on the Packers. But with each miserable offensive performance, that seems more and more and more unlikely.

In a division where dysfunction and inconsistency are second nature, it’s challenging to make smart bets. If you’re struggling to figure out the most perplexing division in football, here are six observations about the NFC North for NFL sports betting.

Packers Poised for a Playoff Run

Once again, the NFC is a weaker conference than the AFC. Through nine weeks, no one in the conference has asserted themselves as the frontrunner.

The Saints, Buccaneers, and the Seahawks are generally listed in the top-tier, but the NFC is wide open. However, the Packers are continuing to win games and fly under the radar.

As it stands, the Packers should easily run away with the division title if they continue to play quality football. Green Bay’s remaining schedule is 10th easiest in the league, and no one else in the North can keep pace.

Understandably, the Packers (-750) are listed as heavy favorites to win the division. While there isn’t any value in betting on Green Bay to win the North, it might be worth betting on them to win the NFC.

The Packers are currently listed at +450, behind both the Saints and Seahawks at +350. Both teams have looked inconsistent at times this season, indicating that there might not be as much of a gap as Vegas sportsbooks would indicate.

Chicago’s Quarterback Play Leaves Much to Be Desired

If the Chicago Bears had a serviceable quarterback on the roster, they would be among the NFC’s best teams. But, unfortunately for Chicago, they are stuck with Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky.

Chicago’s defense is among the best in the league and is probably the only reason the team is still hanging around in the North.

Head coach Matt Nagy opted to move on from Trubisky earlier this season, handing the starting role to former Super Bowl champion Nick Foles. Nagy hoped for a turnaround under the veteran, but if anything, Foles has been worse than Trubisky.

NFL Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy

Chicago’s offensive efficiency ranks among the worst in the league. Much of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the two quarterbacks.

The offensive line and running game certainly aren’t helping anything. But, if Chicago has any postseason aspirations remaining, the quarterback play must improve.

Unfortunately for Chicago, there doesn’t seem to be a clear resolution to their offensive woes.

The only safe bet with Chicago is the under, as Chicago has failed to hit the over in six of its nine games.

Vikings Must Continue to Lean on Cook

As the NFL continues to lean towards a pass-heavy offensive approach, the running back position can often be underrated.

It doesn’t help that massive contracts given to players like Ezekiel Elliot, Le’Veon Bell, and Todd Gurley have been colossal failures.

While it might be true that teams shouldn’t overpay for a running back, it’s nice to have world-class talent in the backfield.

Dalvin Cook has been leading the league in both rushing yards and touchdowns and has brought the Vikings season back to life. Cook is on pace to easily set career highs across the board, potentially setting himself for a nice payday in the offseason.

The Vikings are experiencing a resurgence thanks in large part to Cook, as well as the defense. Head coach Mike Zimmer, who should still be regarded as one of the best coaches in the league, should continue to ride the hot hand.

It’s a foregone conclusion that the NFL MVP award will go to a quarterback once again, as it has for the last seven years. But, if you’re looking for a longshot MVP wager, Cook is currently listed at +4500.

If he continues his torrid pace and the Vikings somehow sneak into the playoffs, Cook might have an outside chance of capturing some votes.

Is Matt Patricia on His Way Out?

At this point, the utter ineptitude of the Detroit Lions is almost comical.

Franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford was dragged through the mud, forcing his wife to come to his defense on social media. As the starting quarterback for the Lions, Stafford will, unfortunately, continue to get his share of the blame.

However, the issues in Detroit seem to be systemic, starting at the top of the organization.

Through two and a half seasons as the head coach of the Lions, Matt Patricia is 12-25-1. That’s good for a dismal .329 winning percentage.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia

Under his direction, Detroit has finished in last place two years in a row and is in the driver’s seat to make it a three-peat. If the Lions are unable to pull off some magic in the second half of the season, Patricia will most likely be out of a job.

Patricia’s seat is heating up, and his name continues to pop up in the “next coach to be fired” conversation.

New York Jets coach Adam Gase is the clear favorite at -175, followed by the Jaguars’ Doug Marone at +325. Meanwhile, Patricia is listed at +550.

It’s unclear whether Detroit plans to make a move before the conclusion of the regular season. But with every loss, it becomes more likely that Patricia’s days in Detroit are numbered.

Rodgers Still Has Plenty Left in the Tank

An unfortunate reality when evaluating quarterbacks is the fact that their reign will come to an end at some point.

When the Packers drafted Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, it seemed like they were selecting their quarterback of the future.

Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay has been incredibly successful, albeit uneasy at times. He got his start under less than favorable circumstances by essentially forcing out fan-favorite Brett Favre.

While Aaron Rodgers quickly established himself as one of the best in the business, he has never evaded controversy. He butts heads with coaches, teammates and always demands the most out of the Packers’ front office.

When the organization opted to draft his heir apparent instead of help on offense, the message seemed clear. Rodgers’ time as the starting quarterback in Green Bay was drawing to a close.

Evidently, Aaron Rodgers didn’t get the message.

Rodgers is among the league leaders in most major statistics and among the favorites in MVP odds. Rodgers (+400) trails only Russell Wilson (+125) and Patrick Mahomes (+220).

In a season marked by several veteran quarterbacks noticeably losing a step or two, Rodgers continues to look like one of the top talents in the NFL.

Cousins is Best as Game Manager

It’s safe to say that pro NFL bettors have a large enough sample size to form an opinion about the Vikings’ Kirk Cousins. The $84 million man is a slightly above average quarterback, plain and simple.

At times Cousins might look like he’s worthy of the largest contract in NFL history. But, mostly, he seems like a decent starting quarterback.

The quality of Cousins’ play in 2020 is uninspiring at best. The quarterback has thrown nearly as many interceptions, 10, as touchdowns, 12. The Vikings few successes this season should be credited to running back Dalvin Cook.

NFL Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins

The Vikings must win most of their games if they have any shot of making the playoffs. While the NFC is still wide open, there are a number of teams jockeying for position in the middle of the pack.

As I said earlier, the Vikings need to continue to feed Cook and keep the ball out of Cousins’ hands as much as possible. Cousins is at his best when he’s managing the offense instead of trying to be a gunslinger.

Conclusion

There are plenty of value bets to be made on the remainder of the NFL season. However, the NFC North, one of the more inconsistent divisions in football, continues to prove to be a challenge for gamblers.

It’s clear that the Packers are the best team in the division and should be in the conversation as the best in the entire NFC. There are still a number of divisional matchups remaining for Green Bay, providing them ample opportunity to prove themselves to the gambling public.

Despite getting off to a fast start, the Bears have dropped three games in a row and continue to struggle on offense. Until the quarterback situation improves, Chicago is a team to avoid.

At the bottom of the division, the Vikings and Lions are in a dog fight to keep their seasons alive. The stakes are somewhat higher in Detroit, as another sub .500 season could lead to Matt Patricia’s firing.

Casino Gambling Facts That Will Impress Your Friends

Casino Cards and Chips With Question Marks

Casino gambling has been surrounded by intrigue and excitement for centuries. One lucky night on the casino floor can quickly change a player’s life.

Before you head out the door on your next casino adventure, here are 10 casino gambling facts that will impress your friends.

The 14 Year Poker Game

Many of us have received the text message or seen the dreaded eight missed calls from our significant other while at a real money poker game.

Usually, this means it’s time to wrap it up and call it a night. Sometimes it requires a quick phone call and a delicately crafted response about why you won’t be home before 2 a.m.

Now imagine being part of the eight and a half year poker game. The game, which is rumored to have lasted eight years and five months, took place in Tombstone at the Bird Cage Theatre.

Dun Glen Hotel in West Virginia

The game ran day and night non-stop. I’m fairly certain the divorce attorney would have served me somewhere in year two.

That’s a tremendous poker game, but it’s not even the longest game ever. That distinction belongs to a game at Dun Glen Hotel in West Virginia.

Verified by the fact-checkers at Guinness, the game lasted for over 14 years.

Craps Players Would Eat the Dice to Slip the Cops

If there’s one thing that prohibition has accomplished, it’s to show us all that it doesn’t work.

Alcohol, drugs, and gambling have all endured a widespread prohibition at some point. Complete with the full cooperation of law enforcement.

However, alcohol had speakeasies and bootleggers. The drug trade has mules and vast networks of organized crime like the cartels.

Gambling in the first part of the 20th century had underground games. In fact, the games were fairly common. The police were constantly doing their best to shut down these gambling rings, and raids became commonplace.

The dice players quickly understood that the police would need evidence to convict anyone of wrongdoing and began to swallow the dice to eliminate the evidence.

This is how the phrase “no dice” got its start. I suppose swallowing dice beats going to prison.

Nevada State Prison and Casino

We all know how big casino gambling in Nevada is. Your friends will be shocked just how popular it is, though.

At one time, there was a fully functioning casino (minus the cocktail servers) inside the Nevada State Prison. No, this wasn’t some marketing ploy by Harrah’s to draw in a macabre casino crowd.

The casino was for the prisoners. Between 1932 and 1967, inmates could enjoy blackjack, poker, and craps at their temporary home.

Nevada State Prison Casino

The prison casino even offered a sportsbook for inmates to lay their wagers.

Prison officials touted the program as leading to far fewer incidents of disciplinary violations thanks to the program. Prisoners and guards seemed to get along pretty well while the casino was in operation.

In 1967, the new warden decided that the casino was detrimental to the prisoners and dissolved the program.

Doyle Brunson Back to Back WSOP Wins With the Same Hand

Not many poker stars have the honor of having a poker hand named for them. Of course, not many poker stars are on the level of Doyle Brunson.

Doyle won the 1976 World Series of Poker Main Event in dramatic fashion. His opponent led with A-J, and Brunson called with 10-2. The flop came A-J-10, giving Brunson a pair of tens. He went all-in, and his opponent quickly called with two pairs.

This could’ve been a cinderella story of Jesse Alto, a car salesman that won the WSOP. Instead, Brunson gained a two on the turn and another on the river for a full house.

Winning one hand, even for a WSOP Main Event bracelet, isn’t enough to name a hand for someone. Do it two years in a row, and you’re going to gain some attention.

That’s precisely what Brunson accomplished in 1977 when he again won the WSOP Main Event with 10-2.

Again, Brunson started behind and caught winning cards on the turn and river for a full house.

Vegas Used Atomic Testing to Draw Crowds

This may sound crazy at first but stay with me for a moment. Las Vegas actually became a tourist attraction in the 1950s for something vastly different than blackjack or slot machines and buffet dining.

The United States Department of Energy began testing nuclear bombs in the Nevada desert at a tremendous rate. Thousands of massive explosions transformed the desert into the surface of the sun.

Las Vegas Atomic Testing Site

Being Americans and all, we rushed to the desert to bask in all of our atomic glory, from a safe distance, of course.

Obviously, Las Vegas saw the opportunity and seized. Vegas casinos began offering atomic themed packages with views of the explosions and signature cocktails.

There was even a “Miss Atomic Energy” beauty pageant where contestants wore mushroom cloud inspired outfits.

How uniquely Las Vegas to capitalize on nuclear proliferation.

Smallest Casino in The World

You might have that friend that just can’t stop gushing about the quaint casino the recently visited. They’ll bill it as a hidden gem and speak of how it must be among the smallest casinos in the world.

However, you’ll be sure to remind them that it’s definitely not the smallest. In fact, it’s not really that close.

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Head across the pond to London, England, and you may run across one of Grosvenor Casino’s taxi cabs. Or is it a casino? These unusual casinos implore us to ask the question: What came first, the casino or the cab?

In any event, these tiny mobile casinos have everything a gambler on the go could want. Your dealer will warmly greet you at the casino table, where you have a vast selection of games.

If you’re in the mood for a drink, the casino has a fully stocked bar. There are even satellite television and a dedicated line for sports bettors to place their wagers.

Steve Job’s Dad Was a Casino Billionaire

Steve Jobs was definitely a charismatic and divisive leader. The Apple founder brought us tools that changed the way we work, communicate, and live.

From the iPod to the iPhone, Jobs was a visionary. At the very least, he had an eye for spotting the brightest forward thinkers around.

Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Reno

Many people don’t realize that Jobs was adopted. Even fewer people are aware that Jobs’ biological father was billionaire casino executive Abdulfattah John Jandali.

Jandali served as Vice Chairman for Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Reno, NV. Boomtown, as you may know, is best known for its all you can eat Lobster Buffet.

The Sandwich Was Born in a Casino

Enjoy eating slices of cured ham or salami as much as playing cards? Looking for a convenient way to enjoy both simultaneously without making a mess?

Well, John Montagu was in the same predicament. The fourth Earl of Sandwich loved his regular card games.

John Montagu would regularly skip meals and bathroom breaks to continue the gambling action. One day it struck him, he asked his servants to bring him meat between slices of bread. Just like that, the sandwich was born. The bread kept the Earl’s hands clean and allowed the game to continue without any pesky breaks.

I should note that people had been eating meat in bread for ages. Fortunately, none of them had a killer name like Sandwich to attach to the delicious concoction.

Welcome to Fabulous Paradise

We’ve all seen the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Many of us have visited the sign ourselves for that great photo op.

However, many people don’t realize (even those who have visited the sign) that the sign and much of The Strip itself are actually located in Paradise, NV.

I know, it’s like finding out Santa Claus isn’t really a cheerful guy that lives at the North Pole with his flying reindeer.

I wouldn’t particularly mind if they did change the sign to read Paradise. After all, it’s Las Vegas, and that’s close enough. Or is it Paradise?

The First Slot Machine Was in a Service Station

Charles Fey was a car mechanic from San Fransisco. He invented the slot machine as a means of keeping his customers entertained and out of his hair while he repaired their ailing automobile.

Liberty Bell Slot Machine

The Liberty Bell was a hugely popular success, and casinos began to take notice. They began purchasing the machines and installing them to keep gamblers distracted while the table games were full.

Within a few years, the casinos were full of the fun and easy to play games. The rest, as they say, is history.

Conclusion

Armed with these 10 casino gambling facts that will impress your friends, you’re ready to share your knowledge amongst them indiscriminately.

What are some of your favorite bits of casino trivia that aren’t on my list?

The great thing about casino gambling is that one amazing day or lucky pull, and you instantly become a nugget of Las Vegas lore that others will talk about for decades.

Danville’s New Casino Plans Are Already Paying Off

Caesars Entertainment Logo

Virginia’s lawmakers continue working to expand the state’s gambling industry. Not long ago, voters approved a measure to open a new casino in the city of Danville. New reports claim that Danville’s new casino plans are already paying off.

Caesars Entertainment is scheduled to operate this new casino. Today, we’ll talk about how this will benefit Danville. We will also look at some of the other states working to bring in casino revenue right now.

Let’s get into it!

Voters Finally Approve Plans to Open a Casino in Danville

It’s been very interesting to see Virginia’s gambling industry expand over the years. As many know, lawmakers here banned almost all forms of gambling for decades. Finally, this past March, officials approved a measure to start allowing commercial casinos in the state.

There were discussions about where the new casinos would end up. Officials in the city of Danville began pushing hard to host one of these venues. Before this could be approved, however, residents in the city would need to vote for its approval.

Many analysts were torn on whether or not this would take place. There have been many vocal anti-gambling advocates making their case heard in the state. On the other hand, many seemed to recognize the revenue potential from this industry.

Earlier this month, voters officially approved the plans to open a new casino in Danville. It was extremely exciting for gambling fans in the area. City leaders also expressed their excitement and claimed this new gambling venue would help to boost tourism.

Virginia’s gambling industry is growing quickly. Many now feel this state could end up becoming one of the largest gaming hubs on the East Coast. More casinos are expected to open here over the next couple of years.

We’re now starting to hear how Danville is already benefiting from its expanded casino plans.

Here’s Another Update on Danville’s Casino Plans

There were many requirements that went into the approval of a casino in Danville. As we mentioned earlier, Caesars Entertainment has been chosen to operate this venue. Under the rules, the company needs to grant Danville $15 million within 30 days of the vote to approve the new casino.

That’s a large amount of money for the city. Officials here have already figured out what some of this money will go toward. $5.9 million will be used to build a new police station off Memorial Drive. It’s unclear where the rest of this money will be allocated.

It’s clear that Danville’s new casino plans will benefit the city in a major way. Ann Vandervliet Stratton, who serves as a member of the Investing in Danville Committee, told the media this money should be used to fund public schools.

“I just hope that they [city officials] find a balance between supporting infrastructure needs to prepare for the casino with prior needs that haven’t historically been addressed,” she said. 

The original $15 boost isn’t the only money coming in. Analysts in Virginia believe that this casino will bring in an estimated $38 million to Danville every single year. Officials will need to figure out how to disperse this money, as well.

Danville is almost guaranteed to see a major boost in tourism with this casino open. Of course, hope is that the US land-based casino industry is in a better place by the time this venue actually opens its doors.

More Casino Revenue Reports Are Coming Out!

There’s been more interest in casino revenue this year than ever before. Analysts have been fascinated to see how different states’ casinos have been faring every month. Certain areas of the country are clearly doing better than others.

Las Vegas has been slowly improving over the past nine months. In March, all of the casinos here were completely shut down. They reopened in June, and tourism rates to the city have been slowly increasing ever since. Unfortunately, revenue remains far lower here than it was last year.

New Jersey has been seeing large revenue earnings, as well. Unlike many other states, New Jersey allows both online casinos and online sports betting options. This is helping to bring in a huge amount of revenue every month.

Some of the smaller gambling destinations in the country are seeing different revenue figures. Arkansas has been seeing lower revenue figures than in 2019. The casinos here have been successful in recent months, though.

Much of the progress being made here could soon come to an end, though. Many states are beginning to implement new health regulations right now. Some fear that casinos will eventually be forced to shut down around the country.

The good news is that Danville’s casino plans will benefit the city in a big way. Officials are already looking at ways to use the money coming in. Stay tuned for updates over the next few months!

Here Are Quick Ways to up Your Gambling Bankroll

Arrows Pointing Up With a Casino Chip and Money Background

In many ways, your gambling bankroll is like the gas tank in your car. If you keep it full, you’re free to enjoy endless amounts of fun and adventure.

However, let it get to empty, and you’re suddenly stranded. Except in gambling, there’s no AAA to call for assistance.

Here are five quick ways to up your gambling bankroll and avoid being stranded high and dry.

Why Your Casino Bankroll Is Vital

Far too many gamblers pay little to no attention to their casino gambling bankroll until it’s gone.

Remember that your casino gambling bankroll is money you have specifically set aside for gambling. You should never use money that’s needed for bills or living expenses on gambling.

By growing a bankroll properly, you’ll treat it with the necessary amount of attention and respect to grow a successful bankroll.

After all, the larger the bankroll you have will dictate two key factors for all casino gamblers.

The first being how much time you’re able to spend gambling. Everyone wants to spend as much time as possible at the slot machines or blackjack tables.

Suncoast Casino Slot Machines

The more you’ve stashed away in your bankroll, the longer you can have your fun on the casino floor.

Secondly, and of paramount importance to most gamblers, it determines how much you can theoretically win.

It would be best if you only were betting about 1% of your bankroll on any wager. So, if you have $500 in your casino gambling bankroll, you shouldn’t be playing for more than $5 per bet.

Yet, if you have a $2000 bankroll, you can suddenly bet $20 per hand. It’s clear to see that you’re far more likely to make any significant gains by betting $20 per hand, opposed to $5.

So. now that we’re in agreement that having a healthy casino bankroll is not only advantageous, it’s vital. Let’s look at how you can quickly up your gambling bankroll.

Create a Gambling Routine

I’ve found that one of the quickest ways to up my gambling bankroll is by creating a strict routine. You need to establish your own routine and remain disciplined enough to follow it thoroughly.

That probably looks slightly different for everybody, but I’ll give you a few suggestions on where to start. Obviously, factors like how much you make and when you’re paid will greatly impact how you approach this.

Let’s assume that you’re paid every two weeks. The optimum routine here would be to add a specific percentage or dollar amount of your income to your gambling bankroll every two weeks. It’s important here to set an amount that fits comfortably into your budget. You don’t want to skip multiple contributions because you have bills to pay. Of course, your bills and living expenses should always take priority. My point is that you need to decide on a contribution that you can easily manage.

Sometimes it’s easy to skip one week because you want to see a concert and then two months later your bankroll hasn’t grown a penny.

Gambling discipline is a vital characteristic of upping your gambling bankroll. You’ll be much better off by making a solid plan to contribute once a month if you’re more likely to stick to your plan.

How much you make has a large impact on your bankroll because it largely determines how much you can add to the pot each month. Expenses are another key metric in determining the size of your contribution.

If you’re clearing $8,000 per month and you’re spending $7,990, you’ve got a long road ahead. Eventually, the $10 each month will add up, but it’ll take some time.

Conversely, if you make $4,000 per month and only have $2,200 going out, you’re in a prime position to build an impressive bankroll.

Most importantly, try to create a sustainable routine, and you’ll quickly watch your gambling bankroll grow exponentially.

Have a Casino Plan

Having a plan for your gambling bankroll is among the most commonly overlooked aspects of quickly upping your bankroll.

Having a well thought out plan for how you’ll use your bankroll doesn’t ring alarm bells for most gamblers. This is probably because they are focused on the simple act of piling as much cash as they can into it.

However, knowing how to manage a gambling bankroll properly is every bit as important as just throwing money at it.

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Are you gambling purely out of entertainment? Are you looking to try your hand at serious sports betting for profit? Do you want to be the next Daniel Negreanu? These are all important questions to answer.

If your focus is on saving up a large enough gambling bankroll to not worry about landing on “E” at the casino, you need to decide what that’s going to cost.

When planning a casino trip, you’ll need to budget for each day. Keep in mind that you’ll only want to wager 1-2% of your bankroll on each bet.

Look at your games RTP and the amount of time you’ll be spending on the casino floor each day. Armed with the games RTP, your bet size, and how long you’ll be playing, you can formulate a plan.

Casino Roulette Table

Obviously, if you’re in the market to make a sustainable income, you’re planning will be much more involved.

I cringe every time I’m sitting at the tables and see a player quickly lose their entire stack of chips because of poor bankroll management.

Instead of spending hours playing at a table with a smaller minimum, they jump up and start playing for $25 per hand.

If you sit down and start playing blackjack for $25 per hand with a $200 bankroll, you’re probably going to be spending most of the day wishing you had found a $5 table.

Knowing what you are trying to do with your gambling bankroll will make it abundantly clear what you’re unable to do in the casino. Make a plan and stick to it; your bankroll will benefit tremendously.

Hone Your Craft

Getting better at your chosen discipline will fast track your gambling bankroll. It makes perfect sense that the better you play, the better off your bankroll will be.

Whether it’s poker, blackjack, or sports betting, honing your skill set is one of the best ways to increase your bankroll.

Poker players may choose to read books or watch videos on the best poker strategies. Blackjack players can practice using the basic strategy on every single hand. Sports bettors can pour over data and analytics, learning how to spot trends.

A great way to improve quickly is by playing online. There are dozens of options to play games online for free, and you can make a move to real money online casinos when your bankroll is ready.

There are obvious ways to get better at games like the ones above, but what about slots players or roulette fans. You can’t influence where the reels or the ball lands.

Yet, there are still significant ways to improve your gameplay. For starters, you can research the slot machines with the highest RTP.

Roulette players can research the best roulette strategies and even employ some variation of betting systems like the Martingale.

Regardless of your favorite game, if you put in the hours to improve, the results will speak for themself.

Be a Consistent Gambler

Consistency has been one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in my gambling career. By wagering the same amount on each game or every hand, I eliminate the terrible loss.

I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a player make several bets within their bankroll’s parameters and then make one huge bet on a “sure thing” and cancel out any wins and then some. Don’t fall into gambling pitfalls such as chasing losses or getting greedy. Play the same percentage on every bet, every time.

Not only will you avoid any unnecessary stress, but your bankroll will show much better long term success.

Earn Extra Betting Income

Earning extra income is pretty obvious, right?

However, it’s easier to accomplish than you think.

I had a friend that was having a difficult time allocating funds for his gambling bankroll. He had a mortgage, car payments, college tuition, and other expenses each month.

He didn’t want to take a hiatus from his favorite pastime of sports betting. So, he had a garage sale to earn some funds.

Casino Sports Betting Board

He did so well that he was able to gamble through the entire NFL season from his take.

You may not be positioned to earn a thousand dollars from a garage sale. Perhaps you get a second job working nights and weekends.

I’m not suggesting you get a second full-time job, but working 20-30 hours a week can take your gambling bankroll to the next level. It may not be for everyone, but it’s a quick way to increase your gambling bankroll.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed these five quick ways to up your gambling bankroll. Remember that it doesn’t matter how much money you throw into your bankroll if you don’t take care of it.

However, with these five quick ways to up your gambling bankroll and proper bankroll management, you’ll be able to gamble to your heart’s content for years to come.

Attractions to Visit Near Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course

Hollywood Gaming Logo With Ohio Attractions Background

Most of us think Youngstown, Ohio, and the entire area up in Mahoning County is long past its prime. Maybe, maybe not. But when you venture to Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, you’ll be shocked at the number of attractions the area boasts.

Nine of them made this list, but you can place a safe bet that you’ll find at least a dozen different places to visit if you look hard enough.

From top-end museums that give you some insight on what turned Youngstown into a power player back in the 20th century to outdoor parks and theaters, it seems like there is an attraction everywhere you turn in this area.

So, take a day off from gambling in Ohio, venture out into these places, and explore everything that continues to make the area stand out.

Youngstown Steel Heritage

The Youngstown Steel Heritage points to the backbone that built Youngstown, Ohio, into one of the most prominent steel cities in the world.

At one time, you could drive through the area and within seconds, you’d know the place was a thriving industrial sector complete with smokestacks that reached the heavens, the rumbling of steam whistles, overhead cranes, and other heavy industrial equipment. You were in for a light show when the sun went down just from flame openings lighting up the sky.

Youngstown Steel Heritage Ohio

Well, today, you’ll no longer experience it. But the Youngstown Steel Heritage serves as a perpetual reminder of Youngstown’s original identity. So, even if the steel mills are either gone or lay abandoned, its legacy remains at this location.

Come on in and experience what made Youngstown one of America’s most thriving metropolises of yesterday if you need a break from the real money slots and the races.

Youngstown Historical Center for Industry and Labor

Like Youngstown Steel Heritage, the Youngstown Historical Center for Industry and Labor will give you a glimpse of the manufacturing sector that served as the blueprint for Ohio’s thriving economy once upon a time.

Here, you’ll find hundreds of labor-related photographs that also represent the mass immigration and urban history regarding Youngstown, Ohio. There are also numerous artifacts, including tools, workers’ clothes, life-sized scenes that include a locker room, company-built houses, scenes straight out of the mill, and more.

If you’re an avid researcher, the museum even offers a library and archive room where you can find numerous resources including manuscripts from labor organizations, government records, and more.

For the historian in you, this is definitely a place to visit if you’re gaming in the area.

Stambaugh Auditorium

This non-profit public auditorium has served the Youngstown community for nearly 100 years, with its roots dating back to 1926.

Come over and enjoy the exterior architecture or interior design of the historic building. Some of its prominent features include an 8,800 square-foot ballroom, a recital room, and a formal garden you can rent out for a public or business function if you choose.

Stambaugh Auditorium Ohio

And if the live entertainment over at the casino isn’t cutting it, you’ll find a lot of it here at Stambaugh Auditorium. Some of what you’ll find here are the hottest national and international acts along with a plethora of regional entertainment and public acts.

A building full of history, Stambaugh Auditorium encroached the list of National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Lanterman’s Mill

It’s arguably the area’s most historic landmark. The mill’s roots trace back to 1845 when German Lanterman and Samuel Kimberly built the structure.

Fast forward nearly 200 years into the future and the mill continues to attract visitors from all over the world.

If you’re a history buff, step into the past and get a live look at how our ancestors produced mill and flour from freshly ground grains. Plus, you’ll gain insight into how the ancestors ground those fresh grains. Oh, and if you want to taste the history, you can purchase stone-ground cornmeal, buckwheat, and whole wheat flour.

It’s a safe gamble that you’ll probably end up loving the stuff more than any store-bought grains. And rightfully so. It doesn’t get any fresher than this.

Fellows Riverside Gardens

Need some peace and quiet in your life after a few days of all the casino games and racing you’ll get in Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course?

This free public garden sits on 12 acres of real estate, and you’ll find it at the northern end of Mill Creek Park. One of the most popular attractions in the United States, Fellows Riverside Gardens attracts over 400,000 visitors per year from all over the world.

And if flora is your thing, you’ll love the diverse collection and classes of roses, flowering bulbs, perennials, seasonal displays, and the works.

Fellows Riverside Gardens Ohio

While this is a fine attraction to venture to regardless of the time of year, it provides an intense show in the spring when its 40,000 bulbs bloom and announce the arrival of the new season. It will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen if you visit the place in April/May.

But hey, you’re looking at more than just the State of Ohio’s finest collection of plants here. The friendly staff is more than happy to give you a tour of the gardens and there are often special events going on at and around the location.

So, if you’re in the mood for stress relief, or if the games didn’t go as well as you anticipated over at the casino, then take a trip to Fellows Riverside Gardens for relaxation and comfort.

Butler Institute of American Arts

If you’re looking for the most unique and finest collection of art in America, then you’ll find it all at the Butler Institute of American Arts. Discover the collection of artwork that has been preserved throughout American history from the pre-colonial period until today.

To take a walk through this art museum is akin to taking a journey through American history to places and times you may have only read about in history texts back in high school.

This museum is suited for more than just the art enthusiast in you. If you love American history, then the Butler Institute of American Arts is a must-visit and it’s wise to rank it number one on your itinerary if you’re looking to venture away from Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

Mill Creek Park

Discover your park and discover the great outdoors. Serving the residents of Youngstown and hundreds of thousands of tourists since 1891, Mill Creek Park sits on 4,500 acres of forested real estate that’s just waiting to be discovered.

So, come on over! Reserve a facility for the night during your favorite season, hike the trails, get fresh air, and don’t forget to see what types of upcoming events are in the park during your stay.

Mill Creek Park Ohio

This is another great place to unwind, workout, or even relax after a day’s worth of casino gaming and horse racing. If you need a breather from the slots, Mill Creek Park is the answer. And best yet, you don’t need to drive far to find the conveniently-located park.

Mr. Darby’s Antique and Collectible Emporium

Yep, if you’re into the oldies, then you’ll fall in love with the collection over at Mr. Darby’s Antique and Collectible Emporium.

In addition to the most diverse collection of antiques in the area, Mr. Darby’s is also the home to many local and regional events that you and the family can enjoy if you brought the crew along to this historic area.

And if you’re an antique collector, reviewers agree that you won’t find more reasonably priced collectible items anywhere else. It’s your one-stop-shop for anything antique-related. But if you’re just looking to take a break from the gaming action, it’s a wonderful place to come in and browse.

Biker Brewhouse

Yeah, you’ll find some of the finest local beers on tap and crafts over at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course. But you’ll also find a wider selection of crafts over at Biker Brewhouse.

Come in and enjoy the atmosphere while you sample the best seasonal and local drafts around that include exotic flavors like Road Rash, Hot Blonde Habanero, Crossroads, Blue Balls, American Pie, School House Red Biker, and more.

Biker Brewhouse Ohio

If you’re one who can’t visit an area without trying the finest local crafts, then Biker Brewhouse will grace the top of your itinerary.

Head on in where heaven for the beer enthusiast in you awaits.

Conclusion

As mentioned, the attractions listed here are just a handful of everything Youngstown, Boardman, and the rest of the area offer.

So, if you’re growing weary of the endless, adrenaline-pumping gaming and racing over at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, you can turn your trip to the casino into a mini-vacation destination.

Check out those museums and get fresh air and relaxation at one of the parks or gardens. Once you’re rejuvenated, return to that gaming floor or the grandstand and have at it for another round.

Have you played at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course? If so, did you explore the Youngstown area and visit any of the attractions listed above? Let us know in the comments and share your experience.

Station Casinos Turning Attention To Undeveloped Durango Property

Table with Poker Cards and Casino Chips, Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

Red Rock Resorts is turning its attention to Las Vegas Valley.

JP Morgan recently had discussions with company executives and according to a note from the finance and investment company, Red Rock views the Durango area in the growing southwest Las Vegas Valley as the “most underserved’ market in the region.

Although a Red Rock spokesman refused to confirm the company’s plans to revisit its plans to build a Las Vegas casino in its Durango property, the signs point to it going that direction.

Per Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon:

“Durango remains one of the remaining attractive return opportunities in the Las Vegas Valley, given its location, close-in population base and lack of competitive options.”

Undeveloped Property

The Station Casinos project in Durango has been in the company’s pipeline for the last two decades. In 2000, Red Rock Resorts-which operates Station Casinos, bought 71 acres of land in the southwest valley, specifically at the intersection of Durango Drive and the 215 Beltway. The initial plan was to build a casino with a 201-room tower at the property but unfortunately, the Great Recession forced the company to scrap the project.

Three years ago, a sign that was put up in the area revealed a proposed development of a Station Casino resort with a gaming area of 120,000 square feet and 1,000 rooms. In its annual report filed earlier this, Red Rock noted the undeveloped Durango property as one that has “excellent visibility and access from interstate 215” with “no major competing casinos within five miles of the site”.

Encouraging Figures

Four of Red Rock’s Las Vegas casino properties remain closed to date and there is uncertainty as to when or even whether the Palms, Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, and Fiesta Henderson will open. Despite that, Red Rock says that clients of its four closed Las Vegas casinos have found their way to the casinos that are open. And while business has not returned to normal, the “new normal” figures are encouraging.

During its third quarter earnings call, Red Rock Resorts reported net revenues of $353.2 million for the third quarter of 2020 which is 24% lower than its 2019 counterpart or a difference of $112.7 million. However, if they base the profits on the Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA), the company has a 44.8% increase in profits. Net income for the third quarter of 2020 was $72.0 million which is a huge increase from the net loss of $26.8 million for the same period in 2019.

Ohio Attractions Close to Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment

Belterra Park Gaming Logo and Ohio Attractions

Do you plan on spending time at Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment? Great! That’s a good place to start… But we all need at least a small break from all the casino gaming, right?

With that said, if you’ve never been to Cincinnati, if you’re looking to either explore the city when you stop by, or if you’re interested in visiting some of the most prominent landmarks in the area, you’re in luck. Because you can turn your trip to Cincy into an amazing vacation full of unexpected experiences!

From classic ballparks in town that host top-end professional sports teams to musical theaters, historic hotels, and one of the last showboats in America, here are eight ways to stay busy when you venture to Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment.

Let’s discover what the best of gambling in Ohio has to offer.

Great American Ballpark

It is the home of the Cincinnati Reds and one of the most architecturally pleasing structures in the region. The Great American Ballpark and its neighbor, Paul Brown Stadium, will light up the architecture enthusiast in you.

So, what is it that makes this stadium one of the best if not the best ballpark in Major League Baseball? And how is it any better than legendary structures like Wrigley Field and Fenway?

The park has 14 unique features that allow it to stand out from other ballparks in the Major League. Some features include a 35-foot wide break in the stands known as “The Gap,” the Power Stacks that reside in right-center field reminiscent of 19th-century steamboats, and a 50- by 20-foot carving near the main entrance known as the “Spirit of Baseball.”

Yeah, it’s a safe bet that you’ll find the aptly-named Great American Ballpark an architectural symbol of the great American pastime. So, if you’re into architecture and baseball, then this is a must-see for you. And if you’re a stadium enthusiast, it’s easy to rejoice at what you’ll find here. Plus, if the Reds are in town, why not venture off to a game and cheer on the home team?

You don’t even need to support the Reds to get excited about all the features you’ll come across here at the park. Whether you’re into architecture, history, or baseball itself, you’ll find a lot of value at this venue.

It’s a great way to pass the time if you need a break from all the gaming going on at Belterra Park.

Nippert Stadium

Nippert Stadium is where the architecture, history, and sports betting enthusiasts can meet and have a drink.

Why? Because the structure hosts a plethora of tenants over the years that include the NCAA’s Cincinnati Bearcats and Major League Soccer’s FC Cincinnati, among others; it is also the fifth-oldest stadium in college football.

Nippert Stadium Ohio

Yeah, Ohio Stadium in nearby Columbus may have the size, but Nippert Stadium’s architecture, eight renovations, dynamic horseshoe shape, and consistent expansion blows the copycat horseshoe in Columbus out of the water.

So, with its history, design, and number of tenants that have called the field home, it’s the perfect place to pay a visit if you’re in the area. And if the Bearcats or FC Cincinnati have a game going on, why not buy a ticket and absorb the raucous atmosphere?

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Okay, so as the name suggests, you can expect several Shakespearean ensembles to be played here.

If that’s your thing, then Lady Luck has your back even if she disappeared for a while over at Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment.

In fact, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company joined a hallowed few back in 2014 when completed the 39-play canon regarding Shakespeare following the production of The Noble Kinsmen.

If you’re a Shakespeare fan, rejoice, and catch productions including classic works like Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, and other legendary plays from the English playwright.

And if you aren’t into Shakespeare, catch a show anyway! You may just uncover a new passion and appreciation for 16th-century literature and the famous playwright.

Cincinnati Music Hall

Starting in 1920, the Cincinnati Music Hall has produced many productions in June and July, along with accompaniment by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

If you’re into anything that ranges from classical music to classic stage productions, then the Cincinnati Opera House is a must-see attraction. That’s especially true if Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment are merely serving as just a sliver of an overall destination experience in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati Music Hall

Tracing its roots back to 1920, the Cincinnati Opera that hosts the production is also the second-oldest opera company in the United States behind New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

Given the longevity of the Cincinnati Opera, you know you’re in for the show of a lifetime when you walk through its doors. So, come in and experience a night of singing and classical music. I’ll tell you this—if you’re looking to spend a relaxing evening doing something besides playing popular casino games, this is the place to be.

Aronoff Center

One of the city’s largest performing arts centers, the Aronoff Center is full of events that range from ballet, plays, popular music concerts, comedy, and musicals.

So, if live entertainment at Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment falls short of your expectations, venture out to the Aronoff Center to see what’s happening.

Whether you’re in for something sophisticated or if the latest and greatest world-class pop group is in town, take a walk to the Aronoff Center and see what it has to offer.

Showboat Majestic

The Showboat Majestic holds the distinction as the last riverboat theater built in the United States, and it still exists to this day. So, if you’re in the mood for a real history lesson, Showboat Majestic, or simply Majestic, is a surefire location to pique your interest.

For years, the showboat entertained generations of audiences all the way until the early 2010s before she was permanently docked at Cincinnati’s Public Landing in 2013.

Showboat Majestic Vintage Photo

After being out of service for over six years, Majestic returned in December 2019 for a Christmas production, and you can bet they’ll use the vessel more often if the demand calls for it.

While you won’t expect to see any shows if you venture out to view this vessel, you’ll definitely get a thrill from paying this National Historic Landmark a visit. And that’s especially true if you’re into historical structures that contain many stories within their walls.

She’s reportedly moving to nearby Manchester, Ohio. So, if you can’t find her in Cincy, just drive a few minutes east and she’ll be waiting!

Cincinnatian Hotel

Looking for a historic stay in the heart of Downtown Cincinnati? Then, take a trip to the Cincinnatian Hotel, where you’ll receive a perfect blend of a quaint setting with all the modern amenities.

Owned by the Hilton since 2018, this venue will make your extended stay in the Cincinnati area complete. So, if you’re headed to the city for a couple days to a week’s worth of United States casino gaming and sightseeing, book yourself a room at the Cincinnatian.

Having opened its doors in 1882, and serving generations of Cincinnatians and tourists alike, this hotel is now a member of the Historic Hotels of America. It has also been a member of the National Register of Historic Places since 1980.

So, walk through the doors and experience a piece of history while the hotel continues to evolve well into the next decade.

Paul Brown Stadium

Alright, we started with a tour of Great American Ballpark and Nippert Stadium. It’s only appropriate to end the tour with another soon-to-be legendary piece of architecture known as Paul Brown Stadium.

Designed by Dan Meis’ firm NBBJ, it became the first NFL stadium to win the AIA design award and, at the time, one of just two sports venues to have won the award.

Some of the most dynamic features at Paul Brown Stadium include its open corners, which allow fans breathtaking views of the Ohio River, downtown skyline, and the city’s numerous bridges. It probably came of good use to fans of the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2000s and parts of the 2010s decade.

Paul Brown Stadium Cincinatti

It was also the only football stadium to earn a spot on the list of America’s Favorite 150 Buildings and Structures, ranking 101st on a list that included skyscrapers, national memorials, hotels, churches, and bridges.

Only Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium ranked higher on the list in terms of sports structures. It shows what kind of treat you’re in for if you’re an architecture or stadium enthusiast.

With that said, if you’re venturing to good old Cincinnati as part of a group that includes the sports fan, the historian, and the architect, you’re in for a real treat. The stadium’s home tenant—the Cincinnati Bengals—can offer a reason to attend their home games.

Conclusion

Definitely a diverse list, right? Cincinnati is often overlooked because of the ultimate boom periods its revitalized neighbors like Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh have experienced in recent years.

But Cincy has more than its fair share of attractions to get excited about.

So, when you’re looking to take time off from the gaming floor at Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment, know that you’re just a 15-minute drive away from a diverse set of nearby attractions that perhaps no other city in the United States of similar size brings.

From its major sporting outlets, theater houses, and more, there is a lot to get excited about when you visit Cincinnati and turn your day or two at the casino into a week-long vacation outing.

Have you been to Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment? And if so, tell us all about your experience. We’re always looking forward to hearing from you!

Tips for Betting NCAA Football Games by Quarter

NCAA Notre Dame Football Player With Scoreboard Background

College football is notoriously unpredictable. For that reason, many bettors choose to take a quarter-by-quarter approach to betting on the games.

Taking a quarter-by-quarter approach allows gamblers to break down the games into more manageable segments – not to mention it provides the opportunity to win back losses quickly.

While the basics are the same, there are some specific things to look for when betting by quarter instead of the whole game. I’ll cover those in this article and explain a few other tips for being successful using this method.

Bankroll Management First

One of the most common mistakes, and one of the most dangerous, is bad bankroll management when it comes to betting on a quarterly basis. Because you’re dealing with four bets instead of just one, it’s crucial that you don’t have one bad game that ruins your bankroll for the entire weekend.

The first thing you should do is determine the amount you would bet on the game if you were only playing it as a single game. Ideally you would divide this number by four and wager evenly on each quarter. However, if the game goes along and you feel like you might have a better read on a particular quarter, it is okay to raise your bet slightly.

NCAA Football Linemen

For example, some bettors feel like accurately predicting the first and fourth quarters are more difficult than the middle two. For this reason, they’ll divvy up their betting money in a way that looks like 20%, 30%, 30%, 20% — instead of just 25% all the way through.

The bottom line is whatever strategy you take in terms of money management, do not under any circumstances bet the amount you would wager on a full game four times when betting quarters. The potential for killing your bankroll is just too great.

Study the Sports Gambling Trends

You don’t have to necessarily know why a certain trend exits, you just have to know that it does. Throughout sports, whether you’re talking about betting on the NFL, NBA, and of course, college football, there are teams who perform significantly better in certain quarters, and worse in others.

If you know you’re going to be betting quarters on a game, go back over the data before making any decisions. Simply looking at team’s previous games broken down by quarter can be beneficial in getting a feel for when a team is going to be playing their best football.

Obviously this will change based on the matchup and the other circumstances, but historically speaking, teams who have the head coaching advantage tend to perform well in the third quarter. If a good team is losing going into the tunnel at halftime, strongly consider betting on them in the third.

On the flip side, there are teams who seem to have a knack for letting the game slip away in the fourth quarter, even if they have a lead. This can be valuable information, but be sure that it’s an actual trend and isn’t just something you observed once or twice throughout the course of the season.

Consider Field Position and Possession

Yes, the sportsbooks do take this into account, but it’s not as significant in determining a quarter’s point spread as you might think. Always make sure you’re taking note of where the ball is on the field and how the current drive is going.

For example, often times quarters will be a very small spread such as ½ or 1 ½. That means getting up a touchdown early in the quarter can have major implications.

NCAA Football Player Running the Ball

If a team is starting out the quarter deep in the opponent’s territory, factor this in when deciding which way to bet. If a team is backed up against their own goal line, this is equally significant as well.

The reality is that many people bet on quarters without knowing exactly what’s happening in the game at that moment. If you’re watching the game and can recognize things like field position and how that might impact the quarter as a whole, you’re already ahead of the game.

Don’t Be Afraid of Betting on the Moneyline

Full disclosure, I’m a huge fan of the moneyline. And by that, I mean a huge fan of betting on moneyline underdogs in particular.

I understand that it’s difficult to pick an upset straight up, but when you’re working with a single quarter instead of an entire game, it does become a little bit easier.

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If you do want to take the moneyline – specifically underdog moneyline – approach to betting on quarters, it all comes down to the odds. For example, if you’re only getting +110 to win the quarter but the spread is +1/2 at -110, it might be better to take the points in the event of a tie. However, if you’re looking at odds of +130 or better, this is probably worth the risk rather than taking the small number of points.

Any time you can put yourself in a position to win more money than you have to risk, it’s worth exploring. I know that it’s hard to get over the mental hurdle of betting on something that is undeniably less likely to happen, but sharps know this is the way to grow your bankroll over time.

Don’t get caught up in wins and losses. If you win 6 and lose 9 games over the course of a weekend you could still be profitable if you’re sticking to high value plays.

Consider Alternate Betting Lines

For the most part, the point spreads involved with quarterly bets are going to be relatively small (unless you’re betting on a game where the two teams have a significant discrepancy). If you want to get a little more risky and put yourself in a position to win big, alternate lines are the way to go.

If you’re unfamiliar, alternate lines are just like point spreads except for the odds attached to the spreads deviate from the standard -110 (ish). For example, if Alabama was playing against Georgia and the odds were Alabama -3 (-110), an alternate line might be something like Alabama -8 (+185).

NCAA Football Players Celebrating After a Game

If we extrapolate the example above and put it in the context of betting on quarters, it might look something like this: 1st quarter, Alabama -2 at -110. The alternate line could be Alabama -5, +155.

Keep in mind that utilizing alternate lines is going to make it more difficult to win your individual bets, but the tradeoff is that your wins count for much more. As someone who is always looking to increase the value of my plays, I’ve found this to be an effective strategy for squeezing a little more cash out of the sportsbooks when betting on college football.

Look at Different Sportsbook Options

It’s no secret that different sportsbooks have varying odds. Although at first glance the variance might seem insignificant, it’s important to remember that over the course of a season, even small differences in the odds can add up in a big way.

Looking around at different betting platforms before placing a wager should be standard practice regardless of if you’re betting by quarter, half, the whole game, or even futures. I’m only including it in this particular article as a subtle reminder that you should always be looking around for something better.

You wouldn’t pay $3.50 for gas if next door it was available for $3.25, why would you bet $50 at -115 if you could bet $50 at -105 elsewhere?

The margin between being a profitable gambler and one who loses money is razor thin. Give yourself the best chance by choosing the right sportsbook before making your plays.

Conclusion

Betting on individual quarters takes a bit more leg work, but the benefits make it worth the effort if you’re able to refine your skills. In fact, it might even become your new favorite way to gamble on college football.

Finally, it should be noted that none of what I’ve laid out above matters if you don’t actually watch the game. Follow along with the action and you’ll have an advantage over the public which means more money in your pocket.

Casinos in Cripple Creek Will Remain Open, For Now

Colorado Casinos

Colorado is home to a large and successful casino industry. Most of the casinos here are located in three different cities. According to new reports, the casinos in Cripple Creek will remain open to the public, despite the state’s new safety regulations.

It’s good news for gambling fans in this city. No one knows how long the gambling venues in this city will remain open for, though. Today, we’re going to talk about what’s happening with the casino industry in Colorado right now.

Let’s get into it!

Colorado’s Casino Revenue Has Been Increasing Lately

Like all other states, Colorado forced all of its casinos to shut down back in March. This took a huge toll on the state’s gambling cities. Here, only Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek are able to legally host commercial casinos.

Officials in each of these cities immediately started working to get their casinos operational again. Colorado’s lawmakers were hesitant to open anything up, though. Many feared that doing so would result in another major infection spike.

Finally, in late June, casinos in this state were given permission to slowly reopen. Initially, these venues were only able to offer players slot games. In September, officials began allowing the casinos here to offer table games.

Casino revenue has been gradually increasing here each month. The state’s new sports betting industry is also bringing casinos some much-needed revenue. In September, the state saw $207 million in sports wagers.

It should come as no surprise that casino revenue remains far lower this year than in 2019. Unfortunately, the downward trend is likely to continue. State leaders recently announced a new set of regulations that will have an impact on the casino industry.

Fortunately, not every city is closing down its gambling venues.

Official Claims the Casinos in Cripple Creek Will Remain Open

Cripple Creek is home to many of Colorado’s most popular casinos. Officials here immediately expressed concern when the new regulations were announced by Governor Jared Polis. Fortunately, these new rules will not force these casinos to shut down again.

This week, Teller County Commissioner Norm Steen spoke to the media and claimed the casinos in Cripple Creek will remain open to the public. For now, these venues will need to limit capacity to just 25%, or less than 50 people. It’s not ideal, yet casinos are simply happy to hear they can continue operating.

Matt Andrighetti, general manager of the Wildwood Casino, told the media this news has been fantastic for him and other casino operators in the city.

“Big big weight that was lifted off our shoulders,” he said. “It came a little later in the day than we preferred but good news delivered late is better than bad news delivered anytime. We’re not concerned about the revenue impacts right now. We’re happy we could stay open and keep our people employed through the holidays.”

This news is also fantastic for the thousands of individuals employed in Cripple Creek’s casino industry. For months, these individuals were left without work. For now, the casino jobs in the city will remain in place.

No one knows how things will look in the future. Colorado’s health department will keep an eye on infection rates from Cripple Creek. For now, these rates are extremely low. If a spike is seen, however, it’s reasonable to assume the casinos here will shut down again.

Colorado’s Sports Betting Industry is Growing

Lawmakers in Colorado were interested in legalizing sports betting since PASPA was removed in 2018. Finally, in November of 2019, a vote was passed to allow this form of gambling. It wasn’t until mid-2020 that the state’s sports betting industry launched, though.

It didn’t come at the most ideal time. When the first sportsbooks began operating here, many of the country’s largest sports leagues were still shut down. As the months went on, more of these leagues started resuming their seasons.

Colorado now has a very large and successful sports betting industry. Mobile sports betting is proving to bring in the most money for the state. Nearly 98% of all sports wagers placed here are done online.

Interestingly, bettors have been winning big here lately. In September, the state’s betting platforms held onto just 2% of the wagers placed here. That brought in $4.1 million and only $70,000 via taxes for the state.

No one expects sports betting operations to slow down here. The NFL season is bringing in a huge number of bets every week. With many casinos in the state now shut down, gambling fans are turning to online sports betting.

For now, the casinos in Cripple Creek will remain open. Health officials will need to keep an eye on infection rates here. Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks!

Are you surprised to see some of the casinos in Colorado remaining open? How do you think the casino industry here will look in 2021? Let us know in the comments section below!

Online Poker Thoughts and Observations

Laptop With Poker Graphic and a Tech Background

Online poker has changed a lot since I started playing in the mid-2000s. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by this; after all, it has been close to 20 years.

I thought it would be fun to reflect on some of the changes in online poker, though, so here’s this post with some observations and thoughts about the state of online poker today.

Recreational Poker Online Is Still Alive

On April 15, 2011, the Department of Justice indighted Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars. These were far and away the biggest three companies offering recreational poker online to United States players.

It didn’t take long for these sites to respond by pulling access to US players to their real money poker games. Online poker had been booming until that point, but it came crashing to a near-halt at that point.

After all, you didn’t have many places left to play.

Absolute Poker, which also owned Ultimate Bet, went out of business soon afterward. PokerStars acquired what was left of Full Tilt Poker, but they still don’t offer real money games to United States players.

Bovada Online Poker Game

This doesn’t mean you can’t play recreational poker online if you’re from the United States. Many – if not most – online poker sites will let anyone play their “free money” or “play money” games regardless of where they live. Global Poker is one of the biggest outfits specializing in play money poker, and they have a unique sweepstakes-based poker model that enables them to offer games that are almost just like real money poker games.

But you can also find a handful of sites still offering real money poker for recreational players in almost any jurisdiction. These are usually attached to a sportsbook of some kind, like Bovada.

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If you live in specific states where online gambling has been legalized and regulated, you can play poker for real money with other people in that state from your computer. As I write this, these states include Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

In some of these states, recreational poker online for real money is still new. I expect more states to follow suit, which will expand the availability of online poker for actual cash.

The Offshore Poker Sites Accepting United States Players

Presumably, the United States government was acting to protect gamblers from shady offshore gambling sites that were going to take their money. Their legal action had the opposite of the intended effect, though.

When you outlaw the operation of an online poker site, only outlaws offer online poker.

Of course, there’s honor among thieves, but it’s hard to beat the kind of reliability and trustworthiness you saw from operators like PokerStars.

Of course, the newly legalized and regulated poker sites in the states I mentioned in the last section are trustworthy and reliable.

But as I write this, only five states have legalized and regulated online poker.

Poker players in the other 45 states only have a couple of options when it comes to online poker.

WSOP Online Poker Game

They can skip it entirely and just play in person. This is increasingly unrealistic as I write this in the middle of a pandemic.

Or they can roll the dice and play at one of the offshore sites that have so far managed to evade US law enforcement.

Some of these sites are reliable and pay out in a timely manner. They offer excellent customer service, too. Bovada is a good example of this.

But it behooves you to proceed cautiously.

When Black Friday rolled around before, many poker players had tens of thousands of dollars tied up in online poker accounts and had to wait months before getting their cash. I know one player who had over $100,000 in his PokerStars account.

I’m not the only one who’s noticed that you should be cautious with online poker from the United States these days. In fact, you’ll see a noticeable shortage of high stakes poker games happening online that are available to United States players.

It’s Not as Bad as It Might Seem

You might think that player pools are really small since the state gambling laws with legal poker restrict play to people playing from a computer in their state.

But this year they created an interstate agreement — a “compact” – which allows them to share player pools between the following states:

  • Delaware
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey

The other states that have legalized online poker are mostly still setting things up. I’m assuming they’ll enter into the compact with the other states. After all, that’s good for everyone participating. Larger player pools mean more action.

And that means more tax revenue for everyone involved.

Also, and just because I’ve characterized many of these poker companies as “outlaws,” who do you think are running the poker sites in the states that have recently legalized online poker?

Many of them are sites that used to offer poker “illegally” from offshore. Yes, that includes Party Poker and PokerStars, among others.

The Poker Bot Scare

I’ve only recently started dipping my toe back into the online poker waters, and I’ve stuck with the play money games for a couple of months. One reason I have trepidations is the rise of online poker bots.

An online poker bot is just software that makes poker decisions on behalf of a player. They’re not actually robots like C-3PO. They’re just programs that run on someone’s computer next to the game they’re playing, and they tell the player what the mathematically best move is. Sometimes they actually make the moves, too.

Poker bots are the next evolution of the HUD – “heads-up display.” For years now, various companies have kept databases of how various poker players have played various hands. Computer programs that label and categorize opponents according to their tendency based on that data are considered HUDs.

You can imagine how helpful a HUD might be. How you handle a bet from someone who’s categorized loose-aggressive by your HUD and how you handle a bet from someone who’s categorized as tight-passive by your HUD might be entirely different.

The idea that someone is using a HUD to beat me scares me.

The idea that someone is using an artificial intelligence to actually play against me scares me even more.

What Do I Do if I Want to Play Online Poker for Real Money?

My suggestion for what to do if you want to play online poker for real money is simple and straightforward:

Stick with low stakes games and only play with money you can afford to lose.

That way you can have fun without trying to earn a living from gambling online.

I don’t have much respect for anyone trying to make their living by running a poker bot on their behalf, by the way. It’s cheating, and nothing angers me more than a cheat.

Online Twister Poker Table

I even frown on using a HUD during play. I prefer my contests to be a fair test of my abilities versus the abilities of my opponents. If you’re using a computer to help you make decisions, well… I’m not really competing with you anymore, am I.

How much pride can you take in winning a contest against another person when you’re not actually calling the shots yourself?

You might have an entirely different opinion about all these issues, and that’s okay with me, too. I can only advise you based on my own life experience and opinions.

Live Poker Really Is More Fun

I’m a big fan of live poker. You’re less likely to face cheaters. You don’t have to worry about the online cardroom being unable to process your withdrawal because they faced legal action from the US government.

For me, half the fun is interacting with the other characters at the poker table. I’ve never played poker without encountering at least one unusual character that I could tell stories about later.

And I’ve played live poker in casinos and in home poker games alike.

If you decide to go the live poker route during the pandemic, I encourage you to take appropriate steps to protect your own safety. Most casinos have strict procedures in place, but home games might be trickier.

Find out beforehand if masks are allowed and/or required. I won’t be playing in any games without masks, personally.

Also, if I do play in a home poker game, I’m going to bring a big bottle of hand sanitizer with me.

If the host is willing to open the windows and limit the number of players – even better.

Conclusion

The world of online poker in the United States keeps limping along. It might never reach the dizzying heights that it saw during the early 2000s during the poker boom, though.

This doesn’t mean the game is dying out. At least five states have legalized internet poker, and I expect more to follow.

And even if you live in a state that hasn’t legalized online poker, you have options.

Review of FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan

Firekeepers Casino Logo and Hotel Images

Located in Battle Creek, Michigan, FireKeepers Casino Hotel comprises 107,000 square feet of gaming space and an additional 122,000 square feet of hotel space. So if you’re looking for a place to stay and game for a while, FireKeepers provides a fantastic option given its amenities.

Open to the public in 2009, this casino has been the premier destination for Michigan’s residents and tourists. So whether you’re coming in from a nearby area or if you’re venturing to Battle Creek, this post will tell you everything you need to know about FireKeepers before you cross the threshold into the gaming area.

We will overview a brief history of the place and then we will go into the casino to explore everything Battle Creek’s crown jewel offers.

Ready for a tour of what Michigan casinos have to offer?

Let’s begin.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel History

As mentioned in the intro, FireKeepers opened its doors in August 2009. But it wasn’t until 2012 did the hotel and the casino’s latest additions open.

Since its opening, FireKeepers Casino Hotel has expanded to offer table games, restaurants, a buffet, and a sports bar. All of which will be explained in the following sections.

But let’s talk a little history if you find that appealing.

FireKeepers Casino Interior Design

Gaming Entertainment Michigan (GEM) brought about the casino in a joint-venture comprising Full House Resorts and Robert Mathewson, a well-known real-estate developer. However, in May 2012 the Nottawaseppi Huron Band bought the casino and took over management.

In the same year, the Huron Band expanded the casino with a 243-room hotel. And since 2016, the casino sponsors the FireKeepers Casino 400, an annual NASCAR event held at Michigan International Speedway.

Now that we covered a brief history regarding FireKeepers, let’s move on to the good stuff.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel Gaming

Gaming at FireKeepers Casino Hotel includes over 2,900 slots, 70 table games, and a 26-table (non-smoking) poker room. Oh, and if you’re a sports enthusiast, the sportsbook at FireKeepers is rocking and rolling, so bet on your favorite team and hope for the best.

What games can you play at the slots here at FireKeepers?

You name it, the casino gaming floor has it, including Wheel of Fortune plus your favorite video poker terminals. And yes, they also have those high-stakes options. So if you’re more into high-stakes gaming, come on down because the action awaits.

FireKeepers Casino Floor

But if you ain’t into the slots, don’t sweat, because with 70-plus tables, you have a plethora of casino gaming options to choose from. The more popular games at the venue include Three Card Poker, Pai Gow, Baccarat, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Let it Ride, Crazy 4 Poker, and more.

If you have a favorite or preferred game, it is a safe bet that you will find what you are looking for in FireKeepers’ table gaming room. And if you’re ready for those poker tournaments, enter the 26-table poker room and test your skills against Battle Creek, Michigan’s best.

Check out the Dacy’s Sportsbook if you’re up for some sports betting. Voted the best overall sportsbook by Casino Player Magazine, step up to one of the self-service wagering kiosks and place your best bet.

What can you find at the sportsbook? Restaurant-style seating for 125 guests plus mezzanine seating for an additional 36. You also won’t go far to find the best food in the house, as your favorites are right at the venue to enjoy at your leisure while you root for your team on one of the several big-screen televisions scattered about the venue.

Oh, and best yet, you’re looking at a non-smoking environment so you won’t need to worry about the billows driving you away from the premises.

Now that you have a firm hand on what to expect from the gaming side of operations, let’s see where you can eat when you need a quick break from the casino floor.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel Dining

FireKeepers Casino Hotel’s restaurant options are plenty, with six stellar options including upscale dining, casual, plus grab and go. So whether you’re looking for a complete evening out or just something quick to get you back onto the gaming floor, you will find what you’re looking for at FireKeepers.

Nibi is the venue’s signature restaurant. It offers an upscale yet casual atmosphere and is conveniently located just off the casino floor. Expect your classic favorites entwined with a contemporary twist when you visit this restaurant.

Nibi is the perfect place to dine if you’re looking to remain in on the action, but need to fill up fast before another round of casino-related fun.

FireKeepers Casino Nibi Restaurant

Looking for an epic combo of craft beer, great food, and big-screen TVs? Dacey’s Taphouse has you covered. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a place to watch the big game while enjoying local and internationally recognized craft beer, you will find everything you need at Dacey’s.

Smoke ‘N Fire prides itself on serving the fines American cuisine in the area. Located just inside the hotel, you will fall head over heels for that tangy barbeque flavor. Head on in and if you’ve tried all the rest, you will now try the very best.

Craving a classic atmosphere that will make you feel as if you stepped back in time? Cafe 24/7 is where it’s at. All your classic fast-food favorites are served up in a timely manner to get you back onto the gaming floor for a few more rounds of your favorite casino-related contests.

If you need a pick-me-up either before or during your casino outing, Gapi Coffee & Sweets is the number one place in the venue. Grab your favorite brew, then head to the casino floor for a morning or afternoon of exciting table games.

We all love our desserts. And if you’re craving some thick, rich flavor, the Cake Shop has it. Whether it’s cake, pastries, treacle, you name it and the Cake Shop has it.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel Promos and Events

Join Red Hot Rewards at FireKeepers Casino and start collecting rewards points for all the time and effort you put into the casino gaming. This is a great option if you’re gaming often in the Battle Creek area.

So join up, start earning tier-points on your favorite casino-related games, and cash in those points for casino comps and benefits. Even if you’re not winning, it still pays to play and go long at FireKeepers Casino Hotel with the Red Hot Rewards program.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel’s promotions are some of the best around town. Promos included involve the $130,000 Cash Craving Giveaway, Moneykeepers, New Member Spin & Win, and more.

Also, you will find the latest and greatest live entertainment and events over at the Events Center featuring the biggest names in music and entertainment. So if you’re having a blast on the gaming floor, it’s just half the experience at this casino hotel.

Head over to the Events Center and see who is in town for the night. Acts like Randy Houser, Larry the Cable Guy, Dick Fox’s Golden Boys, and more are rocking and rolling at FireKeepers. And you can place a winning bet that those listed above are just a sliver of what you’ll find at FireKeepers.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel Accommodations

The FireKeepers Hotel is your number one place for accommodations if you’re looking for an extended stay in the region. Enjoy the most relaxing and comforting rooms and suites, whether you’re looking for something luxurious or economical.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel Room

Options include something as economical as the Classic Queen to the Presidential Suite.

Hotel amenities include in-room dining, a 24-hour business center, high-speed internet access, dry-cleaning, flat-screen TVs, and more. And of course, the more luxurious the room you’re booking, the more amenities you can expect at this stellar venue.

Attractions Near FireKeepers Casino Hotel

If you’re looking for a day off from the casino, can you find awesome things to do in Battle Creek?

The answer is a resounding yes. And there are tons of options to visit in the area, including the Kellogg House, Air Center of Battle Creek, Binder Park Zoo, the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Fort Custer Recreation Area, Historic Adventist Village, and Linear Park.

Fort Custer Recreation Area Michigan

You could turn a small trip to FireKeepers Casino Hotel into a full-blown vacation by visiting just a few of these notable points of interest. So if you’re looking to turn your trip to Battle Creek into the ultimate vacation destination, plenty of points of interest are cooking in this area.

Conclusion

FireKeepers Casino Hotel offers some of the most diverse slot machines and table gaming in the State of Michigan. It also includes a dynamic state-of-the-art sportsbook. So if you’re not into the slots or the tables, you need not look far for some fun, casino-based gaming in the area.

And it isn’t just FireKeepers that is cooking in the area. Battle Creek includes about a dozen notable nearby attractions to visit if you’re looking to take a break from the casino gaming or if you wish to make Battle Creek, Michigan, your next luxurious vacation destination.

Have you played at FireKeepers Casino Hotel? If so, share your gaming experience. We are always looking forward to hearing from you.

Resorts World Las Vegas Launches Career Website For Job Applicants

Resorts World Las Vegas
Resorts World Las Vegas has launched a career website on Monday as it starts accepting applicants for various positions for the property which is set to open next summer.

According to a press release from Resorts World Las Vegas, jobs posted on the company’s career website include entry to management positions in different departments on the resort including casino, food and beverage, nightlife, hotel operations, and finance among others.

Said Resorts World Las Vegas President Scott Sibella:

“We’re excited to launch our Career Website and begin our recruitment efforts as we look to create 6,000 new jobs for Las Vegas, which we plan to fill by the time we open next summer. As the first property to be built on the Strip in over a decade, we are not only creating a resort experience from the ground up, but cultivating a talented team of hospitality professionals who share in our company’s core values of hard work, compassion, harmony, honesty, loyalty and wellness and safety.”

Filling Vacant Positions

Resorts World Las Vegas is looking to fill in vacant positions in the coming months leading to its opening next year. Officials say that construction is 75% complete and that the property is on track for its scheduled summer opening.

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit Resort World’s Career Website and create an account. Once an account is created, they can create their profiles and submit an application. Users can also search for available jobs and know the requirement and specifics of the positions. Applicants can also join live information sessions where they can talk real-time to recruiters. These sessions will start on November 30 on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Most Expensive Property on The Strip

The $4.3B Resorts World Las Vegas is the most expensive property on the strip, topping the $4.13B Cosmopolitan. It is being constructed at the former Stardust Resort and Casino site and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2021. The property was purchased by the Genting Group from Boyd Gaming in 2013 for $350M.

Resorts World Las Vegas is expected to have 3,500 rooms and a gaming area of 110,000 square feet. It will include a 220,000 square foot pool complex and a 1,800 square foot infinity pool. The resort will also have a 75,000 square foot nightlife and daylife concept, a 5,000 capacity state of the art theater, a 50 foot diameter video globe which will display over 6,000 square feet of LED content, and a sky casino.

FanDuel Announces Multi-Milion Dollar Investment in Fairmount Park

Image of Horse Racers and Sportsbook Background
FanDuel Group, one of the top gaming companies in the United States, announced on Monday a partnership with Collinsville’s Fairmount Park.

Under the agreement, Fairmount Park will be rebranded and renamed as FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing. In exchange, FanDuel will make a multi-million dollar investment to revitalize the venue while opening a retail FanDuel sportsbook in the property. Fairmount Park’s signature race, the $250,000 St. Louis Derby, will also be revived by FanDuel and TVG. The race has not been held since 20006 due to financial constraints.

Said Matt King, Chief Executive Officer of the FanDuel Group:

“We are delighted to partner with Fairmount Park to continue bringing high quality horse racing and soon additional entertainment experiences via our sportsbook to the region.Fairmount is an iconic state landmark which we plan to modernize bringing innovative technology and entertainment offerings only FanDuel can deliver.”

The Only Active Horse Racing Venue Outside Metro Chicago

Fairmount Park is one of the three active horse racing venues in Illinois and the only one outside of the Chicago metro area. The one-mile dirt oval track opened in 1925 and was the home of the St. Louis Derby which was last run in 2006. It has been approved to host a total of 53 live racing days in 2021 along with daily simulcast wagering on tracks throughout the country.

The Collinsville, Illinois track also has a pending application for a casino license. Last month, it was given a “preliminary suitable” status to add casino games. If its Racino license is approved, an investment of $50M is expected to be shelled out so that Fairmount Park can offer up to a combined 900 slot machines and table games.

No Stranger To Horse Racing

While the Fairmount Park deal is its first investment in a race track, FanDuel is no stranger to horse racing. Through the TVG brand, it broadcasts 60,000 horse races from more than 150 track via its two channels TVG and TVG2. TVG also simulcasts major horse racing events during the year with its resource-sharing pact with NBC Sports, NBC SN, and NBC regional sports networks.

It is also a major sponsor of marquee horse racing events like the Breeders Cup World Championships, TVG Pacific Classic, TVG.com Haskill Invitational, and other races at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington. It has also made an impact by introducing the FanDuel Horseracing Product and daily fantasy contests to marquee events. It recently launched and advanced deposit wagering (ADW) platform designed for novice racing fans.

Strategies to Avoid if You Lost Money the First Half of the NFL Season

NFL Player Drew Brees and a Draft Kings Lounge

You’re ready to scream. It’s that time of year; the infamous halfway mark of the NFL season and your losses have piled faster than the New York Jets this season. You began the season with higher hopes than the Dallas Cowboys, but now you’re operating with heavy losses.

If the above sounds like you, the urge to do something drastic to curtail such losses arises in the NFL betting world.

You feel the urge to enter every little DraftKings daily fantasy football game. You want to double your bets in hopes you’ll land the massive upset. Or perhaps you’re getting into the division championship and Super Bowl odds betting.

It’s great to have that ‘never say die’ mentality. But exercise caution before you wager your hard-earned cash. Here are five strategies to avoid if you lost money over the first half of the NFL season.

Impulse Betting

Okay, the first thing you need to do is to resist the urge to bet impulsively or to bet on games that look like surefire winners without conducting an ounce of research beforehand.

If Week Nine in the 2020 NFL Season taught us anything, it’s that you can never assume a team will safely cover the spread. I’m talking to the Pittsburgh Steelers in this one, who nearly lost outright to the Dallas Cowboys. The latter easily covered the spread in a 24-19 defeat.

Or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-New Orleans Saints game. The sports media has spent the greater part of the past month hyping up the Bucs as the perennial Super Bowl favorites. Only to get their clock cleaned in a 38-3 meltdown on Sunday Night Football to their rival, the New Orleans Saints.

NFL 2020 Tampa Bay Versus Cardinals

When we get behind in our yearly profits/losses from sports betting, it’s easy to just assume. We will assume the Steelers cover their two-touchdown spread against one of the NFL’s worst teams. We will assume the Bucs will play the Saints as if it’s a preview for the NFC Championship.

There are so many examples throughout the years that this strategy to avoid should be common sense. But sadly, many of us like to bet because our “gut” tells us so. Your gut lacks a brain, so it’s wise to avoid listening to it.

Research every game you plan on wagering and don’t bet because the impulse is projecting a win here.

Increasing Your Sports Betting Bankroll

Every year, it’s wise to set an annual sports betting bankroll and stick to it. That bankroll can be anything, from $200 to $2,000, or whatever you can afford. The problem is, most of us like to play the “just a little more” game when we’re down and out.

Bad idea.

We often play this strategy and rarely do we play it well. We may start off with good intentions. Say we have a $2,000 bankroll and we think, “I’ll just add another $200 to it.” No big deal, right? Except if you lose that bet, then you think the same next week. “What’s another $200?”

It is a slippery slope because now we’re betting on more games than what our weekly allowance previously allowed. We can win some serious matchups here, but with each subsequent bet, we’re also risking heavier losses.

If you’re serious about your sports wagering, the goal is to make money; not lose money. Therefore, continue to bet within your means and don’t fly off the deep end because things haven’t gone your way.

Desperate times do not call for desperate measures. Desperate times call for sensible measures.

Going Crazy in Daily Fantasy Football

DraftKings has just about every game in the book these days, from your classic showdown to single-game showdowns to tiered showdowns.

There are a lot of ways to make money on DraftKings and yes, a simple $3 wager can go a long way with top prizes sometimes eclipsing $35,000.

And DraftKings isn’t shy about touting their “millionaires have already been made” mantra to the public on their little commercials. The only thing DraftKings neglects to tell you is that you’ll often find one $35,000 winner in a pool of about 15,000 people. One $10,000 winner in a pool of 150,000.

Draft Kings Fantasy Sports Zone

Sure, you can win some serious dough, but chances are you’ll likely win what you put in if you finished in the top one-third of the field; perhaps you’ll double that $5 bet and win $10. It ain’t going to make you rich, and you’ll have to beat out hundreds of thousands to earn a decent profit.

Not a good way to try to recoup losses. This isn’t deterring you from playing daily fantasy football. It’s a fun way to follow the big games slated for the week. But don’t think for a single second that playing fantasy football will make you a millionaire, just because the guy on TV made a six-figure profit.

You’re looking at 1 in about 100,000. You can be that one, but it’s not a good bet to make.

Increasing Your Sports Gambling Wagers

Alright, say you’ve been squeaky clean thus far. You haven’t increased your bankroll. You haven’t impulsively bet on any games. And you aren’t going hog wild in the DraftKings or FanDuel daily fantasy football realms.

But you’re increasing your wagers. Even if you’ve done your homework, you need to remember that you can’t predict the outcome of an NFL game. Pittsburgh should have thrashed Dallas in Week 9. They barely got out of AT&T Stadium with the W.

There was a reason the Bucs and Saints were on Prime Time. It was supposed to be a quarterback duel between the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Instead, the ghosts of the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers possessed Tom Brady and the current squad.

If you want to claw your way back toward breaking even if not a profit, then stay the course, stick to the game plan, and do nothing drastic. You may want to bet the house on a game that looks like a surefire win, but betting on the NFL has a funny way of making even the game’s top experts look foolish.

And the last thing you want is a deeper hole that you could have avoided if you stuck to your initial, and often your smartest, strategy.

Betting Big While Ahead

Alright, so let’s suppose you’ve avoided the top four strategies.

What is there left to avoid?

Knowing when to stop for the week. Often, we may find ourselves ahead in our quest to operate in the black (or the green) during the season. Say we have had a fantastic week where we earned back one-third of our losses. Every game we bet on was a hit.

Now, we think one or two more bets will push us over the edge. Luck has been on our side, and all that pre-game homework we conducted throughout the week paid off. So let’s put $200 on that game instead of the usual $100, and we’ll do the same with the Monday Night game.

Hey, the chance to win back everything is there. But the chance to lose almost everything you won back is there too. Now what? You’re right back where you were when the week began because you made the impulsive decision to up the ante while you were ahead.

NFL 2020 Chiefs Versus Texans

Have you ever heard the old, but true axiom, “Quit while you’re ahead?”

It has never been truer in this sense. Sure, you may still technically find yourself behind in terms of overall profits and losses. But once again, it’s far easier to make up a $100 deficit than a $200 deficit. So don’t try to win everything back in one week, even if the dominos fell in your favor this week.

Instead, carry that momentum over into the following week, do your homework, and place sensible bets. And who knows? You may just find yourself in a rhythm. But never, ever, ever assume that just because you’re hot that you’ll win every bet you make in a given week.

Especially if you’ve operated in the red over the past eight weeks until the midpoint of the NFL season.

Conclusion

The overall name of the game here is to avoid doing something drastic to try to recoup your sports gambling losses. It’s a bad idea, even if we’re sure our next bet is a shoo-in.

You can do all the homework you’d like, but as mentioned above, betting on the NFL has a funny way of making even the top experts look foolish. Because you can’t predict an NFL game. No one saw the Cowboys fourth-string quarterback giving the league’s best defense a game.

And no one saw Tom Brady flop the way he did on Prime Time in front of a national audience. You can pick out many examples so far over the past two decades.

So even if you’ve done everything, betting in the NFL is still a game of chance.

What strategies do you avoid when looking to recoup losses? Let us know in the comments.

Noteworthy Gamblers With Horrible Luck

Portraits of Unlucky Casino Gamblers

Gambling, by its nature, creates two very distinct categories of gamblers, winners and losers. Hollywood, who loves a winner and loathes a loser in 99.9% of cases, almost celebrates losers when it comes to gambling.

So, why is it that we feed on the misfortune of the down on their luck punter?

Maybe it’s because most of us can relate far more to Clark Griswold than Rusty in Vegas Vacation. Here are five noteworthy gamblers with horrible luck.

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is a very public figure, and his gambling woes are well documented. Barkley had an illustrious NBA career over 16 seasons and is a double inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Despite all of his success on the court, Barkley never won an NBA Championship. He did everything in his power, including changing teams several times.

Unfortunately, Barkley had a huge roadblock on his path to a title, Michael Jordan, a.k.a. The Best to Ever Do It.

NBA Player Charles Barkley

Barkley didn’t have much luck off the court either. Sure, he had millions of dollars and a lifestyle many dream about, but I attribute that to hard work and talent.

I’m referring specifically to the casinos. Barkley has admitted to having gambling losses in excess of $10 million in the 1990s.

Charles noted a specific session at the blackjack table in which he went home $2.5 million lighter in the wallet. He was also spotted playing roulette for $50k per spin at Las Vegas casinos.

By 2008, the horrible luck had really caught up to Barkley. He now had accrued over $20 million in losses.

Things were so dire that Wynn Las Vegas filed a complaint against “Sir Charles” over an unpaid $400,000 gambling debt.

Barkley has been very public about his woes and faces them head-on. Today, Barkley claims to have his gambling under control, but his golf swing is still a disaster.

Harry Kakavas

Harry Kakavas might be the biggest casino loser of all-time. As you’ll find with many of the gamblers on this list, he was extremely successful, perhaps even a little lucky in life.

Kakavas made over a billion dollars selling luxury real estate on Australia’s posh Gold Coast.

Of course, you can’t lose massive amounts of money if you don’t have a ton of cash to burn in the first place.

Some poor schmo will probably spend his last $5 on a scratch-off today and lose everything he has. Still, we don’t necessarily consider that horrible luck. However, if you have billions and lose millions, it’s somehow horrible luck.

You’re probably wondering just how much Kakavas lost in casinos. Well, it’s estimated to be in the range of $1.5 billion.

Yes, billion with a “B”!

Pro Gambler Harry Kakavas

Kakavas is rumored to have once lost $164 million on a spectacularly poor trip to Las Vegas playing baccarat. Harry allowed his gambling to get so out of hand that he actually went to jail for defrauding a corporation out of $500k to fuel his gambling habit.

Kakavas took the step of adding himself to the self-exclusion list at the Crown Casino as a last-ditch effort to help curb his problem gambling.

By 2004, Kakavas was back at the tables. He was spotted in Las Vegas playing in the high limit rooms, and the Crown Casino wanted their VIP back. Their efforts to secure the casino whale were successful, and Kakavas ultimately lost over $11 million.

Kakavas later sued Crown Casino, among others, for exploiting his gambling problem for a profit, and while the judge agreed, Kakavas wasn’t returned any of the money he lost.

This is a cautionary tale of what can happen when a problem gambler doesn’t seek some form of help.

It doesn’t matter whether a player is wealthy or not. $ 10 million or $30k look the same when the counter reaches zero.

Arnold Rothstein

Arnold Rothstein is a legend in gambling circles. He’s lauded as a pioneer in bookmaking but was also a prolific poker player.

Rothstein amassed a fortune at the poker table. At one time, he was worth over $50 million, which was in the 1920s.

That’s over $750 million in today’s dollars, pretty impressive.

Rothstein was the Black Sox Scandal mastermind in which the Chicago White Sox through the 1919 World Series. The book “EightMen Out,” which was adapted to the big screen, focuses on the scandal and resulting legal case.

However, it wasn’t the Black Sox Scandal that led to his demise. He beat any charges against him in court. It wasn’t until later that he openly admitted his role.

Black Sox Scandal Vintage Photo

In the late 1920s, Rothstein went on a long losing streak and began to have financial hardships.

In the fall of 1928, Arnold lost over $300k in a poker game. Rothstein refused to pay the debt, contending that the game was fixed.

Less than a month later, Rothstein was invited to another poker game in town. No doubt hoping that his horrible luck would turn around, Rothstein jumped at the chance to play some cards.

Rothstein was fatally shot after arriving at the game, retribution for not paying his $320,000 debt. Rothstein stayed gangster to the bitter end and refused to rat on the subject that delivered the fatal shot.

Michael Vick

Michael Vick had a charmed life. He was the 1st overall draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons. He had all the money and accolades he could dream of and made a 13-year career for himself in the NFL.

Vick played in NFC Championship games, Pro Bowls and was considered for league MVP. However, Vick lost everything and not in the way you may think.

Vick was arrested for founding and funding a dog fighting operation. I won’t get into specifics because it’s explicitly barbaric, but suffice it to say the animals are treated in a reprehensible manner.

In fact, so egregious that the 10-year prison term Vick received seemed a little light at the time.

Ex NFL Player Michael Vick

Vick’s case shows that there’s much more than money to be lost when gambling goes wrong. I’m not saying that Vick was necessarily unlucky for the mess in which he found himself.

I’m just pointing out his brilliant fall from grace. You have to have some bad luck to go from NFL stadiums to federal prison. No?

Vick owned his mistakes and has made every effort to right the wrongs he’s done. For starters, the Atlanta Falcons sued to have a large portion of his signing bonus returned and won.

The courts sided with the team, and Vick was ordered to pay back nearly $20 million. Vick was forced to sell a huge chunk of his possessions to make good on the debt, but he got it paid off.

Michael Vick fundamentally reformed his stance on animal abuse and specifically dog fighting. Vick has become an advocate for animals’ ethical treatment and has even lobbied before the Pennsylvania State Senate on their behalf.

Vick made some horrible choices as a young adult, but Vick has shown a vast transformation through his prison sentence and return to the public spotlight.

His story shows what is possible when today’s cancel culture isn’t in full effect. People can make impressive strides to overcome their shortcomings and promote actual change in the world.

Jack McCall

Even if you’re not familiar with the name Jack McCall, you’ve almost certainly heard of him. McCall is the man responsible for bringing us the Dead Man’s Hand, Aces, and Eights.

That’s right; Jack McCall murdered Wild Bill Hickok over losing a real money poker game.

The trouble began when McCall drunkenly lost all of his money to Wild Bill in a Deadwood saloon. Hickok suggested that McCall stop playing poker altogether.

Hickok presumably felt bad for Jack, or perhaps he was feeling generous and offered to buy McCall a meal and some cash. McCall accepted but considered the gesture an overt insult.

Wild West Poker Player Jack McCall

The following day, McCall walked up behind Hickok and fired a single shot to the back of his head, killing him instantly.

McCall claimed the murder was retaliation for Wild Bill, killing his brother and was acquitted. Unfortunately for McCall, he couldn’t leave well enough alone and began bragging of the murder.

McCall was retried and found guilty. His punishment for the boastful tongue was hanging.

After losing all of his money to Wild Bill, McCall was hung seven months later.

McCall lost not only all of his money but his life for his gambling blunder. That’s some horrible luck.

Conclusion

Gambling is meant as a form of entertainment. These cautionary tales about gamblers who lost big show what can happen when horrible luck hits.

Keep these five noteworthy gamblers with horrible luck in mind the next time you get up from the table and head to the nearest ATM.

Commercial Casinos in Michigan Are Shutting Down Once Again This Week

Gretchen Whitmer

States around the country are once again implementing new regulations towards their land-based casinos. It now appears that Michigan is taking some drastic measures. New reports claim all of the commercial casinos in Michigan will be shutting down for three weeks beginning on Wednesday.

It’s tough news for the casinos in this state. Lawmakers in the state clearly feel these regulations are necessary right now. Today, we’re going to talk about which companies are being affected by this new rule.

Let’s get into it!

MGM Resorts Lost $495 Million in 2020’s Quarter Three

Casino companies around the world have been taking massive financial hits throughout 2020. Interestingly, the casino industry in the US has been performing significantly better than in many other countries. Macau, for example, has been seeing more than 90% losses in monthly revenue this year.

Each state has seen its casino revenue earnings fluctuate. Many casino destinations such as Las Vegas are improving. Gaming revenue here is still significantly lower this year than it was in 2019, though.

Casino companies are taking different approaches to boost revenue figures. MGM Resorts has opened nearly all of its properties around the country. That includes Park MGM in Las Vegas, one of the last properties on the Las Vegas Strip to open its doors.

Unfortunately, MGM Resorts is still experiencing major drops in gaming revenue. A couple of weeks ago, reports surfaced that the company saw $495 million in operating costs during 2020’s third quarter. Despite the large drop, CEO Bill Hornbuckle gave an optimistic outlook for the future of the company.

No one really knows how things will look in 2021. Tourism rates in major casino destinations are falling as cases of Covid-19 increase. Some states are even forcing their casinos to close to the public once again.

That includes Michigan. Here’s what we know about the casino shutdowns here.

Gov. Whitmer Announces Casinos in Michigan Are Shutting Down

Michigan has been seeing a steady increase in Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks. Health experts have been warning that this trend will continue unless major restrictions are implemented. State leaders are listening to that advice and have begun taking new steps to cut down on infection rates.

Over the weekend, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that all of the commercial casinos in Michigan will close to the public for three weeks beginning on Wednesday. The state has ordered most indoor retail spaces to close. Restaurants can continue offering outdoor dining for now.

“If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed,” Whitmer said. “We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”

This will certainly affect MGM Resorts, which operates a popular casino in Detroit. Company officials have not yet commented on this new rule. Some analysts believe other states will soon order the same regulations.

Only commercial casinos are part of this new state order. The 24 tribal casinos operating in Michigan are able to operate under their own rules and regulations. As of now, it’s unclear whether or not the casinos will decide to shut down, as well.

Things aren’t getting any easier for casinos. Some are now questioning whether or not the casino industry in Las Vegas will be forced to close their doors again.

Will the Casinos in Las Vegas Shut Down?

No city in the US has been as affected economically as Las Vegas. This is a city that relies heavily on its tourism industry. With tourism rates low, many of the businesses here continue to see large drops in revenue.

Things have been steadily improving here since the casinos were allowed to reopen in June. Unfortunately, some now fear another major shutdown could be on the horizon. Several major casino companies are working with state leaders to avoid this situation.

We’re already seeing some limited shutdowns in the city. Some of the biggest casino-resorts here have recently been forced to close their doors during the week. With the drop in visitors, it’s not economical for these properties to remain open on weekdays.

Another major shutdown like the one implemented in March has not been announced. As many analysts point out, this would be devastating for the many businesses relying on tourism and gamblers. Instead, we’re more likely to see increased safety measures and shifted hours at the major casino-resorts.

There are reasons to be optimistic, though. With an effective vaccine, things may begin slowly returning to normal next year. We’ll continue offering updates on different state casino regulations over the next couple of months.

Are you surprised to see the commercial casinos in Michigan shut down? Do you think other states will order this, as well? Let us know in the comments section below!

Bad Habits That Make Slots Players Lose Money

Upset Man on a Slot Machine With You Lose Text

Slots make casinos tons of money. In some places, the slot machines make more money for the casinos than all the other gambling activities make them combined. Yet players still flock to the slots games.

You could easily make the argument that playing slots is itself a bad habit. But even if you’re stuck on playing slots, there are a few other bad habits that are costing you money.

Here are five bad slots habits that are costing you money. Eliminate these bad habits and you’re going to start winning more, or at least start losing less when playing slots for real money.

The Slots Maniac Habit

This is pretty much standard operating procedure for most slots players, so this habit might be familiar. Most slots players press the spin button as fast as they can. Or even worse, they play a slot machine that has the feature that lets you set a number of spins to run automatically.

In other words, too many slots players act like a maniac. A maniac simply wants to play as many spins as possible. And slot machines are designed specifically for these types of players. The problem is that playing slots like a maniac is one of the worst mistakes gamblers make. When you play slots this way, it costs you the maximum amount of money.

I can hear a few people reading this saying that they want to take as many chances as possible at hitting the jackpot, so how can taking too many spins be a bad habit? I’m going to show you using a little bit of simple math. I’m warning you that most slots players are going to ignore this information. If you choose to ignore this lesson, it’s going to cost you a great deal of money in the future.

Row of Monte Carlo Slot Machines

Slot machines are run by computer programming that follows strict rules. The rules say that the slot machine gives back a percentage of the money put into it back to the players. The rules also say that the remaining percentage is kept by the slot machine for profit for the casino.

In the short term these percentages vary a great deal, but over the life of the slot machine these rules always become 100% accurate.

The rules are slightly different for each slots game, but most of them have a rule that falls somewhere between 85% and 97% payback to slots players. This means that the rule about how much the machine keeps for profit is somewhere between 3% and 15% most of the time.

Now that you know the rules, you can quickly figure out how much you’re going to lose when you play slots.

If you’re playing a slots game with a payback percentage of 94%, it means the profit percentage for the machine is 6%. You can multiply 6% times your total wagers to get an estimate of how much you’re going to lose. This is just an average number for the long run. But remember that the long run always comes true eventually.

You’re betting $2 per spin on a slot machine and take 525 spins every hour. This means you’re risking $1,050 every hour. When you multiply $1,050 times 6% you get $63. This is your expected loss every hour.

Now, consider the numbers if you take 300 spins every hour on the same machine. Now ,you’re wagering a total of $600 every hour. This creates an expected loss number of $36. Losing $36 an hour is still bad, but it’s a lot better than losing $63.

Stop playing slots like a maniac. Get in the habit of playing fewer spins every hour.

Taking Any Spin Without a Slots Bonus

I enjoy the atmosphere of a live casino as much as anyone. Sometimes, this is the only social interaction I get during a week. But the truth is that I’m usually better off when I skip the trip to the casino and gamble online.

Slots play is a perfect example of this.

When you go to the local casino with $500 to play slots, you sit down and play with $500. You can earn some comps for your play, but you’re lucky to get more than a free meal before you run out of money.

But when you play online, you can start with $1,000 or more in your bankroll using the same $500. And sometimes, you can earn comps, too. The way you can start with $1,000 or more instead of $500 is called a bonus.

Many online casinos give a matching bonus on your deposit when you play slots. This is why you should always play online if you want to play slot machines.

Completing the Story No Matter What

I call this bad habit “story chasing,” but you need to understand that this isn’t just about the slot machines that have a storyline that you play through. This can be any game mechanic that keeps you playing longer just to complete something in the game.

Slot machine developers are good at understanding the psychology that keeps players playing. They know that if they add a story or other element to the game, slots players are going to play longer just to complete the story or whatever it is.

Coyote Cash Online Slots

Don’t fall into this trap. The best way to avoid the story chasing trap is to never play a slot machine that has any type of story of quest involved. The second best way to avoid this bad habit is to ignore the story or completion part of the machine.

Every time you get involved in the story, you’re in danger of playing longer than you originally intended to. And as you learned in the first section, the longer you play, the higher your losses are likely to be.

Casino Comp Chasing

This is almost exactly like story chasing. When you sign up for the slots club and earn casino comps as you play, there are levels of rewards. The more you play, the higher the level of rewards you qualify for.

Why do casinos design their rewards programs this way?

The casino knows that many slots players are going to keep playing when they get close to the next rewards level. And once again, the longer the casino can keep you playing slots, the more the casino is going to make.

Everything in the casino is designed to take your money. The casino offers entertainment and a small chance to win in return for your money. This is what you have to keep in the front of your mind every time you’re in the casino.

Chasing anything when you’re gambling is a bad habit. So, don’t chase the next rewards or comp level, because it just ends up costing you money.

Playing Slot Machines

I know that you don’t want to hear this, but you need to know the truth. The worst habit you can have is playing slot machines. The casino has many other gambling options that are better than playing slots.

Slots can be fun, and if you get extremely lucky, you can win a big jackpot. But most slots players lose more money than other gamblers.

If you want to learn how to avoid the bad habit of playing slots, learn more about your other gambling options. Find games that have a better casino edge and pick one of these games the next time you go to the casino.

Asgard Online Slots Game

When you pick the right gambling activity and learn how to play it the right way, you can play a lot longer on the same bankroll. And you’re going have a much better chance to win every time you gamble.

Video poker is a good alternative if you enjoy gambling on machines. If you’re willing to play table games, blackjack is a good choice. Many other games are better than slots, so you have plenty of options. Do some research and learn about as many other casino games as you can.

Conclusion

Are you a slots maniac? This is the first bad habit you need to work on. Stop spinning the reels as fast as you can. And stop playing slots without getting a big fat bonus. Slots drain your bankroll, so you can play longer when you double your bankroll.

Don’t fall for the story trap when you play slots. Slots designers use every trick in the book to get you hooked.

In the end, you need to take a close look at why you’re playing slots and how much your slots play is truly costing you. Once you realize the truth, you might figure out that the worst habit of all is playing slots in the first place.

Weekly Poker Update: November 16, 2020

Weekly Poker Update Text and Rio Las Vegas

2020 has been all about people having to make sacrifices in all aspects of life. In the world of poker, the biggest sacrifice was the notion that live tournaments would likely fall by the wayside to a great extent. In their stead came online tournaments trying to pick up the slack and satisfy the competitive whims of the world’s best poker players.

In terms of poker tournaments, the World Series of Poker pretty much reigns supreme. The tourney was scheduled earlier this year but had to postpone because of the unfeasibility of live tournaments. An online version of the event took place instead in late summer and, although there was some hiccups and complaints, proved to be a ringing success.

And as the months dragged on, it seemed like the poker world would have to settle for that as being the closest thing to WSOP action it would get. But then came the announcement last week that, at least for now, the World Series of Poker would indeed get a live table main event. As it turns out, there will be two of them.

Live From Last Vegas

World Series of Poker Main Events will be held for both United States and international players. In the announcement, the World Series of Poker also made it clear that a hybrid format would be in play. Early rounds of the action will take place in an online sphere, before the fields are pared down to the point where a final table will be held with the remaining players gathering together.

In the case of the American version, the preliminary rounds for the $10,000 buy-in event will take place starting on December 13th. As was the case with the online WSOP earlier this year, players must be logging on in either New Jersey or Nevada to be able to complete. The final nine players take the action to the Rio in Las Vegas on December 28.

As far as the international part, it will be the same type of deal. Players will try to make their way to the end by doing so in online battles. When the final take place on December 15th, it is scheduled for the King’s Casino in the Czech Republic.

Rio Las Vegas Casino

There is a lot to unpack there with all that information. First of all, there is no guarantee that the final table will indeed take place in a live setting. After all, recent weeks have proven that we are far from out of the woods in terms of being able to return to live events with people enclosed in small spaces, even with all the necessary precautions in place.

If things do worsen, the possibility is that the event organizers could indeed shuffle the final table to an online setting anyway. If that were the case, all of this hype would be directed to an online Main Event. Considering we’ve already had one of those this year under the WSOP banner, it would be an odd turn of events.

Another possibility would be to postpone the final table until conditions become more favorable again. In all likelihood, that would mean that it would get pushed into the 2021 calendar year. If things do improve, we could end up with two World Series of Poker Main Events next year.

In addition, there is still the issue of American players having to make it to New Jersey or Nevada to even be eligible for the event. While that led to some memorable moments in the online version earlier this year, it would still be a shame if the field was limited somewhat by this requirement.

Basically, there still seems to be a lot that is very much up in the air with all of this. It is possible that it comes off without a hitch and the final tables take place as planned. But it is also within reason that something comes along to turn this entire thing on its head.

In any case, this still has to qualify as good news for the world of poker, no matter how it all ends up going down. The chance that we will have top players staring at each other across a table with the biggest prize in the entire game on the line is extremely enticing after how tough a year 2020 has been. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it comes to fruition in one way or another.

Kid Poker Strikes Back

We are starting to go a little deeper into the so-called Grudge Match of the Century in the world of poker. And the good news is that it looks like, at least to this point, that the real money Texas holdem battle between Daniel and Doug Polk is going to be the kind of match that warrants the hype. And, my oy my, has there been a lot of hype.

If you recall last week in this column, Negreanu forged a lead following the head-to-head opening session. But then Polk struck back in the first online go-around, which many expected. After all, that is a world with which Polk is infinitely comfortable, while it represented a sort of new frontier for Negreanu.

Pro Poker Player Daniel Negreanu

This last week, Polk lengthened his lead with another successful online session in a row. Negreanu cut the margin in the next day’s action. But it was on Friday where Kid Poker really struck big, overpowering Polk for an advantage of over $200 in that day’s session.

Where do we stand right now? After over 1,700 hands played, Negreanu has jumped back into the lead by over $25,000. Considering that most of the daily action contains shifts of more than 100,000 at a time one way or another, that is a precarious lead to be sure.

Negreanu is in a better spot than he was earlier in the week. And with two consecutive winning sessions, his confidence seems to be growing. Polk even seemed to acknowledge in a tweet that his longtime rival was handling the format better than expected.

There is a long way to go in this battle. Remember that the earliest it could possibly be over is after 12,500 hands, which means that we’re not even 15% of the way there yet. And the possibility exists that it could go the full route of 25,000 hands before a winner is decided.

Still, the back-and-forth play so far has been exciting to watch. The two have been downright cordial, after so long sniping back and forth at each other on social media. And Negreanu’s good play is making this grudge match into more of a barnburner than many thought it would be, which means it should be holding our attention for quite some time to come.

Attractions Near Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races

Hollywood Casino Logo With West Virginia Attractions

Sure, the slots, tables, and live racing in Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Downs provide a memorable experience within itself—a memorable gaming experience, that is. But we all need to take a break from the adrenaline-pumping casino gaming to clear our minds and explore the area, right?

Whether we’re venturing as a local or from in or out of town, there is plenty to get excited about when you’re roaming the area around Charles Town, West Virginia.

This article provides eight nearby must-see attractions if you’re in the area and had enough casino gaming for the day. Each attraction is unique in its own way, and they definitely make Charles Town worth exploring for more than just its world-renowned horse racing.

Ready to take a quick tour of Charles Town and the West Virginia gambling scene? Let’s go.

Zion Episcopal Church

Alright, so if you’re looking for a taste of history that dates back over 200 years, the Zion Episcopal Church has it.

And the best part is that you’re looking at a place that welcomes everyone from a plethora of backgrounds. So, if Christianity isn’t your thing, no worries. Just come in to soak up the history you’ll find at this grand location.

The church itself can trace its origins back to St. Georges Chapel, whose ruins are located west of Charles Town on State Route 51. Historians believe the old ruins can trace its own roots back to the 1770s, during the time of the Revolutionary War.

After the war, the Chapel fell into disrepair, and they built the original Zion Episcopal Church near the site in 1815. The church expanded in the 1840s before a fire swept through and destroyed the building.

Zion Episcopal Church West Virginia

At which point, the present building you’ll find near the land-based casino and racetrack was built all the way back in 1851. As you may have predicted, the church also served as a key venue for the Union Army during the Civil War. At the time, the army used it for both barracks and a military hospital.

The nearby cemetery is where the real history lurks, with between 80 and 90 Confederate soldiers buried, as well as two officers from the Revolutionary War. Many from the Washington family have also found their final resting place in the cemetery.

Among the Washingtons buried at the site are Colonel John A. Washington, the last owner of Mount Vernon, and Lucy Todd Washington, who was the sister of Dolly Madison and the wife of George Steptoe Washington.

In all, you’ll find at least 70 members of the prominent Washington family buried at the cemetery.

Old Opera House Theatre Company

Don’t worry. If the opera isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll still find a lot of cool stuff to do at the Old Opera House Theatre Company.

Lose yourself in the theatre’s six yearly stage productions, its summer family production, one-act play festival, and ballet, among other marketable events the Opera House hosts.

Located in the center of Charles Town, the Old Opera House Theatre company has been a staple in the region over the last 100 years, presenting entertainment acts like comedies while hosting auctions, drives, and benefits.

Old Opera House Theatre Company

If you’re looking for more sophisticated live entertainment than what they’re offering at the casino venue when you’re in town, the Old Opera House Theatre Company is more than worth checking out. Perhaps you can pitch in at the latest drive, win some treasure at an auction, or get behind the latest comedy act.

Jefferson County Museum

Want to learn a little about Charles Town’s and Jefferson County’s history?

Take a ride to the Jefferson County Museum, where you’ll discover prominent people, events, and milestones that have made Jefferson County, West Virginia what it is today. You’ll also find the building in Downtown Charles Town, where it shares its venue with the Charles Town Library.

If you’re looking to increase your understanding of West Virginia’s history or if you’re just a history buff looking to experience a great story, Jefferson County Museum is the best place in town.

And while it’s not a place to make a sports bet and perhaps eke out a profit, your mind and imagination will operate in the green. And that’s always rewarding!

Jefferson County Memorial Park

The exercise enthusiast in you will love what you’ll find at Jefferson County Memorial Park. Located just minutes from Charles Town Downs, it’s a fantastic place to get outside, stretch your legs, and to bust out a good workout after all that time you’ve spent on the casino floor.

The park is just one of five parks in the area, each with their own unique theme. Also within driving distance of Charles Town Downs is Charles Town Skate Park, Evitts Run Park, Happy Retreat/Craighill Estates, and William Knolls Park.

Jefferson County Memorial Park

But Jefferson Memorial offers a variety of activities unlike the other parks in the area. Here, you’ll have access to the community pool, three tennis courts, two basketball courts, a walk/run trail, two playground areas, and four pavilions.

If you’re planning a gambling trip and looking to spend a day at the park away from the casino, reserve your own pavilion and spend some time at the pool and the trails. The slots and tables will definitely be there when you return to the floor.

Charles Town Farmers Market

At the Farmers Market, you can immerse yourself in a variety of food-related events that include cooking demos, guided walks, live entertainment, music, food sampling, food prep and drinks, and activities for kids.

You’ll also treat yourself to some of the best locally grown and raised food around that features 28 vendors from local farms each year. And nothing beats farm-to-table dishes, so it’s definitely worth giving a shot if you’re looking for the best organic foods around.

Charles Town Farmers Market

And if you’re looking to get a leg up on your nutritional outlook, you’ll find exactly what the doctor ordered here at the Market. No, seriously, you can partake in the “Walk with a Doc” program. Take a walk with a WVU medical doctor and spend some time gaining advice on nutrition, lifestyle, and other health-related topics.

So, if you feel guilty from indulging in that burger and drinks over at Hollywood Casino’s Sports Bar, you have a new hope. Make a date at the Farmer’s Market, and you’ll gain some awesome new outlooks!

Beall-Air Manor

Alright, so if you want a history lesson I’ll tell you right now the Beall-Air Manor is a place you need to circle in red and drag the entire family to, like Clark Griswold used to in the National Lampoon’s Vacation Series.

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Also known as the Colonel Lewis William Washington House, the manor was home to the great-great nephew of George Washington. The younger Washington’s claim to fame came when he was held hostage during John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry.

Of course, if you’re interested in history and especially events pertaining to the Civil War, Beall-Air Manor is one of quite a few locations you’ll hope to visit when you make the trip to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Downs if you’re into exploring the area.

Cool Spring Preserve

For those of you who crave the wild and wonderful great outdoors of West Virginia, rejoice as the Cool Spring Preserve offers 63 acres of epic scenery comprising forests, meadows, and marshes as far as the eye can see.

The Preserve has been dedicated as a “birding hotspot” and you can uncover a lot of history over at Bullskin Run, a major stream bordering the north side of the Preserve.

Cool Spring Preserve in West Virginia

Want to learm more? Well, if you’ve read the entire article to this point, you’d win a bet if you predicted the history here had anything to do with George Washington. Because the near-1,500 acres along Bullskin Run is where Washington made his first major land purchase in 1752.

Washington leased the land in 200-acre parcels to tenants if they agreed to enrich the land with crops, vineyards, and small farms while preserving the surrounding woodlots.

If you’re a lover of nature and conservation, the Cool Spring Preserve is a must-see to lose yourself in mystical scenery whose land tells a story dating back over 250 years.

Jefferson County Visitors Bureau

And for information on more attractions, you can visit the Jefferson County Visitors Bureau. Here, you can find brochures and general information pertaining to everything Jefferson County, West Virginia, offers.

The Bureau is an outstanding resource to gain further information on the attractions listed above, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Downs, local parks that I mentioned in passing, and other sources of valuable information.

It’s your one-stop shop for an information outlet, and it’s all in one convenient location.

Conclusion

So, as you can see, even in small towns like Charles Town, there is a lot to see and get excited about. If you need a whole day or just a couple of hours off from the casino, there is plenty to do here given the assortment of historical locations that make so many small towns in America stand out.

With that said, Charles Town is more than just a delightful spot to play the slots, tables, sportsbook, and watch the races; it’s an outstanding family vacation destination if you’re not looking to break the bank—especially if you’re one who relishes in learning experiences above all else.

Have you been to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Downs? And if so, did you take the time to explore some of the nearby attractions listed above? Let us know in the comments and share your experiences.

Ways to Have Fun Near Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in West Virginia

Mardi Gras Casino Logo and West Virginia Attractions

It’s tough to leave the atmosphere you’ll feed on at Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in West Virginia. But when a small town like Nitro is near an epicenter like West Virginia’s state capital of Charleston, curiosity to explore the area will get the better of you.

And it should, with all those locations that hit home on West Virginia culture, including the State Museum and Avampato Discovery Museum.

But hey, it doesn’t stop at cultural centers. With Cato and Daniel Boone Park nearby, the outdoor activities await you and your family. And if you’re hanging around the area during baseball season, Appalachian Power Park is a popular destination.

Let’s look at the top eight attractions surrounding the Mardi Gras Casino if you need a day or two off from gambling in West Virginia.

West Department of Arts, Culture, and History

Looking to gain insight on West Virginia culture? Come down and get inspired by what made the Mountain State everything that it is today at the West Virginia State Museum.

It is the museum’s mission to inspire and educate all who walk through its doors, and the staff will make your learning experience a lot of fun, too.

With their immense collection of art, geology, paleontology, or more, you’ll lose your breath quickly given the amount of history you’ll find in one convenient location.

West Department of Arts, Culture, and History Performance

The museum is part of a greater scope of locations in the department, which also includes historic locations like the Grave Creek Mound and Independence Hall—both of which are upstate in Wheeling, West Virginia.

If you’re looking to increase your knowledge and understanding, or if you’re just a history lover, then this location should rank number one on your itinerary if you’re looking to venture away from the Mardi Gras Casino grounds.

Avampato Discovery Museum

Located in the Clay Center in Charleston, the Avampato Discovery Museum features over 12,000 square feet of real estate encompassing three floors of major exhibits. So, what is there to do at this location?

Immerse yourself in water activities over at Water Works, get an exciting workout in at Healthy Me, or get a quick tutorial in at the Meier Foundation Music Studio. Other awesome exhibits include My Town, Ashton’s Climbing Structure, the Mylan Exploratory Gallery, and more.

The Discovery Museum is a fantastic place to take time off from the casino and to get together with the family if you’re either vacationing in or passing through Charleston. If there is one bet you’ll win, it’s that your kids will love the experience.

St. George Orthodox Cathedral

Looking for an astounding piece of history? Go to the St. George Orthodox Cathedral and appreciate the stunning architecture in the structure’s exterior.

Founded in 1905, the St. George Orthodox Cathedral has served the East Orthodox community since 1905, 13 years after the first Orthodox settlers arrived in the Charleston area.

St. George Orthodox Cathedral

But you need not be Orthodox to pay this magnificent building a visit. And if you love the breathtaking exterior, you’ll definitely admire the rich history that awaits through the doors.

The Capitol Theater

Also known as Plaza Theatre and West Virginia State University Capitol Theater, this old building found its way onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, and it still serves the people of Charleston, West Virginia, to this day.

If you’re into architecture, you’ll fall for the layout of the building’s Classic Revival Structure that includes inspiration from Greek architecture as well.

While the building no longer puts on regular performances, it’s a magnificent sight to see if you love architecture or are looking to snap a few photos of the area’s oldest and most historical buildings.

Cato Park

This is a great place to unwind after a long day of playing real money slots and table games. Cato Park is an expansive and vibrant park full of hiking trails to get a good workout in or to just enjoy nature. It also offers an Olympic-sized pool, picnic areas, tennis courts, and a nine-hole par-three golf course.

It’s the best place to find a retreat for the day or if you’re just looking to take a few hours off from the endless casino gaming at Mardi Gras Casino, then you’ll find Cato Park more than worth the visit.

Cato Park in West Virginia

The park also gives you a fantastic chance to interact with some of Charleston’s locals and to get to know this growing area even more from those who live and breathe Charleston culture every day.

It’s said to be the number one destination in town on sunny, summer days. So, if you’re heading over on a clear day, expect a crowd of friendly people awaiting your arrival.

Appalachian Power Park

Home to the West Virginia Power, Charleston Golden Eagles, and Marshall Thundering Herd baseball teams, Appalachian Power Park is a great place to let your inner-baseball enthusiast shine.

Here, you’ll find some top-level Class A minor league baseball in the nation, as future baseball stars take the field in an attempt to move up the minor league ranks and eventually, into the major league itself.

Or if the Thundering Herd or Golden Eagles are in town, you can also expect some of the most exciting play that college baseball offers in the area. But even if you aren’t a baseball fan, the venue hosts so much more than just America’s great pastime.

Appalachian Power Park

Appalachian Power Park has hosted concerts, trade shows, charity events, and even television coverage of college football games on the scoreboard. Its diversity of events makes it one of the most sought-after venues in the area.

The stadium also boasts several distinct features, including an authentic locomotive horn and a unique electrical outlet in the backstop behind home plate.

And if you’re lucky, you’ll glimpse the “Toast Man,” who is really local politician Rod Blackstone. Blackstone is nationally known as one of the most rabid fans in minor league baseball, and you’ll spot him quickly with the bread and toaster he’s known to bring to games.

So, if the events over at Mardi Gras Casino aren’t cutting it for you, head on over to Appalachian Power Park to catch a minor league or college baseball game. That’s if the park isn’t already hosting another exciting event.

Charleston Town Center

Are you up for a day away from the casino and a day out on the town? Surely, you’ll embark on a huge shopping spree once you glimpse the Charleston Town Center. It prides itself as West Virginia’s premier shopping center and exclusive shopping area.

Here, you’ll find a plethora of shopping and dining options along with activities for kids, a play area, and an open, clean facility just waiting for someone to explore its depths.

Charleston Town Center

You will have to pay a small fee for parking. But other than that, you’ll hardly find a gripe among recent reviews of patrons who have visited the Charleston Town Center.

It’s the perfect place to explore and rejuvenate if you need a break from the casino, and you’ll love the wide variety of shopping options available to you. One reviewer has described the mall as a “Shoppers Delight.”

So, if that’s your ideal kind of day, definitely check this place out during your stay in or if you’re just passing through Charleston. It’ll be a shopping experience you’ll never forget!

Daniel Boone Park

They describe the park in the same way many describe the state of West Virginia—almost heaven. That will give you an idea of what you’ll find in the nature-laden Daniel Boone Park. From walking trails, to breathtaking scenic views of the mountains, and more, you’ll fall in love with the park and its nearby surroundings even if the great outdoors aren’t really your thing.

You’ll find several activities to do at the park that include fishing, boating, and hiking. And if you need to take a break, Daniel Boone Park also has several picnic areas to unwind and take in the legendary West Virginia scenery.

It’s a perfect place to visit after a few days at the gaming table. And if you’re one who gets heated at the slots or tables, heal the mind, body, and soul with a trip into nature.

If there is one safe bet out there, it’s that you’ll return to Mardi Gras Casino and Resort rejuvenated and ready for more gaming action.

Conclusion

Yup, you’re in for a potluck of adventure when you hit up the areas surrounding Mardi Gras Casino and Resort. Even if you didn’t win at the casino, perhaps you’ll win some knowledge instead at the museums, cathedrals, and theaters this state has to offer.

The outdoorsy soul in you will love what you’ll find at Cato, Daniel Boone, and the other surrounding parks. There’s always the wild and wonderful scenery that epitomizes the state of West Virginia if you’re down on your luck.

So, if you previously thought the resort was the only place worth visiting here in downstate West Virginia, this article should have given you a brand-new perspective on everything Charleston brings.

Have you spent time at Mardi Gras Casino and Resort before? And if so, did you venture out to explore the area? Let us know about your experience in the comments.

Ways to Change Your Gambling Thought Process to Win

Man in Suit Thinking With a Casino Cards Background

This isn’t a well-known secret, but you can change your gambling results simply by changing the way you think. It isn’t always an easy process, but anyone can do it with a little work and dedication.

Instead of looking at the seven things listed on this page individually, look at them as steps. Learn step one first, then add step two, etc. By the end of the page, you’re going to be on your way to changing your gambling thought process. And best of all, you’re going to start seeing better results.

Here are seven ways to change your thought process as a gambler to win.

Admit You Have a Problem

The first step to correcting any problem is admitting you have a problem. You probably have an idea that you might have a problem related to gambling because you’re reading this article.

I’m not talking about a gambling problem in the traditional way. If you have a gambling problem like that, then you need to get professional assistance right away.

The problem I’m talking about is that you’re not getting the results you want when you’re gambling. This usually means that you’re losing more than you want or not winning as much as you want.

Even winning gamblers want to win more, but most gamblers fall into the other category. Most of the information in this article deals with helping you get better gambling results because you’re currently losing frequently.

Do you know how much you’re losing when you gamble? How much did you lose during your last gambling session? How much have you lost in the last month and year? You need to know the answers to these questions so you know where you are right now.

Poker Player Holding Cards and Chips

If you don’t know these answers, you need to start keeping track of all of your gambling wins and losses. You need to get serious about this.

I know it can be painful to accurately track your losses, but you need a way to track your progress accurately. Don’t worry if you haven’t been keeping close track of your results. Just make a commitment to track everything from this point forward.

Identify What Winning Casino Gamblers Do

Now that you admit that you have a problem losing too much money gambling, it’s time to take the first major step in correcting the problem. And this step is simple once you understand how people improve in any area of their life.

If you want to win more when you gamble, you need to figure out what other gamblers are doing to win. The problem is that most gamblers are in the same boat as you. They’re losing more than they win.

This means you have to be careful about who you learn from. You have to find some winning gamblers so you can learn what they’re doing.

The good news is that once you identify what winning gamblers do it gives you a map to follow. This map is the key to changing your results. This involves changing the way you think. If you’re a losing gambler now, you need to change the way you think if you want to start winning.

How do winning gamblers think that’s different than the way losing gamblers think?

The first thing is winning gamblers don’t think in terms of fun. They also don’t rely on luck. Instead of looking for fun, they look for ways to make a profit. Instead of hoping they get lucky, they put themselves in a good position to win.

This means that they only gamble when they have a chance to get the odds in their favor. This limits the gambling activities they can participate in.

You’re going to find that the complete list of gambling activities that winning gamblers use to get an advantage is small. Winning gamblers are usually playing real money blackjack, at the poker table, or handicapping sporting events.

Now that you know what gambling activities the winning gamblers are doing, it’s time to start focusing on the same things. This means you need to stop playing the slots and other games that you can’t beat.

Commit to Making Changes

At this point, you have a big choice to make. You can take the easy way out and continue gambling the way you’ve been gambling. But this guarantees that your results aren’t going to change.

On the other hand, you can make a commitment to change. Don’t take this lightly, because once you learn how to do the same things that winning gamblers do, it’s not as fun as it used to be.

Of course, winning can be better than fun, but you have to decide if you’re willing to change everything about the way you think about gambling and everything that you’re doing now. This is a big change and a big commitment.

I can’t make the commitment for you. But I can help you on the path to profits if you’re willing to make the commitment. It’s time to decide what you want as a gambler.

Develop a Solid Gambling Plan

Now you know a bit about how winning gamblers they think differently than you. It’s time to put what you’ve learned into a plan.

How did they become a winning gambler? What path did they follow? What are they doing now to stay on top of the game? Answer these questions and you have a solid plan. Set aside time every day to work on the things that make you a winning gambler.

Roulette Wheel and Table

Spend time reading about how to win. Pick one area where winning gamblers operate and attack it. Become a sponge and learn as much as you can.

If you like to play poker, read the books that winning players read, learn how to use strategy to make profitable decisions. Start practicing every strategy you learn until you master it. Set up your plan using small steps and attack the next step.

If you do the things that winning gamblers have done to start winning long enough, you’re going to start winning, too.

Get Started on Your Plan Immediately

The best time to start on your plan to become a winning gambler is right now. Procrastination is killing all of your dreams and goals. You can study winning gamblers and make plans as long as you want, but you’re not going to start seeing results until you put your plan in action.

This is your wake-up call. Take action on your winning gambling plan as soon as possible. You can’t afford to put this off.

If you decide to put it off and procrastinate, you might as well accept the fact that you’re never going to be a winning gambler. If this is your decision, it’s okay. But you’re wasting your time following the steps on this page if you don’t take immediate action.

Track to See If Your Plan Is Working

In the first section, I explained why it’s important to track your results. This is even more important when you start working on your improving your gambling plan.

As you track your results during each step of your plan, you’re going to start seeing improvements. These might not be noticeable at first, and you might not see major changes every day in your results, but you’re going to see improvements over a longer period of time.

Person With a Laptop, Notebook, and Cell Phone

Seeing improvement tells you that your plan is working. And if you’re not seeing improvement, you need to go back and evaluate your plan. Maybe you need to make a few adjustments in order for it to work.

Adjustments aren’t anything to be ashamed of. In fact, adjustments prove that you’re smart enough to recognize your gambling mistakes and do something about it. And this all starts with tracking your results so you can make smart adjustments.

Value and Casino Advantage

The main difference in the way winning gamblers think and how losing gamblers think involves how they think about value and advantage.

Gambling establishments usually have an advantage, but advantage gamblers seek ways to turn the edge in their favor. The main way they do this is to find value.

Value comes in many forms, and you only need to learn how to use a single form to start winning. Winning blackjack players find value by counting cards. Winning poker players find value in game selection and strategy. Winning sports gamblers find value when they handicap games and look at the lines.

Train yourself to think in terms of value and advantage. This is the key to becoming a winning gambler.

Conclusion

Now you know the seven steps you need to take to change your gambling thought process. It might not be easy. But if you want to start seeing better results when you’re gambling, you need to make some changes.

Identify the problem, figure out a solution to the problem, then take steps to correct the problem. This is the way to become a better gambler and start winning more.

Don’t procrastinate another minute. You know what you need to do. Now, get started. Good luck!

Bad Habits That Make Video Poker Players Lose Money

Distressed Man With a Video Poker Graphic and Background

Video poker is one of my top options every time I go to the casino. If the casino has a good Jacks or Better machine I usually spend at least part of my time trying my luck chasing a royal flush. But I have to keep a few things in mind to make sure I don’t fall into some bad habits.

It doesn’t matter which video poker games you like, if you develop bad habits, it’s going to cost you money. I’ve had to overcome many different bad habits, and I’ve put together the list on this page to help you learn from my mistakes.

Here are five terrible habits that every real money video poker player needs to know about and eliminate.

Royal Flush or Bust Strategy

When I play Jacks or Better, the top-paying hand is a royal flush. But other machines have a different top-paying hand, depending on the odds of hitting each hand.

You have to get lucky and hit a top-paying hand from time to time to help make up for your losses all of the other times you play and don’t get lucky. But you have to be careful about chasing the top-paying hand if it ends up costing you money.

Here’s an example of chasing a royal flush when it’s more profitable to play a hand a different way.

Video Poker Royal Flush of Diamonds

You’re playing Jacks or Better and have the queen of spades, queen of clubs, jack or clubs, seven of hearts, and six of diamonds. If you’re chasing a royal flush at all costs, you keep the queen and jack of clubs. But the most profitable play is to keep the pair of queens.

You have to use smart strategy when you play video poker. This means that sometimes, you have to take a smaller payout instead of taking a long shot draw to a royal flush or other top-paying hand.

The best way to learn which hand is the most profitable is to get a video poker strategy chart for the game you’re playing. A strategy chart already has the best plays listed in order so you always make the most profitable playing decision.

Going Cheap on Betting

Video poker pay tables are designed are particular way. The machines give you an option to wager from one to five coins, but the pay tables punish players for risking fewer than five coins. If you’re going to play video poker, you need to forget about all of the coin options other than the five-coin maximum wager amount.

Take a quick look at the pay table on your favorite video poker machines. I’m going to use a Jacks or Better pay table for this example because it’s my favorite game. But almost every video poker pay table is designed in a similar way.

When I wager one to four coins, the payment for a royal flush starts at 250 coins and is multiplied times the number of coins. This means I win 500 coins if I risk two coins, 750 for three coins, and 1,000 coins for risking four coins.

If this progression continued the payment for a five-coin wager would be 1,250 coins. But you can clearly see the payment for a five-coin wager is 4,000. This is a big difference.

The extra coins you get when you make a five-coin wager and hit a royal flush make a big difference in the overall casino house edge you’re fighting against. If you’re not going to wager five coins, you’re better off playing many other gambling options in the casino.

Don’t get in the habit of being cheap when it comes to betting on video poker games. The best strategy is to bet five coins. So, if you can’t afford to do this, you should either not play video poker or find a machine with a lower coin value.

Accepting a Weak Casino Pay Table

Every video poker game variation has different pay tables. And every variation also has a single best pay table. If you don’t know the difference each available pay table makes, you need to learn before you play another video poker hand.

The pay table sets the minimum edge the casino has for the machine. The best pay tables for you are the ones that set the lowest possible casino edge. These machines give you the best chance to win, and every time you play on a machine that doesn’t have a good pay table, you’re losing more money than you need to.

Online Video Poker Game

You should never accept anything less than the best pay table. The casino counts on players sitting down at a machine that doesn’t have a good pay table and playing, or they expect players to accept a lower pay table even when they know better. You can’t afford to fall for this trap or get in this habit.

Spend some time researching the pay tables for your favorite video poker variations. I prefer to play Jacks or Better so I know the pay table I’m looking for is a 9/6 table. If the casino doesn’t offer a 9/6 machine, I don’t play video poker.

This is something that I won’t compromise on. You need to learn what you need to know so you can set a line that you won’t compromise on. Every time you compromise, you’re losing money.

Banking on Wild Cards

Many video poker variations use one or more wild cards. Wild cards are fun, and many gamblers like games that have them. But video poker machines that use wild cards come with a price. And if you’re not careful, you’re going to make this price higher than it needs to be.

The first thing you need to learn is how many wild cards your video poker machine uses. Deuces Wild uses four wild cards, while some other video poker variations just use one wild card. This is important to know so you can get an idea of how likely you are to get a wild card.

With four wild cards, one out of every 13 cards is a wild card. But with a game that adds a joker to the deck as a wild card, only one out of every 53 cards is a wild card. Consider these two scenarios to see how much of a difference this makes.

You’re playing deuces wild and have four cards to a straight flush. You fold the remaining card and draw one card. This means there are 47 cards remaining in the deck, with four wild deuces and the one card you need to complete the natural straight flush. This means that five out of the 47 cards complete your straight flush.

If you’re playing a video poker variation that adds a single joker to a standard deck, and you’re in the same situation, there are two cards in the deck that complete your straight flush out of 48 cards.

As you can see, you have a much better chance of completing the straight flush when there are five out of 47 than when there are only two out of 48.

The point I’m trying to make with these examples is you need to learn not to rely on wild cards too much when you’re making strategy decisions. And when you do need a wild card, know the odds of getting one.

Refusing to Use Gambling Win Limits

The longer you play video poker, the more you lose—unless you get lucky and get a big hand. The odds of getting a big hand are small, so most of the time, you lose if you play too long.

Sometimes, you lose from the beginning. But other times, you get ahead. Because a lot of players might not know when to stop, most video poker gamblers keep playing and end up losing.

Progressive Video Poker Machines

The best way to lock in a video poker win is to set a win limit before playing. Set an amount that you’re happy with as a win limit and anytime you get ahead by this much, just stop your session and move on.

You’re not going to hit your win limit often. But when you do hit it, you can walk away from the video poker machine and sustain your gambling bankroll.

Conclusion

Now that you know the top five bad habits that cost video poker players money, you can start eliminating them and building better habits. Getting a royal flush or the top-paying hand is always a good thing, but you can’t afford to chase it at all costs.

Learn the best pay table options for your favorite game and use the maximum coins. This gives you the best chance to win. When you play a video poker game with wild cards, don’t depend on them too much. And finally, use limits to lock in wins and limit your video poker losses.

Legal Atlantic City Sports Betting Sets Records As Casinos Continue To Struggle

Atlantic City Casinos
Atlantic City’s sports betting and online gambling numbers continue to make up for the decline in the revenue of the city’s nine brick and mortar casinos.

Atlantic City casinos reported a year over year decrease of 8% in Gaming wins for the month of October. However, online gaming revenue increased by more than 106% last month, contributing a total of $93.45M to the total monthly revenue of the industry. The total gaming revenue for the month of October, per the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, was $304M.

Atlantic City Casino Control Commission chairman James Plousis gave credit to the gambling industry’s October 2020 performance during these difficult times. Said Plousis:

“During this time, Atlantic City continues to show resilience in the face of necessary and ongoing restrictions on capacity, amenities and entertainment.”

Impact of the Pandemic

The decrease in the revenue from table games and slot machines shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Atlantic City casinos. These brick and mortar gambling places were forced to close for 107 days beginning March 16th. They were allowed to reopen in early July but the capacity limitations, travel restrictions, and national recession have resulted in the decline of casino win in every month.

Atlantic City casinos reported $186.1M in casino win for October 2020. That amount is short of at least $16M from the total for October 2019. Of the nine Atlantic City casinos, only the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort, reported an increase in casino win for October 2020.

Through the first 10 months of 2020, the total gaming revenue and casino win have decreased by 23% and 46% respectively, compared to the same period last year. With two months left in the year, it’s unlikely that this year’s revenue will match 2019’s high of $3.29B in total casino industry gaming revenue.

Sports Betting Sets Records

While Atlantic City casino revenues continue to struggle, AC’s sports betting industry continues to set records. Sports gamblers wagered a record $803M during the month of October. These included bets placed at brick and mortar casinos, Atlantic City online gambling sites, and the city’s three racetracks.

Legal Atlantic City sports betting benefited from the MLB’s World Series and the NBA Finals which were both held last month. Likewise, the the NFL and NCAA college football started their respective seasons in October. As a result, October’s monthly handle easily bested the previous record of $748.6M set in September 2020.

New Jersey’s sportsbooks have taken nearly $4.1B in legal sports bets on a year to date basis. This has put the Atlantic City sports betting market on pace to break Nevada’s single-year record of $5.3M in sports wagers made .

How to Enjoy Casino Food Without Falling Asleep

Sleepy Man With a Casino Buffet Background

It’s not fair. You anticipate having a great time at a high-end casino, and when you get there, you gorge on the buffet. And then you struggle to stay away as your body slows down.

If you’re only dropping by the local casino on your lunch hour, chances are you’ll grab a sandwich and drink before hitting the tables or slot machines for a few minutes.

If you’re there for the day or evening, you’ll stop by the buffet, diner, or one of the main restaurants. That’s where they get you: right in the stomach. It’s like being sucker-punched by a 4-star chef.

The Casino Experience

The house already has a mathematical edge in all the games. And contrary to intuitive thinking, the bright lights don’t help keep you awake so much as mesmerized. The same is true for all the ringing bells from slot machines.

From the time you drive up the long entrance road to the time you walk out the door past the smiling staff, the entire casino experience is designed to make you feel relaxed and forget your worries.

Honestly, that’s why most people love going to the casino. It’s a fun way to pass the time. If only you can keep track of the time.

Las Vegas Casino Floor

And so casino patrons should expect good food. The locals may be happy to visit the off-track gambling parlors where they can munch on tuna fish sandwiches and push slot machine buttons, but when you’re traveling, you want more from your gambling experience. You want to feel like they value your patronage.

Serving great food makes a casino more competitive, more appealing to customers from near and far. And it just so happens a lot of the rich food the higher-end casinos serve contribute to the total ambiance.

Why Does Food Make You Sleepy?

People obviously need food to survive. That’s the rule of life. Everyone eats to live, even tiny microbes.

But things get crazy when you start looking at the rules of good nutrition. You’re supposed to eat large meals in the morning and light meals in the evening. The body needs to be active to digest its food, regulate blood sugar, and burn energy efficiently.

And yet people love to eat large meals at night, especially when they spend the rest of the evening sitting down in front of a television, at a bar, or playing casino games.

The most common reason why people feel sleepy after eating is that they consume too much protein. Protein-rich foods contain tryptophan, an amino acid the body uses to make serotonin, the so-called sleep hormone. The more tryptophan you consume, the more serotonin your body wants to make.

But it’s not that simple. The body needs carbohydrates to absorb that tryptophan. Otherwise, it simply flushes out of your system. Eating a large meal rich in protein and carbohydrates makes everyone feel sleepier than they were before they ate.

Beyond these basic facts, there are many theories about how missing a meal, eating small breakfasts, eating too many carbs for breakfast, etc. affect your sleepiness throughout the day. Assuming that you walked into the casino fully alert and not yet hungry, your problem is most likely due to whatever you eat at the casino.

Other Things Make You Sleepy

It’s not always the food that does you in. Alcohol not only relaxes people, it eventually makes you sleepy.

Fatigue and boredom also contribute to sleepiness. If you’re bored, your mental alertness declines. The body may not relax, but you can still feel sleepy because, hey, it’s something to do. And you might have an interesting dream to enjoy.

Craft Las Vegas Food Spread

Health experts recommend being fully rested to ward against feeling sleepy during a long stay at the casino before you hit the tables or slots. But you should also get up and walk around for 5-10 minutes every hour.

The worst thing you can do for your mental alertness is head straight for the casino as soon as you get into town after a long road trip, gorge on a big meal, and sit in a chair for hours. If you drink alcohol, you’re contributing to the problem.

Caffeinated Beverages Help Us Stay Awake

Everyone knows caffeine wakes you up – but there are some catches. People who drink a lot of caffeine may develop a high tolerance for it. That means you need more and more caffeine to rouse yourself, especially if you’re genuinely tired.

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Consuming too much caffeine may also damage your esophagus and stomach. No one wants to think about how much their coffee or soda contributes to ulcers, but it’s a good idea to switch between caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages while gaming. Keep a bottle of water handy for when you feel genuinely thirsty.

There are health benefits to consuming caffeine, too. Moderate green tea and coffee consumption are associated with good health and long life in some studies. So asking for a diet soda or a cup of coffee at the casino is a good idea.

Eating a Good Breakfast Puts You on the Right Path

If you’re staying at the casino’s hotel and eat breakfast there, that’s when you should eat a big meal. Go heavy on the oatmeal and fruit. Fueling your body is essential to having a steady mind when gambling.

People with type two diabetes are taught to regulate their glucose through diet by eating their largest meal in the morning. Your body needs protein and fiber, and carbohydrates to keep going throughout the day. Breakfast is where you should consume the largest portions.

Large Spread of Breakfast Foods

Eggs are good morning food, too. Honestly, many people eat eggs at any time of the day.

Although many different fruits are considered good for breakfast, apples are a great choice. You won’t find many fresh apples sitting on the breakfast bar, but if you do, take one. Apples contain quercetin, which contributes to our wakefulness.

Oranges, tangerines, tangelos, and other citrus fruits are also great breakfast foods. They are rich in vitamin C, which helps the body fight infection and stay awake.

The best wakeful beverage for breakfast (besides your morning cup of coffee) is water. Many people outgrow their fondness for milk and cereal, but if you’re still drinking milk with your eggs and toast, try substituting water instead. Milk contributes to sleepiness; water doesn’t.

Make Good Choices at Lunch

If you’re not a salad person, you should consider developing a favorite salad recipe anyway. A well-stocked salad bar may have dozens of ingredients you can use, including several types of lettuce and alternative leafy greens like spinach and kale.

There is usually something everyone can eat at a salad bar. You’ll find several types of proteins, vegetables, and fruits.

The more balanced your salad is, the better. Include a little bit of everything and go easy on the dressing.

If you’re looking forward to enjoying the kitchen staff’s special skills, choose a plated meal over the buffet. The chefs design these meals to be satisfying but not over-filling. They’ll ensure you have a good mix of protein, fat, fiber, and carbs on your plate.

Skip the dessert. You don’t need dessert. But if you have one anyway, split the dessert with a friend, leave some on the plate, or eat something small.

If all you want is a sandwich, bigger is not necessarily better. Casino sandwich shops may serve food fast and at a great price, but they tend to give more value per plate than you need. If you get a burger and fries, substitute a small salad or eat fewer fries. Toss the bun and eat your burger with a fork.

If you love fish, you may go for the tuna salad. But fish makes you sleepy, too. Avoid bananas, as well.

Keep All Bets on the Tables at Dinner

If you’ve been waiting to go for broke at dinner time, you’re setting yourself up for a battle with the sandman.

You don’t need to eat a small meal. You need to eat a reasonable meal. Some people prefer to snack all evening long, and that’s even riskier because they’re probably eating chips and other high-carb foods.

If you choose a plated meal, you’ll probably be okay, unless you order double portions or take extra food from a friend’s plate. Don’t order dessert unless you plan on eating just a bite or two.

Man Carving a Roast Ham

Getting casino comps for the buffet is where you’ll meet your doom.

It’s hard not to go back for a 2nd or 3rd plate because there is so much good food on the buffet line. Nutritionists and health experts say if you can fill a plate up with food, that’s all you need.

This is why it’s best to start with a salad and water. Fill up on the leafy greens and water first. That way, when you go back to the bar for your proteins, you’ll feel a little less hungry.

If you eat a salad, you don’t need to pile on the corn, peas, and carrots. You’ve already gotten a good mix of fiber and carbs.

Conclusion

One way to make a meal feel more filling is to extend the eating process through conversation. In other words, don’t just sit there and eat, eat, eat. Talk to your companions. Text someone.

Distracting yourself while you eat helps your body feel full without eating too much food. The less you overeat, the easier it is to stay away.

Where to Find the Loosest Slots Without Flying to Las Vegas

Slot Machine Graphic With WinStar and Horseshoe Casino Front

Casino gamblers can’t seem to get enough of the fantastic slot machines that are released every year. Unfortunately, making regular trips to Las Vegas can get pretty expensive rather quickly.

Luckily, there are plenty of fabulous casinos around the United States where you can hit the slots without forking over hundreds of dollars for a plane ticket.

Here’s where you can find the loosest real money slots without flying to Las Vegas.

WinStar World Casino (Oklahoma)

To begin with, the WinStar World Casino is the largest casino in the world. The massive property in Thackerville, OK, has an amazing 400,000 square feet of casino floor. The casino is a tremendous hit with Texas gamblers, and they make the 70-minute drive from the Dallas area regularly.

As you might expect from the world’s largest casino, WinStar boasts the largest selection of electronic games on the planet. Over 8,500 games light up the massive casino floor. From penny slots to the luxurious High Roller Room, players have a wealth of options at WinStar.

WinStar World Casino Gaming Floor

The variety doesn’t end with denominations either. WinStar has a vast catalog of slot machines and is constantly moving machines or swapping them out for the newest game.

If you always have to try out the latest and greatest slot machines to hit the scene, WinStar has you covered. Check out the casino’s “Hot New Games: area, and you’ll save hours of your time wandering the expansive casino looking for something new.

Although, you won’t likely have to go far before you find something you’ve never seen at WinStar World Casino. The casino’s Southern Oklahoma location puts the casino within driving distance of millions from Texas to Kansas. Even gamblers from Arkansas get in on the action.

I’ve seen license plates from as far away as Canada and played five hours of blackjack with a couple from Australia. WinStar is truly a world casino.

Horseshoe Bossier City (Louisiana)

The Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, LA, is a slot player’s dream, especially if you’re trying to skip the trip to Las Vegas.

Horseshoe Casino has over 1,500 one-arm bandits. Nearly 400 of these games are multi-denominational. That means you can sit down at a host of games and play for the denomination you prefer.

You can start out playing for pennies and play yourself into big money at $1 per spin. Of course, I’ve seen plenty of players start spinning for dollars, only to be reconciled to the penny plays a few hours later.

The Horseshoe is also home to the exclusive and trendy Binionaire slots. These progressive slots start the huge prizes at $25,000 for the quarter machines, $50,000 for 2 quarters, and $100,000 for $1.

These machines are the most popular in the casino, and depending on traffic, these may be a tough seat to grab.

Horseshoe Bossier City was the first Horseshoe casino built outside Las Vegas. The casino draws huge crowds from Louisiana and Texas, and other states along the gulf coast.

Beau Rivage (Mississippi)

Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, MS, is a relative newcomer to the game. The casino was built in 1999 and earned the distinction of being the tallest building in the entire state.

You probably don’t care as much about Mississippi’s architectural history as you do slot machines, though. Beau Rivage Casino most likely agrees with you.

Beau Rivage or “Beautiful Shore” was originally slated for development in Las Vegas before the developers settled on Mississippi. The casino’s catchy name definitely makes more sense at its current home than in the Nevada desert.

The giant structure overlooking the Gulf of Mexico provides 1,900 slot machines for you to enjoy.

Beau Rivage Casino Fireworks

From penny machines to $100 slots, Beau Rivage has something for everyone. The casino has over 500 progressive slot machines for players to shoot their shot at a life-changing payday.

You’ll find all of the hot games at Beau Rivage. Wonka World, Buffalo Stampede, Monopoly: Luxury Diamonds, and Game of Thrones are all well represented in various denominations. You’ll never look far for some variety at Beau Rivage. A healthy mix of classic reel machines and the latest video slots are inter-mingled.

Allowing players to transition from one game to another effortlessly. Making the shift even easier is the implementation of EZ-Pay. This 100% coinless system makes cashing out as simple as pressing a button. The ultra-posh High Limit Lounge at Beau Rivage caters to the high rollers, and not a single detail is skipped.

Players are welcome to enjoy fine wines and premium cocktails while they play. Once they head out of the lounge, a private cashier waits to add that personal touch.

Seven Feathers (Oregon)

Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, OR, is probably the first casino on the list that you haven’t at least heard of before. However, for casino gamblers in the Pacific Northwest, the casino offers an amazing selection of slots with decent RTP.

Slot enthusiasts can enjoy Vegas-style excitement and gameplay at Seven Feathers. The casino has over 900 electronic casino games in a variety of denominations.

Seven Feathers puts a focus on having the latest and hottest machines available. Every week, the casino rolls out new slot machines and rolls out the ones that swung and missed with gamblers.

Sit down in the Titans of Cash Bonus Room and take a chance at the rapid bonus games. You could just as easily pick from oddly fulfilling games like Better Off Ed.

The casino pulls in players from Washington, Idaho, and even California with little interest in booking a Las Vegas flight.

Casino del Sol (Arizona)

Casino del Sol is a fantastic Tribal casino in sunny Tucson, AZ. Boasting over 1,300 slot machines, Casino del Sol offers one of the Southwest’s finest gaming experiences.

You can enjoy titles from all of the major developers at the casino. Plus, if the reels aren’t falling in your favor, I have good news. The loyalty program at Casino del Sol has multipliers on certain days of the week that can double or triple your rewards.

Casino del Sol in Arizona

The Tuscon area has multiple casinos for residents and visitors to choose from, and competition is fierce. Casino del Sol has taken the bold step of offering the loosest slots in the area, and it’s paying off in spades.

Casino del Sol is an excellent casino for gamblers in Arizona that prefer to skip Las Vegas and go for a lowkey casino trip.

Harrah’s Hoosier (Indiana)

Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing and Casino are slightly northwest of Indianapolis. This casino and racetrack is a slot lover’s best friend.

Harrah’s is synonymous with casino entertainment, and their Middle America iteration doesn’t fail to impress. Featuring over 2,000 games on the giant single-level casino floor, Harrah’s Hoosier has more slot machines than any casino in the state.

Bankrolls large and small can find the perfect game at Harrah’s. The casino also provides a smoke-free gaming area for those that don’t want to smell like an ashtray for the remainder of the day.

Some players are bummed out when they discover that Indiana’s gaming laws prevent the casino from offering complimentary alcoholic beverages. So, if you prefer to have a drink while you play, budget accordingly.

Four Winds Casino (Michigan)

Four Winds Casino sits near the shore of Lake Michigan in New Buffalo, MI. The casino is centrally located on prime real estate for guests from the suburban Chicago area.

Almost 3,000 slot machines are packed into the casino. Crowds can get pretty heavy during the weekend or holidays. Still, with so many machines, you’ll usually find an open machine.

Whether you want to play for $100 per pay line or are more comfortable with penny pulls, Four Winds offers something to fit your budget or practicality.

Four Winds Casino in Michigan

Big slots jackpots are the name of the game at Four Winds Casino. Reel Adventures offers a multi-game progressive jackpot that starts at $200,000. The impressive jackpot includes popular titles like James Bond, Johnny Cash, Monopoly, Lord of the Rings, and Willy Wonks.

The jackpot fun doesn’t end there. Timber Wolf Grand has a jackpot that starts at a salty $250 grand. Also, Buffalo Grand and 5 Dragons Grand combine for a mouth-watering jackpot that starts at $500,000.

You can even watch the jackpots climb in real-time by going to the casino’s website. Some of the jackpots are approaching $2 million.

It may be time to pack the car and head to Michigan.

Conclusion

Look, Las Vegas is the undisputed heavyweight when it comes to casino gambling. However, variety is the spice of life.

Why not skip the airports and check out what America has to offer? Now, you know where you can find the loosest slots without flying to Las Vegas.

Entertaining Hotspots Near Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Logo With Zoo and Science Center Background

Headed to Rivers Casino Pittsburgh? Well, you’re in for a treat as this article covers six entertaining hotspots to enjoy if you’re looking to explore the area and perhaps take a day or two off the endless casino gaming the venue offers.

And since you’re in the Steel City, you’re in America’s Number One cultural, historical, and innovative town. From its humble beginnings as a manufacturing sector to becoming one of the most livable places in the world, you’ll get a thrill out of everything Pittsburgh offers outside the casino.

So take a day and visit the six hottest locations listed below. If you’re traveling with family, use this list to create the perfect vacation which Rivers Casino will be just a slice of the pie.

Ready for a quick tour of the Steel City?

You’ll find everything you need below to enjoy a day when taking a break from gambling in Pennsylvania.

Kennywood Amusement Park

Located in West Mifflin, yet so close to the city you can still see Pittsburgh’s historic skyline lies Kennywood, an 80-acre amusement park in an area known as the South Hills.

Open from May until December, this is the perfect summer and fall destination for you and the entire family if you’re looking for a day away from the gaming floor at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh.

Kennywood offers 45 attractions, eight roller coasters, and two water rides, among other amenities, so excitement awaits in every direction.

Enjoy seasonal events like Phantom Fright Nights if you’re in the area during October as well as Nationality Days that recognizes Greek, Irish, Serbian, Croatian, Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, and Italian Cultures.

Kennywood Amusement Park

Some fun facts about Kennywood include that it was the sight of the Battle of the Monongahela, one of the opening battles of the French & Indian War back in 1755.

George Washington participated in the battle as a colonel to British General Edward Braddock, who was mortally wounded in the British’s quest to capture Fort Duquesne. The land later became a popular picnic area during the Civil War when it became part of a farm owned by Anthony Kenny.

And in 1987, Kennywood became a National Historic Landmark just two years before its 90th birthday.

If you’re into adrenaline-pumping rides, roller coasters, and dark funhouses the park is known for, then Kennywood is the perfect place for thrills if need something other than real money slots or table games.

The Waterfront

The open hearth stacks recognize one of Pittsburgh’s greatest shopping destination’s former use as US Steel’s Homestead Works Steel Mill before the plant closed in 1986.

So, just how much real-estate are we talking about at the Waterfront? How do 700,000 square feet encompassing three boroughs (Homestead, West Homestead, and Munhall) sound?

Epic, right?

If you name the store, the Waterfront provides it. Just hop onto the Parkway East (I-376 East), cross Homestead Grays Bridge, and you’re there from Rivers Casino.

Or, if you want to take an alternate route, feel free to take Route 837 and loop around the city to avoid all that traffic along the parkway that Pittsburgh is infamous for. And I can tell you from experience, nothing is worse than sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for 90 minutes on the parkway.

The Waterfront Shopping District

But once you make it to the Waterfront, it’s smooth sailing. You’ll find places like Barnes & Noble, Loews Cineplex, Victoria’s Secret, and more. On the east end, you’ll find familiar big box outlets that resemble your typical strip mall.

Stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Dicks Sporting Goods, Target, and other large chains reside in this area of the shopping center.

And you can’t forget about the dining options if you’ve been through the works at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. The Waterfront offers options like Panera Bread, Longhorn Steakhouse, Uno Chicago Grill, P.F. Changs, and T.G.I. Fridays.

This is overall the perfect place for a shopping spree after a long day at the casino floor and with its number of dining options, you’ll never get bored.

Carnegie Science Center

The science enthusiast in you can rejoice when you go to the Carnegie Science Center. Located within walking distance from Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, you don’t need to go far to access one of America’s premier science centers and perhaps Pittsburgh’s premier destination.

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The Carnegie Science Center is located in the same neighborhood as Rivers so if you’re not up for risking a 90-minute traffic jam on the parkway going either east toward the Fort Pitt Tunnels or west toward the Squirrel Hill Tunnels, then a short walk to the science center should be on your list.

Carnegie Science Center holds the distinction as the most visited museum in Pittsburgh and its major attractions include SportsWorks, the USS Requin, the Robot Hall of Fame, and the Miniature Road and Village.

PNC Park

It is often referred to by baseball enthusiasts as the ‘Best Stadium in Baseball.’ And that includes legendary stadiums like Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, New Yankee Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and other historic venues.

You don’t need to be a pro baseball gambler to appreciate the architecture that PNC Park holds, as well as its absolutely breathtaking view of the Pittsburgh skyline.

Which I can assure you, many will buy a ticket to a Pittsburgh Pirates game just to appreciate the view they’re getting of Downtown Pittsburgh and its surrounding bridges.

Planning for the venue began as far back as 1991 when those on the city’s council wished for their city’s ballpark venues to replicate the architecture and aesthetics of classic ballparks, rather than functionality. As was the case with the multi-purpose Three Rivers Stadium, the park’s predecessor.

PNC Park Baseball Stadium

And to say the City of Pittsburgh hit a ringer is an understatement. Populous, then known as HOK Sport, designed the ballpark with characteristics resembling the likes of Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Forbes Field, which PNC Park’s predecessor, Three Rivers Stadium, replaced.

So if you’re hitting up Rivers Casino Pittsburgh between April and September – never in October – perhaps you should place a bet at the Sportsbook located in the casino and venture on over to PNC Park to catch the game live and in person.

And if you win or lose your bet, you’re guaranteed two things: A view of the Pittsburgh skyline you’ll never forget, and a few hours in arguably the best ballpark in Major League Baseball.

West-End Elliott Overlook Park

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has the greatest skyline of any city in America hands-down. I’ve been to many cities in my life, and there’s no comparison. There is nothing like driving eastbound through the Fort Pitt Tunnels to watch the city skyline emerge as you exit the tunnels.

Well, a day exploring the city’s surrounding hills and neighborhoods make for outstanding views as well. One such place is West End Overlook Park, often shortened to West End Overlook by locals.

West-End Elliott Overlook Park

It serves as perhaps the most scenic view you’ll find outside the city. And if you ever wondered where those popular images of the Pittsburgh skyline are taken by photographers, there’s your answer.

The park contains landscaped gardens plus a walkway under shaded trees. And you don’t need to worry about bringing anything to sit on, as the city has taken care of that with terraced stone banks.

If you’re a nature lover and breathtaking views of the city’s Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers flanking Downtown Pittsburgh rocks your boat, venture away from the casino floor, and catch this experience firsthand.

Yeah, it means leaving the casino table games for a few hours, but you’ll be glad you did.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Sitting on 77 acres and offering over 475 species of animals and 20 endangered species is the 122-year-old Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium. This is one of just six zoo and aquarium combos in the nation, so you’re in for something special when you step foot in one of Pittsburgh’s most popular attractions.

Your most notable exhibits include the Forest Passage, African Savannah, PPG Aquarium, Tropical Forest, The Islands, Jungle Odyssey, Water’s Edge, and Kid’s Kingdom, with each offering its own unique brand of species among the 4,000 animals taking up residence in the zoo.

Pittsburgh Zoo Elephants

So, if you’re an animal lover, take advantage of this rare treat of which there are so few in the United States. It provides the perfect stress reliever if the day didn’t go well on the casino floor and if you’re in Pittsburgh with the family, your kids will love this more than anything else in the city.

Give yourself a break from the gaming floor and catch the best Pittsburgh offers in exotic wildlife. You’ll be glad you ventured away from the Rivers when you catch this experience of a lifetime.

Conclusion

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is just a sliver of what makes the City of Pittsburgh one of the greatest vacation destinations in the United States. Sure, Rivers Casino provides enough gaming and entertainment to keep you busy for a week.

But it’s really worth venturing off the casino grounds to catch the culture, science, nature, and scenic aspects the city offers. From the shopper in you visiting the Waterfront to the nature lover in you taking a walk to West End Elliott Overlook Park to catch the best view of the city around.

This article contained just six hotspots that lurk near Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and there is definite room for more that the city and the Chateau Neighborhood in which the casino is located offers.

Have you been to any of the locations listed above or have you tried your hand at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh? Let us know in the comments.

Major Attractions Near Hollywood Casino Columbus

Hollywood Casino Logo With an Ohio Attractions Background

Columbus, Ohio, has become a major figure in the Midwest. So, if you’re spending time at Hollywood Casino Columbus, you have about 100 different things to do in Ohio’s largest and greatest city.

However, some points of interest and activities stand out far more than others, and this article will give you 10 major attractions near the casino.

This list will give you insight on the diversity of activities that Columbus offers besides Ohio casinos. And the city offers something for everyone of all ages and interests.

Ohio Stadium

Also known as The Horseshoe, Ohio Stadium is the premier destination for fans of college football betting. Whether you love or hate the Buckeyes, you’ll rejoice at this modern marvel that has entertained college football fans for over 100 years and will do so over the next century.

And it doesn’t matter if the Buckeyes are in town for a college game or not. Just making a trip to one of college football’s most legendary structures is a pilgrimage for all fans at the collegiate level.

Ohio Stadium in Columbus

So, if you’re looking to take a quick break from Hollywood Casino Columbus and are looking to stretch your legs near some of Columbus’s most legendary attractions, a great place to begin is Ohio Stadium.

And if you’re in town on a Saturday and are lucky enough to grab a ticket to the next Buckeyes game, take advantage of the opportunity because the sea of scarlet and gray and the overall atmosphere is an experience for the ages.

North Farmers Market

The 144-year-old North Farmers Market has guaranteed the City of Columbus local, fresh, and authentic homegrown food. And for a venue that has stood the test of time as long as this one, it’s a guaranteed bet that your taste buds will experience the best organic food in the city.

Even today, the market serves over 1,000,000 residents and tourists yearly, keeping up with its reputation and mission statement that originated all the way back in 1876. Hardly another attraction in the world has stood for so long as a trusted source of goods in its community.

Impressive is an understatement. This venue is outright legendary.

If you’re looking for the freshest food around and have exhausted all dining options at Hollywood Casino Columbus, what are you waiting for? You’ve tried the rest. Now, try the best.

German Village and Brewery District

It has arguably the greatest atmosphere in all the Midwest. German settlers ventured to the location in the mid-1800s, and the surrounding architecture provides the perfect blend of classic and modern. Yep, the architecture enthusiast in you is ready for a show if you walk this neighborhood.

German Village and Brewery District

So, what can you find in Columbus’s most historically significant neighborhoods? Seven restaurants, all of which serve authentic German-inspired cuisine. You’ll also enjoy several parks, coffee shops, and taverns that will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the Central European country itself.

Whether you’re of German descent and wish to learn more about your heritage, or if you want to come over and experience the culture, the German Village and Brewery District is calling your name.

Columbus Museum of Art

This venue prides itself on being built for the community and by the community.

Here, you can learn a little more about the great city of Columbus and its culture where much of the art collection within the museum’s walls describes its way of life. The Columbus Museum of Art is a great place to begin your learning experience.

General admission to this legendary venue is a small $18 and if you brought the kids, students, or even the grandparents along, they’ll enjoy a 50% discount. Are you a military veteran? If so, entry is free.

The Columbus Museum of Art is a fantastic place to gain insight on what made Columbus, Ohio, the city it has become today. It doesn’t take all day to explore, so if you’re looking to vary your day from casino games to touring, this is a must-see venue to add to the itinerary.

Ohio Theatre

Live entertainment is always rocking over at Hollywood Casino Columbus. But it isn’t the only area in town where you can experience the greatest acts in the world.

Sophistication is perhaps the best way to describe what you’ll experience at the Ohio Theatre.

Ohio Theatre in Columbus

Shows that include classical music and dance are staples here at the Ohio Theatre. But they also put on many modern shows every year.

Oh, and that interior design alone may motivate you to walk through the doors of this premier venue. It boasts a 21-foot high chandelier in the main room and opulent, Spanish-Baroque architecture comprises the exterior.

Yeah, so if you’re up for a high-class night to remember, you know where you’re headed.

Center of Science and Industry

For nearly six decades, the Center of Science and Industry has inspired interest in science in children and adults alike. But the center’s outreach extends far beyond science; technology, engineering, and math are taught at this facility using a hands-on approach.

If you slept in math and science class back in middle and high school, you’ll finally discover what you were missing so dearly if you want to take a few hours away from the casino floor. Hey, I’ll raise a guilty hand and admit my habit of perpetually falling asleep in class.

But anyway, consider this one your second chance at learning in a way you probably never thought possible. And who knows? After you tour the Center of Science and Industry, you may have just found a new hobby to take home with you.

Otherworld

If there’s one place to venture off to on this list where you will find some thrills, it’s Otherworld. And you may spend all day here, so a day from the rough casino gaming is necessary at Otherworld.

Otherworld Attraction in Columbus

You’re looking at 32,000 square feet of real estate and 40 rooms of mysterious, interactive artwork that includes mixed reality playgrounds and secret passageways.

If you’re up for the most surreal experience of your life, you’ll discover it at Otherworld. And if you’re one who eats, sleeps, and breathes science fiction and fantasy, the images in your imaginative mind have just become a reality.

There is a lot to love here.

Scioto Mile

If you feel like you’ve been gambling too much and need some recreational time away from Hollywood Casino Columbus, treat yourself to some breathtaking views on the riverfront.

Well, the 145-acre Scioto Mile provides it. Come and experience overhead, scenic views of the city and enjoy the parkland, fountains, and other amenities that make the Scioto Mile the premier place in the city for outdoor rest and relaxation.

The Scioto Mile prides itself as one of many undertakings that contributed to the City of Columbus’s revitalization as the region transformed from manufacturing to diversity in its economic sector. It’s the perfect place to gather with new friends and a great place for the entire family to unwind after a long day.

Located in the heart of Downtown Columbus, the Scioto Mile is where urbanization and nature become one. Experience it for yourself.

Easton Town Center

The Easton Town Center is your hub for all things shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Sure, you’ll satisfy many cravings while you enjoy the nightlife at Hollywood Casino Columbus. But why not venture out and see what the rest of the city offers?

The Easton Town Center is one of those locations where you’ll find dozens of dining options along with a shopping center sure to provide a shopping spree you’ll never forget.

Easton Town Center Ohio

So, if you’re up for a shopping experience like none other that also features live entertainment from the greatest world-class and local acts, the Easton Town Center is perhaps the number one place outside of Hollywood Casino to come and enjoy a night out.

Take one night off from gaming, head over to Easton, and see what’s happening. The casino table games will be there when you get back.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden

Let nature’s beauty shine as you stroll through the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden.

If flora is a passion of yours, then you’ll love everything about this attraction from the moment you step foot into the venue.

Come in and take advantage of the many exhibitions the conservatory offers along with classes fit for people of all ages. Their motto is “Life Happens Here,” and something new is happening every day at what is the largest collection of botany in the region, if not in the state of Ohio.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden

And who knows? You may just walk away with a new passion after you take a walk through the cathedral of green and the organic beauty that goes along with it.

One thing is for certain, nature is the number one stress reliever out there. So, if things didn’t go your way in the casino today, a stroll through this peaceful setting is what the mind, body, and soul ordered.

Conclusion

Columbus is rocking and rolling with attractions every which way you turn. And best yet, it’s a city fit for you whether it’s sports, history, architecture, or something else that piques your interest.

If you’re in the area and gaming hard at Hollywood Casino Columbus, head out and explore the city for a bit. And if you have ventured to the casino and have visited one of the fine destinations listed above, tell us about them below in the comments and share your experiences with other readers. We love hearing from you.

Reasons Why Craps Players Lose Money

Man With Money Flowing Out of Wallet With a Craps Background

The odds are good that if you’ve ever played craps, you’ve started to develop at least one bad habit. In fact, most craps players have multiple bad habits.

The problem with bad craps habits is that they end up costing you a lot of money. Some bad craps habits are worse than others, but they are all costly in the long run.

Here are five bad habits that craps players develop that end up costing them money. Learn how to avoid these habits and you instantly improve your chances of winning when you play craps for real money.

Ignoring the Odds Betting Option

When I play craps, I see other gamblers make all kinds of different wagers and use a wide range of betting methods and superstitions to decide what to do. I even see gamblers who honestly believe that they can influence the outcome of the rolls and get an edge.

I’m going to cover all of these bad habits in sections on this page, but in this opening section, I’m going to tackle the most important thing you can do as a craps player. This is one habit that every craps player needs to build.

Closeup of a Casino Craps Table

The most important wager option at the craps table is the odds wager. This isn’t used by every craps player, but it’s the single wager that every craps player needs to use. The problems with the odds wager is that there isn’t a marked space on the table for it and you can’t make this wager unless you place a come-out wager first.

Because there isn’t a space marked for the odds wager, some craps players don’t even know it exists. The odds wager is usually placed behind the come-out roll wager when a point is set. But you can tell the person running the game that you want to place an odds wager and they’ll help you.

Odds wagers are the only wagers in the casino with true even odds. This means that the casino house edge on this wager is 0%. But the come-out roll has a casino edge, and you have to make it first. This way, the casino still has an edge on your total wager amount, even if the odds are fair on the odds wager.

Break the bad habit of ignoring the odds wager. Instead, make it a habit of placing an odds wager every time you have the opportunity.

Betting Money on the Pass Line

The most popular wager on a come-out roll at the craps table is on the pass line. And this isn’t a terrible wagering option, but the truth is that it’s not the best option on the come-out roll. The best craps wager on a come-out roll is don’t pass.

The difference in the casino edge on these two wagers is small, so it’s not an unforgivable sin if you’re in the habit of betting the pass line. But I’m a big believer in getting every edge possible, even if it’s a small edge.

Here’s the difference between the two wagers. A don’t pass wager has a casino edge of 1.36%. A pass line wager has a casino edge of 1.41%. This isn’t big, but it is different.

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If you make 200 come-out roll wagers at $40 each, your total risk on these wagers is $8,000. Your expected loss on the pass line at $8,000 is $112.80. Risking the same $8,000 on don’t pass has an expected loss of $108.80. This is a difference of $4 on $8,000 in risk.

To many people, this isn’t enough to worry about. And the truth is that I send more than $4 on water or on tips when I go to the casino. But I have the mindset that I’m not going to surrender a single penny more than I need to when I’m gambling.

This means that I want that $4. I want it in my pocket instead of in the casino’s pocket. So, I’m not giving it to them because I get in the habit of making the wrong wager.

Making Inside Craps Wagers

Here’s the simple truth. If you’re in the habit of making any wager at the craps table other than the odds wager and the don’t pass wager, you have a bad and costly habit. These are the only two craps wagers you should ever make.

You can find a few other wagers on the craps table that aren’t terrible, but they all have a higher casino edge than the don’t pass and odds wagers.

Online Real Money Craps Game

For example, a casino sucker bet would be wagering on 2 or on 12 since they have a casino edge of almost 14%. The 11 or 3 wagers have a casino edge over 11%. The hard ways have a casino edge of over 9%. In fact, the only wager on the craps table that has a casino edge less than 2.44% other than the wagers I already covered in earlier sections is the place 6 / 8, which has a casino edge of 1.52%.

Don’t make any craps wager other than a come out wager and the odds. Every other wager option is costing you money you don’t have to lose.

Using a Craps Casino Betting System

Casino betting systems are almost always scams. In fact, it’s safe to say that any betting system that’s offered for sale is a scam. The only exception to a betting system being a scam is if you can learn a system that helps you count cards when you play blackjack.

I don’t see many craps systems for sale, but I have seen a few over the years. And none of them have any realistic chance of working. And most craps gambling systems actually make you lose more money than when you just stick with the two wagers I recommend.

The key thing that you need to remember when someone is trying to sell you a craps system is that they could make far more money using the system instead of selling it if the system really worked. Casinos are glad to let anyone play and use a system when they play craps.

This is because the casinos know the systems don’t work, and this just adds money to the casino’s bottom line.

Trying to Control the Dice

The subject of dice control has three sides. The first side is the most common, and this side is all of the people who don’t know what dice control or controlled shooting is.

The second side is craps players that know what controlled shooting is, but are convinced that it doesn’t work. The third side has the small group of craps players who claim that dice control is real and profitable. The third group is usually trying to sell you a course or seminar on how to win craps by controlling the dice.

Do you remember in the last section how I explained that anyone trying to sell you a craps system is likely to sell you something that doesn’t work? The same logic is at work here.

Person Holding Dice Over a Craps Table

If controlled shooting is so profitable, why aren’t these hucksters making millions playing craps instead of hundreds or thousands selling courses and books?

The reason why so many people fall for false dice control claims is because you wouldn’t have to alter the results of many rolls to make the game profitable. But once again, if the casinos were losing money to controlled craps shooters, the casinos would be doing something about it.

The casinos don’t let you slide the dice when you roll them, but this isn’t what controlled shooting is about. Controlled shooting supposedly can influence the outcome of dice rolls thrown the normal way.

If you want to waste your time trying to learn how to control the dice, be my guest. I’m even rooting for you. I hope you can figure out how to make millions and make all of your dreams come true. Just do me a favor and don’t try to sell the information. Just keep making more money playing craps.

Of course, you already know from this section that I simply don’t believe it’s realistic.

Conclusion

Some of the worst gambling mistakes can be eliminated if you follow one simple rule when playing craps. Make your come-out roll wager on don’t pass, and make the odds wager when the come-out roll sets a point. This simple rule takes care of the worst craps habits and improves your chances of winning a great deal. In fact, if you do anything other than follow this simple step, you’re losing too much money.

Don’t get sucked into the dice control myth, because it wastes your time and money. You also need to avoid using any other type of craps gambling system, because they don’t work either.

Why the Esports Betting Boom Won’t Subside Anytime Soon

Pile of Money and an Esports Gaming Team

It’s no secret that esports has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Once an obscure niche, this industry has risen to become a global phenomenon.

Not surprisingly, esports betting has grown right along with competitive gaming. Many sportsbooks now prominently display an esports section on their site.

This type of betting has experienced accelerated growth for the past several years. Therefore, you might think that it’s ready to slow down sometime soon.

The reality, though, is that the esports betting boom only looks to grow even more in the near future. You can see the main reasons why this is the case below.

Esports Viewership Keeps Rising

Unlike traditional sports, esports draw the vast majority of their viewers through live streams. This trend seems to be working particularly well for the industry.

Esports events and leagues collectively draw more viewership than any traditional sport. For further reference, the League of Legends (LoL) “World Championship” attracts a bigger audience than the Super Bowl.

Of course, esports have an unfair advantage in that they’re categorized together. Even though LoL and Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) aren’t the same, they’re both lumped under the esports category.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting that this once small industry now manages to attract more viewers than regular sports. Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that viewership levels are going up.

Research shows that almost 459 million (unique) people livestreamed an esports match in 2019. This number represents 15% growth when compared to 2018.

Esports Team During a Match

Of these viewers, 201 million fall into the “enthusiasts category.” The later refers to anybody who views esports more than once per month.

The remaining amount is listed among the “occasional viewers.” They watch competitive gaming once or less per month. In short, well over 40% of live streamers are watching leagues and tournaments on a regular basis.

Studies indicate that the number of enthusiasts and occasional fans will grow to 347 million and 297 million (645 million total), respectively, by 2022.

One more thing worth noting here is where the viewers are coming from. Most of the enthusiasts live in either Asia Pacific, Europe, or North America. However, other continents also draw a fair amount of fans too.

Esports have proven to be truly global. Each major traditional sport, however, is usually only popular in certain parts of the world.

Esports Publicity Is Increasing

Most of the general public is still in the dark regarding how esports work. They may have seen pictures or clips of the events, but they still don’t know much about the leagues, tournaments, or players.

This situation is changing quite a bit, though. Esports are generating more publicity with each passing day.

Esports are especially becoming notable for the sheer prize money offered in the biggest events. For example, Dota 2’s “International” delivered $34.3 million in prize money in 2019. The 2019 Fortnite “World Cup” also paid out serious prize money. It handed out over $30 million, including $3 million to the winner.

Of course, the average esports pro doesn’t earn millions of dollars. But those who do are definitely bringing more attention to gaming.

Meanwhile, bookmakers are reaping the benefits of this increased attention. Gamblers who see somebody winning $3 million in a single tournament will be more intrigued by esports betting.

Additionally, league and tourney organizers are landing more sponsorships and TV deals. Heavier advertising and more network coverage will only increase the popularity of esports and associated betting.

Fans Can Get Involved in the Betting Action

Many people enjoy watching and gambling on the NFL, MLB, and NBA. The same fans can live out their professional fantasies through recreational softball, basketball, and flag football.

However, they can’t wager on themselves while doing so. After all, no bookmaker offers lines on a beer league softball championship.

Esports differ greatly in this regard. Certain betting sites give players the chance to gamble on their own performance (i.e. player vs player betting).

Call of Duty 2020 Screenshot

PvP wagering is a fun way to let somebody win money based on their own skills. For example, a team of Call of Duty amateurs could gamble on their ability to beat another team.

A random Call of Duty match isn’t going to draw livestream viewers and TV audiences. But it does give one the opportunity to physically determine the outcome of their wager.

Those who appreciate PvP betting are also likely to enjoy wagering on the pros as well. When they’re done gambling on themselves, they can head over to an esportsbook and bet on the real deal.

The Online Bonuses Keep Coming

Esports betting sites have taken a cue from traditional online bookmakers by offering plenty of bonuses. They ensure that you have plenty of chances to earn free cash.

The two main types of esports betting bonuses include free bets and deposit bonuses. Here’s how each of these offers work:

Deposit Bonus:

  • Matches a percentage of your first deposit.
  • g. 100% match bonus worth up to $100.
  • You can withdraw the bonus amount upon meeting terms and conditions.

Free Bet:

  • You receive a free bet worth up to a certain amount (e.g. $25).
  • If you win the first bet, you collect the winnings and move on.
  • Assuming you lose, you can earn back the losses by satisfying terms and conditions.

Many betting sites don’t just stop at the welcome offer. They also feature other promotions and even VIP programs that give you an opportunity to continue picking up rewards.

World of Tanks Promotional Image

For example, you might be offered a free $25 bet for placing your first wager on World of Tanks. This deal helps the site by getting you to try a new market, and it provides you another chance to pick up free money.

I suggest browsing the promotions section at an esportsbook before depositing. Doing so ensures you know that the site offers plenty of promotions before spending time going through the deposit process.

Conclusion

With the rising availability of Esports gambling, it’s becoming one of the world’s most-popular types of wagering. It now competes with certain athletic sports in terms of betting popularity.

Based on esports’ quick rise, you might think that the gambling growth will level off soon. However, several factors suggest that the popularity increase could continue.

Rising viewership, the coronavirus, more publicity, bonuses, and PvP betting should combine to keep the party going. The increased viewership will especially be a boon and draw many more esports gamblers.

The Top 10 Activities to Enjoy Near The Greenbrier Casino Club

Greenbrier Resort Logo With Pennsylvania Attraction Background

The Casino Club at Greenbrier is arguably the most diverse resort in America. And it’s one of those casino destinations that you won’t go far to find thrilling activities.

You’re looking at 55 indoor and outdoor activities here at Greenbrier that offer something for guests of all ages. So, if you’re here on a family vacation, even kids as young as 5 will find something of interest.

But if you’re here alone or with a group, it’s the adult activities that should attract you and below, you’ll find the top ten activities that Greenbrier offers.

What you’re about to read below will offer thrilling adventures like escape rooms to experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Thrillers like the Aerial Adventure Course and Alpine Climbing Tower are sure to bring out the thriller in you.

Ready for a quick tour outside of the Pennsylvania gambling scene? Keep reading.

1 – Aerial Adventure Course

I hope you’re not afraid of heights, because if you are, good luck getting through this course without having a panic attack first. Just kidding!

This course is for the thrill-seeker in you, as you embark on obstacles at the same elevation as the nearby treetops. Yeah, it’ll be frightening at first. But I’m sure you’ll grow used to the heights if you’re brave enough.

Aerial Adventure Course at Greenbrier

If you love adventure, thrill-seeking, and fun all in one, then the Aerial Adventure Course at Greenbrier is the premier adult-related activity to gain an adrenaline rush like none other at the resort.

This one is for all of you high-flyers out there who aren’t afraid to skydive out of airplanes or to bungee jump off bridges. Or you may just want to break that fear of heights you’ve been dealing with for most of your life. Just don’t look down!

2 – Titanic Escape Room

Have you ever been to an escape room? Awesome! So, you know the simple concept. The Titanic Escape Room is no different. Escape the room before the time runs out. Or in this case, try to escape before the ship sinks.

So, here’s the story: You play the role of crew member on the once-thought to be unsinkable RMS Titanic. The ship just struck the iceberg, and it’s up to you and your crew to get to the communications center to signal the nearest ship for help.

You probably could have gone on one of those lifeboats, but they’re full and already in the middle of the Atlantic. So, good luck escaping the rising waters. It’s the adrenaline-pumping experience you can get if you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve real money slots and table games.

Yeah, it ain’t a gamble. But it will rival the level of fun. If you’re an escape room enthusiast, this one is a must. And as you scour through this article, you’ll discover that the Titanic Escape Room isn’t the only one housed at this resort. So yes, rejoice.

3 – Scavenger Ox Race

Well, the Scavenger Ox is nothing more than a race across Greenbrier. Simple, right? Using your smartphones, it’s your job to decode Greenbrier’s history while you and your group race across, through, and around the resort.

Interior of Greenbrier Resort in Pennsylvania

So, bring your group of friends or drag the family outside for a fun scavenger hunt in which you can take part against other groups or if your crew is every man and woman for themselves, split up and make this thing more interesting.

Want to make it even more fun? Place a friendly bet on who will emerge victorious. If there is one safe bet you can make, it’s that the stakes just got higher, and the game has gotten far more interesting.

4 – Presidents’ Cottage Museum

Want to see the locations that past US Presidents have stayed? An astounding 27 US presidents have visited Greenbrier, and you can place a safe bet that the number will rise given the sophistication of the property and surrounding areas that makes Greenbrier what it is today.

Overlooking the Greenbrier Springhouse, this historic building contains archives that date back to Greenbrier’s earliest days.

And best yet, admission is included with all daily fees to the property, so if you’re an overnight guest, it’s completely free to come in and explore.

If you’re a history buff, then this, along with a couple of other attractions, is a must-see.

5 – Mountaineer Experience

Ever wonder what it’s like to take part in events like archery, air-rifle, and tomahawk throwing? Well, now is your chance to get in on the action at Mountaineer Experience.

Work with experienced instructors and become a perfect shot in archery using the traditional recurve bow and arrows. Shoot at moving targets that range in difficulty from easy to advanced. And finally, test your abilities at the tomahawk range by throwing at wood targets of varying distances and angles.

Mountaineer Experience at Greenbrier

Yep, you’ll be showing off your new skill to family and friends in no time when you arrive back home from a weeklong getaway at Greenbrier.

If you’re into the outdoors, this is a perfect activity for you and the entire family to undertake. But this ain’t the only outdoor experience you’ll get here at Greenbrier.

6 – Greenbrier River Trail Ride

Love mountain biking? Or are you just one to enjoy and take in the illustrious scenery deep in the mountains?

Bike through the Allegheny Mountains and get in what will be the most scenic cardio workout of your life. Yep, if you’re a bit of a thrill-seeker, this is the perfect place to get the adrenaline pumping. Nothing beats a bike ride through the Alleghenies.

Not quite ready to bike through the mountains, but still crave the scenery? Take a ride on the Greenbrier River Trail. You can still enjoy the sight of the surrounding mountain ranges as you cruise through this friendlier, less-challenging course.

7 – Geocaching Adventure

Sort of like the Scavenger Ox, Geocaching is your number one high-tech treasure hunt. So, embark on a journey through, across, and around Greenbrier and see if you can find the 10 hidden “caches” or treasures scattered about. Just be sure to take an item at each location and leave an item in its place.

Geocaching at Greenbrier Resort

This event is ideal for you if you need to calm your mind with a steady cardio workout with a fun, innovative method. We’ll see you at the hunt!

8 – Escape Oz Escape Room

Take a ride back in time in this magical escape room, the second of its kind on the resort next to the Titanic Escape Room.

So, what does it take to escape this room themed after the legendary story, itself? You’ll need a bit of heart, some brains, and definitely a good deal of courage. That said, it’s a safe bet that you shouldn’t count on a lion, scarecrow, and tin man to help you escape.

Are you ready to try your hand at escape? For the affordable price of $29 per guest, it’s one of the most affordable activities offered at the resort.

9 – Alpine Climbing Tower

It’s described as a 55-foot tower encompassing over 20 routes. You can place a safe bet that the thrill-seeker in you will find itself more than satisfied at this station.

Close to the Greenbrier property, nothing speaks team building and camaraderie like the Alpine Climbing Tower. But you need not be present with a group of people or your family. Test your individual skill and try climbing this structure yourself.

Alpine Climbing Tower at Greenbrier

It’s one of the most unique outdoor activities at the resort, and it’s always in high demand. So if the Alpine Climbing Tower is something you find interesting, make sure you reserve a spot well before your arrival at Greenbrier.

And yeah, if you’re up for making the challenge a little more interesting, then why not place a friendly bet with your friends to see who can reach the top first? Nothing like a little healthy competition, right?

10 – Bunker Tours

The secret is out. Okay, what secret? Within the bunker’s walls lies the answers to the secret history encompassing Greenbrier Resort. And this bunker, believe it or not, is actually an old Cold War fallout shelter that served as a top-secret US government relocation facility for the nation’s most powerful people.

Today, as mentioned, the secret is out, and you can tour the bunker itself and gain a behind-the-scenes look at what life could have been like in post-apocalyptic America. Or the post-apocalyptic world.

It is believed Greenbrier is the only resort in the nation to have housed such a unit during the Cold War. They have featured the Bunker on The Today Show and they have also voted it one of the Top 100 Military Destinations for 2018.

So, if you’re a history buff, don’t save the best for last. This should rank as number one on your itinerary.

Conclusion

Excited about that upcoming stay at The Casino Club at Greenbrier? Yeah, I thought so. This resort offers so much more than just casino gaming and breathtaking views of the mountains. Although, it’s definitely an integral part of it.

Whether you’re a thrill seeker or just someone who is looking to experience something new, you’ll find something of value on this list. But if not, don’t worry. Greenbrier offers so many types of activities you’re bound to be interested in something they offer—even if it’s solely on the casino gaming floor.

Have you been to The Casino Club at Greenbrier and if so, did you find time to immerse yourself in one of the activities listed above? Let us know and tell us about your experience.

Bad Habits That Make Roulette Players Lose Money

Upset Gambler at a Roulette Table With Roulette Graphic Text

You can develop several bad habits when you play roulette. And every single bad roulette habit costs you money. But it’s easy to eliminate all of your bad roulette habits.

In fact, you can eliminate all of your bad roulette habits in the time it takes to read this article. And there’s nothing complicated about it. You just have to learn what the bad habits are, then follow the simple steps to break these bad habits.

Here’s a list of five bad habits that real money roulette gamblers fall into and how each habit costs them money.

Using Roulette Betting Systems

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past four decades gambling. And in that time, I think I’ve tried just about every casino system known to man. And the thing that I’ve found is that there isn’t a single real roulette system that can beat the game unless you cheat or find a biased wheel.

A biased wheel is the dream for roulette players worldwide, but the simple fact is that they really don’t exist. And if you do find one, the casino is going to figure it out quickly and replace the wheel. And cheating is a terrible idea because when you get caught, you’re likely going to jail.

Almost every roulette system promises huge wins. But they actually deliver huge losses. It doesn’t matter how good the sales pitch and the math looks; the fact is that if you use a roulette system, you’re going to lose money. And you’re probably going to eventually lose more than you’d lose if you simply played and made small wagers.

Closeup of Roulette Dealer Paying Out Bets

Please learn from my experience. Smart gamblers learn from the experience of others so they don’t have to suffer the same losses, proving that something doesn’t work. My experience shows that roulette systems simply don’t work.

You can save a lot of money by accepting this and moving on. If you simply have to prove it to yourself, test your system using free online roulette. And make sure you test it using a minimum of 100,000 spins.

And I’m going to let you in on a secret: Even if your system shows a profit on 100,000 spins, it’s still not going to be a long-term winning system. I know this because there’s math behind roulette and there isn’t a system that can overcome this math.

Placing More Than One Wager per Spin

You can place as many wagers on every roulette spin as you want. Many gamblers place two or more wagers per spin. And some roulette systems require multiple wagers per spin.

The problem with placing more than one wager on a roulette spin is that it increases the amount of money that you risk. And roulette is built in a way that increases the amount the casino makes when more money is risked.

Here are some simple numbers to show you this in action. You’re playing roulette and make a $30 wager on red. And over the course of a month, you make 1,000 bets. This means that you’re risking a total amount for the month of $30,000. Now, instead of making a $30 wager on red, you make this wager and make a $30 wager on odd. This means that you’re risking $60,000 over the course of the month.

I’m going to cover more about roulette odds and the house advantage in the next section. But for this example, you’re playing on a roulette wheel with a 2.7% casino edge. Your expected loss on $30,000 worth of roulette wagers is $810. Your expected loss on $60,000 worth of roulette wagers is $1,620.

It doesn’t matter that sometimes you win both wagers and that you win one or the other wager most of the time. The casino edge is based on all of the outcomes, including wins and losses. And the edge the casino has is going to come true in the long run.

The only thing you’re doing when you make two or more wagers on one roulette spin is losing more money.

Playing on the Wrong Roulette Wheel

All roulette wheels look about the same. They have some red numbers and some black numbers, and they have at least one green space. But not all roulette wheels are the same. And the variant of roulette you play on has a great deal to do with how much you win or lose.

The first thing you need to do is learn how many spaces each roulette wheel has. Bad roulette wheels have 38 spaces or more. A roulette wheel with 38 spaces has a casino edge of 5.26%. If the wheel has more than 38 spaces, the casino edge is even worse.

Las Atlantis Online Roulette Game

A roulette wheel that has 37 spaces has a casino edge of either 2.7% or 1.35%. These wheels look the same, but the casino edge is different based on the rules being used. In order to play on a roulette wheel with a 1.35% casino edge, you need to find a wheel using French rules.

French rules have the same casino edge as other 37 space wheels on most of the available wagers, but on the even-money wagers, the edge for the casino is only 1.35%.

The main takeaway from this section is that you should play French Roulette. Any other roulette wheel makes you lose faster and costs you more money in the long run.

Betting Anything But the Casino Table Minimum

Every roulette table has a minimum bet amount and a maximum wager amount. You already learned that the more you risk playing roulette, the more it means you lose.

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Why would you ever risk more than the bare minimum when you play roulette? I hope the answer from this point forward is that you’re never going to risk more than the minimum.

The best advice I can give is to play roulette online if you’re going to play at all. The online roulette tables usually have smaller bet limits, so you can play for $1 in many places. Even if you have to risk $5, it’s much less than when you play in a live casino.

You also might be able to secure a roulette bonus when you play online, and you control the speed of gameplay.

Chasing Gambling Losses

Almost every casino gambler falls for the trap of getting behind, making larger bets, and hoping that they win enough to make up for their losses. This is called chasing your losses, and this is one of the mistakes that gamblers should never make.

I hope you understand from what you’ve already learned on this page why chasing losses is a bad idea. But if you’re still not sure, don’t worry. I’m going to explain it again.

When you chase your roulette losses, you bet more. And what did you learn about betting more in the section about placing more than one wager on each roulette spin? You learned that it simply makes you lose more money.

Closeup of Woman Spinning a Roulette Wheel

The belief of most roulette players when they chase losses is that because they’ve been losing that they’re due for a win. This is a type of gambler’s fallacy, and it’s been proven time and time again to create more long-term losses.

It’s true that in the long run that red and black are going to come up a roughly equal number of times. But the long run covers millions of spins, and anything can happen over the course of five or 10 or even 100 spins that doesn’t have anything to do with long-term expectations.

Anything that you do, including chasing losses, that puts more money at risk when you play roulette is just costing you more money in the long run. This is why you should stop chasing your roulette losses.

Conclusion

Roulette systems do only one thing to roulette gamblers, and it isn’t good. Systems give you a false sense of hope, but in the long run they just cost you more money than you lose if you play using small wagers and a good wheel.

When you place more than one wager on a spin, you’re simply increasing how much you’re risking, which increases how much you’re going to lose. This is the same issue you have when you get in the habit of risking more than the table minimum amount at the roulette table.

Learn about the different types of roulette wheels so you can always play on the best wheel, and never chase your losses. This is how you avoid bad roulette habits.

Why Haven’t Joe Biden Betting Payouts Been Made Yet?

Hundred Dollar Bills

Over the past few months, online gambling websites around the world saw a massive uptick in political bets. More than a billion dollars was wagered on the 2020 US presidential election. Much of that money was placed on Joe Biden to win. Interestingly, Joe Biden betting payouts have not yet been made.

This is frustrating for those who wagered on Biden to win the election. It may be some time before any of these wagers start being paid out, though. Today, we’re going to talk about why this process is taking so long.

Let’s get into it!

2020 Election Results are Still Being Disputed

On November 3rd, people around the world began flocking to their televisions to see the results of the 2020 US presidential election. As the hours ticked on, it became clear that an official winner would not be named in just one day. The large number of mail-in ballots meant this process could drag on for much longer than a standard election.

By the end of election night, Donald Trump seemed ahead by a large margin. As the week went on, however, Biden began to pull ahead. Over the past weekend, most media outlets projected that Joe had won the election.

Many in the Republican Party are now calling for an investigation into the results of this election. They have disputed the process of counting mail-in ballots. President Trump has shown no willingness to concede until this investigation has been completed.

It’s an interesting time for the country. There’s a lot that can happen over the next few weeks. It seems difficult to imagine that the election results could change. The impact of this election being overturned would be dramatic.

The 2020 US presidential election ended up being the most-wagered-on event of all time. Heading into election night, the odds for Trump and Biden to win were extremely close.

Many have been complaining that their winning bets have not been paid out yet. Here’s why that is.

Here’s Why Joe Biden Betting Payouts Are Being Withheld

Historically speaking, a US presidential election is usually decided within a day or two. This year’s election saw a massive number of mail-in ballots, meaning it would take longer for the results to be counted.

Biden was declared a winner by a small margin in several different states. As a result, Donald Trump has called for recounts and has launched investigations into the counting process. He has not formally conceded the election.

This means the election results are still technically up in the air. Until this process has been completed, Joe Biden betting payouts will not be handed out. No one can really say when these wagers will be paid, as well.

New reports claim that more than $600 million in political wagers is still being withheld by a single site. The total amount of money yet to be paid out is unknown. It’s an extraordinary amount of money and many are eagerly waiting to see how things unfold.

Obviously, this is a frustrating situation for those who wagered on Biden to win. It’s not a surprise to see these wagers being held onto, though. Imagine if the results ended up changing after payouts. This would be a disaster for online gambling sites around the world.

Those that bet on Biden will need to wait a little longer. It’s reasonable to assume this situation will be cleared up before the end of 2020. We’ll continue offering updates over the next few weeks!

Political Bets Still Available Online

Political betting is more popular right now than ever before. As we mentioned earlier, the 2020 US election was the most-bet-on event in history. Despite the fact that many of these wagers have yet to be paid out, some are continuing to bet on other political events.

MyBookie, one of the best internet sportsbooks in the US, is now offering a wide range of different political bets. One of the most popular options is wagering on who wins the 2024 presidential election. There are some fantastic odds on many different candidates.

At the moment, Joe Biden is the betting favorite to win the election four years from now with odds of +100. Biden is expected to take over the presidency in January. If he’s successful over the next four years, it’s reasonable to assume he could be reelected.

Some are surprised to see Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listed as the next favorite to win with odds of +300. AOC has a large following in many areas of the country and would be at the age requirement by the time the next election rolls around.

Those looking to go with an underdog could place their wagers on Bernie Sanders getting the nomination. Sanders has gone through the presidential election process several times in the past. It seems unlikely he’d be willing to do so again. With odds of +1000, however, this could pay off massively.

Joe Biden betting payouts are expected to come out before the end of the year. Let us know if you plan on betting on any more political events in the comments section below!