MGM Resorts Considering Mid-Week Closure of Strip Properties

Outside of MGM in Las Vegas
MGM Resorts International is considering closing some of its Las Vegas Strip properties during the middle of the week. It is also keeping an eye on the possibility of operating on limited hours like other Strip casino operators like Wynn Resorts. The moves come as the demand in Las Vegas casinos continues to be low amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a quarterly earnings call, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle said:

“There are certain amenities, certain towers, certain brands potentially that could face closure from mid-November — give or take — through the holiday season.”

An MGM spokesman later clarified that the closures are not full property closures but only limited to midweek operations.

Slow Tourism

Las Vegas casinos have felt the effect of the slow tourism since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last March. With a steep decline in airline travel, visitors have been few and rare in Sin City. According to a report, the arrivals at McCarran international airport declined by more than 60 percent in September 2020 as compared to the numbers of the same month last year.

Likewise, the falloff in group conventions has also taken its toll on the economy. Prior to the pandemic, Las Vegas was the convention capital of the world with over 22,000 conventions, exhibitions, and events per year The sharp drop in these events have heavily impacted midweek reservations.

Following The Lead

With scarce business, some LasVegas casino resort operators have decided to close during the midweek. For instance, starting October 19, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays due to low consumer demand. The resorts are open from 2pm of Thursday until noon time of Monday. It’s possible that MGM could follow their lead.

MGM reported a net revenue of $1B for the quarter ending September 30, 2020 which is down 66% from the revenues posted during the same period last year. The net loss attributed to the company was $535M or $1.08 per diluted share. During the third quarter of 2019, the company reported a net loss of only $37M. MGM’s Strip properties posted net revenues of $481M for the quarter which is a huge drop of 68% from the third quarter of 2019.

How to Take Your Blackjack Bankroll from Bleak to Boom

Blackjack Hand and a Roll of Money

Your blackjack bankroll’s status will have significant impacts on everything from how long you can spend at the tables to what your bet size will be. It’s obvious that you want the biggest bankroll possible.

However, many casino gamblers struggle with building and maintaining a healthy bankroll. Here’s how to take your blackjack bankroll from bleak to boom.

Learn Basic Blackjack Strategy

Learning and implementing basic blackjack strategy is one of the easiest and most sure-fire methods for taking your blackjack bankroll to the next level.

You don’t even need to memorize the strategy that uses your hand and the dealer’s up card to determine the best play. You can sith down at any casino in the United States with a strategy card in hand and play to your heart’s content.

Most casinos even have the “cheat sheets” for sale in the gift shop. Using basic strategy, for 100% of the hands you play will drop the house edge to under 1%.

Las Atlantis Online Blackjack

Those are the best odds you’ll find in almost any casino. So, even if you aren’t winning every hand, the perfect execution of basic strategy should keep you in the game long enough for fortune to turn your way.

Allowing you to rack up a string of wins quickly. In order to achieve the booming bankroll you seek, take the winnings you acquire and dedicate this money to the bankroll.

Never Take the Insurance Bet

It may be tempting to see the dealers Ace staring back at you and think it wise to take the insurance bet. After all, the casino is offering you a way out of losing your entire wager.

I’ll keep this simple. If the casino weren’t making money off the insurance bet, they wouldn’t offer it.

Insurance seems like a solid avenue for hedging your bet. However, the fact is that you’ll come out far ahead in the long run by keeping these chips in your stack and moving on.

Remember, the insurance only pays IF the dealer actually has a blackjack.

You could just as easily place the insurance bet and lose the hand. This only serves to snowball your losses.

I can assure you, any wins when the dealer actually has 21 will be mitigated by the number of times the dealer misses the blackjack.

To put it mildly, buying insurance at the blackjack table is a sucker bet.

Steer Clear of 6 to 5 Games

Real money blackjack typically pays 3 to 2 for a blackjack. That means you win $30 on a $20 bet for blackjack.

Some casinos want to tilt the house advantage a little bit farther into their favor and have created games that only pay 6 to 5.

It’s a clever ploy because most gamblers don’t pay attention to how truly terrible this small change is. Let’s look at it a little closer and see if you spot why this type of table can ruin a bankroll.

Blackjack Dealer Dealing Three Hands

That same $20 bet that paid $30 on blackjack is now paying $24. That’s a tremendous drop in your profit.

You’re giving up nearly 30% of your potential profits under this scenario. Still, sound like a small change to the rules?

Stay on the 3 to 2 tables. If you find yourself that doesn’t offer a solid 3 to 2 game, play video poker or another game with a low house edge.

You may miss out on your favorite game, which can be hard to do, but you’ll secure your blackjack bankroll until you can find a more favorable game.

Skip the Martingale Betting System

Don’t fall victim to casino betting systems like the Martingale System. These strategies encourage you to raise or lower your bet amount based on the previous hand.

These systems are, by their very nature, fallible. Blackjack is a game where skill can increase your odds, but its core remains a game of chance.

You aren’t any more likely to hit a blackjack on the next hand as you were the last.

Of course, if you’re a world-class card counter, you know that there are times that increasing your bet is the prudent play. Unfortunately, you aren’t a world-class card counter.

Stick to the consistent bet size. Whenever I’m at the table and see a player lose a hand and begin to double their bets until a win, I know their time at the table will be short-lived.

Some players will even incorporate basic strategy and this type of progressive strategy. They may see some decent success with this approach for a moment.

Eventually, they’ll hit a tough run of cards, and the casino’s table limits will catch up to them. When this happens, any profits will quickly disappear.

Avoiding varied bet sizes is a simple and effective way to protect your blackjack bankroll.

Double Down on 10

If you’re playing with a strategy card, you should always be doing this. However, it bears repeating.

Always double down on 10 when the dealer’s upcard is 9 or lower. The odds are forever in your favor on this one.

The only time you shouldn’t double down on 10 when the dealer’s upcard is 9 or lower is never. Always double down on 10 when the dealer’s upcard is 9 or lower.

By doubling down on these bets, you’ll make up some ground on the hands you lose. You won’t win every time.

In fact, you may lose a couple in a row using this strategy. Don’t get discouraged and abandon ship.

Stay the course, and the math will catch up. I assure you this may be the difference between bankroll bliss and bankroll bust.

Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

The Gambler’s Fallacy is the misguided ideology that because a particular outcome has occurred a disproportionate number of times in succession that it’s less likely to occur again.

That’s not the case. The cards don’t care if you won 15 hands in a row or lost 100.

You aren’t suddenly due because of a bad losing streak. The cards are largely random, and the Universe isn’t conspiring against you in any way.

This can go either way. I’ve seen hundreds of players go on a winning streak and believe they couldn’t lose.

Closeup of a Blackjack Game

These lucky players begin to double and triple their wager. Eventually, the numbers begin to even out, and the losses start coming.

When this happens, I sometimes see players inexplicably begin to press even further. My only guess is that some people love giving the poor casinos their hard-earned money.

It seems counter-intuitive to raise your bet size when you’re winning, then double down when you start to lose.

Stay away from this type of fallacious reasoning. Play with an even keel.

Keep your bet size the same for your entire session. Your bankroll will begin to be much healthier and grow like a weed.

Set Casino Gambling Limits and Stick to Them

Veteran casino gamblers understand the importance of setting strict limits and sticking to them.

The first thing you should set a limit on is your budget. It would be best always to have a loss limit and a winning limit before you ever walk into the casino.

It would help if you were mentally prepared to walk away as soon as you reach either limit. By setting a solid winning limit, let’s use $300, you are setting your bankroll up for success.

When you get to your win limit, you are done for the day and move onto other activities. You’ve increased your blackjack bankroll and had a great session.

Your limit can be whatever you set it from $20 on up, but keep it realistic. Having a $10,000 winning limit is ridiculous if you’re playing for $10 or even $20 a hand. The losing limit you set is obviously a significant number as well. Unfortunately for some gamblers, this can be much more difficult to adhere to than a win limit.

Setting and sticking to a loss limit is casino bankroll management 101. It may very well be the most important factor in taking your bankroll from bleak to boom.

This goes to my number one casino gambling rule, no trips to the ATM. Play with the cash in your pocket and call it quits when it’s gone.

Novice casino gamblers often overlook time limits. Still, the amount of time you spend on the tables can have a dramatic impact on your bankroll’s health.

Players can make poor decisions when they become tired. This cloudy judgment can lead to misplays.

Conversely, some players will begin to make ultra-aggressive bets in an effort to boost the adrenaline and pep up. This may have catastrophic effects on your blackjack bankroll.

Set a time limit before you hit the casino, set the alarm on your cell phone, and call it a day when you’ve hit the time limit.

Set limits on your casino gambling and watch that blackjack bankroll build.

Conclusion

These small steps can have a wonderful influence on your blackjack bankroll. Incorporate a solid betting strategy while maintaining a healthy approach.

You’ll no doubt take your blackjack bankroll from bleak to boom.

How Kirk Kerkorian Transformed Las Vegas Casinos

Kirk Kerkorian and Las Vegas Sign Graphic

These days, monolithic corporations like Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and Boyd Gaming own and operate most of the casinos in Las Vegas. As such, a revolving door of company presidents and chief executive officers remains largely in charge of how your favorite casino resorts operate. But it wasn’t always this way, as Sin City’s glory days were built by enterprising entrepreneurs who applied their own personality to the venues they controlled.

There’s Bugsy Siegel, Howard Hughes, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, and plenty more. And this page covers Kirk Kerkorian, a true Las Vegas legend who brought the world’s largest hotel resort to town not once, not twice, but three times.

Below, you’ll learn all about how Kirk Kerkorian transformed the Las Vegas scene.

Brief Background and Biography

Born as Kerkor Kerkorian to Armenian immigrant parents in 1917, the boy who would later Americanize his first name to “Kirk” was lucky right out of the gate.

His mother Lily, a few years past her traditional childrearing years by that time, reluctantly went through with the pregnancy. Asked about his status as an “accident” years later, Kerkorian offered a typically tongue-in-cheek response:

“They finally convinced her, now that you’re going to have it, it might be your lucky thing. He’ll take you to Hawaii.”

Whether he wound up taking Lily to see the island paradise isn’t clear, some three decades later, Kerkorian used Hawaii as his springboard to becoming a billionaire businessman. The eighth-grade dropout took flying lessons as a teenager, before using his skills to assist the British Royal Air Force in ferrying planes from North America to Scotland during World War II.

Kirk Kerkorian Flying a Plane

Those adventures instilled a deep love for aviation, so when Kerkorian returned home to America he immediately headed for Hawaii. There sat hundreds of decommissioned war planes that were being sold off by the U.S. Army Air Forces (AAF) at dirt cheap prices. The catch was, because these planes were designed to soar through the Pacific theatre, they lacked the fuel capacity needed to reach California.

Kerkorian, by now an avid gambler at heart, decided to take the risk and refit the fuel engines on his first twin engine Cessna. Even so, Kerkorian nearly crashed into the ocean as his plane reached its limits, before ditching every piece of unnecessary equipment to save fuel.

The eighth-grade dropout took flying lessons as a teenager, before using his skills to assist the British Royal Air Force in ferrying planes from North America to Scotland during World War II.

Kerkorian’s fateful crash led to a launch a charter flight operation, one which specialized in ferrying high-rollers from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for their regular gambling excursions.

One of those high-rollers was none other than Bugsy Siegel, the notorious mob hitman out of New York turned flashy operator of the Flamingo casino resort. In fact, Kerkorian himself flew Siegel home to Beverly Hills just two days before the “Murder Inc.” gangster was gunned down in a mob sanctioned hit.

Mugshot of Busgy Siegal

During his time in between flights, Kerkorian became a regular at many Sin City haunts. While he never won all that much on the tables, he nonetheless made a great impression thanks to his unruffled attitude and calm demeanor.

As his friend and tennis doubles partner Irving Converse later recalled in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kerkorian simply liked mixing it up and sweating the action regardless of the result:

“Some old guys get pretty upset about losing. Kirk’s not like that. He enjoys the game, win or lose. Of course, the more he wins, the better.”

He may not have been a sore loser, but soon enough, Kerkorian would become the biggest winner in all of Las Vegas…

Casino Land Swaps and Lease Agreements

Having successfully built his charter operation into Trans International Airlines, Kerkorian cashed in by selling the company to Transamerica Corporation in 1968.

The price tag of $104 million equates to over $775 million in today’s terms, a deal which made Kerkorian one of the wealthiest men in America.

Recalling his rise from the streets of Fresno to one of the nation’s entrepreneurial titans, Kerkorian told the Los Angeles Times that he never planned on amassing such a massive fortune. Never one to rest on his laurels, however, Kerkorian set his sights on his adopted hometown of Las Vegas.

Six years before that, in 1962, Kerkorian had paid nearly $1 million to obtain 80 acres of land near The Strip. At the time, these empty parcels of desert sand were essentially blocked off from Las Vegas Boulevard because smaller parcels stood in the way. Undeterred, Kerkorian swapped and bought the obstructing parcels until he controlled a clear path from his land to the adjacent Strip.

Having increased the value of his land by an order of magnitude, Kerkorian “flipped” the parcel by leasing it to Atlanta real estate mogul Jay Sarno. Planning to build the world’s largest and most lavish mega-resort casino, Sarno set to work constructing Caesars Palace on land leased from Kerkorian.

Caesars Palace opened its gilded doors in 1966 and Kerkorian immediately began enjoying his 15% slice of the high-roller heaven’s enormous profits. Two years later, Kerkorian sold his share of Caesars Palace to Sarno for a cool $9 million profit.

Vintage 1960s Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Realizing the potential held by Las Vegas’ signature casino resorts, Kerkorian paid $5 million for another 80-acre plot on Paradise Road. Although this parcel was set apart from the Strip proper, Kerkorian gambled that guests would still flock to his International Hotel.

Built at an expense of $50 million, an extravagant sum for the casino industry at that time, Kerkorian based his International Hotel around a 30-story tower holding over 1,500 rooms. A full-scale casino resort surrounded the tower on the ground floor, complete with swimming pools, a golf course, and luxury suites.

The International Hotel, which eventually became the Las Vegas Hilton and is known today as the Westgate Las Vegas, cemented its status as the largest hotel in all the world when it opened in 1969.

That same year, Kerkorian purchased the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio, setting the stage for yet another expansion that would alter The Strip’s landscape forever after.

The Las Vegas Strip Goes Hollywood

By 1973, Kerkorian had doubled down by opening the original MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (known today as Bally’s Las Vegas).

This enormous casino resort cost over $100 million to construct, and with 2,084 rooms spread out over 2.5 million square feet, it once again gave Kerkorian bragging rights as the owner of the world’s largest hotel.

Las Vegas MGM Hotel Fire

Unfortunately, a devastating fire which killed 87 people marred the first MGM Grand’s image in the public eye. The hotel reopened only eight months later, but Kerkorian eventually sold his interest in the hotel for $550 million to Bally Manufacturing, which changed the venue’s name to Bally’s for a fresh start.

During the ‘80s, Kerkorian rebounded by purchasing Hughes’ distressed casino assets, including the Sands (eventually demolished to build the Venetian) and the Desert Inn (demolished to build the Wynn and Encore).

By 1993, having regained the rights to use the MGM brand, Kerkorian outdid himself by building the MGM Grand as you know it today. By virtue of a $1 billion investment, the spectacular green-clad resort modeled after the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz boasted 5,005 rooms and a full-scale boxing arena dubbed “Madison Square Garden West.”

For the third time in his life, Kerkorian held the deed to the largest hotel on the planet, cementing his legacy as a legitimate Las Vegas icon in the process.

Over the years, the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino stood as the centerpiece of the Strip, hosting world championship bouts and dazzling visitors with its world-class gambling and amenities. For years, tourists lined up by the hundreds to take their photo in front of the MGM Grand’s signature “Golden Lion’s Mouth” entrance.

MGM Grand Las Vegas Exterior

The lion’s mouth was eventually shuttered in 1998, due to Asian gamblers avoiding the entrance as an omen of bad luck. But anybody who strolled through those doors likely has fond memories of this Las Vegas landmark.

In 2000, at just 83 years young, Kerkorian outmaneuvered fellow billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn to force a merger between MGM Grand and Mirage Resorts. As a result, the eventual MGM Resorts International now controls many of the Strip’s most popular casinos, including the Mirage, the Bellagio, Treasure Island, Aria, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, and Park MGM.

Conclusion

Las Vegas history is full of stories about entrepreneurs that helped build the city from nothing in a relatively short time. They just don’t make casino moguls like they used to, and Las Vegas will certainly be lucky to see a force of nature like Kirk Kerkorian again. A self-made billionaire who hobnobbed with the likes of Howard Hughes, the Armenian-American deal maker transformed the Strip on several occasions.

Kerkorian’s bold dream of turning Sin City into a full-fledged destination resort—one that welcomes families from all walks of life—formed the foundation of Las Vegas as you know and love it today. The next time you place a bet at the world-famous Westgate SuperBook, or walk into the lion’s den at MGM Grand, be sure to say a silent “thanks Kirk” to the late visionary who put those iconic places on the map.

Mississippi’s Coastal Casinos Are Reopening Once Again

Casino in Mississippi

The past few months have been extremely difficult for the casino industry in Mississippi. Hurricanes have continued to hit the state, forcing many of the casinos on the coast to shut down. Today, Mississippi’s coastal casinos have begun reopening to the public after the most recent hurricane has passed.

Hope is that this is the last of these major storms to hit this area of the country. The casinos here have been facing a variety of issues already. Today, we’ll take a look at how Mississippi’s gambling industry is faring right now.

Let’s get into it!

Despite Difficulties, the Casino Industry in Mississippi is Expanding

For years, Mississippi has been known to have one of the largest casino industries in the United States. The vast majority of the casinos here are located in the coastal area. It’s here that you can find venues such as the Island View Casino, Scarlet Pearl Casino, and Harrah’s Gulf Coast.

Back in March, all of the casinos in this state were forced to close down. Health experts were skeptical to reveal when these properties would be given permission to reopen again. Finally, in late May, the state began allowing its casinos to open back up.

Initially, the casinos here were seeing almost no visitors. As the weeks went on, more state residents began feeling comfortable playing inside casinos with safety protocols set in place. Revenue earnings continued to increase as the year progressed.

The unusually-tough hurricane season has halted some of this progress. Coastal casinos here have been forced to close and reopen several times. Many of the casinos have also reported damage from the many storms that have come through.

Despite all of the difficulties, the state’s casino industry is still increasing. Not long ago, news broke that a massive new casino-resort will soon be coming to Biloxi, Mississippi. It’s clear that gaming operators here still believe there is room for growth in the casino industry.

We’re now hearing that all of the casinos on the coast are set to reopen with Hurricane Zeta now passed through.

Mississippi’s Coastal Casinos Begin Reopening Process

It was clear early in the year that the pandemic would be taking a serious toll on Mississippi’s casino industry. The regulations set in place here have been resulting in massive dips in revenue earned from these venues. The constant hurricanes have simply made things worse.

There have been several powerful storms that hit the Gulf Coast this year. As we just mentioned, we’ve seen the casinos here close their doors many times this year. It’s making an already bad situation considerably worse.

A few days ago, Hurricane Zeta touched down on the Gulf Coast. Fortunately, this storm was not as powerful as some of the others we’ve seen hit this region in 2020. With the storm now passed, Mississippi’s coastal casinos are beginning to reopen once again.

Silver Slipper in Hancock County was one of the few casinos to reopen open in the state while Zeta hit. It’s also one of the last to remain on emergency power. John Ferrucci, Silver Slipper general manager, spoke about the effects the hurricane had to the media this week.

“The casino itself is fine. No structural damage,” he said. “Right now we’re looking at staying closed today and tomorrow.” 

This venue and several others will officially reopen to the public on Saturday. Officials within these venues have to be crossing their fingers it’s the last time this needs to be done. We’ll continue offering updates on how these coastal casinos are doing throughout the rest of 2020.

Sports Betting Revenue in Mississippi Continues to Grow

Mississippi has long been known for having some of the most relaxed gambling laws in the Southern United States. In many ways, the state was a trailblazer for the casino industry in this region. Mississippi was also the first Southern state to officially legalize and regulate sports betting.

Lawmakers here approved a sports betting bill back in August of 2018. Only land-based sportsbooks are able to operate here. The state government claims it’s interested in allowing online sports betting, yet as of now this remains banned.

Revenue from this industry has been growing lately. The sportsbooks here saw a 28.9% increase from August to September. It’s also a 17.9% year-on-year increase when compared to September of 2019.

Much of that money comes from the sportsbooks in Mississippi’s coastal casinos. More than $33.9 million was wagered on sports in this area of the state. The Northern area of the state saw $11.7 million bet on sports.

This money is providing the state and casino companies some much-needed money right now. Allowing online sports betting would likely result in an even greater revenue increase.

Are you happy to see the coastal casinos in Mississippi reopen? Do you think online sports betting should be allowed here? Let us know in the comments section below!

Best 2020 Presidential Election Prop Bets

Check Boxes With a Joe Biden and Donald Trump Background

The 2020 US election is coming up in just a few days, and it’s safe to say the entire world will be watching. As a matter of fact, many people will be watching to see if the bets they’ve made at top gambling websites will be winners or losers. For those who are wondering, there are many excellent 2020 election prop betting opportunities waiting for you if you know where to look for them.

Most avid gamblers know that you can bet on the 2020 presidential election, and some of them have probably already made plenty of wagers well in advance. You can lay your money down on challenger Joe Biden or incumbent President Donald Trump. Pick the right choice, and you could come away with a hefty profit.

If you are ready to bet on the 2020 presidential election, we believe the betting sites listed below will give you the best possible experience:

  • MyBookie – 100% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000
  • BetNow – 100% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000
  • Bovada – 100%Welcome Bonus up to $250
  • BetOnline – 100% Welcome Bonus up to $3,000

You can move off the beaten path to find some excellent betting opportunities in the 2020 election. These bets, often known as proposition or prop bets, look at some of the other aspects of this US election. And you can often get better odds with these wagers than if you were to stick with the typical head-to-head matchup.

In the following article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about placing prop bets on the 2020 election for real money. We’ll explain how these bets work at the top gambling websites that offer them. We’ll also take you inside some of these wagers and talk about how they might play out come Election Day and beyond.

What Are Prop Bets?

Perhaps the best way to describe prop bets is to think in terms of sports. For example, when betting on the Super Bowl each year, you can make obvious bets about who will win or lose, which team will cover the point spread, or how many points each team will score. But there are specialty bets, such as which player will score the first touchdown, how long the game will be, which songs will be played at the halftime show, and so on.

These bets are the prop bets. They are aptly-named because the gambling site, or the house, is essentially making a proposition about a possible outcome.

In the case of the 2020 election in the US, prop bets can be considered pretty much anything that isn’t the main question: who will win the presidential election? These bets can be related to the presidential election or not, but they are generally tied into all the election action taking place this coming Tuesday, November 3rd.

2020 Election Voting Terminals

They can look at serious aspects or trivial aspects of Tuesday’s action, but they must be something that can be accurately measured so that the wager can be fairly won or lost. One of the main reasons people like prop bets is because they offer more potential payback, on average, than straight bets. Considering this presidential election figures will be close, you can’t really get odds on either candidate that will result in a big payoff, at least unless you bet a lot. But you can expect some of the prop bets available to you to give you much better odds than you might otherwise hope to have.

You need to understand that each different gambling website is likely to have its own unique selection of election prop bets. As a result, you should do some shopping around to see what’s available to you so that you can find the bets that you feel confident in winning. Just remember to stick to the most reliable and effective election gambling sites.

What Do the Odds for Prop Bets Mean?

When you see the odds for 2020 election prop bets listed on different websites, you’ll see a number attached to each outcome. These numbers will have a plus or a minus in front of them. Any time you see the numbers, you’re looking at the odds for each possible outcome.

If the prop bet is between only two outcomes, there will usually be a plus in front of one set of odds and a minus in front of the other. The number with the minus represents the favorite, while the number with the plus is the underdog.

If these numbers are close to each other, it means there isn’t much separation between the two outcomes. But if the numbers are quite different, it means that there is a big favorite and a big underdog.

If there are more than two outcomes in a 2020 election prop bet, it could be that all of them have plus signs in front of the odds. That just means that no single outcome is a favorite in the sense that it is expected by a majority of the bettors to happen.

Let’s take a look at a sample set of prop bet odds to show you how it all works:

  • Outcome A: -150
  • Outcome B: +200

Every set of 2020 election prop bets will be based on an average bet of $100 (or whatever denomination you might be using). For the minus (or favorite), you have to bet the amount listed to win $100. And for the plus (or underdog), you have to bet $100 to win the amount listed.

In this case, you would need to bet $150 to gain $100 in return on Outcome A. And if you bet $100 on Outcome B, you would win $200 if that is the result.

It’s important to realize that you don’t have to bet $100 for the underdog or whatever the odds are for the favorite. You can bet higher or lower amounts. But the ratio set by those original odds will hold no matter the size of the bet.

Top 2020 Election Prop Bets Available

We’ve taken a look at the 2020 Election bets and odds listed by BetOnline.ag and MyBookie.ag, two excellent gambling websites. And we’ve spotted some interesting prop bets for the 2020 election that might be of interest to you. Take a look below.

The Day the Loser Concedes the Presidential Election Odds (MyBookie.ag):

  • November 3, 2020: +400
  • November 4, 2020: +225
  • November 5, 2020: +500
  • November 6, 2020: +650
  • November 7, 2020: +800
  • November 8, 2020: +900
  • November 9, 2020: +900
  • November 10, 2020: +800
  • November 11, 2020: +800
  • November 12, 2020: +1200
  • November 13, 2020 or after: -145

This bet might seem odd to you if you haven’t been following everything that’s been going on leading up to the 2020 presidential election in the US. But current events are such that it is becoming increasingly likely that there might be a quick concession by the loser, which is usually the case.

First of all, the race is extremely tight. Even though most polls have Joe Biden with a slight edge when it comes to projecting the Electoral College points that determine the election, the margin of error is still within the range where there could be a different outcome. President Trump was able to overcome polls showing him well behind four years ago in the 2016 election.

Presidential Debate 2020

More importantly, there is the issue of counting votes. There are more people that are expected to vote by mail in 2020 than ever before, and it’s by a huge margin. As a result, it could take a while longer than usual for those votes to be counted, especially in so-called “battleground” states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

As a result, the idea that the election might not be clearly decided either on November 3rd (Election Day) or the morning after is in play. And if there is confusion, it is possible that the debate over who won could drag on for a while, as it did in the 2000 election. That’s why the favorite here is the for November 13th and after.

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One thing you might want to do to give yourself some value with for this 2020 election prop bet is to choose one of the middle-ground dates where the payback potential is much higher. For example, it’s certainly possible that the losing candidate will concede November 9th, which is six days after the election and the beginning of a new week. That could be a day when one of the two candidates, after a weekend of soul-searching and getting advice from advisors, decides to call it quits.

The safest bet is obviously the November 13th and after option, since the confusion of the mail-in ballots and the tightness of the race could certainly push it that far. But you’d be getting less than the size of your wager in return, which doesn’t seem like it’s that much of a value. It’s better to take a shot at a bigger payoff than settle for something so meager in return, especially when there are that many outcomes in play overall.

2024 US Presidential Election Odds (MyBookie.ag):

  • Joe Biden: +300
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: +300
  • Kamala Harris: +350
  • Elizabeth Warren: +800
  • Bernie Sanders: +1000
  • Michelle Obama: +1000
  • Andrew Cuomo: +1200
  • Ted Cruz: +1200
  • Josh Hawley: +1200
  • Tom Cotton: +1500
  • Pete Buttigieg: +1500
  • Michael Bennet: +2000
  • Cory Booker: +2000
  • Ivanka Trump: +3000
  • Mike Bloomberg: +3000
  • Kanye West: +5000
  • Mark Cuban: +5000
  • Elon Musk: +7500

You might be wondering why anyone would want to bet on an election that is four years away when so many things can happen between now and then that could drastically change things. The simple answer is because you will never get better odds than right now.

What do we mean?

Think back to 2012. Imagine if a similar bet was offered right before Barack Obama won his second term. Chances are, the odds for Donald Trump becoming president in 2016 were quite long, meaning that you could have won big had you taken that chance.

This is also a bet where you should look around at different sites to try and find the best possible odds for your chosen candidate. For example, you see that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is listed at odds of 3 to 1 to win the 2024 election. But if you check out the same bet at BetOnline.ag, her odds are 25 to 1 (+2500). Obviously, you’re better off choosing those odds if you’re an AOC fan.

Looking at the odds at MyBookie.ag, you can see that they believe AOC is going to make her move in the next four years. In fact, they have her as a co-favorite with Biden. Many people think that, even if Biden does win, his age might prevent him from even running again in 2024, let alone beating the next Republican candidate.

Notice also that there isn’t a Republican candidate anywhere in the top few choices. You have to go down to Ted Cruz, sitting at 12 to 1, before you see a GOP possibility listed. The dismissal of the Republican Party for 2024 seems a bit premature, as the party has proven to be resilient as far as elections go.

Pile of I Voted Stickers

How about some of the long shots? Pete Buttigieg at 15 to 1 is an interesting selection. Mayor Pete’s campaign ran out of steam this year, but his recent TV appearance speaking out against President Trump seem to reveal a growing confidence that could serve him well in four years.

Another interesting play at 30 to 1 is Ivanka Trump. Let’s assume that President Trump defies the polls once again and manages to defeat Biden, eventually serving four more years. If that term goes well, his supporters might want to see the presidency stay in the family.

Of course, any bet like this is purely speculative. And there is no way to know if any of these people are even going to run in 2025. But you won’t be able to do much better, odds-wise, than some of these outcomes in any of your 2020 Election prop bets, which makes this one pretty valuable.

Over/Under Bets

If you want a different approach to betting on the 2020 election with prop bets for real money, you might want to try an over/under approach. Instead of trying to predict the outcome of the presidential race or even a senatorial race, you can focus on the numbers. The oddsmakers will set a certain number, and you have to decide if the actual result will go over or under that amount.

Over/under bets are popular in sports like football. And they can be a way to use prop bets on the 2020 election to your advantage. BetOnline.ag features some interesting ones.

Voter Turnout in the 2020 Election:

  • Over 149 ½ million voters: -225
  • Under 149 ½ million voters: +160

This is an interesting one because of the nature of this election. As we said, many people are preparing to vote via mail-in ballot. This could certainly push the totals skyward from what we usually expect.

In addition to that, this election in particular seems to have inspired many people who haven’t voted in recent years (or in elections before) to get involved. Those who have been pleased with how the last four years have gone are fired up to make sure it stays that way. And those on the other side, perhaps frustrated with how things have gone during President Trump’s term, might coming out en masse to keep it from happening again.

It stands to reason that the turnout will be higher this time around. In 2016, only 138 million people voted. Will enough people get involved that the number soars above the over, and is that risk worth taking at such low odds?

Here is another interesting 2020 election over/under prop bet at BetOnline.ag.

House Seats Won by Democrats:

  • Over 209 ½ Seats: -2000
  • Under 209 ½ Seats: +900

Because so many people are concentrating on the presidential and senatorial elections, where control could flip from one party to another, there hasn’t been as much focus on the House of Representatives. But it could provide the opportunity for a winning prop bet for those who are willing to go down that road.

Right now, there are 232 Democrats and 197 Republicans in the House. Most expert predictions seem to suggest that they’ll stay in that position in the upcoming election. Republicans would have to flip 13 seats to get to the over.

Yet the oddsmakers are clearly trying to push you to take the Republican side because of the unfavorable odds the other way around. You might now want to bet $20 to make $1, which is what you’d have to do if you go with Democrats.

How you bet on politics in 2020 could depend on what your overall goal is. Are you happy with a tiny profit? Or is it a case of trying to win more with a smaller wager?

Conclusion

We hope that you now have a better feel for making prop bets on the United States 2020 election. Make sure to look around for the best possible odds for whatever bet you want to make. And always make sure to stick with reliable gambling websites for these wagers! Good luck.

7 Tips for Betting on Madden Simulations

Madden Logo With Madden Game Screenshot and Money

If nothing else, sports bettors can rest assured that there will always be something to gamble on – even if the games aren’t happening on a physical field. Betting on Madden simulations is still a polarizing endeavor, but if there’s an opportunity to make money, people will always participate.

Obviously, betting on a simulated video game has its differences than when it’s the real thing. The question is, what exactly are those differences, and what do they mean for my betting strategy?

In this article, I’ll lay out seven tips to help you win money by betting on Madden simulations.

1 – Quarterback Mobility Matters

The NFL has seen a shift from the prototypical pocket quarterback to having a preference for signal-callers who can move. Mobility isn’t just important for those 10-yard runs to convert third downs, but it means keeping plays alive longer and minimizing sacks that kill a drive’s momentum.

Allow me to get nostalgic for a minute – anyone born before the year 1994 remembers growing up with Michael Vick as a type of cheat code in any version of Madden available in the 2000s. He was as unstoppable as any player has ever been in a video game. In today’s Madden game, the running quarterback is still a major advantage.

Madden 2020 Quarterback Screenshot

It was clear – after viewing a handful of simulated games – that quarterbacks who could run fared much better against teams with strong defensive fronts. This might sound obvious, but the difference is more impactful than I would have imagined.

If you’re considering betting on a game and the only discrepancy in matchups between the two teams is in evaluating the quarterback, I would recommend going with the one who can get out of the pocket if necessary.

Also, for those out there who refused to play with anyone but Michael Vick in those early-2000s Madden games, I hope you can live with yourself – you know it was cheating.

2 – Live Bets Are In-Play

Sports gamblers who enjoy live betting will be thrilled to know that you can use your skills in the Madden simulation bets too! In fact, momentum is a very real phenomenon, even though the human element is understandably lacking.

One interesting takeaway I’ve had from each of the games I’ve watched and bet on is that halftime swings seem to happen with regularity.

Nothing is a guarantee, even in a computer simulation, but if a team is down a bunch of points at halftime, the game usually ends up a little bit closer. If you’re looking to make money by betting on the spread following halftime, I would seriously consider taking the team that is losing – no matter how much they’re down.

In addition, if you like betting totals by half, the majority of the games I’ve seen have followed a pattern of hitting on the under in the first half, and then covering the over in the second half. Again, it’s not a hard-and-fast rule that never goes the other way, but it seems to be the most common scoring progression regardless of the teams involved.

3 – Don’t Sleep on the Dogs

I wouldn’t have expected the underdogs to be so competitive when it comes to a Madden simulation, but I was proven wrong shortly after I began the experiment of betting on a computer.

The matchup was the 49ers vs. the Jags, with the Jaguars coming in as a +275 underdog. Though it was a close game throughout, the Jaguars ended up taking home the victory on last-minute drive. This served as proof that underdogs needed to be taken seriously moving forward.

Madden 2020 Screenshot

It’s always tough to go all-in on a moneyline underdog when it seems highly unlikely that they have any chance of winning. But, it’s important to note that if you’re able to hit on these longshot-odds bets with the slightest bit of consistency, it can do truly amazing things for your bankroll.

Just because it’s a simulation doesn’t mean that you’re going to be hitting on underdogs at an insanely-high rate that doesn’t at all resemble real life, but it’s still notable that these upsets happen. My advice would be to set aside a small percentage of your bankroll and take a couple risks by betting on the underdogs with the moneyline every so often. You might be surprised at the results.

4 – Recognize Patterns

Though the games are just as unpredictable as in real NFL Betting, there are some patterns that bettors should look for throughout the game.

These “flaws” or “glitches” can actually work in your favor if you know what to look for and live bet with that information in mind. Some common themes are: poor clock management, unrealistically-long field goal attempts, and questionable play calling when winning.

Keep in mind that almost all of these things benefit a team who is trailing. That means if you’re betting on games half-by-half, the team who is behind might be worth betting on to win the second half.

5 – Don’t Pay for Sports Betting Advice

Anytime a new type of betting option pops up, in this case betting on sports simulations, there is going to be someone telling you they have some inside information that’s going to help you dominate. Please, don’t believe them.

It should be a basic rule amongst gamblers that if someone ever asks you to pay them in exchange for their opinion on a bet, running the other direction is the only responsible course of action. It does make sense, however, that bettors would be especially susceptible in the case of Madden simulations.

When it’s a computer, instead of real-life athletes and teams, there’s a general feeling of a code that can be broken, hacked into, or at least understood. Unfortunately, it’s still random, and the outcomes aren’t predictable.

The bottom line is that the internet is full of gambling “experts” who promise you the world (or at least an over 50% winning rate). If you’re paying them to give you advice on your picks, it just means you’re starting out in a hole. It’s been proven that paying for sports betting picks, whether in real-life or in a Madden simulation, is almost never worth the money. Don’t fall victim to these offers.

6 – It’s Smart to Watch the Game

I get it – you probably have better things to do than to sit and watch a simulated football game. I understand the sentiment, but if you really want to learn how to make money from these simulations, watching the games can be very beneficial.

Madden 2020 Play

For all the many differences between a regular football game and a simulation, they share one thing in common – knowing the game matters. Sure, you could throw money down on any option at the sportsbook, walk away, and you just might win. Though you might get away with a few wins, it’s not sustainable.

It sounds simplistic but it’s inarguable: the more familiar you are with how simulations function, the better chance you have of being able to capitalize as a gambler. Not to mention, you’ll be surprised at how much fun they are to watch…even if the players aren’t real.

7 – Use Sportsbook Bonuses

Online sportsbooks are notorious for providing extremely attractive bonuses to their newest, and most loyal, customers. Seek out these perks and you’ll have a lot more slack when it comes to keeping your bankroll alive and well.

Madden simulations are a relatively new form of betting, so the sites that offer sports betting bonuses are in the process of trying to increase participation. This can mean significant bonus offers – even free credits to use.

Each platform’s incentives are going to be different. The important thing is to keep an eye out for them and use them to your advantage if you can. Even though bonuses can seem “too good to be true,” the verdict is in, and they’re extremely beneficial.

Conclusion

Madden simulations have been growing in popularity, and it’s likely that they’ll be sticking around many online sportsbooks for years to come.

Get acquainted with them now, and there’s potential to make serious money when the real-life games aren’t working out for you.

Review of Jack Thistledown Racino in North Randall, Ohio

Jack Thistledown Racino Logo With Horse Racing Background

Jack Thistledown Racino is the thoroughbred horse racing sister of Jack Cleveland Casino and located just a short drive away in North Randall, Ohio. Like Jack Cleveland, this casino is located in the Cleveland area but on the city’s outskirts, yet still within the boundaries of good old Cuyahoga County.

That said, if thoroughbred racing is your thing, then you have to try your hand at this racino. Owned by the same company called Jack Entertainment, you won’t find a shortage of casino thrills here. Instead, you’ll find a different type of gaming environment.

Even if you like to vary your gaming experience, then this racino is worth the trip if you’re traveling through the Cleveland area and looking for something fun and exciting when gambling in Ohio.

Let’s look at some history and everything this casino has to offer.

The Jack Thistledown Racino History

Like most racinos in Ohio, you can trace the racetrack’s roots long before the first slot machine entered the premises. Founded in 1931 under the Ohio Racing Commission, it wasn’t until 2013 did the venue officially open its casino sector.

The history of the racetrack itself is beyond rich, being the site of the Ohio Derby, which can trace its roots all the way back to 1876.

The track is also part of the 7/7 program, meaning Jack Thistledown and Belterra Park race seven races simultaneously.

Jack Thistledown Racing Old Building Front

In 2007, Manga Entertainment, the track’s parent company, started shopping the track after suffering heavy losses from 2004 to 2006. Finally, in 2010, Harrah’s Entertainment, known today as Caesar’s Entertainment, purchased the track and in the Summer of 2012, entered a joint-venture with Rock Gaming.

In 2012, they announced that an $88 million dollar project was underway to turn the racetrack into a racino following a memorandum in June that allowed racetracks in the State of Ohio to offer video lottery terminals.

Rock Gaming bought the remaining stakes from Caesars in 2015, and in 2016, the company announced it was rebranding into Jack Entertainment. The racino closed for a day in March 2016 to rebrand along with its sister casino up in Cleveland.

And in 2020, Jack Entertainment sold the property to Vici Properties and in a leaseback, they continued to rent the properties from Vici while remaining the operating license holder.

Now that you got a bit of an idea on the racino’s history, let’s look at its gaming options.

The Jack Thistledown Racino Gaming Scene

Now, unfortunately this racino does not offer table games, but nearby  Jack Cleveland Casino does so if that’s your thing, definitely check it out. However, if you like real money slots, then you’re in luck.

Jack Thistledown Racino offers 1,400 of your favorite casino games and the latest, greatest, and hottest games at that. Come in and enjoy titles like River Dragons, Dancing Drums, Dragon Line, and more.

Whether you’re here for simple penny bets, or if you’d like to explore the gaming offered in the VIP area, this racino has what you’re looking for.

Jack Thistledown Dining

This racino offers anything and everything that you’re looking for with six restaurants and bars located on-site. So if you’re looking to take a quick lunch or dinner break from the endless gaming, you’ll love Jack Thistledown Racino’s dining options.

Here’s the rundown:

If locally grown cuisine made from scratch is among your personal preferences, you’ll love Millcreek Grille. It’s the racino’s latest restaurant, and they make each dish from complete scratch. You’re looking at fresh from the farm ingredients every time you step into Millcreek Grille.

Nonna Pazza is the racino’s premier pasta outlet. And if you like seeing the best chefs in the area, prepare food right in front of you, you’re in luck. Like Millcreek Grille, they make every dish from scratch with fresh from the farm ingredients. Your food can’t get any cleaner.

Jack Thistledown American Burger Bar

Looking for some good old American food? Well, the American Burger Bar is your answer. Build your own burger, order a side of fries and a milkshake, and you have a classic American meal right in front of you. Sit back and enjoy the best burgers around.

Perhaps classic Philly steak is on your mind. Steaks and Rings has you covered. You’re looking at the best and most filling steak hoagies in town. Ones that will hold you over as you return to the gaming floor and hopefully secure that winning bet.

Cleo’s Hometown Bar brings you a neighborhood bar atmosphere. Think Cheers. The TV show Cheers, that is, and you’ll get a general idea of what you’re getting at Cleo’s. Whether beer, wine, or cocktails are on your mind, you will find them at Cleo’s.

Centerbar is the premier location to enjoy the big game or the big race with its 9 big-screen TVs featuring top audio.

Jack Thistledown Promotions and Entertainment

Promotions at Jack Thistledown include more ways for you to win every time you step into the casino. Whether there’s a $5,000 jackpot party going on, a VLT Tournament, a $5,000 Top Players party, or a themed promo, it’s all happening at Jack Thistledown.

You can also visit ClubJACK for exclusive opportunities to earn reward points. Whether it’s 24/7 Free Play, best-in-class comps, or trips to Vegas or the Caribbean, the benefits are endless. If you’re in the area often, sign up and start earning your rewards.

Entertainment at Jack Thistledown includes some of the hottest local acts in the area. Whether you’re looking for DJs, comedy, or music, you will find it at Jack Thistledown. Be sure to check the event schedule often by clicking the link above to discover which local acts are on their way.

Nearby Area Attractions

The Cleveland area possesses its fair share of attractions, so go ahead and schedule a bus tour to downtown Cleveland where you can get a glimpse of everything the city and the surrounding area has to offer.

Or, you can always venture into the city yourself and if you do so, this section is for you. You can always hit up Lake Erie’s many beaches for sunbathing, swimming, fishing, and more. Especially in the summer.

If you’re into the sporting scene, then this area is a hotbed. If you’re looking to venture 40 minutes south, you can take a tour of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in nearby Canton, Ohio. Or, if you’re into football, basketball, baseball, or hockey, Cleveland will provide.

Lake Erie Beach

Catch the Browns at a local Browns bar or tailgate before a game in Muni Lot. You’ll always find good seats for the MLB’s Cleveland Indians or the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers when in season.

Or if professional minor league hockey interests you, the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters will provide a glimpse of future hockey stars for their NHL affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

If there’s one thing you’ll never find a shortage of in Cleveland, it’s the local sports scene. And those fans are some of the most loyal around.

Most of you probably know Cleveland for its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I can tell you firsthand that a tour of the Rock Hall is more than worth it. Come and appreciate the rich history of the music genre’s pioneers of yesterday that paved the way for today’s acts.

And of course, head over to the sister property Jack Casino Cleveland for more slot games and a plethora of table gaming.

The Racing Scene at Jack Thistledown

And we can’t close out the article unless we mention the primary attraction at Jack Thistledown. Live Thoroughbred Racing.

Horse Racing occurs at the track Monday through Thursday with the first race beginning at 12:50 pm.

For more information, check out the Jack Thistledown Racing page and you will receive up-to-date information on everything horse racing-related.

Jack Thistledown Race Horses

Info ranges from news to upcoming events, and more, including scratches/changes, the current condition book, entries, results, and overviews of race details and information. With the information given at your disposal, you have everything you need to place a solid bet.

And if for any reason you can’t make the live horse racing events, don’t worry. You can always view the live simulcast for every race run at Jack Thistledown.

Check the event calendar often, pick an event or two to attend, wager on your favorite horse, enjoy the eight-race card, perhaps you’ll leave the racetrack with some deeper pockets.

Conclusion

For all of you horse racing fans, Jack Thistledown Racino is your place to be. And while it doesn’t offer table games, it offers a live racing atmosphere featuring some of the best events in the State of Ohio.

And if you’re looking to take a break from the events, there’s always the newest casino game to be played or fantastic dining options to take advantage of.

If you’re vacationing or even passing through town, then take a day or two and explore the City of Cleveland. Whether you’re into the sports scene, the outdoors, or into touring the nearby hall of fame museums, the nearby attractions in Cleveland have you covered.

Have you been to Jack Thistledown? If so, share your experience in the comments.

Fairmount Park Gets Approval For Illinois Sports Betting License

Odds Board and Money
Fairmount Park’s applications for an Illinois sports betting license was approved 4-0 by the Illinois Gaming Board during a special meeting held on Thursday morning. During the meeting, Fairmount Park was also given “preliminary suitable” status to accept casino games.

With its approval, Fairmount Park becomes the 9th applicant granted a Master Sports Wagering License by the Illinois Gaming Board since June. The approved license is valid for four years. Fairmount Park’s sports betting provider will be FanDuel and it applied for the license as FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.

First Sportsbook at Multiple Retail Venues

FanDuel has been live in Lincoln State since since August 28th when it launched its sports betting app through a partnership with Boyd Gaming’s Par-A-Dice-Casino in East Peoria. That consortium started accepting legal Illinois sports betting transactions last September 10th.

But while FanDuel is the first Illinois sports betting company to operate in multiple venues, it won’t be the last. PointsBet, who has a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course, is planning to open three Chicago suburban off-track betting sites in the near future while DraftKings, a partner of Casino Queen, is expected to open a sportsbook at Wrigley Field in partnership with the Chicago Cubs.

Gaming Expansion Bill

Horse racing tracks were allowed to apply for casino and sports betting licenses as part of the gaming expansion bill signed into a law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in June 2019. FanDuel had been in talks with Fairmount as early as February as a workaround to the 18-month waiting period from the issuance of the first sports betting license to when the Illinois Gaming Board can accept an online-only application.

With its approval, Fairmount Park thus joins Hawthorne Race Course as the only race tracks in the state permitted to conduct sports betting activities and given “preliminary suitable” status to add casino games. Arlington International Racecourse, the third race track in the state, did not apply for an Illinois sports betting or a racino license.

If its Racino application is approved, Fairmount Park stands to offer up to 900 gaming positions at slot machines and table games. The total cost of the expansion has been estimated at $50M. There is no timetable yet for the expansion as it is dependent on how fast the approval process goes.

5 College Sports Betting Scandals You Need to Know

NCAA Logo With Person Using a Tablet for News

The world of sports betting is exciting, fast-paced, and at times, a little shady.

In today’s interconnected world it’s much more difficult to cheat the system, but before the days of email and camera phones it was a bit more like the Wild West. Rogue actors, including some notorious gangsters, found that manipulating sports betting outcomes was a good way to make a few (or more than a few) extra dollars.

In this article, I’ll lay out five of the most interesting betting scandals I could find from the last 100 years.

1 – CCNY Point Shaving

You have to go back quite a few decades for this one. In fact, you need to go back far enough where a team won the NCAA Tournament AND the NIT in the same season. That year was the 1950.

The City College of New York, who despite having no relevance today was a very good program in those days, was involved in a point-shaving scandal that ultimately ruined the program forever.

City College of New York

In 1951, news began to surface when players who attended Manhattan College, along with a few others, were hit with charges involving both bribery and conspiracy. These charges were associated with college basketball betting during the 1949-50 season.

Later on as the NYPD conducted a more thorough investigation, and three CCNY players were arrested on charges of bribery in 1951. That was just the beginning.

In the end, New York’s District Attorney ending up finding 32 players worthy of being arrested across different college basketball programs in the New York City area and a couple further south. In addition, several outsiders who were accused of playing a role in the fixing scandal were arrested as well.

The ramifications from this particular mess were long-lasting and harsh. Kentucky was forced to cancel the 1952-53 campaign, CCNY relegated basketball to a Division 3 sport (as it is today) and Long Island decided to stop all athletics for years, not returning to Division 1 until the 80s.

This scandal serves as an example that college kids really will do anything for a dollar.

2 – Holy Toledo

When you think big time college sports, you don’t normally think of the Toledo Rockets. However, in the early 2000s, they rose to the forefront of the conversation surrounding college football gambling and its impact on college athletics.

Three football players were allegedly involved in a scheme around 2003 in which key players were told to make mistakes intentionally to help bettors cash in. The Rockets running back at the time, Quinton Broussard, raked in around $2,000 from a Detroit gambler in exchange for fumbling a ball. Two other football players admitted altering their performance in certain games as well.

Toledo College Football Players 1985

In addition to the football program, the Toledo basketball program found itself in hot water. Four former basketball players plead guilty to charges involving point shaving a game fixing.

In the end, the athletes were all given probation by the court, while the man who set the whole thing up, Garry Manni, was sentenced to six years behind bars.

3 – Northwestern Bribes

When you think of prestigious Midwestern colleges, Northwestern is certainly one to throw in the conversation. Unfortunately, when you talk about the most notable college basketball betting scandals, it also makes the cut.

During the 1994-95 season, two Northwestern basketball players – both seniors and starters – took money from a sports gambler in exchange for fixing some conference games early in 1995. The bribe required the players to do everything in their power to ensure that the team would lose by more than the point spread in each of three games determined by the bettor.

Northwestern College Campus

The basketball scandal would be the star of the show, but the illegal gambling scheme extended beyond the court to the football field as well. The US Attorney’s office brought down charges on two separate illegal gambling cases which involved five people. To make matters worse, one of those people accused of facilitating the illegal gambling ring was a former football player at the university.

The scandal had a ripple effect throughout the school’s athletic department and would lead to a number of self-imposed sanctions, including firings and suspensions, for years to come.

4 – Boston College Basketball

If you had to choose which college sports betting scandal was the worst of all time, it’s likely that Boston College’s infamous point-shaving scandal of 1978-79 would be the one.

This scandal had everything you could possibly ask for in a juicy headline story: the mob, a rat, and of course, the young and naïve players all in on the act. To this day some of the situation is still shrouded in mystery and it’s likely the full truth will never come to light.

During the 1978 basketball season, three Golden Eagles players were contacted by Henry Hill who was involved with organized crime at the time. The first game of the fix was supposed to be a close win against Providence (the Eagles were a five-point favorite) but Boston College ending up winning big. This cost Hill serious money – and things were just getting started.

In the following days, Hill and his associates in the illegal gambling ring contacted other players on the team leading up to a matchup with Harvard. They bet on Harvard +12, and the Boston College players delivered with a three-point win – leaving plenty of room to cover the spread.

Boston College 1978 Basketball Players

Their game-fixing plan continued on for six more games, but ultimately the results were nowhere near as reliable as the gamblers needed them to be in order to keep the operation running. The point-shaving game was up, but that was just the beginning for everyone involved.

Hill was arrested in New York for drug trafficking, and upon a thorough investigation it was discovered he had made several trips to Boston in recent years. He eventually copped to fixing (or attempting to fix) games and gave the names of the players involved.

In the end, several players, as well as those in the organized crime ring, were sentenced to various amounts of prison time ranging from 10 years to 28 months. The story still serves as a cautionary tale for anyone thinking about getting into the point-shaving business today.

5 – The Green Wave

If there’s a consistent theme throughout all of these historic sports scandals, it’s that they often happen where they’d be least expected. The trend continues with Tulane’s basketball team during the 1985 season.

Sitting at 10-8 for the season, the team was enjoying a mediocre, if not decent, season by their standards. However, some of the players’ friends on campus had an idea to turn things up a notch via the sportsbook. Student Gary Kranz contacted Tulane’s forward Clyde Eads and told him that he needed the team to win by fewer than 10 ½ points in their upcoming game against Southern Mississippi.

Tulane College Campus

Thinking that it was no big deal (hey, they were still going to win the game), Eads obliged. Actually – he did more than just take it upon himself to complete the task. He enlisted the help of several other players. Things worked out – they won, allowed Southern Miss to cover the spread, and each pocketed several hundred dollars.

The next attempt at a fix came two weeks later at Virginia Tech, but they were not able to pull it off. In the next attempt, against Memphis State, some unusual plays were made including a foul that seemed intentional even though basic strategy would have suggested it was an ill-advised play – this set the wheels in motion that something might amiss.

Eventually, rumors began to run throughout the student body, administration, and eventually led to a media investigation that resulted in several players being implicated in the scandal. In the immediate aftermath, it was the first gambling scandal that resulted in shutting down a Division 1 program.

Conclusion

Sports gambling scandals are proof that any time there is money at stake – someone will try to cheat to get it. Unfortunately, some (supposedly) innocent student-athletes got caught up in the mess.

Perhaps this will someday lead to a larger discussion about compensation for college athletes. With that said, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Pennsylvania Casinos: Wind Creek Bethlehem Review

Wind Creek Bethlehem Logo and Entrance

Looking for the hottest action in the Christmas City? Wind Creek Bethlehem is your place. And with 139,000 square feet of real estate plus a 302-room hotel, you don’t need to even venture off the casino property to gain a complete experience.

Within the casino’s walls contain some of the best casino games, dining options, entertainment, and promotions west of New Jersey.

So if you haven’t been here, it’s definitely worth booking a stay and checking out. And like most Philadelphia-based casinos, the place is more than laden with history. So if you’re a history buff, you have even further incentive to come to the area.

Let’s look at some history before we go into the casino and discover how you will experience the greatest casino gaming atmosphere in the Pennsylvania gambling scene.

Wind Creek Bethlehem History

On December 20th, 2006, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awarded the future standalone casino a slots license just in time for Christmas. Nice gift for the city with a matching nickname, right?

Like many casinos in America repurposing the land while restructuring their respective area’s economy, they built Wind Creek Bethlehem on the former site of Bethlehem Steel. However, the building’s foundations forced longer than expected demolition, delaying the casino’s ultimate opening.

But on May 22nd, 2009 Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem opened its doors. Soon after opening, they granted the casino a table gaming license, which introduced 180 tables to the casino featuring favorites like real money blackjack, poker, and others.

The casino remained untouched for five years until Sands unveiled a plan to expand the casino in November 2016. Expansion plans called for renovations to the casino gaming floor plus two restaurants.

In March 2018, Las Vegas Sands sold the property to Wind Creek Hospitality for $1.3 billion. They completed the sale in May 2019 and subsequently changed the name to Wind Creek Bethlehem in July.

Wind Creek Bethlehem Exterior View

And in 2020, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granted Wind Creek approval to launch sports betting. At the time of this writing, the Sportsbook is under construction and planned to include 79 TVs, 13 self-serve betting kiosks, eight teller windows, and an online sports betting option.

So, as you can decipher, Wind Creek Bethlehem is still growing and you can safely bet that it’s not done expanding just yet.

But what do they have for you now?

Let’s go into the casino and find out.

Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino Gaming

Gaming at Wind Creek Bethlehem is growing nonstop with the number of slot machines, table gaming options, poker room, and upcoming Sportsbook. Let’s look at each individually so you know what to expect when you step through Wind Creek Bethlehem’s doors.

You’ll never tire of the endless number of games you can play at the slots. Whether you’re looking for classics or unique themes, you will find them all here. Whether you’re a recreational or high-stakes gambler, the slot room’s penny slots to $100 denominations allow you to play conservative or go for the home run.

Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino Floor

The choice is yours at Wind Creek Bethlehem. So if you like variety, this venue is thriving with it.

The casino has close to 200 table games and as with the slots, variety is its thing. With games like Blackjack, Craps, Caribbean Stud Poker, Let it Ride, Texas Hold ‘em Bonus, and more, the fun never ends here at Wind Creek.

If you’re looking to up your game, head over to the 26-table poker room. Once again, you will find an array of options including limit and no-limit Texas Holdem, Stud, or Omaha. Enjoy the smoke-free atmosphere, table dining, and complimentary beverage service while you stack the chips.

Wind Creek Bethlehem Dining

Wind Creek Bethlehem offers eight delicious dining options, so it’s a guarantee you never have to venture off the casino to find what you’re craving.

If you want upscale dining, Emeril’s Chop House offers the perfect combination of elegance and comfort you’re looking for, all with the atmosphere of a classic American steakhouse. But this place sets itself a cut above usual steakhouse standards, with an expansive menu and updated finishes.

You’re definitely in for a different treat at Emerils.

But Chef Emeril Lagasse isn’t done cooking at his chophouse. If you’re not up for the upscale elegance, no worries. There are still solid options abound here at Burgers and More by Emeril. So, if you want a different, up-to-date twist on your favorite classics, this gourmet burger joint is for you.

Emeril only uses the freshest ingredients from grass-fed meat with the unique flavors in Eastern Pennsylvania. Even if casino gaming itself isn’t your thing, an experience like you’ll find at Burgers and More is worth the trip inside.

Professional Chef Emeril Lagasse

Looking for an after-dinner dessert? Carlo’s Bakery has the casino’s best. Need proof? This family-owned bakery was once featured on TLC’s Cake Boss. If that doesn’t sell you, nothing will.

You will find another fantastic option for the greatest desserts in the area at Signature Cakes & Pies. Sweeten up any occasion with a touch of elegance added to these signature desserts.

Chopstick Asian Cuisine is your one-stop-shop for the finest Asian-inspired cuisine in the area.

Now, if you’re looking to start the day off the right way, then Croissanterie is your place. Is there a better combination in the morning than freshly ground coffee coupled with rich croissants?

Looking for a variety? The Market Gourmet Express is where it’s at. Whether you’re in the mood for pizza, hotdogs, burgers, salads, the daily specials, the Market has it all. Finish that awesome meal with coffee and a dessert to complete your one-of-a-kind dining experience.

Perhaps you’re the all-you-can-eat type. If that’s the case, Steelworks Buffet & Grill is your cheerful place. It’s the perfect venue to enjoy a signature cut steak or a potluck of global cuisine. The more choices here, the merrier, right?

Wind Creek Bethlehem Promotions and Nightlife

The casino VIP program at Wind Creek Bethlehem never stops the promotions from coming. The real question I can ask you is this: Which promotion will pique your interest? Maybe it’s the 2021 Atlas Sel Premium Giveaway they had in October 2020?

Nothing beats a sweepstake for a new car. Unless it’s the four additional winners that can earn $2,500 in free slot play. If you’re a hardcore gamer on the slots, you have to take this one up. But hey, there’s more, like the Turkey, Lamb, Prime Rib and Lasagna Giveaway. Mega Monday? Sunday Funday? How about Bouncin’ Bonus Jackpot?

Alright, let’s talk about the nightlife at Wind Creek Bethlehem. After a hard day of gambling at the casino, you have four stellar options to relax and tune in to some of the hottest world-class and local acts coming to the Philadelphia area.

See the best and brightest stars perform at the Wind Creek Events Center and enjoy free live entertainment at Molten Lounge. Looking for the most energetic atmosphere at the venue? Coil has what you’re looking for.

And if you just want an evening to chill, Vision Bar provides the most relaxing atmosphere at the casino. Grab a cocktail, sink into a lounge chair, and take in the surroundings.

Wind Creek Bethlehem Accommodations and Nearby Attractions

Whether you’re looking for something economical or if you’re in for a fully furnished luxury suite, you’re in luck. Accommodations at Wind Creek Bethlehem offers all of it.

The 1,600 square-foot presidential suite gives you the best in the business, with a master bedroom, a separate living room, dining area, two bathrooms, and a media room. Fancy, right?

Or, if you’re in for something more economical, the Deluxe King Room has you covered with 400 square feet of real estate, a king-sized bed, and free wi-fi. Nothing fancy, but it’s still among the area’s best.

Wind Creek Bethlehem Hotel Room

And regardless of where you wish to stay, you’ll love the many amenities that include In-Room Dining, a fitness center, the Steel Magnolia Spa & Salon, an indoor pool, and more.

Looking to take a day off the casino gaming?

Well, Bethlehem has its fair share of attractions. While close to the historic city of Philadelphia, you don’t have to venture too far to see for yourself what makes Bethlehem, Pennsylvania a great city within itself.

When in season, the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks basketball team is the area’s number one sports attraction.

But if music is your thing, you’ll love Musikfest, held every August. It is the largest ten-day event in the city, and it annually draws over one-million people to Bethlehem. So if your casino trip coincides, you definitely want to take advantage.

If you love the outdoors, the Lehigh Canal is the perfect place to hike, bike, and fish.

And if arts and culture pique your interest, visit the Zoellner Arts Center, where you’ll find a variety of dramatic musical events throughout the year.

Conclusion

Wind Creek Bethlehem is the heart and soul of this revitalizing town, symbolic of its location atop the former steel plant. The casino is already laden with a luxury hotel and one of the most exciting gaming rooms in the state.

Combine that with insane promotions that even include vehicle giveaways, and this place is nothing short of contending for the entertainment capital of Pennsylvania.

Have you spent time at Wind Creek Bethlehem? If so, tell us about your experience.

Penn National Gaming’s Revenue Figures Have Been Released

Penn National Gaming

Penn National Gaming is one of the biggest and most successful gaming companies in the United States. It currently owns more than 40 properties across the US and Canada. This week, Penn National Gaming’s revenue figures were released to the public.

Many are impressed to see where things stand. Today, we’re going to talk about how much money Penn National made in 2020’s third quarter. We’ll also discuss what parts of this company have been the most successful this year.

Let’s get into it!

Penn National Gaming Breaks into the US Sports Betting Industry

The expansion of Penn National Gaming has been taking place for decades. Back in 1996, the company expanded from its lone race track to acquire new venues around the country. Over the past 24 years, officials within the company have worked hard to buy new gaming properties around the US and Canada.

Many were shocked when in early 2020, Penn National Gaming announced that it had purchased a 36% stake in Barstool Sports. It was clear that this was an attempt to break into the quickly-growing US sports betting industry. Barstool Sports is now one of the largest sports media companies in the country.

Penn National Gaming already controls many land-based sportsbooks. The company now wants to make a splash in the online sports betting market. Barstool is now working hard to expand its internet sportsbook to more states.

This move seems to make sense. The United States’ sports betting industry is growing every single year. Several states such as New Jersey and Colorado are now continuing to see record-earnings from their sports betting operations.

Most believe that the sports betting industry will continue to grow. Several states are set to legalize and regulate this form of gambling before the end of the year. Online sports betting is now helping to bring Penn National Gaming a huge amount of additional revenue every year.

Let’s take a look at the revenue reports that have just been released.

New Reports on Penn National Gaming’s Revenue Are Out

Many of the country’s gambling companies have released their third-quarter revenue reports this week. It’s clear that the land-based casino industry is still struggling immensely this year. Nearly all casinos have seen massive dips in revenue.

The online sports betting industry, however, is surging right now. Regulated internet sportsbooks are seeing increases in revenue and handle almost every month. This is great news for Penn National Gaming, which is benefiting massively from its partnership with Barstool Sportsbooks.

In 2020’s third quarter, Penn National generated $1,129.7 million in revenue with an adjusted EBITDAR of $452.6M. It’s a positive sign and represents an increase from the year’s second quarter. Most credit the launching of the Barstool Sportsbook app for the company’s most recent success.

President and CEO Jay Snowden spoke about Penn National Gaming’s revenue figures to the media this week.

“I am pleased to report that our property, interactive, and corporate management teams generated strong third quarter revenues, as well as all time quarterly record Adjusted EBITDAR and Adjusted EBITDAR margins, despite the continuation of social distancing and capacity constraints at all of our reopened properties,” he said. In addition to the record results of our brick and mortar operations, one of the highlights of the quarter was the launch of our much-anticipated Barstool Sportsbook app in Pennsylvania, which has been well received.” 

That may be a bit of an understatement. According to new reports, this new online sportsbooks generated more than $78 million just 37 days after launching in Pennsylvania. This betting platform is expected to expand to several new states throughout 2021.

Unfortunately, not all gaming companies are seeing an increase in revenue right now.

Las Vegas Casino Companies See Drops in Revenue

The city of Las Vegas has been hit extremely hard throughout 2020. For months, all of the casinos in this city were closed to the public. These venues reopened in June, yet they continue to see significantly lower revenue earnings than in 2019.

Nevada, and Las Vegas specifically, is home to some of the largest casino companies in the world. All of these companies are now looking at new ways to cut down on costs while keeping their venues functional. Some are taking more extreme approaches than others.

Las Vegas Sands recently announced it is considering selling several of its major casino-resorts in Las Vegas. It’s a huge announcement. LVS currently controls some of the biggest gaming properties in the city including The Venetian.

Wynn Resorts has also been seeing drops in revenue throughout 2020. Not long ago, company officials announced that the Encore Las Vegas would be closing for three days a week moving forward. This is due to a drop in hotel visitors.

The casino industry remains in a tough spot. Based on Penn National Gaming’s revenue reports, it seems that the country’s online sports betting industry is still hugely profitable. We’ll continue offering more revenue reports over the next few weeks.

Are you surprised to see Penn National’s earnings in this year’s third quarter? When do you expect Las Vegas to recover? Let us know in the comments section below!

The Top 5 Casino Road Trips

Casino Road Trip Text With a Casino Background

Road trips are a great way to break the monotony of everyday life. The open-air on your face, music blaring through car speakers, and the sights along the road are all part of the American institution.

Luckily, the United States is full of these wonderful vacations with casinos as a welcoming destination. These are the top five casino road trips in the U.S.

1 – Winstar World Casino

Head north on I-35 from Austin or Dallas, and you’ll eventually run into the largest casino in the world. Winstar World Casino & Resort is located a few miles north of the Red River in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

If you’re traveling from the state capital of Austin, deep in the heart of the lone star state, you’ve got an easily manageable 265 miles to navigate. The trip can easily be made in under four hours if you’re pressed on time or can’t wait to get to the blackjack table.

I highly recommend making a stop in West, TX, for some killer kolaches from The Czech Stop. The carb load will give you enough fuel to gamble into the wee hours of the morning. Plus, they’re absolutely delicious.

Winstar World Casino Interior

The road from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex trip is much shorter, making Winstar a go-to weekend trip for locals.

Even in the constant I-35 construction, you can make it to Thackerville in less than 90 minutes. That includes a stop for refreshments or a snack.

If you’re leaving Dallas after work on Friday, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful sunset views as you drive across Lake Lewisville.

Let’s face it; there’s not much to see between either starting point and your destination. However, the final destination is a welcome reward.

The actual road trip will be what you make of it, but the memories you make and fun you have in one of the world’s biggest casinos will leave a lasting impression.

You can even catch a show while you’re there. Some of the biggest names in entertainment find their way to Thackerville, OK.

You’ll be able to enjoy a vast array of slot machines on your trip as Winstar has over 8,500 of the one-arm bandits.

Blackjack, roulette, and craps are all waiting for you on the 370,000 square feet of the casino floor. If you fancy yourself a poker shark, the immaculate Poker Room at the Winstar will be a delight.

Every year, the hordes of gamblers making the trip across the Red River find everything they’re looking for at Winstar World Casino.

2 – L.A. to Las Vegas

There’s something special about traveling to Las Vegas by car. The drive through the Nevada desert is a legendary journey put on the big screen in films like The Hangover and the cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

In fact, Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo’s psychedelic scene flying through the sand and the swarms of bats are among the most iconic in American film history.

The drive from L.A. to Las Vegas should be made in about four hours, taking the I-15N route. This can vary quite a bit depending on traffic, though.

Fridays through Sundays, the number of travelers trading the bright lights and busy streets of L.A. for the brighter lights and busy Vegas streets increases dramatically.

Busy Las Vegas Strip at Night

You’ll face a far more pleasant drive early in the week before the crowds hit. I’ve seen the 4-hour drive turn into five hours because of traffic.

For travelers looking to experience everything the open road has to offer, there’s an alternate route.

Hop on I-10E, and you’ll go on a journey through some wild and untamed country on your path. The drive along I-10 will take you a while longer.

In fact, given smooth sailing, you’re looking at approximately five and a half hours to reach your destination.

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The Calico Ghost Town is a great spot to stop and stretch your legs along the way. This abandoned mining town was once the center of over 500 silver mines.

Today, the small town operates as an authentic old west ghost town. Making Calico the perfect tourist attraction for this casino road trip.

Of course, at the end of your journey, you’ll be greeted by the wonders of Las Vegas. Macau has made significant strides in claiming the Gambling Mecca title, but it’s always been Vegas.

3 – Boston to Mohegan Sun

The Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort is 364,000 square feet of gambling bliss situated in Uncasville, CT. The casino’s location makes it a prime location for gamblers in Boston looking to make a quick road trip to the casino.

Gamblers looking for a short escape from the city can make the trip to Mohegan Sun via I-395S in just under two hours. Trading in the city’s hustle and bustle for some relaxing views and peaceful nights in the country is a wonderful getaway.

Mohegan Sun was the largest casino in the world until Winstar completed its massive expansion. While the crown has been sent to the south, Mohegan Sun hasn’t faded into the twilight.

Mohegan Sun Casino Interior

You’ll find two contrasting main casino floors at the Mohegan Sun. Keeping in the tradition of the casino’s Native American culture, you’ll be introduced to Casino of the Earth and Casino of the Sky.

Casino of the Earth provides amazing free shows every week. You’ll also be able to enjoy over 250 slot machines in a beautiful smoke-free area.

Casino of the Sky is exactly that. Upon entering the lavish casino floor, you’ll stare up in amazement at the world’s largest indoor planetarium dome.

You can also enjoy a massive 55-foot indoor waterfall while you gamble.

To jump off your casino fun, the Mohegan Sun has nearly 5000 slot machines at your disposal. The massive array of innovative slots will keep even the most discerning slots player entertained for hours on end.

Players that prefer cards and dice will enjoy a buffet of table games. The expansive casino has over 700 table games from which to choose.

Foxwoods Resort Casino is a short 20-minute drive from Mohegan Sun. So, if variety is what you’re after. This trip has a little…rather a lot of everything.

4 – Phoenix to Las Vegas

Perhaps it seems biased that Las Vegas makes this list twice. However, it’s Las Vegas, the gambling hub of the United States and beyond.

Phoenix’s drive is a shade longer than the Los Angeles journey, but still manageable in a day. The uninitiated traveler may see the four and a half hour adventure through the southwestern desert as little more than an empty desert.

However, there are some true treasures along the 300 miles of sand and low red clay mesas.

U.S. Highway 93 is the most popular and direct route to Sin City. You’re a road tripper, though.

View of the Grand Canyon

You have the iTunes on shuffle, and the car karaoke is in full effect. What’re another six hours?

If you share the adventurous spirit of our ancestors, take the alternative trip up I-17 N. This path will put you directly at the red rocks of Sedona and the awe-inspiring views of the Grand Canyon.

You undoubtedly know all about the wealth of entertainment that is waiting for you at the end of your journey. I’ll share a few treasures along the way that you’ve likely never heard of before.

Santa Claus, Arizona, is a charming stop combining The North Pole with an Old West ghost town.

The Hoover Dam lookout gives you a front-row seat to one of the largest engineering marvels in the world. The Hoover Dam contains enough concrete to build a two-lane highway from one end of the continental U.S. to the other.

5 – New York City to Mount Airy Casino Resort

New York City is an amazing place full of culture and rich with history. It can also be a lot to handle constantly.

The City That Never Sleeps can place even the most hardened New Yorker in need of a break. Luckily, there’s a perfect place within a two-hour drive of the city.

Mount Airy Casino Resort is a luxury retreat in Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania. The beautiful property is less than two hours from NYC via I-80 W.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a warm and relaxed environment. There’s just enough activity and excitement to keep you engaged without being annoyed.

Mount Airy Casino Interior

You’ll notice immediately that nobody seems to be in a rush to get anywhere. Even the valets seem to glide effortlessly around the property.

Inside, you’re going to find all of the casino action you could hope to encounter. Mount Airy Casino has it all, from the sleek and modern sportsbook to the cool and cozy poker room.

Real money slots players have a selection of over 1800 of the latest and most popular machines to play on to their heart’s content.

The casino has over 15 different table games to make a run at the money. Whether you stick with a classic like roulette or try a new spin on an old favorite like Spanish 21, you’re sure to have a blast.

Conclusion

These top five casino road trips will definitely give you a departure from the daily routine. Which drive will you be making?

Is It Legal to Bet on the 2020 Presidential Election?

Presidential Seal and Scales of Justice With Biden and Trump Portraits

The 2020 presidential election cycle is drawing to a close, and the United States is a mere few days away from finally deciding on a president. And you might be noticing various indications of the odds for each of the two main candidates, President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden. That might lead you to ask the question of whether or not it is legal to bet on the presidential election in the United States in the first place.

This year’s election has perhaps garnered more interest from the American public than any in decades. People on both sides are extremely passionate about their candidate, to the point where it feels like there isn’t much middle ground. And since people are so vocal about their chosen candidate, it stands to reason that they might want to put their money where their mouths are by making wagers on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Here are some of the sites that we believe will give you the best possible experience for betting on the 2020 presidential election:

  • MyBookie – 100% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000
  • BetNow – 100% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000
  • Bovada – 100%Welcome Bonus up to $250
  • BetOnline – 100% Welcome Bonus up to $3,000

There might be some question about whether or not it is legal to bet on the presidential election. On one hand, you have to worry about whether you, as a bettor, can even place a wager. Then, you also have to ensure that the online gambling websites where you place your bets will actually pay you back.

We’re here to help you out by providing some clarity by telling you whether or not you can legally wager on the US presidential election. In addition, we’ll tell you which sites to visit if you do want to make legal wagers. Finally, we’ll also talk to you about the types of bets you can make if you do decide to go forward with betting on the 2020 presidential election.

Can You Legally Bet on the US Presidential Election?

Well, the simplest answer is yes and no. You can make your wagers on the 2020 presidential election as long as you do so with a site that can legally take them. But even if you find yourself betting on the election through an illegal venue of some sort, you usually are not the one facing the legal burden.

Back in the early 1960s, the United States put a law into effect called the Federal Wire Act. It was directed at organized crime and their habit of making lots of money from taking sports wagers from common citizens. But this law essentially means that no betting can take place across state lines without an okay from the jurisdiction in question.

Vote 2020 Metal Buttons

In other words, the bookies that unofficially ran the action back in those days were the ones that were targeted. But it’s important to realize that the bettors themselves weren’t the ones who were in any legal jeopardy. The only ones who had to worry were the ones taking the bets.

Although the Federal Wire Act was meant to cover sporting events, it stands to reason that it could easily be applied to those who wanted to take odds on US elections. The bottom line is, if you’re in the United States and betting with an unsanctioned bookmaker or organization, those taking the bets may have to deal with the law.

Gambling on the Presidential Election Online

When the creators of the Federal Wire Act wrote the law, they were essentially using wire communications as their method of stopping illegal gambling. In other words, any kind of telephone communication about gambling was grounds for legal action. But those lawmakers never envisioned the internet as a form of wire communications in the future.

The way that the Wire Act could be applied to online gambling has been a source of great legal debate for decades. It is still somewhat up in the air whether sports gambling or casino-type gambling is allowed on gambling websites within the United States. And there is another gray area about whether you can bet with sites located overseas, where there are little to no laws restricting online gambling.

Of course, this would all apply to any attempts to bet online on the 2020 presidential election. You will have no problem finding sites located overseas giving you the opportunity to wager on it. What you won’t find is any US sites, such as those sites attached to land-based casinos in states where sports and casino gambling are legal, giving odds on the election.

The reason is that it would likely be frowned upon by the United States Justice Department. If the sites indicated that one candidate was way ahead, it could discourage people from actually going out and voting. That’s why you won’t see odds on Trump and Biden alongside the odds for the Cowboys-Eagles game this Sunday, at least not at US betting sites.

Betting on the Presidential Election Overseas

We’ve established that it isn’t likely that you’ll be able to legally wager on the 2020 presidential election at United States-based casinos, sportsbooks, or gambling websites. But what about the betting websites that are located outside the US?

If you’ve ever traveled overseas and visited a bookmaker operation of casino, you might have been surprised at the vast number of events—even ones that aren’t sports-related—that can be wagered at these locations. There is no doubt that gambling laws are a little more relaxed in certain countries outside the United States. And that applies to the gambling websites that are sourced from these countries.

Can you bet on the 2020 presidential election with these sites? Again, the answer isn’t just a simple yes or no.

If you find that you are able to sign up for a top-rated online betting site, fund your account, and place a wager on the US presidential election, you really don’t have to worry about any kind of legal ramifications coming down on you.

But the key is whether or not you will be able to do that. The main issue is transferring your money. Some financial institutions, such as banks or credit card companies, may frown on your use of their funds for overseas gambling.

If that’s the case, you might find that you can’t make deposits into your account. That means you won’t be able to wager on the presidential election, because you won’t be able to put anything at stake. But if you choose your gambling websites wisely, you won’t have this problem. In the next few sections, we’ll explain how to do that.

Safely Betting on the 2020 Presidential Election

You have to realize that the world of online gambling is quite a competitive one. There are hundreds of online betting operations available to you, most of which are located outside the United States. And many of those will likely offer you the chance to bet on the presidential election.

The problem is that many of these sites aren’t quite as trustworthy and reliable as you might like them to be. Whenever you bet on anything online, you’ll need to provide both personal and financial information. And if you give that info to a site that isn’t trustworthy, it can be disastrous for you.

Election Ballot Drop Off Box

For that reason, you should only choose reputable websites to wager on the presidential election. First of all, these legit sites are safe for you in terms of setting up an account and providing the necessary information. Second, these sites can also be trusted to return any winnings to you that you might have achieved betting on the presidential election for real money.

But how do you know which of these trusted presidential election betting sites are okay to use? Well, you have to do the research and read the reviews offered online.

One other important characteristic of these gambling websites is that they all can boast of a wide variety of funding options. If one or more of your preferred banking methods is in some way blocked or unavailable, you should still be able to find another one that works for you. And that ensures you’ll have no problem getting your wagers in for the 2020 presidential election.

How to Bet on the 2020 Presidential Election Online

For those of you who have never wagered on anything online before, you might think that the process is confusing. But it’s actually quite simple, even for those who might be a little technologically-challenged. Here is a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose your site: You can look up sites that allow you to wager on the 2020 presidential election. However, we suggest that you begin with the top gambling sites. Search through those sites to see which one seems most comfortable to you.
  2. Sign up: This will require you to provide personal information so that the site can know who you are and how to contact you. You’ll also have to create a username and password. Once you have that in place, you’ll enter it every time you log into the site.
  3. Fund your account: This is what we talked about above, where you provide the financial information that allows you to deposit and withdraw from your gambling account. This might mean typing in credit card numbers, bank account routing numbers, or even cryptocurrency account numbers.
  4. Find the page for betting on the 2020 presidential election: The best gambling websites will be easy to navigate, so this shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll decide what types of bets to make (more on that below) and how much you want to put at stake.
  5. Win the bet: If your bet is successful, the money that you’ve earned—based on the odds that were provided to you for wager and how much you put at stake—will be added to your gambling account. If, at any point, you want to get your hands on that money, you’ll contact the site to begin the withdrawal process.

Betting on the 2020 Presidential Election

Now that you know that it’s possible to wager on the 2020 presidential election without the law banging on your door, you might want to know about how betting on the election works specifically. What are the types of wagers you can make? And what do the odds mean? We answer that below.

Types of Bets

The most basic wager that you can make on the presidential election is a straight bet on which candidate will win. This is as simple as it gets. Bet on Biden or Trump directly, and you’ll win if you’re right when all is said and done.

But you can go beyond that to try one of the more exotic bets on the presidential election. These are often known as “proposition bets.” You can find odds on just about anything connected with this year’s election.

For example, some popular prop bets on the 2020 presidential election this year include:

  • When will the loser concede the election? This bet is popular this year because of the possibility that the election will drag out for several days due to the onslaught of expected mail-in ballots.
  • What will the count of the Electoral College be? Many betting websites will set up what is known as an over/under total for how many electoral votes either candidate will win. You then have to decide whether the actual total will go over or under that number.
  • Who will win the Senate? In addition to it being a tight presidential race, the control of the United States Senate appears to be up for grabs this year. That will make for a popular prop bet this year.

What the Odds Mean

When you see odds for the presidential election listed, you’ll usually see a plus or minus in front of the number. This is in reference to the moneyline, which is used by oddsmakers as a way of evening out the two sides. It’s common in sporting events.

The moneyline is always based on 100 units of whatever denomination you’ll be using. Whichever candidate has the minus sign in front of the odds is the favorite, while the one with the plus sign is the underdog. For example, at BetOnline.ag, the current odds for who will win the 2020 presidential election look like this:

  • Joe Biden: -200
  • Donald Trump: +175

What this means is that, if you bet on Biden—the current favorite—you would have to bet $200 to win $100 in return. By contrast, if you bet on President Trump, you would win $175 on a $100 wager.

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Of course, you aren’t limited to only betting $100. If you’d like to know the odds, just do a little division. For example, if you wanted to bet $50 on Joe Biden, you’d win $25 in return. $200 to win $100 = $50 (200 divided by 4) to win $25 (100 to win 25)

You’ll likely see moneylines attached to all kinds of presidential election bets available on gambling websites, such as prop bets and over/unders. Always remember that big numbers in front of the minus or plus usually means a big favorite/underdog. The closer the numbers are to 100, the tighter the oddsmakers believe the race will be.

Conclusion

We know we threw a lot of information at you concerning betting on the 2020 presidential election. Let’s try to sum up what we’ve learned to this point:

  • Whenever a bet of any kind is considered illegal, the target of legal scrutiny is usually the entity that takes the bet, not the bettor.
  • Because of the Federal Wire Act and the concerns that advertising betting lines might influence voter turnout, you won’t be able to legally bet on the presidential election at any operator or website located within the United States.
  • Websites outside of the United States will offer plenty of wagers on the presidential election.
  • As long as you don’t have any problems funding your account, you should be able to bet on the election at reputable offshore gambling sites.
  • There is a wide range of bets available for the US presidential election beyond just which candidate will win the presidency.
  • There are plenty of moneyline bets for the presidential election, but there are props and over/unders, too.

We hope that you can now make an informed decision about whether or not you feel comfortable wagering on the presidential election this year. It has been a long campaign, which has caused a lot of controversy amongst the public. At the end of it all, we hope that if you do decide to wager on the outcome, you come up a winner.

5Dimes Officially Applies for Gambling License in New Jersey

Odds Board and Money
After heavy speculation, offshore online betting site 5Dimes has officially applied for a gaming license in New Jersey. This was revealed by Laura Varela, the widow of founder William Sean Creighton.

In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday, Varela said that gambling industry lawyers in Philadelphia and Washington are currently working to transform 5Dimes into a licensed and legitimate online betting site in the United States.

Although the New Jersey Division of Gaming refused to confirm the application with the Philadelphia Inquirer, no road block is seen that will prevent the legalization of 5Dimes after a Federal investigation cleared Varela of doing illegal business.

Settlement With Feds

Last month, 5Dimes entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The agreement stemmed from the federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, specifically the EDPA for illegal gambling activities. But after William Sean Creighton’s death in 2018, Varela contacted the the EDPA to resolve any issues with 5Dimes.

Varela, who took over 5Dimes after her husband’s demise, was cleared of any wrongdoings. According to the investigation, she did not exercise day-to-day authority over the operations of 5Dimes although she claimed responsibility for its assets. As part of the settlement, 5Dimes has agreed to forfeit $46M worth of illegal property to the federal government.

In fulfillment of its part of the deal, 5Dimes stopped its U.S. operations last September 30th and since then, it has been working its way to get a legal license to operate in the United States. New Jersey is just the first stop and they are planning to get licenses in other states as well.

Murder of Creighton

West Virginia native Creighton founded 5Dimes in November 1996. Because online gambling was still illegal in the United States, it operated as an offshore betting site with its license from Costa Rica.

In September 2018, Creighton’s Porsche Cayenne was flagged by two bogus policemen. He was kidnapped and taken to San Jose. Varela was able to pay $1M of the $M bitcoin ransom demanded by the kidnappers before their line of communication was cutoff. One year later, Creighton’s dead body was found in a small fishing village 100 miles from where he was abducted.

Since his death, Creighton’s widow has taken over the reigns at 5Dimes. While her husband faced charges of tax fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling, and payment fraud, Varela worked hard to legitimize 5Dimes. With online betting sites now legal in the United States, she hopes to return with a clean slate and a new license.

The 5 Best U.S. Casinos You’ve Never Heard Of

Best Quality Award Graphic With a Casino Background

Casino gambling in the United States is immensely popular. Every year millions of gamblers travel to Las Vegas and Atlantic City to hit the slots or take on their favorite table game.

There’s a whole world of casino gambling that most miss. Here are the five best U.S. casinos you’ve never heard of.

1 – The Brass Ass Casino

Cripple Creek, Colorado, spent years as a small tourist stop in the state’s gold-mining region. As a child, many of my summers were spent 13 miles up the mountain from Cripple Creek in the small mining town of Victor, CO.

Cripple Creek is no longer the sleepy stop for vacationers who want to see the Rocky Mountains’ majestic beauty. It has been transformed into a mini-metropolis 10,000 feet above sea level.

While Cripple Creek didn’t have any land based casinos back then, the Brass Ass was a fantastic little tourist attraction. Part gift shop and part antiques store, I still remember the stops as a young child.

Brass Ass Casino in Colorado

They did have one slot machine all those years ago, but it was simply a clever method to sell souvenir Brass Ass coins to visitors. Perhaps a harbinger of things to come, I still have one of those coins I got over 30 years ago.

The Brass Ass Casino is one of nine booming casinos in Cripple Creek. That means a slot machine for all of the town’s 1300 residents and their friends.

The Brass Ass has repeatedly been voted the “Loosest Slots in Town.” You’ll find all the familiar slot machines in the mountainside gem.

From the latest video slots to classic one arm bandits, The Brass Ass has you covered. You can also enjoy everything from penny slots to some rather impressive progressive jackpot slot machines.

Table gamers aren’t left out of the action at The Brass Ass. Live-action blackjack tables dot the casino floor and have decent house rules for a small casino.

Roulette and 3-Card Poker are also available to play at The Brass Ass. Anytime I drive down the mountain, I’m already looking forward to my next visit.

You should put Cripple Creek and The Brass Ass on your gambling bucket list.

2 – Twin Arrows Casino Resort

The wonderful Twin Arrows is a Native American casino owned and operated by the Navajo Tribe in Flagstaff, Arizona. The casino is a perfect complement to the beautiful scenery and nature surrounding Flagstaff.

While you’ll only find 12 table games at Twin Arrows, the casino offers five different games. These include blackjack, of course.

However, you’ll also find some lesser-known and equally exciting games like WPT Heads Up Hold’Em, High Card Flush, and 3-Card Prime.

Cardsharps will have a seemingly endless array of games from which to choose. Despite having only a dozen gaming tables in the entire casino, Twin Arrows makes the most of their space.

Twin Arrows Casino in Arizona

Slots are where Twin Arrows really shines. You’ll find over 1,100 of the latest slot machines spread over the casino floor.

From the penny slots all the way up to high-stakes $25 machines, the Twin Arrows Casino has it all. The attention to detail is stellar, including phone chargers at each of the spinning reel games.

Video Poker is another success in Flagstaff, and Twin Arrows boasts over 100% RTP on all $0.25 video poker machines. So, basically, they’re giving you money to play video poker. I’d tell you, “good luck,” but it seems unnecessary.

Let’s get back to the casino’s attention to detail. If you find yourself face to face with a massive robot in the parking lot, don’t freak out.

That’s the casino’s mobile outdoor security guard. The giant robot keeps a watchful eye on customer’s cars as they gamble and make sure no shady characters are loitering where they shouldn’t.

Next time you find yourself near Flagstaff, check out Twin Arrows Casino. You will not be disappointed.

3 – Choctaw Casino and Resort

Just across the border from Texas, you’ll find Choctaw Casino in Durant, OK. This casino is particularly popular with gamblers from Dallas and its suburbs.

Choctaw has changed dramatically from its humble beginnings as a bingo hall. In fact, my first casino trip ever was to Choctaw, and there was little more than penny slots in a massive smoke-filled room in a nondescript building with a gravel parking lot.

Things have changed quite a bit over the past 2 decades. The Choctaw you experience today is an impressive structure with luxurious rooms and a gaming floor that easily rivals most Vegas casinos.

Whether you’re in the mood for high stakes slots to get the adrenaline pumping or prefer the slow burn of penny slots, Choctaw has plenty of action to go around.

Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma

Of the over 4,300 slot machines at the ready many are connected to a huge progressive jackpot system that occasionally awards incredibly lucrative paydays.

Choctaw continues to impress with the bingo hall at the casino. In keeping with the casino’s origins, the large bingo hall has players from around the state and Texas visitors filling out tax paperwork on the large winnings every week.

Choctaw’s poker room is everything an aspiring poker pro could ask for, with 26 tables spread around the forum. In fact, this poker room is the site of my single greatest blunder around the felt.

I won’t go into great detail, but the defeat was such a blow that I spent the next seven years without stepping foot in a casino poker room. Always double or triple check your hole cards before going all-in.

Regardless of my terrible mistake, the poker room is incredible and offers several small tournaments seven days a week.

Casino table games are abundant at Choctaw, and you’ll find over 12 different games to sit and enjoy. You’ll be treated to classics like craps, roulette, and blackjack.

You’ll also find new games like EZ Baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, and progressive blackjack.

Choctaw Casino and Resort has come leaps and bounds from its humble beginnings. Visitors today get to enjoy a Las Vegas experience on the Oklahoma prairie.

4 – Agua Caliente Casino

Palm Springs, CA, is more well known for its celebrity residents and abundance of fantastic golf than for casino gaming.

However, Agua Caliente Casino is in a prime position to change that. This beautiful resort casino is becoming a go-to getaway in California.

The casino offers some of the best video poker and slot machines available. Agua Caliente has over 100 video poker machines.

You’ll find 10 different variations of the high RTP machines with denominations ranging from $0.05 to $1.

Agua Caliente Casino in California

You can try your luck at one of the 22 table games in the casino and even go after one of the progressive jackpots.

These progressive jackpots often reach into the 6-figures. The tremendous amounts on the jackpots add a great degree of excitement to your favorite table games.

Golden Frog Baccarat is one of the unique games you’ll be able to enjoy on your visit. This variation of the standard baccarat game is chock full of side bets to keep things interesting.

However, it would be best if you always stuck to the “Banker” bet on any baccarat game.

Agua Caliente is a can’t miss spot for casino gamblers traveling through SoCal.

5 – Ameristar Casino East Chicago

Ameristar Casino East Chicago sits just outside of Gary, IN. The casino may not fly under the radar for much longer.

Reports indicate that this casino is among the most visited casinos in the U.S. outside of Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

This casino packs a ton of gaming fun into its 56,000 square feet of the casino floor. Over 1,700 slot machines crowd the casino and give players a slew of varieties from which to pick.

The table games are the huge draw at Ameristar. You’ll have over 72 table games to play at; you’ll always find a seat somewhere.

Ameristar Casino East Chicago

Try to be specific when you text your friends that you’re playing real money blackjack. They may not find you otherwise.

The Ameristar does not shy away from big bets. High rollers can bet up to $10,000 a hand on select blackjack, roulette, craps, and EZ Pai Gow games.

Baccarat takes the spotlight at Ameristar East Chicago. The expansive Baccarat Room has nearly 30 tables to play on, and the stakes here can get to Whale proportions. In fact, select baccarat tables accept wagers up to $25,000.

The sportsbook at the Indiana casino is second to none. You can wager on all of your favorite sports and be comfortable with the best odds in town.

Additionally, you can find a bevy of prop bets to place on big events like the Super Bowl or UFC fights.

Ameristar East Chicago may be one of the best casinos in the United States. Whether you’ve heard of it or not.

Conclusion

The five best U.S. casinos you’ve never heard of are a great place to start planning your next casino gambling excursion.

If you live near one of the properties, it’s a no brainer. Even if you aren’t within a few hours of any of the casinos on the list, there’s certainly enough around them to build a great vacation.

The 7 Best Places to Gamble in Las Vegas Off the Strip

Las Vegas Sign With a Roulette Table Game Background

There’s no disputing that the Las Vegas Strip draws crowds from around the world. The lights and sounds are a constant reminder of the lavish party scene and VIP experience some receive.

However, there is a whole other side of the Vegas casino scene. These seven best places to gamble in Las Vegas off the Strip have been favored by locals and those in the know for decades.

1 – Golden Nugget

The Golden Nugget brings all of the posh amenities of the Strip to Fremont Street. The hotel at the Golden Nugget offers everything from standard hotel rooms to immaculate luxury suites.

You may even have the bankroll to book any of the nine penthouse suites for the ultimate in off-Strip opulence.

The Golden Nugget delicately combines the old-school Vegas vibe with the mega resort-style you’ll find on the Strip. Nowhere else in Las Vegas can you zip down a three-story water slide through the middle of a massive shark tank.

Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas

The gimmicks don’t end there. What would the Golden Nugget be without gold? The Golden Nugget prominently displays the “Hand of Faith,” a 61-pound gold nugget. In fact, it’s the largest in existence.

Obviously, the price of gold fluctuates regularly, but it’s worth over $1.8 million at today’s prices. One of the other cool features of the Golden Nugget is the ATM that dispenses gold bars. I still contend that you should always steer clear of casino ATMs, though.

The Golden Nugget offers some of the highest paying slot machines in Las Vegas. They have a huge bank of slots with all of the most popular games. The most discerning of slots enthusiasts will be more than pleased at the Golden Nugget.

And the Golden Nugget doesn’t neglect the table games. You can enjoy blackjack, roulette, and craps with some of the best rules in Nevada. The Golden Nugget provides all of the best parts of a resort on the Strip in a budget-friendly package. Plus, the best part of any vacation is the chance to rub elbows with the locals.

2 – Red Rock Casino

Red Rock Casino Resort not only skips the bright lights and busy streets of the Strip, but it also takes you out to another land altogether.

Red Rock Casino allows its guests to spend their days kayaking, rock climbing, or lounging around the expansive pool. After the sun begins to be too much, head inside to the 16-screen movie theater with all of the latest blockbusters.

If you’re not a movie buff, that’s fine. The Red Rock also sports a 60-lane bowling alley to spend some time going head to head with friends.

Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas

The Red Rock definitely gives visitors some fantastic distractions, but it doesn’t forget its primary purpose. The casino in the Red Rock is among the best in the area. You can choose from over 2,700 slot machines to play or head to the high-roller slots lounge for the ultimate VIP gaming.

Gamblers have their pick from over 60 table games where the action seems never to end. Coupled with the casino’s private VIP room, these games make Red Rock a favorite with Vegas locals.

The sportsbook at the Red Rock is nothing short of stunning. Step into the amazing room, and you’ll be mesmerized by a 96-foot wall of sports. The giant wall can simultaneously present several games, and it’s large enough for anyone in the sportsbook to see clearly.

Red Rock Casino is one of the best places to gamble in Las Vegas, period—off the Strip or not.

3 – Aliante Casino

The Aliante Hotel and Casino is a hidden gem in Las Vegas. This resort-style casino is a go-to for players in the know. Aliante features all of the creature comforts you’d expect, such as an IMAX theater, lavish pools, and an 18-hole golf course. So, if you’re traveling with non-gamblers, they’ll be more than occupied while you’re in the mood to gamble.

For bankroll and budget-conscious gamblers, Aliante is an excellent choice. To start, the Aliante has some of the most gambler-friendly blackjack rules anywhere. You can find a double-deck game that pays 3:2 for a blackjack 24/7.

Aliante Casino in Las Vegas

The roulette action never stops either. The wheels spin day and night, and the Aliante’s small $5 minimum ensures there’s always a crowd.

Bonus Craps is a top pick among veteran gamblers, but newbies are certainly welcome. The Aliante tirelessly trains their dealers to guide the rookie to pro-level in quick fashion.

You can try your hand at Texas Hold’em, Pai Gow, and High-Card Flush in the Aliante. All of the table games carry the same $5 minimum bet.

Even the lightest of wallets will be able to play the night away at Aliante. Slots players aren’t left out of the fun either. The Aliante has over 1,800 of the loosest slots in Las Vegas.

Whether you’re a grizzled veteran at the blackjack table or a first-timer looking to get into the craps game, the Aliante provides something for everyone.

4 – Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino

The Downtown Grand has been one of the biggest benefactors of downtown Las Vegas’ comeback.

The sleek hotel-casino has shot a refreshing burst of modern coolness to the area just off Fremont Street.

The William Hill Sportsbook at the Downtown Grand doesn’t boast a towering wall of screens to immerse yourself in the games. What it does offer is a subtle elegance with comfortable leather seating and small tables.

Downtown Grand Casino in Las Vegas

If you aren’t a fan of loud crowds, the William Hill Sportsbook may be right up your alley. The casino also does a great job of mixing the latest slot machines with the tried-and-true classics. You’ll surely find your favorite game in the real money slots arena.

The progressive slots at this off-Strip casino will give the games on the Strip a run for their money. The tables at the Downtown Grand are energetic and fill the casino with a light buzz. It’s just the type of energy most gamblers look for when they walk through the casino doors.

The Downtown Grand Players Club will enhance your experience by offering match plays and free bets. Be sure to take advantage of these perks to stretch your gambling bankroll further.

5 – The Orleans Hotel and Casino

The Orleans is only about 10 minutes from the hustle and bustle of the Strip.

Movie theaters and bowling alleys seem to be a common theme among the casino resorts off the Strip. The Orleans is no different and has an impressive 70-lane bowling alley for your enjoyment.

The Orleans Arena separates the casino from others around the area. The 10,000-seat space has hosted everything from the largest names in country music to NCAA Basketball.

Orleans Casino in Las Vegas

Table game players can enjoy daily promotions and tournaments in addition to the usual table gameplay. Poker players flock to The Orleans. In fact, the poker room is open daily from 8 AM to 4 AM and has been named the best in Las Vegas.

The slots players are in no short supply of gaming options either. You’ll find over 1,500 games to choose from, and if you’re in the mood for big bucks, you can head to the exclusive high limit room.

Gamblers that are looking to skip the Strip shouldn’t miss out on The Orleans.

6 – M Resort

The casino at the M Resort checks all the boxes for the best places to gamble in Las Vegas off the Strip. First, the impressive casino floor takes up over 92,000 ft of floor space.

Most importantly, there’s the games. You will have your choice of every table game you can imagine at M with over 40 tables providing the action.

M Resort Casino in Las Vegas

Blackjack enthusiasts should check out the weekly blackjack tournament held on Fridays.

The M Resort is one of the few places you can enjoy the player-friendly rules of mini-baccarat. The slot machines and video poker at M Resort have added to the locals’ love affair with the casino.

You can even play free slots online or via mobile by visiting the casino’s website.

7 – Silver Sevens

Silver Sevens is a budget-friendly resort about three blocks off the Strip. Don’t let the cheap rooms and casual dining options fool you.

Silver Sevens is a legitimate contender in the Las Vegas casino game. Guests at the casino have their pick of 800 slot machines that give amazing return to player.

Silver Sevens Casino in Las Vegas

The casino’s double deck blackjack pays 3:2 and offers some wild side action. The King’s Bounty pays up to $2,500 on a $5 side wager.

The weekday table action kicks up late in the day at Silver Sevens. Monday thru Thursday, the games open at 5 PM. On weekends, the dice start rolling at 2 PM.

You won’t get IMAX or a massive bowling alley at Silver Sevens, but you’re here to gamble. Silver Sevens has your gambling needs covered.

Conclusion

The Strip is synonymous with all things Las Vegas. However, if you want to maximize your odds and mingle with the locals, try one of these seven best places to gamble in Las Vegas off the Strip.

Ways to Become a Better Poker Player That Don’t Involve Poker Strategy

Poker Text With Green Checkmark and a Happy Poker Player

Entire books have been written about using proper poker strategy, and you should read as many as possible to learn everything you possibly can about strategy. But using strategy is only going to take you so far. You also need to use several things that aren’t covered under the strategic umbrella in order to win as much as possible.

I’ve put together the top seven tactics you need to use as a poker player in addition to strategy. Combining good strategy with these seven tactics is going to put you in the top ranks of the poker talent wherever you play. These things can be the difference between winning and losing play.

Study Your Poker Opponents

When you’re playing poker for real money you should always study your opponents. Watch how they play and what they do in different situations. What are they doing when they enter the pot, when they raise, and when they fold?

The more you can learn about each opponent, the more opportunities you’re going to have to make profitable plays against them later.

I play in a semi regular game against a guy who plays the same way on every hand he plays. He always calls when he’s chasing, and he always bets and raises when he has a made hand. This is more a playing tendency than anything else, which I cover in the next section. But if you don’t watch how he plays then you’re never going to learn this about him.

Some players give signals about the strength if their hand. These are usually called tells. As you study your opponents, see how they look and act when they’re involved in a hand. Do they act differently when they have a big hand or when they’re bluffing?

Sometimes, a single tell can be the difference between a winning and losing poker session.

Recognize Patterns

I mentioned the guy a play against in the first section and his poker tendencies. Imagine how profitable it is for me knowing exactly how he plays. He almost never bluffs, so it’s easy to play against him.

When you’re watching other players, look for tendencies that they have. Some players tend to bluff too much. Other players only raise when they have a big starting hand. And others always limp and try to trap.

World Poker Tour Tournament Players

The hardest poker players to compete against are the ones that don’t have any real tendencies. They usually play straightforward poker, but they mix things up enough to make sure you can’t put them on a hand for sure.

Of course, if you mix things up too much you start making too many unprofitable plays, so you have to be careful.

Spend all of your free time at the table studying your opponents and identifying what types of poker players they are. The more tendencies you can recognize, the more ammunition you have to make profitable decisions in the future.

Master Your Emotions

The poker table is no place for emotions. You can’t afford to get too excited when you’re doing well or to get upset when things aren’t going your way. When you let emotions come to the surface when you’re playing poker it leads to mistakes.

Every time you make a mistake while playing poker, it can cost you money. Anytime you feel emotions at the poker table, recognize them and put them away. If you can’t deal with your emotions, you need to stop playing until you have your emotions under control.

The most dangerous emotions can make you go on tilt, and this almost always costs you money. Never make a poker decision if you’re angry or frustrated. It might work out a few times, but in the long run, it’s going to create too many losses.

Learn How to Win Without Bluffing First

Bluffing is a costly thing that most losing poker players do too much. They get a thrill from winning a pot without the best hand. They might even show other players when they win a big hand on a bluff.

But when you bluff too often, you start losing money. Smart players who pay attention quickly learn that you bluff too much and start calling you more often.

Most losing poker players can improve their results if they simply stop bluffing until they start winning more money. The guy I mentioned earlier doesn’t really do bad overall, because he bets when he has a good hand and he gets paid off most of the time.

Rio World Series of Poker Chips

But the fact that he doesn’t bluff is something that I use against him sometimes. He’s learned how to do pretty well without bluffing, and if he added an occasional bluff, it would likely improve his game a little bit.

Learn how to win without bluffing first. Once you learn how to do this, you can then start bluffing a very small amount of the time. Don’t be tempted to bluff too much, because it’s more costly than never bluffing.

Become a Position Master

Position is one of the most misunderstood poker concepts gamblers should know. Few players understand that position has anything to do with winning, and even fewer actually use position correctly when they play.

It took me over 10 years of playing poker before I really understood position. But once I started using position the right way, it instantly improved my results.

The odds of completely understanding position after reading this short section are low, but I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to learn more about it.

You need to understand your position in relation to where the dealer button is. The later your position is at the table, the more power you have when you play a poker hand. In other words, you can play more hands profitably when you’re in late position than when you’re in early or middle position.

The reason having position is important is because you get more information before you have to make a decision on the hand. Other players have to check, bet, or raise before you have to decide what to do. This is valuable information that can help you make more profit.

Play With the Worst Poker Players You Can Find

This isn’t used by many poker players, but the ones that do use it are all making a profit. Let that sentence sink in for a minute. If everyone that uses this tactic is making a profit, don’t you think that you should be using it, too?

The premise is simple; when you play poker against players who are worse than you, you’re going to make a profit. When you play poker against players that are better than you, you’re going to lose money.

Online Poker Game Screenshot

This means that if you want to make more money playing poker, you need to start finding bad poker players to compete against.

Most poker players try to improve their game so they can be better than their current opponents. This is a good idea, but they never think about replacing their current opponents with bad players.

Avoid Questionable Situations

Some of the most profitable poker games I’ve ever played have been private games. These games are held in private homes or private clubs. I’ve also done ok playing poker in regular poker rooms and playing online, but in my experience, it’s easier to find bad poker players in home poker games rather than in a casino.

The problem is that when you play in private environments the chance of being cheated or robbed goes up. You need to be very careful of putting yourself in bad situations.

I have a few tips to help you in this area. The first thing you need to do is find out as much as you can about where you’re playing and who you’re playing against. If you don’t have a good feeling or a safe feeling, don’t play.

The next tip is to only take the minimum amount of cash you need to play and never take anything else of value. This way if the worst comes to worst, hopefully, all you lose is your money.

Conclusion

If you want to be a profitable poker player, you have to learn how to use strategy. And you have to learn how to use strategy better than most other players. But you also have to use some tactics that don’t have anything to do with strategy.

You can use strategy or these tactics separately, but it’s going to be difficult to win money this way. It’s much smarter and more profitable to incorporate both into your gameplay.

Neither strategy nor the tactics listed on this page are easy to master, but all of these things are worth mastering. It’s the only way to maximize your profits playing poker.

Gaming Revenue in NV Drops Again in September 2020

Las Vegas Sign and a Man Gambling at at a Roulette Table

Nevada has seen a drop in gambling revenue for months. Many analysts hoped that the casinos here would be back to normal by this time, or at least something close to normality. Unfortunately, new reports have just surfaced that show gaming revenue in NV has dropped once again in September, 2020.

This is what everyone hoped they would not see. The major casino-resorts in this city have been hurting badly for most of this year. Today, we’ll take a look at how much gambling revenue different areas of the state managed to bring in.

Let’s get into it!

More US Casinos Ask For Additional Funding From the Government

Nevada is not the only state seeing its casino industry in peril. Every state around the country has seen significant drops in gambling revenue throughout 2020. That includes other major gaming destinations including New Jersey, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

This is terrible news for both casino companies in the country and the thousands of individuals employed in this industry. If casinos fail, many lose their jobs and cities lose out on valuable money. It’s a serious issue that many have been trying to fix for months.

Earlier this week, officials within the American Gaming Association began pleading for more relief aid from the federal government. This group claims that many major casinos around the US are now in danger of failing. The AGA wants to ensure that casino companies will be included in any future relief bills.

Some gambling companies are finding valuable revenue in the form of sports betting. 24 states have now approved sports gambling legislation. States such as New Jersey are now seeing hundreds of millions being placed on sports every single month.

The US is now home to the largest sports betting market in the world. Many major European sports betting companies are now trying to break into this industry. Casinos may be hurting, yet sports betting continues to thrive.

We’re now seeing how much the casino industry in Nevada managed to bring in during September.

Reports on Gaming Revenue in NV for September Are Finally Here!

We’ve been covering the casino revenue reports in Nevada for the entire year. It’s been disappointing to see how many of the casino companies in this state have been bleeding money. Unfortunately, nothing changed during the month of September.

New reports from the Nevada Gaming Control Board show that gaming win in September was 22.4% lower when compared to the same month in 2019. The amount of money the casinos brought in was very similar to last month. Certain areas of the state were hit harder than others.

Overall, revenue in Clark County came out to $666.7 million. The Las Vegas Strip took the biggest hit in the entire state with a 39.1% decrease compared to September 2019. The casinos here managed to bring in just $354.7 million. Downtown Las Vegas saw a slightly-less-dramatic 21.5% drop in gaming revenue.

Most predicted that gaming revenue in NV would fall once again in September. Not many felt things would continue to drop by such large levels, though. No one can accurately say when Nevada’s massive gambling industry will get back to pre-pandemic levels.

Casino companies based in Las Vegas are now scrambling to come up with ways to save money. That includes laying off employees and closing down some of their properties for certain days of the week. Some companies are even discussing major casino sales.

Here’s what is happening in this city.

Las Vegas Sands is Interested in Selling US Casinos

For decades, Las Vegas Sands has been one of the most powerful casino companies in the United States. The Sheldon Adelson-run company has major properties all around the world. Like all other casino companies, LVS has been experiencing major drops in revenue throughout 2020.

Things appear to be getting dire for this company. Reports recently surfaced that Las Vegas Sands is interested in selling several of its major casino-resorts in Nevada. This deal could bring the company upwards of $6 billion.

Many analysts were surprised to hear that Las Vegas Sands was interested in selling some of its biggest properties. A move like this would only be done if it was completely necessary.

The idea that Macau would help to save companies like LVS has not turned out to be true. Casino earnings in the Chinese territory have been extremely low this year. It could be years before this trend changes.

We may see more major casino-resort sales soon. Casino companies may begin shifting their focus more towards online casino gambling and sports betting. Hopefully, relief aid helps these companies maintain their popular gaming venues.

Are you surprised to hear that gaming revenue in NV has dropped again? When do you expect things to improve here? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Find Value in a Sports Betting Bonus

Man on Laptop With a Sportsbook and Money Background

Almost every online sportsbook offers a bonus when you first deposit. Most betting sites also feature bonuses that let you keep earning extra money on the side.

You may be thrilled to get any type of bonus. After all, you’re essentially earning “free” money on top of whatever you may win.

However, not all sports betting bonuses are the same. Some deals provide more value relative to the playthrough (a.k.a. rollover) behind them.

This page covers general aspects of online sportsbook bonuses along with how you can calculate which deals provide the most value. After all, you stand to earn more profits from betting offers by determining their value ahead of time.

What Determines a Betting Bonus’ Value?

You should consider multiple factors when trying to figure out a bonus’ worth. That said, here are the primary traits that you want to check out.

Match Percentage

With a match bonus, bookmakers match your deposit by a certain percentage. Normally, they provide a 100% match on the deposit amount.

But you can do better or worse in some cases. For example, a 150% match is definitely favorable to 50%.

Here are some examples to show how you’ll benefit from larger match percentages:

  • You plan to deposit $300 at an internet sportsbook.
  • The first betting site features a 100% match; you’ll receive a $300 bonus.
  • The second betting site offers a 50% match; you’ll collect a $150 bonus.
  • The third betting site features a 150% match; you’ll receive a $450 bonus.

Maximum Amount

Online sportsbooks cap their bonus offers to a certain degree. If you’re a high roller, then you want to pay special attention to the size of a bonus.

NCAA College Basketball Players

Anything worth up to $500 or more should satisfy you. Some betting sites even feature bonuses worth $1,000 or more.

Minimum Deposit

Each sportsbook requires you to meet a minimum deposit. After all, they don’t want to handle a bunch of amounts worth $1.50, $3.25, $4.50, etc.

The average betting site requires anywhere between a $10 and $20 minimum deposit. Even if you want to pursue a really small bonus, you’ll need to deposit the online sportsbook’s bare minimum.

Deposit or No Deposit

Sports gambling bonuses generally break down into two categories:

  1. No deposit – You receive a bonus just for signing up.
  2. Deposit – You must place a deposit to qualify.

No-deposit bonuses entail a small free bet (e.g. $10) or cash amount (e.g. $20). They aren’t worth much, but they also don’t require any financial risk.

Instead, you complete registration and take a shot at earning free money. The free aspect makes these offers very valuable to low rollers.

Deposit bonuses can be worth as much as $1,000. The catch, though, is that you must deposit a matching amount and earn the cash by wagering lots of money.

Time Involved

Many bettors are thrilled to be eligible for a no-deposit bonus. After all, no-deposit bonuses provide an opportunity to win money without investing anything…except your time.

Every bonus deal requires a time commitment of some sort. The time commitment comes from needing to meet terms and conditions.

Of course, deposit bonuses aren’t exactly time-free either. They require you to bet even more money to cash out.

The difference, though, is that your hard work is guaranteed to pay off when you meet terms and conditions. No-deposit bonuses often run out before you can satisfy T&Cs.

Friendly Terms & Conditions

Internet sportsbooks can’t let you cash out bonus funds right away. Otherwise, some bettors might sign up at sites just to get free money and vanish.

So, bookmakers make you earn bonuses by satisfying terms and conditions. Common terms found throughout the industry include:

  • Minimum odds – Every bet must be above certain odds (e.g. -160) while earning the bonus.
  • Maximum bet – You can’t exceed a certain bet amount (e.g. $100) when earning an offer.
  • Playthrough (a.k.a. rollover) – Bookmakers require you to wager a multiple of the bonus (e.g. 10x) before cashing out the bonus.
  • Time limit on play through – Betting sites limit how long you have to satisfy rollover.
  • Claim – You must visit your account and claim the bonus before playthrough starts.
  • Restricted deposit methods – Neteller and Skrill deposits don’t normally qualify for bonuses.

Every term behind a bonus is important. You don’t want to violate any of the T&Cs and risk losing your deal.

However, rollover especially takes center stage. As covered in the next section, it plays a crucial role in determining the value behind your bonus.

Steps for Calculating Value in Sports Betting Bonuses

Again, multiple aspects weigh into a bonus’ value. The match percentage, size, time commitment, minimum deposit, and whether a deposit is required are all important.

But one concrete way to determine bonus value involves looking at how much it’s worth on a per-dollar basis. The following examples show how to compare value in betting offers:

Bonus #1

  • You qualify for a $200 bonus.
  • Playthrough is 10x.
  • 200 x 10 = $2,000 must be wagered to satisfy rollover
  • 200 / 2,000 = $0.10 per dollar in playthrough

Bonus #2

  • You qualify for a $200 bonus.
  • Playthrough is 20x.
  • 200 x 20 = $4,000 must be wagered to satisfy rollover
  • 200 / 4,000 = $0.05 per dollar in playthrough

As can be seen, Bonus #1 is definitely more worthwhile. It provides double the value ($0.10 vs. $0.05) for each dollar in rollover.

Of course, it’s easy to differentiate the value between two bonuses of the same size. Here are a couple more examples that differ regarding size and rollover.

Bonus #1

  • You receive a $150 bonus.
  • Playthrough is 15x.
  • 150 x 15 = $2,250 must be wagered to satisfy rollover
  • 150 / 2,250 = $0.067 per dollar in playthrough

Bonus #2

  • You receive a $400 bonus.
  • Playthrough is 25x.
  • 400 x 25 = $10,000 must be wagered to satisfy rollover
  • 400 / 10,000 = $0.04 per dollar in playthrough

Other Thoughts to Consider

You probably have enough tools to figure out bonus value just by using the math above. But you can take your efforts even further by considering the aspects discussed before too.

How Often Do You Place Bets?

The size of a bonus is important. However, you don’t necessarily need to fixate on this factor if you’re a beginner sports gambler.

?
A $500 deposit bonus may sound really tempting. But will you gamble enough to meet the rollover on such an offer in time?

If not, then you’ll want to think about placing a smaller deposit. A small deposit and bonus gives you a better chance to satisfy playthrough in time.

Do You Need to Give Up One Bonus to Pursue Another?

Some internet sportsbooks offer both a no-deposit and deposit bonus to new bettors. However, not all betting sites allow customers to qualify for both offers—only one or the other.

NCAA College Basketball Players

A $10 no-deposit bonus is a nice little reward. Is it worth giving up the chance for a lager deposit bonus (e.g. $200), though?

You need to think about your goals in such cases and go for whatever deal best fits these goals. Or you can simply move on to another online sportsbook.

What’s the Sportsbook’s Reputation?

A popular online betting site may offer the best-looking deal ever. If it doesn’t feature a quality reputation, though, then they might not even pay up.

Fortunately, most betting sites are reputable enough to honor all legitimately earned bonuses. But bad actors due exist here and there.

You can cut through this problem, though, by reading reviews on any online sportsbook you’re thinking about. A little research goes a long way towards choosing a solid bookmaker.

Where Are the Best Sports Betting Bonuses Available?

The sports gambling industry breaks down into two categories:

  1. Regulated markets with licensed betting sites.
  2. Grey markets with unlicensed/offshore operators.

The first option typically provides the best bonus offers. Most regulated jurisdictions are relatively new and still acquiring customers.

They need ways to beat out the competition for these bettors. Lucrative bonuses provide the best path towards accomplishing this goal.

Some legal online sportsbooks feature 100% match deposit bonuses worth up to $500 or more. They may also provide a no-deposit bonus and free bet as well.

Of course, offshore bookmakers in grey markets can also feature quality bonuses too. But the offshore market has been around longer, so the betting sites don’t feel as obligated to feature outstanding offers.

Conclusion

Betting bonuses aren’t always easy to differentiate in terms of value. They feature different sizes and rollover, which makes the process more confusing.

However, you’ll reduce the confusion by focusing on the playthrough and bonus size. You can also use math from the examples provided before to determine bonus value.

Of course, you should think about the other important factors as well. Your betting volume, the bookmaker’s reputation, and if you need to sacrifice one bonus for another are all crucial aspects.

Review of Tropicana Evansville Casino in Indiana

Tropicana Evansville Logo With a Casino Background

Owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by the popular Caesars Entertainment, Tropicana Evansville has grown substantially since its founding in 1995.

The 45,000 square-foot casino hotel comprises a 250-room hotel, 1,600-car parking garage, retail, restaurants, lounges, and more. On the site is also a 100-room boutique hotel, so if you’re into upscale accommodations, the latter is definitely something to look into.

Now for the good part: Tropicana Evansville is loaded with just about every casino gaming option imaginable. From classic slots to adrenaline-pumping table games to a poker room to even full-service sports betting, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for here.

Let’s look at a brief history then we’ll go into the casino and take a close look at everything the Trop offers.

Ready for a look into Indiana gambling? Let’s go.

Tropicana Evansville History

Opened back in 1995 by the Aztar Corporation and originally known as Casino Aztar, Tropicana holds the distinction as the State of Indiana’s first casino. But it wasn’t until 2017 did the casino become the state’s first land-based casino.

Casino Aztar Riverboat

That’s right. The Trop was initially a Riverboat Casino which came about after legislation swept through the state congress in 1993. In fact, at the time of this writing, most of your Indiana-based casinos remain in Riverboat Status, with the Trop being one of just four land-based casinos in the state.

That said, you can definitely count on the Trop to lead the casino and gaming industry in Indiana.

Ready to see what the casino gaming floor holds?

Keep reading.

Tropicana Evansville Casino Gaming

Tropicana Evansville’s game floor is loaded with your favorite classics and modern marvels. Come play real money slots and enjoy heart-pounding action with games like Wheel of Fortune, Blazing 7’s, Double Gold, Quick Hit Pro, Seven Seas, Timberwolf, and more.

You literally have hundreds of games and variations of those games to choose from. So even if you’re looking for a classic game with a modern spin, you can bet the Trop has something for you.

Tropicana Evansville Casino Floor

If table gaming is your thing, the Trop offers over 30 action-packed tables. Whether your game is Roulette, Craps, or Blackjack, you’ll find dozens of your favorites. And yes, you can bet that more action is on the way as Indiana’s first land-based casino continues to expand.

Ready for the poker room? Try your hand against Southwest Indiana’s best in Texas Hold ‘em and Omaha. Whether your game is limit, pot-limit, or no-limit, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

If traditional gaming on the casino floor isn’t for you, there’s still a fantastic reason to be part of all the action at the William Hill Sports Book. Bet like a pro in all the major professional and college sports at one of the conveniently located kiosks located throughout the area.

Whether you’re into spreads, parlays, over-unders, game props, or player props, wager your money and watch the action unfold at one of the 65-inch viewing monitors. And cross those fingers in hopes your team will prevail.

Tropicana Evansville Dining Options

Dining options at Tropicana Evansville include four excellent options, each with its unique theme, menu, and atmosphere.

If you’re looking to hit the home run on a steak Cavanaugh’s on the River presents flawless steaks, seafood, and breathtaking views of the good old Ohio River.

Want something fast and convenient? Brew Brothers Tap House is located steps away from the casino floor. Grab something fast and get back to gaming.

Cavanaugh's on the River Restaurant Dish

If you’re up for a little bit of everything, the Kitchen Buffet has it. Enjoy global cuisine at an affordable all-you-can-eat price. As you probably guessed, the Kitchen Buffet provides the widest range of options in the venue. There is a little something for everyone at this venue.

And finally, if you’re looking for an authentic, New York type of flare in America’s heartland, The Deli is it. Enjoy the bright, modern atmosphere and stock up on your favorite comfort foods. Whether you’re looking for pizza, desserts, or a quick grab and go, The Deli has it.

Tropicana Evansville Entertainment and Promotions

Entertainment at Tropicana Evansville is found in the Piano Bar at Cavanaugh’s on the River. Take advantage of the upscale atmosphere while you rock out to the best local entertainment in Southwest Indiana and the surrounding areas.

And don’t forget to take in some of the most breathtaking views of the Ohio during the nightlife. You’re certainly in for a real treat in the lower portions of the Ohio Valley.

Promotions are always rocking at The Trop, including the weekly Facebook drawing called 500 Bonus Slot Giveaway. What do you win? Two lucky winners receive 2,000 bonus slot dollars and one lucky winner receives 100.

Just like the Facebook page, like the drawing post, and comment on the drawing post and your name will be entered into the weekly drawing.

A common promotion you’ll see during football season is the NFL Pick ‘em, hosted by Caesars Entertainment. You could win over $1 million in prizes just by picking who wins each week. Just register for Caesars Rewards and make your weekly picks.

Oh, and speaking of Caesars Rewards, what is it all about?

If you find yourself on the gaming floor of various Caesars locations, this is the greatest promotion out there. With over 55 destinations to choose from, joining the rewards program will let you build rewards while playing the games you love.

Just sign up to play, and get rewarded with benefits including special offers from Caesars Rewards casinos, free or discounted hotel stays, or a free night in Vegas or Atlantic City for every 5,000 rewards points earned.

Start as a Gold member, and rack up those tier points for even more rewards. The more you play, the more benefits you earn, and you’ll be the talk of the casino with VIP treatment and more.

Accommodations at Tropicana Evansville

If you love conveniently located choices, then the Trop just earned a few more brownie points. You can go for more economical hotel stay at the Tropicana or if you’re up for it, the Grand Suite at the smaller Le Merigot boutique hotel.

Choose from the Standard Queen or Standard King at the Tropicana Hotel for utmost comfort and convenience at a price you can afford. Oh, and if you’re up for views of the Ohio River and a light show that is Downtown Evansville, then this hotel will suit your needs.

Tropicana Evansville Le Merigot Hotel Room

Now, if you’re looking for a taste of luxury at a decent price, book a room in the single-bed King Suite. It has a small apartment feel with full furnishings, and even a small dining area.

And best yet, you’re just steps away from the casino gaming floor.

Now if modern luxury is your thing, you’ll find it at Le Merigot.

You’ll pay extra for the luxurious experience. But the comfort this hotel brings along with its convenient location, it’s worth forking up a little more dough over. When you step into any of Le Merigot’s hotel rooms, you’ll realize this venue goes above and beyond average.

But when you walk into the Grand Suite, you’ll understand within seconds that your stay will reach legendary status. From plush robes and slippers to a large living and dining area and your own personal refrigerator, a vacation of luxury awaits.

Whether you’re the weary traveler or weary gamer who just put in a day at the casino. Le Merigot is sure to rejuvenate you.

Nearby Attractions

Evansville has two distinct minor league sports teams; the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League and the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Evansville Thunderbolts. So, if you’re a sports fan you have a couple of excellent options here at the minor league level to see live and in person.

If you’re into exotic wildlife, the Mesker Park Zoo will be your happy place. It boasts itself as one of the oldest and largest zoos in Indiana, having been in operation for nearly 100 years. Here, you’ll find 200 species and more than 700 animals.

Evansville Museum of Arts History and Science

If you’re into culture, history, and science, then hit up the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science. Other cool finds in the city include the Angel Mounds Historic Site, the Children’s Museum of Evansville, and the Art Deco building.

Annual festivals include the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival. It draws an additional 100,000 people to Evansville every October, so if you’re in the area it’s worth checking out. And you also have the Germania Männerchor Volksfest, which celebrates and recognizes those of German heritage.

If the latter is you, it’s a most definite shoo-in to attend if you’re in town during the last weekend in August.

Conclusion

There you have it. If you’re looking for some intense casino gaming fun complete with the greatest promotions and live entertainment in the area, the Tropicana Evansville has you covered.

Evansville, Indiana is also an area rich in culture and tradition, so definitely take advantage of venturing off the casino gaming floor and into the city. You’ll be glad you took a day or two off to explore Evansville.

Have you been to the Trop since it became land-based or were you there during its days as a riverboat casino? Let us know in the comments and tell us about your experiences. We’re always glad to hear from you.

Boyd Gaming and Aristocrat Launch Cashless Wagering Digital Wallet

Row of Slot Machines in Casino

As one of its responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boyd Gaming Corporation has partnered with Aristocrat Technologies for the introduction of a cashless wagering digital wallet at Boyd’s Blue Chip Casino Resort Spa in Michigan City, Indiana.

With regulators asking gambling operators to come up with cashless strategies to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus and customers looking to a convenient way to place bets, Boyd and Aristocrat have heeded the call. During an announcement last Monday, Boyd Gaming Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Blake Rampmaier said this innovation will enhance client experience at Boyd properties.

Added Rampmaier:

“Building on our strategic partnership with Aristocrat, Boyd Gaming continues to add best-in-class mobile cashless wagering and contactless solutions that will greatly enhance the patron experience at our properties. As previously announced, we will continue to leverage our partnership with Aristocrat to drive mobile innovation in a secure and exciting environment for our patrons.”Resort Wallet Feature

The digital wallet is part of Boyd’s “Resort Wallet” scheme. Under this feature, Boyd patrons can can place an amount on the account at the cashier’s cage. Then they can use their casino Loyalty Cards to access the casino floor and play games.This digital wallet eliminates the need to use cash when playing slot machines.

As of the moment, this cashless wallet feature can only be experienced by slot machine players, allowing them to use their B Connected loyalty cards to place wagers and cash out credits.However, Boyd plans to expand its use to table games, restaurants, and other casino amenities.

Expanding To Other Properties

The new product is currently limited to Blue Chip Casino but Boyd plans to expand its use to its other properties across the country, pending regulatory approvals and depending on the success of its maiden launch.Boyd Gaming also intends to integrate this cashless wallet to its B Connected Mobile App so that their patrons will fully experience touchless gaming.

With many regulators calling for the development of a cashless payment system, Boyd and Aristocrat believe that this pandemic-hit period is the best opportunity to offer cashless gaming solutions.

5 Tips for Betting the Moneyline Underdog by Sport

Man Holding Cash With Quick Tips Text and Laptop Background

It’s the holy grail of high-value betting wins. Enough of them and you’ll be able to overcome an overall losing record and still come out ahead when looking at your bankroll number. Of course, I’m talking about winning when betting on the moneyline underdog.

Though they’re great when they hit, there’s no denying that frequently betting on the moneyline underdog involves more risk than most other types of bets. That means it’s important to pick your spots in order to win frequently enough to justify the play.

In this article, I’ll out six things to look for that can help you spot a good moneyline underdog pick.

1 – The Odds Themselves

The first place that I look when trying to pick out my moneyline underdog picks is the numbers. Though they won’t tell you everything about a game, they undoubtedly do tell a story.

Some bettors might advocate for looking at the big underdog plays – meaning +250 or higher, and focusing on hitting enough of these plays to finish the day or weekend in the green. In my opinion, this can be a viable option but I’ve found it very difficult to win with any type of consistency.

The range I believe to have the most opportunity for bettors looking to maximize the moneyline is between +120 to around +175 (unless you’re talking about baseball – more on that later). These odds indicate that there is a real chance that the underdog will win outright. Additionally, it allows you to take advantage of public bias that might have caused a team that would otherwise be favored to be the underdog.

The bottom line is that most of the time you see a moneyline in the +150 range (give or take a little either way), it’s worth taking a chance and taking the value play.

2 – In Baseball, Bigger Is Better

In football and basketball, the typical play is usually a bet on the spread. Baseball is a bit unique in that the standard bet is on the moneyline. This means that there are some more defined strategies that experienced bettors have been using for years in order to get an edge.

What is interesting about betting on underdogs in baseball is that they feel like they have more of a chance to win. I mean, even the worst teams in the league typically win about 60 games each year. A bad bounce or a timely hit can change the outcome in an instant, and nobody is really taking note of it even if the worst team in the league beats the best team.

MLB Dodgers Player at Bat

When looking at the day’s slate of games and the associated odds, focus your attention on the games that have the biggest moneyline disparity. You might be thinking that choosing the team who is most unlikely to win (if you’re using the odds as a measure) on a daily basis is a bad idea, but in reality your wins will more than cover your losses.

It’s not a foolproof strategy to say that betting on the biggest underdog each day is the best way to be successful betting on baseball, but the data would suggest it will be profitable more often than not.

If you’re someone who bets on baseball on a daily, or near-daily basis, you should get into the habit of reviewing a handful of sportsbooks before making your plays. Due to the sheer volume of games, there’s more variance in odds than you’ll see in a sport like football, for example.

Betting on baseball is a numbers game. That means maximizing every advantage you possible have at your disposal – only using one sportsbook is the opposite of that mindset.

3 – Think Smaller in Football

Whether you’re looking at a list of Sunday’s matchups or trying to sort out your plays on a chaotic college football Saturday, there are plenty of opportunities to make high-value moneyline picks.

As I laid out in the previous section, choosing the team with the longest odds is a good idea in baseball. The same cannot be said when it comes to making money on the gridiron.

NFL Cowboys Quarterback Throwing the Ball

When it comes to betting on football, I’ve found the most success in betting on teams who have close-to-even odds, but still are an underdog on paper. Out of all the sports, football is the one where the team which is favored wins most often. That means if you’re banking on major upsets to sustain your betting strategy, it’s just probably not going to happen.

The odds range that has been most successful for me personal in football is around +110 to +175. This is the area where the underdog has nearly a 50% chance of winning the game on paper, but the sportsbook is looking to get the action to even out.

4 – Pick More Carefully in Basketball

For the sake of this article, when I talk about basketball I’m referring strictly to betting on the NBA. College basketball has an innumerable amount of variables to consider, and I tend to avoid betting it until tournament time rolls around. The professional game, however, is a betting staple that can be taken advantage of if you know what to look for in a matchup.

Unfortunately, when it comes to basketball there’s no hard and fast rule for selecting a high-value moneyline underdog. It requires close attention to the actual games themselves, and you must get into the details from a basketball, and most importantly, circumstantial standpoint.

As most bettors know, things like back-to-back games, games where players are resting in the name of “load management,” and cross-country travel, all have an impact – especially in the regular season.

If you’re able to recognize that several different factors add up to an underdog team having a good chance to win, that’s the time to jump on the play.

NBA Player LeBron James

If in baseball it’s better to play the biggest underdog, and if in football it’s best to play the underdogs closer to even-money, basketball falls somewhere in the middle. When going over the list of games and their odds, look at each underdog and try to come up with reasons why they’ll win against a better team.

One final note on choosing underdogs in the NBA – like baseball, it’s crucial to review different sportsbooks. Even though the NBA has roughly half the number of total games when compared to baseball, the volume is still significant and this inevitably leads to varying odds from book to book.

5 – Individual Sports Betting

Aside from the traditional team sports that I’ve addressed above, sporting events like tennis and golf can also provide huge value for bettors. Several different options are typically available for these types of plays – meaning against the field or one vs. one bets, so you can decide which is best for you.

For example, when looking at golf betting odds you’ll notice that in any tournament, even the heaviest favorite will have plus-money odds to win outright. If you don’t feel comfortable trying to predict one player to win over the entire field, there are one vs. one bets known as “matchup” bets.

Pro Golfer Jordan Spieth

With matchup bets, sportsbooks offer odds on just two golfers and whoever finishes with the better score wins. The matchups offered are at the discretion of the sportsbook, so you should be looking at a few if you want to review all potential choices.

Many golf bettors prefer matchup bets to all other types because they’re simply easier to evaluate. You only need to look at two golfers in depth, which means you can do much more research to make an educated play.

In terms of tennis, I personally have not found a ton of value in moneyline underdogs. While I’m sure it exists, it requires a somewhat deep knowledge of the sport to predict matches that most of the public won’t know anything about.

If you are looking for moneyline underdog plays in tennis, I would stick to the championship rounds, or at least close to it, where the players are better known.

Conclusion

For all the many betting strategies out there today, the one that has stood the test of time always revolves around betting with value in mind.

Use these tips when making your next plays and remember – those who take (smart) risks are often rewards in sports betting.

More Intricacies Related to Counting Cards in Blackjack

Blackjack Hand With a Numbers Background

In my previous post in this series, “How Hard Is It to Count Cards in Blackjack?”, I covered some of the basic concepts that underly card counting in blackjack. I explained a little about the history of this advantage play technique and discussed a couple of different card counting systems anyone could use.

The conclusion I arrived at in that post is that card counting is easier than a lot of people think, but it’s still relatively hard compared to most endeavors.

In this post, I’m going to get into some of the other intricacies involved in counting cards. You could probably make some money by reading no more than that first post, but you can do even better if you get more comfortable with some of the complexities involved.

How to Practice Counting Cards

I’m going to suggest that you stick with the hi-lo card counting system I described in my last post. These are the cards and values for that system:

  • Any 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 counts as +1.
  • Any ace or card worth 10 counts as -1.

You have a total of 6 cards worth +1 each, and you have a total of 6 cards worth -1 each. If you count through a deck of cards using this system, you’ll start with 0, but since the count is balanced, you’ll also end with 0.

The first step in learning how to count cards is to practice at home by counting through a single deck of cards. You’ll have a reasonably good idea of how well you’re doing by whether you end up with 0. If you have another count at the end of the deck, you’ve made a mistake.

Playing Cards on a Wooden Table

Just go through the deck one card at a time keeping up with the running count. Once you get to where you can wind up with 0 at the end of every count, you can start trying to speed things up with a stopwatch of some kind.

Another trick is to start dealing the cards out 2 at a time, then 4 at a time, and so on. You’ll start to recognize cards which cancel themselves out in these pairings. This will make you even faster.

You should be able to count through an entire deck of cards in less than a minute and wind up with 0 at the end of it.

Once you can do that, start adding distractions. Turn the radio up. Put the TV on. Encourage the kids to play in the same room as you count cards.

When you’re counting cards in a casino, you’ll need to be able to do so without being distracted by the sensory overload there. Keep in mind you need to be able to keep up with the count without giving it away that you’re counting. You can’t be moving your lips, look like you’re concentrating hard, or anything else of that nature.

Practicing at home in a quiet room won’t prepare you for a casino environment.

Deviating From Basic Strategy Based on the Count

I know I’ve mentioned that the main way you get an edge playing blackjack for real money is by changing the size of your bets based on the count.

But you can (and should) also deviate from basic strategy when warranted.

Here’s an example:

Suppose you have a hard total of 16, and the basic strategy suggests that you should hit in this situation.

Blackjack Dealing Handing Out a Card

But you know the deck is proportionately rich in 10s because the count is so positive.

If you’re guessing that you should stand instead, you’re right.

The deviations from basic strategy based on the count are called “indexes.”

You can come up with a nearly infinite number of situations where you’d deviate from basic strategy based on the count, but a lot of them come up so rarely it isn’t worth it to know what to do.

For example, how often are you going to be playing in a game where the count is +9?

The main situations where you need to deviate are called “the illustrious 18” and “the fabulous 4.”

The Illustrious 18 and the Fabulous 4

The fabulous 4 are the situations in which you should take late surrender as an option. Since not all casinos offer late surrender, these situations might be moot.

But when they’re in play, they make a big difference.

Here are the fabulous 4:

  1. You’re holding a 15 versus a dealer 9. Surrender if the count is +3 or higher.
  2. You’re holding a 15 versus a dealer 10. Surrender if the count is 0 or higher.
  3. You’re holding a 15 versus a dealer ace. Surrender if the count is +2 or higher.
  4. You’re holding a 14 versus a dealer 10. Surrender if the count is +4 or higher.

Those aren’t hard to memorize, because they’re such a limited number of situations.

The illustrious 18 are the other 18 biggest situations where you’ll deviate from basic strategy. They’re the ones that come up most often and matter more to your bottom line.

Here are the illustrious 18:

  1. Any time the count is +3 or higher, insurance becomes a profitable bet.
  2. You’re holding a 16 versus a dealer 9. Stand if the count is +5 or higher.
  3. You’re holding a 16 versus a dealer 10. Stand if the count is 0 or higher.
  4. You’re holding a 15 versus a dealer 10. Stand if the count is +4 or higher.
  5. You’re holding a 13 versus a dealer 2. Stand if the count is -1 or higher.
  6. You’re holding a 13 versus a dealer 3. Stand if the count is -2 or higher.
  7. You’re holding a 12 versus a dealer 2. Stand if the count is +4 or higher.
  8. You’re holding a 12 versus a dealer 3. Stand if the count is +2 or higher.
  9. You’re holding a 12 versus a dealer 4. Stand if the count is 0 or higher.
  10. You’re holding a 12 versus a dealer 5. Stand if the count is -1 or higher.
  11. You’re holding a 12 versus a dealer 6. Stand if the count is -3 or higher.
  12. You’re holding an 11 versus a dealer ace. Double down if the count is -1 or higher.
  13. You’re holding a 10 versus a dealer 10. Double down if the count is +4 or higher.
  14. You’re holding a 10 versus a dealer ace. Double down if the count is +3 or higher.
  15. You’re holding a 9 versus a dealer 2. Double down if the count is +1 or higher.
  16. You’re holding a 9 versus a dealer 7. Double down if the count is +4 or higher.
  17. You’re holding a pair of 10s versus a dealer 5. Split if the count is +5 or higher.
  18. You’re holding a pair of 10s versus a dealer 6. Split if the count is +5 or higher.

I should mention that these deviations are based on a single deck game. If you’re playing in a game with multiple decks, you’ll want to convert the running count into a true count. I explained how to do that in my previous post in this series.

Accounting for Variations in Casino Rules and Conditions

You’ll find plenty of blackjack articles that mention that the house edge is 0.5%. You’ll see some that use the number 1%, instead. The truth, though, is that the edge is based on the rules and game conditions in place where you’re gambling.

Multiple Hands on a Blackjack Table

If you’re new to blackjack or counting cards, you might think that the difference in game conditions isn’t that important. You’d be wrong, though – every tenth of a percentage point in expectation counts.

Assume that the standard blackjack game is one with 8 decks, where the dealer hits a soft 17, and you’re allowed to double after split. The house edge for this game, if you use perfect blackjack strategy, is about 0.64%. When you adjust the following rules, the house edge changes by the amount listed:

  • A single deck game has a house edge of about 0.48% better. If all the other rules were the same, the house edge for this game would drop to 0.16%, which is about as close to a break-even game as you’ll find in a casino. Even a double deck game has a significant effect on the house edge – 0.19%.
  • If you’re allowed to take early surrender against a 10, you get 0.24% back. (The default rules above assume that surrender isn’t an option.)
  • If you can double down on any number of cards (instead of just being able to double down on your initial 2 cards), you get 0.23%.
  • If the dealer has to stand on a soft 17, you get 0.22% from that, too.
  • Being allowed to resplit aces gives you 0.08%.
  • Being allowed to take late surrender is also worth 0.08%.

Those are rules conditions you’d like to find. Other rules changes can make the house edge higher, as follows:

  • If blackjack only pays even money, the house edge increases 2.27% in favor of the house. This isn’t common.
  • A 6/5 blackjack game, though, IS common, and it still has a devastating effect on your odds. It adds 1.39% to the house edge.
  • If you’re only allowed to double down on 10 or 11, you lose 0.18% to the house.
  • If you’re not allowed to double after splitting, you lose 0.14%.
  • If you’re only allowed to split once (no re-splitting), you lose another 0.10%.

Keep in mind that conditions don’t just vary from casino to casino. They often vary from table to table, especially when you’re playing at tables with different limits.

Conclusion

Entire books have been about advantage gambling with card counting, and you can only go into so much depth in a single blog post.

This post has delved into some of the stuff beyond the basics outlined in the first post of this series.

Stay tuned for more posts that will cover even more details that matter to card counters.

7 Ways to Improve as a Video Poker Player Without Using Strategy

Excited Man With a Video Poker Logo and Machine

Video poker strategy is easy to use when you have the right tools. And using these tools gives you the best chance to win. But strategy isn’t the way to improve your video poker play.

And the truth is that the best video poker players use a combination of strategic and nonstrategic tactics when they play.

Here’s a list of seven things you can do to improve your video poker results that don’t have anything to do with strategy. Once you master these seven tactics, you can add strategy to the mix and play the best real money video poker possible.

1 – The Machine Matters

The video poker machine you choose to play is the first big decision you need to make. The way most gamblers do this is they try several different variations and settle on 1 or 2 machines that they like.

Some gamblers enjoy video poker games with wild cards and some like a machine with a simple game mechanic.

While you should try a few different video poker variations, you should do this a little differently than most gamblers. The good news is that there are good options if you like wild cards or if you prefer a more simple game.

Video Poker Game Selection Screen

The difference is that you should narrow your choices down to the video poker machines that offer the best chance to win before you settle on a particular game or two to play. And the good news gets even better.

I can narrow the field of possibilities down to exactly two options to help you get started. I’m not saying that these are the only two video poker variations that you’re ever going to be able to play, but these two are the best options to start with.

If you want to play a simple straightforward video poker game, play Jacks or Better. If you prefer a game with wild cards, play Deuces Wild.

Both of these variations are easy to learn, and they both give you a good chance to win. And when you’re ready to start using strategy later, both of these variations have readily available strategy charts that are easy to use.

2 – The Pay Table Matters Even More

Now that you know which machine or machines that you’re going to play, the next step is to learn more about the available pay tables. Pay tables are the single most important thing when you play video poker.

Each unique pay table has a particular minimum edge for the casino. This means that if you play on a machine with a bad pay table, you’re playing against a higher edge for the casino than when you play on a machine with a better pay table.

Pay tables can be a little confusing, especially when you’re comparing two or more pay tables on the same type of machine.

It’s easy to see that a pay table that has all of the numbers the same except for one number is a better choice. But how do you determine the better pay table when multiple pay outs are different, with some numbers higher and some numbers lower?

You can run some complicated math to figure this out, or you can simply look up the best pay tables from a resource that has already run the numbers. Here are the pay tables you need to look for when you play Deuces Wild or Jacks or Better.

The Deuces Wild pay table you should play has the following payouts in the five-coin column:

  • 4,000 coins for a royal flush with no wilds
  • 1,000 coins for four deuces
  • 125 coins for a royal flush with one or more wilds
  • 80 coins for five of a kind
  • 50 coins for a straight flush
  • 20 coins for four of a kind
  • 20 coins for a full house
  • 15 coins for a flush
  • 10 coins for a straight
  • 5 coins for three of a kind

The Jacks or Better pay table you should play has the following payouts in the five-coin column:

  • 4,000 coins for a royal flush
  • 250 coins for a straight flush
  • 125 coins for four of a kind
  • 45 coins for a full house
  • 30 coins for a flush
  • 20 coins for a straight
  • 15 coins for three of a kind
  • 10 coins for two pairs
  • 5 coins for a pair of jacks or higher

3 – Too Fast Means Too Bad

Even when you choose the best game variation and use the best pay table, there’s another thing that has a large influence on how much you lose. The variable I’m talking about is how fast you play.

Whether you play video poker in a land-based casino, or on a mobile device or computer, you control how fast you play. This might not seem like it’s very important, but you need to limit your losses when you play video poker.

Video Poker Four of a Kind of Threes

And one of the best ways to limit your losses is to play fewer hands. Every video poker hand you play increases the total amount you risk. The video poker machine is designed to keep a small percentage of your total amount risked as profit.

This means that the higher your risk, the higher the profit for the casino. This also means that the higher your risk, the higher your losses.

You don’t have to play to slow, but the slower you play video poker the less you lose and the longer you can play.

4 – Low Denomination and Maximum Coins

I listed the pay tables you need to look for in an earlier section for the two best video poker variations, but those tables are based on using a five-coin wager. If you risk less than five coins, the top payout amount goes down.

If the top payout amount goes down, it raises the casino edge. This simply means that you need to use the five-coin option.

This also means that you need to play machines that have a low coin denomination. Find the lowest coin denomination that has the pay table you want, and use the max coin wager.

5 – Hot and Cold Machines

Some superstitious gamblers spend all of their time looking for a hot machine and trying to avoid cold machines. But I’m going to tell you a secret about hot and cold video poker machines—they don’t exist.

Video poker machines are designed using simple math based on a deck of playing cards. A machine isn’t hot or cold or “due” for a win. Everything that happens is simply mathematical.

Forget about finding a hot machine or avoiding a cold machine. Just find a good machine with a good pay table and forget about hot and cold.

6 – Video Poker Casino Bonuses

Beyond the tactics listed on this page, and using a strategy chart, there isn’t much you can do to become a better video poker player. But online and mobile video poker play does have one extra benefit.

Online Casino Video Poker Game

A few mobile and gambling sites offer an online bonus for video poker players. When you make a deposit, you can get a bonus amount that makes your bankroll larger.

A video poker bonus doesn’t usually help you win more money, but it does let you play longer and have more chances to win the top prize.

7 – Video Poker Tournament Play

The final tip is a way to play video poker on a set budget. It helps you play a minimum number of video poker hands with a chance to win while setting a hard limit on how much you can lose.

A video poker tournament has an entry fee, and you compete against other video poker players. The players with the highest totals win cash prizes.

Video poker tournaments aren’t exactly common, but some casinos do run them. Ask about video poker tournaments where you usually gamble, and look for listings at online and mobile casinos to find tournaments you can join.

Conclusion

Every choice you make when you play video poker, even the choices you make before you start playing hands, influence your chance to win. The most important choices are picking the right machine or game and the right pay table.

You’re in control of how fast you play, and if you can play slower, you limit your long-term losses. Another way to control your losses is to play on machines with small coin denominations.

Don’t fall for the hot and cold machine myth, consider playing in video poker tournaments, and use bonuses when you can find them.

More US Casino Relief is Needed to Protect the Industry

Bag of Money With Casino Chip and Roulette Wheel Background

When the casinos first shut down back in March, many predicted that things would have returned to normal by now. That’s not the case, and many casino companies around the country are still hurting right now. Officials in the industry are now calling for more US casino relief.

Calls for more relief bills have been escalating in recent months. Some fear that major casino companies are at risk of failing. Today, we’ll talk about what the country’s biggest casino companies are asking for right now.

Let’s get into it!

Major US Casino Destinations See Lower Revenue Figures

The United States is known for having one of the largest casino industries in the world. Each state around the country is able to set its own regulations towards casino gambling. Some states allow only Native American-run casinos to operate. Others allow both tribal and commercial casinos.

In March, the country’s casino industry came to a standstill. By June, casinos started reopening again. Commercial casinos needed specific permission from state government officials. Tribal casinos, however, have been able to reopen at their own pace.

It’s been more than seven months since the shutdowns and revenue remains significantly lower than it was in 2019. Of course, revenue earnings are fluctuating from state to state. The areas of the country with regulated online gambling platforms seem to be performing the best right now.

Nevada continues to see major losses. The casino-resorts in cities like Las Vegas are feeling the effects and many are taking new steps to cut down on costs. The Encore Las Vegas, for example, recently announced that it was closing for three days a week moving forward.

New Jersey’s casino revenue has been hurting, yet things seem to be better here than in many other states. The sports betting industry in NJ is the biggest in the country and continues to set new records. Unfortunately, the casinos in Atlantic City are still hurting right now.

The worst thing is no one seems to know when things will return to normal. Many casino officials are now pleading for more help from the federal government.

Gaming Officials Call for More US Casino Relief

Not long after the country’s casino industry shut down, a bill was presented to protect this industry. Some felt it wasn’t enough, though. Even with the money granted by the government, many casino companies seem at risk of failing.

This week, American Gaming Association President Bill Miller gave his annual speech at the G2E 2020 Conference. Of course, this conference was held online this year. Miller spoke about the need for more US casino relief to protect both companies and their workers.

“Gaming has never experienced a disruption like COVID-19,” Miller said. “Over two weeks in March, every casino in America was closed by government-mandated shutdowns, impacting each of the 1.8 million jobs we support. Gaming workers, their families, and the small businesses that depend on us have all been hit hard. And our states and communities are feeling it, too. In addition to COVID’s impact on businesses, jobs, and the well-being of our families, friends and colleagues, state budgets have been decimated by the pandemic.” 

Miller did not comment on how much the casino industry was given during the first aid package passed earlier this year. He’s demanding the casino companies be included into any additional aid packages that are put through later this year. Miller is also asking for additional tax relief to help ensure that casinos keep their workers employed.

This goes to show how much the industry is hurting right now. We’ve already seen a huge number of layoffs from some of the biggest casino companies in the US. Hopefully, we don’t see any of the major casinos forced to permanently close their doors this year.

We’ll be sure to offer updates if any casino relief packages are approved before the end of the year.

Several More States Are Likely to Legalize Sports Betting This Year

Casinos have proven to be excellent sources of revenue for many states. Historically speaking, casinos also help to bring individual cities large amounts of money and employment. With the way the US casino industry is, many states are now turning to legalized sports betting to make up for lost revenue.

As we’ve already mentioned, sports betting revenue has been surging this year in many parts of the country. That’s particularly true in New Jersey. Many smaller states such as Rhode Island and Iowa are seeing impressive sports gambling revenue figures, as well.

It now appears that several more states will soon legalize and regulate sports betting before the end of the year. Louisiana and Maryland both have a vote to legalize this form of gambling appearing on the ballots in November.

Most expect these votes to be passed unanimously. Both of these states have casinos that have been hurting this year. Louisiana, in particular, has been hit hard from the pandemic and the many hurricanes affecting coastal casinos.

It seems likely that the vast majority of states will have regulated sports betting industries within the next few years. That’s particularly true if casino industries continue to see low revenue figures.

Do you think it’s time for more US casino relief to be presented? Let us know in the comments section below!

Pennsylvania Casinos: Parx Casino and Racing Review

Parx Casino and Racing Exterior and Interior

The historic Parx Casino and Racing first opened in November 1974. But it wasn’t until December 2006 (December 2009 for the standalone casino) did the old venue known as Philadelphia Park at the time start offering casino gaming.

Throughout the 2010s, the casino located in the Philadelphia suburb of Bensalem, Pennsylvania has since evolved to become the largest complex in the state. And with the popularity and economic boost the gambling scene has brought, you can tack on further growth throughout the 2020s.

But there’s enough at this casino to keep you busy for a week. Add in the excellent dining and entertainment options, and you need not go anywhere else. But if you’re looking to explore the area, there are also plenty of local attractions at your disposal.

Ready to take a tour of Pennsylvania’s best gambling? Let’s get started.

Parx Casino History

As mentioned in the intro the racetrack was founded in 1974 and opened up Keystone Racetrack,  built to replace Liberty Bell Park Racetrack in Northeast Philadelphia. ITB purchased the track in 1984 and hence, a name change was in order.

The newly named Philadelphia Park continued Keystone’s and Liberty Bell’s tradition of offering Thoroughbred racing. But upon ITB’s purchase, the company laid out new turf and brought along Phonebet. The most technologically advanced way to wager on horse racing at the time.

Greenwood Racing Inc. bought the track in 1990 and added full-card simulcasting.

Parx Racetrack and Stables

In September 2006, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granted the track a conditional slot license which paved the way to transform the racetrack into a racino. Final approval came three months later in December 2006.

And Philadelphia Park Racetrack and Casino opened its doors on the first and third floors of the racetrack. This, however, stood as the temporary casino. Exactly three years later, on December 18th, 2009, the standalone Parx Casino opened.

Parx now contains over 3,300 real money slots. Electronic gaming like video poker, Blackjack, and Roulette was also made available upon opening, but in 2010, 199 tables of live gaming arrived. In 2018, the venue added a 48-table poker room.

And in October 2018, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved Parx’s application for a sports betting license.

So, like many casinos in Pennsylvania, Parx offers everything from horse racing to poker if you’re an avid casino gamer. And as the largest casino and racing complex in Pennsylvania, it offers a lot of it.

Let’s look closer at which games you can expect in the electronic gaming, table, and poker rooms.

Gaming at Parx Casino

Parx Casino gaming includes your favorite traditional and most recent additions in their slot room that comprises over 3,300 machines.

Whether you’re looking for a classic like Monopoly or something fun and interesting like Christmas Vacation (yes, that Christmas Vacation), you will find it in what is 150,000 square feet of real estate.

So, what are you looking to play first? Wheel of Fortune? Wonka? Lightning Link? Come in and try your hand at the games.

Also featured are over 60 electronic table games like Blackjack and Roulette, along with video poker. So if you’re not ready to get in on the table gaming action, no worries. Parx has you covered.

Parx Casino Floor

Are you in the mood for table gaming action? You need not look any further. As mentioned in the intro, we’re looking at 199 table games featuring the best action north of Philadelphia. What are you looking to get in on? Craps? Roulette? Blackjack? Why not all three?

Up for some poker? Parx has your game. Whether you’re in for no-limit Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha, or Stud, you can test your skill against some of the best poker players Eastern Pennsylvania offers.

And Pennsylvania is one of the first states in the nation to bring sports betting into their casinos. So, what are you looking to bet on? Pro football? Baseball? Both? It’s all here at Parx.

You don’t even need to be in the casino to place your bets if you download the Parx Sports Betting app. So long as you remain within state borders, place your bets against the spread, over-unders, parlays, and more.

Parx Casino Dining

What’s a great casino experience without the best dining around? You don’t have one. Luckily, you’ll have an outstanding experience at Parx because not only do you have top-notch dining options; you can also choose between upscale dining, casual dining, or the quick in and out.

Here’s a rundown of Parx Casino’s dining options:

The award-winning, upscale food and atmosphere is found at Parxgrill. They feature the area’s unique menu options, along with seasonal specialties inspired by the restaurant’s top-notch chefs.

Farm to fork is how the Liberty Bell Gastropub describes its casual dining option. And comfort foods are their specialty. Whether you’re in the mood for the best gourmet burgers around. Made from local ingredients, premium pork, or free-range chicken, you’ll find all of it here.

The Liberty Bell Gastropub Dish

Whether craft beers, fine wine, or specialty cocktails are on your mind, The Liberty Bell Beer Garden has you covered. How do chef-inspired dishes along with an all-season firepit sound to spice up the atmosphere? Hey, you can count me in.

Chef Joe Zhou personally designed the Bambu Noodle House’s menu. So whether you’re in the mood for appetizers, soups, Peking Duck, or steamed lotus, rest assured you’re getting the highest quality Asian-inspired cuisine in the area.

Add a high-end food menu plus the area’s largest craft beer and superior cocktail selection. You get Xlounge. The highest-quality lounge slash bar on Philadelphia’s North Side. Take a seat in those luxury couches and you will experience paradise on Earth.

Are you the grab and go type? The Lucky Cheese is your place. Featuring grilled cheeses, panini, soups, salad entrees, and more, this is your one-stop-shop for the best grab and go food in the area.

Voted the #1 Sports Bar in America, Chickie’s & Pete’s is rocking with fresh seafood, beer towers, interactive gaming, and the big Philadelphia Eagles games. If you’re the sporty type, you know where to go.

Only the top foodies in the area will love what Foodies offers. So if you’re a foodie, hop into this laid back atmosphere and take advantage of the venue’s freshest area ingredients. Served right on the go.

And don’t forget to check out Jax, Parx’s premier sports bar. Experience adrenaline-pumping video poker at one of the 20 machines scattered about the venue while watching your Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, and Sixers bring home another W.

Parx Casino Promotions and Entertainment

Promos and entertainment are always a thing here at Parks. The primary promotion includes the Parx Casino Xclub. And yes, the Xclub involves instant rewards, such as free slot play, sweepstakes entries, points, casino comps, and more.

Sign up, play, and earn points. The more you play, the higher your status at Xclub becomes over the next six months. So, if you play often and earn 7,500-plus credits, you’ll find yourself at Elite Status. And earning benefits like priority gift pickup, next car up valet service, priority food reservations, and more.

The catch? You need to accumulate the number of points every six months. But once you’re at a specific status, you’ll keep those points for six months while accumulating rewards points for the next six months. Play often and never lose that status.

Entertainment at Parx Casino is always rocking and rolling. The party is going on all night long with live entertainment at the Xcite Center, the casino’s premier live entertainment venue. If you’re looking for the greatest local acts in the area, Xlounge and Chickie’s & Pete’s have you covered.

Come in, get entertained, enjoy a cocktail or two, and have a night to remember after a day of gaming at the casino.

Parx Casino Accommodations and Nearby Attractions

There are six awesome venues to choose from when planning your casino trip.

Let’s begin with the Marriott in Bensalem, where you’ll experience perhaps the most luxurious stay of the bunch. Prices begin at $129 plus tax.

Casual options include the Holiday Inn, Radisson Hotel, Wyndham Philadelphia, Best Western Plus, and Extended Stay Philadelphia. The prices are subject to change, but they price the options listed here between $82 and $99, plus tax.

Liberty Bell Exhibit in Pennsylvania

Looking to take time off from the casino and explore the area? Good idea, as you’re near the epicenter of American history, science, and sports.

Obviously, there are plenty of bars and venues in the surrounding area to watch your favorite Philadelphia area sports teams. And if you’re lucky enough to get into the show, more power to you. Especially those Eagles games.

If you’re into history, you’ll love the attractions abound in this area, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. You can also visit the Philadelphia Zoo and Camden Aquarium to find the best exotic wildlife in the world in some of America’s largest and oldest attractions.

Parx Casino Racing

And as with all racinos, we always need to dedicate time to racing. Parx Casino is one of the few casinos to have an additional website to its casino site dedicated completely to horse racing.

So for the complete rundown including the event schedule, Phonebet, race results, horsemen, and wagering information, visit the Parx Racing website.

Now for the brief rundown. What can you expect at Parx Racing?

Parx Racing Track Lineup

You’re looking at live racing from the best thoroughbred horses in the nation. Horses, jockeys, and trainers come here from all over the US to face off. And if you can’t make it to the casino to get in on the action and place your bet, pick up all the action on the simulcast.

So, whether you’re live at the track or if you’re on crunch time and can’t make it to the big events, never sweat. Place your bet online, watch the simulcast, cheer on your horse, and hopefully, they’ll win you some dough.

Now, as they say at Parx: Let’s Go Racing.

Conclusion

As you can see, Parx Casino and Racing is by far the largest casino and racetrack complex the State of Pennsylvania offers. With thousands of slot games and nearly 200 table games, you’ll never get bored.

If sports betting and horse racing are your thing, then you can spend all day watching the games and races 52 weeks a year.

What’s not to get excited about?

And if you venture off the casino grounds, there’s a large city just south of Bensalem waiting to be explored. One that is rich in history and tradition.

So what are you waiting for?

Plan your trip to Parx Casino and Racing today.

And have you been here? Let us know in the comments and tell us about your experience.

Las Vegas Sands Reportedly Eyeing Sale of US Casinos Properties

Exterior View of the Marina Sands

Gambling operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. is exploring the the sale of its Las Vegas strip properties in a deal that could fetch $6B for the Sheldon Adelson-led corporation.

Las Vegas Sands is said to be currently working with an adviser to gauge and solicit interest for the Venetian Resort Las Vegas, the Palazzo, and the Sands Expo Convention Center.

According to people privy to the matter, Adelson is eyeing to focus on Asia while temporarily leaving the U.S. gambling market. A representative from Las Vegas Sands confirmed the the discussions but added that they are still in the early stages and nothing has been finalized yet.

Focusing in The Far East

If a sale is consummated, Las Vegas Sands would concentrate its casino operations in Macau and Singapore whose markets are much larger than the United States. While Las Vegas may be the more traditionally popular gambling destination, Macau is the biggest casino market in the world.

The company’s U.S. operations accounted for only 15% of the Sands’ total revenue in 2019. On the other hand, Macau accounted for 63% of the company’s $13.7B revenue last year while Singapore contributed 22% of that amount.

The insignificance of its U.S. market is said to be the main reason why Las Vegas Sands is studying to unload its key Las Vegas Strip properties. That plus the uncertainty of when Las Vegas is going to bounce back, have reportedly convinced Sands to focus in the Far East. Sands is reportedly eyeing an expansion in both Macau and Singapore with the company earmarking $2.2B in spending. A sale of its U.S. properties would fund that plan.

Asia is Bouncing Back Faster

The casino industry, which is dependent on air travel, is one of the hardest hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 30, 2020, the company reported a total outstanding debt of $13.2B excluding finance leases. If the Las Vegas situation doesn’t improve soon, it will lead to more losses for the company.

On the other hand, Macau is bouncing back faster. During an earnings call last week, chairman Sheldon Adelson revealed that the steady recovery of the Asian gambling market helped improve the company’s third quarter figures. Meanwhile, Marina Bay Sands had a profitable third quarter of operations.

Las Vegas Sands was founded by its current chairman, CEO, and majority shareholder Adelson who ranks among the wealthiest people in the world with a net worth of $29.7B. Las Vegas Sands is currently valued at around $37.5B.

WSOP Launch in Pennsylvania Pushed Back To Early 2021

Poker Cards and World Series of Poker Logo
Pennsylvania online poker players were excited about the possibility of having the popular WSOP platform in the Keystone State. However, a representative from Caesars confirmed that the reported WSOP launch has been pushed back to early 2021.

The WSOP’s site now has a page advertising signup bonuses for real money online poker players in Pennsylvania. 888 has also began sending promotional emails to potential customers in the Keystone State. But despite these welcome developments, 888 still has some matters to address before a full launch.

Issues That Need to Be Settled

There are however a couple of PA-related issues that need to be settled. One of those involved the need for WSOP to establish a separate server for the Pennsylvania site as per regulatory requirements. The other issue involves the question of whether or not the WSOP can share player liquidity with its other sites in different states. 

It’s uncertain right now whether the WSOP wants an interstate compact already in place before its Pennsylvania launch. But that is definitely a plus for the WSOP because PA players can play against larger fields including players from other states. With these compacts in place, WSOP players in Nevada and New Jersey were able to compete against each other for WSOP online bracelets last summer.

Pokerstars Finally Has a Competitor

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved 888 Holdings’ application for an interactive manufacturer’s gaming license in the Keystone State. The move came after the online poker market in the United States posted record revenue numbers in the previous months. 

888 is a longtime online poker partner of Caesars and is a solutions provider to the popular World Series of Poker  or WSOP.com. With the approval of its license, WSOP.com online poker could be launched in Pennsylvania. 888 and Caesars officials refused to comment on when they will actually launch in Pennsylvania but rumors are pointing at early 2021 as their targeted date.

The entrance of 888 in the Keystone State means that Pokerstars will finally have a competitor. Since its launch in 2019, Pokerstars has been the only real money online poker site in Pennsylvania. Despite the pandemic, Pokerstars registered a revenue of $2.7M in August and $2.9M last month. 

 

Save Your Cash for the Casino: 10 Best Freebies in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Sign and Free Sticker With a Vegas Background

Taking a casino gambling trip to Las Vegas can really take a toll on the bank account. You’ll have to budget for travel, hotel accommodations, meals, and an array of ancillary charges.

That’s before you ever hit the casino floor. Depending on the length of your trip and game preferences, you could need a four-figure bankroll.

So, before you rush out to buy tickets for Carrot Top, these are the 10 best freebies in Las Vegas. Save your cash for the casino.

1 – The Wynn Atrium

The Wynn Resort & Casino is one of the most lavish properties in the United States. From the moment you pull up to the luxurious resort, you’re immersed in the finer things.

The Wynn Atrium is sometimes overlooked in favor of the Bellagio Gardens. However, the vibrant floral display at the Wynn gives the Bellagio a run for its money.

A casual stroll through the indoor jungle is a fantastic way to spend an hour off the casino floor and out of the desert sun. The beautiful indoor garden even has a lifesize carousel built from over 100,000 individual flowers.

The Wynn Atrium in Las Vegas

Don’t worry, while you may expect to wait in line for hours for such an attraction, the crowds at the Wynn are typically manageable. Though, if you are visiting during the holidays, you should anticipate larger than usual crowds.

The best part of the experience is that the botanical display won’t cost you a dime. So, you can save your cash for the casino.

2 – The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Perhaps the most iconic sign globally, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign, is a must-see when visiting Las Vegas.

Many tourists completely forget about the sign. They get wrapped up in the glitz and glamour of the casinos and Las Vegas shows, missing this wonderful landmark.

If you’re driving in from Los Angeles, you’ll pass the sign just south of the Mandalay Bay. The sign’s location off the Strip puts it out of mind for some.

You will not want to miss this photo-op. Be sure to get there early to beat the crowds. From mid-afternoon to late in the evening, you may see some incredibly long lines to get the perfect picture.

Of course, nothing commemorates a Vegas vacation like a group photo in front of the historical icon. Remember, it’s Las Vegas, and there’s no telling what you could see.

3 – Fremont Street

Fremont Street is a must-see for Las Vegas newbies. The overhead light show, Viva Vision, is enough reason alone to visit the thriving area.

However, there’s much more to the Fremont Street experience than just the massive overhead display. You’ll be blown away by the various performers on the main drag.

Various impersonators, artists, musicians, and other street performers are ready and set to entertain the masses. While the entire experience doesn’t have to cost you a thing, I’d suggest breaking a $20 bill before the trip for tip money.

Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas

Fremont Street is also a fantastic place for grabbing inexpensive souvenirs for family or friends. Several small shops operate solely on the backs of t-shirt and trinket sales to the tourists.

Don’t be alarmed by the screaming thrill-seekers whizzing overhead. The SlotZilla is part zip-line, part rollercoaster, and slings visitors on a thrilling ride high above the action below.

You won’t have to open the wallet at all on your trip to Freemont Street, but for a few dollars, you can really boost the entertainment factor.

4 – The Fountain Show at Bellagio

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino is world-famous for its illustrious fountains. Evel Knievel chose the fountains at Caesars for his infamous jump, but the Bellagio Fountains are the popular draw today.

The fountains fire their water hundreds of feet into the air over the beautiful Lake Bellagio. The choreographed dance the water does is set to some very “Las Vegas” music.

Featuring songs from Sinatra to the King himself, Elvis Presley, and even some of today’s most popular hits. The Bellagio Fountain Show has become one of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas, and crowds stop their busy days to enjoy the shows.

Besides being absolutely free, the show changes every time. I can assure you after you’ve seen the show once, you’ll be even more excited to watch it a second time.

Be sure to show up early. The crowds form quickly, and if you’re looking for a premium vantage point, you’ll need to arrive at least 20 minutes before showtime.

The Bellagio could probably charge admission and still draw sell-out crowds. Fortunately, the wonderful show won’t cost you a penny.

5 – The Volcanic Mirage

The Volcano Show at the Mirage Hotel and Casino is an experience you shouldn’t miss. You can catch the eruptions three times a night in front of the Mirage.

The Mirage’s show is definitely a departure from the real thing. In fact, you’re in more danger of catching a chill from the spray of water on a cool night than any lava.

Mirage Volcano in Las Vegas

However, the show does feature several large explosions, which can bring the heat if you’re close to the action. For that reason, I recommend keeping small children towards the back of the crowd.

Regardless of the show’s obvious absence of actual lava, the Mirage impresses with their use of water and lighting. The entire show has a pre-historic feel to it, though the Mirage hasn’t added dinosaurs to the mix yet.

6 – The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian

You may not have shopping on your list of top activities for a Las Vegas trip. Visiting extravagant shops is probably further down your list of things to do in Vegas for free.

Don’t miss out on the opulent setting at the Grand Canal Shoppes of The Venetian Las Vegas. This high-end retail space is a reproduction of Piazza San Marco or Saint Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy.

You can spend hours walking the massive mall while admiring the architecture and enjoying the various performers. One of the most romantic date activities in Vegas is the gondola rides at the Shoppes.

Unfortunately, the beautiful rides aren’t free. There’s still plenty of window shopping and sightseeing to be done while keeping your wallet firmly closed and in your pocket.

7 – Ethel M Chocolate Tour

Only 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip is the Ethel M Chocolate Factory. Here you can enjoy a self-guided tour around the interesting factory and see how the chocolate is produced step by step.

Visitors can even register for a private tasting room experience. It’s a chocolate lover’s paradise, reminiscent of Willy Wonka himself.

Ethel M Chocolate Factory Las Vegas

The tour has plenty to offer members of the group without a sweet tooth. Everyone should check out the expansive Cactus Garden at the factory.

The multi-acre attraction is among the largest botanical cactus gardens in the world. During the holidays, the Cactus Garden turns into one of the most impressive lighted attractions in all of Nevada.

8 – Caesar’s Palace Architecture

For a fabulous and free excursion without ever leaving the casino, check out the gorgeous architecture of Caesar’s Palace.

The Roman-inspired theme at Caesar’s Palace is worth a trip, even if you’re staying at another property.

Grab a cold beverage and have your camera or cell phone ready to snap pics of the beautiful scenery. If you get bored, you can hop onto the casino floor for a few hands of blackjack or slot machine pulls.

Exploring the massive casino property can serve as a great strategy for extending your casino bankroll or just taking a cooling-off period after a tough run on the games.

9 – Pinball Museum Hall of Fame

Okay, this one isn’t completely free. In Vegas terms, it’s as close as you can get, though.

The Pinball Museum Hall of Fame is one of the coolest attractions in town. Best of all, it will give you hours of entertainment for mere pocket change.

Pinball Museum Hall of Fame in Las Vegas

The museum features classic pinball games dating back to the 1950s and even has some of the most iconic arcade games in history like Super Mario Bros.

All of the games cost between $0.25-0.50. So, you can make $5 last all afternoon. Just be sure to wear a belt; having all of those quarters in your pocket can really droop the pants.

10 – Take a Walk

You don’t need to spend money at the High Roller to take in some spectacular views in the desert oasis. Grab a bottle of water after the sun goes down and take a long stroll down the Strip.

Las Vegas offers some of the finest people-watching on the planet. You really never know what you’re going to see.

Street performers and party-goers offer a fun mix if you’re up to it. Of course, you’ll also have all of the beautiful attractions to view and commemorate via photos.

Taking a sunset walk is my favorite freebie in Las Vegas.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of free things to do in Las Vegas. You don’t have to blow all of your cash for the casino on attractions while on vacation.

In fact, these 10 freebies will have you in the casinos longer with all of the extra money you’re saving.

Trump vs. Biden Betting Revenue is Set to Break Records

Trump Biden Odds

The 2020 US Presidential election is now just over a week away. A huge number of people around the country are now flocking to different online sportsbooks to place their bets on the outcome. New reports have recently surfaced that indicate Trump vs. Biden betting revenue is likely to break records.

This election is being watched around the world. There are now many sites offering different betting options for the possible outcomes. Today, we’ll take a look at how much betting revenue this year’s election is expected to produce.

Let’s get into it!

Analysts Remain Divided Predicting US Election Results

Prior to election night in 2016, the vast majority of analysts predicted that Hillary Clinton would become president. She seemed to hold a wide lead in almost all polls and was the pick from most mainstream media outlets. Of course, Donald Trump ended up winning one of the biggest political upsets of all-time.

Four years later, and many analysts remain torn on who will win the election on November 3rd. Most polls seem to indicate that Biden holds a lead in several key states. As we saw in 2016, however, polls can oftentimes be deceiving.

The race seems to be tightening. Over the weekend, Trump gained in national polling averages and in nine of the 12 swing states. New reports from USA Today claim that Biden’s lead is now just 3% or more in several important states including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

It’s been fascinating to see how these predictions have changed over the past few months. Even the top politician analysts cannot accurately say with certainty how things will play out. Interestingly, there’s been a massive surge of US residents betting on the election this year.

There are now many fantastic online sportsbooks available throughout the entire country. The majority of them are offering odds on the US presidential election. Based on the way things are moving, this will be one of the most-wagered-on events of all-time.

A massive amount of money on these political bets has been flowing in recently.

Trump vs. Biden Betting Revenue is Surging Right Now

Political betting has always been popular. There’s no doubt that the popularity of this form of gambling has been increasing rapidly since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Many people around the country have been wagering on the many political events this year.

It’s difficult to track exactly how much money is being placed on the presidential election. Today, more than 20 states have regulated sports betting industries set in place. Sports betting is available in most of the other states, yet it’s not directly-regulated by the state governments.

We’re now hearing the Trump vs. Biden betting revenue in regulated states is surging right now. Betfair, one of the most popular online sportsbooks in the world, has already collected $215 million in bets on the election. Sam Rosbottom, a spokesperson for the company, claims it’s shaping up to be the most-bet-on political event in history.

Bovada is another one of the most popular and safest internet sports betting websites in the US right now. Recent reports claim this company is seeing 55% more bets placed on this year’s election compared to 2016. It’s an incredible statistic to hear and many believe this money will continue to increase leading up to election night.

Odds vary from site to site. As of now, Bovada lists Joe Biden as the -190 favorite. Trump currently comes in as the +145 underdog. There’s still a chance that these odds could change over the next week.

Stay tuned for more political betting news over the next few days!

2020 Proves to be a Successful Year for US Sports Betting Operators

It’s not completely surprising to see how much money is being placed on the presidential election this year. Over the past few months, there’s been a massive surge in sports betting across the country. As more sports leagues began operating again, revenue from the industry has been increasing.

This is great news for the many different sports betting companies now in the United States. The US now has the most profitable sports betting industry in the world. Many of the biggest sports betting operators in Europe have recently broken into the US market.

That includes William Hill. This company has now been operating in the United States for years and is now present in several different states. Just a few weeks ago, news broke that Caesars Entertainment had agreed to purchase William Hill for $3.7 billion.

It’s easy to see why so many companies are trying to jump on this train. Several states are now seeing their highest sports betting revenue figures ever. New Jersey even set an all-time US record in September with $748 million in sports betting handle.

Trump vs. Biden betting revenue is increasing right now. Some feel we’ll see another major upset. It will be fascinating to see how much money has been made off this election once it’s concluded next month.

Do you plan to bet on the election this year? Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments section below!

Indiana Casinos: Majestic Star Casino Review

Majestic Star Casino Logo With a Craps Table Background

Gary, Indiana is perhaps best known as being the birthplace of the Jackson 5, but this historic town is also Northwest Indiana’s hottest gambling destination. That said, you won’t find just one but two casino riverboats in the area. The Majestic Star Casino and its sister, the Majestic Star Casino II.

This article touches on the original Majestic Star and you can bet that you will receive a gaming experience here and also on the Majestic Star II like none other in the area.

And while Gary is long past its heyday, this town may be richer in history than perhaps any other town in Indiana. From the Jackson 5 to the ghosts that reside in the abandoned buildings within the town from a time long since lost, enthusiasts from all backgrounds have Gary circled in red.

We’ll talk about what the casino contributes to the Indiana gambling scene, then we’ll get into the unique attractions Gary offers tourists.

The Majestic Star Casino Overview

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Majestic Star in Indiana’s Buffington Harbor, the three-story riverboat is the property of The Majestic Star Casino LLC. Back in 2007, Majestic Star purchased Trump Casino and renamed the boat the Majestic Star II.

Majestic Star Casino in Indiana

Today, Majestic Star and its sister property comprise a wide variety of casino games, including a combined 1,900 slot machines, table games, a high-stakes room, poker room, and even a baccarat room.

Ready to step onto the boat and dive into the specifics of the games offered on Majestic Star I?

Let’s get after it.

Gaming at The Majestic Star Casino

You know the casino gaming floor at The Majestic Star Casino is more than abundant when you have three stories’ worth of gaming action.

It starts with real money slots, where you’ll find the greatest classics like Monopoly and Wheel of Fortune while experiencing new games like Riches with Daikoku and Solstice Celebration.

Looking to enhance your poker game before you hit the tables?

Then video poker is definitely your happy place. So if you’re not ready to hit the live table gaming or are just learning the game, Majestic Star has your outlet.

Speaking of table games, what does this Ferry offer?

Majestic Star Casino Gambling Floor

How do Blackjack, Spanish 21, Super 3, and Craps sound? Mississippi Stud Progressive? Even better.

Take a peek into the Live Baccarat and Poker rooms for an even greater and more intimate experience, trying your hand against some of Northwest Indiana’s best and brightest table gamers.

And if you can’t make it onto the Ferry, don’t worry. Majestic Star has teamed with the Hard Rock Social Casino so you can enjoy your favorite casino games from the comfort of your home as long as you are locally located in Indiana.

So whether it’s the slots or tables you’re after, take advantage to enjoy the greatest online casino gaming experience.

Dining at The Majestic Star Casino

Looking for a quick break after all the casino gaming?

Hit up the dining options at The Majestic Star Casino. Here, you’ll find three stellar options that include a chop house, an in and out grill, and a coffee shop.

If you’re looking for the best gourmet dishes around, then the Majestic Chop House definitely has what you’re looking for. Especially if you’re craving a low-key, relaxing atmosphere.

So, whether you’re in the mood for some good old prime rib, salmon, or the classic American burger, then step right into the Majestic Chop House.

Chop House Restaurant in Majestic Star Casino

Looking to wind down after a long day of casino gaming? The Chop House is still grilling. Check out the bar and cool off with your favorite cocktails.

Want a taste of mouth-watering cuisine but hoping to capitalize on much-needed variety?

The Steel City Grill has it. Featuring the greatest burgers, sub sandwiches, wings, and beers on tap, you’ll find it at Steel City Grill.

Whether you’re in the mood for their signature coffee, sweets, or deli-style sandwiches, Jackpot Java Coffee Shop is your epicenter. So if you’re looking for something quick and sweet, or if you just need a pick-me-up, head over for a quick one before returning to the gaming floor.

Majestic Star Promotions

What’s a great casino these days without the best promotions in the region?

Nothing, really. Luckily, The Majestic Star Casino promotions and entertainment are off the hook. So if you’re looking for more ways to win or get entertained, Majestic Star provides.

You can expect recurring daily, monthly, and seasonal promos here at Majestic Star. So you’ll find ways to win up to $500 in free slot play, or earn 100 points with your Majestic Rewards Card to redeem for free gifts, casino comps and more.

You will find at least a few excellent promotions happening each month at Majestic Star. So the more you play, the more you can win.

But what if you can win on a daily basis every time you play?

Then sign up for Majestic Rewards, the best casino loyalty program in Northwest Indiana. Just sign up, play, and accumulate rewards points.

Earn perks like direct mailing offers, majestic cash, email, and birthday offers at the Bronze Level. And if you’re a hardcore casino gamer, you may just reach Premium status at 35,000 points. You’ll receive perks like invitations to exclusive events and even your own personal casino host.

Talk about top class, right?

Accommodations at The Majestic Star Casino and Local Attractions

Whether you’re looking for luxury or economic comfort, you will find the greatest hotels in Gary, Indiana will provide you with everything you’re looking for.

So, if you’re looking for something mainstream like the Holiday or Hampton, economical like a Motel 6, or something more upscale like a Hilton, you will find what you need in Gary.

And as mentioned, Gary, Indiana, has far more than its fair share of local attractions. We touched on the place as the birthplace of the Jackson 5. But despite the city’s declining status as a washed up mill town, there is plenty to love from every tourist who comes to the area.

So, a little background on Gary since you may find this story interesting: the city peaked at 178,000 residents per the 1960 census. Here in 2020, that number is hovering to just under 75,000 and dropping.

Union Station in Gary, Indiana

From its once luxurious status as one of America’s hottest steel mill towns, at least one-third of all the buildings in Gary now lay either empty or abandoned. Of all the towns in the Rust Belt, Gary has surely been hit the hardest.

However, for many of us, especially those of us into history, this place is a gold mine just waiting to be unraveled. So if you’re taking a day off from the casino gaming and wish to explore the area, then Gary is arguably the hottest spot for local attractions in the Midwest.

Gary is so historical that it has 20 places listed on the U.S. National Register for Historic Places.

The more notable attractions include the Ralph Waldo Emerson School, Morningside Historic District, Polk Street Concrete Historical District, Miller Town Hall, Gary Land Company Building, Jefferson Street Historic District, Horace Mann Historic District, and Union Station.

The above is just a sliver of historical buildings and districts that you can experience in Gary. And you would probably have to take two separate vacations, or experience casino gaming at two separate riverboat casinos, to cover the entire area.

So, what else does this historical town offer?

Sports teams include the Gary SouthShore RailCats, an independent professional baseball team that plays its home games at the US Steel Yard. The same stadium where Michael Jackson’s memorial service was held on July 10th, 2009, with 6,000 fans and the Jackson family in attendance.

US Steel Yard has also hosted several college baseball and little league baseball games. So if you’re a die-hard fan of amateur and independent professional baseball, this stadium is well worth the visit.

Michael Jackson's Childhood Home in Indiana

And perhaps the primary reason to take a day off from the casino and to explore Gary is to visit the childhood home of Michael Jackson, a two-bedroom house located at 2300 Jackson Street.

If you’re a fan of the King of Pop, then there is a lot of reason to visit Gary, Indiana, despite the city’s steep decline in recent years.

And if you wish, definitely pay a visit to the old Gary Works, which after 112 years is still the largest integrated steel mill in North America and at one time, the town’s primary employer enjoyed its status as the largest steel mill in the world.

At its peak in the early 1970s, the plant employed over 30,000 people. Today, the plant employs fewer than 5,000.

History buffs, rejoice. Gary is worth the visit when you need a day away from the riverboat.

Conclusion

The Majestic Star Casino is rocking with 1,900 slots and a large array of table gaming action across three stories.

You’ll definitely love all the casino gaming action on this Lake Michigan-based ferry and the dining options, plus the ongoing promotions make Majestic Star yet another hotspot in Gary, Indiana.

But Gary itself is laden with history and while the city is long past its prime, history and pop lovers rejoice, as the town is flowing with memorials to the King of Pop all over the city plus dozens of old, abandoned, yet historic structures across the cityscape.

Have you been to Majestic Star or have you made a trip out to Gary, Indiana? If so, tell us about your experience.

The Mohegan Sun Will Host College Basketball Next Month

Basketball Going Through Net

The NBA Finals wrapped up just a few weeks ago. That doesn’t mean the sport of basketball is coming to a standstill, though. There are a number of major college tournaments scheduled to take place throughout November and December. Today, news broke that the Mohegan Sun will host college basketball tournaments inside a bubble.

Many believe the NBA was able to successfully hold its season because it kept players inside a bubble. Officials at the Mohegan Sun believe this casino is the perfect venue to protect players. Now is the perfect time to talk about what exactly will be taking place here.

Let’s get into it!

Basketball Betting is More Popular in 2020 Than Ever Before

The popularity of the NBA has been increasing rapidly for the past two decades. In recent years, more people around the US have been betting on this league, as well. As many already know, there are a huge number of amazing basketball betting sites available throughout the country.

Bovada is widely-considered to be one of the best online sportsbooks in the US right now. It launched in 2011 and is known for offering its members a wide range of amazing sports betting odds and great promotions. There are many different basketball wagers available through this website.

Obviously, NBA betting is the most popular. Bovada allows you to bet on every game of the regular season and playoffs. It even offers future odds on the NBA Championship months before it is scheduled to take place.

College basketball betting is also hugely popular nowadays. That’s especially true during March Madness. This tournament always ends up bringing a massive surge in revenue for the online sportsbooks around the country.

Both the NBA and college basketball have seen their schedules move around this year. There are now several major college tournaments scheduled to take place over the next few months.

It appears we have a location set for these tournaments. Let’s talk about where these events will be held.

Here’s How The Mohegan Sun Will Host College Basketball Tournaments Next Month

Connecticut is home to a number of world-class casino-resorts. Perhaps none is as popular as the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. This gambling property opened up in 1996 and is thought to be one of the best casinos on the East Coast.

2020 hasn’t been easy for this property. Back in mid-March, the Mohegan Sun was forced to close down. Thousands of employees were either furloughed or laid off. Finally, on June 1st, this hotel-casino opened back up.

News recently broke that the Mohegan Sun will host college basketball beginning in late November. The owners of this venue have come to a new agreement with both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Gazelle Group. These groups are known for holding major college basketball tournaments each year.

There will soon be a “pod” of games being held inside this property. All players will be kept in a bubble during the tournaments. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue, as the Mohegan Sun is one of the biggest casino-resorts on the East Coast.

Rick Giles, the president of the Gazelle Group, is already happy with the cooperation and believes these tournaments will run smoothly.

“We’ve been able to combine and leverage both our organizations and strengths to create something bigger than what we originally had,” Giles said. “I don’t know if either organization individually could have pulled off what we’re about to do next month.” 

It will be interesting to see how these tournaments are held. It won’t be long before odds on the games become available through Bovada. Stay tuned for updates!

Connecticut’s Casino Industry is Still Struggling

Connecticut is a small state home to less than 4 million people. Interestingly, it has one of the most successful casino industries on the East Coast. Like all other states in the area, Connecticut has seen its gaming revenue fall dramatically in 2020.

As we just mentioned, the Mohegan Sun opened back up in June. The Foxwoods Casino-Resort opened that same month. Not long ago, new reports surfaced that show slot revenue inside these venues is falling.

The Mohegan Sun posted revenue losses for the months of August and September. Foxwoods saw losses in July, August, and September. This isn’t much of a surprise when you consider the regulations set in place, though.

As of now, these venues are only operating at 25% capacity. This is making it very difficult for the casino industry here to thrive. Fortunately, analysts predict that things will improve over the next year.

Gaming analyst Adam McLaren claims that revenue from Connecticut’s casinos will jump by 45% in 2021. Allowing more guests in is expected to help to increase the revenue here. We’ll continue offering more updates over the next few months.

Are you excited to hear the Mohegan Sun will host college basketball next month? Do you plan to bet on any of the games? Let us know in the comments section below!

Weekly Poker Update: October 26, 2020

Weekly Poker Update With Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu

There hasn’t been a lot to talk about in terms of actual poker action over the past few months, especially since the conclusion of the World Series of Poker online event. Obviously, world events have forced the cancellation or postponement of many live events. And what events that have taken place haven’t always gone so well.

It’s a good thing that professional poker players have the kind of dynamic personalities that can often create news where there seems to be none. That has certainly been the case for Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk. The two have sustained an intense rivalry even though they’ve spent precious little time staring each other down across the felt.

For years, Polk and Negreanu have been sniping at each other, over slights and differences of opinion that can often seem somewhat slight to an impartial observer. And they’ve also threatened to take each other on for more than half a decade in the ultimate showdown. Most of the poker world never figured it would ever happen, or that all the posturing would lead to nothing more than that.

Well, lo and behold, the two have not only agreed to meet in a head-to-head matchup, but have even set a date. And that date is November 1, meaning that the whole poker world will be watching.

We already have enjoyed the build-up, providing us news when there wasn’t much else in the poker world for us to get excited about over these past few months. Now it’s time to see if the actual contest lives up to the hype, which, quite frankly, might be an extremely difficult thing for it to do.

How We Got Here

If we were to detail every time Negreanu and Polk traded verbal jabs in the last few years, we’d have a small novel. Instead, let’s concentrate on the high points.

First of all, the introductions:  You have Negreanu, Kid Poker himself, who was one of the leading figures in the real money Texas Hold‘em explosion of the early 2000s. He is a charismatic figure, one of those guys you either hate to love or love to hate. As years passed, he became an unofficial promoter for the sport, albeit in sometimes controversial fashion.

Pro Poker Player Doug Polk

Polk is more of a new-school guy, somebody who was sort of scuffling along in various tournaments before finding a niche in head-to-head money games, where he quickly became a legend. He also learned the self-promotional tools of social media, which he used to build his brand and, occasionally, give his two cents on the actions of other players.

Indeed, the social media world has been the setting for most of this rivalry. It began when Polk questioned Negreanu’s assertion to another player that he could indeed become a force in cash games if he was just given a little time to practice them. The fuse was officially lit.

It became more of an inferno a few years back when Negreanu made controversial comments, somewhat misconstrued but still ill-advised, suggesting that a higher takeout would actually be better in some cases because it would force out pros and allow recreational players to win more. Polk actually took out a billboard to troll Negreanu about his words.

The tension kept simmering until this past summer, when Polk again started applying pressure to meet Negreanu head to head. Negreanu surprised everyone by suddenly accepting, finally putting an end to all the back-and-forth so that they could settle it with the cards. But first, they would have to agree on the particulars, which, unsurprisingly considering these two, caused even more drama.

Setting the Ground Rules

Because it is a head-to-head matchup, which is Polk’s area of expertise (even though he has scaled back his play dramatically in recent years), concessions would have to be made for Negreanu to finally agree. Seemingly every detail of the match was up for negotiation, from the amount of hands to be played to the online venue that would be hosting.

Two of the biggest sticking points indirectly demonstrate the differences between the two men in terms of styles of play. First of all, Negreanu insisted there be no use of pre-flop charts. These charts, which can give players a mathematical heads-up about when to fold and when to push forth, are part and parcel of online play.

Pro Poker Player Daniel Negreanu

On the one hand, they really aren’t that different from a baseball manager using statistical information in a dugout to decide what pinch-hitter or relief pitcher to put in the game. On the other side of the coin, Negreanu seems to see it as a high-handed way of cheating, and there are a probably a lot of players who agree with him.

Negreanu also didn’t want to see any use of hold-card cameras. This might have seemed like an odd request, since these cameras have been standard fare for televised poker for decades. But his point is that Polk being able to look back at day’s end and parse Negreanu’s strategy would give Polk even more of an edge that he might already have.

Negreanu eventually agreed to make use of the cameras for part of the match. As far as we know, we think that we’re all set for a start on November 1st, with action you can view at WSOP.com. But with these two, we shouldn’t take anything for granted.

Action on the Action

In case you’re wondering, Negreanu is a 4 to 1 underdog according to poker websites. Some high-profile names, including Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow, have already put in their money behind Kid Poker. Maybe it’s a sign of faith, or maybe it’s a case of the odds being too juicy to pass up.

Whatever the case may be, it appears that the preliminaries are just about complete. There is nothing left to do but to shut up and deal. We’ll all find out who the better player is, at least in this setting for this amount of time.

You could say that it’s an event that the poker world has been waiting for and that it’s about time. But there will also be people who are hoping that the rivalry off the felt continues even after they go head to head in this showdown. After all, the verbal warfare has been pretty entertaining stuff in its own right.

5 Reasons You’re Losing at Sports Betting and What You Can Do

Upset Man With a Sportsbook and NFL Stadium Background

It’s hard to win consistently when betting on sports. In fact, very few, end their “career” with more money in their bankroll than what they had at the beginning. It begs the question, why do people lose so frequently when betting on sports?

While it isn’t easy to pin down one answer in particular, there are more than a few reasons that it’s so hard to beat the sportsbooks. The good news is most of them can be fixed with a little effort.

In this article, I’ll lay out the top five reasons sports bettors lose consistently, and what you can do about it.

1 – You Aren’t Doing Any Research

Don’t get me wrong – unless sports betting is your main source of income (which it likely is not), you probably aren’t going to have the time to spend several hours doing research on games each day.

With that being said, there’s no excuse for doing no research at all before making a bet.

Generally speaking, sportsbooks rely on uninformed bettors. Meaning that they need people who bet on things like “instinct” and “feel,” which inevitably leads to bad decisions. What you consider to be instinct and feel is usually more like recency bias or the gambler’s fallacy.

At the end of the day you should have a minimum criteria for why made a certain decision to bet on a team. Even if it’s not the greatest reason in the world, just have a reason that falls outside of your feelings based on the last game you watched from a team.

What You Can Do:

Simply put, stop betting on games without getting at least a little bit of background information on the teams and the matchup. Even reading through one or two game previews from reputable sites can provide enough information for better sports handicapping.

You’ll be surprised at how often you’ll do very brief research and think to yourself, “I didn’t consider that,” after reading up on the game. Save yourself the regret of feeling like you made a bet without doing your due diligence.

2 – You Get Greedy

I’ve witnessed countless sports bettors who seem to want to turn their $100 into $1 million over the course of one day or week. While that would be nice to do, it’s more than likely going to result in your bankroll being wiped out entirely.

If you’re not treating sports gambling as a long-term proposition, you’re going to have a hard time maintaining any type of winning. If every dollar you win gets throw in to the next bet you’re making, your bankroll is going to eventually run out.

NFL Eagles Quarterback Running the Ball

Keep in mind that once you’re up on the day, you’ve done what you set out to do – make money. While it might not be the most exciting thing to call it a day after a modest win, if you put together enough days of modest wins, things are going to turn out in your favor.

Just as you have to know when to “quit while you’re ahead” at a casino, the same philosophy should apply to sports betting.

What You Can Do:

I completely understand the not wanting to call it quits when you’re winning. You don’t always have good luck, and cutting it short feels like leaving money on the table.

One method that I use that helps me from going overboard when I’m winning (and yes, this is a good problem to have) is setting a “win limit.” This means that if I reach this number, I won’t place any additional bets that day.

Remember, it’s not how much you win, it is all about how much you keep.

3 – You Never Lay Off

Once you bring up you preferred betting platform with the intention of putting some action on a game, it’s hard to log off without placing a bet. Unfortunately, sometimes the sportsbooks will have their odds set in a way that you just don’t see a great opportunity to win. If that happens, just log off.

The thing about betting on sports is that you will never run out of games to bet on. Though you might want to bet on a game simply for the entertainment value, if you’re in it for the money, you should be waiting until you see a bet that you feel like is yours for the taking.

Being selective with your plays is a veteran move. Don’t place a bet just for the sake of placing a bet and then get mad when it doesn’t hit.

What You Can Do:

This one is pretty much self-explanatory – just lay off betting on a game if you don’t really feel confident about making a play one way or the other.

It’s not always easy to do this and it’s easy to talk yourself into rolling the dice, but once you get in the habit of laying off it becomes easier to pass on bets. Once you see the positive impact of the results, it will start to become easier over time.

4 – You Try to Outsmart the Sportsbooks With Unusual Bets

I don’t mean to make this as a blanket statement because there are occasionally some exceptions, but sportsbooks typically don’t have “holes” in their betting offerings. If you’re trying to outsmart the sportsbooks, it’s not going to work out even if you get lucky a few times.

If you’re wondering what I mean, here are some examples: trying to parlay several heavy favorites on the moneyline, use multiple prop bets because you think the sportsbook missed on the odds, or making a bet on an obscure event because you read a preview about it somewhere online.

NFL Patriots Celebrating

In addition to these bets, I’d like to add that parlays in general are usually not going to work out in your favor. Sportsbooks offer those attractive parlay payouts for a reason…and it’s not because they’re feeling generous.

In most cases, sticking with a more conventional bet is going to be the best way to experience sustained profitability.

What You Can Do:

Put the majority of you effort into the traditional components of betting strategy. Look for value with underdogs, seek out certain games or teams that you feel like have some familiarity, and avoid falling victim to the seductive payouts on multiple-leg parlays that almost never hit.

5 – You Double Down When You Lose

You’ve probably already heard that it’s a bad idea to chase losses. While this is good advice, not all loss-chasing is created equal.

For example, you might have bet on several NFL games on a Sunday at $50 per game, and heading into the night game you’re down $100. It’s probably tempting to put all your focus, and too much of your bankroll, on that final game of the night and bet $150 hoping to recoup your losses and then some.

The example above represents a mindset that is going to lose you a significant amount of money in the long-term. A smarter move would be to stick to your original bet amount of $50 and hope to get back some of what you lost. Making exorbitant bets because you’ve already lost money is often what separates profitable gamblers from those who experience serious financial problems down the road.

What You Can Do:

Losing is a part of gambling. In fact, how you handle losing is one of the most important parts of your gambling strategy.

What separates the sharps from the squares is the mindset that sometimes you need to accept your losses and stay the course. Even profitable gamblers go through ups and downs, but much like business owners, how they handle the downs will ultimately determine their fate.

Conclusion

If you feel like you’re losing on a regular basis, join the club. Even the highest-performing professional sports bettors lose at near-half rate. The difference is they know how to survive until things start to turn back in their favor.

If you’re guilty of committing any of these 5 reasons for losing consistently, work through them one-by-one and see if your bankroll begins to grow.

10 Question Gambling Quiz – Only Winners Can Ace This Quiz

Happy Man Holding Money With  a Hand Writing on Paper

You can find plenty of quizzes online about anything that you can imagine. And most of them are fairly easy. But if you use quizzes with the right mindset you can learn a great deal about the subject each quiz covers.

I’ve put together the most challenging quiz about gambling that I could come up with. This isn’t meant to embarrass you about your lack of knowledge. It’s designed to help you learn how to become a better gambler.

After you take this quiz you’re going to know more about how to win when you gamble for real money.

Gambling Questions

This section includes the 10 gambling questions. Don’t skip ahead to the answer section until you answer all 10 questions. Then see if your gambling knowledge is as good as consistent winners.

  1. What casino game has the lowest edge?
  2. What casino game has the highest edge?
  3. Do online bonuses help you win?
  4. What’s the difference between online gambling and mobile gambling?
  5. What’s the best wager available in most casinos?
  6. Does bankroll management help you win?
  7. How do sportsbooks make money?
  8. Are there any downsides to rewards programs?
  9. What is pari-mutuel gambling?
  10. Is blackjack or poker better for advantage gamblers?

The Answers

Here are the answers to the 10 gambling questions. Don’t worry if you don’t get them all correct, because almost nobody can ace this quiz. Learn from the questions that you get incorrect and your casino gambling results are bound to improve.

  1. What casino game has the lowest edge? – This question is challenging because it depends on a few things. Blackjack games with great rules when you use good strategy are the lowest house edge in some casinos. Certain video poker games with the right pay tables and strategy are the lowest in other casinos. If you’re a good poker player, the poker tables have the lowest edge in the casinos that offer poker. If you answered this question with any of these answers, and you know why the answer is correct, you can claim a correct answer for this question.
  2. What casino game has the highest edge? – The game with the worst casino edge is keno, but most casinos don’t offer it anymore. In most casinos some of the slot machines have the worst casino edge. But you usually don’t know exactly what the edge is for each slot machine. The edge on some of the inside wagers at the craps table are over 10%, and the tie wager at the baccarat table is also over 10%. All of these are terrible casino wagers. So if you answered any of these bets or games you can claim a correct answer.
  3. Online Keno Game Screenshot

  4. Do online bonuses help you win? – This is kind of a trick question because in most cases online casino bonuses don’t help you win. But the truth is that every once in a while you can find an online bonus that helps you win. I’ll explain both sides of online bonuses. Bonuses have play through requirements. This means that you have to play a certain amount of wagers before the bonus is cleared. Most of the time the requirements are so high that you lose the entire bonus and most or all of your deposit before you meet the requirements. However, sometimes you can find a bonus that doesn’t have an outrageous wager amount to clear that you can use when you play a game with a low casino edge. Games like blackjack and some video poker games are the most common to look for. These bonuses are rare, but you need to look for them because they can help you make a small profit in the right situation.
  5. What’s the difference between online gambling and mobile gambling? – The obvious difference between online and mobile gambling is that you do one thing online and the other on a phone or tablet type device. But the truth is that the two things are basically the same. Many online casinos can be played on a phone or tablet. And some mobile casinos can be played on a computer. Most mobile casinos are designed as apps to be played on mobile devices, but you can get a special program that lets you use many phone apps on your computer. As far as the game play, it’s the same whether you play on a computer or on a mobile device.
  6. What’s the best wager available in most casinos? – One of the best bets available in casinos is the odds wager on the craps table. The odds wager is the only wager in the casino that doesn’t have a casino edge. This means that in the long run you’re going to break even on your odds wagers. So why doesn’t everyone just make the odds wager? The first thing is that most gamblers don’t even know this wager option exists. And the second reason is that you aren’t allowed to make a odds wager until after you place a come out roll wager. The come out roll wager has a casino edge, so the casino has an edge overall even when you can place an odds wager. If you’re a craps player, you should always use the odds wager after placing a wager on the come out roll.

    Overhead View of a Craps Game

  7. Does bankroll management help you win?Casino bankroll management doesn’t help you win. However, bankroll management is important. If you don’t use good bankroll management you run out of money before you want to stop gambling. And if you run out of money and find a good betting opportunity, you won’t be able to take advantage of the good opportunity. You should use a bankroll for all of your gambling activities, and you should be using your bankroll to help you decide the best bet size to make. You can also use a bankroll to track how well you’re doing when you gamble.
  8. How do sportsbooks make money? – Many gamblers think that how sportsbooks make money is by gamblers losing their wagers. This is somewhat true, but it’s not from the money from the main wager that they make money. The profits come from the vig charged on losing wagers. When you lose a sportsbook wager you lose the amount you risked, including the vig. The vig is the extra $10 when you risk $110 on a bet that only pays back $100.
  9. Are there any downsides to rewards programs? – Many casinos offer a rewards program for gamblers. These programs are called many different names, and what you earn is usually called casino comps. The main way these programs work is they track how much you gamble and give you back a small percentage of the total amount you risk based on the game you play. For the most part rewards programs are great for gamblers. You get back some of what you lose, though this is usually in the form of services or products instead of cash. But there’s at least one possible drawback to rewards programs. Rewards programs usually have levels or tiers, and some gamblers gamble more than they originally planned just so they can reach the next tier or rewards level. This is never a good idea, because you almost always lose more than you gain at the next tier or level.

    Casino Players Club Desk

  10. What is pari-mutuel gambling? – Pari-mutuel gambling is most often used I the horse racing industry. The only reason you need to know about how it works is if you’re betting on horse races. But if you do bet on the horses, you need to understand how pari-mutuel pools work. All of the wagers placed on a horse race are placed in a pool. The horse track takes a percentage of the total pool to keep as profit. The amount the track keeps varies, but is usually between 15 and 20%. The remaining money is paid out to winning gamblers. All of the odds for the race are based on the amount of money wagered on each possible outcome. This means that the favorite in a race has nothing to do with how likely they are to win, but on how much the betting public thinks they’re likely to win.
  11. Is blackjack or poker better for advantage gamblers? – Blackjack is easier to learn than poker if you want to play at a winning level. But poker is better in at least one way. Casinos throw advantage gamblers out and don’t bother winning poker players. This means the answer depends on if you’re looking for the safest or easiest way to be an advantage gambler.

Conclusion

How many questions did you get right? If you got 10 out of 10 you need to stop reading articles online and start making money gambling. But don’t worry if you didn’t get all 10 questions correct.

Use the answers from the questions you missed to become a better gambler. Winning gamblers have learned how to use their knowledge to find ways to beat the casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks.

Knowledge is profitable for gamblers, and now you know more than you did when you started this quiz. Take things to the next level by using what you learned to make more money.

How Hard Is It to Count Cards in Blackjack?

Blackjack Hand With a Numbers and Suits Background

Don’t ever mention the phrase “card counting” in a casino – unless, of course, you have no intention of counting cards. Casinos want you think counting cards is illegal (it isn’t), and they’ll call you a cheater and run you out of there on the vaguest suspicion that you’re involved in card counting.

This is the first in a series of blog posts I’m writing about counting cards in blackjack, and the focus of this first post is to discuss how hard it is to count cards in blackjack.

I’m not going to lie, either – counting cards in blackjack isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do – although it isn’t as hard as you might think, either.

Understanding Advantage Play and Blackjack

Blackjack card counting is simple in theory, but putting into practice and combining it with a specific mindset is harder.

That mindset is called “advantage play.”

In gambling, advantage play is when you place bets where you’re getting the best of it mathematically. In all casino games, the house has a mathematical edge. In some games and situations, you can change the way you play to tilt that math in your favor.

Blackjack Dealing Dealing Cards

That mindset usually includes being unwilling to ever make a wager where you don’t have an advantage. Recreational gamblers, by definition, aren’t playing with a mathematical edge against the house. I do know some card counters who are still willing to put money down at the craps table or the roulette table.

Such card counters don’t qualify as advantage players even though they sometimes use an advantage play technique during a specific game.

And, of course, the most famous advantage play technique in the casino is counting cards.

The Importance of Basic Strategy

One of the common misconceptions among casino gamblers and real money blackjack players is that you can get an edge over the casino just by playing each hand correctly. The correct play for every possible situation is called “basic strategy,” and you must master basic strategy before counting cards.

But basic strategy alone won’t give you an edge.

It just brings the house edge down to the lowest possible number.

You might play in a blackjack game where the house edge for the game is 0.5%, but if you’re making several basic strategy mistakes, you might bring the house edge up to 2% or 3%. You’re giving money to the casino if you do so.

Basic strategy is based on your two cards and the dealer’s up-card. You can choose to double, hit, split, stand, or surrender. One of those choices is always mathematically better than all the others.

Basic strategy has been computed and tested repeatedly with computer simulations. The game conditions affect a small percentage of situations, but any basic strategy chart is usually almost completely accurate.

Is mastering basic strategy hard?

It depends on how good at memorization you are.

But even someone who’s bad at memorization can eventually master basic strategy.

You MUST master basic strategy before even considering counting cards.

The History of Casino Card Counting

Dr. Edward Thorp is considered the father of card counting. He read an article called “The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack” while he was still a professor at UCLA. This article was written by Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott. (They subsequently became known as “The Four Horsemen.”

In that article, the authors created and explained both basic strategy and card counting. Dr. Thorp took the basic theories in that article and refined them with computer simulations. The idea was simple enough – what effect does removing a specific card from a deck of cards do to your odds?

If you don’t intuitively understand why removing a card from a deck would matter, consider this – what if all the aces from a deck have already been dealt?

What happens to your probability of getting a blackjack?

Ace and Jack of Spades

If you’re playing in a single deck blackjack game, your probability of getting a blackjack drops to 0%. It’s impossible to get such a hand without an ace.

And, since a blackjack pays off at 3-to-2 instead of even money, the house edge increases in this situation.

The next leap in logic isn’t huge. The fewer 10s you have in the deck, the lower the probability of getting a blackjack becomes. After all, you need a 10 and an ace to get a blackjack. There’s no other way.

Removing those 10s has other effects, too. It means that doubling down and splitting become less profitable, too.

Thorp used this line of thinking to develop the first formal card counting system – “the tens count.”

How to Use the Ten Count System That Edward Thorp Used

I should point out that the ten count is not the optimal card counting system to use. But, since it was the first, it might be illustrative to talk about how to use it.

The first step to using this card counting system is to memorize blackjack basic strategy and commit to make every playing decision based on basic strategy. You then keep a running count that reflects the ratio of high cards to low cards in the deck. Each card has a value that you add or subtract from the running count.

Every time a low card gets dealt, your edge increases. Every time a high card gets dealt, your edge decreases.

In the ten count system, the 10s, jacks, queens, and kings are the high cards. You count them as -9 each.

All the other cards in the deck – including the ace – count as +4.

You start with 0 and move the count up or down based on the +4s and -9s.

When your count is 0 or lower, you should bet as little as possible. When the count is +1 or higher, you should bet more. The higher the count is, the more you should bet.

This system, by the way, is only useful when you’re playing in a single deck game. It doesn’t work well at all in games with two or more decks.

Does the ten count seem like a hard counting system to use?

If so, that’s because it is.

The Hi-Lo System for Counting Cards

A better system for counting cards, in terms of usefulness, is the hi-lo system. Unlike Thorp’s 10 count system, the only values you need to use when counting are +1 and -1, which makes the system exponentially easier to use.

In the hi-lo system, the low cards are 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Those cards all count as +1.

The 7, 8, and 9 are considered middle cards and count as 0.

The aces and 10s (including the face cards) count as -1.

Overhead View of a Blackjack Dealer

As with the 10 count, you start your count at 0 and move up or down by 1 depending on which cards are dealt. If you’re playing in a single deck game, you just use the running count to determine how much you bet.

If you’re playing in a game with multiple decks, you must convert the running count into the “true count.” You do this by dividing the running count by how many decks you estimate are still in the shoe.

This is a step that a lot of beginning card counters hate, but it’s not as hard as they think. A rough estimate is good enough to get an advantage over the casino house edge.

What Is a Betting Spread, and How Do You Bet?

Most card counting books offer specific strategies for raising and lowering the sizes of your bets based on the true count. The problem is that casino staff are familiar with the same books. If you count cards and raise the size of your bets “by the book,” you’ll get noticed right away.

The biggest tipoff to the casino that you’re counting cards is the size of your betting spread – that’s just a ratio of your lowest bet compared to your highest bet. For example, if you’re betting between $5 and $25, your betting spread is 5-to-1.

The bigger that difference is, the more likely you are to get heat from the casino. At the same time, though, the bigger your betting spread is, the more of an edge you gain over the house.

There are techniques you can use to camouflage that you’re counting. Keeping the betting spread small is one of them. Another is to only increase the size of your bet after winning a hand. Lots of players do this when they’re feeling lucky.

It’s also common for players to lower the size of their bets after losing hands, so you can do the same thing. The problem with those camouflage techniques is that they all cut into your edge over the casino.

Conclusion

Does counting cards seem hard based on what I’ve presented so far?

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but it’s far from impossible.

In the other posts in this series, I’ll go into more detail about the intricacies of counting cards.

5 Numbers Every Gambler Needs to Know

Thinking Man With a Math Equation Blackboard Background

I’m guessing that you don’t love math. This is safe to say because the majority of adults don’t care much for math. But if you refuse to learn a few fairly simple mathematical facts, your odds of becoming a winning gambler are small.

Well, I’ve got good news for you. The mathematical facts you need to learn really aren’t that difficult. And they won’t take too much of your time either.

Here are six numbers that every gambler needs to know. Spend a little bit of time learning these facts now and you’re going to benefit for the rest of your life.

1 – Casino Edge Numbers

Gambling games have a house edge that creates the profit for the casino. Some gambling activities have a high casino edge and others have a lower edge. But one thing you can be sure of is that every gambling activity you participate in is designed with an edge that works against you.

Most gamblers know at some level that the odds are stacked against them, but they keep gambling because they get lucky every once in a while and win. But they don’t know exactly how much the casino edge is.

You need to learn what the casino edge is for the games you play before you do any more gambling.

When you know what the casino edge is, it not only helps you find the best gambling activities to participate in, but it also helps you determine exactly how much you can expect to lose. Learn how this works in the next section.

2 – Long-Term Expected Results

You can use a simple formula to figure out exactly how much you can expect to lose doing any gambling activity when you know the casino edge. All you need to know is what the edge is and how much you risk in total.

You can figure out how much you can expect to lose every hour, every week, every month, every year, or for any other amount of time, as long as you know how much you’re going to risk in total.

The simple formula to determine your expected loss is the casino edge times the total amount wagered. This is easy to understand when you see an example.

Orange Baccarat Table Game

You’re playing baccarat and are betting on the player hand. The casino edge is 1.24%. Your average bet amount is $40. You play 60 hands every hour, and you play 10 hours every week.

To determine your expected loss per hour, multiply 1.24% times $40 times 60. You play 60 hands every hour at $40 per hand. This formula tells you that your expected loss every hour is $29.76.

If you want to know your expected loss every week, multiply this total times the 10 hours you play every week. This is a total of $297.60. This makes it clear to see that even with a relatively small casino edge, your expected losses can stack up quickly.

You also need to understand that this means you need to find gambling activities with a lower casino edge. Or even better, find a few gambling activities that allow you to eliminate the casino edge or turn the edge in your favor.

3 – How to Determine Card Odds

Many casino games use cards, and even some machine games are card-based, like video poker. When a game uses cards you can use some simple probability to help you figure out the odds of certain cards being dealt next.

This starts with the knowledge of the cards in a deck. Most gamblers are familiar with a deck of cards, but if you’re not, pick up a deck and study the cards.

If you’re playing real money blackjack and the dealer has an ace, how likely is it that their face down card is worth 10 Points? A deck of cards has 16 cards that are worth 10 points in blackjack and 36 cards that aren’t worth 10 points. This means that 16 out of 52 cards are worth 10 points, or the ratio of 10 point cards verses non 10 point cards is 16 to 36.

Blackjack Split Aces Hand

Here’s another example. You’re playing video poker and have four hearts. You exchange your fifth card for another. What are the odds of drawing a fifth heart? You know the deck has 13 hearts and you have four of them. This leaves nine hearts in the deck. You know the value of five cards, so there are 47 unseen cards. This means that nine out of the 47 possible cards are hearts.

When you’re playing any casino game involving cards, you can use this type of information to help you make better playing decisions. Every time you use card odds to make a better decision, it gives you a better chance to win.

4 – Percentage of Bankroll to Risk

When you’re gambling, you obviously need money to keep playing. When you have a losing streak and it takes all of your money, you have to stop gambling until you can get more.

You should be setting aside a certain amount of money that you can use for gambling. This is called your casino bankroll. By setting aside a separate amount for a bankroll, it’s easier to track your wins and losses, and it helps you make sure that you’re not gambling with money for the rent or electric bill.

You can use the information you learned in the first two sections to get an idea of how big your bankroll needs to be for a gambling session or trip. Here’s an example of how to determine how much you need.

Let’s say you’re going on a three-day trip to Atlantic City, and you’re planning to play blackjack. You’ve played there before and know where some blackjack tables are that have a casino edge of 0.5%. Your average wager is $25, and you usually average around 50 hands every hour. You plan to play blackjack for 20 hours over the three days.

You can use this information to determine how much you can expect to lose. And you can use this number to figure out a safe bankroll amount to make sure you don’t run out of money.

0.5% casino edge times $25 per hand time 50 hands per hour times 20 hours of play gives you the expected loss. This is an expected loss of $125. This isn’t a big loss for 20 hours of gambling, but you need to take more than that in case you hit a losing streak.

I recommend taking at least four times your expected loss, and 10 times is even better.

5 – Bankroll Amount

In the first section, you learned about the casino edge. As a gambler, as long as you’re participating in gambling activities that give the casino the edge, you’re going to lose money. That’s just what casinos need to do in order to run their business.

This means that no matter how big your bankroll is, it’s never big enough if you give the casino an edge. You’re eventually going to deplete your bankroll, or you’re going to need to continuously add funds to your bankroll.

Row of Slot Machines

This is what most gamblers do. They gamble and hope to get lucky. Occasionally, they win, but eventually, the numbers catch up with them and they lose all of their money. When they get paid or sell something, they add money to their bankroll and hope to get lucky again.

If you’re gambling against a casino edge, you don’t need to worry about the size of your bankroll. It’s never going to be big enough.

You can gamble whenever you have money, but worrying about your bankroll is a waste of time.

On the other hand, if you’re playing with advantage gambling, your bankroll is important. With an edge, the main goal you need to have with your bankroll is to make sure it’s big enough to survive until the edge you’re playing with works by building your bankroll.

When you have an edge is when the information you learned in the last section comes into play.

Conclusion

Now that you know these five gambling numbers, you can look at every wagering opportunity in a new light. Find the casino edge so you can accurately determine the long term expectation. This is going to save you money for the rest of your life.

You can also use odds to make decisions in many casino games. You need every advantage you can find to overcome the casino and the edge. The odds are stacked against you, but you can use these numbers to improve the odds and improve your chances of winning every time you gamble.

Review of Jack Cleveland Casino in Cleveland, Ohio

Ohio State Seal With a Jack Casino Background

Cleveland, Ohio, has definitely pulled through from the loss of manufacturing, perhaps better than any city in the Rust Belt. That said, new industry and attractions like Jack Cleveland Casino have sprung up in the area as it prepares to embark into a new era.

So, what makes this relatively new casino the talk of Cleveland? Next to the city’s sports scene, obviously, where it’s always the talk year-round. But with nearly 1,700 slot machines, 119 table games, and 28 poker tables, Jack Cleveland Casino is definitely making itself known to the people of Cleveland.

Let’s take a dive into what makes this casino the place to be whether you live nearby or are taking a vacation destination to Lake Erie. We’ll also discover what the surrounding area offers to give you an overall idea of how you can turn gambling in Ohio into the trip of a lifetime.

Let’s begin.

The History of Jack Cleveland Casino

When Ohio voters approved a new amendment to the state constitution in November 2009, it cleared the way for a casino to be born in each of Ohio’s four largest cities that also included Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo.

Jack Cleveland Casino holds the distinction of becoming the first casino (not counting racinos) to open in the state of Ohio in November 2012 as Horseshoe Cleveland in a joint venture between Caesars Entertainment and Rock Gaming, known as Rock Ohio Caesars.

The same joint-venture went on to Cincinnati to develop the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, which opened in March 2013.

Rock Gaming eventually acquired Caesar’s 20 percent stake in the casino and in February 2016, rebranded itself as Jack Entertainment. And in 2020 Jack Entertainment sold the real estate to Vici Properties, leaving the former to remain as the operating license holder.

Now that you know a brief history of the casino, let’s dive through the doors to discover what makes this casino the hottest on the shores of Lake Erie.

Jack Cleveland Casino Gaming

With over 100,000 square feet of real-estate, the fun never stops here at Jack Cleveland Casino’s game room.

Whether you love penny games or high-rollers, the 1,600-plus slots have what you’re looking for to maximize your casino gaming experience. Bet a penny or bet $100 per spin and maybe you’ll find yourself the next big jackpot winner.

Jack Cleveland Casino Blackjack Table

Whether you’re one for new or traditional games, this casino has them. Play games like Star Watch Magma, Ocean Magic, Wonder 4 Tower, and more.

And if the real money slots aren’t your thing, don’t sweat. You may find what you’re looking for at one of the casino’s 90 video poker machines. Learn to play poker, then try your hand at the tables for a live experience. Speaking of tables, let’s see what’s cooking over at Jack.

This casino offers one of the widest selections of table gaming in the state with an array of options. Play classics like Blackjack, Craps, EZ Baccarat, Roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em, Three Card Poker, and more.

Whichever table game you’re looking for, Jack Casino is bound to have it within its walls.

Jack Cleveland Casino Dining

Jack Cleveland Casino’s dining options range from upscale dining options to Wahlburgers. I don’t know about you, but I know where I’m headed on this one. Anyway, let’s discuss each option in depth so you have a bit of an idea of what you may be after before you step into this great land based casino.

If you’re looking for an all-you-can-eat, then Seven Chefs Buffet is your key destination. As the name implies, this buffet features seven specialty stations, each with their unique category. The stations include Italian, American, Shuffle, Carving, Asian, Salad, and Pastry.

In other words, you have a potluck of options at Seven Chefs, so if you and your party are craving a little of everything at an affordable price; you know where to go.

Want some handcrafted burgers, specialty sandwiches, all-day breakfast, and more? Well, STACK’D is your place. And if you click the link at the beginning of this section and scroll down to that STACK’D burger, you’ll get an idea of what this place serves. Stacked options all the time.

Spread of Bacon Cheeseburgers

Enjoy some of the best deli sandwiches around at Corky & Lenny’s. They’ve been a Cleveland favorite for over 50 years and they just keep winning over customers. If you love overstuffed sandwiches, then this is your premier destination.

Finally, for the option that needs zero introduction: Wahlburgers is now at Jack Cleveland Casino and if you want the best burger experience in the area, you know where to turn.

There are also several bars featured in the casino, including the Rock Bar and Lounge, Legends Bar, and Vintage 51. And don’t forget to check out restaurants accepting comps earned at the casino. They are located all over Downtown Cleveland, so if you’re looking for something off-site, you have options.

Jack Cleveland Casino Promotions

Promotions at Jack Cleveland Casino offers you exciting fresh ways to win each month during the calendar year. You can win your share of $15,000 at Top Players’ Party, receive guaranteed Free Play when you sign up for email, exclusive offers, and more.

There are giveaways each month, gift card offers, and even something for those of you 50 and older, and don’t forget to join the inner-circle at ClubJACK, the exclusive opportunity to earn casino comps. You can win Free Play, best-in-class comps, and even trips to Vegas and the Caribbean. Yes, it definitely pays to become a member of ClubJACK.

Just play, earn your points, redeem, and receive rewards. The promo is also introducing the new virtual player’s card for a contactless experience to connect with any game on the casino floor or one of the strategically and conveniently located kiosks. Just connect with Bluetooth and start earning points.

Jack Cleveland Casino Accommodations

The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland is the official partner of Jack Cleveland Casino. Enjoy its pristine location right next to the casino for easy come, easy go access to the gaming floor and dining options the casino offers.

Here, you will enjoy first-class accommodations and room service, unlike anything you’ve ever received in the past. The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland will be sure to make your stay an unforgettable one when you’re looking to take a break from all the live casino action.

Ritz Carlton Cleveland Hotel Room

Want proof? Forbes Travel Guide Awarded The Ritz Carlton Four Stars. What more can you ask for than a stay at arguably the best hotel in Cleveland, Ohio. And with a location in the middle of Downtown Cleveland, you will find yourself near all the attractions the city contains.

In fact, let’s look at what Cleveland offers.

Nearby Area Attractions

Well, when they’re in-season you can always catch the Browns, Indians, or Cavaliers playing within the city limits. And Cleveland is also home to the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets American Hockey League affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters. So if you’re a hockey fan, Cleveland will provide.

There’s the crown jewel of the city: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You’re definitely a true rocker if you’ve taken a trip through what might just be the greatest piece of architecture in America, or at least in the state of Ohio.

Speaking of Hall of Fames, if you’re willing to take a short trip down to nearby Canton you’ll make your way to the legendary NFL Hall of Fame and witness the evolution of the game from its inception in 1920 until today, over 100 years later.

NFL Hall of Fame Building

Or, if you’re one who loves the great outdoors, a day on Lake Erie will definitely suit your needs. Check out its stunning views from one of its many beaches along the coast, and there’s just about something to do out on the lake for the entire family.

So, whether it’s sports, history, the outdoors, or definitely a trip through the history of the NFL down the road or rock and roll on America’s North Coast, there is nothing short of activities in the city of Cleveland.

And this section is the tip of the iceberg. But you get the point. If you’re looking for a day off or even a couple of days off from playing casino games, Cleveland’s nearby attractions more than have you covered.

Conclusion

So, that covers the Jack Cleveland Casino which has just added more to the hotbed on America’s North Coast that is Cleveland, Ohio. Like many in the Rust Belt, Cleveland is experiencing a renaissance and you can bet the casino, and Dan Gilbert’s assets have continued to grow the city’s economy.

What are you waiting for?

Come and experience this improved Cleveland, Ohio for yourself. Whether you’re looking to hit the jackpot at the slots, winning that next big Blackjack hand, or want to see what Cleveland offers, the Jack Cleveland Casino is an excellent place to start.

Have you been to Jack Cleveland Casino and if so, how was your experience? We look forward to your feedback.

Mohegan Sun Set To Become First Tribal Casino Operator in Las Vegas

Table with Poker Cards and Casino Chips, Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment is set to become the first tribal casino operator in the Last Vegas area.

Last Thursday, Mohegan received its final approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission to operate a casino in Sin City. Citing the tribe’s clean background, Commissioner Deborah Fuetsch said:

“I will say that this is a very impressive group of individual applicants — very clean backgrounds with not a single hiccup. With that many, usually we have one or two that we might have a couple of questions about their background. But this group was very impressive and really there was nothing that jumped out on any of the applicants.”

Part of The Tribe’s Growth Strategy

More than a dozen tribal government members and several gaming executives from the Mohegan attended the virtual meeting with Nevada regulators that lasted two and a half hours. Mohegan Gaming CEO Mario Kontomerkos told regulators that operating a Las Vegas casino is part of the tribe’s growth strategy. Newly appointed Mohegan Las Vegas casino manager Joe Hasson added that Mohegan’s east coast clients who have been seeking to visit Las Vegas will be drawn to its Sin City project.

Mohegan will operate the 60,000 square feet property in partnership with JC Hospitality LLC. The new Las Vegas casino is expected to open on January 15, 2021 after a $200M makeover. According to Mohegan, the project will have 650 video games and 50 tables, which can be increased if the demand calls for it.

While Mohegan will run the gaming operations, Virgin Hotels will operate the 1,110-room hotel which will be under the Hilton Hotel’s Curio Collection. Meanwhile, AEG will supervise the entertainment activities in the property. The resort’s restaurant lineup will include previous outlets which existed when it was still Hard Rock Las Vegas.

The Former Hard Rock Las Vegas

Earlier this month, the Nevada Gaming & Control Board unanimously approved the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment’s application to operate gaming at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is the former Hard Rock Las Vegas and is located just east of the Las Vegas strip.

The property closed last February for the renovation. It was expected to be completed in the fall but its opening has been moved back to January 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down its construction. According to Mohegan officials, some 300 former employees of the Hard Rock Las Vegas were offered jobs after they were laid off when the property underwent remodeling.

Connecticut’s Mohegan Indian Tribe currently operates the gaming operations for Resorts Atlantic City, tribal casinos in Washington and Louisiana, in behalf of the tribes, the Fallsview Casino Resort on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls, and its flagship Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut and Mohegan Sun Poconos in Pennsylvania.

Common Pieces of Blackjack Advice to Ignore

Man With Fingers in Ears With a Casino Background

The next time you’re at the casino, make sure to pay close attention to what you hear at the blackjack table. Now, it’s well-known that gamblers can be superstitious. Additionally, it seems like most have their takes on one of the most popular casino games on the planet. Because of this, there are several different schools of thought when it comes to playing blackjack.

It’s worth noting that there’s only one way to play blackjack correctly. But that doesn’t stop players from experimenting and trying to implement their strategic moves. There’s no way of knowing how certain players came to break from the norm and gain a leg up on the competition.

Whatever the reason may be, you’ll most likely come across several players who are more than willing to share their knowledge with you. You might consider heeding their wisdom, but it should be avoided if you have any intention to win at the tables. Here are seven common pieces of advice you should ignore when playing blackjack for real money.

Split 10s to Increase Chances of a Blackjack

The name of the game is blackjack, so you should always try to increase your odds of hitting 21, right? Wrong. The way you win at blackjack is by playing according to perfect strategy and grinding out wins. If you are lucky enough to be dealt a 20, there is absolutely no reason you should split up your 10s.

But that doesn’t stop some gamblers from trying to take advantage of their luck. The only hand that can beat a 20 is a 21, obviously. If you play blackjack long enough, that is going to happen to you at some point. Speaking from experience, it’s one of the worst breaks in blackjack, but you have to shake it off.

Hollywood Casino Blackjack Table

A common practice among bad blackjack players is to split face cards in hopes of hitting two 21s. By doing this, you’ll frustrate fellow players and decrease your chances of winning. If you are sitting next to someone who routinely splits 10s, find a different table. If you’re someone who commonly does this, you need to change your approach to the game.

Increase Your Bet After a Loss

This tactic is far too common in all varieties of casino games. It’s a natural tendency to want to win your money back after losses, but it’s something that should rarely be done. Experienced gamblers might be able to chase losses effectively. If you’re new to the game, you should ignore people who advise you to increase your bets after a tough loss.

When gamblers increase bets after a loss, they are usually doing it out of desperation. Betting out of desperation is any easy way to lose all of your money. You should only gamble when you’re unburdened by stress and emotional duress. If you’re unable to do so, you should avoid gambling altogether.

If you think about the logic behind increasing bets after a loss, it’s somewhat nonsensical. The outcome in blackjack is random; you have no way of knowing what you’ll be dealt. If you count cards, you might make an educated guess, but you can’t know for sure. Your odds of winning a hand simply aren’t any better than previous hands.

Only Split Eights and Aces

One of the first things you’ll learn about playing blackjack is always to split eights and aces. The logic in both cases is airtight. If you’re dealt two aces, you either have a two or a soft 12, which are both terrible. Not only do you have an excellent chance of improving your hand, but splitting aces gives you a chance of catching two 21s.

Splitting eights is a no-brainer because getting dealt a 16 puts you in no-man’s land. There’s a good chance that you will improve your hand by splitting eights. Some blackjack players are convinced that you should only split aces and eights, but that isn’t the case.

There’s a multitude of possible card combinations in blackjack. Frequently blackjack players must make decisions based on the cards they are dealt, compared to the cards the dealer is dealt. In fact, that’s how you win the game in the first place. Because there’s a wide variety of combinations, occasionally, basic strategy calls for players to split cards based on what the dealer draws.

You Can Occasionally Deviate From Basic Strategy

If you want to minimize the house edge, you need to stick to basic blackjack strategy 100% of the time. You might have gotten lucky by breaking from the norm a few times, but an erratic play style rarely rewards the player. This strategy can be challenging to learn, but over time, it is possible to master. When you first start playing, I highly recommend studying basic strategy and cheat sheets.

Online Real Money Blackjack Game

While playing blackjack, I routinely see players purposefully play against the book. I usually give the benefit of the doubt the first time, as should you. However, you might find that certain players make a point of playing according to their own set of rules. They might think they are being innovative or outsmarting the game. It’s impossible to improve your chances, unless you learn to count cards.

Some players might convince you to try some piece of strategy that has led to wins in the past. Whether that is splitting face cards, doubling a hard 12, or any other variety of misplay, ignore these pieces of advice. It’s always preferable to defer to basic strategy if you have any interest in winning money.

You Should Always Take Insurance

This rule will not apply to you if you’re able to count cards. For those who don’t know, you can take insurance anytime a dealer’s upcard is an ace. If you’re counting cards and are sure the dealer has a face card, insurance is a smart and profitable bet.

If you’re incapable of counting cards, insurance is a waste of money. You have virtually no way of knowing what the dealer has under the ace, and it’s better to ride with your hand.

It’s always unfortunate to see the dealer get dealt an ace and subsequently hit a blackjack. But the odds a dealer has a 10 under the ace aren’t high enough to take out insurance.

Learning to Count Cards at Casinos Isn’t Worth It

Learning how to count cards is not nearly as challenging as you would think. With a fair amount of diligent, repetitive practice, you can master the art of counting cards. The methods that go into counting cards are complex, admittedly, and should be saved for another post. For the sake of simplicity, card counters assign values to each type of card. They then take that information to understand what types of cards are left in the deck.

When counting cards, it’s essential to understand how many decks the casino uses at blackjack tables. It’s always easiest to count cards when only one deck is in play. However, very few casinos use one deck. Before you learn to count cards, you should have a solid grasp of the basic strategy of blackjack.

Ace and Jack of Spades Blackjack

As I said earlier, learning to count cards is the only way to swing the odds into your favor. If you play blackjack perfectly, you still only have around a 49% chance to win every hand. Those are still great odds compared to other table games. If you can count cards effectively, you can increase your odds by a few percentage points. So, next time someone tells you that counting cards is a waste of time, make sure to ignore them.

It’s Just Money, You Can’t Take It With You

Winning money at casinos is incredibly challenging. Walking away from the casino with a profit as someone who isn’t a professional gambler is nearly impossible. It’s essential to be aware of both of these facts before you start gamabling. Being conservative with your bankroll in order to extend your stay at the tables is crucial to successful gambling.

Adopting a mindset that leads you to throw caution to the wind can lead to disaster. If you ever feel like you just can’t catch a break and it’s not your night, don’t keep shelling out money. Sometimes, the cards aren’t in your favor. Instead of listening to bad influences and putting yourself in financial turmoil, live to gamble another day.

Conclusion

Blackjack tables can be home to some of the worst gambling advice in the casino. The game appeals to a variety of gamblers, all with different opinions about the popular card game. Regardless of what you hear at the tables, try your best to block out incorrect information.

Lousy blackjack players commonly commit similar mistakes and always seem to want to ruin other players’ chances. If you’re ever advised to split 10s or increase bets after a loss, stick to your game plan. Never go against the grain; instead, always play according to basic strategy. Finally, counting cards is definitely worth looking into and is the only way to gain a slight edge on the house.

Ohio Casinos: Miami Valley Gaming Raceway and Casino Review

Miami Valley Gaming Exterior and Casino Floor

Just north of Cincinnati, Ohio sits Miami Valley Gaming Racino in the tiny township of Turtle Creek. But just because the area’s small doesn’t mean it’s short of live casino gaming and racing entertainment.

Far from it.

Instead, this racino completes a decent trifecta of casinos in the Cincinnati region that also includes Belterra Park and Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati.

If you’re into the gaming scene, then you definitely want to make the trip north of Cincinnati and experience everything great this casino offers.

From outstanding gaming to dining to entertainment options, this big casino in a small town gives you a look into the Ohio gambling scene. Let’s take a closer look, starting with a brief history.

Miami Valley Gaming History

Opening its doors in 2013, the raceway replaces the old Lebanon Raceway. A joint venture involving Churchill Downs Inc. and Delaware North Companies agreed to purchase the track for $60 million back in 2012 and relocate it to coincide with the opening of a new racino.

Miami Valley Casino Racetrack

In 2017, the racino underwent an expansion project to add a patio and high-limit areas. And you can bet that as the gambling scene continues to become an even greater influence in the State of Ohio that further expansion will take place at Miami Valley.

As far as the casino itself is concerned, there’s not much history. That means you could make history at the location with that next jackpot or perhaps placing the winning bet on the big race. The only way to know is to come and see what this casino offers. Let’s get started.

Casino Gaming and Promotions

Miami Valley Gaming’s casino room includes 777 of the hottest video lottery terminals (VLTs) in the region, including all of your favorites. You can find games like Triple Big Wheel, Diamond Burst, Wolf Ridge, Devil’s Pitchforks, and more among others.

You can also engage in daily, seasonal, and monthly promotions like the $25,000 Spooktacular, Clue Rewards, Super Player – Super Prizes, and more.

Join the MVG Club and you will receive several benefits and casino comps just by playing. New members automatically earn $10 in Free Play and enjoy other benefits like food comp, bonuses, and the more you play, the more Free Play you will win.

For each dollar coin you play, you’ll earn a point and once you earn 1,000 points, exchange them in for one dollar worth of free play or food comp. The more you play, the more you redeem.

Miami Valley Gaming Dining Options

There are four dining options at Miami Valley Gaming, each with its own unique features and themes.

It starts with one of the best burger joints around, the Trifecta Eatery. Come and indulge in some of the juiciest burgers, flatbread pizza, pulled pork, all your favorites in one convenient location. They guarantee to serve your food hot, fast, and fresh.

If you’re out late and need a bite, then MV Perks is the place to be. Whether you’re looking for all-day breakfast options, seasonal salads, desserts, or some high-end energy drinks to rejuvenate you for the gaming floor, MV Perks has what you’re looking for.

Dining Room in Miami Valley Casino

Cin City is definitely your option if casual elegance is on your mind. Providing some of the best dinner options in the area, sit down, and enjoy a small taste of the high-life. Cin City uses only the freshest ingredients, so you know you’re getting high quality every time you step in to eat.

If you’re looking for a bit of everything, then Acres Buffet is where it’s at. Fill up with savory all-you-can-eat options, including the finest global cuisine in the area.

Entertainment and Expansion

Come to the Center Bar where you’ll find world-class and local acts in music, comedy, and entertainment. Center Bar is thriving every Friday and Saturday, and Miami Valley is always happy to bring in the hottest up and coming local artists in the area.

Miami Valley is a smaller casino and is definitely more known for its racing than anything else. But expect that to change soon with its expansion plan.However, you can follow the casino’s expansion on the Miami Valley Gaming website and stay up-to-date on information along with graphics what’s coming. Let’s just say that if you need hotel and room accommodations, they’re well on the way to Miami Valley.

And once the world is our normal world once more, expect some major expansion to begin. This will be huge for the State of Ohio and definitely Southwest Ohio as the gaming scene continues to grow in the Cincinnati area.

Nearby Area Attractions

We already discussed a couple of the other land based casinos in the area at Belterra Park and Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati. If you’re looking for serious table gaming, then Hard Rock Cincy is more than worth the visit.

However, Southwest Ohio also has more than its fair share of nearby attractions, including its rabid sports scene featuring the Cincinnati Bengals, Reds, Bearcats, FC Cincinnati, and Xavier Musketeers. For the avid sports fan, Cincy is a must-see for some of the most top-level sports scenes in the area.

And for in-season professional hockey action, you can always check out the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, an affiliate of the AHL’s Rochester Americans and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.

Kings Island Amusement Park at Night

But, if you’re not into sports, no worries, as Cincinnati is also world renown for its theater and music scene. And there is no shortage of excellent options in the area.

Music-related events are also a big thing in the city, such as the Cincinnati May Festival, Bunbury Music Festival, Cincinnati Bell/WEBN Riverfest, and more. So if you’re in town during any of these events, they’re most definitely worth checking out.

Oh, and if you’re looking for the ideal stress-free day, then definitely hit up the Kings Island amusement park in nearby Mason, Ohio. And make sure you get a photo with their iconic entrance that features a replica of the Eiffel Tower.

But if amusement parks aren’t your thing, you can always hit up the LaComedia Dinner Theater, the Cincinnati Zoo, or my personal preference, the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail. That last one is a guaranteed workout that offers the greatest scenery in the Miami Valley.

The Racing Scene at Miami Valley Gaming

The most well-known attraction to Miami Valley Gaming is its racing scene. At the time of this writing, live racing at the Miami Valley Raceway will return in January 2021, so with the new year comes the rebirth of some of the biggest and best horse racing events in Ohio.

There’s definitely a lot to look forward to as this tumultuous start of the decade fades into a new year at the Miami Valley Gaming Raceway and they are looking forward to seeing you there.

The Accommodations at Miami Valley Gaming

There are several great hotel options within a respectable distance from Miami Valley Gaming.

Whether you’re looking for something higher-end or more economical, you will find what you’re looking for in the area.

Some more basic options include the Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn, Holiday Inn, and Residence Inn.

You’ll find some of the best, low-cost packages around, including some special seasonal rates. So if you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, the Hampton and Holiday Inn will accommodate. Just ask for the special rates.

Hampton Inn in Fairfield

If you want more sophistication, then you’ll love every bit of what the Kirkwood Inn. Kirkwood provides arguably the most classic atmosphere around combined with just the right amount of luxury, which includes Jacuzzi-style tubs and hot breakfasts in the morning.

And don’t forget to take a trip to the Kirkwood House, which is also on the site.

The Great Wolf Lodge is another jumper if you’re looking for something more than an economical Hampton Inn. If you lodge here, make sure you enjoy the indoor water park and activities after a long day of casino gaming and horserace wagering.

At the lodge, you can also take your pick between standard, themed, and premium suites, finding something that is sure to fit your needs when planning your casino trip.

Conclusion

The wonderful thing about Miami Valley Gaming is that it’s a small racino sure to evolve into a kingpin in Ohio’s casino industry throughout the next decade. Especially when their expansion project kicks off.

But they still have an excellent selection of casino games, an outstanding card of harness horseracing, and a vibrant area that just keeps on growing.

Along with some of the finest entertainment and dining options, Miami Valley Gaming is becoming its own one-stop-shop. The future looks beyond bright for this racino, so if you’re traveling through Southwest Ohio, be sure to stop here and witness the evolution for yourself.

But with so much to do in the area, plan a full-scale vacation before you travel here.

Have you stopped at Maimi Valley Gaming and the Cincy area and if so, how was your experience? Tell us in the comments.

The 7 Best Casinos in Florida

Florida Flag With a Casino Background

The Sunshine State has an endless supply of ways to keep you occupied. Gambling is among the up and coming forerunners.

If you’re over the Disney resorts and have had your fill of sand getting in all the wrong places, check out these seven best casinos for gambling in Florida.

1 – Seminole Hard Rock Casino

The Hard Rock brand was launched in the 1970s. It was the 90s when the brand hit its peak level of popularity.

While the brand isn’t the juggernaut it once was, it still holds enough weight to draw in the crowds.

Visitors to Tampa can enjoy a unique partnership between the Hard Rock brand and the Seminole Tribe. The result of the collaboration is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The luxurious hotel-casino offers guests well-appointed rooms to recharge after a long day and night of gambling fun. Of course, there are several bars and restaurants to choose from aligning with the brand’s principle area of operations.

Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Florida

The casino at the Hard Rock is a true standout. The impressive gaming floor has nearly 50 tables for gamblers to enjoy games like Mississippi Stud, baccarat, and Texas Hold’Em.

If you’re not into card games, you’ll be happy to hear about the casino’s slot machines. The casino recently expanded the casino to make room for over 100 new machines.

You can enjoy the latest popular titles like Shark Week or Buffalo Gold. You can even take a deep breath and relax at your favorite game in the casino’s non-smoking section. Best of all, the slots are available for play 24/7. So, you needn’t concern yourself with pesky things like sleep at the Seminole Hard Rock.

However, I encourage you to take advantage of brilliant rooms after a long night. The Rock Spa offers a full-service experience for visitors.

You can receive services ranging from a complete barbershop to the latest in spa therapy treatments.

If you’re in the Tampa area and looking to party like a rockstar, the Hard Rock definitely fits the bill.

2 – Dania Jai-Alai

Jai-Alai is not at the forefront of most casino gamblers in the U.S. I imagine it’s not top of mind for many Americans at all.

Despite that, the sport is alive and thriving in South Florida. The Miami establishment offers jai-alai matches every day of the week.

Bettors crowd the facility to place their wagers on the forgotten sport. Weekends are especially busy at Dania, with multiple matches taking place.

Visitors are also able to place simulcast bets on harness racing, thoroughbreds, and jai-alai.

The gambling no longer stops there, though. The Dania has added a traditional casino to its repertoire, and the games have made an immediate impression.

Dania Jai-Alai Casino in Florida

The casino has over 900 slot machines for gaming enthusiasts to pick from. Gamblers also have their choice of the most popular table games.

The standards like blackjack, craps, and roulette all sit at the ready. If you’re a poker aficionado, you’ll be right at home on any of the two dozen poker tables.

Poker is the Dania casino star, and you can choose from Texas Hold’Em, Omaha, and 7-Card Stud.

If you’re expecting a Las Vegas experience at Dania Jai-Alai, you’ll be disappointed. However, it’s proving to be a great place for locals and tourists to get their gambling fix in Florida.

3 – Seminole Casino, Brighton

The Seminole Casino Brighton is an entertainment mecca in the heart of Florida. The casino draws large crowds from both Tampa and Orlando year after year.

Gamblers at the Seminole Casino can enjoy over 400 different slot machines during their visit. From classic games to the latest video slots, Seminole has it all.

If you’re not having fun on one game, take a stroll around the 28,000 square feet of real money slots, and you’re sure to find a game you like.

Brighton Seminole Casino in Florida

From penny slots to $5 per spin, the Seminole can keep you gambling all night regardless of your bankroll.

If you’re in the mood for table games, you’re in luck. Table games are where the Seminole truly shines. Players gather around the blackjack and poker tables well into the morning hours.

The blackjack tables offer a “match the dealer” side bet where you can win 20x your wager. 3-card poker is another major hit at the casino, and the fast-paced games have some of the most lively crowds in the casino.

Be sure to sign up for the Seminole’s Wild Card. The Wild Card is a tier-based rewards program and is accepted at several different Floridian casinos.

You can earn player bonuses and comp dollars to spend on food, hotel rooms, and even merchandise in the gift shop.

4 – Magic City Casino

Magic City Casino is on the cutting edge of casino gambling. Magic City transitioned from a Greyhound racing complex to Jai-Alai back in 2018.

So, if you’re traveling to Florida in search of the elusive jai-alai, you can find matches Wednesday-Sunday. Of course, jai-alai doesn’t really qualify as cutting edge casino play.

However, electronic table games are some of the latest in casino technology. In fact, all 40 of the casino’s table games are electronic.

That means virtual dealers for games like blackjack and a virtual wheel for roulette. When you enter the gaming area at Magic City, it’s easy to mistake the electronic games for slot machines.

Electronic Roulette Table Game

The entire floor resembles a massive arcade, and players gather around the machines to play and out of general curiosity.

The slot machine selection at Magic City is large enough to impress almost any critic. The casino has over 800 slot machines to choose from and plenty of variety to boot.

Poker is king at Magic City. The poker room has 18 tables with action going into the wee hours of the morning seven nights a week.

The poker room has daily promotions for rewards members to earn bonuses. There are massive poker jackpots that can instantly turn a player’s luck around.

The Big Mouth Buffet is worth mentioning. I’m not a buffet connoisseur by any means, but if you’ve drained the battery and in need of a recharge, this buffet has you covered and smothered.

5 – Victory Casino Cruises

Victory Casino Cruises makes a list for many reasons, but I’ll be real. Ingenuity is at the top of the list.

While it’s illegal to gamble in many parts of Florida, Victory has found a massive loophole and exploited it.

You see, by taking the casino 12 miles out to sea, the vessel is no longer bound to federal or state laws. Maritime law becomes the authority aboard the vessel, and gambling is fair play.

Victory Casino Cruise in Florida

Victory Casino Cruises take passengers on their open water adventures twice a day, seven days a week. The length of the excursions varies between five and six hours, and you’ll have your pick of the time.

The casinos on the massive ships are spread over four decks and have close to 700 slot machines at your disposal. You’ll also find 27 table games onboard. Players have their choice of roulette, blackjack, poker, and even craps.

Sports bettors often crowd the ships on their trips to the sea. Sports bettors are able to find competitive lines on everything from MMA to golf.

Victory Casino Cruises definitely gets the win for ingenuity, but they also boast an impressive table gaming experience.

6 – Seminole Coconut Creek Casino

Seminole Coconut Creek is one of the biggest casinos in the state of Florida, and it has plenty of casino games.

For starters, the poker room at Coconut Creek has 15 Poler tables. This means reduced wait times when looking for a table. Still, it also means the Seminole Coconut Creek can host some of the state’s largest poker tournaments.

Coconut Creek Casino in Florida

Also, Coconut Creek offers an impressive 70 table games. Including a dozen electronic roulette tables.

Rounding it all out are the 1500 slot machines for players to spin the hours away on.

So, by the numbers, the Coconut Creek has nearly 1600 available games to be played at any given time. This amount of action makes Seminole Coconut Creek one of the most action-packed casinos in Florida.

7 – The Big Easy

The Big Easy took the place of the Mardi Gras Casino after storms damaged it, this is Florida.

You won’t find any table games at the Big Easy, but the casino does offer over 30 poker tables.

Slot machines are a popular attraction at the Big Easy, and players have hundreds to choose from, 1300 to be exact. You can even enjoy slots on the casino’s designated outdoor smoking patio.

The Big Easy Casino in Florida

The Big Easy’s claim to fame is the video poker machines. The casino claims to have more of these games than any casino in Florida.

If playing video poker is your favorite casino activity, load up the family and take a trip to The Big Easy, Florida.

Conclusion

You don’t have to battle the traffic or cold weather in Atlantic City for your casino getaway on the east coast. Nor do you need to make a Clark Griswold-Esque pilgrimage through middle America to Las Vegas.

You can find all the casino fun you’re looking for and perhaps even learn a thing about jai-alai in the sunshine state. The seven best casinos in Florida may not have all of the bells and whistles of the Strip, but you’re sure to have a great story to tell.

Here’s What We Know About the Power Outage at Paris Las Vegas

Las Vegas Sign and the Paris Las Vegas Casino Hotel

Late last night, social media reports began to surface about a power outage at Paris Las Vegas. It was surprising news to hear from one of the biggest and best hotel-casinos in the city. Today, we’re going to discuss the details of this recent power shutoff.

This is the last thing Paris Casino-Resort needed. All of the casinos in Las Vegas have been hurting due to the drop in tourism and intense safety regulations set in place. A large-scale power outage won’t help to boost Paris’ visitation rates.

Let’s get into it!

Another New Casino-Resort Opens its Doors in Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas has always been a popular gambling area in Las Vegas. It doesn’t pull in the same kind of revenue figures that the Strip does, but prior to 2020, it’s been a successful part of the city. Next week, one of the most exciting new casino-resorts in Las Vegas will open up Downtown.

This new property, called Circa Las Vegas, has been under construction since 2019. There are a number of things that make this property stand out. Most of the attention that gambling fans are putting on it is the amazing sportsbook.

Circa will feature the largest sportsbook ever built in Downtown Las Vegas. It can accommodate up to 1,000 people at a time and features one of the largest screens of any casino in Las Vegas. This sportsbook is expected to bring in a large number of gamblers on opening day.

Many are also looking forward to the opening of the swimming pool at Circa. It will feature a massive television screen to watch sports. According to several reports, this is the largest pool ever built Downtown.

There’s a lot to look forward to here. Many are also excited about the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas next summer. It’s the most expensive casino-resort ever built in the city and features a massive gaming floor.

The Paris Hotel-Casino opened its doors slightly later than many of the other casino-resorts in this city. Unfortunately, news broke that this venue experienced a power outage this week.

Fire Department Confirms Power Outage at Paris Las Vegas

Paris Las Vegas is one of the most beloved casino-resorts in Las Vegas. It opened to the public in 1999 and has been through several renovations over the years. Back in June, after months of being closed, Paris Las Vegas finally reopened to the public.

Of course, this venue has been struggling to bring in revenue in recent years. That’s not uncommon right now. Each and every casino-resort based in Las Vegas has seen its casino revenue drop immensely over the past eight months.

To make things worse, there’s been a massive power outage at Paris Las Vegas this week. Reports began surfacing on Thursday evening. It was serious enough to force an evacuation of guests.

A spokesperson at Caesars Entertainment, the company that owns the Paris Las Vegas, released an official statement to the media today about this situation.

“This evening, Paris Las Vegas experienced a power outage that has since been restored. The health and safety of our guests and team members is a top priority, and we thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue and NV Energy for their assistance in the matter.” 

Casino officials are still working to figure out the cause of this outage. Fortunately, power has been restored throughout the hotel. We’ll offer more updates on this situation as soon as they’re released.

Casino Companies Want to Bring Back Entertainment Options

Many of the world’s biggest casino companies are based in Las Vegas. In the past, these venues were able to bring in millions of visitors with their unique entertainment options. Obviously, most live entertainment has been canceled for the entire year.

Some casino officials now believe it’s time to bring these entertainment options back. Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox spoke to the media about this situation this week. He’s pushing hard to open an in-lab testing center by Thanksgiving.

Caesars Entertainment seems to be taking things into its own hands. News reports surfaced yesterday that this company is resuming its live entertainment options in several properties including Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, and the Flamingo.

Jason Gastwirth, president of entertainment at Caesars Entertainment, spoke about this decision with the media.

“Live entertainment is an important part of the Las Vegas experience that makes visiting this city so special, and we are thrilled that we can be first to offer it to our guests again,” he said. “In collaboration with our entertainment partners and with the support of governing officials, we are happy to lead the city with an enhanced health and safety plan that will put our team members back to work and keep our guests comfortable while enjoying these popular shows once again.” 

Some feel it’s too soon, but Caesars seems to feel that it’s necessary to get guests back in. We’ll wait and see whether or not this strategy ends up paying off. Stay tuned for updates!

Did you experience the power outage at Paris Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments section below!

Pennsylvania Casinos: Presque Isle Downs and Casino Review

Presque Islw Downs & Casino

Located in Summit Township, Pennsylvania, and owned and operated by Churchill Downs, the Presque Isle Downs & Casino is your number one racino destination in Northwest Pennsylvania.

Best yet, this racino is right on the shores of Lake Erie, so you’re getting far more than just a day at the races and the casino gaming floor. If aquatic life is your thing, then you can make a vacation out of this hotspot because we got waterparks. And a lake just waiting to be explored.

However, if you remain within casino grounds, you still have a solid vacation destination. With its fair share of thoroughbred racing, sports betting, and traditional gaming, you’re never short of activities at Presque.

Let’s explore everything this racino has to offer the Pennsylvania gambling scene, from its history to its nearby attractions.

Presque Isle Downs History

Alright, so MTR Gaming Group acted as the casino’s original developer, and in October 2005, they broke ground for the new facility that would open a little over a year later in February 2007. MTR also owned Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort and Columbus, Ohio’s Scioto Downs Racino.

In September 2014, Eldorado Resorts took control of the casino after a merger between them and MTR. And in 2019, Eldorado sold to the casino’s current owner, Churchill Downs.

Aerial View of Presque Isle Downs

As for the gaming, the one-mile oval thoroughbred track opened on September 2nd, 2007. Slot machines soon became a thing at the track which today houses 1,600 of them, and in the early 2010s, the venue started offering table gaming.

Finally, in 2019, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granted a sports betting license to the location, and the BetAmerica Sportsbook commenced operations in August 2019. And on December 19th, 2019, the sportsbook went online.

But, enough about the gaming overview; let’s have a more in-depth discussion regarding all the gaming options at Presque Isle.

Gaming at Presque Casino

Presque Isle Casino’s gaming floor offers over 1,500 slot machines, 32 table games, 7 poker tables, and 50 BetAmerica sports betting kiosks. That said, you can see just how many ways there are to win at Presque Isle Casino, regardless of what your favorite game is.

And you’ll have a blast playing your favorites.

You won’t be able to get enough of the real money slots, where you’ll find denominations ranging from a single penny to $100 in the high-limit room. Take your pick at the denomination, find your favorite traditional or new game, and get playing.

Presque Isle Casino Floor

Are you a table gamer? You won’t be disappointed here at Presque, where you’ll find 32 of the hottest table games around, including Blackjack, Craps, High Card Flush, Pai Gow, Let it Ride, Roulette, Mississippi Stud, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em, and more.

Ready to step into the poker room? Find your game and enter either the multi-table or single table Sit & Go Tournaments. Try your hand against some of the area’s best that are flocking in from both Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York. Who knows? Maybe you’re the next big winner.

If the table games and the slots don’t apply to you, then check out the BetAmerica Sportsbook. Here, you can bet on all of your favorite NFL, college football, MLB, NBA, NHL, or MLS games. If you’re into boxing or MMA, you’ll find options for them, too.

Dining at Presque Casino

Presque Isle Casino dining options include five pristine eateries boasting their unique theme, recipes, menus, and style. Whether you’re into upscale dining or if you just want something quick and easy, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for at Presque.

Let’s look at each of the options individually.

You’ll find the fastest service at the INCafe, open 24/7. It’s the number one grab and go shop in the venue so you can find what you’re looking for before making your way back to the casino action.

For an affordable price, get all you can eat at the Backstretch Buffet. Featuring food options from around the world, this venue is for you if you’re in the mood for a potluck.

Presque Isle Downs LBV Steakhouse

Up for some casual dining? Churchill’s Bourbon and Brew is calling for you. Catch scenic views of the surrounding area while dining out to some of the area’s finest casual dining options. Not too cheap. Not too fancy. Just casual.

Now, if you’re looking for the greatest upscale dining option in the area, look no further than the LBV Steakhouse. Brewing with the finest-cut steaks and desserts, this option grants you a taste of the good life you won’t soon forget.

And if you’d like a break from the action, check out the bars and lounges spaced throughout the venue. Whether you’re up for the Hub, the Trackside Bar, or Bar 90, come in for a drink, catch the big game, and try your hand at the bars’ machines and play video poker if you’re up for a little more gaming.

Presque Casino Promotions and Entertainment

Promotions at Presque Isle Downs range from your everyday rewards and loyalty program to promos like 10x Points Bonus Day where you can earn 10x bonus points at a time during the day and Mystery Point Multipliers, where you can gain up to 50x points when you use your rewards card.

So, what is this reward-based promotion?

When you sign up for the Presque Isle Downs & Casino Players Club loyalty program, you can immediately earn up to $500 in free slot play on the new member spin and win. Just sign up, head to the Kiosk, and spin to receive your free slot play reward.

Then stop back the following week and win another round of free slot play. It definitely pays to be part of the Players Club at Presque, so if you’re in the area often, it’s an easy decision to sign in for the program.

Start playing the slots and your favorite table games to collect points and redeem them for casino comps. Tier I members receive perks like free slot play and direct mailing offers while Tier IV members receive priority parking and a casino host. The more you play, the more points you can redeem.

Live entertainment at Presque Isle Downs is a huge part of Presque Isle Downs, so check out the event schedule for the greatest world class and local acts in the area.

Presque Isle Accommodations and Attractions

Need a place to stay while taking time off the casino gaming and racing? Presque Isle has teamed up with 16 hotels of varying degrees. Whether you’re looking for luxury or the next great deal, you will find it with so many options.

Hotels range from economical steals like Super 8 and Days Inn. But if you’re looking for something more sophisticated, check out the Courtyard Marriott, Country Inn and Suites, or the Hilton Garden Inn. Flash your Players Club Card at the Courtyard or Sheraton and receive a special discount.

And if you need a complete day off from the casino scene, Erie is one of the hottest places to be in all of Northwest Pennsylvania. Perhaps one of the coldest in the winter, but you may be the wintry type. So if that’s the case, you’re in business.

Anyway, if you’re looking to have some fun, check out attractions like the Splash Lagoon, one of the top ten water parks in the country. Or, if you’re into sports and concerts, Erie Insurance Arena is where the action’s happening.

Waldameer Water World

Want more water park action? Hit up Waldameer Water World and enjoy the attractions. Entry is free, and the park is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

If you’re into sports, then the Whispering Woods Golf Course may be up your alley. However, if you’re more into adrenaline-pumping sports, then visit Lake Erie Speedway and watch some stock car racing featuring street stock, super stock, late models, and 4 cylinders.

The above is just a sliver of what you can do around Presque Isle Downs. But as mentioned at the beginning of the article, you can definitely see why you can make a vacation out of your trip to Presque.

Presque Isle Downs Racing

Alright, let’s talk horse racing at Presque Isle Downs before we close the article. Enjoy live thoroughbred racing every Monday through Thursday with the first post kicking off at 4:45. Catch the races from the grandstands or if you can’t make it to the venue, take advantage of the live simulcast.

Presque Isle Downs Horse Racing

You can wager each race at the Mutuels location or if you can’t make it to the races, they also accept bets online.

Get on the track to winning by placing your wager. Then sit back and enjoy the show.

Conclusion

Alright, so you can see why Presque Isle Downs is the premier track and casino in the Erie, Pennsylvania area. And if you’re bringing the family, why Erie makes for an outstanding vacation destination.

From its slew of gaming options to some of the most exciting thoroughbred racing around to those outstanding water parks and sports venues, Presque Isle Downs is at the center of it all. If you name it, the area has it. Either on the casino floor or throughout the area.

And I’ll tell you first hand; there is nothing like spending those summer days on America’s North Shore with the wind blowing off the lake. So Presque offers so much more than just a solid casino gaming experience.

Have you made the trip to Presque Isle and if so, tell us about your experience in the comments.

5 Essential Apps and Websites for Your Next Visit to a Las Vegas Casino

Las Vegas Sign With Cell Phone App Icons

Las Vegas is a place that has always thrived on technological innovations. The nearby Hoover Dam generates a steady stream of electricity to power Sin City, affordable air conditioning keeps casino gamblers cool all summer, and the “eye in the sky” ensures the cheats and scammers of old can’t resort to dirty tricks.

Visitors can also use tech advances to make their experience more enjoyable, thanks to the apps and sites stored securely on your smartphone. If you’re planning a trip to the Strip sometime soon, be sure to add these five resources described below to your internet-connected device before hitting the road.

1 – Uber and/or Lyft

First things first, when you leave the sanctuary of your preferred casino resort, the first thing you’ll feel is the signature searing heat of Las Vegas. With temperatures that can climb above 110 degrees in the summer months, and hot days being the norm throughout most of the year, the heat can be stifling to say the least.

If it’s your first time here, by all means, take a day to stroll up and down Las Vegas Boulevard to explore the Strip’s iconic sights. That’s all part of the “Viva Las Vegas” experience, after all, and you can beat the heat by staying hydrated and taking plenty of breaks inside.

Uber and Lyft Sign at Aria Las Vegas

On the other hand, when you’ve already done the tourist thing a time or two before, getting from Point A to Point B in a hurry—and out of the godforsaken desert heat—is definitely your best bet.

That’s why downloading a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft is an essential part of the pre-planning process. Register an account with the ridesharing service that suits your needs best, take advantage of any promotional offers sent your way, and have the app ready to roll the minute you arrive.

From there, you can simply dial up the nearest driver and arrange for transportation between your favorite casinos, nightclubs, and hotspots.

I prefer using rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft over the local taxi cabs for several reasons. To start, the odds that an unscrupulous driver will “long haul” you—or take you on a longer route than necessary to pad their meter—drop significantly. Ridesharing vehicles also seem to provide a more pleasant experience on average, meaning no cigarette smoke odor, stains, or loud music to worry about.

Don’t forget to tip generously when the driver does their job well. The rideshare industry can be pretty rough and tumble, especially in a destination like Las Vegas, where gamblers in the red can have a bad attitude. So, toss a great driver a sweet tip to show your appreciation.

2 – Casino Blackjack Strategy

Despite the fairly generic name, this mobile casino app is the best in the business for blackjack players looking to beat the house.

Thanks to a cutting-edge user interface, the Blackjack Strategy app can be customized to use dozens of different rules and formats. Eight-deck shoes or a single-deck game, dealers standing or hitting on soft 17, natural blackjacks paying out at 3:2 or 6:5—no matter the setup, this app has you covered.

Las Vegas Blackjack Game

Once you’ve programmed the game to match the house rules at your favorite Vegas casino, the Blackjack Strategy app is capable of running through as many practice hands as you can handle. If you’re flying into town, for example, spending just an hour or two on the app gives you access to thousands of randomized blackjack deals.

The app essentially tests your ability to deploy basic blackjack strategy advice in real-time. For every player total vs. dealer up card scenario, you’ll be asked to make the play you believe to be optimal. The app then lets you know whether or not that play was mathematically correct, while showing you exactly why that strategy is best in terms of expected return.

The main screen shows your statistics for the session up above, so you can work on improving your correct play percentage. Eventually, as you memorize and master blackjack’s more basic decisions, you can tell the app to ramp up the difficulty.

Even a few hours spent studying on the Blackjack Strategy app will leave you in fine form before you hit the felt for real.

3 – Vegas.com

Billed as the “Official Vegas Mobile App,” this extension of Vegas.com is a godsend for visitors on the hunt for hotel value.

By connecting directly with every casino resort and hotel in town, Vegas.com is able to continually track inventory levels and let you know which venues are busier than most. The app also hooks users up with sweet deals on accommodations that aren’t available anywhere else.

When a hotel is well under capacity and wants to get guests in the doors, Vegas.com regularly highlights deals of up to 50% or more off the standard rate.

And I appreciate the app’s transparency too, because everything you need to know about Las Vegas resort fees, paid parking, and other “traps” that surprise unsuspecting visitors is clearly spelled out.

4 – Vegas Indoor Maps

This app is exactly what it sounds like, a database depicting detailed maps of every casino and hotel’s indoor areas.

You can use Vegas Indoor Maps to dodge the dreaded smoking section, locate your favorite slot machines in a hurry, or get to the club before the line stretches out the door.

Treasure Island Casino Floorplan

Casino resorts aren’t exactly known for being easy to navigate, so having a zoomable map in your pocket at all times is the perfect solution.

5 – @TheBestofLV on Instagram

A popular Instagram account rather than an app, @TheBestofLV is the social media extension of the Best of Las Vegas website.

The site itself relies on local tips, user reviews, and firsthand experience to rate the best dining, entertainment, gambling, swimming, and Las Vegas attractions. But before you head out to see for yourself, use the @TheBestofLV account on Instagram to sample photos taken straight from the source.

Conclusion

Having the power of humanity’s collected knowledge and wisdom right there in your pocket is a luxury we tend to take for granted these days. After all, smartphones and their apps have been around for years now, so the novelty has certainly worn off by now.

But while your device’s collection of apps may not be all that useful on the home front, they can make all the difference when you’re exploring Las Vegas’ thriving casino scene. Take advantage of the five apps and sites listed here to streamline your next trip to Sin City every step of the way.

4 Tips to Have a Long-Term Sports Betting Mindset

Road Going Into Horizon With a Money and Sportsbook Background

Most bettors are trying to win the weekend. Actually, in many cases, they’re trying to win back what they lost last weekend.

Regardless, very few have the mindset that leads to long-term profitability. But that begs the question, what does a long-term profitability strategy even look like?

The good news is that there are some fairly concrete answers to that proposition. The bad news is, it’s going to take a much higher risk tolerance than a win-now strategy.

In this article, I’ll lay out a few of the ways that sports bettors can demonstrate a sustainable betting plan.

1 – You Don’t Want to Reload Your Bankroll

First of all, you’d better have a sports betting bankroll. Having a well-planned, trackable bankroll is without question the first step to any profitable betting game plan.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, your bankroll is a pool of money you’ve set aside which you use for betting only. This should be an amount of money that you can afford to lose, and one that won’t put you in financial jeopardy no matter what happens.

Once you’ve created your bankroll, your goal should be to reload it as few times as possible. In fact, you should aim to never have to add more of your money. Here are some ways that you can make it last.

Make Smaller Bets

Most experts recommend betting between 2% and 5% of your total bankroll on any one play. That means if you have $2,000 set aside, you wouldn’t bet more than $100 (5%) on a single bet. This simply prevents you from major losses that set you back in a matter of hours.

Don’t Take Moneyline Favorites

The moneyline favorite is arguably the most “amateur” bet offered by most sportsbooks. The reason why is because it seems like the easiest win. The reality is that the value is rarely there when taking a moneyline favorite.

Instead of telling you to choose carefully, I’ll just say that 99% of the time, anything lower than -120 is better off avoided.

Do Take Moneyline Underdogs

If moneyline favorites are the worst, moneyline underdogs are (or at least can be) the best.

The key to picking out the right moneyline underdogs is going to simply come down to doing the research. If you look hard enough, there are always opportunities for an upset where the public is way off.

Finally, any time you can win more than you have to risk, it bodes well for your long-term goals.

2 – Don’t Chase Losses

The quickest way to lose all the money in your bankroll is to turn one bad loss into two bad losses. Unfortunately, that’s what often happens when you try to chase your losses.

My personal rule is that if I lose multiple bets, I’ll never—under any circumstances—double up on a third bet and try to win back the money I lost on the other two.

It’s completely understandable that nobody wants to end the day down in the money column, but it really shouldn’t be the end of the world. If you’re a weekend gambler who calculates their wins and losses on a weekly basis, it becomes much more difficult to see the big picture.

MLB Rays vs Dodgers Play

One way I’ve found to combat this myopic way of looking at betting is through setting up a bet-tracking document. I include each and every bet I make, denote whether I won or lost, and then calculate what that means for my bankroll overall.

It takes a few minutes of work, but it has undoubtedly saved me from many bad plays for one simple reason: I’m able to recognize that the most important number isn’t what I’m “up” or “down” on that current day, but rather the running bankroll total.

It’s a lot easier to hold back on making a crazy bet when you consider the impact it could have on your overall bankroll. Plus, you’ll start to notice that although winning the day is nice, it’s more important to try to grow your bankroll over time and you must avoid unnecessary risks (like the huge bet on Sunday Night Football after a bad betting day).

3 – Know It’s Okay to Lay Off

Some of the best bets are the ones you don’t make. I know that sounds cliché, but when betting with a long-term mindset, it must be mentioned time and time again.

When evaluating a game, there are always going to be times when you don’t feel any degree of confidence one way or the other. When this occurs, you’re faced with a difficult choice: roll the dice and see what happens, or simply pass it up and wait until something better comes along? The correct answer is the latter.

You’re never going to run out of games to bet on. Each time you pass up on betting a game you don’t feel confident about, you’re saving money to put toward a game you do have a good read on. Recognize that the more selective you are, the better your results are going to be.

It’s not the most exciting play in the world to pass on a game, but rest assured knowing that it’s a guarantee your bankroll will not be any lower after its conclusion.

4 – Throw in Some Futures Bets

One of the areas where bettors can find the most value is futures bets. If you aren’t familiar with the term, futures bets refer to gambling on things that may happen days, weeks, months, or in some cases, even years in the future.

Some examples that are popular amongst a high percentage of gamblers are things like who will win the Super Bowl, which team will have the best regular season record in the Western Conference of the NBA, which team will win the NL Pennant, and endless others.

NFL Giants vs Eagles Quarterback Sack

With all of these bets, as the name “futures” might suggest, the idea is that you would make your wager long before it’s clear who will even be in the running. You might be thinking that’s making an uninformed decision, but it’s important to consider the odds and recognize why it justifies the risk.

For starters, when it comes to futures bets you’re almost always going to be able to find plus-money options, even for the favorite. However, it might be a good idea to find your value a little further from the top.

The reason I love futures bets is because you can package together several different options and still win a good amount of money if one of your choices hits. For example, if you bet on who will win the NFL MVP, you can split up $100 over three different choices. As long as the odds on one of them is 5 to 1 (which is not even much of a long shot), you’ll win back your money and then some.

Another aspect to futures betting involves taking a few heavy underdogs (those towards the bottom of the list of offered plays), and placing a small amount of money on a potential miracle. Yes, it’s not likely that they’ll hit, but if you can turn $10 into $1,000 on a 100 to 1 odds bet, isn’t it worth taking a flyer?

Conclusion

If there’s one truth that has stood the test of time, it’s that the difference between bettors who slowly win money over time and those who go through wild ups and downs is the long-term mindset.

If you’re truly a gambling enthusiast, there is no beginning or end to your hobby and it shouldn’t be treated as a week-to-week endeavor, but rather a project that is constantly needing to be refined.

If you follow these tips, you’ll start to notice that the more time you put in and the most risk you can tolerate, the better your results will be.

Reasons Why New Gamblers Love Slot Machines

Excited Man Holding Money With a Slots Background

Slot machines are the most popular and plentiful type of game at casinos. So, it should be no surprise that casinos make more money on slot machines than any other game. In fact, those of you who are familiar with casinos might have gotten your start gambling by sitting in front of a slot machine.

Some people think that slots are an excellent way for beginners to introduce themselves to casinos. Others might consider slots to be a waste of time and money. Either way, their popularity amongst gamblers is undeniable. Here are seven reasons newer gamblers choose to play real money slots over other types of table games.

They’re the Most Common

In all likelihood, a slot machine is going to be the first thing you see when you step inside a casino. When you’re done gambling, it will also be one of the last things you see. Slot machines simply dominate casino floors. Casinos are fully aware of their popularity among the gambling community, and they know how to place them strategically.

Double Diamond Slot Machine Reel

When inexperienced gamblers step inside casinos for the first time, they will likely feel inclined to sit down at a machine. Even if they want to explore the casinos first, they will be greeted by slots at every turn. Most casinos place slot machines around the floor’s edges, leaving the center reserved for table games. So, once new gamblers are done walking the floor, they can return to the fringe to play.

Slots Are Simple

The simplicity of slots is one of its most enticing facets. Casinos can be intimidating if you’re not used to the gambling environment. Tables can occasionally get raucous, and the barrier to entry can seem high. Additionally, popular table games might seem complicated to outsiders who have never played them before.

Unlike table games that require some prior learning, and skill in some cases, slots do not. To play, all one has to do is select a machine, and press a button or pull a lever. There is little to no skill involved when it comes to playing slots. Also, new gamblers often don’t feel rushed when playing slots.

Slot machines provide a solid entry point for new gamblers due to relative ease. But that doesn’t necessarily make them the best option. While some table games might seem complicated, they truly are easy to learn. Unfortunately, the thought of engaging in the learning process surrounded by savvy gamblers seems daunting to many. So, they retreat to the row of slot machines to learn on their own time.

The Graphics and Sound Effects Are Inviting

As technology advances and improves, so do slot machines. Nowadays, individual machines have the look and feel of arcade games geared more towards adults. Most casinos feature a variety of different machines with different themes, brands, and appeal.

The graphics on machines are typically of high quality and are visually appealing. Even older, more straightforward machines that involve pulling levers can appeal to gamblers who are fond of reminiscing. Admittedly, I find myself being taken in by the seemingly countless machines with different graphics and music.

5 Wishes Online Slots

People go to casinos to be entertained, and casinos are well aware of this. Game designers are now capable of creating a game that can appeal to all senses. The sequences following a win can make it feel like you’ve hit the jackpot, which adds to the excitement and entertainment value. The combination of effective branding and sensory appeal makes beginners prime candidates to be sucked into slots.

Slot Machines Can Be Addicting

Once you sit down at a machine, you might find it challenging to stand up for several minutes. That is, unless you lose all your money, which is precisely what the casinos are hoping for. As I mentioned in the previous point, slot machines can be entertaining. Most gamblers will frequently secure small wins, which keep them hanging around for more.

The presentation of the average slot machine is perfectly designed. Most feature the jackpot amount in your line of sight, making it impossible to ignore. New casino gamblers who are unfamiliar with the probability and odds of hitting the jackpot might think it’s a realistic outcome.

They might sit down with the intention of only spending $20, but that jackpot can be too enticing.

Another concept that appeals to beginners is how easy it is to get comfortable with a machine. Once a gambler feels like they have a grasp of a game, they’re more likely to spend their money. But, if someone finds they don’t particularly care for a certain machine, there’s usually one a few feet away.

Other Games Are More Expensive

Slot machines can be a cheap option for new gamblers. Other table games can be quite expensive if you don’t know how to gamble. Slots, on the other hand, can be as cheap as one cent per play. Many new gamblers are scared of losing money when they start betting at casinos. It seems much easier to control how much money you’re spending in front of a machine than at a table.

That is a common misconception for new gamblers.

Just because table games are more expensive doesn’t mean that they’re an inferior option than slots. The opposite is often true. Slots have worse odds than several other games. That’s evident when you analyze an average casino’s profit level by game.

Beginners who familiarize themselves with table games can lose less money and have more fun at casinos. Slots are easy and somewhat entertaining, but it’s worth it to try your hand at other games. Even if you find that you don’t enjoy table games, you can always return to your favorite slot machine.

There’s a Good Chance You’ll “Win”

Winning money at a casino is gratifying, and slot players experience that sense of gratification frequently. This might seem like it contradicts my previous point, so let me explain. If you play blackjack, you might win a hand every few minutes if you’re lucky. Slots, on the other hand, cater to fans of instant gratification.

Gamblers can play slots at a much faster clip than other table games. This means wins and losses come at a much higher rate. In the time it takes a blackjack player to win a hand, a slot player might have secured upwards of five winning spins.

Airport Slot Machines

It’s worth mentioning that I use the term “winning” loosely here. Oftentimes, those wins are for a small amount of money compared to the amount of the bet. But graphic sequences make it appear like gamblers are winning more than they really are. If new gamblers aren’t monitoring the amount of credit they have left, they could easily blow through their bankroll.

You Can’t Make a Fool of Yourself Playing Slots

Learning how to gamble is a humbling experience. Losing money as you try to wrap your head around a game can be demoralizing, and table games make it impossible to hide the shame of defeat. When playing slots though, no one has to know how you’re faring.

You should never feel like a fool when you’re learning to gamble. When you’re making an effort and playing with proper etiquette, no one can fault you. If you have the misfortune of playing with someone who does, try to ignore them. The average gamblers and dealers don’t mind beginners at all.

Having said that, being vulnerable is a challenge. If you can’t open yourself up to experiencing failure in front of other people, I understand entirely. But, consider learning how to play different games in your free time. Life is way too short to be stuck at a slot machine your entire time at a casino.

Conclusion

Slot machines are the most popular game in the world and the most profitable for casinos. Beginners often feel compelled to try their hand at slots before any other game. That fact is due to several reasons.

Not only are slots the most popular casino game, but they are also the most common. Anywhere you turn in a casino, you’ll be greeted by a slot machine. Unlike other games, slots are incredibly simple to master, which makes them seem like a solid starting point for gamblers.

The visual elements and auditory appeal are enticing to new gamblers, who can find certain machines to be addicting. Most casinos have countless slot machines, making it relatively easy to find a perfect one for you. Slots can be a cheaper option than other games, which appeals to more frugal gamblers.

Even if you’re scared of appearing foolish at the casino, you should always try more than one game. You won’t know what you’re good at until you vacate your comfort zone. It might seem intimidating, but other games are worth your time, even if you have no gambling experience.

5 Ways to Develop a Winning Casino Strategy

Strategy Text With Smiling Gamblers Background

Most casino gamblers either don’t know about strategy or they don’t use it. And if you don’t use strategy when you gamble in a casino, you likely don’t have much of a chance to win.

The first thing you need to learn is that you can use strategy when you play some casino games. And the games that don’t have strategy are some of the worst in the casino. This means that if you can’t use strategy for a casino game, you shouldn’t play it.

Here’s a list of five ways you can develop a winning casino strategy.

1 – Review All of Your Options

Casinos offer a wide variety of gambling games. Some casinos offer more options than others, but there are a staple of games available in most casinos. The first step in developing a winning casino strategy is to identify what you have to work with.

Depending on your ultimate gambling goal, you can narrow your choices down. If your ultimate goal is to do everything you can to win, your options are limited to blackjack, poker, and sports gambling in most cases.

But if your ultimate goal is to gamble as long as you can on a set bankroll, you have many other options.

Another option that you need to decide on is whether you’re going to gamble at an online or mobile casino or if you plan to play in a live casino. Of course, you can gamble in a live casino and gamble online or on a mobile device. You don’t have to choose one or the other.

I can’t tell you what the best option is for you because I don’t know your skill level or what your goal is. Online and mobile casino gambling has some advantages, but live casino play also has some advantages.

Casino Craps Table and Slots

If you’re looking for the best place to start in general, I always recommend blackjack. You can find games in live casinos and online that have a low casino edge, and it’s fairly easy to learn blackjack strategy.

Blackjack also offers the chance to win in the long run if you’re willing to invest your time in learning a few advantage strategy techniques.

Another good option is poker, but it takes a lot more work and time to learn profitable poker strategy than it takes to learn blackjack strategy. Other options that have some benefits, especially if you want to gamble longer, include video poker, baccarat, and craps.

You can play a few games other than these. But for the most part, the safest plan is to ignore all of the other games. Roulette, slot machines, and most table games are worse than the games listed in this section.

2 – Determine Your Ultimate Gambling Goal

I’m sure that most people reading this are going to say that their ultimate goal is to win. But the truth is that this might be their ultimate dream, it’s not truly their ultimate goal.

You can develop a winning casino strategy, but it takes a great deal of determination, time, and work. Most casino gamblers aren’t willing to do what it takes to truly give them a good chance at long term profits.

I’d also like to point out that there’s nothing wrong with having a goal of being able to gamble as long as possible. Most casino gamblers are losing, so if they can gamble longer before running out of money, they’re better off.

If your ultimate goal is truly winning at gambling and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to reach this goal, there are strategies that you can learn that make this realistic. But it’s much easier to learn strategies that help you stay in the game longer, but still lose in the long run.

Stack of Chips on a Roulette Table

It’s time to decide what your ultimate gambling goal is. Don’t make this decision lightly. But the good news is that you can decide that you want to learn how to play longer now, and change your mind later and decide to learn how to win.

I’ve already told you the best games for each possibility, so review these games and see what you already know about them. Also consider which games you like to play. If you’re a slots player you need to think about switching games.

You can learn strategies to be able to play slots longer, but they’re the worst choice in the casino for most players.

3 – Casino House Edge and Strategy

Do you know what the casino house edge is on the games you play now? Do you know which casino games offer the lowest edge? These are important questions that you need to know the answer to if you want to develop a winning casino strategy.

Here’s a list of games available in casinos that have a low edge:

  • Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Baccarat
  • Video poker
  • Craps
  • Sports gambling

Here’s a list of the casino gambling options that have a bad edge:

  • Slot machines
  • Roulette
  • Almost all table games
  • Keno
  • Bingo
  • All specialty games like the big wheel

If you want to win or come close to breakeven, you simply can’t play a game with a bad casino edge. And even when you play a game from the first list, it’s challenging to win. Poker, blackjack, and sports gambling are the three main gambling activities used by gamblers that actually win in the long run.

I strongly recommend choosing one of these three gambling activities. If you choose a different option, you’re probably never going to win, much less come close to breaking even.

4 – Master Your Chosen Area

The best way to develop a winning casino strategy is to pick an area to concentrate on, then do everything you can to master this area.

If you took my advice in the last section, you’ve chosen either blackjack, sports gambling, or poker. The easiest path is using blackjack, but this doesn’t mean that it’s easy. If you want something easy, accept the fact that you’re going to lose money gambling and play any game you want.

Texas Holdem Ten Jack Hand

But if you want to win, it’s time to learn how to master a beatable game. The good news is that once you make a commitment to learning how to win and choose a game you can beat, all that’s left to do is practice and learn enough about it to become a master.

Mastering a game isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You don’t have to be a genius or have special abilities. All you have to do is make a commitment and never give up. And after doing the required work, it’s only a matter of time before you master your chosen gambling activity.

5 – Put in the Work

This is the final and most important step in developing a winning casino strategy. I’ve covered everything else you need to know, and you should have an activity that you’re going to master picked out. In this section, I’m going to show you an example of how to master a game so you can see how much work this is going to take.

Don’t let the work scare you off. This work is worth it because you’re going to benefit from the time you put in for as long as you gamble.

The example I’m going to use to show you how much work is involved in mastering game is blackjack. It takes a lot of work to master blackjack, but the other two options I mentioned earlier could potentially take even longer.

Here are the steps you need to follow to master the game of blackjack:

  1. First, learn all of the blackjack rules variations and how each rule changes the casino edge. This information helps you find the best games to play.
  2. Get a blackjack strategy chart and use it until you have every play memorized. Study why strategy is important so you know why you need to use strategy on every hand.
  3. Learn what card counting is and how it works.
  4. Pick a card counting system.
  5. Learn everything there is to know about your chosen system.
  6. Practice counting using your system until you can do it in any situation without making a single mistake.
  7. Learn how to count cards without getting caught.

Conclusion

Strategy is important if you want to have a realistic chance to be a winning casino gambler. Review all of your options and figure out exactly what you hope to accomplish when you’re gambling. If you want to win, your strategy is going to be different than if you just want to gamble as long as possible.

Learn how strategy influences the casino edge and use this to your advantage. Pick one gambling area to specialize in, learn everything you can about your chosen area, and put in the work. This is how you ultimately develop a winning casino gambling strategy.

Legal Tennessee Sports Betting Ready For November 1st Launch

Two Laptops Showing Sports in Front of a Pile of Money
Legal Tennessee Sports betting is two week away from its launch and with some minor glitches to fix, state regulators are working round the clock to iron out those issues.

Las Friday, the Tennessee Education Lottery held several meetings to make some adjustments on the language of the state’s sports betting rules. Likewise, the regulators approved a new betting menu, and corrected some of the language in NCAA Football betting.

Tennessee Education Lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrove suggested that the approved sportsbooks be allowed to open for a few hours on the day before November 1st. Hargrove argued that November 1st is an NFL Sunday, a very busy day in sports betting., and she does not want the legal Tennessee sports betting sites to be overwhelmed.

It was also agreed that 20% of the legal Tennessee sports betting revenues will go back to the state with most of the funds going to education and institutions dealing with higher learning. Mental health initiatives have also been targeted as a beneficiary of Tennessee sports betting funds.

Fourth Sportsbook Waiting For Approval

BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel were the sportsbooks announced by the Volunteer State last month as approved to do business in its jurisdiction. A fourth sportsbook in the Tennessee Action 24/7, has filed its application but is unsure if they will be given the go-signal to launch along with the others on November 1st.

Tennessee Action 24/7 filed its application on September 23rd but the home-grown sportsbook has yet to hear from the Tennessee Education Lottery. Amelco, the company behind the Tennessee sportsbook, sent its sports betting application last September 23rd. With the Tennessee Education Lottery averaging six weeks to review the application and do background check, it is expected that the Tennessee sportsbook will receive its approval during the first week of November.

Online Sports Betting Only

The launching of legal Tennessee online betting will come with some historic controversy because the Volunteer State is the first to allow customers to bet on sports exclusively online. Betting in casinos is not permitted and there are no brick and mortar sports shops in the state.

Sports betting was legalized in Tennessee in 2019 when Governor Bill Lee let the period of legislation expire without his signature. Since then, Tennessee sports betting has taken a divided political path. The Tennessee Education Lottery has struggled to develop an infrastructure to manage sports betting in a state that has no previous casino gambling experience.

 

The Opening of Circa Las Vegas is Just a Week Away!

Circa Las Vegas

The Downtown area of Las Vegas is now home to some of the biggest and best casinos in the city. Incredibly, it’s about to get significantly better. The opening of Circa Las Vegas is now less than a week away!

There’s been a tremendous amount of attention placed on this new casino-resort recently. Circa is expected to be one of the best new gambling venues opened in the city for years. Today, we’re going to take a last-minute look at what this property will have to offer its members.

Let’s get into it!

Downtown Las Vegas Casinos Still Struggle to Bring in Players

All of Las Vegas is working hard to get back to normal. It’s become apparent how important the city’s gambling industry is for businesses here. The massive drop in revenue has taken a serious toll on the entire city.

Different parts of Las Vegas are suffering more than others. Downtown Las Vegas has been taking a serious hit over the past eight months. The casinos here are now open, yet all are struggling to bring in new players.

More visitors to Las Vegas are heading to the Strip right now. This area is home to some of the best casino-resorts on the planet. That includes the Cosmopolitan, The Venetian, and the Las Vegas Wynn Casino-Resort.

There are some fantastic hotel-casinos in Downtown Las Vegas, too. Not long ago, one of them found itself in hot water for illegally detaining a patron. This led to several major complaints from Nevada’s Gaming Control Board.

It will likely be years before things completely return to normal here. That doesn’t mean the casinos here are stopping in their effort to bring in new players. Many of the best Downtown Las Vegas casinos are offering great new deals to their members to boost visitation rates.

Soon, a massive new casino-resort will officially open its doors Downtown!

Here’s What We Know About the Opening of Circa Las Vegas!

It’s always fun when a major new casino opens its doors in Las Vegas. There have been several of these properties under construction here in recent years. Next week, we’ll finally get to witness the opening of Circa Las Vegas!

Construction on this property has been underway since February of 2019. As time went on, it became clear that this would become one of the best properties in the city. It features a two-story casino with 1,350 slot machines, 49 table games, and a fantastic new sportsbook.

We’re starting to hear even more details about this property’s new sportsbook. This sports betting area can fit 1,000 people at a time. It features a massive 78-million pixel television with a world-class speaker system. Most analysts claim it’s the largest sportsbook ever opened in Downtown Las Vegas.

Mike Van Ermen, the sports book’s strategic operations manager, spoke about his excitement about this sportsbook to the media this week.

“There’s really not a bad seat in the house, just because this thing is so unbelievably big,” he said. “I love to sit down in the Legends Club [section], the recliners. After you recline, the table pulls in closer to you. So you have your drink and your food right there. And you have to move your neck like an inch and a half at most, and you don’t have to move for the rest of the day. It’s really, really quality real estate.”

As many know, Circa will also feature one of the most impressive swimming pools in the city. It’s a true resort and should help to bring Las Vegas some much-needed tourism once it opens on October 28th.

Resorts World Las Vegas is Still Expected to Open Next Summer

Whenever a new casino-resort opens in Las Vegas, a surge in tourism is experienced in the city. It seems likely that many gambling fans will want to see what’s being offered at Circa Las Vegas. This isn’t the only exciting new property being opened in this city soon, though.

All eyes are on Resorts World Las Vegas. We’ve been reporting on this venue for years. At $4.2 billion, it’s the most expensive gambling property ever built in the city. It is expected to be a one-of-a-kind casino-resort with a number of incredible amenities.

As of now, the plan is for this property to open its doors sometime in summer of 2021. The opening of this property has already been delayed several times. Fortunately, things seem to be aligning for the casino-resort to begin accepting guests by the time next summer rolls around.

Those looking for a new job may want to consider applying to Resorts World. Not long ago, this hotel-casino hosted a massive job fair. According to new reports, this venue is preparing to hire 6,000 new employees.

Many of these positions are still open. Feel free to check out what’s available today!

We’ll finally get to see the opening of Circa Las Vegas next week. Hope is that this property can help to boost tourism rates in the Downtown area of the city. Make sure to stay tuned for updates over the next couple of weeks!

Are you excited to see Circa open its doors? Do you plan to visit this property anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section below!

West Virginia Casinos: The Casino Club at The Greenbrier

The Casino Club at The Greenbrier in West Virginia

If you’re looking for an upscale destination that’s more than just a casino, then the Casino Club at The Greenbrier won’t just supply your demand for serious casino gaming; it will give you a taste of the high life.

Opened in 1913, the casino is part of the larger Greenbrier luxury resort in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, just before you hit the West Virginia-Virginia line.

And let me tell you that if you love a pristine getaway, this is a place you can vacation for a week and never, ever get bored. Its 11,000 acres has more than just a history.

But, the history portion is a good and interesting place to begin, so let’s get started as we talk about West Virginia gaming, dining, and entertainment.

Enjoy the read.

The Greenbrier History

The Greenbrier opened in 1913, but people have been flocking to the land since the American Revolutionary War, with the first settlers coming to the land as early as 1778.

The first property was built in 1913 by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, who later sold to Chessie System before CSX Corporation finally stepped in. However, in 2009 CSX filed the Greenbrier for bankruptcy and it appeared the once 5-star resort’s best days were behind it.

However, the Justice Family Group headed up by Jim Justice took over the property and after paying its debts, bankruptcy protection was dismissed.

Horse Carriage in Front of Greenbrier

Justice’s goal was simple: To return the location to its former glory and then some, with its best days still to come. It was at this point Justice introduced the Casino Club shortly after a referendum was passed in November 2008 to permit gambling at the location.

In October 2009 the Tavern Casino opened, which paved the way for the Casino Club. Its doors opened in July 2010, and the rest is, well, history.

Now that you know about the up and down landscape the hotel has faced over the past 100-plus years, let’s get down to business and talk about the games offered at the hotel.

Casino Games Offered

Okay, so before we get to the good stuff, The Greenbrier is a little more selective on its gaming policies. For one, you must be an overnight guest, a member of the Greenbrier Sporting Club and Greenbrier Golf & Tennis Club, or in attendance at an event or convention.

Greenbrier has a strict dress code, even on the casino floor. Before 7 p.m., you must wear collared sports shirts, sweaters, slacks, or dark and well-kept denim. After 7 p.m., jackets are required, so make sure you come prepared.

Remember, this casino is strictly for those of us who love the good life, so please, dress appropriately. Hats and baseball caps are also not permitted on the casino floor.

The Games at Greenbrier Casino include 320 slot machines, table games that include Blackjack, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Texas Holdem, Craps, and Mini-Baccarat. There are 37 tables throughout the gaming area, welcoming both individuals and groups. Private tables are also available upon request.

Greenbrier Casino Room

Greenbrier also offers some unique online gaming via BetMGM.com, touted as the home for casino action in West Virginia. Bet MGM includes exclusive slots and table games in a unique, online experience.

Oh, and don’t forget about the FanDuel Sportsbook. So, if the big game is going on and you’re a guest at Greenbrier, you can easily bet on any game out there. The sportsbook is open during regular casino hours and is located within the Casino Club.

Dining Options

There are four dining options available at the Casino Club, each offering their own unique cuisine.

First up is In-Fusion, which serves the only Pacific Rim dishes in the area. In-Fusion also offers a sushi bar and modern Asian dishes. Conveniently located in the center of the Casino Club.

In-Fusion’s menu comprises dishes including slow-roasted sea bass, General Tso’s chicken, cocktails containing citrus, herbs, and much more. Bear in mind that reservations to In-Fusion are recommended.

If you’re looking for high-end cocktails, look no further than Greenbrier Royale which uses fresh ingredients that are prepared in-house.

Greenbrier Fine Dining

If you’re looking for some signature cocktails, Twelve Oaks is where it’s happening. Whether your goal is to celebrate some recent winnings or to take a break from the games, this high-end lounge provides a relaxed atmosphere where you can sit and enjoy your favorite cocktails.

Come in and admire the location’s equestrian themes, stately decor, or the greatest show in town – the happenings on the casino floor.  Twelve Oaks does not accept reservations.

Or, if you’re into dancing, then 42 Below has you covered. Where did the dance floor get its unique name? Well, it’s located exactly 42 feet below the main entrance to the Casino Club. So, get ready to dance the night away after you’ve finished gaming for the day.

Activities and Entertainment

Greenbrier is loaded with activities, so if you’re looking to take a day off from all the casino games, fine dining, and dance options, you’re in luck. Greenbrier currently offers 55 outdoor activities for all their guests, regardless of age.

If you’re looking to take a day off from the gambling and hit the golf course, the Golf Courses at Greenbrier are aplenty. Even in the winter.

Greenbrier Golf Course

Defined as a collection unlike any other, Greenbrier features four unique golf courses, indoor winter golf (I know, right?), a golf academy for newbies, and even a golf spa and fitness. If you’re an avid golfer who is staying over as a guest, me saying that you’re in luck is an understatement. You’re in golfer heaven.

If physical activity and golfing isn’t your thing, don’t worry, you’re still in luck here. Greenbrier offers some hot Signature Services at its private spa. Spa treatments offered at Greenbrier include The Detox Kur, Golfer’s Game Saver, Reflex Trio, Sweet Tea Simplicity, Meditation and Healing, and much more.

Keep in mind that all services are subject to the 6% West Virginia Sales Tax, a 6.5% Historic Preservation Fund, and a 20-percent service charge.

Hotel Accommodations

As mentioned, you must be a guest to use the casino and each of the amenities listed either as an overnight guest, a member of the Greenbrier’s clubs or if you’re taking part in an event or convention hosted at the resort.

Most of us are probably heading off to Greenbrier as overnight guests on a gambling trip, so this section focuses on the Greenbrier’s Signature Resort Rooms.

Greenbrier offers four types of suites: The Windsor Club, Historic Suites, Classic Suites, and Guest Rooms.

Within the Windsor Club, you’ll find the highest of high-class rooms. Named to honor the Duke and Duchess of Windsor who personally stayed at Greenbrier numerous times. In Windsor Club, you’ll find seven Presidential Suites, two Congressional Suites, one Windsor Club Premium, and one Windsor Club Room.

Next up is the one-of-a-kind Historic Suites, which cover eight types of additional suites including the State Suite, Greenbrier Suite, Governor’s Suite, West Terrace Suite, East Terrace Suite, North Terrace Suite, Carlton Valley Suite, and Treasury Suite.

Each Historic Suite is one-of-a-kind and is intended to entertain groups of up to 150 guests. So if you’re part of such a hallowed group, then you’re definitely up for the good life in these two to four-bedroom suites.

Next up are the Classic Suites, which include the Garden, Executive, West Virginia, and Draper Suites. Each features a unique sitting area with Dorothy Draper decor.

Finally, you got the Single Guest Rooms featuring Traditionals, Gables, and Superiors, each in Dorothy Draper decor, much like the classics.  Each room can accommodate between two and four guests.

Greenbrier Hotel Room

As with the events and activities, call and make your reservations in advance as these rooms are sure to fill up fast.

If you’re looking for something more sophisticated, the resort also offers Greenbrier Estate Homes that can accommodate between six and 14 guests while accommodating between 100 and 200 guests each.

As with the rooms and suites mentioned above, call for reservations.

Finally, the resort also offers seven Legacy Cottages. Each cottage accommodates between four and eight guests and may entertain as little as eight to as many as 200 people, depending on which cottage you choose to book. From the one-bedroom Paradise Row Cottages to the 4-bedroom Copeland Hill Cottages.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, your all-in-one destination for casino gaming that also features the prime destination in southeast West Virginia. The historic Casino Club at The Greenbrier is definitely more than just a casino. It’s a historic landmark that features perhaps the highest of the high life.

All located within the scenic mountains in West Virginia.

If you’re one for the high life, the Casino Club at The Greenbrier is definitely a destination to consider. Pricey? Probably. But hey, if you hit that jackpot the trip pays for itself, right?

Thank you for reading this article and if you’ve experienced the high life at the Casino Club or have been to The Greenbrier, let us know what your experience was like in the comments.

4 Casino Games Every Gambler Needs to Know How to Play

Split Image of Four Casino Games

Most people enjoy having an abundance of choices. When you have plenty to choose from, it helps you feel like you have more control. But sometimes, too many choices can be a bad thing.

When you walk into a casino, you’re surrounded by choices. Casinos try to offer a wide variety of gambling options so that every gambler has at least one or two things that they like to play.

These choices include some games that have decent odds and plenty of gambling options that have poor odds. The casino makes more money when you play games with poor odds.

Here are four gambling choices with good odds that every gambler needs to know how to play.

1 – Jacks or Better Video Poker

Jacks or Better video poker might be a little confusing at first because there are so many different pay tables. When playing real money video poker, you also need to learn how to use strategy. But the truth is that in comparison to other variants, you only need to know a few things in order to play Jacks or Better like a pro.

Here’s all you need to know to play Jacks or Better video poker like a pro:

  • The best pay table
  • The best strategy
  • Wager five coins

Once you understand these three things, you’re in good shape! I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about these three factors to Jacks or Better video poker. But before I get to that, I’m going to explain why every gambler needs to know how to play the game.

Video Poker Machine Hitting a Royal Flush

The main reason why you need to know how to play Jacks or Better is because in the right situation is has a casino edge of less than .5%. This is 1 of the lowest casino edges available in the casino. This is over 10 times lower than most slot machines, and lower than almost every other casino game.

Most casinos offer Jacks or Better machines. And once you learn the three things I’m getting ready to explain, you’re going to know everything you need to know about the game.

Many different pay tables exist for Jacks or Better, but you only need to know about one. The pay table that you’re going to play has a payout of 45 coins for a full house and 30 coins for a flush. It also pays 4,000 coins for a royal flush. You can ignore any machine that has a different pay table.

The next step is to play with the correct video poker strategy. It’s difficult to determine the best strategy on your own, but you can use a strategy chart. Using a strategy chart is how you can play with a low casino edge.

The last thing you need to know is that you always use the five-coin wager option. This unlocks a higher payment when you get a royal flush, which reduces the overall casino edge.

2 – Blackjack

Blackjack is considered a staple game in the casino industry. It’s the first game casinos offer beyond slot machines.

What this means is that every casino that offers more than slot machines is going to have blackjack. While there are some small casinos that don’t offer table games, the casinos that do have table games start with blackjack.

That’s the first reason why you need to know how to play blackjack for real money. The second reason is because it has a lower casino edge than almost every other casino game if you know the right way to play. You also need to find games with a decent set of rules.

You need to learn a little bit about the rules and how they influence the casino edge. The most important blackjack rule is to play on a table that pays 3 to 2 for a blackjack. If it doesn’t pay 3 to 2, find a different table.

Multiple Live Hands of Blackjack

All of the other rules also influence the casino edge, but none of them are as important as the rule I just covered.

When you find a table with the right rule, the next important thing is to play using the correct strategy. Just like Jacks or Better, you can use a strategy chart when you play blackjack.

Once you learn how to play blackjack the right way, you’re always going to be able to find a casino game that gives you a good chance to win. After you learn about the rules and strategy, the next step is to learn about counting cards. Card counting can eliminate the casino edge completely.

3 – Baccarat

This section is shorter than the other three game sections because baccarat is the easiest game on the list to play correctly.

The reason why baccarat is a game that every casino gambler needs to know how to play is because it’s a common game available in casinos, and it offers a wager option with a casino edge of just over 1%. The actual casino edge on the wager I’m going to cover is 1.06%.

Closeup of a Baccarat Table

This isn’t as good as Jacks or Better with a good pay table or blackjack with good strategy, but it’s easier to play than either of these games.

The best wager at the baccarat table is on the banker hand. The other wager options are worse, and the tie option is one of the worst wagering options in the casino.

That explains the entire strategy to play baccarat effectively. This means that all you have to do to play with a casino edge close to 1% is get a seat at the baccarat table and always wager on the banker hand.

4 – Texas Hold’em Poker

Texas Hold’em poker is the most complicated game on this list, but it’s also the game that gives you a real opportunity to make money in a casino instead of losing money.

The main problem is time. It takes a long time to get good enough at real money Texas Hold’em to win on a regular basis. This isn’t a game you can learn good strategy for in a few hours. Good players usually spend hundreds of hours just to learn how to win consistently.

But it’s worth the time to be able to gamble with an edge. It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to become a great poker player.

Stack of Poker Chips

I’ve spent decades working on ways to at least break even gambling. I personally love to gamble, but I don’t want to lose money when I do it. This is why most of my time gambling is spent playing poker or blackjack or gambling on sports. These are the three areas I’ve focused on and I’ve spent enough time to learn how to gamble on each of them without losing money overall.

The reason why I’m telling you this is because I made a decision many years ago and put in the long hours to get where I am today as a gambler.

It’s time for you to make the same decision. If you’re willing to make a long-term commitment to become a winning gambler, you can do the same things I’ve done. But if you want an easy way out, you might wany to stick to the other three games on this list.

You’re probably not going to win much, or break even, if you ignore poker—unless you master card counting in blackjack. I just want you to go into it understanding what’s at stake.

If you decide to tackle Texas Hold’em, pick up a few good books and start learning. Being a good poker player takes years of dedication and real-life learning experience. I can tell you that it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a long road that seems to never end. The choice is yours!

Conclusion

Every game on this list offers good odds and a low casino edge. None of these games is perfect, and you’re still going to lose money sometimes. But these choices give you the best chance to win in the casino.

Baccarat and Jacks or Better video poker are easy to play and have a low casino edge. But you’re not going to win in the long run. Texas Hold’em and blackjack both offer a small chance to show a long-term profit. But you have to learn the correct strategies and play as well as the top players in the world.

What Inexperienced Sports Bettors Should Know About Gambling Online

Person Browsing a Sports Betting Site on a Tablet

Over the last decade, the online gambling industry has seen massive changes and innovations. Because of this, online sports gambling continues to gain steam.

Meanwhile, more traditional methods begin to seem more and more archaic. While there will always be a place for brick and mortar sportsbooks, no one can argue with the convenience of online gambling.

In the grand scheme of things, online sports betting is still relatively new. Additionally, the landscape of the internet is always shifting, and the industry continues to evolve.

For gamblers new to betting online, or even new to gambling in general, there are a few things you should be aware of. Here are seven things inexperienced sports bettors should know about gambling online.

There are Several Quality Sites

It stands to reason that most gamblers have a particular casino they prefer to others. That’s not to say they’ll avoid gambling at other casinos, but they have their favorites.

The same thing goes for online gambling websites. Most online gambling vets have their site of choice, and there are plenty to choose from.

Many entities have taken notice of the amount of money there is to be made from online gambling. Because of this, there is a wide variety of quality websites available to the typical gambler.

The internet is full of real money online casinos, sportsbooks, and daily fantasy sites. Several of these sites are highly rated and are deserving of your business.

Deciding where you’ll spend most of your time, gambling comes down to personal preference. Individual sites offer better bonuses, while others have a better interface.

It can be tough to select your site of choice. If you’re on the fence, consider depositing money with a handful to get a better feel of each one.

Not Every Site is Worth Betting On

Most gambling sites are well respected and highly rated within the gambling community. But, where there is money to be made, less reputable deviants seem to appear out of nowhere.

If you aren’t internet savvy, it’s easier than you think to be conned out of money. Certain websites around the internet are professionals at taking advantage of unaware, inexperienced online gamblers.

MLB Rays vs Dodgers Play

The problem with several of these sites is that they commonly rebrand or change their website name. This makes it nearly impossible to keep tabs on these less reputable sites.

When deciding on a particular website, you can do a few things to verify its authenticity. The easiest and most effective would be to read customer reviews and check for blacklisted gambling sites.

When reading these reviews, make sure bad ratings are legitimate. Some former gamblers are prone to trashing specific sites after sustaining severe losses.

It’s Harder to Check Your Emotions

One of the things I prefer about gambling in person is that it’s more difficult to lose control of your emotions. If you were to act foolish and bet recklessly at a casino, it could be mortifying.

But, no one would bat an eye if you did it in the comfort of your own home. Gambling in person keeps sharp gamblers honest and can force them to listen to their minds instead of their hearts.

When you get too comfortable gambling, it can be easy to start betting based on emotion. To that point, it’s much easier to feel entirely at ease in your own home compared to in public.

When gamblers old and new choose to bet with their hearts, things can quickly spiral. In sports gambling, this typically occurs when you place bets like a sports fan instead of a sports gambler.

Additionally, chasing losses is much easier to do when you’re sitting in front of your computer. All in all, if you lack emotional maturity, gambling online could potentially be problematic.

You Can Often Find a Line for Everything

You can find pretty much anything your heart desires on the internet. The same is true when it comes to online sportsbooks.

When I started betting online several years ago, I typically stuck to traditional sports. However, when there was a lull in the MLB, NFL, and the NBA, I transitioned to more obscure sports.

Most high-quality betting sites typically offer lines on most sports you can think of. Instead of sticking to the major sports, gamblers can easily transition to betting somewhat off the beaten path.

NFL Eagles Quarterback Getting Sacked

That can be both a blessing and a curse. If you have a plethora of knowledge regarding an unknown sport, you could thrive.

But, it’s much more realistic that a common sports gambler will experiment by betting on a sport with which they have no prior experience.

It might seem tempting to start betting on cricket, snooker, or even arm wrestling. But consider sticking to the sports you know and love. It will make winning much less complicated.

Being a Fan Doesn’t Make You A Sharp Online Bettor

Nowadays, it’s hard to ignore the endless sports betting advertisements that are during the most popular games. One of those ads might be the reason you’re thinking of getting into sports betting.

Most of those advertisements pray on die-hard sports fans and convince them that their limited knowledge will turn to wins. But that’s not usually the case.

Sports gamblers must make sure they approach sports betting intelligently, not emotionally. As I said earlier, gambling with your heart never ends well.

Just because you’ve watched your favorite teams for years doesn’t mean you’ll be a good sports gambler. Winning money on sports requires patience and diligence.

It’s never been easier to start betting on sports, which is an overwhelmingly positive thing. But, before you deposit with your site of choice, make sure you know what you’re doing.

There’s Usually Better Odds Somewhere Else

One of the most frustrating parts of sports gambling is placing a bet only to see better odds on another site.

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Winning money betting on sports is challenging. Anytime you can make it easier on yourself, you need to take advantage. In an earlier point, I suggested new gamblers should deposit with multiple sites. That suggestion should extend to any online sports gambler who wants to make money.

Before you place any bets, do some brief reconnaissance to make sure you’re getting the most value for your money.

That means you need to make sure you’re getting the best odds and most favorable line. The difference between a point or two isn’t insignificant and shouldn’t be ignored.

It Can be Easy to Lose Money

It’s time to face a few tough realities. You’re going to lose money at some point gambling, especially if you get your start online.

Better accessibility means more opportunity to gamble. An optimist would argue that means there’s a better opportunity to win money. But, a realist would contend that it’s simply easier to lose more money.

Pro Golfer Matthew Wolff

In my opinion, it’s harder to lose a great deal of money in person than online. It’s a shameful experience to constantly reach in your wallet to lay money down at the tables or make consecutive trips to the ATM.

When gambling online, all you need to do to reload your bankroll is click a few buttons. Then you’re back in action.

Inexperienced gamblers should practice sports betting bankroll management when they first start gambling. As I said, sports betting is tough, and it’s easy to lose money if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Conclusion

Online sports gambling is ever-expanding, and there seems to be no end in sight. Unlike days before the internet, new sports gamblers have an unprecedented level of access to gambling action.

That can either work in your favor or lead to your gambling demise. New gamblers should always be prepared to succeed before placing their first bet.

It’s important to note that while there are a number of quality sites around the internet, there are several less reputable ones. Make sure to do your due diligence before you start betting.

As is the case with most things regarding the internet, sports gamblers should be able to locate just about any line for any sport. It might seem zany and fun to bet on an obscure sport, but make sure not to waste your money.

Tread lightly if you’re betting on sports because you consider yourself to be a diehard fan. It’s never a smart move to bet according to your fanhood instead of fact-based knowledge.

Finally, always be financially responsible when gambling online. You’ll be surprised to find out how quickly you can lose money when your sportsbook is only one click of the mouse away.

Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway in Dayton, Ohio Review

Hollywood at Dayton Raceway Exterior and Interior

Owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National Gaming, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway is your very best racino in the Dayton, Ohio area.

Like most of your racinos, this casino is known for both its horse racing and its casino. The latter of which was opened in 2014.

Like most Ohio-based casinos, the casino gaming room is a new breed that will surely grow in time as the gambling scene continues to do so and work wonders for the Ohio economy.

This article will give you a rundown of the racino’s history, games offered, dining options, entertainment, promos, and its impact on the Ohio gambling scene.

Let’s get started.

The History of Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway

This racino opened its doors in 1959 as Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio. And for years it operated as a track for thoroughbred racing and car racing. Rather a unique thing for racetracks at the time as many of which were fixated mainly on horse racing.

When video lottery terminals (VLTs) were legalized at seven of Ohio’s racetracks, Penn National Gaming acquired state approval to relocate the track to Dayton to avoid competition with Hollywood Casino Toledo, which Penn National also owns.

Three years later in 2014, the move was completed and the racino officially opened in August of that year.

Hollywood Gaming Casino

So, if you’re ready to try for that jackpot, step into Hollywood Casino’s game room where you have 1,100 real money slots at your disposal.

Play new and traditional games that include favorites like Wheel of Fortune, Dragon Link, Fire Link, Dollar Storm, Lightning Link, Treasure Ball, 88 Fortunes, Dancing Drums, and more. Whether the latest and greatest or the traditional game is your thing, you will find it at Hollywood Dayton.

Hollywood Gaming Dayton Slot Machines

If you’re a smoker, you’re welcome to take advantage of the casino’s smoking patios, where you can enjoy over 150 slot games on over 5,000 square feet of real estate without needing to leave to take a cigarette break.

Other game room features include high ceilings, climate control, oversized fans, and more. You’ll definitely find the modern touch at this casino and if it’s your preferred style, you’re already in luck.

And if you’d like to try your hand at capturing even bigger jackpots, head over to the high-stakes room and go for it. In the private high-stakes room, you’ll find an ATM, Ticket Redemption, Bill Breaker and Promo Kiosks, and more.

Hollywood Gaming Dining Options

Dining options at Hollywood Dayton Raceway give you three excellent restaurants and bars complete with their own themes so you don’t have to venture too far off-site to enjoy the finest eats in the area.

Whether you’re looking for something relaxed, sporty, or even something in between, you will find what you’re looking for at Hollywood Dayton.

Here’s the rundown of options:

If you’re looking to catch that big Cincinnati Bengals, Dayton Flyers, or Ohio State Buckeyes game, then the Skybox Sports Bar is your premier destination. Enjoy premium entrees like their signature-cut steaks or burgers. Or, if you’re in the mood for appetizers, a bucket of wings is surely up your alley.

Hollywood Gaming Dayton Steak and Shrimp

Cheer on those Bengals, Buckeyes, or Flyers and enjoy the greatest sports bar scene in Dayton, Ohio.

If you’re in the mood for something fast like sandwiches or burgers, then Take 2 Grill has your back. Grab and go from the finest fast entrees in the area or as with the Skybox, dive into that next bucket of wings.

Looking for the premier place to be to enjoy the nightlife? Well, head over to H Lounge where the party is always hopping. Here, you’ll find the best cocktails the city has to offer plus live entertainment from both world-class and local acts. It’s a fantastic way to end a perfect day of casino gaming.

Hollywood Gaming Promos

Hollywood Dayton Raceway’s promotions are in high-gear all year long, so check the promos page often to discover what’s going on this week or even for the entire month.

What are some ways to take advantage of the mychoice promo at Hollywood Dayton?

Join mychoice and enjoy new member promotions and you can earn casino comps, Free Play, prizes, and more.

When you join mychoice you can swipe the new mychoice card at any kiosk to claim a Prize Wheel reward featuring between $10 and $1,000 in Free Play. Tell your friends about mychoice and you can win even more for bonus Free Play between $10 and $500.

Another awesome way to win Free Play worth between $5 and $500 is to simply associate your email address with your mychoice account. Easy, right? Just add an email, swipe your card at a mychoice kiosk, and win your Free Play.

What are some other promotions that you can find at Hollywood Raceway Dayton? You’ll find a list on the promos page, but at the time of this writing, promos like Halloween Haunts, Live it Up Club, $100,000 Big 6, and others are garnering some serious attention.

Again, every month you’ll find something new so there’s always something to be excited about.

The Entertainment Scene

Whether you’re looking for the best in the world, weekly entertainment, local entertainment, or live shows, you’ll find hot entertainment at Hollywood Raceway Dayton. Find live acts from local artists every Friday and Saturday in the H Lounge and take in the area’s best talent.

Hollywood Gaming Dayton H Lounge

The party continues well into the evening at Hollywood Raceway, so don’t forget to enjoy some of the greatest beers on tap, cocktails, and premium food from the menu in H Lounge. End the perfect day at the casino with the perfect night full of entertainment, dancing, and the best food and drinks around.

The event schedule is always popping with the most dazzling names in the local entertainment scene so click the above link often for the monthly schedule and see who’s rocking in Hollywood.

Accommodations and Nearby Attractions

There are plenty of hotel options in the area, many of which are located just a few minutes from the raceway so you’re always within walking distance from all the action.

From economic to luxury options, take your pick and you can find yourself just moments away from the best gaming experience in the Dayton, Ohio area.

Or, if you’re looking to take a day off from the gaming and racing, be sure to check out some of the hottest local attractions.

If you’re into history, culture, and automobiles, then Dayton is the place for you. Obviously, the city is proud to be known as the birthplace of aviation and there is no shortage of it in Dayton. If you’re in the same boat, you’ll love what the city has to offer.

National Museum of the US Air Force  WWI Exhibit

From the National Museum of the US Air Force to the Dayton Aviation Heritage Park, you’ll definitely gain an appreciation for the rich aviating heritage in the city.

But there is something for everyone in the great city of Dayton, from the 2nd Street Market, Warped Winged Brewery, America’s Packard Museum, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, the Dayton Art Institute, and more, you’ll definitely love the diversity and culture in Dayton.

If you’re a sports betting fan, the Dayton Flyers and Wright State University always have games going on all year long in a variety of different collegiate-level sports.

You can also get close to the action in baseball with the Dayton Dragons, a Class A team of the Midwest League who have been affiliated with Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds since 1999.

Catch roller derby action with Gem City Roller Derby at the Dayton Convention Center, USL League Two’s Dayton Dutch Dragons, the Dayton Dynamo of the National Premier Soccer League, or if rugby’s your thing, then the Dayton Area Rugby Club has you covered.

As you can definitely see, there is absolutely no shortage of things to do outside the casino in Dayton and the city has something for everyone’s interest. Take a look around and you too will fall in love with Dayton, Ohio.

The Racing Scene

Live horse racing at Hollywood Raceway offers some of the most entertainment thoroughbred harness racing in the state of Ohio. Come to the track and get the best seats in the grandstand trackside and visit the concessions area for a quick round of food and drink.

Hollywood Gaming Dayton Harness Racing

The Skybox Sports Bar is also nearby and offers stunning views of the track and the surrounding area so you’ll never miss a moment of the action at the raceway.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry, as Hollywood Raceway is always simulcasting races from noon to midnight.

Conclusion

So, as you can see Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway is so much more than simply a casino. It boasts a rather unique history of a racetrack that was recently moved halfway down the state and features some of the best harness racing in the state if not in the nation.

With awesome promos, gaming, and entertainment options offered each month, why wouldn’t you want to take a trip to Dayton? And if that isn’t enough, their nearby attractions are so plentiful you could seriously take a week to explore everything the city offers.

It shows that even Ohio’s lesser-known major cities definitely have more than their fair share of luxuries both on and off the casino gaming floor. It’s a definite vacation destination for you and your entire family.

Have you been to Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and if so, how was your experience? Let us know.

Live Entertainment To Return At MGM’s Las Vegas Properties Next Month

Outside of MGM in Las Vegas

MGM is bringing back live entertainment back to Las Vegas. In a statement released on Tuesday, MGM Resorts announced the return of various live shows to some of its Las Vegas casinos.

Said George Kliavkoff, MGM Resorts President of Entertainment and Sports:

“After eight months, it’s time to bring entertainment back to the Entertainment Capital of the World. While there is still a long road in our city’s recovery, the reintroduction of these shows is an important first step. November 6 is going to feel very special as we welcome back team members and guests and bring the curtains up for that first time.”

Seven Shows To Return on November 6th

According to its website, MGM will return seven shows beginning November 6th. These shows are David Copperfield, Carrot Top, Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club, Fantasy, Jabbawockeez, The Australian Bee Gees, and Thunder From Down Under. These shows will go live at MGM Grand, Luxor, and Excalibur.

Some shows will be transferred to bigger Las Vegas casinos in order to satisfy the state’s health and safety protocols. Currently, Nevada allows a maximum audience of 250 guests, separated six feet apart from one another, and a 25 feet distance between the stage and the closest audience. As a result, the following venue changes were announced:

  • David Copperfield will return to the David Copperfield Theater at MGM Grand
  • Jabbawockeez will bring its signature moves and “Timeless” show to the MGM Grand Garden Arena
  • Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club will take to the stage in the resort’s Studio A & B Ballrooms
  • Carrot Top will perform in the Luxor Theater
  • Fantasy will perform in the Luxor Theater
  • The Australian Bee Gees will perform in the resort’s Thunderland Showroom at the Excalibur
  • Thunder From Down Under will perform in the resort’s Thunderland Showroom at the Excalibur
  • MGM’s move comes after Caesars Entertainment also announced that it will be returning three of its shows on the Strip. “X Country” is slated to return on
  • October 22nd while “Absinthe” and “Piff The Magic Dragon” will go live again at the end of this month.

Convene With Confidence Plan

MGM Resorts has formulated its own Seven Point Safety Plan and the “Convene With Confidence” Program for meetings and conventions which outline the health and safety measures that the company has put in place to protect its guests and employees. A specific “Convene With Confidence” program for entertainment and sporting events has also been developed and it will be implemented when the shows open on November 6th.

The comprehensive plan includes the health screening questionnaires, mandatory wearing of masks, social distancing, sanitation stations, regular cleaning of venues in between shows, and the encouraging of digital ticket sales and their contactless scanning to minimize touch points.

Caesars Rewards is Expanding to New Properties

Caesars Rewards Program

Earlier this year, Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts merged to become the largest casino company in the United States. This new company now owns a huge number of major casino-resorts around the country. According to new reports, Caesars Rewards is expanding to many new properties.

It’s great news for members of this program. Caesars has one of the largest loyalty reward programs in the world. Today, we’ll take a look at how exactly it is changing.

Let’s get into it!

Caesars Now Operates More than 50 Properties Around the US

When the news broke that Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment were merging, it spread like wildfire. Both of these companies own a huge number of gambling properties. This merger would form the largest casino company in the country.

Getting this deal done took much longer than initially expected. Many state gambling commissions needed to grant their approval for the merger to go through. The FTC also needed to give it the green light.

Hope was that this merger would be completed by the end of 2019. That time frame was then pushed back to early 2020. Finally, after receiving approval from the FTC, this massive deal was concluded on July 20th.

Both Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts were forced to sell several of their properties in order to join forces. That doesn’t mean the newly-merged company is lacking casinos now. Caesars still owns and operates more than 50 different properties around the country.

Incredibly, this company is still trying to expand. It’s also focused on attracting new gamblers into casinos. This is proving to be extremely difficult, and casino revenue is still much lower throughout the US than it was in 2019.

News is now coming out that Caesar’s popular loyalty program is about to get better.

Here’s What’s Happening With Caesars Rewards Program

Caesars Entertainment has long been known for having one of the biggest and best casino loyalty programs. It initially started as the Total Gold slot players club all the way back in 1997. This program helped the casino track the activity of its patrons.

This program has expanded over the years. It’s not the biggest promotion on the planet. Incredibly, this program is about to get even bigger.

New reports claim that Caesars Rewards is set to grow by 20%. Following the merger with Eldorado Resorts, Caesars is expanding this casino loyalty program to an additional 18 properties. Members of Eldorado’s programs have now been integrated into the one run by Caesars Entertainment.

This move comes more than a year after CEO Tom Reeg spoke about improving this popular loyalty program.

“The combination with Caesars presents attractive incremental revenue synergy opportunities as we plan to strengthen Caesars Rewards, the industry’s leading player loyalty and CMS database, and combine it with Eldorado’s to market to over 65 million rewards customers nationally,” Reeg said. 

18 additional casinos around the country are now a part of Caesars’ popular loyalty system. It’s great news for thousands of gamblers. This will help bring these casino gamblers a huge number of new, exciting perks.

Caesars Entertainment is Making Moves in the Sports Betting Industry

The US casino industry is struggling right now. Revenue from this industry seems to be increasing in many parts of the country, yet remains much lower than it was in 2019. The country’s sports betting industry, however, is surging right now.

Sports betting revenue has been increasing rapidly in many areas of the country. New Jersey, in particular, has been seeing huge earnings from this industry. The state recently saw $748 million in sports betting handle, a new all-time high.

News recently broke that Caesars agreed to purchase William Hill for an astounding $3.7 billion. It was a massive move for the casino company. William Hill is known as one of the largest sports betting operators in the world. The acquisition of this company will allow Caesars to take over all of the company’s US assets.

This is the perfect move to make at a time like this. Many new states are likely to legalize and regulate sports betting sometime over the next few months. That includes Louisiana and Nebraska.

There’s clearly a lot going on with this company. Caesars Rewards is set to expand massively over the next few weeks. Caesars is also set to operate several new sportsbooks soon.

Are you excited to hear that Caesars’ rewards program is expanding? Let us know in the comments section below!

5 Ways to Avoid Embarrassing Yourself While Playing Slot Machines

Man With Hand Over Face With a Casino Slots Background

When you play slot machines, there’s not much you can do to change the results. You can’t use strategy, and finding a machine with a high return to player percentage is usually a matter of luck.

But this doesn’t mean that you can’t take a few steps to improve your results and enhance your gaming experience. These same steps can help you avoid making too many embarrassing mistakes when you play slots, too.

Here are five ways to avoid making embarrassing mistakes when you play slot machines. And if you read all the way to the end of the article, you’re going to finally learn the hidden truth about slot machine play.

1 – Play for Free

I know that there are as many gamblers that love to play slots more than all of the other games in the casino combined. In every casino I’ve been in, there are at least as many slot machine players as other gamblers sitting around and losing their hard-earned money.

The reason I mention this is because most of the people reading this article are going to ignore the advice in this first section. They aren’t interested in doing anything except feeling the rush of a winning spin and having high hopes of winning a jackpot.

Destiny of Athena Online Slots

But the smartest thing to do if you want to avoid embarrassing yourself while playing slot machines is to play free slots before you play real money slots. I understand that free slots aren’t as exciting as real money slots and that you can’t win playing for free. But the other side of this is that you can’t lose when you play free slot machines either.

Even if you ignore the fact that you can’t lose when you play slot machines for free, there’s another important reason why you should play for free before playing for real money.

When you try a slot machine out for free, you have time to learn how the machine works, what the pay table is, and what to look for when you play. You also have the opportunity to learn if you need to do anything special. Some slot machines require a certain wager amount to unlock the top paylines and other bonus features or special game screens.

You can’t play slots for free in your local casino, so you’re going to have to sign up at a mobile or online slots casino for free play.

2 – Walk Before You Run

Slot machines come in all types of variations. If you want a simple machine, you can still find three-reel machines that are easy to understand. And if you want to see slots with revolutionary features, you can find all kinds of flashy video slot machines with bonus rounds, special mini games, and just about anything else you can think of.

While many newer slot machines are fun to play and have all sorts of extra things going on, the truth is that these machines can be confusing. When I talk to someone that’s just getting started playing slot machines, I give them a piece of simple advice.

I tell them to find a simple three-reel slot machine that has a clear pay table. If you plan to adhere to this advice, make sure you understand the pay table, and take things slow. Put a few dollars in the machine and hit the spin button or pull the lever. Look at where the reels stop and see if you won anything.

Keep playing on a simple slot machine until you’re comfortable. Then, if you want to try your luck with a fancy newer slot machine, you can. It’s almost impossible to follow all of the lines and reels and symbols on a new machine with a pay table that takes up two or more screens.

Of course, you don’t really have to know all of the pay tables, because the machine takes care of all of the losses and wins. But I like to know what’s going on, so I prefer simpler machines over the newer flashy machines.

3 – Play in Isolation

The best way to avoid doing anything embarrassing while you play slots is to play by yourself. The good news is that slots are perfect for this.

You can play slots at an online or mobile casino in private. Even if you play slot machines in a live casino, you can usually find a machine where no one is playing beside you. Of course, some gamblers play slot machines because they can find people to interact with when they play.

Row of Casino Slot Machines

The point is that no matter what your goal is when you play slot machines, you can find a situation that works for you. I prefer to play slots without being bothered, so I play them at home most of the time.

I only play particular types of slot machines, and it’s easy to find what I want when I play at an online casino. I only play slot machines with a top jackpot amount of at least $100,000 and a wager amount of $1 or less per spin. It’s not always easy to find these machines when I gamble in a live casino.

4 – Bonuses Cover Many Mistakes

When you look at online and mobile casinos, you see all kinds of bonus offers. Some of these bonuses are $10,000 and higher. And almost every bonus you see is designed for slot machine players.

This is good news because you need a big bankroll if you’re going to play slots. Many slots players wager over $1,000 every hour, so you need as much money as you can get when you’re chasing a big jackpot.

The truth is that there are not many mistakes you can make when you play slots. You put your money in, spin the reels, and wait for the result. This really doesn’t leave many possibilities for mistakes.

The biggest mistake you could make is probably choosing to play slot machines in the first place. I cover this in the next section, but for now, you need to get as much money as you can when you play slots. A big slot machine bonus is the best way to make your bankroll bigger.

Something that most gamblers don’t know is that all of these big slots bonus offers come with some conditions. Most of them have conditions that make it almost impossible to come out ahead, no matter how big the bonus is.

Read the terms until you completely understand the bonus situation. The odds are that you’re going to keep playing slots until you run out of money anyway, but you still need to understand what you’re getting into before you get a slot machine bonus.

5 – The Truth About Slot Machines

The truth about slot machines is something that most slots players don’t want to hear. The truth is that you should simply stop playing slot machines. They’re some of the worst games in the casino, and they take your money faster than almost any other game in the casino.

You can risk more money playing slots every hour than most other casino games even if you’re just betting $1 or $2 on every spin. And the casino edge is huge compared to many other games like blackjack, baccarat, and video poker.

88 Fortunes Megaways Online Slot

I admit that slot machines do offer some things that most other casino games offer. You can win a large jackpot on a small wager. But the odds of hitting a slots jackpot are small. In fact, most slots players never win a jackpot over $5,000 in their entire life.

If you’re stuck on playing slots, and aren’t willing to learn how to play any of the gambling options with better odds, the main thing you need to do is learn how to limit your slots losses.

The only way to do this is to risk less when you play slot machines. This means you need to find slot machines with lower wager limits and play fewer spins than most players. Of course, many slots players find fewer spins boring, but they also lose more money over time than slower players.

Conclusion

Don’t jump into playing for real money before you try playing slots for free. You can’t play free slots in a land-based casino, but you can easily find free slots games on your phone or computer.

Start with simple slot machines before you play the machines with bonus games and special features. The more advanced games can be confusing to beginning slots players.

To avoid embarrassing situations, play slots by yourself. When you get a big bonus to play real money slots, the bonus helps overcome many mistakes. And finally, don’t forget what you learned about the truth of slots play!

Casino Chip Facts to Remember the Next Time You Visit Las Vegas

Las Vegas Casino Chip With a City Skyline Background

Hunters have their ammunition, carpenters wield their hammers, and casino gamblers handle chips. These are the tools of the trade and without them, the blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker tables that define Sin City would be eerily empty. Gamblers handle hundreds or even thousands of different chips on any given trip to the casino, and countless millions can be found scattered throughout Las Vegas and its surrounding suburbs.

You might even have a few from your favorite gambling hall sitting on your desk. But despite their essential nature within the industry, chips are often taken for granted by the gambling masses. To change that, here are five facts about the casino’s replacement for cash that every gambler should know.

Gamblers Used Everything From Gold Nuggets to Guns as Chips

The first documented use of what modern gamblers know as the casino chip occurred in France back in the mid-18th century. At that time, French gamblers enjoyed a complex trick-based card game using a modified 40-card deck known as quadrille.

The game itself has long since passed into obscurity, but it made a meaningful contribution to casino gambling history that lasts to this day in the form of a three-piece chip set. To play quadrille, players ponied up their stake to purchase a basket containing an assortment of three unique chips.

In his 1752 book “Quadrille Elucidated,” author and quadrille expert Q. Quanti described the game’s chip basket in detail. According to Quanti, quadrille players handled a basket holding 10 jettons (French for “tokens”), 19 fiches (French for “files”), and 5 contrats (French for “contracts”).

French Card Game Set of Quadrille

One fiche was worth 10 jettons, while one contrat was worth 10 fiches to create an escalating scale of chip denominations.

The various chips were exchanged amongst four players as each maneuvered through their randomly dealt hands during a series of 40 tricks. Quadrille chips didn’t hold any monetary value themselves, but they acted as a scoring system through which the players assessed their financial gains and losses at the end of the game.

By the late 19th century, poker games held in saloons in the Old West and on riverboats down south were forced to improvise in the way of chips. Back then, prospectors turned poker players might ante up with small gold nuggets or even glass vials containing gold dust. Silver dollars also played, along with any coins accepted as payment by the local merchant class.

And in long running games where hard currency wasn’t readily available, players were even known to wager with bullets, guns, knives, and other items carried on their person.

Eventually, to avoid disputes over stolen goods and counterfeit coins, enterprising gambling hall operators began using standardized chip sets. Players paid the house to receive a commensurate amount of chips, then cashed them in when the winning was done.

You’ll Find Many Different Colors and Denominations

The typical casino cashier’s cage doles out $1 chips that are usually white or blue, $5 chips known as “redbirds” for their crimson color, green $25 chips, and black $100s.

Using these four color / denomination combos, gamblers who play low- or mid-stakes can navigate the table game pit perfectly fine.

But along with the primary four colors and values, casinos use a laundry list of lesser known chips to keep the money train chugging along.

Aria and Bellagio Poker Chips

You’ll find special pink $2.50 chips reserved for the blackjack table, so dealers can quickly pay out a $7.50 winner on a $5 blackjack bet at 3-to-2 odds. Poker rooms utilize brown $10 chips to ensure efficient betting at stakes like $5/$10 and $10/$20.

And the casino high-rollers splash around using $500 chips that are almost always purple, $5,000 red, white, and blue striped chips known as “flags,” and even violet $25,000 chips lovingly referred to as “cranberries.”

Those Little Lines, Squares, and Other Insignia on the Edge

Colors may catch the eye, but for casino security systems that largely rely on black-and-white screens, chips need to be distinguishable in another way.

And that’s where Regulation 12.030(d) of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) comes into play…

According to that rule governing casino chips in the Silver State, operators must design their various chip denominations with a special touch:

“Each chip must be designed so that when stacked with chips and tokens of other denominations and viewed on closed-circuit, black-and-white television, the denomination of the chip can be distinguished from that of the other chips and tokens in the stack.”

Pull up a Google search for “casino chip stacks” and ignore the usual suspects like the logo and the dollar amount. Instead, check the outer edges of the chips and look for small “splotches” in the form of lines, squares, triangles, and other shapes. These insignia are added to all casino chips to comply with Regulation 12.030(d).

Essentially, even without the ability to see colors, security staff watching on the closed-circuit TVs can quickly scan a chip stack and determine its total value. In addition, when a player mixes various chip values together in one stack (known as a “dirty” stack in poker parlance), security can sort through the different stripes to tell which ones are which.

Most players never even notice these small design enhancements, but once you do, you’ll can’t forget how they work.

Pocketing a Chip From the Ground Is Actually a Criminal Offense

I’ll never understand this one, but in most jurisdictions where casino gambling is legal, finding a stray chip on the ground and putting it in your pocket is considered a crime.

Colorado casinos, for example, uses Colorado Statute 12-47.1-823(1)(c) to penalize players for “theft of property” when they pocket a lost chip. As their legal reasoning goes, the chip itself was paid for and maintained by the house, so unless you paid to use it, you can’t simply grab it for free.

Fortunately for fans of the “finder’s keepers” rule, the NGCB sees things differently, so gamblers in Sin City aren’t considered sinful when they score a free chip – from the floor that is.

Try to take a chip from another player or dealer at the table, and you can bet your bottom dollar that security will be having a stern word with you sometime soon.

The Average Casino Chip Carries More Bacteria Than a Toilet Seat

Anybody who handles casino chips on a regular basis has likely noticed the little brown “stains” that never seem to go away.

This layer of dirt and grime accumulates day after day, year after year as chips are passed back and forth from hand to hand. For the most part, well-run modern casinos tend to this problem by regularly removing and replacing chips caked with crud. On the other hand, smaller, more rundown casinos don’t have the same dedication to cleansing their inventory.

Variety of Las Vegas Casino Chips

In any event, casino chips are obviously not the cleanest surface on the casino floor.

But you’d be surprised to learn just how filthy these little guys really are…

In a 2007 study conducted by the University of Las Vegas-Nevada (UNLV), a research team collected and analyzed several chips from prominent casinos on The Strip. Using the “swab and incubate” method, Professor Brian Hedlund sought to see exactly which microorganisms could be found growing on casino chips.

As it turns out, a random casino chip in Las Vegas likely has more than 3,000 microorganisms crawling along its two sides. And these microorganisms are serious stuff too, including staphylococcus and bacillus cereus, the sources of staph infections and food poisoning, respectively.

Some chips were even found to hold methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as the antibiotic-resistant strain of staph infection MRSA.

In an age when sanitization and dodging germs has never been so important, take heed of the warning UNLV pandemic expert Dennis Pirages offered to the Las Vegas Sun in a recent interview:

“It only takes 24 hours for a disease to spread from Southern Europe to Las Vegas.

I hate to think of a poker chip as a wonderful way to pass a virus, but…”

Fortunately for you, Hedlund and Pirages want to make one thing clear about the unseen world of microbes and other germs. Just one of your hands, right now at this very moment, is home to over 100 billion bacterial, fungal, and viral microbes. The human body is positively covered from head to toe with these microbes 24/7, simply because they’ve evolved to use us as hosts.

Evolution is a powerful thing though, which means your body’s immune system has millennia worth of fine tuning programmed directly into your DNA. The microbes are there, they’re just almost entirely benign unless you have an immunocompromised system leaving you especially vulnerable.

Nonetheless, when in doubt, it’s always better to be safe than sorry while handling chips. Wash your hands before and after, don’t eat finger foods or smoke cigarettes while you play, and avoid touching the grossest chips that cross your path.

Conclusion

When you spend as much time gambling as I have over the years, the chips that casinos use instead of money, and the way they connect players to the game in a tangible fashion inevitably become a source of fascination. From their construction and coloration, the various denominations and values, and sorry to say, the microscopic environments they cultivate, are all interesting in their own right.

Perhaps you view chips as merely a means to an end, or maybe you’re a collector who covets a memento from every casino you can find. In any case, I hope this primer on what makes the humble casino chip so special opens your eyes on your next gambling adventure.

5 Reasons to Start Live Betting More Often

Man Pointing With Thumb With a Live Sports Betting Laptop Image

If you’re serious about making money and consider yourself a true sports expert, live betting might be the perfect wagering option for you.

The reasons live betting has become so popular over the years are clear. It’s fun and interactive, more accessible than ever due to an abundance of online gambling platforms, and it allows you to find high-value plays in nearly every game.

Even those who don’t live bet regularly should consider giving it a try. In this article, I’ll lay out five reasons why you’re missing out if you aren’t live betting at top-rated sports betting sites.

1 – It’s Just More Fun

Some people gamble on sports as a way to make serious money. They put in hours and hours of research and develop complex strategies with advanced statistical models that most normal people wouldn’t understand. And then, there are the normal sports bettors.

It’s not so much that your everyday gamblers aren’t interested in making money from sports betting—they are—it’s just that there are other things at play. For most, that just means increased enjoyment of watching or following sports. In short, betting on games for fun is more likely to be the case than anything else.

If you fall into this category of bettors, live betting takes the entertainment factor to a new level because you’re betting right along with the action.

Live betting, if you’re not familiar, is making bets during the game. What’s happening on the field dictates the odds, and the only that that is certain is that they can change significantly after one big play or momentum shift.

Making money with live betting brings your knowledge of the games into a much higher focus. Those who are able to understand the flow of a game can better predict where it’s headed. Truly avid sports fans, who consider themselves students of the games, can use this to make a significant amount of money.

2 – You Have Better Data

Before betting on any game, you should be doing research and gathering data that helps you come to a decision. In a way, live betting is no different with one notable exception: The data you use to help you make your plays comes from what you’ve just watched.

It can be hard to look at two teams on paper and attempt to predict how a game will play out. If you had the luxury of watching them compete in a quarter of live action, things might become a little bit clearer. With live betting, this luxury is inherent.

Now, all of this is not to say that just because you’ve seen how the teams are competing against each other that you’ll easily be able to predict the outcome. If it was that easy, the sportsbooks wouldn’t offer live betting. You just have more, and better, information at your disposal to help you make decisions.

MLB Dodger at Bat

Keep in mind that it’s important to recognize that games go through momentum swings and change course all the time. If you’re immediately thinking about backing the team who scores first or looks like they’re going to dominate, be wary of inflated odds. Online sportsbooks know that bettors are guilty of recency bias and are likely to put too much stock in what happens in the early going.

To summarize, it’s important to look not just at the numbers or scoreboard but go deeper and see where each team has an advantage of disadvantage. It’s necessary to be watching a game you’re live betting so you can stay ahead of the betting public who isn’t tuned in and is susceptible to making uninformed decisions.

3 – The Value Can Be Significant

If there’s one word that crosses over between all areas of business and eventually makes its way to sports gambling, it’s “value.”

To look at it in terms of its application regarding sports gambling, making value bets is the idea of risking less money than you stand to gain. For example, betting on a moneyline at +185 would be considered a good value play because you could win $185 with a $100 bet.

An example of a low-value bet, and one which people fall victim to all the time, is the moneyline favorite. It sounds like a sure thing to put your money on a team at -280, but when you’re risking $280 to win $100, the price is simply too high. Upsets happen much more frequently than most people think, and losing bets like this can take a while to recover from.

Live betting provides excellent value if you can spot comebacks (or blowouts) before it becomes obvious that they’ll happen. For example, if a team is down 21-7 at halftime but the winning team has scored two touchdowns and the losing team has two turnovers in the red zone, the score might be misleading.

If you’ve been watching the game and make this observation, you could probably get some very favorable odds if you decide to bet on a comeback win.

The caveat that must be noted when looking for value with live betting is that you absolutely have to be paying attention to the game. Sportsbooks make a great deal of money on situations like the scenario I laid out in the previous paragraph.

Bettors who haven’t watched, or at least not watched closely, might be more apt to think a blowout is coming and bet on the team that’s winning. On the flip side, those who were watching the game recognize that the score is very misleading.

If you want to do live betting the right way, simply tuning in and paying attention to the game will set you ahead of the public.

4 – You Can Bet as You Go

Let’s say you’ve set aside $100 to bet on an NFL game. The most common bet would be to place your money on one of the teams prior to the game and see how it plays out. I would suggest that the play that will allow you get the most for your money would be to live bet each quarter along the way.

NFL Redskins Quarterback

While there’s nothing wrong with betting on a game before the action starts, if you spread out your money by quarter, you’ll never have that sinking feeling of knowing you’re going to lose in the first hour, and spending the rest of the game feeling disappointed.

It can take some time to get used to the format, but betting on games a quarter at a time is a great way to maximize the excitement of betting as well as give yourself more opportunities to win. If you’ve never given it a shot, select one game on a football Saturday or Sunday and try betting it quarter by quarter.

5 – It Makes You a Better Sports Bettor

If you bet on a game before it starts, whether or not you watch it play out isn’t going to have any impact on if you win or not. When you live bet, if you’re doing it correctly, you’re paying close attention to the action and how it impacts the numbers on the gambling side.

You’ll have certain revelations when live betting that you might not have noticed otherwise. For example, you’ll realize that sportsbooks rely on people making emotional decisions. Most notably, these decisions are based on recency bias. If there was ever a time to fade the public, it’s in live betting.

Once you’re making less mistakes live betting, you’ll have a much better understanding of how games progress and you can use this information to make decisions on games that you aren’t live betting. If you take it seriously enough, it can be a very helpful tool in growing as a sports gambler.

Conclusion

Live betting provides excitement and opportunities like few other types of sports bets. If you’ve never really committed to doing it the right way, I would suggest picking one football game each weekend to live bet. Watch each second of the game, make bets on each quarter, and see if you’ve discovered your new favorite type of sports betting.

If you’re ready to take the leap, feel free to check out our page on the best sports betting sites that offer great odds for live betting. Our site also offers betting guides and different pages that provide information on becoming a profitable sports bettor.

Good luck with your wagers!

A Look Into Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio

Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs Entrance and Horseracing Image

Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs, formerly known as Scioto Downs, is open 24/7, 365 to provide you the ultimate casino gaming experience whenever you’re up for it. And if horseracing is your thing, then you definitely want to check this venue out as it is a racino.

Couple the racino along with some of the greatest live entertainment and dining options in Columbus, then you have a complete, one-stop-shop for a night out in Ohio’s largest city.

This article provides you a solid outline of what to expect at the racino, including a sample of promotions offered, accommodations, and a little of what the great city of Columbus offers Ohio gambling. Let’s start with a brief history, then we’ll get into all the action

The History of Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs

Like most of your racinos in Ohio, Scioto Downs precedes Eldorado by a few decades. The racetrack first opened in 1959 and it continues to feature some of the best standardbred harness racing in the state on its 5/8-mile oval.

But horseracing wasn’t the only thing to get excited about at Scioto Downs, as the venue also hosted the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) state cross-country championships from 1985 to 2010.

However, when the State of Ohio legalized video lottery terminals (VLTs), OHSAA, long opposed to gambling of any sort, relocated the championships from Scioto to the National Trail Raceway.

Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs Exterior

As for the casino itself, it opened its doors on June 1st, 2012 when MTR Gaming Group operated the track. In 2014, MTR merged with Eldorado Resorts and in 2020, the name changed to Caesars Entertainment. That said, Caesars continues to own and operate the racino today.

Not too much history regarding the casino. Yet, anyway. But maybe you can change that with a jackpot or a gutsy bet on the races. Hey, you never know until you try, right? Speaking of the gaming and racing, let’s cover it in the next section.

The Casino, Promotions, and Racing at Eldorado Gaming

Alright, let’s get into the good stuff.

You can find here the newest and hottest casino games at Eldorado Casino. And as the casino continues to expand, so do the gaming options. The casino recently expanded its Open Air Gaming Terrace to include 250 new games, in addition to the popular traditional outlets the venue boasts.

Some of the latest games include Golden Wins, Lady of the Tower, Wonder 4 Tower, Treasure Ball, Wheel of Prosperity Phoenix, Olympus Strikes, and more. With so many options, there’s never a shortage at a venue voted as one of the top “Best Places to Gamble.”

Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs Casino

And if you want to get the most out of your gaming experience, join the One Club. One Club is the loyalty program at Eldorado that gives you endless benefits and rewards for playing at the casino.

The more you play, the more you win. And best yet, you can play, earn, and redeem at any Caesars Rewards property, so this isn’t solely exclusive to Eldorado.

You can redeem reward points earned for Free Play, Dining, Gift Shop, Tier-Based Promos, etc. The more points you earn, the more you level up. And the higher your level, the greater the rewards and benefits. For example, you can redeem points for discounts at a partner hotel at the Silver level.

If you reach gold, you’ll earn the Celebrity Cruises Benefit, and so on.

Racing at Scioto Downs provides some of the hottest entertainment in the area. You can kick back and watch live or if you can’t make it to the venue, the simulcast has you covered.

You can check out the link above for the most up-to-date information regarding track conditions, the upcoming schedule, entries, results, promos, events, horsemen info, general information, and more.

Eldorado Gaming’s Dining Scene

Dining at Eldorado Gaming features three fantastic options whether you’re in the mood for the buffet, a sit-down lunch or dinner, or a quick bite in the gaming area, this venue has you covered.

The Brew Brothers is perhaps the best place for the old-fashioned burger and brew, as the name states. Order a burger or try one of their wood-fired pizzas, pair with a specialty-crafted beer of your choice, and enjoy a break from the casino floor.

Brew Brothers Beer Selection

If you’re up for an all-you-can-eat option, then Grove Buffet has what you’re looking for. Dig into some of the best international food choices out there and finish it off with a top-end dessert. You’ll find your fill at Grove Buffet.

Looking for a quick grab and go before you trot back to the gaming floor? Well, Dash Cafe is your option. Grab a quick bite to eat or a quick drink, then head back to the gaming floor. This venue is conveniently located in the middle of the casino floor for fast entry and exit.

Entertainment and Accommodations

Live it up with some of the best local and world-class entertainment Columbus, Ohio offers. The Veil Bar features the latest and greatest acts in comedy, music, and overall entertainment while you can rock out to some good old acoustic action at Brew Brothers.

Looking for an extended stay? No worries, as Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs has partnered with the best local hotels in the area that offer you both the best deals and a convenient location. Many of which are within walking distance or a short drive from the venue.

Your top hotels within a six-minute drive include the Hampton Inn (attached to the casino), Red Roof Inn, Holiday Inn, and the Hilton Garden Inn.

The Hampton Inn is your best bet here since it’s not just attached to the casino; you’ll also get some outstanding views of the racetrack, so you’ll never miss a beat of the horse betting action.

And the best part about each of these nearby hotels is that you’re only a short drive away from Downtown Columbus. Where if you’re looking to take a break from all the casino gaming, then a trip downtown is definitely for you.

Let’s talk about nearby attractions.

Nearby Area Attractions

Columbus is always rocking and rolling regardless of the time of year. If you’re looking for some of the hottest table gaming action around, then definitely check out Hollywood Casino Columbus to get in on the action.

Columbus also has one of the most vibrant sports scenes, so if you’re a college football fan, you’re in luck with the Ohio State Buckeyes playing in the fall. If basketball is your thing, then watch both men’s and women’s college basketball either on-site or at one of the bars in the area.

Up for Major League Soccer action? Then the Columbus Crew is always putting on a show, as is the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets. And for some hot minor league baseball, check out the Columbus Clippers, the Triple-A affiliate to the MLB’s Cleveland Indians.

There are also many shopping malls in the area, such as the Polaris Fashion Place and the Easton Town Center.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Polar Bear

Other awesome attractions in the city include the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Zoombezi Bay Water and Amusement, Park, the Scioto Audubon Metro Park, the Columbus Park of Roses, and the Chadwick Arboretum, among other popular places.

Each park has its own unique theme. Scioto Audubon Park is known for its birdwatching, while the Columbus Park of Roses is known for its rose gardens. And for a diverse collection of plants, Chadwick Arboretum has you covered.

And if you’re in the area for fairs and festivals, then you are in for the experience of a lifetime. Whether it’s the Ohio State Fair, Rock on the Range, the Greek Festival, Juneteenth Ohio Festival, the Jazz Rib Fest, or Asian Festival, something is being held here on virtually every weekend.

Always pick up a few flyers at the Hampton Inn and interact with the helpful staff to get in the loop to what’s coming to the city during your stay at the casino. There may very well be something going on that piques your interest enough to venture into Columbus.

Above is just a tiny sliver of things to do in Columbus, but there are far too many to name here. City-wide attractions are definitely worth a post of its own, as we didn’t even cover trails and other outdoor activities, nor historic and cultural sites in this brief section.

It goes to show you just how much there really is to do in this city, and it just keeps growing.

Conclusion

As you can see, Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs is much more than a racino. It’s located in an area where there’s something to do at every corner. And best yet, with its continued expansion, you can bet that this racino will just keep on growing.

Since the Ohio gambling scene is still in its formative stages, there’s a lot to be excited about what the future holds. And with a known brand like Caesars owning and operating the venue, you can also bet that they will remain top-of-the-line in any innovation and expansion.

Couple this with activities and attractions in the City of Columbus and there’s more than enough to book a weeklong stay in the area.

Have you been to Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs? If so, share your experience with our readers. We look forward to hearing from you.

Why Doesn’t Texas Have Casinos?

Texas State Graphic With a Race Track and Casino Background

I remember in the late 1990s and early to mid-2000s, I used to play poker at a lot of the underground poker rooms in Dallas. Many of them had been in business for years. At some point, though, they started getting raided by the cops.

This continued until all the places I knew about had been closed. I vaguely understood that there were underground casinos in Dallas, too, but I didn’t play at any of them. I know that many bars and gas stations had the equivalent of slot machines – in Texas, they’re called 8-liners.

At one time, most of the mid-sized cities had even opened up so-called “game rooms” featuring these 8-liners. Most of them are now closed, too. The only one I ever played in with any regularity was in Farmersville.

It was fun, but you couldn’t win real cash there. You could only cash in points for merchandise, most of which looked like it had been bought on sale at Dollar General. I remember gardening tools and a 6-pack of canned corn.

And it made me wonder why the Texas gambling scene doesn’t have real casinos.

In this post, I’m going to delve into that subject a little more.

Texas Has Strict Gambling Laws

The main reason Texas doesn’t have casinos is because casino gambling – all types of casino gambling – are illegal in the state of Texas. In fact, Texas has some of the strictest gambling laws in the country.

The strict gambling laws are a strange phenomenon for the state which lends its name to the most popular form of poker in the country – Texas holdem.

This all stems from Penal Code 47.01, which is the statute making gambling illegal throughout the state.

The only exceptions are bets on dog and horse racing.

Not only that, but the law specifically enumerates which gambling activities are illegal in the state.

Which Types of Gambling Are Illegal in Texas?

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you already know that gambling has any number of subcategories. The state of Texas agrees. After all, they’ve enumerated and listed the specific types of gambling which are illegal throughout the state.

The first kind of gambling that’s illegal in Texas is the casino game. Any kind of game played in a casino is illegal in Texas, and this includes real money blackjack, craps, roulette, slots, and video poker. This also applies to online gambling, although I’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble for playing online casino games.

The only exception is if you’re on Native American land. I’ll have more to say about this later in the post. Stay tuned.

Lucky Eagle Casino in Texas

Sports betting is also illegal, with the exceptions of betting at the dog track or the horse track. Betting on sports is punishable by a $500 misdemeanor fine. It applies to online as well as in-person or over-the-phone betting.

This didn’t seem to slow down any of the bettors at my local bar who placed wagers with their local bookie.

Texas also has laws related to so-called social gambling. This is how Texas categorizes bingo games or charitable raffles.

These activities are legal when operated for the benefit of charities in the state. Otherwise, they’re illegal.

Strictly speaking, it’s even illegal to play in a friendly home poker game.

What About the Lucky Eagle Casino?

If you’ve heard of a Texas casino called the Lucky Eagle Casino, then you’ve found one of the rare exceptions to the statement that there are no casinos in Texas.

The Lucky Eagle Casino is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., and they stay open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night.

They have over 1200 slot machine games, but they also offer table games including blackjack, craps, roulette, and even keno. They have over 55,000 square feet of casino space with both smoking and non-smoking sections.

Besides the standard casino table games, Lucky Eagle offers progressive table games like Ultimate Texas Holdem and Emperors Challenge (a pai gow poker variant). They also offer Mississippi Stud, which is one of my favorite new table games. In addition they have a surprisingly robust number of blackjack games available, including both 2-deck and 6-0deck games. They even offer 21 + 3 and Spanish 21 games.

I saw no mention of baccarat on their site, but I suspect baccarat isn’t a big draw in Texas.

Lucky Eagle also hosts bingo games in their event center except on Friday and Saturday night.

The keno lounge offers multiple keno games, including speed keno and 50 cent keno.

Why is the Lucky Eagle Casino allowed to operate in Texas?

They’re a Native American casino, owned by the Chehalis Tribe, which has a compact with the state government allowing them to operate.

What About Naskila Gaming?

Naskila Gaming is another notable exception to the “no casinos in Texas” generality. It’s another example of a Native American casino. They’re owned by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe.

They’re located on the Indian reservation near Livingston, Texas, and they’re open 24/7.

They only offer Class II slot machines, and they have about 800 games to choose from.

Naskila Gaming also has multiple restaurants onsite, including a Nathan’s Hot Dogs and a Mexican café. They even have a grill serving traditional American fare.

Naskila Gaming Casino in Texas

There’s some controversy related to whether they’ll be able to continue operating in Texas. If you visit their website, you’ll see notices asking their patrons to support HR 759 to keep them open.

HR 759 intends to clarify that Naskila Gaming IS acting legally because they’re on tribal land.

Texas has three Native American tribes that are legally recognize by the federal government. The Kickapoo Tribe is the only one currently allowed to offer Class II gaming.

HR 759 aims to correct that inequity. And, just to be clear, it doesn’t make it legal for Naskila Gaming to offer blackjack, craps, or roulette. They must stick with the electronic bingo gambling machines.

The legislation also authorizes the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe to offer gaming on their reservation.

What About Casino Cruises?

One way casino companies circumvent casino gambling laws is to offer casino gambling on cruise ships. These ships generally go out far enough in the water to get outside the jurisdiction of the state where they’re docked. Several casino cruises are available from Texas ports.

These include Carnival Valor Casino, Carnival Breeze Casino, Carnival Freedom Casino, and Jacks or Better Casino.

Most of cruise ships have a couple hundred slot machines and a dozen or so table games. They usually offer poker games, too.

The last time I went on a casino cruise, I played Texas holdem the entire time.

It’s common knowledge among those in the know that the slot machine payback percentages on casino cruises are lousy.

Where Else Can You Gamble in Texas?

You’re legally allowed to bet on dog racing and horse racing in Texas. You must do so from the site itself, though. You have the following tracks to choose from:

  • Gulf Greyhound Park
  • Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
  • Sam Houston Race Park
  • Valley Race Park

Of these, the only one I’ve visited was Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. They have no casino facilities, but there’s enough horse betting action here to keep even the most avid action junkie entertained for hours (or days).

Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie

Admission to Lone Star Park is only $5, and the gates open at 5 p.m. The first race is run at 6:05 p.m.

They offer stakes races where they’ll either add money to the prize pool or they’ll have a minimum guaranteed prize pool.

Like a casino, Lone Star Park has a rewards program. It’s comparable to a slot machine players’ club at a casino.

Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie in Texas

You earn a point for every dollar you wager, but you also get additional points by placing wagers with the self-serve facilities. You also get two bonus points per dollar by betting on Lone Star Park and Remington Park races.

When you spend money at the concessions stand or in the gift shop, you get a point for every dollar you spend. You can redeem these points later.

They have a variety of rewards available, but you can get an idea of what the points are worth by looking at the vouchers and food and beverage credits.

You can cash in 10,000 points to get a $10 food and beverage credit.

You can also cash in 20,000 points to get a $20 mutuel voucher. The ratio is the same for $50 and $100 vouchers, which would require 50,000 points and 100,000 points each.

You can also get greater casino comps by achieving VIP status, and they offer double points on everything on Tuesdays.

I should point out that only a handful of gambling activities — including blackjack, poker, and sports betting — offer the opportunity to get a mathematical edge. Betting on horses – if you’re good at it – also offers that opportunity.

Conclusion

I’m not sure who said there are no casinos in Texas. There are at least two, and more depending on whether you count the racetracks and cruises.

You also have any number of businesses offering the equivalent of slot machine games called 8-liners.

I think the state government should go ahead and legalize and regulate gambling throughout the state. Right now, they’re just leaving all that revenue on the table.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh Set to Open on November 24th

Roulette Wheel and Row of Slot Machines

The $150M Live! Casino in Pittsburgh is scheduled to open on Thanksgiving weekend.

According to a press release, the new Pittsburgh casino is slated for a November 24th opening, pending the approval of the Pennsylvania Gaming Board. Prior to the opening, Live! Pittsburgh will host a few invitation-only charity events on November 14-15, 2020 to benefit the Westmoreland County Food Bank and Sage’s Army. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is also being planned for November 17th.

Said Live! Casino General Manager Sean Sulllivan:

“We’re going ‘Live!’ to the general public on November 24th. Live! Casino is the latest world-class venue to be opened by The Cordish Companies. It’s going to up the ante on entertainment for everyone in the Greater Pittsburgh region.”

Cordish Group’s $40.1M Bid

It can be recalled that the Cordish Group won a Category 4 satellite license during the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s second auction round in January 2018. The Baltimore-based company and gaming firm beat its competitors with a $40.1M bid.
Almost three years later, the Live! Casino in Pittsburgh is set to open.

The project employed a total of 960 people during its construction phase and is expected to hire 500 employees when it commences operations. The new Pittsburgh casino is expected to be worth $188M in economic impact for the state.

Former Bon-Ton Department Store

Live! Casino Pittsburgh is located in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, some 30 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. It is built in the former Bon-Ton Department Store at Westmoreland Mall. The 100,000 square foot facility will host 750 slot machines, 30 gaming tables, It also has a 455-seat sportsbook operated by FanDuel.

The 22,000 square foot Sports & Social Steel City will be the main venue for dining and entertainment. The two level venue hasa 45-foot LED video screen and will host a variety of interactive social games like bowling, golf simulator, ping pong, darts, & more. It will also have a 7,000 square foot of space available for social and corporate gatherings. Among the restaurants that will open is Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen+Bar.

COVID-19 Preparations

The new Pittsburgh casino opens at a very interesting time when some businesses have closed and other are incurring heavy losses due to the pandemic. But Live! Casino Pittsburgh it determined to make it $150M project work.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh will adapt the “Play it Safe” COVID-19 response strategy that is currently employed at the Live!Casino Maryland. The plan focuses on the wearing of face masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and continuous cleaning of high-traffic areas, slot machines and gaming tables.

Here’s a Look at Louisiana’s Casino Revenue For September

Golden Nugget Lake Charles

Louisiana is known for having one of the largest and most successful casino industries in the Southern United States. Unfortunately, all of the state’s gambling venues have been badly affected by the events that have been unfolding over the past eight months. Today, we’re going to look at Louisiana’s casino revenue for September.

Things appear to be getting better here. The casinos operating in this state still have a long way to go before they reach pre-pandemic levels, though.

Here’s how much the casinos here managed to bring in last month.

Hurricanes Continue to Affect the Casinos in Louisiana

The state of Louisiana has a casino industry that dates back decades. The majority of gambling venues here are riverboat casinos located in the coastal regions. There are also several popular Native American casinos and “racinos” offering both racing odds and select casino games.

All of these casinos have been hurting this year. For a time, they were forced to remain closed due to health concerns. They began reopening over summer, yet hurricanes have continued to force additional closures.

Back in August, Hurricane Laura struck the Lake Charles area of Louisiana. This part of the state is known for having a huge number of popular casinos. Unfortunately, this hurricane caused the roof of the Golden Nugget Lake Charles to blow off.

Just last week, Hurricane Delta struck the area once again. The casinos were all forced to close down and many are reporting damage. These storms are making an already-difficult year even tougher for the casinos here.

Casino revenue earnings have been fluctuating for months. Some of the major gambling venues here seem to be performing better than others. Today, we’re going to talk about how much the casinos around the state managed to bring in this September.

Some are surprised to see how much money these casinos brought in.

Breaking Down Louisiana’s Casino Revenue for September

Prior to 2020, Louisiana was seeing its gambling revenue increase rapidly. Several new gambling venues have opened here over the past few years. Each time a revenue report comes out in 2020, it becomes clear that this industry still has a long way to go to recover.

New reports from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board show that all of the state’s gambling properties managed to bring in $126 million over the month of September. That’s a drop of 31.3% when compared to the same month in 2019.

The riverboat casinos here managed to bring in the most money. Incredibly, the three riverboat casinos based in Baton Rouge actually saw a 4.6% revenue increase when compared to September of 2019. Lake Charles saw a major dip.

Partly due to the aforementioned hurricanes, Lake Charles saw its casino revenue drop by 64.9% year-on-year. The casinos here managed to bring in just $21.8 million. It’s important to note that some of the casinos here were closed for the entire month.

Video poker is surging here, bringing in $54.5 million. Much of this was earned from the Baton Rouge casinos, which saw $18.8 million in September. The casino industry in New Orleans saw a drop in revenue of 31.2%.

It’s going to take months, if not years for Louisiana’s casino revenue to return to normal. We’ll continue offering monthly updates as they come out. Stay tuned!

2020 Could be the Year Louisiana Finally Legalizes Sports Betting

Lawmakers around the United States have been taking a much closer look at the gambling industry lately. At a time when money is desperately needed, casino and sports betting regulations are beginning to change. 24 states have now passed bills to legalize and regulate sports gambling.

Louisiana will now send the issue of sports betting to the polls in November. Residents here will have the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to allow regulated sports betting platforms in the state. Most predict it will be approved by a wide margin.

This should help to bring the state a massive amount of money each year. States like New Jersey are earning millions each month from the industry. Not long ago, sportsbooks in NJ saw a record handle of $748 million.

It’s an exciting time for sports fans in Louisiana. Richard Carbo, one of the men leading the push for legalized sports betting, spoke about the benefits to the media recently.

“We’re losing out on more than $330 million in taxable revenue while states next door like Arkansas and Mississippi use sports wagering revenues for education and infrastructure,” Carbo said. “That revenue could be used to fund roads and bridges or help fill gaps in education funding here in Louisiana.”

Sports betting may even help to boost Louisiana’s casino revenue in the long-run. Do you think this form of gambling gets approved this year? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Avoid Embarrassing Yourself While Playing Poker

Embarrassed Man With a Poker Background

Poker is a popular game available in casinos around the world, and it’s played in private settings as much as any gambling game. It can be played for free or small stakes like pennies, or it can be played for thousands of dollars a hand or more.

A bad poker player can get lucky and win sometimes, while a good player is capable of sustaining their bankroll for the long run. But even good poker players make mistakes sometimes.

Here are five ways you can limit the number of mistakes you make at the poker table and avoid embarrassing yourself. You’re never going to eliminate every mistake, because you’re human. But when you follow these steps, your mistakes won’t be as bad as they could be when playing poker for real money.

Spend 100 Hours Reading and Watching Poker

If you want to learn how to win at poker and how to avoid most embarrassing situations, it’s simple. Sure, it’s extremely hard and it takes a lot of work, but it’s simple.

The secret to learning how to win at poker is to study at least 100 hours before you start playing. Most poker players start playing before they even think about studying the game. And most players never study the game to try to learn more. They just keep playing and losing.

Find a list of the best poker books, and start reading! I recommend reading at least 10 good poker books before you start playing at your local tables. You also need to read good articles about poker and poker strategy. I challenge you to find 100 good articles about poker to study.

You can also learn a lot about poker by watching good players. Just be careful about watching poker games that have been edited for television. These shows don’t show most hands, so you don’t get a true picture of winning play. Track your time studying and learning about poker.

Man Reading a Book

When you have at least 100 hours in, you’re ready to try your hand at a small stakes game. Even with over 100 hours of study, you still have a lot to learn. And some of what you need to learn is only going to come when you get some money on the felt.

If you’re like most poker players and are too lazy to study the game, you have little hope of winning in the long run. You might get lucky from time to time, but overall, you’re going to be a losing poker player.

When in Doubt, Fold

I’m going to let you in on a secret that helped me a great deal early in my poker career. I learned that the best thing to do when you’re doubting a poker hand is to fold. This includes deciding whether or not to enter the pot, when to stay in the pot on the flop, and how to play the river.

When I started folding questionable hands, I reduced my losses by a large amount. As I learned more and studied more, I experienced fewer situations where I had doubts about a hand.

You must learn which hands can be played for profit from each position at the table, and how to avoid questionable situations before jumping into them. This takes time and study and work, but it’s the only way to learn how to make money playing poker.

You can improve your poker results right now just by folding more often.

If you’re playing more than 20% of the pots in a full table game, the odds are good that you’re playing too many hands. Start folding weak or mediocre hands, and only play your best hands.

When you get in a pot and don’t see a flop that helps you, check and fold. Stop chasing hands and wasting money. Keep your money to use when you have a strong hand.

Don’t Bluff

Possibly the most embarrassing thing you can do as a poker player is bluff and lose a big pot when your opponent calls. Bluffing does have a place in a winning poker player’s tool kit, but it’s extremely dangerous for beginning poker players.

And the truth is that you don’t have to bluff to play winning poker. You can make more long-term profits if you learn how and when to bluff.

The problem is, if you bluff too often, it costs you money. And this is where beginning poker players get in trouble. Most amateurs bluff too often.

Poker Player Kunal Patni

This is the main reason why I never recommend bluffing to new poker players. Learn how to win without bluffing first. Once you start winning on a consistent basis, then you can start bluffing a small amount in important situations.

You need to learn the difference between a straight bluff and a using a semi-bluff. When you start bluffing, only use a semi-bluff. As you learn more, you can start making a few straight bluffs.

I recommend using only one straight bluff during each playing session. If you’re bluffing more than once every playing session, you’re doing it too much.

Play for Small Stakes After Free Play

Even if you’ve invested over 100 hours studying and learning about poker, you’re still not ready to play for high stakes. If you have any questions about how the game mechanics work, find a free online poker table to play at for a short time.

The strategy and level of play at a free online poker table is hideous, so you’re not going to learn much about winning at these tables. As soon as you’re comfortable playing, move up to the low limit poker tables.

Low limit tables can sometimes be played for a few cents or a few dollars. Start at the lowest limits that are available and keep playing them until you’re making a profit. Then, move up to the next limit level and play until you’re again making a profit.

Keep following this pattern as you move up to higher limit play. You also need to build your gambling bankroll so you can afford to play at higher stakes.

If you move up a level and struggle to win, move back down a level. Get back into the books and articles to see if you can determine why you’re struggling. The odds are that you’re playing too many hands and/or playing hands out of position.

I’ve mentioned position a couple times, and if you don’t understand the importance of position when you play poker, you’re not ready to play for real money. How position works and how you use it is possibly the most important poker lesson you’re ever going to learn.

Start With a Single Table Poker Tournament

Another option when you decide to start playing poker for real money is to enter a single-table poker tournament. Single-table tournaments usually have six, nine, or 10 players and the top 2 or 3 finishers share the prize pool.

A single table poker tournament is a good way to control exactly how much you risk while building your skills. If you have $200 to play poker with, enter 10 to 20 single table tournaments in the $5 to $10 range.

Holdem Player Holding a Royal Flush

You’re going to get to play a lot of poker, and even if you’re not a great player yet, you have a good chance to finish in the money at least a few times.

I focus mainly on cash games now, but I used to play a lot of single-table tournaments when I was building my skills. I found that my skills are better used in cash games, but many players have learned how to make consistent profits playing single-table tournaments.

You can also play in larger poker tournaments. But I don’t recommend entering a larger tournament with a high entry fee until you have a lot of experience. If you want to try a larger poker tournament, enter one with a low entry fee and move up a level if you win.

Conclusion

I know that you don’t want to hear this, but the best way to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself while playing poker is to study the game for at least 100 hours before you start playing. It’s more fun to just start playing rather than studying, but studying is by far the best way to avoid getting embarrassed.

The next two steps are simple. Don’t bluff until you learn how to win consistently without bluffing, and if you have any doubt about a situation, the best course of action is to fold.

Start with a simple controllable situation like a single-table tournament, or play for free or for small stakes before diving into the deep end of the pool.

Gambling on the Bayou (Louisiana Gambling Laws)

Louisiana State Flag With a Casino Background

For as far back as the vast cypress swamps that provide the backdrop to Zydeco music, gambling on the bayou has been a way of life for generations of Louisiana residents.

Louisiana has some of the most exciting gambling laws in the entire United States. You may be planning your bayou vacation, but you need to know the laws for Louisiana gambling before you go.

History of Louisiana Gambling Laws

Louisiana offers one of the wealthiest and most vibrant histories of any state. To begin setting the stage for you, Louisiana had casinos being built before the first churches ever started appearing.

In my experience, Louisianans love to party. So, it won’t come as any surprise that the state has a long run in the gambling game. Both legal and otherwise.

Playing the lottery was incredibly popular in the early to mid-1800s, and Louisiana was no exception. Unfortunately, the lotteries were often subject to nefarious dealings and less than desirable characters.

This often led to good people being cheated out of their hard-earned money — money that was no doubt needed to provide food for the family.

Vintage Louisiana Horse Racing

So, in the late 1800s, the state followed suit with many other states and banned the lotteries altogether. It wasn’t until over a century later when the lotteries you and I are familiar with began to gain traction that the state lifted the curtain on lottery games.

Of course, the state-run games are much more on the up and up than earlier editions. Most of the incidents consisted of someone from out of town collecting the locals’ money and drawing for the big prize.

Some fellow out of towner would be the lucky winner and claim the prize more often than not. Must have been some coincidence, wink.

Horse racing has been another popular form of gambling in Louisiana for over 100 years. The practice began back in 1920 and remained the only form of legalized gambling for several decades.

Much like everything else, the laws surrounding horse racing have evolved into a more progressive style. They now stand opposed to the early days where the only form of legal bet you could make on the sport was parlayed.

Louisiana Lottos and Horse Racing Today

The lottery scene in Louisiana today is enormous. In addition to the state-run lottery with drawings multiple times a week, the state also participates in the significant multi-state games.

Powerball and Megamillions each offer Louisiana gamblers the chance to become multi-millionaires overnight.

The Louisiana Lottery also offers scratch-off tickets for real money. These games enable players to become instant winners if luck is on their side.

Louisiana currently has over 40 different scratch-off games in circulation. These games range from a simple $1 ticket all the way up to $10.

Depending on what state you’re in, a $10 ceiling may seem pretty low for a scratch-off ticket. However, your state likely doesn’t have casino gambling.

Harrah's Casino in Louisiana

You must be at least 21 years old to purchase lottery tickets in Louisiana. The state government decided to bump the age from 18 to 21 in 1998.

This change aligned the lottery’s ages to sync with all other forms of gambling in the state. So, to be clear, you must be at least 21 years old to gamble in Louisiana.

Live racing is also alive and thriving in Louisiana. Louisiana Downs is the premier horse racing venue in Louisiana.

Located in Bossier City, near Shreveport’s riverboat casinos, Louisiana Downs provides aggressive and electric on-track action from May thru September.

Suppose you are a big fan of horse racing. In that case, Louisiana Downs is a must-see during the spring when the weather is comfortable. The young horses are itching to get out of the gate on all cylinders.

Online Gambling

Real money online gambling has broken from the pack as one of the top methods for gamblers to get in on the action.

After all, the convenience factor alone is stunning. You can literally play any game you may find in the casino from the comfort of your warm bed.

Imagine yourself laying all of the sports bets you could possibly play without so much as putting on your slippers.

Online casinos have made gambling on sports or casino games easier than checking the mail—what a time to be alive.

Or, as my friend would say, “The future is now.”

That is unless you live in Louisiana.

Megaways Online Slots Game

While many states view online gambling as somewhat of a gray area, Louisiana strictly and definitively prohibits online gambling of any sort.

Gamblers, in many states, use online casinos as an alternative to flying to Las Vegas.

Usually, the law enforcement in their area is more concerned with stopping the casinos from operating than the gamblers from playing.

However, this is far from the case in Louisiana. The first offense can cost up to $500 in fines and another six months in jail.

A second offense bumps the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. The fines double, and you could face nine months in prison.

Of course, just the threat of a felony charge is more than adequate to keep many would-be internet gambling moguls heading to brick and mortar casinos in the state.

Now that I’ve scared you straight, I want to point out another equally important bit of information.

Not a single person has ever seen prosecution for participating in online gambling in the state of Louisiana. Maybe the fine people of Louisiana are just such pillars of the community that they follow the letter of the law to a “T.”

Social Gambling

I’m a huge proponent of social gambling for one straightforward reason. That reason is that I don’t believe it’sit’s the role of the government or anybody else to tell you what to do in your own home.

Louisiana gets this right.

Gambling in your home or other private property is covered under the law in Louisiana. Whether you’re hosting a poker night with your buddies or simply have several wagers happening surrounding a Saints game, you’re free to do so.

Mostly. The laws do put a few stipulations on the ancillary “hows,” but for the most part, you are okay to do so.

It may become a problem if the host is charging any kind of cover charge, is making a profit from the event itself, sells food to the guests, or begins handling money.

Avoid these no-nos, and you’re free and clear. Of course, if you are busted for stepping out of line, the chances are that you won’t be prosecuted.

Casino Gambling

Did you know that Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. where casino gambling is legal statewide?

That’s right. Even the juggernaut of the east, Atlantic City, is an outlier for much of New Jersey.

The riverboat casinos of Louisiana are by far the largest and most recognizable of the state’s casino industry.

These holdovers from a slower time when people in business would travel up and down the Muddy Mississippi operate under strict parameters.

Sam's Town Casino in Shreveport

Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport are among the largest of these riverboat casinos. The busy gambling hub is more of a barge than a boat.

However, the laws dictate that any riverboat casino in operation must have a functioning means of propulsion. So, the paddle wheel’s added feature on the backs of these monstrosities is of absolutely no use whatsoever.

They are, in fact, very serviceable, though.

Lake Charles is another area in the state with a large casino presence. A short three hour drive south of Shreveport, the Lake Charles casinos make it far more convenient for gamblers to cross state lines from Texas.

Shreveport draws enormous numbers from the DFW Metroplex. Lake Charles is doing the same for hungry casino sharps from Austin and Houston.

In fact, from Houston, gamblers can leave work at 5 p.m. and be in the casino by 7 p.m. That’s driving the speed limit, lead foots could be there even sooner.

Conclusion

Where the Louisiana gambling laws will go in the future is hard to say. The state has basically given the people a free rein when it comes to gambling on the bayou.

Possibly the most significant opportunities for advancement would be in the area of online gambling. But, if you’re playing blackjack on your sofa, it’s not really gambling on the bayou.

Popular Strategies to Win Your Weekly Fantasy Football Snake Draft

NFL Quarterback With a Football Stats Background

Weekly fantasy football options just keep on keeping on, don’t they? Today, we’re talking about a familiar presence yet something different simultaneously. The good old snake draft, which we often use in our traditional, year-long fantasy football leagues.

The catch, of course, is that this version of the snake draft lasts for just one weekend, from the Thursday games to the Monday games.

There are a variety of ways to win your snake draft and this article outlines seven popular strategies for you to win your snake draft and before it, a brief overview of how the snake draft works in weekly fantasy.

Let’s get started.

How Does the Snake Draft Work?

Since thousands of sports gamblers play this new game each week, the snake draft comprises a traditional fantasy football draft. The first pick picks first in the odd-numbered rounds, and last in the even-numbered rounds.

Simple, right?

Players can only be drafted by one team, so unlike Classic or Tier-based weekly fantasy, this works just like a traditional fantasy league. You can compete head to head or in a variety of contests.

Drafts begin once each league fills and following the draft, there are no trades, adds, drops, or waivers. Your team is set.

Ready to set the strategies?

Let’s go.

Know the Statistics

The great thing with the weekly snake draft game is that you already know how players are producing for the given season.

Unlike our preseason fantasy drafts for traditional fantasy football which are based on last season’s totals and projections for the upcoming season, you already got a sample size. The later in the season, the greater the sample size.

NFL Quarterback Patrick Mahomes

So, even if a player looked like a good pickup in the preseason, they may not be so hot now because of injuries or lack of production. Some may have even been supplanted on the depth chart.

Key in on Positions Where Production Drop Offs Exist

Just like when you are betting on football, you want to key on positions that feature the highest drop offs in production. The only outlier is tight end, since only five of the league’s 32-plus starting tight ends feature monster numbers.

However, after the first 15 or so running backs and receivers go, you will see a blatant drop off in production. That said, go after the backs and receivers before other positions, as you would in a traditional draft.

i
A great strategy if you’re picking first or early is to pick the best player on the board and be done with it. Then, take a different position in the second round. So if you take the best back in football first, take the best receiver that falls to you second.

When you pick in the middle rounds, take the best back or receiver that falls to you. In round two, do the same with the opposite position. So if you take the back first, take the receiver next.

When picking late, find two players you really like and pick the player you think most likely won’t be available when you pick again. Once the pick swings back around to you, go ahead and get the next player if they’re still available. If not, get the next best player at that position.

Do the same if you’re picking last then snatch them up back to back.

Don’t Overestimate Quarterbacks

Yeah, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Kyler Murray will almost always have good matchups regardless and post monster numbers. But when evaluating quarterbacks, you should know there is a plethora of high-production quarterbacks aren’t too far behind our Big Three.

NFL Quarterback Josh Allen

Guys like Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, and even Joe Burrow are good options. And don’t forget about quarterbacks like Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson. Both quarterbacks can still put up outstanding fantasy football numbers.

Just because you don’t land a marquee fantasy option in the early rounds, don’t sweat it. Especially in those weekly 12-team leagues where you’re sure to find a high-producer somewhere in the middle rounds.

Pick a Kicker on a Good Offense

Kickers are at the mercy of their offenses and yes, every now and again you’ll see a kicker catch a case of the yips for a week, as Stephen Gostkowski did during the first week of the 2020 NFL Season.

Under most circumstances, your highest-producing fantasy football kickers are in sync with the league’s best offenses. Look at the 12 highest-scoring offenses and pick the best kicker available when the time is right to pick one – in the mid-to-late rounds.

Another advantage in the weekly fantasy realm is that you know who the best offenses are plus their weekly matchups. That said, it shouldn’t be too hard to have a premonition as to which kickers are the best options for a given week.

Just follow the criteria that they must play for a high-profile offense and the offense must have a favorable matchup.

Fantasy Defenses Win Championships

It’s true. Fantasy football defenses win championships in general, but it’s even more so in weekly fantasy football.

In your traditional league, have you ever faced an opponent whose defense spoiled your win? I’m sure of it. And I can tell you it’s a more common occurrence at the weekly level because you know which defenses are facing weak offenses.

For example, if the league’s best defense or one of the league’s best defenses is playing the worst or one of the worst offenses, you know they’re a hot pick for the weekly game.

Like the kickers, look for defenses to go during the mid-to-late rounds and make sure you grab one with a favorable matchup that also puts up decent numbers in yards allowed, takeaways, and points allowed.

So a little more criteria here.

Don’t Flip if You Don’t Grab a Marquee Tight End

Before 2020 you had four top tight ends and as the season evolved, at least one if not a second tight end joined this crew. One of them was a teammate of one of the top four—Dallas Goedert. Of course, Zach Ertz was one of the top four.

Early in 2020 it was Goedert, and not Ertz, whose fantasy production warranted that worthy of a TE1. This shows that just because one was a projected marquee tight end before the season doesn’t mean it’s set in stone.

It’s the big advantage you have in weekly snake drafts. All of us would’ve taken Ertz in our traditional draft unless we were looking for a decent TE2, then we’d have taken Goedert because Ertz was long gone.

Most of your competition would still likely have taken Ertz in this situation, even if Goedert has posted better numbers, thinking Ertz will break out sometime during the season if the Eagles have a favorable matchup.

However, just because Ertz and the other Big Five tight ends are gone doesn’t mean the highest producing tight ends are. Goedert can obviously outplay Ertz in any given week, as he showed during the first two weeks of 2020.

The same goes for tight ends like T.J. Hockenson, Tyler Higbee, and other forgotten names who are also solid producers at the position.

Double Those Points

This is a riskier strategy that can definitely reap the rewards when done properly. It involves taking a pass catcher along with a quarterback. Now, these players don’t need to have off-the-charts numbers.

They just need to have good chemistry. In all, the pass-catcher is a favorite target of the quarterback and the dynamic duo here hooks up for what could double your fantasy output.

NFL Wide Receiver DK Metcalf

Again, we need someone spectacular. Something like a Russell Wilson-DK Metcalf is a perfect example, or Derek Carr-Darren Waller, and a budding example could be the duo of Dwayne Haskins-Terry McLaurin.

Only Wilson has been a true fantasy stud through and through in the examples provided. Again, there’s risk involved given the possibility of a bad fantasy day from either player, or if the quarterback has a hot target elsewhere.

But if you like to take some risks in your fantasy game, you may want to give this sports betting strategy a whirl.

Conclusion

As you can see from the examples above, there are some stark differences between your traditional and weekly snake drafts. The main difference being that you already have a feel for how a player is performing during the season in the weekly realm.

But, each position has its own strategy. Load up on your backs and receivers first because those positions have the highest drop off rates in production the longer you wait. Don’t fret if you miss out on a high-profile tight end or quarterback.

Stick to the mid-to-late rounds for kickers and defenses. And remember, kickers are at the mercy of their offense.

What strategies do you employ during your weekly snake drafts?

Let us know in the comments.

Factors Affecting Your Card Counting Strategy

Hand Counting Device With a Blackjack and Cards Background

I’ve done a lot of writing in the past regarding card counting in blackjack. I’ve looked at the basics of how to count cards and discussed how hard it actually is or isn’t, as well as covering some of the intricacies involved in actually counting cards.

In this particular post, I’m looking at some of the strategy (rather than sheerly tactical) factors involved in a card counting. In other words, what factors affect your overall approach to counting cards in blackjack successfully?

The Long Run Versus the Short Term

The most important thing for every real money blackjack player to understand is that the math behind card counting is a long-term phenomenon.

You’re not going to learn how to count cards this week and come home rich next week. In fact, most card counters don’t ever get rich.

In the short run, anything can happen. Even the worst blackjack player can have a big winning streak, and even the best blackjack player can have a losing streak. And these streaks often last longer than you’d ever expect.

The best way to keep a long-term perspective is to keep records. You should track how many hours you’re spending at the blackjack tables along with how much you’ve won or lost during each session. Your average hourly win or loss rate will be easy to calculate if you’re tracking those numbers.

Player View of a Blackjack Game

Another thing to keep in mind is that even when you’re counting cards, you’re still going to lose more than half the time. In fact, if you want a better probability of winning a single bet, you can find it at the roulette table.

A bet on black in roulette wins 47% of the time. A bet on a hand of blackjack only wins 43% of the time.

The reason the house edge in blackjack is lower relates to the payouts in various situations – especially when you get the occasional “natural” or “blackjack.”

You also have opportunities to double down and split when it’s a good idea to do so.

Even when the count is positive, you won’t win more often. You WILL see naturals more often, which means you’ll see that sweet 3-to-2 payout more often. That’s why you bet more – not because you’re hoping to win more often because the count is high.

Most importantly, you need to be able to psychologically handle losing streaks. The mathematical term for these streaks is “variance,” and it’s just something you deal with when you’re playing a game with a random outcome.

And I don’t mean that a losing streak might go on for an hour or two. Losing streaks can last for days, weeks, and sometimes even months.

Some people get discouraged when learning how to count cards, but if you’re doing it right, it will work.

But you’re still not a huge favorite over the house. The average card counter gets a 1% edge over the house, and someone who’s really good maxes out with an edge of 2% over the casino.

Until you’ve gotten about 10 hours at the table under your belt, you’re still very much in the short run. If you’re playing at full tables – where you’re seeing fewer hands per hour – you’ll need more like 20 hours at the table under your belt.

Casino Bankroll Management for Card Counters

This focus on the long term versus the short run has some implications regarding your casino bankroll management. If you can have a losing streak that lasts for days or weeks on end, it’s possible to go broke even if you have a mathematical edge over the casino.

You need to have enough money in your bankroll to prevent that from happening. You need to avoid going broke before you reach the “large numbers” in the “Law of Large Numbers.” (The Law of Large Numbers suggests that the closer you get to an infinite number of trials, the closer your results are going to get to the mathematically expected results.)

When you’re deciding what limits to play, you need to decide on your betting spread and the amount of money you can afford to sink into your blackjack hobby. Let’s assume you want to play lower stakes with a 1-to-4 betting spread. You’ve found a casino with a minimum bet of $5.

Red Casino Blackjack Table

This means that the biggest bet you’ll be placing is four units, or $20.

You should have at least 100 times that amount in your bankroll.

In this case, you need a bankroll of $2000 to play at this level to avoid a high probability of going broke because of variance.

The more money you have in your bankroll, the bigger stakes you can afford to play without stressing out about going broke.

The lower your biggest bet is compared to your overall bankroll, though, the likelier you are to survive into the long run and see your mathematical edge realized.

Most card counters base the size of their bet on the count. If the count is zero or lower, they bet the minimum. In the example we’ve been using, they’ll bet $5.

Then when the count hits +1, they’ll add a unit – betting $10.

If the count hits +2, they raise their bet to $15.

If the count gets to +3 or higher, they raise the size of their bet to $20.

Also, the bigger your bet spread is, the higher your edge over the house becomes. With a count of +1, your edge over the casino is only 0.4%. With a count of +3, your edge is at 1.6%.

But if you get to a count of +6, your edge over the casino is 3.3%. The more money you can get into action with an edge of 3.3%, the better off you’ll be.

Penetration and Number of Decks

I wrote a lot about rules changes and game conditions in my previous post, and I addressed the number of decks in that post. Put simply, the fewer decks in play, the better off you are.

You’ll do better in a game with a single deck or two decks than you will in a game with eight decks.

But you should also consider penetration.

That’s just a word that describes how far into the deck the dealer plays before shuffling the cards. At some tables, the cards are shuffled continuously. This gives such a table a penetration of 0%. It also makes a game effectively unbeatable.

Casino Card Shoe

The deeper into the deck the game goes, the more opportunities you have to get a big variance in the composition of the deck. That variance is where you make your money.

Your goal should be to find a game with a penetration of 75%, and this is almost more important than any of the blackjack variations or game conditions I mentioned in my previous post.

Any game with a penetration of less than 50% is probably best avoided. You’ll wind up finding few situations where the count is positive enough to raise your bets, and even when you do, that advantage won’t last long at all.

Camouflage and Heat

I haven’t gone into a lot of detail about the practicalities of this, but I’ve mentioned that casinos will back you off if they realize you’re counting cards. When you attract this kind of attention, you’re getting “heat.”

One of the biggest factors the casino is going to look at is the size of your betting spread. At lower stakes, the casinos might tolerate a large bet spread.

But at high stakes, the casinos stand to lose a lot more money, so they’re less tolerant of a big betting spread.

Casino Security Monitoring Room

I discussed camouflaging your play by only increasing the size of your bet after a winning hand and only reducing the size of your bet after a losing hand. This cuts into your advantage, but it’ a good way to camouflage that your counting cards.

The practical limit for a betting spread is to have a large bet of eight units.

Also, some casinos are so paranoid about card counters that they’ll back you off just for getting on a winning streak even if you’re not counting.

I suggest limiting the amount of time you spend at a specific casino where you’re counting cards. You should also avoid playing at the same table every time you visit. Some card counters don’t even visit during the same shift.

I think wearing a disguise is overkill for most counters, but if you’re serious and big time, it might be necessary.

Conclusion

Those are some of the biggest issues to account for when planning your card counting strategy in blackjack.

You can execute all of this perfectly and still have some big losses in your future.

Card counting’s not for everyone, and it’s less than impossible but harder than it seems.

Playtika Confidentially Files for IPO in The U.S.

Mobile Phone With Slot Game Playing and Slots Background

Mobile gaming company Playtika Holding Corp. announced last Friday that it has confidentially submitted documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. According to the company, the size and and price range of the offering has not yet been determined.

To underwrite the IPO, Playtika has hired Morgan Stanley and other banks. Sources say that they are planning to go public at the end of the year or in early 2021. If things go according to plans, the company will be valued at an estimated $10B as a result of the IPO.

Interesting Time

The move comes at an interesting time for a Chinese-owned company like Playtika. Tension between the White House and Beijing are once again running after the Luckin Coffee Fiasco. The Chinese-owned Luckin coffeehouse chain was recently delisted in the Nasdaq after it was found to have falsified its revenue declaration.

In the aftermath of the Luckin farce, Chinese firms trading in the US markets are facing more scrutiny. There are rumors that some large companies are thinking about pulling their New York listings. Last week, the US Senate passed a legislation that would require listed Chinese companies to be held to the same accounting and regulatory standard as US companies.

Sold in 2016

Playtika is the mobile gaming supplier behind the WSOP’s social platform. It is also the game developer of popular slot titles such as Bingo Blitz, Poker Heat, and Caesars Slots. It was founded in Israel in 2010 and was owned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment from 2011-2016.

When Caesars field for bankruptcy protection and tried to sell its assets in 2015, Playtika ended up being sold for $4.4B to Chinese investors in August 2016 as part of its cash raising efforts. Among the investors were Alibaba founder Jack Ma who joined the group via the Yunfeng private equity group.

Looking To Cash In

Last June, Playtika announced that it was considering an IPO in the United States, as part of its efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business. At that time, the Giant Network Group Co Ltd. and Yunfeng Capital group owned mobile gaming company was anticipating a $1B offering.

Playtika is the latest mobile gaming company looking to cash in on the increasing demand for mobile gaming as more customers are preferring to play at home due to pandemic-related restrictions. Previously, DraftKings and Gan Ltd., which are also direct players in the iGaming and online gambing market, completed their IPOs and their stocks are doing very well right now.

Here’s Another Update on IL’s Sports Betting Regulations

Governor Pritzker

Illinois officially began allowing sports bets to be placed on March 9th, 2020. Initially, sports bettors needed to register in-person to join an online sportsbook. Online registration started being allowed fairly recently. This week, Governor Pritzker offered another important update on IL’s sports betting regulations.

Fortunately, this update will benefit sports bettors in the state. Today, we’re going to talk about what Governor Pritzker has decided. We’ll also talk about how Illinois’ gambling industry is set to evolve.

Let’s get into it!

Sports Betting Revenue Continues to Surge Throughout the US

As many are now aware, the US Supreme Court decided to remove PASPA back in May of 2018. This completely changed the country’s gambling industry. With PASPA gone, every state could set its own laws towards sports betting.

It didn’t take long for state leaders to capitalize on the law change. Sports betting bills began appearing around the country. States with regulated sports betting industries started seeing their revenue earnings increase rapidly.

Today, more than two years later, over 20 states now have legal sports betting industries set in place. The US has become the world’s biggest sports gambling market. Many of Europe’s top sports betting companies are now making the move into the US to take advantage of this new market.

New Jersey is proving to be the most lucrative sports betting destination in the United States. For months, revenue from the industry has been increasing rapidly. In September, the state set another all-time US record for sports betting handle at $748 million.

No one expects things to slow down anytime soon. We’re now several weeks into the 2020 NFL season and bets continue to increase. Several more states now have the legalization of sports betting appearing on November’s voting ballots.

Sports betting fans in Illinois got another good piece of news this week.

IL’s Sports Betting Regulations Are Remaining in Place, for Now

Illinois’ lawmakers pushed hard to legalize sports betting almost immediately after PASPA was struck down. It wasn’t until this March that the first legal sportsbook began operating here, though. Initially, the state required all sports bettors to register in-person at a sportsbook before being able to place any wagers online.

This approach was taken by several other states. It’s proven to significantly reduce revenue earned from the sports betting industry. The fact is most people are unwilling to register to an online sportsbook at a physical location when there are already so many unregulated online sportsbooks available to join online.

It seems that officials in Illinois realized this. Recently, the state decided to suspend its in-person registration rule. Sports bettors were able to register to state-regulated online sportsbooks online. The plan was for this regulation to end this past weekend.

Interestingly, IL’s sports betting regulations have been extended. Governor Pritzker has decided to keep this rule set in place until at least November 14th. The Governor will then need to decide whether or not to scrap the rule entirely.

The change in rules has already resulted in a massive surge in new sports betting sign-ups. Revenue from this industry is increasing and the state is earning some much-needed money via taxes. Eventually, land-based sportsbooks will begin operating in the state’s major sports arenas, too.

Illinois is working hard to expand its gambling industry. Several more casinos are still scheduled to open here over the next few years.

What’s Happening With the Casino Plans in Chicago?

Last year, Governor Pritzker signed off on a new capital plan that allows for new casinos to begin opening around the state. Several cities have already received permission to host one of these new gambling venues. To the surprise of many, the Governor also agreed to allow a major casino-resort to open in Chicago.

The process of opening this Chicago has been extraordinarily difficult. The state set extremely high tax rates for whoever operates this venue. As a result, no companies were pushing to obtain a casino license here.

This tax rate has since been lowered. Even now, very few companies are seeing the potential for major revenue gains here. Mayor Lori Lightfoot is working hard to make this future casino more appealing, though.

Not long ago, Lightfoot invited several major gaming companies to offer their insight on this venue. The Mayor wanted to learn more about how the casino would be run. This process would also help the state better decide which company to grant a license to. We’ll hear more about the state’s plans for the casino in Chicago in the next few months.

Hopefully, IL’s sports betting regulations remain how they currently are. The state is finally seeing a major surge in legal, taxed sports betting. We’ll be sure to offer more updates on this industry here over the next few months.

Are you happy to see Illinois suspend its in-person sportsbook registration process? When do you expect the casino in Illinois to open? Let us know in the comments section below!

5 Ways to Avoid Embarrassing Yourself While Playing Roulette

Nervous Man With a Roulette Background

I like playing roulette from time to time because it’s a simple game to play, and it’s fun to try out new systems. While you can’t necessarily beat roulette using a system, it’s still fun to try your luck sometimes.

If you’ve never played roulette, you might be worried about making some mistakes and getting embarrassed at the table. But you don’t have anything to worry about.

Just follow this simple five-step guide and you’re going to know everything you need so you never get embarrassed playing roulette.

1 – How Casino Roulette Works

The most important thing you need to understand is how playing roulette for real money works. Once you understand how the game works, you really don’t have to worry about doing anything that might be embarrassing. I’m going to explain exactly how roulette works in this section then share a few other things you need to know on the rest of the page.

Roulette uses a wheel sitting on a table. The table has betting spaces on it, and an ivory ball is spun around the wheel to identify the winning and losing wagers. A roulette wheel has either 37 or 38 spaces.

Each space also has one of three colors. You can place a wager based on the number or color. Or you can place more than one wager on different possible outcomes. For example, you can bet on an odd number, a black number, and a number in the first row all at the same time.

Caesars Palace Roulette Chips

All of these wagering options and more are available on the felt covered table. Before you start playing, watch other players place a few wagers to see what they bet on. Watch the ball spin around the wheel and land, then see which wagers get paid and which wagers lose.

You can also play free roulette online to learn more about how it works. Place a free bet on odd or even or black or red and see if you get lucky.

2 – An Easy Strategy Lesson

I mentioned that roulette variants either have 37 or 38 spaces. This is an important distinction because the numbers of spaces on the wheel dictate the odds you face when you play. I’m not going to dig into the math too much, but the odds of winning are much better on a wheel with 37 spaces than a wheel with 38 spaces.

Consider the spaces on each type of wheel. Each wheel has 18 black spaces, 18 red spaces, and the numbers 0-to-36. These are all of the spaces on a 37 space wheel. A wheel with 38 spaces has a 00 space as well.

When you place a wager on red on a 37 space wheel, you win 18 out of 37 times on average. The same wager on a 38 space wheel only wins 18 out of 38 times on average.

This doesn’t seem like a big difference, but over time, the extra number costs you a great deal of money.

The important thing that all of this means is that the simple strategy you need to use is to always play on a wheel with 37 spaces. This is the only strategy you can use in roulette that works.

3 – Picking Your Wager

In the last section you learned that the only strategy that you can use when you play roulette is to use a wheel with only 37 spaces. What you didn’t learn is that every wager you make on a wheel with 37 spaces has the same casino house edge.

This means that no matter what wager you choose to use, as long as you’re using a 37-space wheel, you’re going to lose the same amount of money in the long run.

At first, this doesn’t make sense. It’s much easier to hit an odd or even number, or a black or red number, than win on a single number wager. But a single number wager pays 35-to-1 and an even, odd, red, or black wager pays 1-to-1.

Ornamental Roulette Wheel

The combination of how hard it is to win a wager and how much the wager pays creates a consistent edge for the casino. This is why it doesn’t matter what wager you pick.

The main thing you need to understand is that you should make small wagers when you play roulette because the casino always wins in the long run. If you risk $200 per spin of the wheel, you’re going to lose a lot more than when you risk $10 or $20 per spin.

Sometimes, you’re going to win when you play roulette. But you’re going to lose more often than you win, so don’t risk too much when you play.

When you start playing, use one of the even money wagers. These are simple to place and simple to track. You know as soon as the wheel stops spinning whether you win or lose. The even money wagers include:

  • Red
  • Black
  • Even
  • Odd
  • 1 – 18
  • 19 – 36

4 – Placing Your Wager

Once you decide on a wager, find the space on the table for the bet. The even money wagers have a space to place your bet when you’re ready. Just place your wager directly in the space before the next spin of the wheel.

Different casinos have different ways keeping track of which player bets on each space. A common way is to exchange cash or regular casino chips at the roulette table for a colored stack of chips. Each player has their own color.

The main thing you need to know about placing your roulette wagers is you must place them after the last spin has been resolved and before the next spin. This is easy to do, and the worst casino etiquette mistakes you can make is placing a wager too late. You can easily avoid this by placing your wagers well before the wheel starts to spin.

Once you place your wagers, all you have to do is watch for the ball to win and collect your winnings if you get lucky.

5 – Don’t Touch Anything

If you follow the advice you’ve just learned in this article, you’re not going to do anything to embarrass yourself at the roulette table. The only other thing you need to know just happens to be the most important thing.

Once you place your wager or wagers, don’t touch anything in the paying area until the spin is finished and the casino person shoves your win toward you. Don’t reach in the betting area while the wheel is spinning.

If you reach into the betting area on the roulette table while the wheel is spinning, at best, you’re going to get told not to do it. But some people try to cheat by moving ships after the wheel starts spinning. If the casino thinks you’re trying to cheat, they’re either going to throw you out or have you arrested.

Online Roulette Casino Game

This isn’t anything you have to worry about if you simply don’t touch anything after you place your wager. But if you’re still worried about this, you can play online roulette. The odds and edge are the same whether you play in a land-based casino or online, so you’re not missing out on anything by playing on your phone or online.

And the software that runs the game on your phone or computer doesn’t start spinning the wheel until you place your wager and hit the spin button. That way, you don’t have to worry about making a mistake because you can’t make a mistake. The software won’t even let you.

Conclusion

Now that you understand how roulette works, you know that there’s nothing to worry about. Find a wheel with 37 spaces, either in a land-based casino or online, and make whatever wager you want. Every wager offers the same basic odds, so you can take a shot at a 35-to-1 pay off or a 1-to-1.

To keep from doing anything embarrassing while playing live roulette, place your wager in time and do not touch anything until the payouts are shoved your way. It really is this simple to play roulette!

The Most Important Days in Las Vegas Casino History – Part II

Las Vegas Sign Graphic With Vintage Caesars Palace Background

In the first installment of this two-part series, it was my pleasure to guide readers through the long and winding history of Las Vegas and its signature casino gambling industry. To catch up on the exploits of consummate gamblers like John C. Fremont and Bugsy Siegel, head here to check out Part I.

As for Part II, this page is devoted to three more crucial dates – spanning the 1960s through the dawn of the 21st century and into the present day – that defined the rise of Sin City.

August 5, 1966 – Caesars Palace Reigns Supreme

Following the Flamingo’s arrival in 1946, the then empty drag known as Las Vegas Boulevard began to fill out into The Strip as it’s known today.

Sahara sprung up from the sands in 1952, Tropicana rose over the horizon five years later, and Tally-Ho (now called Planet Hollywood) hit The Strip in 1963.

But these four casinos combined couldn’t match the awe-inspiring splendors awaiting guests when Caesars Palace opened its doors on this day.

After an avid gambler and motelier by the name of Jay Sarno obtained a loan for $10 million – over $90 million today when inflation is factored in – he set to work designing the world’s premier casino resort destination. Sarno envisioned a setting fit for royalty, a stage suitable for divinity, a true palace where every gambler in the house felt like a Roman Emperor.

And out of that distinctive vision, Caesars Palace was born…

Writing about the lavishly appointed casino resort’s highly anticipated “inauguration day,” renowned architectural critic Alan Hess penned this glowing review:

“Caesars Palace needed only a sumptuous array of Classical statuary and a host of marble-white columns to establish its theme.

The visitor’s imagination, in league with well-placed publicity, filled in the opulence.”

Not to be outdone, local historians Myrick and Barbara Land celebrated Caesars Palace in reverential tones in “A Short History of Las Vegas” (2004):

“The gaudiest, weirdest, most elaborate, and most talked about resort Vegas had ever seen.

[Its] emblem was a chesty female dipping grapes into the waiting mouth of a recumbent Roman, fitted out in toga, laurel wreath, and phallic dagger.”

Even poetic prose like that doesn’t do Caesars Palace justice though, not now, and definitely not on opening day 54 years ago. When local gamblers and tourists alike first laid eyes on the marble columns, vaulted ceilings adorned with frescos, and gilded décor from wall to wall, many swore they’d been transported to ancient Rome in all its glory.

Caesars Palace Main Driveway

Caesars Palace became Sin City’s hotspot almost immediately, thanks in large part to the arrival of Frank Sinatra. The beloved crooner had been given the boot by Desert Inn owner Howard Hughes, but the eccentric billionaire’s loss was a definitive gain for Caesars Palace.

As the first casino in town to create a unified theme – a fantasyland for visitors to immerse themselves in even when they weren’t playing – Caesars Palace became an instant industry leader. Competitors would eventually crop up to try similar angles, with Circus Circus (1968) opting for a midway ambience and Holiday Casino (1973) echoing Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Over time, Las Vegas casinos became largely defined in the public consciousness by their central themes and styles. Rather than exclusively court the casino enthusiast community, casinos on The Strip began drawing bachelors and family men alike who didn’t know blackjack from baccarat.

Thanks to the success of Caesars Palace, the Las Vegas economy became a little less reliant on gambling alone. Headline entertainers appearing nightly, stage spectacles straight out of the Coliseum, and sprawling buffets fit for a king are all byproducts of Sarno’s innovative Caesars Palace.

And if you’re wondering why Sarno chose to leave the possessive apostrophe out of his resort’s name, here’s a hint. Rather than elevate one person above all others a la the Romans, he wanted every guest who entered Caesars Palace to feel like a God walking the Earth.

November 22, 1989 – Steve Wynn Stakes His Claim

In light of Steve Wynn’s sexual harassment scandal, which forced him to resign in disgrace in 2018, this section will be shorter than it might have been.

With that said, Wynn’s design and construction of The Mirage Resort & Casino set the Las Vegas Strip on a new trajectory that history can’t simply ignore. The Mirage doubled down on Caesars Palace’s commitment to fantasy immersion, surrounding players with a living, breathing jungle on the inside and a bubbling volcano out front.

Steve Wynn With Siegfried and Roy

Suddenly, a trip to The Strip was akin to visiting Disneyland for adults, with eye-popping attractions around every corner to supplement the casino scene.

Wynn eventually lured Siegfried and Roy to become The Mirage’s signature stage show, while Cirque du Soleil got its start there before becoming a fixture at Wynn’s neighboring Treasure Island.

Wynn parlayed the success of The Mirage into a casino empire like no other, one which included the Bellagio, Wynn, and Encore casinos during its peak.

May 23rd, 2003 – Chris Moneymaker Sparks the “Poker Boom”

Before he arrived at Binion’s Horseshoe casino in Downtown Las Vegas in the summer of 2003, poker was considered the black sheep of casino gambling.

Most venues in town had a real money poker room mind you, and the Mirage played host to legendary high-stakes games, but the game didn’t exactly move the needle with recreational gamblers.

And why would it anyway? After all, back then casual poker players had a snowball’s chance on The Strip to walk away a winner after sitting down with a table full of professional card sharps.

Well, over an inch of snow fell in Las Vegas in 2003, so anything’s possible…

WSOP Winner Chris Moneymaker

Moneymaker proved that much in fine style, parlaying a $39 satellite entry earned on the online site PokerStars into a $10,000 entry to the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. A No Limit Texas Holdem single-elimination tournament, the Main Event at Binion’s had crowned poker’s World Champion for 32 years up to that point. And aside from one or two outliers over the years, every one of those champs counted themselves as career poker pros.

Even so – despite the ESPN broadcast filming every flop and fold dubbing Moneymaker “dead money” – the mild-mannered accountant stormed through the stacked field to win it all. With the world watching at home courtesy of ESPN’s innovative “hole card” camera technology, Moneymaker showed poker novices that anything was possible – including a life-changing $2.5 million haul at the WSOP.

Almost overnight, poker tournaments became all the rage in college dorm rooms from coast to coast. Home games that used to be played for peanuts were suddenly de facto satellites, sending their local champs onward to the WSOP in hopes of becoming the next Moneymaker.

Harrah’s quickly snapped up the rights to the WSOP and moved poker’s premier tournament series to the Rio in 2005. That move was necessitated by the “boom” Moneymaker’s momentous win created, as Binion’s had simply been outgrown by that point.

To wit, when Moneymaker won the Main Event he defeated a field of 839 players. That number more than tripled to 2,576 entries one year later, and by 2006, the field peaked with a staggering 8,773 players ponying up $10,000 apiece to chase their poker dreams.

The poker boom may have been focused on Texas Holdem, but with tens of thousands of players descending on the city for a summerlong series, every casino in Las Vegas reaped the benefits. Hotels were booked to capacity months in advance, high-rollers set up shop in the suites, and Sin City became a buzzword all over the world like it was back in those bygone glory days.

Conclusion

Las Vegas history can’t be summed up by just seven days alone, but I hope this two-part list gives you a greater appreciation of what makes Sin City so special. An oasis in the desert, this town is no mirage, it’s a lasting testament to the power of people to create something out of mere sand and pure grit.

Las Vegas has evolved by leaps and bounds since its early frontier days, there’s no denying that. But as anybody who has ever strolled The Strip on a summer evening can attest to, the city’s spirit of freedom and independence lives on 115 years after the area’s first settlers bet on themselves.

Weekly Poker Update: October 19, 2020

Weekly Poker Update Text and Atlantic City Skyline

For the bulk of the past few months, we have been relegated to news about online poker in this column. Social distancing requirements and health protocols have kept both everyday players and hardcore professionals away from the felt, forcing them to settle for the online sphere.

This past week seems like a good indication that a return to live poker on a larger scale might not be too far off. Several poker rooms across the country either reopened or announced immediate plans to do so, including several within East Coast gambling hotspots like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Restrictions are in place, of course, but it is definitely a positive sign going forward.

Poker Reopening Review

The biggest news of all of these returns comes from Atlantic City, where poker rooms have been dark since March. But that will all change after the announcement that the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa will have its poker room up and running again this coming week.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, first of all, the Borgata’s poker room is essentially the largest one in AC, with 30 tables available. That’s a good way to start.

And that’s the other key here. The Borgata is the first of the five casinos in Atlantic City to reopen for live poker. Considering the city’s reputation as a gambling mecca, it is a kind of symbolic victory for all poker players to see one of the casinos getting back into the live game business.

Borgata Casino Poker Room

Of course, precautions are being taken. Live cash games with seven-handed action will be taking place at the 30 tables. Dividers will be placed between each player, and no spectators will be allowed in the room. There will be no food allowed in the poker room, and masks must be worn.

But those little inconveniences seem like a small price to pay for the chance to bring live poker back to AC. And the good news doesn’t end there.

  • In Pennsylvania, Mount Airy Casino and The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono became the first casinos in the state to reinstate live poker this past week. Pennsylvania was one of the first states outside Nevada and New Jersey to legalize casino gambling, which makes it a hot spot for action.
  • In Las Vegas, eight-handed action will be returning to Planet Hollywood. Many other Vegas casinos got back to poker action in June, making Planet Hollywood one of the last holdouts.
  • Casino Helsinki, in Finland, announced a return to live action with a weeklong event scheduled for November. It will be the first live poker event in Finland since the shutdown. That makes it a nice item for those who players overseas who have been hankering to get back to live action.

All of these are encouraging signs. But there is no doubt there is a still way to go before the poker scene is quite back to where it was.

Keep in mind that most of the announcements listed above are your basic run-of-the-mill daily action. There still haven’t been any major efforts at live tournaments to be conducted anywhere but online. (The one effort that was made recently, but it didn’t turn out so great.)

Still, it’s a matter of baby steps. The Borgata’s announcement and these other news items seem to indicate that the rumors of the demise of love poker seem to have been greatly exaggerated.

Poker as Life Book Club

This year, we’ve seen a boom in books that claim that learning poker can teach you a lot more than how to win a lot of money. Earlier this year, Maria Konnikova had a hit with The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself and Win. It was a combination of self-help and memoir that spoke to how poker’s life lessons can be healing and revelatory.

On the heels of that, this past week saw the release of How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices. To the uninitiated, this might not seem, based on the somewhat generic title, like it has much connection to the world of poker. But when you find out that the author is Annie Duke and that name rings a bell, you’ll figure it out quickly.

Ex Pro Poker Player Annie Duke

For those who might not know, Duke was one of the most popular poker pros at the time when real money Texas Hold’em events began showing up with regularity on TV in the 2000s. She was often the lone woman at some seriously star-studded tables. And she did more than hold her own; she, for a long-time, was the highest-earning woman in the sport and has multiple titles on some of the biggest stages.

Duke essentially retired from poker around 2012 and has turned her attention to other pursuits, such as consulting for major companies and corporate speaking. Along the way, she started to write books about these dual worlds, including the 2018 Thinking in Bets.

How to Decide is aimed at business owners and investors and attempts to demystify the decision-making process, using the lessons Duke learned in poker as an example. In interviews promoting the book, she has spoken a bit about the process.

The parallels that she draws between poker and investing are insightful, which the book likely expounds upon in much greater depth. She talks about how in poker, you can account for only so much, due to the luck of the draw. And when making decisions about investing or personal or business finances, the same applies, as you can’t possibly know what unexpected event might occur.

Books like Duke’s and Konnikova’s are beneficial to the poker world because of how they shine a different light on the pastime, especially for those who might not know much about it. They run against the stereotype of poker players as seedy and against the stereotype of the game itself as being one that doesn’t have a lot of redeeming value.

Let’s hope that Duke continues to churn out informative, interesting books like these that branch far beyond the world of poker. In this way, she’s making a contribution to the game as impactful as the one she made when she played it.

5 Remarkable Ways to Take Advantage of NFL Player Prop Betting

NFL Player Lamar Jackson With a Sportsbook Background

Player props are growing in popularity and with the advent of mobile betting, it’s only going to get bigger. So what is player props betting?

It’s sort of like fantasy football, in a way. However, rather than betting on overall performance, you’re looking at betting on a specific performance.

For example, you can bet a line for total rushing yards by a specific player, rather than their overall offensive performance. Or in the case of quarterbacks, passing yards, or passing touchdowns.

Player props differs from traditional sports prop bets, and come specific strategies to utilize to project the best possible outcome for your bet. This article outlines five strategies.

1 – Consider a Player’s Averages

Before you place a single player prop bet, consider a player’s averages for a specific prop. For example, if you’re thinking about betting on Lamar Jackson’s rush total, check out his line then look at his average rushing yards per game.

If his line looks favorable to his average, then he’s definitely a solid bet for that one prop.

However, there are other strategies to be aware of as well when it comes to betting on player props. For this article, we’ll use Jackson’s rushing props as an example.

One reason I decided to go with Jackson in this scenario is that he’s always a hot prop bet regardless of who he’s playing or the situation he and his Baltimore Ravens find themselves in.

NFL Ravens Offensive Line

Throughout this article, we’ll discover whether he was a good bet for the week with his hypothetical projected line at 45.5 rushing yards. At the end of the article, I’ll tell you my decision but ultimately, you must make your own decision whether Jackson was worth the bet.

So, what do we know about Jackson’s rushing average for this week’s dummy line at 45.5? Up to week three, he averaged 49 rushing yards. Even if his average doesn’t sit much higher than his prop line at this point in the season.

But, did that favorable bet continue?

Let’s find out.

2 – Opposing Defense’s Strengths

Alright, so in week three, Jackson faced the Chiefs’ defense, which ranks 27th in rushing defense.

Obviously in this scenario, the Chiefs’ defense didn’t match up well with Jackson and his rushing average. Nor do they match well with his hypothetical line. Bear in mind this is just an example and NOT Jackson’s true line for the game. We’re just outlining a hypothetical situation.

Despite Kansas City’s weakness against the run, Baltimore’s true strength is with the run and they have four different players who can contribute to the running game. Jackson is just part of the puzzle.

i
You can’t forget about Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram, nor J.K. Dobbins. All of whom contribute just as much if not more to the Raven’s running game.

Despite this, Jackson still looked like a solid bet, and you’ll see why in later subheadings.

Let’s continue.

3 – Past Performances Against the Opposing Defense

Alright, so our next outlook is how our targeted player performed previously against opposing defenses. And Jackson has faced the Chiefs as the starting quarterback previously. Just once as the starting quarterback.

Now, sometimes you won’t find your targeted player has played the opposing defense at all. Other times, you’ll find this variable to be even more relevant if this is an intra-divisional game, as you’ll have a greater sample size from which to work.

This variable becomes a more important one to consider the more relevant it is. In other words the greater the sample size. Just because a defense is weak against a targeted player’s strong attribute doesn’t mean our targeted player plays well against that specific defense.

NFL Chiefs Defense

So let’s see if Jackson played well in 2019 against the Chiefs.

What were Jackson’s numbers?

46 rushing yards on eight attempts. Significantly below his average of 80 rushing yards per game in 2019, but still higher than his projected line, albeit barely. And three yards lower at this point in the season.

So, while Jackson’s numbers looked good in Subheading one and Subheading two, they’re rather iffy in Subheading three. However, they’re not so low that you should consider running away from the bet.

Instead, let’s utilize two more strategies before making a final decision on Jackson’s rushing prop.

4 – Know the Offensive System

Sometimes, players are excellent products of the system. And if you’ve been handicapping NFL games since week one of 2019, you can see that the Ravens run the ball more than any other team in football.

Jackson is also one of those quarterbacks who runs the ball often, tucking and running an average of 11.5 times in 2020. At the point in this article, anyway. In week two, the week before this article, he tucked and ran the ball 16 times. Quite a total.

The Ravens run often and you know Jackson tucks the ball and runs often. Seemingly gaining steam as the season progresses. Sure, sometimes you’ll see the team toss a knuckleball and utilize the opposite of their normal game plan.

They’ll throw, rather than run. However, in a game against another AFC powerhouse, you can expect the Ravens to play to their strengths.
Knowing this, we can definitely chalk up a win in Subheading four.

5 – Consider Recent Performances

And we’ll look at recent performances from Jackson, who rushed for 45 and 54 yards, respectively. Given our dummy prop of 45.5, Jackson cleared it once and failed to clear it once.

However, he missed out by just a half a yard when he failed to clear the total in week one. And part of the reason here is because he and his Ravens jumped ahead of the Cleveland Browns early and tore up their weak passing defense.

That said, Jackson ran the ball a meager seven times during the contest. Instead, handing the ball to younger teammates like J.K. Dobbins as the Ravens cruised to a victory.

NFL Player Lamar Jackson Running the Ball

They also cruised in week two against the Houston Texans, but the latter gave them a much better game than Cleveland. Which explains Jackson’s inflated number of rushing attempts.

Now, in this scenario, since it’s so early in the season, you can also consider last season’s performances to garner a greater sample size. However, once you get to the end of the first month of the season, it’s best to use the current season for a sample size here.

From this information, we know that with a tougher overall defense and team the Chiefs possess, coupled with their weaker run defense, you can expect Jackson to run the ball more.

Which takes us to one final subheading: The Verdict.

The Verdict

In this scenario, I would find it safe enough to place a bet on Jackson. However, you must make the ultimate call as to whether you’re willing to place the ultimate bet.

Jackson hasn’t exactly lit up the league with his legs through the beginning of the season as he did just one year ago. However, at this point, there’s still time in the season for Jackson to get going with his legs.

While I like using strategies based on history, some of you may find it better to use strategies based on future matchups, which is a popular fantasy football strategy. And it can also pertain to player props.

Conclusion

As you can see, these five strategies, as with any sports betting strategy, a few minutes of homework is definitely involved here.

But if you’re a serious bettor on player props, you want to use every strategy offered in the book. Even if you’re a high-stakes bettor and like to bet on a dozen player props per week, it’s always best to do some homework and make a verdict rather than just bet blindly.

It won’t always pay off, but it’ll heighten your chances.

What are your strategies for player props?

Let us know in the comments.

The Best Reasons to Give Baccarat a Try

Baccarat Text With a Casino Background

If you’re like most casino gambling enthusiasts, even though you’ve probably heard of the card game called baccarat, you never actually tried it for yourself. Baccarat has a mysterious reputation among the recreational gambling community, thanks in large part to how casinos set up and stage the game. Most casinos in Las Vegas relegate their true baccarat tables to secluded “high-limit” sections.

There, a smoky haze shrouds serious players who spent the night placing big-time wagers, bending the cards, and even tearing them up in disgust. This unusual scene can be off-putting for many casual players, but I’m here to tell you about seven big reasons why every gambler should give baccarat a try.

It Only Takes a Minute to Learn Baccarat

Before we dive into the many merits of playing baccarat, let’s run through a quick crash course on the game’s basic rules and betting options.

Depending on the version (more on this to come), baccarat is played using either a six- or an eight-deck shoe à la blackjack. As for the cards in that shoe, here’s how baccarat card values break down:

  • 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings = 0 points
  • Aces = 1 point
  • 2s = 2 points
  • 3s = 3 points
  • 4s = 4 points
  • 5s = 5 points
  • 6s = 6 points
  • 7s = 7 points
  • 8s = 8 points
  • 9s = 9 points

To begin a hand of baccarat, you’ll choose between three betting options – the Player hand, the Banker hand, and the Tie.

Don’t worry too much about the original meaning behind these hand names, as they’re simply holdovers from the old-school version which had gamblers alternate between acting as the player and acting as the bank. For all intents and purposes, you’re just guessing which one of the two hands will wind up winning (or whether or not they’ll end up in a tie).

Live Dealer Online Baccarat

The objective of baccarat is exceedingly simple – guess which hand will wind up reaching a total of nine, or closest to it, after getting dealt two or three cards.

Once you’ve placed a wager, the dealer does nothing more than distribute two cards (one at a time) to each hand. An individual hand’s total can never exceed nine, so whenever it goes into double digits, you simply lop the left-hand digit off to arrive at the real total.

That’s a mouthful, I know, so here’s a visual example below to help illustrate how a baccarat hand works:

  • Player Hand = Ace and 7 for an 8 total
  • Banker Hand = 6 and 9 for a 5 total

As you can see, even though the Banker hand’s six and nine should equal 15, we remove the left-hand digit to leave a total of five.

OK, so the Player hand just beat the Banker hand then, right? Well, not so fast…

What makes baccarat exciting is the addition of a third card based on the relationship between each hand’s initial two-card total. Don’t worry about this too much either, because the dealer consults a system known as the baccarat “tableau” to determine when a third card is warranted. From the player’s perspective, this all plays out in a matter of seconds, and you don’t have to make any decisions or apply any strategy.

Sometimes just one hand will draw a third card, and in other cases both hands get to draw. In any event, the third card completes a hand’s total, and whichever hand winds up closest to nine is the winner.

When you win on the Player hand, you’ll collect an even money payout from the house. A winning Banker hand, meanwhile is paid at nearly even money, less a five percent commission. This commission is necessary because the Banker hand, due to its ability to “draw” last, holds a slight statistical advantage over the Player hand.

Again, that minutia might seem confusing at first glance, but it doesn’t matter much once the cards are in the air.

And if you happen to bet on the Tie option and both hands wind up level, you’ll earn a premium payout of 8-to-1.

Now then, you’ve just learned how to play baccarat, so let’s explore the many reasons why you should try this classic casino card game.

Baccarat Isn’t Only Played in an Intimidating Atmosphere Anymore

When you walk through any major land-based casino, you’ll eventually come across a seemingly private room protected by a velvet rope. Inside, gamblers dressed to the nines crowd around a huge table in a scene reminiscent of craps – but this is no humble dice game, it’s Big Table Baccarat.

Also known as “punto banco,” this version of baccarat is best known as the setting for James Bond’s infamous showdown with eventual on again, off again girlfriend Sylvia Trench. You know the scene from “Dr. No” (1962), when the suave secret agent coolly beats the beautiful Trench out of her entire bankroll while playing cards in a fancy casino.

Baccarat Casino Tables

In the traditional form of Big Table Baccarat still played, players take turns acting as the bank while passing an ornate shoe holding several decks of cards round and around. And sure enough, with minimum bets typically set at $500, the clientele in a Big Table Baccarat game in Sin City will be typically be dressed like “007” himself.

Between the huge bets and the haughty atmosphere, plenty of recreational players watch a few hands out of curiosity before moving on to more humble environs.

And I don’t blame them one bit, which is why the next reason to try baccarat is so important…

Modern Casinos Have Added More Approachable Options

If the idea of betting hundreds of dollars per hand surrounded by a bunch of snobby high-rollers doesn’t do it for you, I certainly get it.

And that’s why casinos adapted by rolling out a more casual, low-stakes option called “Mini Baccarat.” Also known as “Midi Baccarat,” this game takes place in the normal table game pit and uses basic minimum bets like $5 or $10. The giant table is exchanged for a standard one that looks, feels, and fits like your basic blackjack or Three Card Poker game.

Instead of players alternating as the bank and handling the shoe, a dealer takes care of all that too.

The result is an approachable form of baccarat that invites recreational players on a budget to join the fun.

You’ll Wind up Winning Roughly Half the Time

Another reason I encourage beginners to check out baccarat is the game’s binary nature. Leaving aside the Tie bet, you only have two options to choose from – Player or Banker.

With the Banker bet winning at a 45.9 percent clip, followed by the Player bet at 44.6 percent, you’ll enjoy a winner on every other hand on average.

Notice how I said “roughly” in the heading though, because the Tie bet will win after 9.5 percent of all deals.

The Tie Bet Is a Great Way to Pad Your Bankroll in a Hurry

Speaking of the Tie bet, this high-risk / high-reward gamble pays off handsomely at 8-to-1.

When you hit a natural blackjack, your $10 bet brings back $15 in profit at 3-to-2 odds, or $12.50 at the inferior 6-to-5 rate.

But that same $10 wager transforms into $80 in profit when the longshot Tie cashes in. That’s enough to please any casual player, which is why you’ll see players splash around on the Tie more than the long odds might suggest.

The Low Casino House Edge on Banker and Player Bets

Unless you’re a basic strategy master, the casino house edge on blackjack comes to 1.5 percent. Hop on the roulette table and you’re up against a 2.70 percent (single-zero wheels) or 5.26 percent (double-zero wheels).

Online Baccarat Screenshot

And some of the more popular bets on craps like the “Yo” (11) create a house edge of 11.11 percent – which is unbeatable over the long run.

Take your bankroll to the baccarat table, however, and you’ll face relatively friendly house edge rates of 1.06 percent on Banker and 1.24 percent on Player.

Of course, those are offset by the obscene 14.36 percent house edge on the Tie bet, so take your shots at that long shot sparingly.

It’s the Only Game Where You’re Allowed to Bend Cards

This one’s reserved for Big Table Baccarat, but one of the more enjoyable traditions in casino gambling is slowly bending that third and final card to reveal your hand’s fate.

You’ll see superstitious gamblers maximize their “sweat” by bending the card’s corner just so, calling out “Monkey!” or “Paint!” in hopes of seeing a face card. In fact, many high-limit baccarat tables even let you rip a bad card up in frustration (it’s already bent anyway, so no harm, no foul).

This raucous, old-school style of gambling can’t be found anywhere else in the corporate controlled casinos, so it’s worth spending a little more for the unique experience if you can afford it.

Conclusion

Baccarat may not be for everyone, but once you take a seat and place those fateful first bets, I’m willing to wager you’ll have a good time – win or lose. And fortunately, given the game’s nearly binary “coin flip” nature, you’ll wind up winning nearly half the hands you play on average.

While it may get a bad rap based on its antiquated status as an enclave for exclusive high-rollers, today’s baccarat has been modernized to offer widespread appeal. If you’ve never had the pleasure of backing the Banker or the Player, hopefully these nine reasons give you ample motivation to try baccarat on your next trip to the casino.

7 Ways to Avoid Embarrassing Yourself Playing Blackjack

Silhouette of Man Falling With Blackjack Cards

Every gambler makes mistakes, and some of them are more embarrassing than others. Blackjack players are no exception. But all you need to know are a few simple things and you can avoid making embarrassing mistakes at the blackjack table.

Here are seven ways to avoid making embarrassing mistakes when you’re playing blackjack. And some of these simple steps are also going to help you increase your odds of winning.

And if you do make a mistake, simply learn from it so you don’t make the same mistake again. It’s also a good idea to explain to the dealer that it’s your first time playing blackjack for real money. The dealer can help you avoid making a big mistake.

1 – Know How to Stand

When you don’t want to be dealt any more cards you want to stand. You can stand after receiving your first two cards at the blackjack table, or after receiving any number of other cards.

You can signal to the dealer that you want to stand a couple different ways. The most important thing to do is say out loud the word stand.

You can also place the flat of your hand over your cards and move it from side to side. This is a signal that you want to stand. Another way to stand is to slide your cards under your wager. But make sure this is used in the casino where you’re playing, because not every casino uses this hand signal.

Live Blackjack Game

The most important thing you need to do when you’re playing a blackjack hand is to always say what you intend. You can use hand signals as well, but I never recommend only using hand signals. When you say what you’re doing and use hand signals, the dealer can hear what you want to do and the dealer and the cameras recording the game action both can see your hand signal.

This is true when you stand and when you make any of the other common playing decisions explained on this page.

2 – Know How to Hit

When you hit it means getting another card from the dealer. When you want another card, say hit and point to your cards. Some players tap their cards, but the proper signal is to point.

When you point at your cards and say hit, there’s no room for error. The dealer will clearly understand what you want to do.

Here’s an example using the first two things you’ve learned about. You get your first two cards and have a total of seven. You point to your hand and say hit. You receive a king, for a total of 17. You wave your hand, palm down, over your three cards and stay stand.

The dealer then moves to the next player in the hand and you sit back and wait for the dealer hand to be revealed.

You used the proper hand signals while also speaking what you intended to do. This is how you can guarantee you’re not making mistakes playing blackjack.

3 – Know How to Double Down

When you have a total of 9 to 11 against certain dealer cards you want to double down. You can learn more about knowing when this is the best play in the final section on this page.

Doubling down means that you double your original wager amount and you receive exactly one more card and then stand. Here’s how to properly double down.

Slide an extra wager, the same amount as your original wager, out to where you placed your original bet and say double or double down. The dealer then gives you one card and moves to the next player at the table.

Ace and Queen of Hearts Blackjack

The ability to double down on key hands is one of the ways that you can keep the casino edge low and improves your chance to win. You won’t double down often, but when you do it in the right situation it can be profitable.

Make sure that you understand how to double down properly so the dealer doesn’t make a mistake.

4 – Know How to Split Pairs

Sometimes when you’re playing blackjack you get two cards of the same rank. When you have a pair of the same cards you have the option of splitting the two cards into two hands, and playing each hand separately. Here’s how to split a pair into two hands.

Turn both cards face up on the table, and then place them side by side so they’re not touching each other. Then slide a wager the same size as your original wager forward behind the card to the right and say split.

When splitting, the dealer gives you a single card on each of the cards, forming two new two card hands. You then play the hand to the right first just like any other two card hand. Once you finish playing the hand to the right, you then play the hand to the left.

Some pairs you always split and some pairs you never split. And some pairs you split sometimes and don’t split other time.

For example, you always split aces when you have a pair and also when you have a pair of 8’s. And you never split a pair of 5’s. You can learn more about when to split and not split in the last section on this page.

5 – Understand Insurance

Blackjack insurance is a special side wager the dealer offers the players when the dealer has an ace showing. You have the opportunity to place a second wager of half your original wager. When you take insurance and the dealer has a blackjack you lose your first wager and win 2 to 1 on your insurance wager. When this happens you break even on the hand.

But when the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack you lose the insurance wager and play your first wager and hand as normal. This looks like a decent wager to many blackjack players, but it’s not a good risk.

If you want to take insurance you say yes when the dealer asks and slide a wager forward half the size of your first wager. But the best play is to always say no when the dealer asks if you want insurance.

6 – Understand the Casino’s Rules

Blackjack dealers follow a simple set of rules. The dealer rules are always posted on the table and the dealer either hits or stands on a soft 17. A soft 17 is a hand that totals 17 including an ace that counts as 11.

Another standard blackjack rule is the dealer always hits on a total of 16 or less, and always stands on a total of 18 or more. A hard hand total 17, which is a hand that doesn’t have an ace or a hand that has an ace that counts as one and totals 17, always is a dealer stand.

The dealer follows these rules and you don’t have to do anything, but it’s good to know what the dealer has to do. If you have a hard 16 and the dealer is showing a six, you know you should probably stand and hope the dealer busts.

If the dealer has a high down card he or she has a high chance of busting. But if you hit your 16 you have a high chance to bust, and if you bust before the dealer busts you lose.

7 – Use Blackjack Strategy

In the example in the last section about standing on a 16 against a dealer 6, it probably makes sense to play this way. But other situations make it harder to figure out the best play. But if you want t have the best chance to win you need to use the best blackjack strategy on all of your hands.

Online Blackjack Game

You don’t have to figure out the best strategy on your own. You can use a blackjack card or chart that includes all of the best strategy plays.

Don’t play any more blackjack without a strategy card or chart. You can use them at the table when you play, and it won’t take long before you know most of the correct plays.

Conclusion

Now you know all of the common plays you have to make when you play blackjack and the hand signals that some players use. Remember to state what you want to do loud enough for the dealer to hear it, even if you use hand signals. This way there’s no chance of your action being misinterpreted.

It helps you make proper playing decisions at the blackjack table when you understand how the dealer rules work. You should never follow the rules the dealer uses, because it’s going to cost you money.

Instead, use proper blackjack strategy every time you play. This gives you the best chance to win.

Worst Types of Casinos for Beginners

Silhouette of Man With Hands on Head With a Casino Background

Selecting the right casino to travel to is one of the most important choices for new gamblers. Most casinos are perfectly fine, but there are some kinds that you should definitely avoid. When picking out a casino to gamble at, make sure you aren’t wasting your time or setting yourself up for failure. Here are the seven worst types of casinos for beginners.

High-Stakes Luxury Casinos

Sitting down at a table in a casino you can’t afford to be at is a terrible situation. A few times in my life, I’ve been there and thinking about those experiences still fills me with dread. Unless you aren’t concerned with the amount of money you spend gambling, there are going to be casinos you shouldn’t gamble at.

These types are especially prevalent in significant gambling cities. For example, Las Vegas is home to some of the nicest casinos in the United States. The Bellagio, Cosmo, and the Wynn are regarded as some of the world’s nicest casinos. There’s no reason for beginners even to attempt to gamble at casinos as luxurious as these.

Palazzo and the Vegas Strip

Several problems come with gambling at expensive casinos. First off, you most likely won’t be able to gamble for extended periods. Secondly, you most likely are underprepared, and your inexperience will show. Lastly, you always want to make sure you’re comfortable when gambling. If you’re like me, you’ll most likely feel like a fish out of water at a high-end casino.

Run-Down Dumpster Fires

On the opposite end of the spectrum of casinos, you have grungy, trashy, and run-down casinos. While they should be infinitely cheaper than the previous type, they are somehow worse for beginners. When it comes to casinos, you truly don’t have to gamble to have a pleasant experience. At luxury casinos, there are sights to see, and new gamblers can still have a pleasant time.

When it comes to the worst casinos, there really is little to be gained from your experience. The gambling might be inexpensive, but there’s a good chance you’ll regret even going in the first place.

Gamblers who lack any type of experience gambling should be on the lookout for a few things. A dead giveaway you’re at a less reputable casino is the presence of slot machines that are out of order. Another is a multitude of unoccupied tables during peak hours. Never feel bad about calling an audible if you figure out you want to change plans.

Noisy Pits of Distractions

As I mentioned in an earlier point, new gamblers should always feel comfortable inside a casino. If you’re ever feeling uncomfortable or distracted, you won’t be able to settle in and start making money. To thrive at a casino, your first few trips are crucial to your success. During those trips, you’ll learn the ropes and lay a good foundation for future success.

Casinos exist to make a profit off of gamblers; that’s no secret to anyone. If you can walk away from a casino with money, you’re doing better than the average gambler. Having acknowledged that, a casino will use various tactics to get you out of your element.

Planet Hollywood Pleasure Pit

One casino that will be forever seared into my mind is Planet Hollywood because it was one of the first casinos I visited in Vegas. To that point, I had grown accustomed to my run-of-the-mill casino back home. You can imagine my surprise when I walked into Planet Hollywood and was met with blasting music and go-go dancers behind several blackjack tables. I found I couldn’t focus on the cards being dealt to me and ended up leaving after 10 minutes.

Ones With Free Booze

Drinking and gambling is a wonderful combination. That is if you’re a skilled gambler who can handle their liquor.

New gamblers should do everything in their power to avoid drinking excessively when they’re learning to gamble. The problem is, a variety of casinos provide a steady stream of alcohol to their patrons.

If you have the self-restraint to continually turn down cocktail waitresses who offer you free drinks, more power to you. For those of you who doubt they can resist, then casinos with free drinks might be nightmarish. The best gamblers will either sip on the same drink for an extended period of time or avoid alcohol altogether. When you drink, you’re limiting yourself and impacting your abilities.

Casinos With Obnoxious Regulars

These types of casinos are among the worst kinds. Luckily, they are also few and far between. Most casinos have a sort of energy and culture they either attempt to curate or one that arises naturally over time. Whether it’s the casino theme, its location, or due to other factors, certain casinos attract certain types of gamblers.

Most gamblers are reasonable, ordinary people. However, there are groups of gamblers at particular casinos that seem to exist to ruin your time. New gamblers can be frustrating to deal with. They slow down the game and can occasionally make a stupid decision that is hard to watch. Most gamblers are capable of overcoming adversity. Obnoxious gamblers at casinos, however, are not.

Man Lighting a Cigar

If you have years of gambling experience under your belt, you probably know the type. Usually, it’s someone over the age of 50, chewing on a cigar and sipping on a glass of scotch. They’ve been gambling at the casino in question for decades and know every single dealer. For some reason, they feel superior to every other gambler at the table and are quick to make judgemental statements about beginners.

If you find yourself at a table with this type of person, don’t get discouraged. As I said, most gamblers are quality people who will be eager to guide you in the right direction.

Untrustworthy Online Casinos

Online casinos might seem unconventional on this list. But the online gambling business continues to increase in popularity, so they should be considered.

Like brick-and-mortar casinos, a majority of online casinos are reputable and deserving of your business. However, others aren’t worth your time.

Over the years, blacklisted online casinos have been outed for essentially stealing money from gamblers. Others have been accused of decreasing odds and making it even more challenging for gamblers to win money. It’s never been easier to figure out which online casinos are worth depositing with. Always be on the lookout for negative customer reviews.

Casinos With Disinterested Dealers and Employees

Dealers can often be a new gambler’s best friend. When you’re learning how to play casino games, an attentive dealer can make all the difference. Hopefully, as you develop your skills, you’ll come across dealers who want to help you learn to play. Most of the time, dealers are perfectly pleasant and helpful. But, occasionally, you will catch a dealer on a bad day.

Man Dealing a Blackjack Game

A lousy dealer can come in many shapes and forms. Either they are careless and mess up the deal, or their attitude leaves something to be desired. In my experience, it’s best to bide your time and wait for the next dealer to take over. But, on the rare occasion that you encounter two terrible dealers in a row, that might indicate you’re in a bad casino.

If you happen to have a bad experience with a dealer or a casino employee, don’t let it ruin your gambling experience. Instead, consider finding a different casino if the problem seems systemic. There are too many casinos in the United States, so don’t get stuck at a bad one.

Conclusion

As you continue to gamble, you’ll come to find that there is a large variance in the quality of casinos. Gamblers should be on the lookout for certain elements when analyzing the quality of a gambling destination.

One of the worst places a new gambler can be stuck at is a casino they can’t afford. While I recommend avoiding gambling at luxury casinos, you can always walk through the floors to get a taste of the action. On the flip side, don’t get stuck at a casino that’s a run-down dump. Life is too short to gamble at trashy casinos.

Make sure to avoid casinos that are way too distracting or offer an endless supply of alcohol. It’s important to be at the top of your game when you’re learning how to gamble. If you’re planning to do your gambling online, avoid any disreputable establishments. Finally, try to find a casino with solid dealers, as they’re a great resource for younger, inexperienced gamblers.

Has Zeljko Ranogajec Really Won $1 Billion Through Gambling?

Zeljko Ranogajec With a Question Mark and Money Image

Many gamblers dream of winning $1 million or more. Of course, only a small percentage actually accomplish this goal due to the difficulties that gambling presents.

Therefore, you might think that any notion of a gambler winning $1 billion is a tall tale. Less than 3,000 billionaires exist in the world, and they don’t put “professional gambler” on their business cards.

However, sources suggest that Zeljko Ranogajec has accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of betting his way to $1 billion in profits.

Is this really possible? I’ll discuss more on Ranogajec and his accomplishments along with if it’s really possible for him to have won 10 figures through gambling.

Who Is Zeljko Ranogajec?

Zeljko Ranogajec is an Australian professional gambler. He was born in Hobart, Australia, to Croatian immigrants.

Ranogajec was a solid student and eventually went on to attend the University of Tasmania, where he studied banking, finance, and tax laws. It’s during this time that he found his true passion at a local casino.

Zeljko began playing blackjack for real money at Wrest Point Casino. He eventually became a card counter and started making serious money. Ranogajec spent so much time in Wrest Point that he even met his future wife, Shelley Wilson, at the casino.

View of Wrest Point Casino in Australia

He and Wilson eventually moved to New South Wales so that he could continue studying at the University of NSW (Sydney). However, Zeljko later dropped out due to his highly successful gambling career.

Ranogajec’s Gambling Successes

Zeljko Ranogajec is easily one of the most successful gamblers of all time, if not THE most successful. Here’s a look at the various routes that he took to become a big winner.

Horse Racing

Betting on horse racing is Ranogajec’s bread and butter. He employs a solid strategy that has enabled him to make massive profits from horse betting over the years.

His approach involves:

  • Focusing on bets with high liquidity (i.e. betting pools that contain lots of wagers from the general public)
  • Using a sophisticated betting system to identify potential winners
  • Working out loss rebates with bookmakers

Regarding the latter point, Ranogajec bets so much money that he can negotiate rebate deals with bookmaking companies. For example, he has a significant rebate with Australia’s Tabcorp.

Ranogajec bets so much annually that he accounts for between 6% and 8% of Tabcorp’s $10 billion in annual earnings. He also wagers so much with Betfair that he reportedly makes up 33% of their Australian-facing revenue.

The bulk of Ranogajec’s winnings come from horse racing. Therefore, he’s created a large business out of the matter.

He’s developed a network of analysts, bettors, and administrators to provide information. Although Ranogajec doesn’t technically employ anybody directly, he unofficially employs over 300 Australians in his pursuit for racing info.

Blackjack

While Zeljko may be best known for his horse betting prowess, he was also an outstanding blackjack player years ago.

He no longer needs to play advantage blackjack these days. But early in his career, he developed a reputation for being one of the game’s best.

Ranogajec started with a relatively small bankroll worth a few hundred dollars. He turned this miniscule amount into millions of dollars by counting cards and using other advantage play methods.

Zeljko was too skilled at blackjack for his own good. Wrest Point Casino banned him, which weighed into his decision to move from Tasmania to New South Wales.

Eventually, he got banned from Jupiters Casino and other Gold Coast-area gambling establishments. Ranogajec moved to the United States and played blackjack there until he was kicked out of Atlantic City and Vegas casinos as well. He started dedicating more time to horse racing after the bans began adding up.

Despite having not played for a while, Ranogajec is still a blackjack legend. He entered the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2011.

Keno Jackpot

Ranogajec used to play keno quite a bit in New South Wales. In 1994, he won a massive jackpot worth $7.5 million at North Ryde RSL Club.

He didn’t have any special advantage in keno. Instead, Zeljko simply kept betting until he eventually won the giant payout.

Ranogajec Is Responsible for the Downfall of a State-Owned Gambling Company

As mentioned before, Ranogajec works out deals with various bookmakers to get lucrative rebates. He has an especially good mutual relationship with Tabcorp.

However, not all of Ranogajec’s deals end up so great for the operator. Case in point, Tote Tasmania closed down in 2011 due to the big rebates that they gave Ranogajec.

In a court case involving an ex-associate, Ranogajec explained the strategy to the courtroom. Zeljko said he’d bet so much that even when losing, he’d still rake in a profit.

Horse Racing in Melbourne Australia

With a 10% rebate, for example, he could only earn $95 on every $100 wagered and still come out ahead by $5.

Such favorable deals allowed Ranogajec to earn around $52 million over three-and-a-half years betting on US horse races alone. Only around 15% of this amount came from actual winnings, while the other 85% was due to rebates.

Tote Tasmania had backed themselves into a corner based on the rebate they’d agreed to with Ranogajec. The Treasurer of Tasmania eventually sold the state-owned company off to Tabcorp to salvage something from Tote.

Taxes Reveal Nothing

One look into Zeljko Ranogajec’s taxes could potentially clear up how much he makes each year. The only problem, though, is that gambling winnings aren’t taxable under Australian law.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has repeatedly looked into Ranogajec’s betting to determine if he does need to pay any taxes.

They wondered if his activities should be taxed to some degree because he was making a living from gambling. Initially, the ATO failed to prove that Zeljko was running any type of business under the umbrella of gambling.

They reopened the probe again, though, in 2008. After spending years on the case, they got Ranogajec and his longtime business partner, David Walsh, to agree to a settlement in 2012.

The deal is completely confidential and only covers the years between 2004 and 2011. Therefore, no information regarding Ranogajec and his earnings were released after the settlement.

Do the Numbers Add Up to $1 Billion?

The only real sources on Zeljko’s net worth are the Australian Rich List and Daily Telegraph. According to the Rich List, Ranogajec is the 164th richest person in the Land Down Under with a $600 million AUD net worth.

Assuming this list is fairly accurate, then Ranogajec isn’t worth $1 billion. However, he could’ve easily won this amount and more over the course of his career.

The Daily Telegraph spoke to an unnamed relative of Ranogajec. The relative heard that “he’s a multi-billionaire.”  Of course, this hearsay doesn’t constitute actual evidence that Zeljko is worth billions. However, it’s something that helps confirm he’s worth a massive fortune.

What Is Zeljko Ranogajec Doing Today?

Ranogajec has moved from Australia to London. He works as a consultant for Newfield Limited, which is a sports event and international racing company.

He’s no doubt still gambling on racing as well. After all, Zeljko is one of the world’s best horse bettors and will likely continue to be for the rest of his life.

Aside from his betting and business activities, though, little is know about Ranogajec. He’s a very private person who doesn’t give interviews and speak to the media much.

Luxury Private Jet Interior

He did break his silence, though, when asked about his potential multibillion-dollar net worth. Ranogajec simply stated that such figures are “just a big exaggeration.”

A 2018 feature by the Daily Mail claims that Zeljko enjoys a lavish lifestyle. This article discusses how the 59-year-old lives a jet-setting lifestyle with his family, including Shelly and their teenage daughter.

It also reiterates that Ranogajec enjoys living as privately as possible. Therefore, he’s unlikely to ever spill the details on his true gambling winnings or net worth.

Conclusion

Back to the original question, has Zeljko actually won $1 billion in profits? Yes and no. The word “won” must be used quite liberally here. Ranogajec didn’t actually win everything that he’s made through betting.

Instead, the bulk of his profits came from favorable rebate deals with racebook operators. He may have enjoyed as high as a 10% rebate with the now-defunct Tote Tasmania (now part of Tabcorp).

Technically speaking, though, Zeljko has probably won $1 billion through wagering when counting rebates. He’s worth anywhere between $600 million and billions, even when accounting for his lavish, but private, lifestyle.

Ranogajec shows the pinnacle of what’s possible with betting. He’s earned the type of wealth through gambling that’s normally reserved for the world’s most elite hedge fund managers and business owners.

Details of Biloxi’s UMUSIC Hotel Revealed

Poker Chip and Roulette and Casino Card Background
The details of the $1.2B Gulf coast resort project of the Universal Music Group and Dakia Global U-Ventures were revealed during a press conference held on Thursday.

Dakia chairman Robert Lavia, Governor Tate Reeves, and Biloxi Mayor Fofo Gilich were also present in the event where the timeline and vision of the Biloxi casino report were disclosed to the public.

According to Gov. Reeves, the Biloxi casino resort is the kind of “bold project” that his state needs. It will boost the image of Mississippi and provide life-changing investment for its people.

Said Gov. Reeves:

“Getting a project like UMusic Broadwater means we can compete with anyone around the world. We need to set our sights as high as possible because we can compete, and we can win.”

New Details Emerge

For his part, Lavia revealed that the construction of the resort will begin next year and is expected to be completed in 2023. Lavia added that the hotel will have 1,500 hotel rooms, a 12,000-seat entertainment venue, an 18-hole golf course, music-themed decor, and celebrity restaurants. Construction is expected to generate 1,000 jobs and when it is completed, there will be 2,500 permanent jobs created.

According to Mayor Gilich, the UMUSIC Broadwater hotel and casino is expected to bring in more than two million visitors per year. Gilich added that the soaring glass music venue at the front and center of the hotel tower will be rated for 160 mph winds. He even joked that people from miles ways Ship Island would be able to watch concerts from its massive video board.

First Foray in Hospitality Industry

Earlier this week, the Universal Music Group announced that it will be building three hotels under what it called the UMUSIC brand. Universal chose Biloxi, Orlando and Atlanta as the areas where they will develop their first three hotels. The Biloxi project will be built on the 266 acre property that was once the Broadwater Resort, the gem of the Gulf Coast.

During a previous announcement, the Universal Music Group said that the Biloxi project will recreate the old Broadwater Resort by including a hotel, marina, golf course, and casino. In addition, the investors of the project said that they will also build a state-of-the-art musical experience as they aim to seamlessly integrate a stunning performance venue and a luxury hotel with immersive architectural design.

The Universal Music Group is one of the largest music company in the world. It has an impressive portfolio that includes Abbey Road Studios, Capitol Records, and Def Jam Recordings. Last year, it reported a revenue of $7.7B which was 20% higher than its 2018 figures.

West Virginia Casinos: Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort

Mountaineer Casino in West Virginia

We often don’t think of West Virginia as a mini Las Vegas but little do many of us know at its northern tip in the town of New Cumberland lies the famous Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort. And yes, the casino is often buzzing day and night, making it the ultimate destination if you’re passing through.

So, where is this somewhat secluded casino? Right on the Ohio-West Virginia border and about 40 miles northwest of good old Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So, if you’re traveling through the Upper Ohio Valley and casino gaming is your thing, be sure to check out West Virginia gambling at Mountaineer.

You’ll be glad you did.

History of Mountaineer Casino

The property has contributed its own part of US gambling history. Planning for a racetrack up in Chester can be traced all the way back to 1937 and was to be called Waterford Downs. While the public offering was approved in 1939, but because of several unfortunate events (including World War II), it was delayed until 1948.

Opening day for the racetrack known as Waterford Park wouldn’t occur until 1951.

James F. Edwards bought the track in the mid-1950s and in 1969, Ogden Corporation bought Edwards’ holdings.

In 1987, Bill Blair purchased the track and renamed it Mountaineer Park before selling to Excalibur Holding in 1992. In 1994, the track incorporated its first slot machines. Table gaming was added in 2007.

In 2019, the casino was sold to Century Casinos and Vici Properties, with Century taking the operating business and Vici taking the land and buildings while entering a leasing agreement with Century.

Now that you know a little background on the casino, let’s look at what this jewel in New Cumberland has to offer.

Casino Games Offered

Mountaineer Casino offers approximately 1,000 slot machines among 78,000 square feet of gaming space. The casino also offers smoking and non-smoking sections, so you don’t have to worry about giving up your seat if you are a smoker.

The casino also offers high-stakes slot areas that feature bets of $10, $25, and up to $100.

Mountaineer also offers the standard table games like Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Let it Ride, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, the works. You name it, Mountaineer is sure to have it. Also offered is Texas Holdem for real money, so if you’re into some live poker action, Mountaineer will provide.

Mountaineer Casino Floor

And like many casinos these days, Mountaineer also operates the William Hill Sportsbook where you can bet on your favorite sporting events. Bets offered include futures, parlays, straight bets, round robins, teasers, etc.

The most popular sports featured include football, baseball, basketball, hockey, MMA, NASCAR, and more. The sportsbook’s hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., and from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Dining Options

Within the casino’s walls are three outstanding restaurants and one sports bar. So whether you’re in the mood for fine dining or if you’re just looking to chill and watch the latest sporting event, Mountaineer Casino’s dining options have you covered.

If you’re looking for something more laid back and quick, then try Big Al’s, located right near the gaming floor. Big Al’s offers deli-style sandwiches and whole pies of pizza plus homemade ice cream and fresh-baked dessert. You can eat in or if you choose, order to go.

They’re open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The most upscale dining option Mountaineer offers is LBV Steak & Pasta, which offers top-of-the-line service and cuisine along with world-class alcoholic beverage options. Their motto is “The Good Life,” so you know you’re up for a terrific night out here. Just be sure to dress at least casually, as there is a code.

The hours of operation are from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Sunday.

Mountaineer LBV Restaurant Dish

Looking for something formal yet relaxed? Then Gatsby Restaurant & Buffet is your best option.

Especially if you’re looking for homemade-style comfort foods. Gatsby is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with breakfast served from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Do you want a background perhaps to bet on sports and watch a game or to enjoy some pub-style classics? Well, the Mahogany Sports Bar is exactly what you’re looking for. They also serve some of the best local craft beers in the Ohio Valley with favorites on tap.

The bar is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with the menu options open until 9 p.m.

Hotel Accommodations

For a place located out in the middle of nowhere other than the nearby towns of Weirton, West Virginia, and Steubenville, Ohio, Mountaineer literally has it all. Let’s take a look at the rooming options at the Mountaineer resort hotel.

First off, your lodging options are off the charts here, with rooms like the Tower Suite, Tower King, Tower Queen, or the Lodge King.

If you’re looking for something of grandeur, the 760 square foot Tower Suite is your option, complete with a living room and refrigerators, you’d think you just walked into a high-end apartment.

Mountaineer Casino Hotel Room

The Tower King and Tower Queen offer a similar layout to the Tower Suite without the living room. The real difference here is that the Tower Queen offers two beds and 390 square feet whereas the Tower King offers just one and 264 square feet.

The Lodge King and Double Lodge Queen are located in the original section of the hotel and each is just a short walk to the casino. If you’re looking for convenience, these are solid options.

Popular amenities at the resort include the Woodview Golf Course, a Spa located within the hotel, a gift shop, and a fitness center, among others. Shuttle services are also provided as well as free and convenient parking.

Entertainment

Mountaineer isn’t just a racetrack and casino; it’s also the one-stop-shop for entertainment in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and perhaps the surrounding area.

If you’re looking for the biggest and best entertainment acts at Mountaineer, the Harv has you covered. Year-round, it offers a strong variety of acts, so regardless of what your musical preference is, it has you covered.

Planning your next wedding or convention? Then check out the Ballroom, which offers 13,000 square feet of real estate. You can find entertainment here as well with live tribute bands and similar acts.

Other great options include Lucky’s Lounge, LBV Entertainment, and Mahogany Entertainment. At the time of this writing, events at the latter three are suspended but be sure to check the website regularly as sure enough, entertainment shall return.

Horse Racing

Of course, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort started off as a racetrack and you probably discovered from the title that it continues to hold true to its roots. So, let’s talk about horse racing.

Live Thoroughbred racing occurs every Sunday through Wednesday and the first post time begins at 7 p.m. If you can’t make it to the track, don’t sweat, as you can tune in on the action with a live simulcast, available on the website.

You can also bet on or off-track, so if you’re not up close and in on the action, don’t worry. You can

watch the races on the big screens in the casino while placing your bets in the designated off-track betting areas.

Nearby Attractions

So, if you’re looking to take a day off from casino gaming and are in the area for a few days, what’s there to do?

Well, if you’re a hiker, I have good news for you, as Tomlinson Run State Park is just around the corner as is the Panhandle Trail, with the latter located just off the Harmon Creek exit in nearby Weirton.

Come catch some breathtaking scenery of the Ohio Valley and explore the same region as our nation’s forefathers while of course, getting in some much-needed exercise.

If you’re into traveling, then the city of Pittsburgh is always worth the visit. From the majestic way the city’s historic skyline pops into few while exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnels, you know the Steel City has much to offer where the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Valleys meet.

Tomlinson Run State Park

From sporting events to historic museums, science centers, cultural sectors, and more, one of America’s fastest-growing and revitalizing cities is just around the corner from Mountaineer.

And don’t forget to check out other local land based casinos such as Rivers (downtown Pittsburgh, located on the North Shore) to the Meadows (Washington County).

Local lore suggests the Ohio Valley and its surrounding area is nothing but a wasteland that evaporated when the steel industry left. Don’t believe it for a second. Instead, the closing doors of the local steel mills opened the doors to a new, more prosperous era.

And the attractions surrounding Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort prove that point tenfold.

Conclusion

Yeah, it’s far out given the fact a tiny town like New Cumberland boasts such a hot location like Mountaineer. But hey, Everytown, USA has its crown jewel, and New Cumberland’s is the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort.

So, if you’re traveling by either to Pittsburgh, north to Cleveland, or west toward Columbus, be sure to make a stop at Mountaineer if you’re looking for a good time to hold you over until the next leg of your trip.

And if you’re local, come make the trip to the tip of West Virginia’s northern panhandle. Mountaineer is definitely rocking and you can make the bet that its best days, and the Upper Ohio Valley’s best days, are ahead.

Have you been to Mountaineer or explored some of the local attractions? If so, how did you like the area? Let us know in the comments.

Why Do Banks Reject My Online Casino Deposits?

Bank Teller Interaction With a Casino Cross Out Graphic

Depositing is a key element behind playing online casino games. If you can’t deposit, then you can’t play for real money.

Unfortunately, not everybody is able to fund their account with ease. Some gamblers see their bank transfers and credit card casino deposits rejected.

A common misconception with the latter is that the credit card brand (e.g. Visa) blocks the deposit. In reality, the bank that issues the card is stopping the transaction.

In situations like these, you may wonder why banks are so apt to block gaming deposits, especially if you live in a completely legal jurisdiction.

This guide discusses more on the process that leads to financial institutions rejecting online gaming transactions. It also covers alternatives for getting around this issue.

What Happens When Your Casino Deposit Is Rejected?

Every banking institution has their own policy on internet gambling. Some are liberal with the matter, while others are staunchly against serving online casino players.

You’re more likely to see a credit card or transfer deposit rejected in the latter case. Such banks have stronger policies against allowing casino-related transactions.

Software is their first line of defense when catching online casino deposits. A software program can monitor transactions and reject anything suspicious.

Pile of Credit Cards

Banks may also employ individuals to manually go through transactions and look for anything that goes against their institution’s policies.

Of course, not every casino deposit gets rejected in these cases. But a bank that’s against internet gambling may block over 50% of them.

Offshore Casino Deposits Are Especially Susceptible

Some banking institutions don’t like online casinos in any form. However, they’re especially against offshore online gambling.

The latter refers to gaming sites that operate outside of the countries they’re serving. They also typically don’t obtain licensing (if applicable) in markets where they operate.

Offshore casinos aren’t illegal in every state or country that they serve. After all, some jurisdictions don’t have strong anti-online gaming laws in place. Nevertheless, these operators aren’t necessarily legal either.

Most banks don’t take chances with such matters. They solve this issue by simply prohibiting any transaction they catch related to internet casinos.

Banks Even Turn Away Legal Online Casino Deposits

Many states and countries have legalized internet gaming. Therefore, the licensed casinos that operate in these jurisdictions are completely accepted.

You might think that every financial institution would allow bank transfers and credit card transactions to casinos in such cases. Strangely enough, though, certain institutions will still block deposits in legal markets.

The reasoning usually comes down to the situation:

  • The bank operates in a state/country that previously banned online gaming, or at least had restrictive laws surrounding the matter
  • The jurisdiction in question legalizes internet casinos
  • The laws could be changed or challenged at some point
  • The bank decides to continue rejecting gaming deposits until everything is settled

This situation is most common in the US, where individual states have the ability to regulate online casinos. However, the federal government has never legalized the matter.

With that said, certain banks aren’t entirely comfortable with allowing deposits in this case. They want firmer laws before they’re willing to serve internet gamblers.

In reality, these banks wouldn’t run into any trouble if they do serve such a legal market. But they’d still rather not take unnecessary risks just to be involved with online betting.

Why Are Banks Against Online Gambling?

A bank’s reasons for instituting an anti-internet gaming policy can vary from one company to the next. In the US, though, many financial institutions are still leery of online gambling due to certain laws and legal events. Here are the primary laws that scare banks away from this industry.

UIGEA

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) came into effect in 2006. It prohibits gambling businesses from serving states that have outlawed gambling.

Contrary to popular belief, the UIGEA doesn’t completely ban online gaming. It just prevents them from taking payments from states where internet gambling is illegal.

Despite its narrow focus, this law has had a lasting impact. It has scared off many banks and payment processors from facilitating US-based online casino transactions.

Black Friday

Black Friday marks the day when the federal Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York took action against several unregulated online poker sites.

With help from the US Department of Justice (DoJ), the attorney’s office successfully indicted key figureheads from these sites for money laundering and bank fraud.

John Campos, a part owner and Vice President of SunTrust Bank (Utah) at the time, was arrested for miscoding poker deposits so that they passed through bank channels.

SunTrust Bank Building

Campos processed transactions for PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in exchange for separate $10 million investments in SunTrust Bank. He pleaded guilty to a single illegal gambling charge and served three months in prison.

Of course, all bank executives likely steer clear of helping gambling sites in the same manner that Campos did. But the latter shows what can happen if a financial exec steps outside the lines to help gaming sites.

Wire Act

The Federal Wire Act of 1961 bans the offering of gambling across state lines. The Wire Act was enacted over three decades before the consumer internet became available.

Nevertheless, its legal language loosely applies to online casinos, depending upon who’s making the interpretation.

The US DoJ was asked to give interpretations on this law in 2011 and 2019. They initially stated that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting. But the DoJ offered a different opinion in 2019, saying that the Wire Act applies to all forms of internet gambling.

New Hampshire successfully sued the DoJ to prevent their opinion from changing any laws. After all, the Granite State already had a thriving online lottery and didn’t want the new interpretation affecting their business.

Even still, the DoJ’s amended opinion shows that legal agencies may try to rework existing gambling laws. If the latter efforts succeeded, then banks would suddenly need to change everything around and start rejecting deposits in once-legal jurisdictions.

Alternative Online Casino Payment Methods

If your gaming deposits keep getting rejected, then you should definitely pursue an alternative payment option. Here are some other banking methods you can use at online casinos.

Not all of these options may not be available in regulated markets. However, they are widely available to grey states that must use offshore gaming sites.

Bitcoin

This famed cryptocurrency is gaining more and more mainstream attention. Most people are interested in Bitcoin for its investment potential.

However, BTC does have utility as a payment method too. It’s especially popular at offshore gambling sites, which rely on Bitcoin to get around the UIGEA.

Using Bitcoin for online gambling is relatively easy to use once you get the hang of it. You can set up an account at exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini and quickly purchase BTC.

From here, you obtain a wallet address from the casino (recipient address). Next, you head back to your exchange account and send Bitcoin to the relevant casino address. Your funds should arrive after a short while.

Other Cryptocurrencies

BTC isn’t the only game in town anymore when it comes to cryptocurrency casino banking. Other coins, such as Ethereum, XRP (Ripple), Bitcoin Cash, and Monero are gaining acceptance at casino sites.

You’ll experience little to no adjustment regarding the deposit process when moving from Bitcoin to any other crypto. You can also find most mainstream coins at the aforementioned exchanges.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards allow you to fund a casino account with no hassle. You simply purchase them at convenience stores or online and load funds on to them.

Shelf of Pre-Paid Bank Cards

From here, you visit a gaming site that accepts the relevant prepaid card. You place a deposit by using the special PIN number that’s unique to the card.

Neteller and Skrill

Neteller and Skrill do have some rules in place regarding internet gambling. These e-wallets try to avoid letting you do anything that would break laws in your jurisdiction.

Largely speaking, though, Skrill and Neteller are solid alternatives when your credit card deposits aren’t going through. You can even use either of these e-wallets to find an offshore casino account. The only catch is that most US citizens don’t have access to Neteller and Skrill, and also you may not qualify for casino bonuses.

Should You Try Depositing With Rejected Credit Cards Again?

Depending upon where you live, you may only have a 30% to 50% chance of making a successful credit card casino deposit. On the times when you’re rejected, you may wonder if it’s worth trying to fund your account again.

You’ll have success in some cases when retrying the deposit. In other situations, though, you might get rejected again and draw the issuing bank’s attention. The latter may even review your accounts if they notice suspicious activity and close it. That said, you assume risk when trying to deposit over and over again.

Provided you have a bank transfer or credit card deposit that’s rejected, you might want to review the specific bank’s policies on gambling.

Some institutions, such as Bank of America, have a strict anti-gaming stance. In this case, you should avoid trying to redeposit since you’re unlikely to have any success.

Conclusion

Your chances of depositing with credit cards and bank transfers depend upon multiple factors. The bank in question and your location carry heavy importance here.

Sometimes, deposits don’t go through even when you live in legal online gaming jurisdictions. You may become extremely frustrated at this point.

Luckily, though, alternative casino banking means exist. You can try cryptocurrencies, prepaid cards, Neteller, or Skrill.

As long as you’re not breaking any laws in your jurisdiction, then you don’t have to feel badly about using other means to complete deposits.

The Arizona Casino Scene

Arizona State Flag and an Arizona Casino

Arizona has a more robust casino gambling scene than many other states, but less of a presence than others. It’s no Nevada, for sure.

You’ll find a couple dozen Native American casinos throughout the state offer gambling machines that include slots, video blackjack, video keno, and video poker. Many casinos in Arizona also offer table games like blackjack and casino war.

Unless you’re playing bingo or pull-tab games, the gambling age in Arizona is 21. You can play bingo and pull-tabs as young as 18, though.

Fantasy sports, betting on sports, and online casinos are all illegal in Arizona.

An Alphabetical List of Casinos in Arizona

Here’s an alphabetical list of all of the Arizona gambling options:

  • Apache Gold Casino Resort
  • Apache Sky Casino
  • BlueWater Resort and Casino
  • Bucky’s Casino
  • Casino Arizona
  • Casino del Sol
  • Casino of the Sun
  • Cliff Castle Casino
  • Cocopah Resort Casino
  • Desert Diamond Casino
  • Desert Diamond Casino, Sahuarita
  • Desert Diamond Casino, West Valley
  • Desert Diamond Hotel & Casino
  • Fort McDowell Casino
  • Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino
  • Hon-Dah Resort Casino
  • Lone Butte Casino
  • Mazatzal Casino
  • Paradise Casino
  • Spirit Mountain Casino
  • Talking Stick Resort
  • Twin Arrows Casino Resort
  • Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino
  • Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
  • Yavapi Casino

As you can probably tell from the names of the casinos, Arizona casinos are all tribal casinos. And they often lean into Native American stereotypes and actual tribe names for their casino names.

What Are the Biggest Casinos in Arizona?

You have multiple ways of measuring the size of the biggest US casinos. One common measurement is to look at how much square footage of gaming space the casino has. Another is to measure the number of gambling machines in the establishment.

For purposes of this post, I’m going to loosely categorize the biggest casinos in Arizona by how many slot machines and other gambling machines they offer.

Desert Diamond Casino – West Valley is probably the biggest casino in Arizona. They offer over 1100 different slot machines. That’s about the same as the #2 on this list, but they also offer a relatively huge number of blackjack (48) and poker tables (36).

Desert Diamond Casino West Valley in Arizona

It’s a 75,000 square foot facility with a steakhouse and an Italian bistro on site. They also have a bar and a smaller café.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino also have over 1100 slot machines, but they only have 17 blackjack tables and 17 poker tables. They have a buffet restaurant on site as well as a golf course nearby. The hotel has 300 rooms.

Desert Diamond Casino – Tucson is on par with Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, with 1100 slot machines, 18 blackjack tables, and 14 poker tables. They also have many of the same amenities as the Harrah’s Ak-Chin, although the restaurants are different.

Some Historical Context Related to Arizona Casinos and Gambling

20+ Indian tribes lie in Arizona, and it’s impossible to consider the casino gambling scene in the state without thinking about the Native American tribes there. That’s because in 1988, the United States passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

This law enabled Native American tribes to operate casinos legally. It wasn’t smooth sailing, initially, though as the states and tribes must negotiate individual agreements with the state (per IGRA). With so many tribes, it required a lot of consensus-building and took half a decade to get anywhere.

Of course, now, almost all 20 tribes are involved in operate casinos throughout the state of Arizona.

Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino Floor

Legally, you can only gamble at tribal casinos in the state – or on horse racing or the state lottery. It doesn’t matter which type of legal gambling activity you participate in, it falls under the purview of the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. These are agreements between the state of Arizona and the tribes operating gambling businesses there. The Arizona Gaming Commission oversees the implementation of these compacts.

25% of the land in the state of Arizona belongs to Native American tribes, so they have plenty of space on which to operate casinos. The casinos are required to use the funds from these businesses for charity for the tribes’ benefit.

What Are the Blackjack Rules and Conditions Like in Arizona Casinos?

Real money blackjack conditions and rules vary from casino to casino. Sometimes they even vary from table to table. In some states, they even charge you a fee on every hand you play.

Here are some examples of the kinds of blackjack conditions you might find in Arizona casinos. They might be different depending on which casino you’re visiting. Also, casinos change their rules periodically, so this is meant to be illustrative rather than definitive.

I’ve read reports of at least one casino offering a blackjack game from two decks of cards. The dealer has to stand on a hard 17+ but hits a soft 17 , and you’re allowed to double on any first two cards. You’ve even allowed to double after splitting. The minimum bet at a table like this would be $10 or more per hand. The maximum bet was $500 per hand.

Desert Diamond Casino Blackjack Table  Game

You might be able to find better blackjack situations than this if you scout around. A lot of advantage players and card counters avoid sharing where the best games are in any state. That’s one of the main reasons these games disappear, so they avoid publicizing them.

Some Arizona casinos use continuous shuffling machines. If that’s the case, forget about counting cards at those tables. It won’t work.

The Poker Rooms in Arizona Casinos

It’s impossible to stay completely up to date on the poker conditions in all Arizona cardrooms, as their practices change whenever the cardroom managers decide to change them. But here are some examples of what was available when I researched this post.

At the Desert Diamond Casino, West Valley, they use automatic shuffling machines and happily cash checks for their poker players. They offer bad beat jackpots, and you’re able to order food from the table.

They also have non-smoking poker tables available, and you can earn casino comps and apply your poker play toward the casino’s rewards program. They have a bank of televisions to watch and wifi service. Cell phone reception from the cardroom is good.

That list of amenities is pretty standard for most Arizona casinos with cardrooms, although some of the perks can vary from one casino to another. For example, the Desert Diamond Tucson also offers poker players half-price food when they’re playing at the tables.

Will Sports Betting Be Legalized in Arizona?

As I write this post, it’s still illegal to bet on sports in Arizona. The legal situation related to sports betting is always apt to change, though – especially in the last couple of years.

In 2019, someone put forth a bill to legalize and regulate sports betting in Arizona, but it died with little fanfare.

In 2020, two more bills – one of which is identical to the 2019 bill – offered hope to sports bettors who want to bet legally in the state. HB 2813 was one of those bills. It would have legalized sports betting and horse racing tracks throughout the state. Tribal casinos would only be allowed to open sportsbooks in their casinos with approval from the state. Since the tribes feel like they should be allowed to offer sports betting no matter what, they were opposed to this bill.

SB 1525 was the duplicate of the 2019 bill trying to legalize sports betting in Arizona. It would have made it legal for every tribal casino in the state to offer sports betting, although mobile and online sports betting would still be illegal.

Both bills were put on the back burner when the legislative session ended on April 25. They might see renewed interest and action in 2021, though.

Conclusion

The Arizona gambling scene is more robust than many states, although you still can’t bet on sports legally yet. Unlike many states with tribal casinos, Arizona does offer real (Class III) slot machines. They also offer a great selection of table games – especially blackjack.

Whether Arizona will eventually add sports betting to the menu is anyone’s guess. It looks like it will happen eventually, but with the large number of Indian tribes who have differing opinions on how that should be handled, it might take a while for everyone to find consensus.

Here’s a Look at MA’s Gaming Revenue for September

MGM Springfield

The state of Massachusetts is now home to several world-class gambling venues. They’ve been open for months now and seem to be experiencing an increase in visitors. Today, we’re going to take a close look at MA’s gaming revenue for the month of September.

Later on, we’ll take a look at how some of the other nearby states are faring right now. Not every state has a casino industry that’s thriving right now.

Let’s look at what’s going on!

East Coast States Are Working to Boost Casino Revenue

There was a time when all the states around the country forced their casinos to shut down. This took an immediate toll on many cities. Places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City immediately started losing money and officials began working on ways to get the casinos operational again.

We’re now in October, and most casinos around the country have now reopened. Regulations inside casinos vary from state to state. Some of these states are managing to bring in more players than others right now.

New Jersey seems to be doing alright. This state has one of the largest sports betting industries in the world. Not long ago, New Jersey set another all-time record for sports betting handle. Sportsbooks here saw $748 million in bets this September.

Things are different in New York. This state took a very long time to reopen its commercial casinos. These are the only venues offering sports betting odds. As a result, both casino and sports betting revenue has been extremely low here.

It’s an interesting time for the region’s gambling industry. The states with regulated online gaming platforms seem to be performing the best right now. Many have been asking about how Massachusetts’ gaming industry is going.

Here’s where things stand.

MA’s Gaming Revenue Holds Steady in September

Massachusetts wasn’t always a major gambling state. For a time, lawmakers here pushed against allowing almost any forms of gambling. Things have changed in recent years, and a number of great casinos are now operating in this state.

According to new reports, the three casinos here managed to bring in $42,974,804 during the month of September. That’s a slight rise from the $42,390,349 earned in August. Total gambling handle here was $604,814,996, also representing a slight increase from August.

It’s no surprise that the Encore Boston Harbor saw the biggest handle at $303,685,463. The MGM Springfield saw a handle of $170,996,115. Plainridge Park actually saw a handle dip at $133,966,402.

Casino executives aren’t likely to pop any champagne from these revenue figures. For now, things are simply holding steady. When compared to September of 2019, however, MA’s gaming revenue fell by 12.3%.

It’s unclear how things will progress here. Some believe that as time goes on, more people will feel comfortable gambling inside casinos. Others are fearful that the winter months could result in a spike of Covid-19 cases, dropping casino revenue even more.

We’ll need to wait and see how things progress over the next few months. Make sure to stay tuned for updates!

Why Hasn’t Massachusetts Legalized Sports Betting?

As we just mentioned, the states with regulated online gambling industries are seeing the most revenue right now. That’s particularly true with New Jersey. Online sports betting was legalized here in 2018 and now helps to bring the state millions in additional revenue every year.

Many residents are now asking why Massachusetts hasn’t green-lit any sports betting bills. It’s a complicated issue that lawmakers here seem torn on. For a time, however, it seemed likely that sports gambling would finally come to the state.

A bill was making its way through the legislative process throughout the year. It was approved by the House and eventually went to the State Senate. To the dismay of sports fans here, the Senate refused to approve the bill earlier this month.

It now seems likely that sports betting will be coming to Massachusetts sometime in 2021. Most recognize how much money this industry will help to bring in. New Jersey has proven how lucrative a regulated sports betting industry can be.

Sports betting would likely help to boost visitation rates inside casinos, as well. That’s particularly important at a time like this.

Are you surprised to see that MA’s gaming revenue is holding steady? Do you expect revenue figures to increase over the next few months? Let us know in the comments section below!

Great Reasons to Stay on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas Instead of The Strip

East and West Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas

If you’ve visited Las Vegas before, I’m willing to bet you spent the bulk of your trip staying on Sin City’s iconic Strip. The dazzling array of mega-resort casinos lining Las Vegas Boulevard is certainly this town’s main draw, but it wasn’t always that way. Up until the ‘60s – when a building boom saw sites like Caesars Palace and Circus Circus spring up on The Strip – the beating heart of Las Vegas could be found Downtown.

There, on a short stretch of Fremont Street, entertainers like Frank Sinatra and his “Rat Pack” called casinos like the Golden Nugget, California, and Four Queens home. If you’re planning to visit Las Vegas, here’s four great reasons to ditch The Strip for Downtown.

The Fremont Street Experience Completed a Stunning $32 Million Renovation Project

One of the main reasons visitors shy away from the Downtown district and Fremont Street is the area’s age.

At one point in the ‘80s, with The Strip booming thanks to corporate expansion, Downtown Las Vegas was struggling mightily. The casinos were smaller, the hotel rooms were cramped, and the overall ambience was decidedly “old-school” in all the worst ways.

That all changed in 1994, when civic leaders completed an ambitious renovation project known as the Fremont Street Experience. By blocking off thru traffic along Fremont, and enclosing the five city blocks with a brightly lit “Viva Vision” canopy, the Fremont Street Experience sought to emulate the bright lights, glitz, and glamour of The Strip.

Vintage Fremont Street Photo

The gamble worked too, and Downtown experienced a renaissance during the 90s which injected new blood into the ailing district.

Fast forward to 2019, however, and Downtown was faced with a similar dilemma. The allure of the original Fremont Street Experience had worn off by then, and Downtown was largely defined by its eclectic mix of local street-side entertainers and buskers.

Fortunately, chief executive officer Patrick Hughes had a bold vision for second revitalization project.

By investing $32 million to revamp and refurbish the Viva Vision canopy, the Fremont Street Experience of today is like nothing else you’ve ever seen before. Nearly 50 million LED lights displaying over 16 million pixels combine with a 600,000-watt concert style speaker system to create a guest experience that is unique the world over.

Here’s how Hughes described his plans for the new and improved Viva Vision canopy:

“Sixty-seven percent of our visitors come downtown because of the canopy. It needed a floor-to-ceiling renovation.

The display is seven times brighter, with the resolution quadrupled from what it once was.

The brightness allows us to have the shows run during the day.”

Day and night, visitors are treated to sensory wonders unlike any other in Las Vegas. The canopy’s screens swirl with neon hues, light shows with themes that match the holiday season, and music to suit all tastes.

Open-air pedestrian walkways, easy access to several beautiful casinos, and attractions like the SlotZilla zipline combine to make the revived Fremont Street Experience a must-see event.

Modern Marvels Meet Historical Landmarks

Whenever I’m gambling Downtown, I find myself struck by the dichotomy between Fremont Street’s technological marvels and its deeply rooted history.

Golden Gate Hotel & Casino first opened its doors way back in 1906, and after surviving both Prohibition and Nevada’s brief experiment with gambling criminalization, the old gal still stands to this day. The place isn’t some dusty old museum though, it’s a thriving casino and hotel that still welcomes guests to gamble, drink, and have a blast.

Golden Gate in Downtown Las Vegas

A multimillion-dollar renovation project in 2017 doubled the Golden Gate’s gaming floor, and five years before that, new owner Derek Stevens added a five-story hotel tower. These renovations were carefully designed to update the facility, without sacrificing the Golden Gate’s signature antique look and feel.

Here’s what Stevens told the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the most recent renovation:

“As the Golden Gate opens, this old-meets-new design creates a thrilling nostalgic feel evoking the spirit of the Rat Pack era with the excitement of our modern world.”

To get a sense of the Golden Gate’s longstanding status as the oldest gambling hall in Las Vegas, get this. When work crews knocked down a wall near the old bar, they discovered old whisky bottles bundled up and hidden from the prying eyes of Prohibition-era police.

Golden Gate might be Downtown’s grandfather, but the entire district is brimming with historical attractions. El Cortez opened up back in 1941 during the height of World War II, while the Golden Nugget staked its claim along Fremont Street just five years later.

If you share my appreciation for gambling history, touring the most venerable casinos in America is a great way to spend your next weekend in Sin City.

Stevens’ New Circa Casino Brings a Slice of The Strip to Fremont Street

Speaking of Stevens, the emerging casino impresario has certainly put his stamp on the Downtown district.

Along with his renovation of Golden Gate, Stevens and his brother Greg turned the old Fitzgerald’s casino into The D Casino & Hotel – a hip and happening hotspot that brings in the 20-something crowd.

But the crown jewel of Stevens’ casino empire is the Circa Resort & Casino, a brand new venue in downtown Las Vegas.

Circa Resort and Casino in Las Vegas

Circa boasts a 777-room hotel tower that climbs high above the Downtown skyline, not to mention all the modern amenities Las Vegas visitors have come to expect. Circa is home to the world’s largest sportsbook facility, supplanting the Westgate SuperBook, along with a massive six-tiered swimming pool that puts The Strip’s aquatic attractions to shame.

An avid sports bettor in his own right – he’s known to place $1 million wagers on his hometown Detroit teams from time to time – Stevens designed the Circa Sportsbook to be the world’s best. In a press release hyping Las Vegas’ latest cutting-edge bet shop, Stevens promised fellow sports fans a world-class experience on every level (and I do mean that literally):

“It’ll be the first three-story sportsbook – it’ll have the largest video screens. It will have a television studio for VSiN and audio studios for radio remotes and podcasters and it’ll have the most amount of seating of any sportsbook ever.

It will accommodate around a thousand people with the standing room element. I expect on a great night with – say a World Series game or an NFL Sunday – the roar of the crowd in the sportsbook is going to be unparalleled. It should be a lot of fun for everybody.”

If you want to have it both ways, savoring Downtown’s history while staying in an elite modern casino resort, Circa will be right up your alley.

The Bargains and Value Found Downtown Simply Can’t Be Beat

Before the Fremont Street Experience and Circa brought Downtown into the 21st century, gamblers in the know flocked to Fremont Street for one simple reason – value.

You’ll still find 3-to-2 blackjack tables in all of the Downtown table game pits, the video poker machines here use the premium pay tables, and the penny slots actually spin when you slide an Abe Lincoln down the chute.

Golden Gate Shrimp Cocktail

The savings extend to the dining options as well, as my father and Las Vegas native can attest to. He used to love nothing more than heading down to the Golden Gate to sample the casino’s world famous 99-cent shrimp cocktail.

Paying less than a buck for a glass of prawns might seem like a real gamble, but trust me, this Las Vegas staple is well worth it. The 99-cent shrimp cocktail was phased out for a while, but it recently returned to rave reviews from locals and tourists alike.

If you’re visiting Las Vegas on a budget and the sticker shock of The Strip gets you down, head Downtown to see how it treats its valued guests.

Conclusion

I’m a sucker for nostalgia and the “way things used to be,” so perhaps my love for Fremont Street isn’t for everyone. With that said, if you’ve never been to Downtown Las Vegas before, what are you waiting for?

After all, The Strip will always be waiting a few miles south, so you’re not risking anything by giving Fremont Street a fair shake. Bring a few good buddies, or even the kids – they’ll love Golden Nugget’s “Swim With the Sharks” waterslide attraction – and hit the town like Sinatra and the boys used to. And hey, if you don’t enjoy yourself, send me an email and your next 99-cent shrimp cocktail is on me.

The Most Difficult Parts of Being a Professional Sports Bettor

Frustrated Man With a Money and Sportsbook Background

Making a living through sports gambling seems like a dream come true. Unfortunately, for just about everyone who has ever placed a bet on a sporting event, it’s most likely going to stay that way.

With that being said, despite the difficulties, there are a few among us who have been able to turn their weekend hobby into full-time work. But make no mistake about it, it wasn’t easy.

In this article, I’ll get into the honest accounts that pro sports bettors have given to amateurs throughout when it comes to their profession.

Sports Betting Is Wildly Inconsistent

Imagine if your paycheck was significantly different every week. Now imagine if you actually owed money to your company on a regular basis. That is the financial situation of a professional gambler.

The first step that must be taken before you quit your day job is disqualifying for millions of people who would take up the job of “sports bettor” tomorrow if they could. You must have a very stable financial standing – meaning you’d need to still be able to live and support your family if you didn’t make any money in the first year of your new job.

In all likelihood, there are going to be years where you just don’t win very much money. The hope is that these years will be offset by very lucrative years winning money from sports betting, but that isn’t always the case. The reality is that you just never know how your income is going to look until it hits your bank account.

Ohio Sportsbook

This lack of regularity in terms of payment, and the overall risk of not knowing when (or if) they’ll get a paycheck isn’t for everyone. If you can’t afford to live on no income for a significant amount of time, it’s probably best that you stick to the weekend slate of NFL games and don’t try to bet on sports for a living.

Sports Betting Is More Work Than You’d Think

The majority of amateur sports gamblers make their analysis and picks a few hours before the game. It’s usually the first time they took a deeper look at the numbers, and they rely on some luck in order to grow their sports betting bankroll.

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Professional sports bettors put in a grueling number of hours and consume all the information possible in order to make the right choice…hopefully around 56% of the time. For some gamblers, the sheer amount of time that betting professionally requires is too much. In many cases, it’s actually more time than you’d put in with a regular nine-to-five gig.

Aside from the amount of time it requires, the systems used to help pro bettors make picks are often extremely complex. It’s for this reason that a high percentage of sharps (professional handicapper) have backgrounds in professions like law, advanced mathematics, and other fields that require a high degree of intelligence.

I’m not saying that you aren’t smart enough to become a professional gambler. I’m simply stating the reality, which is most sharps who have been in the game for a while are probably smarter than you.

Luck Is Still Involved

One thing that I’ve always found interesting is that most gamblers associate casino games more with luck than skill, and when it comes to sports betting, it’s thought of as more skill than luck. I would contend that it should be the exact opposite.

If you’re at a casino, each event has a reliable probability assigned to it. Simply put, casino games are all numbers, and you can calculate what the likelihood of an event happening is and make your bet accordingly. Although there are some numbers involved with sports betting, it’s certainly not as reliable.

Roulette Wheel Closeup

Sports, on the other hand, are much less reliable. In some ways this can be an advantage. For example, you might have an instinct on a certain game that turns out to be correct, despite evidence that would suggest otherwise.

It sounds cliché, but it’s necessary to mention that sports betting revolves around a game that has a significant human element to it. Whereas the roulette ball does not care about where it lands, the athletes competing in sporting events have put their entire lives into winning, and this can’t be overlooked.

All of this rambling is to say that there will never be a “right” or “wrong” play from a statistical standpoint. This presents sports bettors with a unique challenge that casino gamblers, for example, don’t have to deal with – taking human nature into the equation.

Because it’s impossible to know exactly how each team and player is feeling, there is a degree of luck involved. The old adage of “they just wanted it more” still has an impact on sporting events, although it will rarely show up on paper. Sports bettors must try to predict the human element – their paychecks depend on it.

It’s a Long-Term Game

I’ll let you in on a secret – the difference between your betting strategy and the betting strategy of professionals is that you’re looking to win the weekend, they’re looking to win long-term.

Sportsbooks know that the vast majority of gamblers aren’t going to have the stomach to take risks because it will put them in a hole. What sharps realize is that over the course of several years (and thousands of bets), risk-tolerance is rewarded.

Betting for value is something that gets overlooked all the time by amateurs. Instead of looking at the money column, they simply want to win the bet. The trick to being profitable in the end is to recognize that your wins should cover your losses, and then some, even if you lose more than you win.

To get a little more specific, this philosophy means taking more moneyline underdogs, hardly ever taking heavy favorites, and spotting those bets that the public seems to under-value. You need to accept that you’ll likely lose more times than you’ll win, but that doesn’t matter if you’re able to hit on a handful of games with longer odds.

Most people aren’t looking to take a long-term approach to sports gambling – and that’s okay. But just know that those who do it for a living couldn’t sustain success any other way.

It’s Extremely Stressful

If you think your job is hard, imagine watching a rookie kicker line up for a 50-yard field goal knowing that whether or not you’ll make any money this week depends on the result.

It sounds fun in theory, but when it’s your actual life circumstance, it’s more stressful than anything else.

When you rely on the performance of other people for your income, anxious feelings can be overwhelming. Whereas in a typical day job you’re the one who determines your success, in sports betting, you can only do so much.

NFL Panthers Kicker

If you look at famous sports bettors, it’s likely they’ve suffered some type of hardship associated with the means by which they made a living. It’s a rollercoaster ride that few can manage for more than a couple years at a time.

A comparison that might help illustrate the point can be seen if you look at the life of someone who makes money investing [read: betting on] in the stock market. The highs and lows, and general unpredictability, leads to high degrees of stress throughout the industry.

With all of that said, there is an undoubtedly addicting nature to the excitement that most people can only imagine.

Conclusion

Quitting your day job in hopes of becoming a professional sports bettor is not something many people can realistically do. Perhaps that’s a good thing.

Instead, sticking to the Saturday and Sunday slate of football games is more than enough excitement. It might not be as high stake, but the mortgage payment isn’t going to get missed if there’s an injury to a key player in the middle of the game.

Insider Tactics for Breakeven Gambling

Tactics Text With a Casino Table Game Background

You might be thinking that you don’t want to break even when you gamble. We get it, you want to win. But take a closer look at your gambling results up to this point. The odds are high that you’re probably losing far more than you win, if you’re being completely honest.

The majority of gamblers would actually be much better off if they learned how to break even. You’re welcome to try to learn how to make money gambling. But first, you really need to learn how to break even. Once you learn how to become a breakeven gambler, you can continue your education and learn how to make a profit.

Here are seven secrets that breakeven gamblers use. You can use one or more of these secrets to start gambling at a breakeven pace.

Basic Blackjack Strategy, Bonuses, Comps, and Coupons

In order to break even, if you don’t use advantage gambling, you have to use a combination of tactics. I cover some advantage play tactics in other sections on this page, but you need to get the hang of the basics first.

Using basic blackjack strategy in blackjack games with good rules, you can gamble with a casino edge of between 0.25% and 0.5%. This is a good range for a casino edge, although it still isn’t going to help you break even in the long run.

Live Dealer Online Blackjack Game

But when you combine this low casino edge with other things that lower or offset the casino edge, you can get closer to break even. Things that help lower or offset the casino edge include online bonuses, comps earned through the players club, as well as coupons and special offers from casinos.

The truth is that it’s extremely hard to reach true breakeven gambling while playing blackjack, even when you use all of these tactics. You usually have to add at least one advantage tactic to truly reach the breakeven point.

Video Poker Strategy, Comps, Coupons, and Bonuses

Video poker breakeven play is similar to blackjack breakeven play. You have to use strategy and the right rules to start with a low house edge. The good news is that information about using the correct video poker strategy and finding the right machines is readily available.

The bad news is that you still have to use bonuses, promotions, coupons, and casino comps to have any chance of reaching a true break even rate of play.

There are a few video poker machines that offer breakeven play using just perfect strategy. But these machines are extremely rare, so you might never find one of them. You’d have to make the effort to hunt it down.

Side View of Video Poker Machine

It’s more likely that you’ll find a Deuces Wild machine with a pay table that has a house edge around 0.25%. You might also be able to find a Jacks or Better machine with a progressive jackpot that has a low casino edge to exploit.

Start by researching the video poker games and pay tables with the lowest casino edge. Then, try to locate where some of these machines are and if there’s one near you. Most importantly, learn how to use perfect strategy when you play.

Then, get all of the coupons, comps, promotions, and bonuses that you can find. This can help you break even while playing video poker. Like blackjack, you’re probably still not going to quite reach a true breakeven point, but you might.

Advantage Poker Play

This is where you start to have a realistic shot at breakeven play, or even make a profit. The thing you need to understand is that most poker players lose, just like most blackjack and video poker players lose.

This tells you that breaking even playing poker isn’t easy. But it’s something that you can learn how to do if you set your mind to it and invest enough time and energy into it.

I can’t teach you everything that you need to know to be an advantage gambler in one section, but I can point you in the right direction.

Here’s a list of things you need to master to play advantage poker:

  • Position
  • Game selection
  • Odds
  • Pot Odds
  • Expected value
  • Bankroll management
  • Starting hand selection
  • Player tendencies

Act as the House (Check the Legality in Your Jurisdiction First)

This isn’t strictly gambling, because casinos aren’t involved in gambling. Sure, casinos offer gambling games. But when a casino is run the right way, they’re not really gambling in any way. The casino has a built-in house edge that they use to make profits and continue their operations.

Notice that I mentioned in the title of this section that this may be illegal where you live. I’m not suggesting that you do anything that will land you in hot water, but if you want to break even or make a profit in the gambling industry, the best place to be is on the side of the operator.

Red Casino Craps Table

Is there a way you can legally offer wagers in your jurisdiction? And if there is, can you do it with the same long-term edge that casinos have? Do you have a big enough bankroll to roll through ups and downs? Consider a few of these factors before you start running your own underground casino.

Handicapping Sports

Sportsbooks are like poker rooms and casinos in some ways. The main way is the fact that they’re set up to make profits. But the way sportsbooks operate also leaves an opportunity for the best sports gamblers to break even or make some money.

They do so because of all of the other gamblers are losing money. But did you know that you can learn how to break even or win?

The skill you need to develop for sports betting is called “handicapping.” Sports handicapping is the process of evaluating games and lines to find profitable wagering opportunities. This isn’t an easy skill to develop, but with the right instruction and enough experience, you can learn enough to break even in the long run.

So, how long does it take to develop winning handicapping skills? The time varies, depending on how much you already know and how quickly you learn. But it can take hundreds of hours or more. So, this isn’t for the lazy bettor or the faint of heart.

Horse Racing Handicapping

Horse racing handicapping is somewhat similar to sporting event handicapping. But instead of evaluating sports teams, you’re evaluating horses and jockeys.

The betting system is also different in horse racing in comparison to the system used by sportsbooks, but it still leaves room for a smart handicapper to make money.

Jockey and His Race Horse

If you’re not a fan of horse racing, you should probably skip this tactic. But if you do enjoy horse racing, you should start learning more about how to handicap horse races.

Start by learning how pari-mutuel racing and gambling works. Then, start looking at past results and try to understand how they can predict future results. This isn’t a perfect science, but you can learn how to pick enough horses to finish in the money to make some long-term profits, or at least break even.

Blackjack Advantage Play

In the first section, you learned about how to play close to breakeven using blackjack. And you should continue using everything you learned in that section. But now, you’re going to learn about advantage plays that can take you beyond breaking even and straight into making profits.

The easiest blackjack advantage play is known as card counting. You can use a simple counting system to break even, and you can use a slightly more advanced counting system to make a profit. I highly recommend that every blackjack player learn more about counting cards.

Another form of advantage play is learning how to spot the value of cards when the blackjack dealer is dealing. Often called “hole carding,” this is an advanced technique that’s quite hard to do. But the advantage of knowing the value of a face down card is quite profitable.

The last two blackjack advantage techniques you need to be aware of are shuffle tracking and ace sequencing. These are also advanced techniques that are hard to do. But if you know how to count cards, you can see about adding these tools to your arsenal.

Conclusion

Breaking even when you gamble doesn’t seem like a great goal, but when you realize how much most gamblers lose, then breaking even starts to sound a whole lot better. When you learn the secrets on this page and start gambling at a breakeven pace, you can start investigating the many different ways to start making a profit while gambling.

As you learned in this article, you have to concentrate on a narrow set of activities. You can’t afford to play games that don’t have any realistic chance of breaking even.

Pick one of the tactics on this page and master it. Then, add a second tactic. Keep learning until you can break even while gambling using a wide range of activities and strategies.

When Will the Casinos in Las Vegas Return to Normal?

Las Vegas Sign and the Paris Las Vegas Casino Hotel

Most of the casinos in Las Vegas reopened to the public back in June. These venues look significantly different than they did back in 2019, though. Today, we’re going to talk about when the casinos in Las Vegas will return to normal.

Many analysts seem torn on this subject. Some believe it’s time to loosen restrictions to help promote tourism. Others feel safety measures inside casinos should be ramped up.

Let’s look at what is happening right now.

Nevada’s Gaming Revenue Falls Again in August

For months, gaming experts have been analyzing the revenue reports released in Nevada. This state remains the biggest gambling destination in the world and is home to a massive number of different casinos. Unfortunately, these casinos have been earning considerably less this year.

It’s not surprising, though. Tourism rates remain very low in the city. Most people around the country are simply unwilling to travel at a time like this. Casinos are seeing their visitation rates drop dramatically.

Each of these casinos is responding differently to this situation. Some have been forced to permanently close down. The Encore Las Vegas, owned by Wynn Resorts, recently announced that it will now close for three days a week due to a drop in guests.

Not long ago, news broke that Nevada’s gaming revenue for the month of August dropped by 22.1%. The casinos in the state reported earnings of $743 million. It’s a major drop from the $954 million earned in August of 2019.

All of Nevada’s casinos are implementing intense safety regulations right now. That includes requiring masks and limiting players at slots and table games. Many are now asking when these casinos will start returning to normal.

It’s obviously a complicated issue. This week, a prominent gaming analyst spoke about what he expects for Las Vegas’ casino industry.

Michael Gaughan Comments on the Future of Casinos in Las Vegas

Casino destinations around the world have been affected by the regulations set in place this year. Some areas are starting to recover significantly, yet others are still struggling to attract players. Las Vegas continues to see revenue drops and many gaming officials here feel it’s time to lift certain restrictions.

This week, Micheal Gaughan spoke to the media about the future of casinos in Las Vegas. Gaughan owns and operates a popular gambling venue in the city. Interestingly, he believes it will take years before things truly return to normal.

“I’ve been here since 1952 and this is probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to (Las Vegas),” Gaughan said. “I don’t think it can get any worse. Hopefully, by the end of March or April, this will be over… Strip hotels will have their work cut out for them. I do think that by the start of 2022, we should be back to completely normal. I just hope Las Vegas can get back to where it was. Everybody is trying to survive and keep as many working as they can.”

This prediction doesn’t seem far-fetched. No one really knows how things will look six months from now. There’s a chance that even more cases of Covid-19 will be popping up and regulations will become more intense.

Gaughan is one of many casino owners in Nevada taking a financial hit right now. It’s an extremely difficult situation, and one that won’t be fixed overnight. Only time will tell if his prediction that casinos in Las Vegas will return to normal in 2022 turns out to be correct.

Many are still choosing to avoid playing inside land-based casinos. Fortunately, there are some fantastic online options currently available.

Here Are the Best US Online Casino Sites for 2020

It’s clear that casino companies are suffering right now. Some are getting some much-needed relief from their sports betting operations. It will take time for these properties to truly return to normal, though.

In the meantime, many gambling fans around the country are now flocking to different online casino sites to play their favorite games. The majority of these sites are great and offer a massive range of casino options. They usually only take a few minutes to sign-up to, as well!

Our team loves Bovada. It’s one of the most popular online gambling sites in the world and provides members with both casino games and sports gambling odds. Bovada even offers live dealer games to make it feel as if you’re playing inside an actual casino!

Las Atlantis Casino is another great casino website. It’s fairly new in the industry, yet already has a massive fan base around the country. We love the design and promotions that this site offers to its players.

For now, playing at online casino sites might be the best choice. It will be a while before the casinos in Las Vegas return to the way they were in 2019. Hope is that it happens a little sooner than some analysts are predicting.

Do you plan on gambling in Las Vegas anytime soon? When do you think the casinos will return to normal here? Let us know in the comments section below!

Simple Ways to Stay Clean, Healthy, and Safe Whenever You Gamble at a Casino

Hand Sanitizer and Casino Poker Image

Even in the best of times, spending an extended period of time in any casino exposes one to bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other germs spread by close contact. From the felt underneath your fingertips to the chips in the palm of your hand, surfaces inside a crowded casino tend to accumulate all sorts of muck and grime.

Thankfully, casino operators are taking additional steps toward sanitization, but you can still do your part to protect yourself. Whether you’re worried about the arrival of flu season, or you simply want to stay clean and safe while playing, here are six simple methods to make it happen.

Use Hand Sanitizer to Clean Your Hands After Touching Chips

Back in 2007, when every gambler and their mother could be found playing real money poker, Bluff magazine commissioned a unique study on germs in the casino.

Specifically, the Bluff team wanted to know what sort of harmful microorganisms could be found on the average poker chip. The magazine connected with microbiologist Brian Hedlund from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), who then secured several chips from various poker rooms around Sin City.

After swabbing the samples and letting the life forms found incubate for a few days, Hedlund reported startling results. According to his analysis, the average chip you use to place bets contains 3,000 unique microorganisms, while one particularly disgusting chip maxed out at over 5,000.

Poker Chips From Montreal

These germs ranged from the relatively harmless to dangerous microorganisms like staphylococcus and bacillus cereus, which cause staph infections and food poisoning, respectively. Hedlund’s team even identified the pathogen responsible for antibiotic resistant staph infections known as MRSA.

Before you give up on casino gambling forever, Hedlund did advise hesitant players to remember that these germs are already everywhere. As he put it in the Bluff report, your hands naturally hold hundreds of millions of microorganisms which are naturally occurring and largely harmless.

Nonetheless, adding certain germs to your hands’ existing petri dish isn’t exactly a great idea nowadays…

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The smart play is to stock up on alcohol-based hand sanitizer before you head out to play table games or poker. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should check the label to confirm your sanitizer has either 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.

These percentages, combined with regular use and a 30-second scrub, ensure any germs you absorb from casino chips are dead on arrival.

The key with chip transmission prevention is to stay vigilant and avoid complacency. Sanitize your hands after initially buying chips, then do it again every 15 minutes or so as you enjoy the game. To wrap things up, use hot water and antibacterial soap for a final handwash once you’re back home or in the hotel room.

Clip Your Fingernails and Keep Them Short Throughout the Trip

Spend enough time playing casino table games and you’ll inevitably notice that the ends of your fingernails have changed color from clear to black.

This happens when you pick up chips, cards, or dice from a felted table over and over again. As you do, your fingernails scrape along the surface of the felt and drag all sorts of gunk along with them. For the most part, this debris contains tiny pieces of lint that the felt leaves behind after wear and tear.

Based on what we know about the cleanliness of casino chips, you can bet stuff like dead skin particles, food crumbs, cigarette ashes, and plain old dirt are embedded in casino tables, too.

I hate having to clean my fingernails after a long session on the tables, so I take the preventative step by clipping them nice and short before I play my first hand. The shorter, the better in my book!

Lately, I’ve been in the habit of clipping my nails before and after a table game session. That way, whatever dirt does manage to accumulate promptly ends up in the waste bin.

Use Sanitizing Wipes for Slot and Video Poker Machines

If chips are the dirtiest surface you can find at a casino, the screens and buttons found on gaming machines are the clear runner-up.

On any given day, hundreds of people will sit down at a machine to try their luck. And every last one of these people uses their fingertips to tap the screen or press buttons while they play.

Player View of Video Poker Bar Game

The casinos are supposed to be sanitizing machine surfaces with regularity these days, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. When you have a few packs of alcohol-based sanitizing wipes in your bag, you can easily take a few moments to scrub your machine down.

Make sure to hit the screen, the buttons, the pull lever, and the slot where bills or players club cards are deposited. Let the sanitizer do its work and dry up for a minute or so, then feel free to sit back and enjoy your favorite machine free from worry.

Always Use a Straw for Drinks

Enjoying a nice beverage while you gamble it up is a time-honored tradition on the casino floor.

You might be sipping on a latte from Starbucks, a cold beer from the sports bar, or a Jack and Coke delivered by the cocktail waitress. But drinking and playing go hand in hand. Rather than press your lips to the cup or glass, however, it’s best to use a straw to form a buffer zone of sorts.

After all, you don’t know how well that glass was washed or if somebody else has had their mouth on it recently. Knowing this, a straw offers a surefire way of avoiding any secondhand contact that can spread germs.

Fortunately, cocktail servers in any land based casino worth its salt will have their trays stocked up with straws. Even better, I recommend bringing your own personal metal straw along to cut out the middleman.

Steer Clear of Smoke

I’ve always adopted this tactic when I walk around the casino because I hate the smell of cigarette and cigar smoke.

But in light of what we’ve learned about the flu and other airborne transmission, avoiding any lingering smoke is simply common sense. Secondhand smoke is dangerous in its own right, so when exhaled germs are factored in, areas with heavy smoke can become one of the dirtiest places in any casino.

Wear a Cloth Mask Whenever You’re Close to Other People

Back in the day, wearing a mask within the casino was considered a definite no-no. Gaming regulations prevented gamblers from covering their faces, as doing so essentially erased the impact of that ever present “eye in the sky.”

People Playing Roulette Wearing Masks

Those days are over though, and the next time you enter a casino, you’ll likely be asked to wear a simple cloth mask just to cover your nose and mouth. Listen, I get it… Masks can be uncomfortable and unwieldy while you’re playing, especially during the stifling summer months in Las Vegas.

Even so, they’re one of the easiest ways to avoid catching the flu and other infectious diseases. If staying clean and safe is a priority for you, adding a mask to your gambling gear is a no-brainer.

Conclusion

Staying healthy when gambling has never been more important, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite casino altogether. Between the additional steps taken by operators to protect guests, and the helpful tips found above, anybody can navigate the casino floor without worrying about catching the flu or some other illness.

Washing your hands after handling chips and scrubbing down slot machines may seem like a burden at first, but you’ll adjust to the habit in no time flat. And when everybody adds these preventative measures to their casino routine, the whole place becomes cleaner and safer as a result.

7 Reasons Gambling Online is Better than Gambling In Person

Laptop and Coffee With an Online Slots Background

Online betting continues to see a rise in legalization and subsequent popularity. While states seem primed to continue legalizing online gambling, you might think to yourself: which type of gambling is superior?

Brick and mortar casinos are known to be the more traditional type of gambling. Online gambling detractors claim that betting on a computer shouldn’t even be in the same conversation as gambling at a casino. But, fans of online casinos tend to disagree wholeheartedly.

Each type of gambling has its benefits and drawbacks. But, as we continue to advance through the age of the internet, online gambling continues to innovate and improve. Here are seven reasons that make online gambling a better option than gambling in person.

1 ‒ It’s More Accessible

Let me preface this point by saying that gambling should always be done in moderation. That’s especially true if you have experienced issues with bankroll management or gambling addiction in the past. If you’re a responsible gambler, then there’s really no contest between online and brick and mortar when it comes to ease of access.

If you’re not lucky enough to live within driving distance of a casino, then gambling at a casino isn’t practical. Even if you can’t get the full casino experience when you’re gambling online, something is better than nothing. As I said earlier, online casinos continue to improve and have made the gambling experience much more enjoyable.

Gambling online is much easier than gambling in person. Say it’s a Friday night and you’re in the mood to gamble. You just finished a long week of work and live two hours away from the nearest casino. What sounds better, driving four hours round-trip to gamble, or opening up your laptop? When it comes to accessibility, online casinos prevail without a doubt.

2 ‒ There’s a Better Variety of Games

Most real money online casinos offer a wide variety of the most popular casino table games. However, the same cannot be said for in-person casinos. If you’ve gambled for an extended period there’s a good chance you’ve gone to a casino only to be unable to locate a table. That problem doesn’t exist in online casinos.

Online Table Game Selection

It can be nearly impossible to find a seat at a blackjack table or a spot at the craps tables during peak times. But, online, there are seemingly endless options to satisfy any type of gambler. Additionally, if you’re a fan of a particular style of game, there’s a chance brick and mortar casinos won’t offer it.

3 ‒ There are Several Casinos to Choose From

The disappointment of travelling to a casino only to find out it’s not worth your time is soul crushing. Most gamblers don’t have the luxury of bouncing from casino to casino to find one that works for them. But, online, gamblers can do just that.

When it comes to selecting an online casino, gamblers have the luxury of being able to take a virtual tour to make sure it’s worth depositing. The same can’t necessarily be said for traditional casinos. Even if you swing and miss on an online casino, you can simply withdraw your money and try another one.

As it stands, there are a number of reputable, quality online casinos that are well reviewed. There are only a handful of gambling cities in the United States that provide gamblers the luxury of being picky when selecting a casino.

4 ‒ You Can Gamble From Home

One of my favorite things to do on a weekend morning is to roll out of bed, make some coffee, and start betting. If I wanted to do some in-person gambling. I would have to get in my car and drive for four hours. I’m sure other gamblers are in similar positions.

I’ll admit that the gambling experience at home is not the same as gambling in a casino. There’s nothing quite like walking through the floors of a casino and getting lost in all the bustling activity. But, at some point, you have to weigh the potential benefits of going to a traditional casino compared to staying home.

Live Dealer Roulette Game

Gambling from home is more convenient, and some gamblers will most likely feel more comfortable gambling from home. For newer gamblers, that feeling of comfort can make the difference between winning and losing money. You don’t need to feel self-conscious gambling from home, and the promise of anonymity is something that appeals to more introverted gamblers.

5 ‒ Bet Sizes Are More Fluid

Something that certain gamblers can’t stand about traditional casinos is the rigid table minimums and maximums. New gamblers who simply want to play the games without spending an arm and a leg might be forced to stick to slot machines. To some, $5-$10 a hand might not seem like a lot of money. But for inexperienced gamblers who are relatively clueless, that could make for an expensive trip.

Casinos are expensive to operate, hence the table minimums. Casinos must pay dealers, security, waitresses, custodians, and a slew of other employees. But, online casinos can be much cheaper to operate. Because of this, it can be much cheaper to gamble online.

Regardless of your financial situation, there are plenty of options when gambling online. That means gamblers don’t need to feel stressed about betting outside of their comfort levels. Sometimes it can be challenging to find an affordable table at a casino, but the same isn’t true online.

6 ‒ You Don’t Have to Deal With Other Gamblers

Most gamblers are good people who I thoroughly enjoy gambling alongside. But, when I first started gambling, I didn’t feel the same way. Some bettors might feel self-conscious for a number of reasons. But, it’s much less stressful to bet on a computer screen with other anonymous gamblers.

Occasionally, you might run into another gambler who gets under your skin. Whether this person is too drunk, loud, obnoxious, or just plain rude, there are gamblers out there who are pests. While they aren’t common, necessarily, interacting with them can quickly ruin a trip to the casino.

Megaways Online Slots Game

These types of interactions are seemingly nonexistent when gambling online. Interpersonal interactions can sometimes be the best part of going to casinos. But, they can also be some of the worst. By gambling from home, you’re limiting your chances of running into any kind of degenerative gamblers.

7 ‒ It’s Safer

The United States is still in the midst of dealing with the pandemic and masks are required in many major businesses, including casinos. For those of you who feel unsafe with the current situation, staying at home to gamble is a no brainer.

If you’ve been to a casino since the end of a national quarantine, you’re aware of how casinos are operating. Brick and mortar casinos just don’t feel the same, and it’s hard to know when they will bounce back to normal. Until then, more of you might feel inclined to transition to primarily gambling online.

As I mentioned in a previous point, you should always feel comfortable when you’re gambling. Constantly looking over your shoulder and worrying will impact your gambling abilities. By choosing an online casino, you can kiss those fears goodbye and focus on making money.

Conclusion

Gambling online and in-person both have their pros and cons. As it stands, technology makes it impossible to get an authentic “casino experience” online. Maybe one day we’ll get there as a society, but we aren’t there yet.

Online casinos do have their advantages, though, and are superior in many ways. The most obvious reason is that they’re much easier to access. Instead of driving to a casino, you can log onto your computer and start betting. Also, there are typically more games offered online than in person.

Regardless of your financial situation, most online can be affordable, whereas certain gamblers might be priced out of traditional casinos. The promise of anonymity and lack of interaction with pesky gamblers also make gambling online a better option for introverts. Finally, online casinos are safer. Until the COVID-19 situation is resolved, online gambling might be the best option available.

New Jersey Breaks Own Mark With $748M in Sports Bets Made in September 2020

Odds Board and Money
September was another record-breaking month for the Garden State. After shattering the all-time high for the total number of sports bet taken during a month for a US state, New Jersey eclipsed the mark for the second consecutive month.

Last month, New Jersey shattered the United States record with a total betting handle of $668M for the month of August 2020. That number topped the Garden State’s previous mark of $562.7M which it set in November 2019. The August 2020 figures of New Jersey sports betting also topped the national standard of $614.1M which was set by Nevada in November 2019.

Return of Professional Sports Leagues

On Thursday, figures released from the New Jersey Division of Gaming enforcement revealed that the state raked in an aggregate of $748M in sports bets for September 2020. That’s easily $80M better than the previous month’s totals and represents a 12.1% increase from the August numbers. More impressively, New Jersey sports betting total handle for September 2020 was 68% higher than the September 2019 mark of $445M.

The record-breaking numbers were fueled by the return of America’s major professional sports leagues after their forced shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Major League baseball resumed its season on July 23 while the NBA restarted its campaign on July 31st. Meanwhile, the NHL also returned to the ice on August 1st. The NFL opened its 2020 season on September 10th and that is one of the main reasons why last month’s figures were even higher.

New Jersey Has Overtaken Nevada

New Jersey took the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 to court in 2018, winning the case in May of the following year with the U.S. Supreme Court repealing the PASPA and allowing the 50 states to created their own legislation allowing legal sports betting. New Jersey was the third state behind Nevada and Delaware to legalize sports betting. Now it has overtaken Nevada sports betting with the highest and second-highest bet taking months in U.S. legal sports betting history.

So far New Jersey sports betting has taken a total of $3.2B in sports bets for the year 2020 and the state has generated a total of $223.1M in revenues off those bets. The September figures from the states of Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Nevada have not yet been reported. Some experts believe that once the numbers of those three states are in, the total sports betting handle in the United States for the month of September 2020 could reach $3B for the first time ever.

7 Steps to Developing a Good Strategy as a New Poker Player

Strategy Spelled With Blocks With a Poker Background

Learning how to play poker is a breeze. But learning how to play quality poker and win money is another story entirely. The process of becoming a competent poker player requires a few things from gamblers. The most important of those elements is a sound, effective strategy.

Unlike other casino games like blackjack, poker strategy can vary between players. As you continue to advance and improve as a player, you’ll most likely come across various strategic approaches to the game. Some people argue that one type of strategy is superior to others. I tend to disagree. As long as a strategy works for you, it can be as effective as any other type.

Strategy will come through time and continuous play. To help find one that works for you, here are six steps to develop a sound strategy as a real money poker player.

1 ‒ Understand the Rules of the Game

The first thing any aspiring poker player needs to do is learn how to play the game in question. There are several varieties of poker available to gamblers, and it’s on you to decide which one to play. There’s no right answer when it comes to selecting a style of poker. But it’s worth mentioning that Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud are the most popular.

As I said in the introduction, learning to play poker isn’t complicated. Most games are somewhat similar to each other, and the rules will begin to make sense over time. The intricacies of the game can be more complex. For example, table position is something that intermediate poker players can still struggle with.

Poker Dealer Dealing Cards

Once you have a solid base of information to rely on, your development should be rapid. The learning process never stops, so don’t become complacent once you learn the rules. You should always strive to improve your poker game if you want to eventually become a winning player.

2 ‒ Figure Out Your Personality Type

When you first start playing, more experienced players will be able to detect your inexperience. That’s why it’s crucial to play according to your strengths. When developing a strategy, it’s important to model it off of your personality. If you’re more passive, then you should consider developing a passive style of play.

If you consider yourself more extroverted or aggressive, you can also be more aggressive at the tables. Having said that, it’s important to toe the line between being too passive and too aggressive at the tables.

Unless you are capable of masking your poker tells, playing according to your personality will help you in the long run. Savvy veterans will most likely be able to detect your style of play at some point. If you’re fluctuating in and out of your artificial in-game personality, other players might be able to eat you alive. You need to be relaxed and comfortable during a game of poker. So, do whatever you can to make that a reality.

3 ‒ Find Out If You Can Bluff

I hate when beginners try to implement bluffing into their game. Most new players are terrible at bluffing or don’t know when it’s appropriate to try to bluff. But when done correctly, bluffing can be a great tool to possess.

The easiest way to find out if you can bluff well is to ask if you’re a good liar. If you can lie effectively, you’ll most likely be a good bluffer. If you can’t keep a straight face, you’re going to struggle. For those of you who don’t think it’s a realistic possibility, don’t worry. There are other ways to win at poker than bluffing.

California Poker Game Table

A skill that’s even more important than bluffing is being able to spot someone who is bluffing. This is a skill that will translate to major wins at some point during your poker career. As you continue to develop, you should train yourself to spot other players’ tells. If you’re playing with other beginners, that shouldn’t be too hard. Like I said, beginners are typically horrible at bluffing.

4 ‒ Try Different In-Game Tactics

There are several different styles of play available for use. Each style has a variety of methods and in-game tactics that comprise a base strategy. One of the best ways to find a useful technique is to model it after a proven style of play.

When you’re deciding how you should approach a particular game of poker, there are a few things you should consider. Most importantly, that’s whether you should be passive or aggressive. Most players fall into four different categories: loose-passive, tight-passive, loose-aggressive, or tight-aggressive.

Each basic style has its benefits and pitfalls. When you’re first starting to play, consider adopting a style that is most comparable to tight-aggressive. This means you’ll only play around 20% of your hands, but you’ll play them aggressively.

5 ‒ Be Patient

It seems commonplace that gamblers will breeze through the learning process before becoming dejected. That’s because they often plateau after figuring out how to play the game. Wins will come eventually, but poker is incredibly challenging.

A problem that arises with new gamblers is that they are unable to keep their expectations grounded. New poker players who have experience gambling think they have a good shot of winning money playing poker. This ideology comes from spending time playing table games like blackjack and craps.

The difference between casino table games and poker is that you’re playing against other gamblers instead of the house. While the average poker player isn’t necessarily worthy of a spot in the World Series of Poker, experience usually prevails. This is especially true when they’re playing against beginners.

If you find yourself getting frustrated early on, make sure to stay the course and be patient. As I said earlier, the learning process never stops and the only way to fight through plateaus is to press on.

6 ‒ Practice Makes Perfect

You can do all the reading in the world to help you get better at poker. But the best way to see rapid growth and development is to practice playing poker. Earlier, I mentioned the most common varieties of poker. It’s essential to select a popular game, so you have people to play.

If you select a less popular form of poker, you’ll be relegated to playing online exclusively. I see no issue with trying to hone your skills online. That might be the best way to figure out how the game is played. But in-person poker is the best version for a variety of reasons.

WSOP.Com Online Poker Game

First of all, sitting in front of a computer screen takes away half the fun of poker. In-person poker forces you to react to other players’ bets, tactics, and peculiarities in real-time. There’s no way of knowing if someone is bluffing online. But, in person, you might be able to detect a tick or a tell.

An additional benefit of playing in person is that you’ll come into your own as a player. Before you even think of playing for real money, it’s crucial to play several low-stakes games. As I said earlier, more experienced players will pick up on your lack of play and tear you to shreds. Whatever method you choose, practicing might be the most important and effective way to develop a good poker strategy.

Conclusion

If you’re thinking about getting serious about poker, you’ve made a great decision. Poker is one of the most exciting and popular types of games amongst gamblers. Unlike other games at the casino, though, you’re going to be competing against other bettors. This has its pros and cons.

While winning a poker tournament can be incredibly profitable, putting yourself in a position to win is an uphill battle. To do this, new players must develop a strategy that works for them. Before you go any further, make sure you know the rules inside and out. You must understand the basic rules, the flow of the game, and table position.

As you try to settle into an effective strategy, consider playing according to your personality type. It will make your development as a player more streamlined and improve your chances of winning. Decide if you’re capable of bluffing, but don’t use that as a crutch as you continue to play. Better and more experienced gamblers will most likely be able to spot your bluff from a mile away.

Try to be patient as you grow as a player. Gambling is hard, and there’s no reason to get discouraged too early. Finally, the best way to excel with your new strategy is to practice as much as possible. Before you sit down to play for serious money, make sure to play in a casual setting so you’ll feel more comfortable with your style of play.

5 Ways to Avoid Humiliating Yourself While Playing Video Poker

Man Hiding His Face With a Video Poker Background

Video poker is usually a solo game. Unless you enter a tournament, it’s just you and the game you’re playing. This means that the possibility of being embarrassed is rather low. But this doesn’t mean you can’t make mistakes that cost you money.

But you can follow a few simple steps to help you avoid making mistakes while playing video poker and losing more money than you need to. A few simple steps include learning about the games and options before you play and locating and using the best strategy for every game you play.

Here are five ways you can avoid making video poker mistakes and feeling embarrassed when you play.

1 – Understand the Game Variant Before Playing

The most important thing you can do as a real money video poker player is learn everything you can about a game before you play the first hand. This is much easier to do today than it was when I first started playing video poker.

Before the internet became popular, it was hard to access good information about video poker machines. Only a few books existed, and most of them were poor at best. Now, you can access everything you need to know about every type of video poker machine on your computer or phone in just a few minutes.

The problem now is that there are too many video poker game options and possibly too much information. It takes a long time to learn about all of the video poker game variations.

Video Poker Game Select Screen

Fortunately, you don’t need to learn about all of the possibilities. You just need to learn about the game variations that you’re going to play.

I know just about everything there is to know about three types of video poker machines. It’s taken a long time to learn everything that I know, but I can usually find at least one good machine in a casino from these three types of machines. I recommend learning about these variations of video poker.

The three games I see often are:

  • Pick’em Poker
  • Deuces Wild
  • Jacks or Better

I don’t play any other video poker machines because I haven’t had the chance to really study them. And once you learn a few things, the rest is pretty simple.

The important things to know are which pay tables give you the best chance to win and what the best strategy is for each individual game. I cover strategy more in the next section.

If you have to pick one variation of video poker to start with, I recommend Jacks or Better. Deuces Wild is a good game, but the strategy for it isn’t as simple as Jacks or Better, and I find it easier to find decent Jacks or Better machines than Deuces Wild machines.

Pick’em Poker has a simple strategy and a low house edge, but it’s harder to find these machines than Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild.

2 – Use Strategy or Don’t Play

Video poker machines are like other gambling options in casinos. They’re designed to entertain gamblers while taking their money. But video poker machines have a feature that you don’t find with slot machines.

You can actually use strategy when you play video poker machines. When you use video poker strategy correctly, you influence the outcome of the game. To be clear, it’s almost impossible to use strategy well enough to completely overcome the edge the casino has.

But you can reduce the casino edge quite a bit using strategy. However, there’s a simple step you have to do first before you use strategy when you play video poker.

In the first section, I explained why you need to know as much as you can about video poker games and machines before you start playing. The most important thing you need to learn is about pay tables.

Each video poker machine is made with a range of pay tables. Each pay table dictates the edge the casino has. While you can influence the edge of the casino using strategy, the only way to play with the lowest possible casino edge is to start with a machine with a good pay table.

Once you identify the best pay table for the variation of video poker you want to play and find a machine with this pay table, the next step is to learn how to use the best strategy.

When you do your research like I described in the first section, you’re going to find strategy charts for popular video poker machines. You need to memorize the best strategy for the video poker games you play or carry a video poker strategy card for your games.

If you don’t find video poker machines with good pay tables and use a strategy card, you shouldn’t play.

3 – Exploit Online and Mobile Opportunities

Another thing that has changed since I started playing video poker is the availability of playing online or on a mobile device. This not only makes playing easier, it also makes it much easier to find online video poker machines with the right pay tables and easier to find machines with the coin size I’m looking for.

I rarely play video poker in a live casino anymore because I can quickly log in and play a machine with a good pay table at an online casino.

Online Video Poker Screenshot

You can practice using strategy for free at most online casinos so you don’t have to pay for your mistakes. It’s easy to memorize your video poker strategy card by playing for free online. Just use your strategy card for every play until you don’t need to use it anymore. You can have all of the basic plays down in an hour or less. And with a few more hours of practice, most gamblers can have the entire strategy memorized.

The other thing that online video poker offers is the availability of bonuses. Not every online and mobile casino offers video poker bonuses, but some of them do.

4 – Small Coin Size and Maximum Coin Wager

The best strategy for most gambling games is to risk as little as possible. This means making the lowest bet no matter what. But video poker is slightly different.

You do want to find the video poker machines that have the lowest coin size that also have the best pay tables. But instead of wagering the lowest number of coins, you always want to risk the maximum number of coins. This is almost always a five-coin wager.

If you don’t make a maximum wager on a video poker machine, you miss out on a higher payout when you win a top hand. The difference between the extra payout and not getting it influences the casino house edge a great deal.

The best video poker machines are ones with a small coin size, as low as .05 online, and good pay tables. A five-coin wager on a .05 machine is a total wager of only .25. The smallest coin amount in most live casinos is .25, for a total wager of $1.25.

This is another reason why I recommend online video poker play.

5 – Find a Video Poker Tournament

So far, everything I’ve covered deals with playing video poker in a traditional way. You can play as much or as little as you want. But the danger in playing this way is your losses aren’t really limited. The only way to control your losses is by stopping play when you lose a certain amount.

However, this isn’t the only way you can play video poker. You can enter a video poker tournament.

Game King Video Poker Machine

When you enter a video poker tournament, you pay a set fee and have a chance to win a cash prize depending on how well you play over a set period of time. A video poker tournament is a good way to play the game for a set fee.

Video poker tournaments aren’t always easy to find. Ask around at the casinos you regularly play at and look for online video poker tournaments.

Conclusion

A little bit of research before you play video poker goes a long way towards avoiding video poker mistakes. Develop a plan before you start playing and you’re going to be more prepared than the majority of other video poker players.

You can join a video poker tournament to play a minimum number of hands for a set fee. This limits your losses while giving you a chance to get lucky and win a nice prize amount. You can also find and exploit online video poker opportunities if you know what to look for.

Finally, find low coin size machines so you can afford to play with the maximum number of coins on every hand.

Lucky Gambler Hits Massive Jackpot at Hard Rock Atlantic City

Casino Slot Machines, Hard Rock Atlantic City Logo

New Jersey’s casino industry is gradually improving as the months go on. Many are now heading to the casinos in Atlantic City to test their luck at the slots and table games. Today, news broke of one lucky player hitting a massive jackpot at Hard Rock Atlantic City.

This is likely one of the biggest casino jackpots hit in New Jersey this year. Today, we’ll take a look at how it was won. We’ll also talk about how Atlantic City is faring so far this year.

Let’s get into it!

Online Casino Gambling Grows More Popular Around the US

The US casino industry remains in a difficult position. Most casinos in the country are now open, yet many are seeing massive revenue losses this year. Certain states are faring better than others, though.

It’s no surprise that most are focused on the success of Nevada. This state remains the biggest gambling destination in the world. Cities like Las Vegas are now working hard to attract new players, yet tourism rates and casino revenue remains far lower this year than it was in 2019.

Some states’ casino industries are doing great, though. Colorado reopened its casinos back in May. Some that time, revenue from the industry has increased with each passing month. Sports betting revenue is surging here, too.

All land-based casinos are hurting right now. Interestingly, the popularity of online casino gambling sites has been surfing this year. It seems that many people now prefer to make their wagers from home, rather than inside a crowded casino.

There are a huge number of great internet casino platforms now available throughout the country. Several states are now pushing to regulate this industry. A few already do and are earning a huge amount of revenue each month.

Land-based casinos are doing everything they can to bring in more players. This week, one of the most popular casino-resorts in Atlantic City announced a huge jackpot winner.

New Jersey Resident Wins Huge Jackpot at Hard Rock Atlantic City

For the past few years, Atlantic City has grown to become one of the biggest and best casino destinations in the United States. The legalization of sports betting here seems to have brought new life to the city. Tourism started booming here and many casinos underwent major renovations.

There are many popular gambling venues in this city. There’s no doubt that the Hard Rock Atlantic City is one of the biggest and best. It was originally opened as the Trump Taj Mahal, but was converted to the Hard Rock brand in 2018.

This venue has been open for months and is seeing a steady increase in players. One lucky gambler from South New Jersey has just hit a massive $1.3 million jackpot while playing Texas Hold’em inside this casino. This gambler, named James, spoke about the win to the media this week.

“It is surreal to have hit a $1.3 million jackpot, especially because playing cards is a little different than laying pipe,” James said. “We plan to take care of our family, put money away for our kids and my wife deserves a nice trip.” 

This jackpot was one of several earned at the Hard Rock Atlantic City this week. These types of jackpots are likely to entice new gamblers. Hope is that other casino-resorts in the city begin seeing a surge in new players soon, as well.

Unfortunately, some analysts predict that winter will prove to be extremely difficult for the casinos here.

What to Expect in Atlantic City Over the Next Few Months

For months, health experts around the country have been warning that this winter will be one of the toughest in recent memory. Most expect to see a massive surge in Covid-19 cases. That could result in many cities and states being forced to shut down again.

Another shutdown would be devastating to casino companies. Many seem to be barely hanging on as it is. Officials in Atlantic City believe things will be tough this winter, yet don’t expect the type of shutdown seen this summer.

Las Vegas would be hit hard from another casino shutdown, as well. Casinos here are still seeing major dips in revenue and it’s unclear when things will return to normal. Several casinos here are being forced to close permanently.

Even the major casino-resorts are being impacted. Earlier this week, Wynn Resorts announced that the Encore Las Vegas would now only open for four days a week. This rule will remain in place until tourism rates increase in the city.

Now might be the perfect time to visit these gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. No one knows how things will look in the future. One lucky gambler just earned a huge jackpot at Hard Rock Atlantic City and you might be next!

Do you plan on gambling in Atlantic City this fall? Which casino do you plan on visiting? Let us know in the comments section below!

The California Casino Scene

California State Image With a Casino Background

When I think of states with a lot of casinos or a lot of gambling, California isn’t the first one to come to mind. In my mind, people from California who want to gamble usually go to Nevada to visit Las Vegas.

But, as it turns out, the California casino scene is poppin’. You can find over 60 different casinos throughout the state.

In this post, I provide an overview of what the California gambling scene is really like.

An Overview of the California Casino Scene

When it comes to overall number of casinos in the state, California is #2 – right after Nevada. It’s not really close, though. California has somewhere north of 60 casinos in operation, while Nevada has around 350 different casinos.

Still, 60+ casinos is an impressive number.

Poker is a big deal in California, and there are as many (or more) cardrooms in the state as casinos.

The two biggest casinos in California are:

You can gamble at the age of 18 in the state of California, although some casinos have policies to only allow 21+ year old gamblers. That’s not a state law, though – that seems to just be a corporate policy for some casinos.

California doesn’t just have casinos and cardrooms, though – the state also has at least 10 parimutuel racetracks, too.

Most of the casinos and gambling in California are tribal in nature.

Types of Gambling Allowed in California

If you want to run a casino in California, you need to be involved in a Native American tribe. No one else is allowed to run casinos in the state. Native American tribes are considered more-or-less independent nations within the United States, and they have specific agreements with state governments (called “compacts” which govern their affairs.

In many states, these compacts include the right to operate casinos as long as the money goes toward the welfare of the tribe. I guess the United States figures it’s the least they can do, considering.

In California, these casinos have a limited amount of freedom in terms of what they can offer. Electronic gaming machines – like slots and video poker — are allowed. Blackjack and other card games are also permitted.

California High Limit Slots

Games which use dice and spinning wheels, like craps and roulette, are not legal in the state. As you’ll read later in this post, California has workarounds for these restrictions.

In many states where Indian tribes are allowed to offer slot machines, state law requires them to release their payback statistics. This is NOT the case with California casinos. Your guess as to the slots payback percentages for these casinos is as good as anyone else’s.

Many of the casinos in California are smaller operates, especially in Southern California.

But the state has its share of large casinos, too.

Cardrooms are almost ubiquitous in the state, too, and they often operate independently of any casino. Some cardrooms even offer player-banked versions of blackjack. There are almost 100 cardrooms throughout the state.

California Craps and California Roulette

Since it’s illegal to use dice or spinning wheels to determine outcomes of gambling games in California, the casinos there have come up with workarounds to get outcomes for games that mirror craps and roulette. These “California craps” and “California roulette” games use a deck of cards to duplicate the odds of traditional craps and roulette.

(Oklahoma used to do the same thing until they changed the laws recently.)

Here’s how that works, although the actual mechanisms sometimes vary by casino:

In some casinos, they will take cards numbered ace through six from two different suits and draw a card of each suit to get a craps total. The odds this way are exactly the same as they would be if you rolled two dice. You still have the same 36 possible outcomes with the same odds of achieving each of them.

California Craps Game

Another way some casinos determine these results is to use a deck of cards with 36 cards in it. Each of those cards is coded to correspond to one of the possible outcomes of a pair of dice.

Some people might be confused about this. After all, if you roll two dice, you only have 11 possible totals.

But some of those totals are more common than others because you have multiple ways to get those totals.

For example, a total of seven is the easiest total to get in craps because you can roll any of the following combinations to get that total:

  • 1, 6
  • 2, 5
  • 3, 4
  • 4, 3
  • 5, 2
  • 6, 1

And yes, the order does matter.

California roulette is easier to understand. In a standard roulette game, you have 38 possible outcomes – one for each number on the wheel.

When you’re playing roulette in California, those 38 outcomes are determined by drawing a card from a deck consisting of – you guessed it – 38 cards. These California roulette games use automatic continuous shuffling machines.

Without the rolling of the dice or the spinning of the wheel, craps and roulette lose some of their appeal. They’re still offered by California casinos, but they’re not exactly popular. Most gamblers enjoy playing blackjack for real money, and since that’s perfectly legal the way it was intended to be played, that’s where the casino devotes most of its table gaming space in California.

Can You Gamble Online in California?

Even though traditional brick-and-mortar cardrooms and casinos are common enough throughout the state, there is no official, regulated online gambling scene in the state. There are no online casinos or online cardrooms operating within California’s borders.

You can, theoretically, play at any number of offshore casinos and poker rooms from California.

I try to restrain my opinions about the legality of that from a player perspective. It’s clear that it’s a grey area for these offshore casinos to offer casino games, poker, and sports betting for California gamblers.

It’s not clear what is the legality for California gamblers to play at these sites, though. In fact, I know of exactly zero instances of an online gambler getting in any kind of trouble for placing real money wagers of any kind on the internet.

What Is San Manuel Casino Like?

San Manuel Casino is in Highland, California and requires its patrons to be 21 years old or older to enter. It’s the largest casino in the state and easily one of the most popular. They’re open 24/7.

Highland is a little over an hour outside of Los Angeles. They offer slot machines and traditional table card games. They just renovated their non-smoking area in the casino, too.

San Manuel Casino in California

Like many casinos, San Manuel organizes their gaming into various areas. The Rockin’ Casino, for example, has over 800 new slot machines and 16 table games. It’s designed to have a rock and roll feel. The high limit room, on the other hand, offers a newly-renovated casino experience at the upper betting limits – both slots and card games.

San Manuel has a lucrative arrangement with Konami and boasts of having more Konami games than any other casino in the world. They also offer over 130 different tables of casino games – mostly blackjack.

Finally, the Lotus Palace is an Asian-themed casino gambling area with baccarat and Asian-inspired slots.

What Is Thunder Valley Casino Resort Like?

Thunder Valley Casino Resort is located in Lincoln, California, and they’re open 24/7. The casino offers 3000 different gambling machines, including some big name slots like the following:

  • Farmville
  • Lightning Link
  • Lock It Link Superlock
  • Quick Hits
  • Triple Diamond
  • Wizard of Oz Munchkinland

They offer slot machine gambling at all betting limits, too, from penny slots to $100 per spin.

All the slot machines in the casino tie into their Thunder Strike Jackpot, which has a payout of between $50k and $100k.

They also offer a robust selection of casino games, including:

  • Baccarat
  • Blackjack
  • Blackjack Switch
  • Chase the Flush
  • Criss Cross
  • DJ Wild
  • Face Up Pai Gow Poker
  • Fortune Pai Gow Progressive
  • Four Card Poker
  • Free Bet Blackjack
  • Mystery Card Roulette
  • Spanish 21
  • Three Card Poker
  • Thunder Valley Craps
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em
  • Zappit Blackjack

Their “Thunder Valley Craps” is another example of California Craps. In this version, the craps table has a red box and a blue box. You toss the cubes on the table, and the number of dots on the cube corresponds to a card. That card determines the craps total.

“Mystery Card Roulette” works just like any other California roulette game – you draw a card from a deck of 38 cards, and it determines which roulette number was the winner.

Conclusion

California is a big state for gamblers – especially casino gamblers and poker players. You can’t find any place to bet on sports here, yet, and online gambling is more-or-less off-limits.

But there are enough casinos in the state that you can easily scratch that itch.

The state laws allow you to gamble even if you’re only 18, but many of the casinos require you to be 21 to gamble as a policy.

Important Beginner Sports Betting Questions Answered

Blue Question Mark Bubble With an NFL and Sportsbook Background

Sports betting is a big part of the gambling industry – bigger than most people realize. And I think everyone has placed a friendly wager on a Sunday NFL game here or there with a buddy. That’s not really the kind of sports betting this list of questions and answers covers, though.

This post is aimed at gamblers who want to take their sports betting to the next level. They want to bet regularly with a bookmaker of some kind – be it a local bookie, an online sportsbook, or a Vegas casino’s bookmaker department.

There’s more to betting on sports with a bookmaker than you might think.

The answers to these seven questions make for a good introduction to the subject for sports betting beginners.

How Do Sports Bets Work?

The basics of sports betting aren’t hard to understand. You wager that something will happen during a sporting event – usually whether a team will win or not – and if you win, you get paid off. If you lose, then the money you risked is lost to the other party.

That sounds simple enough, but it gets a lot more complicated than that.

Gambling with a friend on the outcome of the Cowboys game is usually simple enough. You take the team that isn’t the Cowboys, and he takes the Cowboys. When the Cowboys lose, you get your friend’s $100 bet. If the Cowboys win, your friend gets your $100.

Betting with a bookmaker is more involved than betting against a friend. It usually involves some consideration of the odds of which team is going to win. This is reflected in the amount you risk versus the amount you wager. These are called “sports betting odds.”

As you might imagine, some teams, like the New England Patriots, are usually likelier to win than other teams, like the Cleveland Browns.

If you take the favorite to win, you’ll usually risk more money to win less. If you have to risk $200 to win $100, you’re betting on the favorite.

On the other hand, if you’re betting on the underdog, you might only have to risk $100 to win $200.

Those are just arbitrary examples.

NFL Seahawks Player Catching a Pass

In other cases, you might be betting against a point spread. This is really common when betting on football.

The point spread is the number of points the favorite is expected to win by. To win a bet against the spread, the underdog can lose, but as long as they lose by less than the point spread, you still win your bet. If you bet on the favorite, you don’t win any money unless the favorite wins by more than the point spread.

If the point spread has been set correctly, you should have a roughly 50% probability of winning your bet either way.

Those are the basics of how sports betting works.

How Do Sports Betting Odds Work?

In gambling, “odds” refers to two separate things:

  1. The probability that something will happen
  2. The payoff of a bet compared to the amount risked

When you’re talking about how sports betting odds work, you’re concerned with both. Most of the time, bettors are looking at how much a bet pays off compared to the amount of money they’ve risked.

Smarter sports bettor want to know how the payoff odds compare to the odds of winning or losing, too. They want to find profitable situations.

One of the most common types of odds are moneyline odds (or “American odds”). American odds show how much money you will win or lose in increments of $100.

When you’re betting on an underdog with American odds, the odds are listed behind the (+) sign. For example, if a bet offers (+200) odds, you win $200 when you risk $100.

When you’re betting on the favorite with American odds, the odds are listed behind the – sign. For example, if a bet offers (-150) odds, you risk $150 to win $100.

NCAA Basketball Razorbacks

Fractional odds, on the other hand, show how much you’ll get paid out when you win but including your stake.

For example, if you see odds of 1/3, you’ll get a payout of $1 for betting $3. You’ll get $4 back from the book if you win.

Here’s another example:

You might see odds of 11/8, which means that you’ll get paid $11 when risking $8, so you’ll get back $19 from the book upon winning.

Finally, you’ll often see decimal odds – especially at foreign sportsbooks. Decimal odds, obviously, are expressed as a decimal instead of a fraction. They also show you how much you’ll win including your original stake.

You just multiply your stake by the decimal odds to get the amount you win.

For example, if the odds are 6.5 and you bet $100, you’ll win $650 if your bet wins.

What Do Odds of (+200) Mean?

I covered this in the last point, but it seems to be the most common way of asking about American odds.

?
What do odds of (+200) mean? First of all, it means you’re betting on the underdog. You know that because of the (+) sign in front of the odds.

And, you can tell by the way it’s formatted that this is an expression of American odds. So, you know it’s based on a $100 bet.

Since it says (+200), you know that risking $100 results in winning $200 profit when you win.

If it said (-200), you’d be risking $200 to win $100 – that would be the case if you’re betting on the favorite.

What Do the (+) and the (–) Mean in Sports Betting?

When you’re talking about or writing about odds, the (+) means you’re betting on the underdog. And the (–) means you’re betting on the favorite.

This also holds true when you’re looking at the point spread for a match-up. The (+) means that the underdog gets to add that number to their final score for purposes of determining the winner of the bet.

The (–) means that the winner must subtract that number from their final score for purposes of determining the winner of the bet.

Let’s assume you’re betting on the Atlanta Falcons (+4.5) to beat the Cowboys (-4.5).

Then assume that the Cowboys win with a final score of 40 to 39.

You get to add 4.5 points to the Falcons’ score of 39 and see if they would still have won. Since 39 + 4.5 = 43.5, a bet on the Falcons wins.

Can You Really Make Money Betting on Sports?

Sure, you can really make money betting on sports. You can make money getting lucky in the short run, but you can also really make money betting on sports in the long run by finding mistakes in the odds from the bookmakers.

The trick is finding lines that aren’t priced accordingly.

At a standard sportsbook, with a point spread bet, you must risk $110 to win $100. If the line is correct, you’ll have a 50% probability of winning regardless of which team you bet on.

The point spread isn’t always correct. Sometimes the market forces a move with the line in ways that provide profitable opportunities for the sharp sports bettor.

To profit in the long run in sports betting, you basically need to be able to win 53% of the time or more. That’s barely above break-even. Every percentage point above 53% brings you that much closer to a higher return on investment.

And even the best sports bettors in the world aren’t winning more than 60% of the time.

When you see tout services bragging about being right 75% or 80% of the time, remember that this is unlikely in the extreme.

Do You Have to Pay Taxes on Sports Betting Winnings?

Yes, in the United States, you must pay income tax on any income you have. In the case of sports betting, you’re allowed to deduct your losses before calculating how much tax you owe.

This is true of all kinds of gambling in the United States.

Also, the IRS doesn’t care if you’re dealing with an illegal bookie – as long as you’re paying taxes on your income.

How Do You Bet on Sports in Las Vegas?

To bet on sports in Las Vegas, visit a casino with a sportsbook. Look for the brightly lit board that lists the bets that are available. It won’t be hard to find.

You’ll see columns showing the odds for each match, and each possible bet will have a number associated with it. When you want to place your bet, you’ll take cash to the betting window. There, you’ll tell the ticket writer which bet you want to place (that 3-digit number from the betting board) and how much you want to wager.

Las Vegas Sportsbook

The ticket writer will give you a ticket in exchange for your cash.

If you win your bet, you cash the ticket in. You’ll get your stake back along with your winnings. Don’t lose your ticket. It’s worth money.

That’s really all there is to it. If you understand how the betting odds work, you’re well on your way.

Conclusion

Betting on sports is tricky for beginners who’ve never done anything but bet with other fans sitting on barstools at your local tavern.

Learning the answers to the seven questions in this post will give you a good head-start to learning how to bet on sports.

The best thing to do is to get started with small wagers.

We learn by doing.

Cache Creek Casino and Resort Now Open After Cyberattack

Casino Text With a Roulette Wheel Dice and Chips

After September cyberattack that crippled its system and forced it to close, the Cache Creek Casino Resort near Sacramento, California reopened its doors last Monday.

Said Kari Stout-Smith, chief operating officer and general manager of the resort:

“In a year that’s been so full of ongoing challenges, I am grateful to put this temporary closure behind us,”

Indeed, the year has been full of challenger. Cache Creek was forced to close for three months ending June 8 due to the COVID-19 virus. When they were allowed to reopen, strict health and safety protocols were implemented, affecting the number of guests allowed inside the California casino. The last month, Cache Creek admitted to being a victim of a cybercrime. On Monday it opened its gates once again.

Still Work To Be Done

Last September 20, the Cache Creek casino temporarily closed it doors after what officials initially called a major systems outage. Later, it was revealed that the California casino was hit by a cyberattack on its systems and that there was possible compromise of client and employee information.

The Information Technology department of the California casino worked round the clock to restore their system and make it more secure. This week, Cache Creek finally reopened in what it termed as a “soft opening” but it says that there is still work to be done with the investigation still ongoing. Despite that, Cache Creek says that they are confident that guests can now get the four diamond experience that they have come to expect from the California casino.

Cyberattack on Casinos

Cyberattacks on casinos are not new. The Las Vegas Sands Corp. was a victim of an enormous attack by hackers with suspected links to the Iranian regime. The attack shut down servers and wiped out data drives, while stealing data, and causing an estimated $40M in damages. The breach was reportedly a retaliation for Las Vegas Sands CEO and Chairman Sheldon Adelson who made “nuking” comments on Iran.

In 2018, MGM Resorts International fell prey to a casino hack that led to the leak of the personal data of 10.6M guests on the black web. Before its sale to Virgin Hotels, the Hard Rock Las Vegas was the victim of several breaches beginning 2015. On three different occasions, hackers were able to steal card holder names, card numbers, and CVV Codes from Hard Rock customers.

When Should You Bet Big on Slot Machines?

Man in Suit Thinking With a Slot Machine Background

I always thought it would be interesting to look at when to bet big on a game that’s as close to the opposite of blackjack as I could think of. When should you bet big on slot machines?

Quite frankly, I have several opinions and lines of thinking related to how much you should risk when playing slot machines. And the conclusions I’ve come to are about as different as the conclusions I came to when discussing blackjack as you could ever imagine.

You Should NEVER Bet Big on Slot Machines

Compared to other casino games, real money slots have the ability drain your bankroll fast. Not only do slot machine games have the highest house edge in the casino, but they also practically force you to put more money into action per hour than any other game.

Betting big on slot machines basically guarantees that you’ll lose a lot of money.

The average slot machine in a competitive casino destination probably has a house edge of around 7%. It could be higher than that depending on the machine. You’re not able to determine how big the house edge, is though.

Pillar of Slot Machines

That’s because the payback percentage is based on the probability of winning multiplied by the amount you stand to win. You do this for all the possible combinations, and you have the payback percentage for the game. Subtract that from 100%, and you have the house edge for the game.

How the Payback Percentage for Slot Machines Works

Let’s look at a simplified slot machine game, slots probabilities, and how the payback percentage for the game is calculated. Let’s suppose the pay table looks like this:

  • Three fruit symbols result in a 200 for 1 payout.
  • Any two fruit symbols plus any other one symbol results in a 25 for 1 payout.
  • Any one fruit symbol plus any other two symbols results in a 5 for 1 payout.
  • Any combination without a fruit symbol but with a bar symbol results in a 1 for 1 payout.

Now, let’s say that there are 2,500 possible combinations, and you can achieve the following combinations in the following number of ways:

  • You have eight ways to get three fruit symbols.
  • You have 16 ways to get two fruit symbols plus any other symbol.
  • You have 32 ways to get any one fruit symbol plus any other two symbols.
  • You have 128 ways to get a bar without any fruit symbols.
  • Every other possible combination results in no payout.

What are the probabilities of achieving each result?

You determine that by dividing the number of ways of getting that result by the total number of possible results:

  • Getting three fruit symbols is a probability of 8/2500, or 0.0032.
  • Getting two fruit symbols plus any other symbol is a probability of 16/2500, or 0.0064.
  • Getting one fruit symbol plus any other two symbols is a probability of 32/2500, or 0.0128.
  • And the probability of getting a bar with no fruit symbols is 128/2500, or 0.0512.

To get the expected value for each combination, you just multiply the probability by the payout:

  • Three fruit symbols is worth 0.0032 X 200, or 0.64.
  • Two fruit symbols play any other symbol is worth 0.0064 X 25, or 0.16.
  • Getting one fruit symbol plus any other two symbols is worth 0.0128 X 5, or 0.064.
  • Getting a bar with no fruit symbols is worth 0.0512 X 1, or 0.0512.

Add all those together, and you get an overall expected return of 0.9152, or 91.52%.

This means the hypothetical slot machine I described has a house edge of 100%, 91.52%, or 8.48%.

But What Does the Casino House Edge Really Mean?

The casino house edge is a statistical prediction of how much you’re going to lose on the action that you place. For example, if you bet $100 on a game with a house edge of 8.48%, you’re expected to lose an average of $8.48.

But this is a statistical average. As you can see in the example above, you can’t lose $8.48 on a $100 bet on this machine. You can lose $100. Or you can win an amount of between $100 and $20,000.

It’s a long-term expected average per bet, what you can expect after thousands of repetitions. This is what the Law of Large Numbers is all about. In the short term, with anything that’s random, you never know what’s going to happen. You might win a lot or lose a lot. On a single spin, you’re looking at the ultimate example of the short term.

West Virginia Slot Machines

But the closer you get to an infinite number of repetitions, the closer your average results will get to the statistical expectation.

At 10 slot machine spins, you’ll almost certainly get closer to that 8.48% expected loss rate. At 100 slot machine spins, the probability of getting close to the statistical expectation goes up even more. And so on at 1,000 spins and 10,000 spins.

How Long Does It Take to Get Into the Long Run With a Slot Machine?

The average slot machine player makes 500 spins per hour. That’s the same thing as 500 bets. Contrast this with the average number of bets per hour at various casino games:

  • Blackjack might result in 60 bets per hour depending on the number of players at the table.
  • Craps might result in 100 rolls per hour, but depending on your betting strategy, you might not be placing a new bet on every roll. If you base it on decisions per hour, you might be looking at just 30 bets per hour.
  • Roulette might result in 60 spins per hour, and if you’re only placing one bet per spin, you’re only looking at 60 bets per hour.

If you notice, the number of bets per hour at a slot machine is greater than the number of bets per hour on any table game by a huge margin. The fastest of these table games is craps, but you’d need to be placing a new bet on every roll of the dice just to make 1/5 of the number of bets you’d make on a slot machine.

What Does This Mean to the Amount of Money You’re Expected to Lose on Slot Machines?

The casinos calculate a game’s predicted win for the casino by multiplying the average hourly action by the game’s house edge. The hourly action is just the product of the average bet size multiplied by the average number of bets you make per hour.

For example, when playing blackjack, the hourly action might be $10 per hand at 60 hands per hour, or $600 per hour in action. If the house edge on the blackjack game is 1%, you’re looking at an average loss of $6/hour. That’s not a bad deal for an evening’s worth of gambling entertainment.

But suppose you’re betting $3 per spin on a slot machine. That means you’re putting $1500 into action per hour. And if you assume a 6% house edge, you’re looking at a predicted $90 per hour loss rate.

That’s a huge difference.

What Happens to Your Average Hourly Loss Rate on Slot Machines When You Start Making “Big” Bets?

Okay, so suppose you decide to cash out your 401k and play the high roller slots at your local casino. Let’s say these games have a max bet of $100. How much money are you expected to lose for an hour of this kind of action?

$100 X 500 spins is $50,000 in action.

With a 6% house edge, your expected loss in an hour of play at this rate is $3000. That’s a lot of money to lose on just an hour of entertainment. Sure, you could get lucky and have a big winning session. But the longer you play, the more likely you are to lose, and the more money you stand to lose during that losing session.

It’s Okay to “Take a Shot”

One of my professional poker mentors explained to me that it’s okay to occasionally ignore strict bankroll management requirements in poker if you want to “take a shot.” The idea is that you’re willing to risk a relatively large amount of money on a big gamble.

Pile of Poker Chips

This doesn’t mean buying into the World Series of Poker every week for $10,000, if that were even possible. It does mean that it’s okay to save $1,000 a month for a year to be able to take a shot at the final table next year.

It’s okay to place a single big bet on a slot machine on the outside chance you might get a win.

Most people, though, treat slot machines like Lay’s potato chips. They can’t eat just one potato chip, and they can’t just make one slot machine spin.

Conclusion

When should you bet big on a slot machine game? The short answer is, almost never. The house edge is too high, and the number of bets you’ll make per hour multiply that amount exponentially. And the more bets you make, the likelier you are to see the statistically expected results.

If you want to bet big on a slot machine, limit yourself to a single big bet. If you’re really aggressive, set some arbitrary number of spins as your target.

I once played a game for $100 per spin for just 10 spins. I won $6,000 that session, so it went okay.

Had I stayed at the machine for a couple of hours, though, I would have almost certainly have given all that back to the casino and then some.

The Most Important Days in Las Vegas History – Part I: From Settlement to The Strip

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign With a Vintage Vegas Background

The city of Las Vegas was officially founded 115 years ago, and since that historic day, the Silver State has never been the same. Over the span of more than a century, Las Vegas has been transformed many times over.

The original dusty outpost scratched out of the Mojave Desert sands eventually gave way to a boom town fueled by construction on the nearby Hoover Dam. Workers with a gambling itch to scratch soon gave enterprising entrepreneurs every reason to open barebones casinos. And the rest, as they say, is history. Keep reading to learn about seven of the most important days in the illustrious history of Las Vegas.

May 3rd, 1844 – Explorer John C. Fremont “Discovers” Las Vegas

More than 60 years before the city was founded, an intrepid outdoorsman by the name of John C. Fremont led a band of 40 fellow explorers westward from Missouri to the shores of the Pacific.

Fremont and his party – which included fellow Nevada landmark namesake to be Kit Carson –eventually, reached their objective before circling southbound to see what they might find. That return journey led Fremont and Co. through what is known today as the Las Vegas Valley.

Portrait of John C. Fremont

In his diary – titled “Map of an Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842 and to Oregon & North California in the Years 1843-44” – Fremont described the relatively moist meadows he laid eyes on for the first time:

“After a day’s journey of 18 miles in a direction we encamped in the midst of another very basin at a camping ground called Las Vegas, a term the Spaniards use to signify fertile or marshy plains in contradistinction to llanos which they apply to dry plains.”

Antiquated language aside, Fremont’s documentation of “The Meadows” (which translates to “Las Vegas” in Spanish) formed the foundation for the area’s eventual settlement by American pioneers.

Fremont went on to live an adventurous and ambitious life that ended in 1890 at the ripe old age of 77, but not before writing descriptions of Las Vegas which beckoned settlers to stake their claim.

And that they did, as a flood of Americans seeking their fortune arrived to establish the camps which would eventually become incorporated in 1911.

Fremont’s legacy is a proud one among the locals today, and his name adorns the Downtown district hotspot Fremont Street where Sin City’s gambling history truly began.

January 13, 1906 – Hotel Nevada Opens as Las Vegas’ First Casino

The rough and tumble settlers who scratched out a living in Las Vegas’ early days certainly gambled in their spare time, playing stud poker and shooting dice in an informal manner.

But until John F. Miller constructed the Hotel Nevada at 1 Fremont Street on this momentous date, Las Vegas lacked a proper brick and mortar casino as we know them today. Unfortunately for Miller, just three years would pass before the the Nevada Legislature voted 27-20 to ban gambling as an illegal activity throughout the state.

Vintage Hotel Nevada Photo

At that time, Secretary Hooper of the Reno Anti-Gambling League told the Reno Evening Gazette that only house-banked games of chance were in the group’s crosshairs:

“We do not intend to try and prohibit horse racing in Nevada or the selling of pools, neither do we intend to try and prohibit friendly bridge games, whist games, poker games and games of hearts played in the homes.

But we do intend to try and have the Nevada legislature pass a law that will prohibit all percentage games in this state.”

Miller took the bad beat in stride, focusing on his thriving hotel operation while the gaming tables collected dust in storage.

Thankfully for him, and the rest of us for that matter, the state Legislature had a change of heart 22 years down the road.

March 19, 1931 – Legal Gambling Returns to Las Vegas

By this time, gambling was far from gone along Fremont Street and the rest of Las Vegas.

No, the card sharps and craps enthusiasts simply did what most Americans did during periods of prohibition – they kept enjoying their vices while ducking the long arm of the law. Gambling halls and saloon-style “bank clubs” still drew plenty of patronage while the industry was still illegal in the state.

The only thing is, Nevada didn’t collect a dime in taxes on this illicit, yet utterly ongoing, exchange of cash and coins.

To remedy the lack of enforcement and taxation, a band of legislative leaders came up with a bold plan to bring Nevada back into the fold – legalize “wide open” gambling once more. The votes came down 24 to 11 in favor and the deal was sealed, an accomplishment commemorated by J.G. Scrugham in his Nevada State Journal:

“By vote of the legislature and with the support of the state administration, Nevada is embarking upon an era of what may be termed ‘legalized liberality.’”

Spotting a golden opportunity to get back in the gambling game, Miller changed the Hotel Nevada’s name to “Sal Sagev,” or Las Vegas spelled backward.

By 1941, the oddly named Sal Sagev casino was joined by El Cortez, which holds the honor of being Las Vegas’ longest continuously operated casino. The Golden Nugget joined the Fremont Street family five years later, and the name was certainly appropriate given the casino gold rush to come.

Vintage Golden Gate Casino and Hotel

Speaking of gold, the Sal Sagev was later renamed Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. This iconic link to Las Vegas history is still open for business today, making it the oldest casino building in the entire state.

In an honorable mention of sorts, President Herbert Hoover ordered construction to begin on a massive hydroelectric dam on the Nevada / Arizona border this very same month. You may have heard of it too, as the Hoover Dam wound up providing the electrical power needed to fuel Las Vegas’ explosive growth in the coming years.

December 26, 1946 – The First Major Casino on The Strip “The Fabulous Flamingo”

Technically speaking, the first gambling hall erected on Las Vegas Boulevard a few miles south of Downtown was the El Rancho Vegas.

But that tiny venue, which opened on April 3rd, 1941, was nothing more than a one-story cabin with a few dozen hotel rooms. Sure, the El Rancho Vegas did have a few modern amenities such as a swimming pool and a showroom, but the casino only held four table games in total.

For that reason, the casino first dubbed The Fabulous Flamingo takes this spot in the list.

Known today as Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, the bright pink casino resort put its competitors to shame when it opened five years after El Rancho Vegas. And for good reason too.

Benefiting from a multimillion-dollar investment made by a syndicate of New York mob bosses, the 105-room Flamingo was billed as “The West’s Greatest Resort Hotel.” Under the stewardship of Big Apple born gangster turned casino operator Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the Flamingo spared no expense.

That is to say, Siegel’s financial backers behind the Italian-Jewish National Crime Syndicate spared no expense…

Las Vegas Flamingo in the 1950s

Having strongarmed the ownership rights to the Flamingo away from its helpless operator, Siegel – a notorious mob hitman who spearheaded “Murder Inc.” alongside Meyer Lansky – wanted his casino to be the best in town. But after going wildly over budget, and making a fatal blunder by opening the casino before his hotel was complete, Siegel drew the mob’s ire.

When his promises of steady profits and a tremendous return on their investment failed to materialize, Siegel was rubbed out by a machine gun wielding assassin just one year later.

The Flamingo survived though, establishing the template for luxurious full-scale casino resorts that now defines The Strip the world over.

Conclusion

That does it for the first 100 years or so of Las Vegas’ history as the world’s casino gambling capital. And as you can see, the trail blazed by Sin City’s original settlers had as many twists and turns as the Colorado River which turns the Hoover Dam’s enormous turbines.

Casino gambling went from a grey market to explicitly banned, and back to a thriving legal industry, in the span of just 22 years. To find out when the rest of Las Vegas’ most important historical milestones took place, check out part two here.

West Virginia Casinos: Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino, and Racetrack

Wheeling Island Hotel Casino and Racetrack in Ohio

Located in Wheeling, West Virginia lies the tropical-themed Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack on the not-so-tropical Wheeling Island. But this river island is anything but a passing glance when you’re traveling down Interstate-70.

The casino formerly known as Wheeling Downs offers a variety of gaming experiences you don’t want to miss out on. From video lotteries (slots), live greyhound racing, off-track betting, table gaming, poker games, horse racing, and more, the Island has you covered.

So, if the casino is your thing and you’re traveling north to nearby Pittsburgh or on your way west to Columbus, discover why the West Virginia gambling scene is more than worth checking out.

Casino History

The site’s racing days began even before the American Civil War and the racetrack itself was completed shortly thereafter in 1866.

The Wheeling Downs name was adopted in 1937 and because of additions and renovations in the 1940s, was given the nickname ‘mini Churchill Downs.’

In 1962, a fire severely damaged the property to the point nothing was salvageable. It took five long years to rebuild the property. In the early 1970s, Wheeling Downs reopened. However, legislation drastically reduced the size of winner’s purses and the site nearly closed down again.

During this time, Ogden Corporation bought Wheeling Downs and in 1976, it transitioned from horse to greyhound racing.

Greyhound Racing Dogs

Delaware North acquired the hotel-casino-racetrack in 1988 and co-owned the location with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel from 1994 to 2001. When Delaware North purchased the property, they put it under a vast expansion project featuring a new clubhouse and entertainment accommodations.

In 1994, Wheeling Downs expanded to off-track betting and video slot games before “reel” slot games arrived in 1999. Also in 1999, the gaming center expanded to 34,000 feet and the Islander Buffet was also opened during this time.

In 2002, Wheeling Downs officially changed its name to Wheeling Island Racetrack & Gaming Center, coinciding with yet another expansion project. The $68 million project included adding the hotel, additional gaming space, and a showroom.

Casino table gaming came along in 2008 along with yet another name change to Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.

Today, the property is the home of a 151-room hotel, 1,100 slot machines, showroom and meeting banquet services that accommodate 1,000 people, and 2,800 parking spaces.

It has become one of the most attractive venues in the Ohio Valley and as you can see from this section, owns a rich history that dates back over 150 years.

Casino Games Offered

As mentioned, Wheeling Island Casino’s games include over 1,100 slot machines with a variety of themes and titles. Some of the most popular themed games include Treasure Ball, Quick Hit Blitz, and Heidi and Hannah’s.

High Limit games allow you to raise the stakes a bit and what they call the Wheeling Feeling. The casino features 47 High Limit slot machines along with a smoking and non-smoking section for guests.

Some of the most popular games offered on the Island include real money craps, blackjack, roulette, and others.

The state-of-the-art poker room includes a large variety of games, including Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Low Split, and Seven Card Stud.

Wheeling Island Casino Floor

Of course, Wheeling Island is known better than most casinos for its greyhound racing and it remains arguably the most popular attraction. Unlike most casino rooms or sections, the racetrack is welcome to people of all ages.

And as with many casinos, sports betting is the thing here on the Island, with the Betly Sportsbook providing a fast and easy way for you to make your next bet on the sports betting scene.

Just talk with the staff on hand or head over to their kiosks conveniently located throughout the sportsbook. Wheeling Island’s Sportsbook’s hours vary, so always check the website for the latest hours and for a full rundown on house rules and start placing your sports bets.

Dining Options

The city of Wheeling itself is known for its dining and the casino is in the center of the action. So, if you need a break from the games, this section is for you. Wheeling Island Casino’s dining options are among the best in the food-rich area. At the time of this writing, some of the options may be limited, so be sure to check out the Wheeling Island website for updated details of what is available.

In the afternoon and evening, be sure to try The Food Court’s deli options, burgers, and Americo’s Pizzeria. The afternoon menu is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Since Wheeling Island hosts an active racetrack, you can always count on its trackside concessions located on the casino’s second floor. The concession area is open from 12:30 p.m. until the second-to-last post time from Wednesday to Saturday.

Wheeling Island Pepperoni Pizza

If you’re looking for monthly drink specials and live entertainment, then hit up the Waves Bar. Specials are available on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m.

If you’re looking for more variety regarding specials, the Castaways Bar and The Sandbar are also solid options.

If you’re staying for an extended period, don’t forget to grab a quick breakfast at the Crescent Moon Coffee Bar. The bar offers a variety of coffee and espresso, as well as iced Frappuccino, pastries, spreads, cakes, etc.

Finally, if fine dining is your thing, you don’t have to go far. Checkout The Pointe and it will satisfy all your needs for a night out.

Promotions and Entertainment

The casino offers daily jackpots worth thousands of dollars promotion-wise and some of their daily promos include the Change is Good Promo. So if you have jars of coins laying around the house—or filling up the console in your car, feel free to trade those in for stacks of dollar bills. Why not, right?

Other promotions include weekly slot tournaments like Prospector’s Plunge and an event called Winning Wednesday Hot Seats.

As the casino continues its reopening phase in the coming months you can expect even greater promos and entertainment.

Lucky North Club

Perhaps it’s the most notable promotion Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack has to offer. The Lucky North Club allows you to earn points that are redeemable for same-day cashback, casino comps, and other promotional benefits.

Through the club, you’ll also receive exclusive event-related promotions and bonuses. The five-level membership structure allows you to automatically move up once you accumulate enough points.

Even if you had a bad day at the casino, remember that as a member of Lucky North you still win with the rewards points, which include one point per every $5 slot or racing wager and one point for every $10 wager at the tables.

Best yet, membership is free. So, if you’re in the Wheeling area often or if you pass through regularly, this is a special promotion you’ll want to check out.

Nearby Attractions

Local lingo tells the myth that there’s nothing to see in the Ohio Valley, but it’s just that. A myth. Speaking of myths and legends, if you want to take a break from the action there are a few nearby attractions you’ll want to check out.

The first is the world-famous West Virginia State Penitentiary located in nearby Moundsville. After closing its doors in 1995, the Penitentiary has been a focal point of paranormal activity and restless souls of those who died within the prison’s walls.

Some of the most popular TV shows such as ‘Most Terrifying Places in America.’ It was also the filming site of Hulu original series Castle Rock, based on the original work of Stephen King.

West Virginia State Penitentiary

Another popular attraction Moundsville offers is the Grave Creek Mound, built by the Adena People between 250 and 100 B.C. Hence the name ‘Moundsville.’

And across the Ohio River in nearby Bellaire, a trip to the Bellaire House is always worth a visit. Said to be the sight of a dark entity that terrorized a former homeowner and her pets, the house will definitely give you the thrill you’re seeking. Especially in the fall.

While heading in for an all-nighter or weekend stay isn’t cheap, it’s a great place to spend some of your winnings if you’re up experiencing some good old paranormal activity for yourself.

And of course, Wheeling isn’t located too far from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So if you’re passing by on I-70 and turning onto Route 7 North, definitely check out all the city of Pittsburgh has to offer.

And don’t forget to check out The Meadows Racetrack & Casino (Washington County) and Rivers Casino (Pittsburgh), which are also located in proximity to the Island.

Conclusion

Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack embraces a rich history from humble beginnings as a horse racing track. And through various purchases, it has expanded to greyhound racing, slots, table games, and poker rooms.

The casino now offers a sportsbook along with an accommodating hotel, entertainment, and dining options.

After all that the city of Wheeling, West Virginia, and the Ohio Valley has gone through with the crash of the steel industry, this storied location has literally made it through thick and thin.

Now that you know a little about this historic landmark it’s your turn to come to the Valley and check it out. Have you made a trip to the Island? And if so, how was the experience? Let us know.

Encore Las Vegas is Now Closing for Three Days a Week

Encore Las Vegas

Most of the major casino-resorts are up and running again. Unfortunately, tourism rates in the city remain far lower than usual. This is taking a serious toll on casino companies here. This week, news broke that the Encore Las Vegas is now closing for three days a week moving forward.

It’s an interesting development, and one that shows how difficult things are in this city right now. Today, we’re going to look at exactly why Wynn Resorts is making this decision. We’ll also talk about when the situation in Las Vegas will improve.

Let’s get into it!

Las Vegas is Taking Longer to Recover than Many Predicted

When the casinos shut down in Las Vegas this past March, no one knew how long they would remain closed. It was an unprecedented situation for the world’s biggest gambling destination. The city’s casinos were never closed down for such an extended period of time.

Obviously, casino companies here wanted answers on how long these regulations would remain in place. Officials within these companies began working with state leaders to formulate reopening plans. Finally, in June, Governor Sisolak started allowing the state’s casinos to reopen.

Things haven’t immediately bounced back here. Instead, Las Vegas has seen a slow, gradual recovery. Tourism rates appear to be increasing here and casino revenue has risen with each passing month.

This city is still hurting, though. Both tourism and gaming revenue remain far lower this year than what was seen in 2019. It’s costing casinos a massive amount of money and some of the smaller ones in the city will likely close down permanently.

Each casino is taking its own approach to this situation. The goal for these properties seems to be attracting in new players. Obviously, this is proving to be difficult with the way things are going right now.

It now appears that Wynn Resorts has found a new way to save money.

Encore Las Vegas Announces New Opening Days and Times

Historically speaking, Las Vegas is known as a city that doesn’t sleep. Hotels, casinos, and bars are known for being open 24 hours a day. Part of this non-stop image has helped Las Vegas become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

This is beginning to change, though. Many hotel-casinos have seen their visitation rates plummet this year. As a result, some of them have been forced to adjust their opening dates and times to save money. There’s no point in keeping things open when no one is around!

That’s exactly the approach that Encore Las Vegas is now taking. This week, Wynn Resorts announced that this popular casino-resort will only be open Thursday through Sunday beginning on October 19th. The venue will close its doors on Monday at noon and reopen at 2 pm on Thursdays.

It’s an interesting, yet somewhat unexpected move for this casino company. These new operating hours are set in place indefinitely “until consumer demand for Las Vegas increases.” Some analysts predict that tourism rates will actually decrease even further around winter.

Fans of the Encore Las Vegas will now need to adjust their reservations accordingly. The Wynn Las Vegas, however, will keep its normal operating schedule. The poker room inside the Encore will be moved to Wynn Las Vegas until further notice.

Hope is that this popular casino-resort will get back to its normal operational schedule before long. We’ll continue offering updates over the next few weeks!

Where is Wynn Resorts’ Stock Price Moving Right Now?

Over the past seven years, we’ve seen casino stock prices fluctuate massively. When the casino industry shut down, these prices plummeted. As these casinos reopened, stock prices have gradually increased.

Of course, there have been a huge number of fluctuations in these stock prices. Some companies seem to be faring better than others. Several massive deals have also been completed this year that affected stock prices.

Not long ago, a prominent fund manager spoke about the future of Wynn Resorts’ stock. He believes that the company’s share prices can double within the next year. Much of that is due to the company’s operations in Macau.

Prior to 2020, Wynn Resorts was earning nearly 70% of its revenue from Macau. Unfortunately, the Chinese territory has been struggling immensely this year. Travel restrictions to Macau were recently lifted, however, and many now believe the casinos here will see a surge in tourism and revenue.

It will be interesting to see if this prediction ends up being correct. Wynn Resorts is one of several major US casino companies hoping to see a massive increase in revenue from Macau.

Are you surprised to see the Encore Las Vegas close for three days a week? When do you expect things to return to normal in Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments section below!