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    Why casinos will support online poker

    Thursday, October 7th, 2010

    In the United States (because the rules are different here), there’s beginning to be a thaw between brick and mortar casinos and one specific group on online casinos. Well, not exactly casinos, but online poker rooms. Now, these brick and mortar casinos are still opposed to legislation supporting general online gambling. But online poker rooms may gain their approval and I want to talk about why. (This is the cool part about having a blog, I can talk about why.)

    So, let’s take a look at brick and mortar casinos for a moment. They offer a variety of games and some of those games make more money for the casino than others. For example, slots can make a ton of money. You can squeeze in a lot of players and a lot of machines for a very fast paced game where the casino sets the odds. Poker, not so much. Poker games take more room and move more slowly. But add to that is the problem that the only money casinos make from poker games is the rake - a portion of the pot. There is no house advantage in poker. The players contribute the money and the winning player takes it away. Of course top casinos still devote some space for poker players and poker tournaments can be good business. And here’s the trick with that.

    Most big poker tournaments are sponsored by online poker rooms. The tournaments are a chance for the best players to get together and battle it out in a real world game. They provide advertising for the poker room and for the casino. So, opposing online poker could actually put real world casinos in danger of losing some tournament action. So, don’t be surprised when you hear the brick and mortar casinos are in favor of online poker rooms, but not online casinos. It’s all about the money.

    Coffee Quote: Everybody should believe in something.  I believe I’ll have another coffee.  ~Author Unknown

    Not a high roller - play online

    Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

    Okay, let’s take a look at the world of real world casinos for a moment. Well, at least part of a blog. The part inspired by the news that the annual Asian Casino & Gambling Congress just recommended that Singapore casinos target more high rollers. Apparently economic growth isn’t expected to be very high next month and so the casinos may need to target the high stakes gamblers because they’ll be the only people who still have money. The rest of us will be eking out a living writing blogs and trying to scrap together enough money for the penny slots machines.

    Okay, the situation may not actually be that desperate, but the truth remains — the real world casinos want the high rollers and they work to bring them in. How? Well, let’s look at how most of us would plan a vacation to Las Vegas. We’d go online and check out the hotels and the rates to see where and when we can get a discount. Then we’d debate a night at the Luxor versus a night at a discount hotel. Then we’d check the flights out and the airfare. We’d figure out a budget for food and transportation and maybe for souvenirs. Sounds like typical vacation planning.

    And here’s how a high roller plans a trip to Vegas - they pick up the phone and call their concierge and say “I want to come these days and see these shows.” Then everything is arranged for them. And if they really are high rollers, the tab is picked up by the casino. Nice, huh? Well, these are the people the real world casinos want.

    For me, online casinos are the casinos for the rest of us. Yeah, that Vegas vacation can be great (it really can be) but how often can you afford to go? Most of us can’t afford to gamble enough to be treated like a high roller. But with a click of a mouse, we can visit our favorite online casino and gamble — even if we are only playing for pennies. In fact, we can play for free. Great if you want to try out a new game or two. So, gambling, it’s not just for high rollers. Join the online revolution.

    Coffee Quote: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.  ~Author Unknown

    Party Casino adds live dealers

    Friday, September 17th, 2010

    Okay, so it’s the newest trend in online casinos — the live dealer. Of course, this is opposed to computer dealt games, not zombie or vampire dealers. Though actually, Zombies and Vampires have lots of fans if anyone is looking for the next new casino trend. But back to the live dealers. Casinos going for this option aren’t trying to make every game a live play game. After all, you don’t have a live dealer for video poker or slots even in a real world casino. So play on those remains the same. But Party Casino offers a live dealer option for blackjack, roulette and baccarat.

    Now, why the live dealer option? Well, if you know any blackjack pros, you’ll know that card counting doesn’t work with the online game. Now, this doesn’t mean that Party Casino wants online blackjack players to start card counting. But the random number generator used to generate or deal blackjack cards in an online casino is not exactly the same as cards dealt from a real deck. So I can see blackjack players being attracted to the live dealer game. The same with any other game that uses cards, such as baccarat.

    But then there’s roulette. Okay, roulette amuses me because I don’t see any reason to play it either online or in the real world casino. It’s visually appealing and there’s always the lure of putting a chip down on one number and winning a fortune. But in the long run, roulette odds aren’t in your favor. And having a real live croupier spin that wheel doesn’t really change that. But some people do believe that they can watch the live wheel and predict the most likely numbers. (Honestly, gang, if a wheel is that badly off alignment, the casino will replace it.)

    Now Party Casino is adding another enticement to its live games. The cards are dealt by a staff of attractive female dealers. Players will be able to communicate with their dealer using a live chat window. Now, when I see this, I always wonder how many people send the dealer messages like “wave your left hand” just to see if they really are reading the messages. Well, we can always head over to Party Casino to find out.

    Coffee quote: I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.  ~Flash Rosenberg

    Slots-tember at Super Slots Casino

    Friday, September 10th, 2010

    It’s Slots-tember at Super Slots casino. And you know if any month needed a little help, it’s September. After all, it comes right after summer and before the really good holidays start. So, if you need something to celebrate in September, why not slots games. And Super Slots Casino is here to help. Slots-tember runs through September 30th and features “Beat the Bank.”

    All you need to do to take part is register at Super Slots Casino and then visit the tournament lobby to sign up for the games. The entry fee is just $10 with rebuys being available. The player with the highest balance at the end of the tournament wins, so practice that reel spinning.

    Beat the Bank is a five reel, twenty five pay line game where you try to rob a bank. (bank robbery seems to be a popular slots theme. And if you beat the bank this way, it’s legal. But please don’t try this at your neighborhood bank.) The game relies on those exciting 9, 10, J, Q, K, A, symbols which mean that no one wanted to pay a designer for a few more unique symbols. (Honestly, they didn’t even try real hard to individualize the card symbols). Other symbols include blue prints, a security camera, diamonds and a security guard. The scatter symbol is the safe door and the substitutes symbol is the thief. The game has a free games feature which can be triggered by the Thief appearing on reels 2, 3 and 5. And the Beat the Bank feature is triggered when three or more scatter symbols appear on the reels. In the Beat the Bank feature, you open safes to claim the money and can win up to 1024 times your triggering bet.

    Online Gambling Betfair launches an iPad betting app

    Monday, August 30th, 2010

    Despite the European Union and the supposed promise of unified gambling laws throughout Europe, every country has been off pursuing its own specific gambling legislation. And without much opposition. In Holland, the Dutch Ministry of Justice had a committee review the country’s online gambling laws and report back. The report supports the legalization of online poker, but states that other online gambling, such as casino games and sports betting should be illegal in the country.

    While this is good for online poker, or maybe if the country does pull what France did and restrict players to only playing on sites operating within the country. Since poker is essentially a social sport where players are expected to compete against one another, restricting play affects poker players more than it would slot players or blackjack players.

    But this proposal to legalize poker but not other gambling games isn’t sitting well with those in Holland. Sports betting and lottery are already allowed in the country under existing laws and managed by the state owned monopoly DeLotto. So, the report would have the country restricting sports betting which is currently legal and which I’m sure has as many fans as poker. Since it seems that sports betting would still be allowed and controlled by DeLotto, this is criticized by some as offering the state a monopoly on the popular form of gambling.

    So, once again, online gambling comes under debate in Europe. Though right now there’s no indication that anyone will act quickly on the committee’s report. After all, politicians elsewhere have proven that they’ll ignore a committee report in favor of gambling if the politicians aren’t in favor of gambling.

    Coffee Quote: A morning without coffee is like sleep.  ~Author Unknown

    Online Casino News Play with live dealers

    Thursday, August 19th, 2010

    Okay, this is just weird. I may need more coffee before I’m ready to deal with it in the morning. And it’s a good thing that camera only works one way because I’m not ready to be seen yet. One way viewing of online gambling may be a good idea. I haven’t decided yet. But two way viewing would probably be downright scary.

    Okay, here’s how it works. Palace Casino has launched palaceslive.com (which can be accessed from within their regular online casino). Palaces live lets players take part in certain games, such as blackjack and roulette, while viewing a live table and live dealer in the real Palaces Casino in Great Britian. It’s sort of a virtual casino trip to England.

    The effect is accomplished by combine streaming video with 3D technology. The trick is that though it’s easy enough to stream you video of a roulette table in action, it’s a bit tricky for you to reach through your monitor and put a chip on the real table. (Don’t try. You’ll only bruise your knuckles.) So while you see the real dealer and actually view the real roulette wheel spin, you actually place your bet on a virtual 3D table. There is also an option to chat privately with the dealer, so you can have a conversation if you have a question. (I wonder how many people are going to start asking the dealers to wave just to prove the feed is live.)

    Now, I expect this form of online casino will appeal to some people. It certainly is interesting to drop in and watch. But those who enjoy the non-personal aspect of playing only against a computer that doesn’t get impatient or wonder about your choices will probably still opt for the expected “virtual” virtual world of online casinos.

    Coffee Quote: Computer, coffee, hot. In a cup this time! - Captain Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

    Mummys Gold Casino Review

    Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

    One day I’m going make a list of strange casino names. Now, think this one through, gold is supposed to suggest wealth. And mummy suggests that you’re dead and buried. Well, buried in a big tomb filled with gold. But still, there’s that dead part. Which may be why I never seem to have an urge to play on Mummy’s Gold Casino. So I decided, hey, I should go check this site out and reassure myself that it isn’t really a bad casino. And that being dead isn’t a requirement.

    So, the Mummy’s Gold main page is done in purple. Lots of dark purple. Which is a rich color. There is a nice desert image with pyramids at the top. But mostly lots of swirly and flashy things on the page encouraging me to play with them. Up front and easy to find are the options to either download the software or use the instant play option. I often check out the instant play first. But before I do that, I better bebop over and check out the terms. I’m in the US and that sometimes causes problems with UK casinos. It’s not me they don’t like. It’s the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). Mummy’s Gold is going to leave it up to me to decide if I can legally play on the site. And sometimes instant play isn’t. So after three browser tries and restarting Firefox…I’ve got a page where I can see the games, but no user name yet. Okay, under help, I have a register option and a can even start with a guest account if I give them my email. Not too bad, but that could have been a bit more obvious.

    The slots games are in no particular order, so I’ve randomly selected one, but nothing is happening. Hmm, bouncing over to Video Poker. Okay, after clicking viciously a few times, I get Double Double Bonus Poker to load. Whoa, lots of bright reds and blues. Really not easy on the eyes, guys. Okay, it does auto holding on the cards and you might want to check your strategy card against the suggestions. Back over to slots, some vicious clicking on Chainmail makes the game finally open. Yeah, more bright colors, but that’s expected in a slots game. The table game selection looks impressive, but I’ll skip the vicious clicking and get on with the review.

    Let’s see the details. Mummys Gold is part of the Palace Group managed by Bayton Ltd and registered in Malta. The site is certified fair and safe by eCOGRA, which is a good thing. And they’re running Microgaming software.

    So, as far as certification and gaming software, everything is good. But I think they need to look a bit more into the site presentation itself and fix that vicious clicking issue. Because not everyone who plays is going to be over-caffeinated. If you play at Mummy’s Gold and enjoy it, don’t stop. But if you’re looking for casinos, check these online casinos.

    Coffee Quote: If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning. Mae West

    Casino News The Golden Nugget Facebook Game

    Friday, August 13th, 2010

    There seem to be a lot of free gambling related games on Facebook this days and even more games that require the player to check in at regular times and click on things to earn points. Somehow the new Golden Nugget Casino game on Facebook manages to combine the worst of features of each of those as well as the continued offer of posting notices to annoy your friends.

    Now, let me explain — I haven’t just read about the game. I’ve been playing it. Like I played Yoville and Farmville and one of the many aquarium games and the garden game. Eventually the continued mouse movement to click all of these aggravated an already sensitive nerve and they literally became a pain in the neck. But because the Golden Nugget game involves setting up your own casino, I decided to give it a try.

    You’ll start out with a very basic casino floor and enough money to buy a few games, like slot machines, to furnish your casino. Now, here’s the first problem. You purchase a game and set it up, at which point it runs for a specific time before you can collect your money. While the game is running, there isn’t much to do except visit friend’s casinos, but I’ll get to that in a bit. First let’s look at run times. The amount of time a game has to run before you can collect varies greatly from 30 seconds for a slot machine to a day for a poker table. Others run 2 hours or 4 hours. But if you aren’t there to collect your earnings when the game finishes running, you lose some of the profit. With the 30 second slots, you’ll spend a lot of time clicking and clicking on Facebook without getting much else done. But set up a longer game and you’ll have to remember to keep going back to Facebook to see if it’s time to collect. And if it pays off when you’re sleeping or on the drive home, well, you’ll lose some profit. Of course, this being Facebook, you really don’t have any opportunity to set up your own schedule.

    So, running the casino is basically a click and earn points type of game. You’ll be promoted to send annoying notices to all your friends about the game and you are able to redecorate the casino with your profits. You can even expand the casino. But all of this requires that you spend days actively playing the game to advance levels and earn profit. There even adding an bank where you can use your credit card and spend real money to add things to your virtual, not real money, casino. Yep, you spend money to get, umm, pixels.

    So, what do you do while waiting for the tables to earn money? Well, you can visit friend’s casinos, or Ace’s Casino since he’s always there, and play games. Until you run out of chips. Then, well, you have a problem. Because when you run out of chips, you can’t use your profit to buy more. You have to wait for friends to send them to. So, if you don’t have friends on Facebook who play the game and are willing to send you chips, you don’t get new chips. Which means you can’t actually play casino games themselves unless you bug friends to play the game and send you chips.

    Run out of chips and what to play video poker or slots? Well, may I suggest that you leave Facebook and check out many of the online casinos on the web. Many of them even offer a practice play option where they’ll give you as many pretend chips as you want to play the games and you don’t have to bug any of your friends. When you’re done playing, just exit the casino and it’ll be there when you want to go back. No need to check in all day long to make sure it’s still operating. Oh, and if you want to spend real money at a real online casino, guess what — you can win real money. Money, not pixels. Thanks to Facebook, real gambling actually becomes a better value for your dollar than pretend gambling.