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  • Archive for November, 2010

    Ladbrokes Casino wants to be your Secret Santa

    Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

    Yes, it’s that time of year. Time for the holidays, lights and trees. And Secret Santas. Now most of you out there are probably familiar with the Secret Santa concept from your office. Everyone chooses a name and you must go buy something within a given price range for the person whose name you drew. And inevitably that name belongs to some guy from a neighboring department who you’ve never met. So off you go to find a vague and inoffensive gift for the holidays.

    But this year Ladbrokes wants to make the whole Secret Santa concept a little merrier because they want to be your Secret Santa and the gift they want to give you is — money. In appropriate Secret Santa tradition, they’re giving the prizes out in £10 amounts. Because you know those office Secret Santa celebrations usually have a price limit in that range.

    Now Ladbrokes isn’t playing Secret Santa to just anyone. You have to have an account with them and you do have to turnover at least £25 for each qualifying period. The promotional period runs now through December 16th, so you have plenty of time to get in on the action. Also, you can’t live in the United States because Ladbrokes isn’t open to players from the United States. Unfortunately, due to US regulations, the online casino isn’t available there. So in the United States, you’ll just have to rely on the office Secret Santa process. Better make room for another coffee mug.

    Teaching Poker in High School

    Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

    Why didn’t they have classes like this when I was in school? Well it’s not really a class. That might be hard to get approval for. But an after school club. George Mason High School in Virginia has a new after school poker club and it’s proving to be one of the school’s most popular clubs. Now, High School clubs generally need a teacher as a sponsor. So who sponsor a poker club? How about the math teacher. It seems math teacher William Snyder decided he needed an activity that would teach students math, critical thinking, psychology, logic and strategy. And there was one activity he came up with that would do all that and still appeal to young male students - poker.

    Really, poker has an advantage that makes it “okay” for high school guys. It’s considered a masculine game. Sure it may teach math. It may require learning to read your opponent. You have to learn odds and memorize statistics. But it’s still a man’s game. And as the school has pointed out - the kids are already playing poker on their own.

    Because of course offering a poker club in a high school is controversial. Parents have questioned the wisdom of offering the club. But the school has pointed out that poker is popular now days and that students were already playing poker. So the club allows them to play in an controlled environment and to apply the activity to the classroom. The school can’t stop them from playing in the real world, but it may make them better players.

    Queen of the pyramids progressive slot

    Monday, November 29th, 2010

    There are some games out there that you only play for the progressive jackpot and this Playtech slot game is one of them. Oh, it’s not the slot action that’s the problem. This is a basic nine line, five reel slot game and when you spin the reels, the symbols either line up for the win or they don’t. Just like in any other slot game. But these days, there’s a lot of competition for my slot playing attention and a lot of games with great artwork competing for my attention. I like great artwork. And unfortunately this game doesn’t do it. Maybe it’s the unicorn.

    The game is Queen of the Pyramids. So, what’s a unicorn doing in Queen of the Pyramids? I have no idea. The slot game doesn’t have the best graphics and I wonder if a couple might have been recycled from other games. “Hey, Fred, we’ve still got that unicorn we didn’t use. What you say we add it to the game.” Okay, there are a few standard Egyptian symbols. There are pyramids, the Sphinx, The Eye of Horus, and lotus flowers. The scorpion will win you free spins. Not a bad sting there. The pharaoh is the wild symbol and the jackpot symbol.

    And there’s the unicorn symbol that must have wandered in from another game. But if you do hit the unicorn, it will launch a bonus game with a five times multiplier. Now, I’m all in favor of multipliers, but couldn’t they have invested a little time and energy into coming up with an Egyptian symbol?

    The seven deuce poker table

    Monday, November 29th, 2010

    Let’s take a little look at some poker action because I know some of you out there have to be poker players. What’s the worst hand you can draw in a Texas Hold ‘em game? If you said a seven and a two, you’re right. That’s referred to as the seven deuce hand and it is infamous in the world of Texas Hold ‘em poker for being the worse hand out there. Now, new players to poker might wonder — what is so bad about seven deuce? Certainly there are other bad hands out there. And there are. But a two and a seven are the lowest cards you can draw with four cards between them, which means they can’t make a straight. Of course, they could potentially lead to a winning hand. If they’re suited, you might get a flush out of them. Or you might even hit a full house. But every hand out there has the potential to be a winning hand, and the others have a slightly better potential to win.

    So, we’ve looked at the hand. Now let’s look at the players. What do poker players do with the worst hand in poker? They make side bets. These are guys who bet for a living (some of them), and bad odds just represent a challenge. So poker players like to make side bets at the table where anyone who wins with the seven deuce hand, gets not just the pot but the side bet. This encourages a little extra bluffing at the table and can make the action a little spicier.

    Which is why the online poker room has added new seven deuces tables. Play at these tables, and you’ll pay into the side bet pot when you join. If you win a hand with a seven deuce hand, you collect the pot and the side pot for a little extra money. It’s sure to bring a little action to the tables.

    King Tuts Treasure three reel slot review

    Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

    Camels, desert oasis, pyramids! I’m going on vacation in a couple of weeks and the trip includes a stop in Egypt to see the pyramids. I think the hotel we’re staying at has a casino. (I’ll let you know. ) But what a better way to get ready for the trip than to play some slots with an Egyptian theme. Today is a day for King Tuts Treasure.

    This is a classic three reel, single pay line slot and there’s always room for a great classic. Sometimes they can be addicting. Despite the lack of multiple reels and in game bonus games, I’m finding that I don’t want to stop playing this game. Okay, let’s look at symbols. Fewer reels don’t mean the symbols have to be boring. There are no 9, 10, J, Q, K, A symbols in this game. Instead I’ve got the Eye of Horus, the Sphinx, pyramids, King Tut himself, camels, ankhs, scarabs and palm trees. The camel is your friend in this game because just one on the pay line will win you at least twice your bet. And the boy king, King Tut, is both the jackpot and the wild symbol.

    Now, why is it fun to take a spin with a classic three reel slot arrangement? It’s an arrangement where you can easily see whether or not you’ve won. And where that single win is always at least twice your bet. Of course there’s that little temptation of seeing what symbols are above and below the winning line to tempt you to spin again. Now and then, I go back and check out a basic three reel slot just to remind myself what the game is all about. And this one has me spinning the reels for more fun.

    Canada to launch another online casino

    Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

    The United States may have the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) and be trying to chase gambling out of the country by going after payment processors. (At least that seems to be what’s happening right now.) But Canada seems to have decided that the answer is to keep opening their own government run online casinos that simply trusting it to the experts and working to license them. I don’t think either solution is the right one. The US solution presents a problem because it believes it can stop online gambling. The Canadian solution has a problem because it believes the government should be running gambling operations — while protecting people from gambling operations. There’s an old country saying to explain this process — letting the fox guard the hen house. Now I’m not going to object to the idea that the government has the right to regulate online casinos. Okay, they even have the right to restrict them. But I get worried when they start running them.

    And British Columbia’s on PlayNow just illustrates the point. That was the online casino that launched in Canada earlier this year. And then shut down the first day it launched because of security problems. It seems that the site exposed some player’s accounts and information to other players. The site went back for more testing and eventually managed to open successfully. But players still put trust in the site simply because it was run by the government. (Really? Apparently Canadians are someone different than Americans from the United States.)

    EWalletXpress might be gone

    Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

    With the passage of the UIGEA the United States Department of Justice has been going after the easy targets in the industry. No, not holiday travelers waiting in lines at the airport and eyeing the TSA with dread. (Yeah, I’ll be flying soon.) But also — not the online casinos, who are usually established in other countries. And surprisingly but reassuringly, not the online gamblers themselves because, well, that might cause an outcry like the TSA is experiencing. Nope, they’re going after the payment processors. Because payment processors hit the same nerve with the public as financial institutions, and therefore don’t cause a lot of emotional outcry. Of course, payment processors have shown a tendency to pull out of the market leaving their money behind for the Department of Justice to claim.

    Now it looks like the Department of Justice may have successfully, but unofficially, shut down the payment processor EwalletXpress. Many online casinos including Bodog, Cherry Red and others operating in the United States have encouraged players to use the Canadian based EwalletXpress for their deposits and withdraws. But since November 12th, the company has been offline and the only word anyone has been able to get is a recorded message that they are experiencing technical issues.

    The problem is, EWAlletXpress is offline and unreachable but players in the United States still have money in their eWalletXpress accounts. Those accounts are currently unreachable. So though no charges have been filed against the company, there is concern that they are being forced to exit the United States market. And even more concerns that players won’t be able to get to their money before that happens.

    Super Market Slots Review

    Monday, November 22nd, 2010

    All right, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and you know what that means — I have to go grocery shopping. And not just any shopping trip. I’m talking about one of those major grocery runs where shoppers fill a cart or two with food. So when I went looking for Thanksgiving themed slot games, I decided that Super Market Slots was the most appropriate slot for today. Rev up the shopping carts. We’re going for the money.

    Super Market slots is from Vegas Technology and is a five reel, twenty pay line slot game. The bets range from a penny a line up to $10 a line, so you can bet as much as $200 a spin. Which is about how much I’ll be spending on the Thanksgiving super market run. (Big family, lots of people. Extra stuffing is needed.) You won’t find any 9, 10, J, Q, K, A symbols in this game since Vegas Technology has turned over the focus to items from your super market shelves. The game has everything from dairy and bakery items to steaks, vegetables and condiments. But there are some hidden gems for the observant player. Look for the soup can and read that name carefully. It’s Lucre from Capitalists Soup. Perhaps a little richer than your standard chicken noodle.

    Coupons? A little extra I noticed in the game was that the symbols on the reels are surrounded by dotted lines, just like coupons. But there is also a coupon symbol on the reel and it acts as the scatter symbol and will give you some free spins if you hit three or more on the reels. But look for the bonus symbol. Line up three or more bonuses and you get to go shopping. The bonus game takes you to the super market aisles where you choose items for your cart. Each item is worth some prize money. After you’ve made your choices, you can either keep your winnings or trade to go shopping in another aisle. But the big win in this game is the $100,000 you’ll take home if you hit the big jackpot.

    Can an online casino help your Thanksgiving

    Monday, November 22nd, 2010

    When I heard All Star Slots was offering to help us Get Prepared for Thanksgiving, I immediately checked the online casino out to see if they were bringing the turkey, the fixings or the dessert. Apparently, I’ll still be doing all the cooking, though they did have some tips to help me prepare the meal. Well, mostly they advise that clean and safe food preparation is a good idea. Which is probably easy to say since they aren’t the ones cooking anything.

    Now, I have to admit, the bonus offer is a tempting one, but I’m not sure playing online casino games between November 23rd and November 25th is really going to help get Thanksgiving dinner on the table. So, if you’re the one responsible for that little bit of magic taking place, you might want to skip this one. But if someone else is actually doing the preparing, hey, guess what, All Star Slots has a great Get Prepared promotion.

    If you play slots, keno or scratch cards you can get an unlimited bonus of 60% back on a deposit up to $1000. Just use the coupon code YUMMY60. And you can use this Thanksgiving coupon as often as you like between November 23 and November 25th. If you play blackjack, video poker and table games, use the special coupon code FANTASTIC45 for 45% back on a deposit up to $1000. Again, you can use the coupon as often as you like from November 23 and November 25th.

    If you don’t yet have an account with All Star Slots they offer a $787 Welcome bonus for new players and weekly bonuses and specials to keep you playing. The casino is TST certified with downloadable software and plenty of casino games to enjoy.

    Will online gambling come to Atlantic City

    Friday, November 19th, 2010

    I haven’t seen a lot of support for online gambling from real world casinos. After all there is concern that if we can all gamble online we won’t have any reason to go to a real world casino. But the situation is a bit different in Atlantic City. Perhaps, well, perhaps because no one has any reason to go there already. So in Atlantic City, the casino are offering their support to an online gambling bill. Why? Because this bill will definitely benefit them.

    The bill under debate is named S490 and will allow real world casinos operating in Atlantic City to offer a broad selection of online casino games to New Jersey residents and even international players. Under current US law, they won’t be able to offer games to players in other states. So we’ll all just have to encourage our states to pass laws to let us gamble online. And if New Jersey passes their bill, other states may jump in once they see the benefit that the state is set to reap. Estimates from the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) are that New Jersey could raise a potential $55 million in tax money and more than $250 million in gross revenue. In this economy, states need the money. And many people will point out that taxing gambling works as a self-imposed tax. You only pay it if you want to gamble. And New Jersey is set to offer enough games to satisfy the selective gambler if the bill goes through. So far the proposed bill includes the ability to offer craps, roulette, blackjack, slot machines, red dog, pai gow, poker and other popular games. Maybe Poker Players in Washington State should consider a move.