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Friday, May 30, 2008

Poker Discipline

Poker Discipline - The key to success in online Texas holdem

Poker discipline is something that all players should have as one of their main assets. If your discipline is poor, you should make it your highest priority to improve it. As a poker player, you will know that there are few things in life as exciting as landing a great looking starting hand in

Texas Holdem. Being dealt a good starting hand puts you in command right away and you feel excited about the possibility that you will go on and win the pot.

But unfortunately this excitement is probably responsible for more losing hands and leaving players with empty chip stacks than almost anything else in the game of poker.

Excitement at a poker table is normally a bad thing. When people get excited - and when I say people I mean poker players in this case - they usually make bad decisions. They allow their normal level of poker discipline to drop and make crazy, irrational moves that can cost a big pot or, worse still, their whole chip stack.

Discipline is all about making decisions and sticking to them. If you are a tight player, you need to decide what hands you will play and have the self discipline not to waver from your decision.

The most important part of that is knowing when to lay your cards down, especially when they look very tempting and you are itching to stay in the hand to see what happens.

It's as old as the hills but it's still as true today as it ever was; you need to know when to fold 'em.

Even if you have a hand that looks like a monster, it can always be beaten and the bigger and better the starting hand, the harder it is to fold.

Dangerous starting hands that cause a lot of people to lose their poker discipline and cost them money are those such as A-10, A-9 or worse, Q-J, K-10. If you catch one of those in early position (that is when you are at the start of the betting) you should almost always fold them, there are just too many hands that can beat you.

Although it's probably about the hardest to master, poker discipline is one of the key skills that marks out great poker players and sets them apart from the rest of the pack, so decide on your strategy and stick to it. © 2007 - Poker Discipline

Poker Rebuy Strategy

The main question on poker rebuys that you will probably want answered is should you rebuy? Quickly followed by if so – how often should you rebuy?

Firstly what is a rebuy? It’s a stage in a poker tournament where players are allowed to buy more chips to add to their stack. They don’t necessarily need to be low on chips or out of chips, anyone can choose to rebuy if they want to.

The good thing about a rebuy period for all players is the tremendous increase in pot size that you see taking place. If you are in a good position and don't need to rebuy, the fact that so many players have bought their way back into the game should not bother you too much. You were good enough to be in front of them before the rebuy period so the chances are that you will be good enough to stay in front of them.

Normally for any particular tournament they will come in the form of single or limited rebuys, or unlimited rebuys and can be used either to buy your way back into a tournament that you’ve dropped out of, or simply to bolster your chip count.

When deciding whether it’s worthwhile rebuying into a tournament you need to consider several factors.

1. The quality of your oppositionWere you among the better players in the game? Could you look at the way your opponents played and see that it should have been them who went out early and not you? In that case you should buy your way back in and get on with the game. However if you have seen that the standard of opposition is better than you, there is probably little point in carrying on.

2. Were you unlucky to be knocked out?Were you knocked out of the poker tournament by a bad beat where you held the best cards and used the right betting strategy only to find you lost out to a lucky break your opponent got on the river? A rebuy is certainly in order here too.

Poker Rebuy Strategy Continued... © 2007 - Poker Rebuy Strategy 1

Play Poker For Free and Win

Play Poker Free: Poker is just about the most exciting game on TV right now. You might be one of the many thousands who have been following Texas Holdem eagerly on the television and have caught the bug. It is the most natural thing in the world to want to get involved with actually playing poker after seeing the thrills and spills as the world’s great poker professionals battle it out in front of you on the small screen.

So you want to play poker! You have two basic options in front of you as it stands, play “real” poker with some friends or play on the internet against the millions of other online poker players who are out there.

Playing real live poker in your house is great, there’s nothing like getting a bunch of friends together and breaking out the beers (or waters!) and playing a couple of hours of poker. But people are busy, it’s hard to get everyone available at the same time and it’s just as hard to play a game to suit everybody. Some of your friends might just want to risk a couple of dollars whilst others will be prepared to play for tens or even hundreds. How do you find a happy medium? Not everyone will want to play poker free and not have a chance of winning cash.

On the other hand internet poker is live and instant and you can always find a game that suits your pocket with people ready to play against you. You can even play poker free until you get your confidence up and you’ve learned the basics of doing it for yourself, rather than watching on TV.

So if you have decided to play poker online, what are the options you now have? Well these are split into three basic categories, money games where you play for cash, play money games where you can practise for free, and a third type of game – the poker freeroll. A freeroll is a sort of hybrid between cash games and play money games and in fact is the best of both worlds.

In freerolls, your entry to the game is literally free, you do not have to pay anything (although you will be required to complete a simple form to become a member of the poker room). The big bonus however is that if you win the tournament or are placed highly, you will win an actual cash prize.

These freeroll tournaments are of course very popular, anywhere offering something for nothing usually is. But if you get in early you will be able to sign up for the freeroll tournament and play for real money – without risking a penny of your own money.

Play poker free! © 2007 - Play Poker Free

Clearing an Online Poker Bonus

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You know how to get online poker bonuses -- they’re available all over the Internet. However, what’s the best way to clear it? How do you optimize the task of getting that extra money out of the bonus account and into your real money bankroll?

Step 1: Learn the Conditions

In the early days of poker room bonuses , players could only clear the funds through cash game play. Play the required number of raked hands and get the bonus. Tournament players were out of luck.

Currently, many sites do allow you to clear your bonus by playing poker in tournaments. These sites calculate bonus clearing the same way they calculate player points, so both cash games and tournaments count towards the total. Before you start trying to earn credit toward your bonus through playing tournaments, find out if the site allows this practice.

Step 2: Don’t Raise the Stakes

Some players see bonus clearing as an opportunity to move up in limits. They figure even if they go on a losing streak that the bonus will make up for it. However, you really should only move up in limits if you are ready to do so.

You can clear the bonus just as quickly by playing your current limit. What you don’t want is to deplete your bankroll at a higher limit before you clear the bonus. If this happens, you will have to deposit more money so that you can release the bonus in the time allotted.

Step 3: Getting the Money

Once the bonus money is finally in your account, be sensible with it. It is not “House money,” it is your money and should be defended with the same care and skill which you apply to your regular bankroll.

© 2008 - Clearing an Online Poker Bonus

Playing Texas Holdem

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If you are a reasonably skilled online Texas Holdem player, you will probably face a mix of opponents, some less skilled than you, some perhaps a bit more. However, circumstances may arise when you are facing much tougher opposition than you are used to facing. This may be because you have decided to move up in limits at your preferred poker sites or because the only table that is available happens to be one filled with pros that you recognize. Either way, you may want to adjust your strategy when this happens.

Tactics for Handling Skilled Players: Confidence

You should have confidence in your ability to play Texas Holdem online Many pros have become pros because they can play a very tight aggressive, reasoned style of play. Just because someone is a pro doesn’t mean he is going to blow you out of every pot with huge raises or see right through to your soul when you try to bluff. A pro is simply someone who makes more correct decisions than the average player does. If you are a skilled player and play your best game, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to win, at least in the short term.

Tactics for Handling Skilled Players: Short Stacking

If you’re worried about getting run over by your opponents in a no-limit game, you may consider short stacking. Short stacking is buying in to the game for a small amount, often the minimum. The sharks in the game are looking for whales, bad players that will throw money at them. When they see your small stack, they may forget about you and look for tastier prey.

Tactics for Handling Skilled Players: Moving Down

If you’re really feeling like the game is too tough for you, there’s no shame in getting up and moving to an easier game. In general, it’s much more fun to win a ton of money against weaker players than to get pummeled by all-stars.

© 2008 - Playing Against Highly Skilled Players

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Three Online BlackJack Tips

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While it might only take a few minutes to learn how to play Blackjack, it can take much longer to learn the nuances of the game. Online blackjack is similar to Blackjack at brick and mortar casinos, but there are differences. Here are three great online blackjack tips that will help you play better and win more money. Online Blackjack Tip One The first tip I would give anyone that's going to play online blackjack is to not worry about counting cards. In fact, if you are going to play online blackjack all of the time, don't even waste energy looking into card counting, because it won't help you. Most online blackjack games are dealt from a deck—sometimes more than one deck—that's shuffled before every hand.

Since this is the case, counting cards won't help you. Even if the online blackjack source uses a more traditional approach, you can't effectively count cards if you don't know when the cards are going to be shuffled and how much of the deck is left until that time. Online Blackjack Tip Two Stay away from gimmicks. Since online casinos only take up virtual space, they can experiment with all sorts of game variations.

Most offshoots of traditional Blackjack are just carnival games. They might be fun to look at and play now and again, but you'll be wasting money. Online Blackjack Tip Three Online blackjack games use a RNG (random number generator) to determine what cards to deal. The game is highly random and prone to streaks—good or bad. Never assume that you are "due" to win. You should always bet normally and never give in to bad streaks. They are going to happen in online blackjack, just like in the real world. Either quit playing or play with enough money to weather the storms. Online blackjack can be fun and relaxing. It's close to the real world version, but it does have some subtle differences. Once you recognize this, you're in a better position to win money. has many gambling strategy, tips and informational articles. Here are two gambling pages you might like: [ Craps Field Bet ] [ Sports Betting Parlay Odds ]. Here's another great article you should check out: [ Blackjack - Counting Cards ]
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The 9/6 Jacks or Better Guide

Do you love video poker? It sure is popular. I must admit, I've played thousands of hours of Video Poker over the years. Once I worked at a casino where they allowed workers to gambling on any machine during breaks. So, I spent my breaks—including most lunches—hunched in front of a video poker machine. But, what's the point of playing if you don't know what the hands are?

Most machines tell you what hands pay, but they stop just short of telling you what makes up a hand—something many new players are confused with. Here's a quick rundown of all the possible paying hands for a 9/6 Jacks or Better machine. Jacks or Better: When you have two Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces. It pays your money back. Two Pair: Having two cards on one rank and two cards of another rank—such as two 6's and two Kings. Three of a Kind: Three cards of one rank.

Straight: Having five cards in sequential order, such as a 2,3,4,5 and 6. An Ace can be used before the 2 or after the King. Flush: Having five cards all of the same suit, such as five clubs. Full House: Having three cards of one suit and two cards of another suit, like three Kings and two Queens.

Four of a Kind: Having four cards of one rank, such as four Jacks. Straight Flush: Having all five cards of the same suit and in sequential order, such as the 3,4,5,6 and 7 of diamonds. Royal Flush: This is the big payday. I've been lucky enough to hit some. You have a royal flush when all five cards are the same suit and the 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace. One tip before I go.

Always play maximum coins. That's the only way the jackpot for a royal flush opens up. When I first started gambling I hit a royal flush with just one coin in the machine and receiving just over $60 when it could have been $1,000 really hurts. has many gambling strategy, tips and informational articles. Here are two gambling pages you might like: [ Sports Betting Football Parlay Bets ] [ Gambling Systems ]. Here's another great article you should check out: [ Caribbean Stud Poker Hand Guide ]

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Gambling Money Management

The buzzwords "money management" is thrown around left and right in the gambling world. Look around for advice on money management and you will find everything from grossly incomplete articles to full blown strategies for brilliant mathematicians. Today, I will share a quick and easy money management strategy that you can use each time you gamble. It's effective and takes just a minute to learn. I will give you an easy way to manage your gambling sessions. Sure, you could dive deeper into money management and run it like a business, but this isn't practical for most people.

Gambling with no money management is foolish though. By simply managing your sessions, you will give yourself a better opportunity to win and withstand losing streaks. This session management strategy will work for games like Craps, Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker and so forth. Sports betting and poker would require a little tweaking. Here's the basic content. Gambling is full of streaks. The worst thing I can think of is encountering a long losing streak when you first start playing. Talk about a bad experience.

The goal of this strategy is to give you a fighting chance to withstand those losing streaks and to allow you to capitalize on the winning ones. Step One: Bankroll The first step is to come up with an amount of money you wouldn't mind losing. This is called your bankroll. For our example, I will use $200 as my bankroll and I will be playing Blackjack. Step Two: Betting Units A betting unit is simply the amount of money you will bet per opportunity—per hand in Blackjack. Since streaks can last a little while, we want to divide our bankroll by 25. It's ok to divide by more, but doing less is really not helping much. Dividing my bankroll by 25 gives me $8 betting units. I can now bet up to $8 per hand.

Step Three: Action Let's assume there's an $8 table somewhere—yes, I know there isn't, but this is just hypothetical. It would be foolish to play there, even though my betting unit is $8. You want to give yourself the opportunity to bet up and down. In this case, going to a $5 or less table is optimal. Occasionally, you need to reevaluate your bankroll and adjust your betting unit up or down. For example, if I were to raise my bankroll to $300, my betting unit is now $12. I will want to increase my wagers. As you can see, this simple strategy of managing your money will allow you to increase profits, withstand many losing streaks, and have more fun.

Jason A. Martin former casino dealer, professional gambler and Las Vegas insider. You can get your own content, links and marketing at his gambling website marketing website at © Market Junction LLC.

Quick Gambling Tips

Today, I thought I would share some quick gambling tips with you. These tips can be used with any gambling game(s) you enjoy. Many people are losing gamblers, because they simply play a game without any thought and hope luck comes along. Luck is what you make of it. By following some simple tips, you can get more out of your gambling experience. Gambling Tip One: Set a limit Money management is a key component in the arsenal of any winning gambler. Perhaps one of the worst things you can do, as a gambler, is to not play with set limits. Before gambling, you should set: (1) the maximum amount you are willing to lose, (2) the point at which you will stop gambling when ahead and (3) the general amount you will bet with each wager. Gambling

Tip Two: Educate yourself The more you know about a game and the circumstances governing the game, the better shot you will have at both following your set plans and winning some money. If nothing else, pick up at least one book or read some good in-depth tutorials on the game before gambling. I know many gamblers in Las Vegas that are consistent losers. The sad part is they think it's their lack of luck when it's really the fact that they don't know much of anything about the operations and circumstances that govern their games of choice. Gambling

Tip Three: Don't be scared. If you are scared of losing money, you should not gamble. If the amount you are wagering is causing you to be under pressure, you need to reduce the amount you are wagering. When gamblers wager money they are not free with, they do not win as often.

By being scared, you will make poor decisions—including missing out on winning chances. I have seen this happen time and time again. Get your head on straight and wager money you can afford to lose. These three gambling tips can be used at any game in the casino. Think about these seriously before you wager another hard earned dollar. If you are looking for more in-depth articles and information, I invite you to visit one of the websites in my Wise Bettor network.

Jason A. Martin former casino dealer, professional gambler and Las Vegas insider. You can get your own content, links and marketing at his gambling website marketing website at © Market Junction LLC.

Netherlands Antilles Casion

by Adel Awwad

Netherlands Antilles holds twenty seven casinos which is the second largest amount in the Caribbean countries. These casinos are divided across three states. Curacao is the state with the most casinos in Netherlands Antilles. It has thirteen casinos and twenty six slot machines. Casinos are the only legal gambling facility allowed in Netherlands Antilles.

Netherlands Antilles largest casino is Princess Port de Plaisance Hotel and Casino. It is located in Cole Bay, Sint Maarten. It holds twenty five gaming tables and 1350 slot machines and video game terminals.

The majority of the casinos have roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and slot machines. They also have restaurants and bars. Some casinos also have bingo, race books and sports books.

Some Netherlands Antilles casinos are more luxurious with swimming pools, saunas and a more formal dress code. The beach resorts also offer water sports such as sailing and scuba diving. A lot of the casinos also offer an airport limo service for its gamblers.

Online gambling is also available in Netherlands Antilles. The largest of these, Planet Poker, is located in Curacao. It has a fully recognised gaming licence which has been authorised and issued by the Curacao government.

The Netherlands Antilles casinos also include the Flamingo Casino which is the world's first barefoot casino. This amazing casino can be found alongside the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort based in Kralendijk Bonaire. The resort is considered to be one of a kind due to its spectacular fifty diving sites for its guests. It also boasts an underwater photo centre so the resort is popular with families, divers and underwater photographers or anyone who enjoys the laid back ambience of the tropics.

Before visiting one of the many Netherlands Antilles casinos it is advised that you ring ahead to discover the casinos regulations. This can include the casinos opening hours and dress code. It would also be advisable to find out if they allow alcohol to be drunk while at the tables.

Some of the Netherlands Antilles casinos offer variations of certain games. For example American Roulette alongside the standard Roulette and Caribbean Stud Poker alongside standard Poker.

Children's facilities can also be found at some of Netherlands Antilles casinos. One of these is Casino Royale based in the state of Curacao. They offer a video game arcade, ping pong, a large freshwater pool and a beachside playground.

So whatever the purpose of your vacation you can find all the facilities, luxury and tropical setting in any of the Netherlands Antilles casinos.

This article is the property of Netherlands Antilles Casinos

Costa Rica Casinos

by Adel Awwad

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Costa Rica, a small country in Central America, has gained a great deal of popularity, not also as a tourist destination, but also as a retirement paradise. The only type of gambling that is legal in Costa Rica is in casinos, of which there are over 30 in the country, the majority in San Jose, the capital. Costa Rica, or "rich coast" in Spanish, is considered the most politically stable country in Latin America, with perhaps the healthiest climate in the world, and one that welcomes over 1.5 million tourists a year. The abundant flora and fauna, the diverse scenery, and the lively excitement of the Costa Rica casinos have brought in billions of dollars to the economy.

Costa Rica casinos feature all the popular international games including mini baccarat (rummy 9), Let It Ride (tute accion), roulette, blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, craps, pai gow, slots, and video gaming machines. Club Colonial Casino with 45 slots and 12 table games, the Garden Court Fiesta Casino Alajuela with 200 slots and 84 table games, and the Gran Hotel Costa Rica Casino, with 57 slots and five table games, are all located in downtown San Jose. In addition, there are other Costa Rica casinos in small towns and suburbs of San Jose including Cabo Velas Santa Cruz, Cariari, and El Roble. Hotel Coco Verde Casino in Playas del Coco has 20 slots and four table games.

The largest Costa Rica casino is the Irazu Best Western Casino Concorde in La Uruca, with 166 slots and video gaming machines and eight table games. There is a large casino in Goicoechea, a suburb of San Jose, the Radisson Hotel and Casino Europa, which has 219 slots and 13 table games.

A number of gaming expositions and international conferences are held here, including the annual poker industry conference. This event will take place in Costa Rica in December of 2006 at the Marriott Hotel in San Jose. In conjunction with the conference, there will be a poker tournament at the Fiesta Casino for industry executive and professional poker players, who will demonstrate their strategies and skills.

Costa Rica has become a major gambling destination in Latin America and further development of Costa Rica casinos by domestic and international investors is ongoing. The large corporation of Thunderbird Tres Rios is planning construction of a hotel resort, casino, spa, and residential complex that will attract more of the middle and upper class sections of eastern San Jose.

This article is the property of Costa Rica Casinos

Antigua and Barbuca Casinos

by Adel Awwad

King's Casino is the largest casino in Antigua and Barbuda. It has 16 table games such as Caribbean stud poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette. The casino also features 300 slot machines and video poker. The casino simulcasts live horse racing and accepts wagers on not only horse racing but other sporting events. Close to most resorts, King's Casino will pay your taxi fare. The grandest of Antigua and Barbuda casinos also offers a Sports Bar with five big screen TVs in addition to live entertainment. Kings Casino is located at Heritage Quay, St. John's.

St. James Club Casino, located in Mamora Bay, is a much smaller casino in a much more intimate atmosphere. Located within the St. James Club, the casino is open from 8 pm until "late." Table games and 50 slot machines are featured.

The Royal Antiguan Beach and Tennis Resort near St. John's Harbor offers 150 slot and video poker machines.

The Grand Princess in Jolly Harbour is the newest casino and features 250 slot machines as well as blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, and roulette.

The Casino Riviera at Runaway Bay offers 35 slot machines and Caribbean stud poker, roulette, and blackjack.

Unlike casinos in the United States, Caribbean casinos aren't usually open 24 hours a day. Some don't even post actual hours, like the St. James Club Casino advertises from 8 pm until "late."

You'll want to check with the individual casino to see what their hours are. Antigua and Barbuda casinos, whether lively or quiet, are a lot of fun and most have a very friendly and helpful staff.

There are 73 casino and gambling Internet sites in the jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda, which was one of the first jurisdictions to license Internet gaming. It has been estimated that of the 12 billion dollars spent annually on Internet gaming, 25% of that figure has been from US patrons visiting Antigua and Barbuda casinos online.

This Caribbean state has been especially upset with the United States making it illegal for Americans to gamble online or at least making it illegal and/or impossible for American banking institutions to process transactions involving online gaming. However, it seems the tiny state will continue to work with the WTO to get this ruling reversed.

Perhaps, the United States ruling will influence more Antigua and Barbuda casinos to be brick and mortar establishments; however, most Americans agree that they will find a way to gamble online.

This article is the property of Antigua and Barbuda Casinos

Casino War, Tossing Coins and Expectations

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If you're going to gamble at a casino, online or land-based, it's important to know how the casino makes its money from you. Casinos make money from the players because they don't pay out at the real odds for the game. Expectation is what you can expect to win or lose long term on a given bet if you make it over and over again.If you flip a coin, you have a 50% chance of it landing on heads, and you have a 50% chance of it landing on tails. If you paid someone $1 every time you were wrong, and they paid you a dollar every time you were right, you'd be making an even money bet (also known as an even odds proposition). Your long term expectation would be 0. You would break even.The way a casino would pay out in this situation would vary from the actual odds of the game so that they could make a profit. They might pay you 95 cents every time you were right, and you would pay them $1 every time you were wrong. This would create a positive expectation for the casino, and a negative expectation for you. Half the time you would lose $1, and the other half of the time you would win 95 cents. Instead of breaking even, you would lose 2.5 cents per bet over time. (Because half the time you would win.) If you stated this in percentage terms, the house would be said to have a 2.5% advantage in this game.This might sound like an oversimplification, but it's really not at all. One of the newer casino games in Las Vegas is casino war, which is a gambling version of the card game War that you used to play as a kid.

You and the dealer each get dealt a playing card. If your card's value is higher than the dealer's, you win, and vice-versa, just like when you were playing as a kid.Here's where the casino changes the expectation in their favor though: If your card is the SAME as the dealer's card, you can either surrender (in which case you lose half your bet), or you can go to war, which means you have to make another bet the same size as your original bet. When you go to war, three cards are burned and you each get another card. If you win the "war", you ONLY get paid out on the original bet.

If you lose, the house gets both bets.So you're facing even odds unless you go to war. If you go to war, the house has an advantage, because if you win, you only get paid $1 for every $2 you've wagered.

The casino could just as easily create a game called "casino coin toss war", with very similar rules, and it wouldn't be too different from the coin-tossing game I described earlier. The single difference would be that the casino would have an almost 3% edge over you.Please drop by Major Millions for information and details about progressive slot machine games online, and also, think about reading our review of Party Poker.

How To Play Black Jack

Blackjack gets more attention on television than any other casino game (with the exception of poker). Every other week on The History Channel, Breaking Vegas features one cunning blackjack player after another manipulating the system to beat the house edge in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

Besides taking months to learn card counting, though, blackjack offers other techniques to allow a player to reduce the house advantage. So it is no surprise that new players would look at blackjack as a natural casino game with which to begin. Learning how to play blackjack is a reasonably straightforward process.

Contrary to popular belief, the object of blackjack is NOT to get as close as you can to 21 without going over. The object is to beat the dealer. To beat the dealer, you either need to be involved in the hand and have closer to 21 than the dealer does, or still be playing when the dealer busts. This distinction might seem minor, but as you learn to play blackjack, you'll realize that it has a crucial effect on your strategy decisions.

The first thing you do when approaching the blackjack table is to let the dealer know you want in the game. You'll usually have no problem getting his or her attention. If you need to turn your cash into chips, the dealer can usually accommodate you. The dealer normally holds the money up to the overhead camera, shows the money to the pit boss, or does both.

Don't get nervous that they're taking such interest in your cash; it is standard operating procedure to show everything is on the up-and-up.The dealer deals clockwise around the table one card at a time. Each player gets two cards in his hand. Then you have the choice of asking for more cards or not. If you want another card, you say "hit me" and tap on the table once or twice as if you were checking in poker.

If you do not want another card, that is called standing. To do this, simply wave your hand over the table in a negative motion. It is proper etiquette to verbalize either "hit me" or "I stand", so there is no confusion about your intentions.Your bets go where bets are indicated on the felt. This is usually self-evident.

When you make your bet, place it out for both the dealer and the cameras to see. When you are deciding whether to stand or be hit, you can also decide whether to double or split (if either is appropriate).Doubling down is normally only allowed when you have an 11, but rules vary from casino to casino, and some casinos offer doubling down options on other hands as well. This is a big plus for the player. To double down, you place an additional bet the same size as your initial bet on the felt and tell the dealer you're doubling down.

You will receive 1 and exactly 1 more card at this point, and the game moves on. (The dealer is always last to act unless he has a blackjack.)Splitting cards is only done when you have two cards of the same rank. To split cards, you put an additional bet on the table, and the two cards become the first cards in two more hands of blackjack. Traditional wisdom is that you always split aces and eights, and you never split 4's, 5's, or 10's.The dealer than continues to deal cards until you stand or go bust.

Those who win are paid off by the dealer, while the dealer collects money from those who lose. Never touch your money after it has been bet, until the game is over and you've won. If there is a tie between you and the dealer, neither side wins. This is called a push, and you get to keep your money. You move on to the next hand.(About dealer play: The dealer must play by certain rules and doesn't get to make decisions about whether or not to hit or stand.

The dealer stands on 17 or better and hits a 16 or worse. The dealer never splits his hand. This also affects your strategy, because you'll stand more often when the dealer has a 6 showing than you will if the dealer has a 10 showing. )

This article is reprinted here as a courtesy to the Major Millions fansite. Also, if you're interested, there are more free gambling articles available here.

Online Video Poker

Playing video poker isn't hard. Winning at video poker, though, is another story. If you want to master the rules and begin collecting the knowledge needed to win, you might want to try online video poker.Online video poker is in many ways better than casino video poker. It is somewhat the same as home video games are compared to old arcades. Once, the big game machines were best, but now the home computer has caught up and in some ways surpass the machine experience.

Online video poker on a home computer is often as colorful and exciting as the casino experience. The online video poker experience comes closest to capturing the casino experience of any online gambling versions on the internet.Online video poker allows you to see a lot of hands from the comfort of your own home.

The "own home" part may be most important. You are able to sit and relax at home, concentrate on the strategy of the game, away from the hustle and bustle of the casino. You can go at your own pace, while listening your favorite music and drinking a Pepsi...or whatever it is you drink these days. Whether you like deuces wild or jacks or better, whether you like to play one hand at a time or multihand, there is some kind of online casino offering the game you want to play.Just like a casino, you must pay per hand in online video poker. You get the same payouts, though sometimes there are bonus offers online. The competition for costumers is fierce, because it is a world full of potential casino affiliates, so you will find great deals at the online casinos. Almost all online casinos offer play money, free video poker games.

These allow you to practice and (sometimes) win special prizes.There are literally thousands of online video poker games these days, so you should not have any trouble finding the game suited for you. Shop around, have a look at the many options. I recommend any casino powere by Microgaming, Playtech, or Realtime Gaming software for online video poker. For the beginning simply wanting to look at hands, you can look at a thousand hands a week if you are willing to play online video poker just ten hours a week. And let's face it, most of us play that much poker in a week in our sleep.

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Black Jack Odds

Blackjack is one of the few casino games which you can affect the odds through sound playing. With foolish play, you can screw up in most any game of chance. But the decisions you make in games like craps and roulette don't necessarily change the odds. In blackjack, you decide when to hit or when to stand, as well as how much to bet and when, so you have control over thehouse edge.

Quite simply, your odds will not be the same as the poor sap standing next to you.You will often hear the words "basic strategy" when you read about blackjack. This is an important term to take note of...and an important guide to follow. When you follow basic strategy, you follow where the hard science of mathematics points. Following basic strategy, the house edge can shrink to 0.5%.

Reckless players will see the house edge notch up to somewhere between 3% to 5%. That means they are wasting the opportunities they have to win atblackjack.

Keep in mind several things when considering blackjack odds and basic strategy. First, keep in mind the number of decks being used, as well as whether the dealer hits on a Soft-17. Basically, the fewer decks, the easier it is to tell which card might next come up. Also, dealers who stand on the Soft-17 are better for you.Second, figure out the rules on doubling down. Do not play at a table where doubling down is not allowed. Double anytime the charts call for it. Find out whether you can double on a split, or whether you can surrender.

You want to have these options, which help your payout odds.Third, remember to keep a handle on your bankroll. If you win early, pocket most of your winnings. That way, you either walk out with big winnings, or have minimal losses. If you lose early, make it a hard-and-fast rule that you don¹t bet again when you get past your limit.Generally, it is wise not to double bets when you are on a losing streak.

This might not be conventionally sound, but it keeps you from doubling your bets to recover from your losses quickly. It is when you aren¹t thinking clearly that you can hurt yourself in a casino.

Be sure to read our review of Party Poker.

Common Black Jack Mistakes

All blackjack players make mistakes, even experienced card-counters. But there are some innocent mistakes that rookies seem to make on a regular basis that it's better not to make, especially if you're playing for the first time at an actual land-based casino.The blackjack mistake I'm most guilty of is sitting down and trying to play at a higher limit table than I have a bankroll for. It probably happens consistently all night long that players sit down and try to make $5 or $20 bets at a $100 minimum table. The dealers and other players get understandably frustrated when this happens.

The solution to preventing this mistake? Just have a look at the little sign on each table stating the table limits, and make sure it's the right stakes table before you sit down.Another common mistake is throwing chips haphazardly into the betting circle. Your chips should always be in a single stack, so the dealer doesn't have to get confused about whether or not you've doubled down.

Related to this mistake is handling your bet after you've placed it. Dealers will snap at you over touching your bet, because they need to make sure you're not adding chips to your bet when you have a good hand, or removing bets when you've got a bad hand.Don't touch the cards in a face up blackjack game. Cheaters will often try to mark the cards with a sharp fingernail, and the rule for not touching the cards prevents this.

Be careful when handling the cards in a face down game too, because if you're careless with the cards, you can expect correction from the dealer rather quickly.Playing live blackjack is a lot of fun, but it's a lot more fun when you avoid these common and sometimes embarassing rookie blackjack mistakes.

Counting Cards in Black Jack

Counting cards in blackjack is a way to increase your chances of winning. If you're good at it, you can actually take the odds and put them in your favor. This works because card counters raise their bets when a deck rich in cards that are advantageous to the player comes around. As a general rule of thumb, a deck rich in 10's is better for the player, because the dealer will bust more often, and the player will hit a blackjack more often.Most card counters keep track of the ratio of high cards, or 10's, by counting them as a +1 or a -1, and then gives the opposite +1 or -1 to the low cards in the deck.
Some systems use a balanced count where the number of low cards is the same as the number of 10's.But the most interesting card to me, mathematically, is the 5. There were card counting systems back in the day that involved doing nothing more than counting the number of fives that had left the deck, and when the 5's were gone, the player had a big advantage and would raise his bets.A good basic strategy player is getting a 99.5% payback percentage from the casino.

Every 5 that's come out of the deck adds 0.67% to the player's expected return. (In a single deck game, anyway.) That means that, all other things being equal, having one 5 gone from the deck gives a player a small advantage over the house.Having two or three 5's gone from the deck will actually give the player a pretty significant edge over the casino, and this is when a card counter will usually raise his bet. The problem with counting 5's and nothing else is that a deck low in 5's happens pretty rarely, so gaining a big advantage and making a profit from that situation only comes on rare occasions.Any card between 2 and 8 that comes out of the deck increases the player's expectation.

And all 9's. 10's, and aces increase the casino's expectation. But 8's and 9's have very small effects on the outcome. (An 8 only adds 0.01% to the player's expectation, so it's generally not even counted. A 9 only has 0.15% affect in the other direction, so it's not counted either.)

Understanding the effects the low and high cards have on your expected return on a bet is the first step in learning to count cards and play blackjack as a winner.The author runs several websites with information on blackjack. Please be sure to visit his new online blackjack site, or play the free blackjack games on his other site. Another good resource from the author's collection of articles is his blackjack tips article.

Video Poker

Video poker is a casino game that has much in common with slot machines, but it is a slot machine game combined with the rules of five card draw poker in a very specific manner. Video poker is often considered by many experienced gamblers to be vastly superior to slot machines because of the effect that skilled play has on the potential payback of the machine.

While slot machines are programmed to pay back a certain percentage of the money that is fed into the machine, video poker pays back a percentage that can be affected by perfect strategic play. Video poker games first appeared in the 1970's, but didn't start enjoying widespread popularity until the 1980's, when slot machine manufacturer IGT became involved in the production of video poker games.

Many people in casinos who are nervous or intimidated by table games find video poker to be a lot more "friendly" than blackjack or live poker. This is probably because video poker combines the strategic thinking of a table game like blackjack with the solitary playing experience of a slot machine.Video poker games are easily played. The player wages 1 or more coins in order to get dealt five virtual cards on a computer screen. (A smart player always plays the max bet, usually 5 coins, since the max bet triggers the bigger payoffs on the higher ranked hands.)

The player chooses which cards to hold and then draws cards to replace his discarded cards. The final hand pays out based on the payout table for the particular video game.Popular video poker games include deuces wild and jacks or better, both of which are often played either as single hands or in a multi-hand version, where the player gets to play 3, 5, 10, 50 or even 100 hands of video poker at the same time. Depending on the payout schedule for the different poker hands on a certain machine, the payback percentage on a video poker can be very good indeed. Jacks or better with a "full pay", or the highest standard payback schedule, pays back at 99.5% with perfect play. A full pay deuces wild machine pays back at 100.7% with perfect play.

In actual practice, players who don't play perfectly and make mistakes reduce the practical payback percentage on those machines by 6% or more, making video poker one of the most profitable games in the casino, especially since many video poker players play upwards of 500 hands per hour.Learning how to play video poker with perfect strategy is not terribly hard to do. There are numerous video poker strategy guides available for sale, and Bob Dancer's excellent tutorials and software teach video poker strategy through a series of both charts and lists of principles that will work effectively for different learning styles.Practicing has become much easier also, now that free video poker games have become so prevalent online.

Games like these allow you to play online with no download and no cost, and they're played using the same rules as the video poker games found in traditional land-based casinos.