Friday, 3 July 2020

Which Casino Games Offer the Best Deal?

So you find yourself at the casino. 

You see some characters at Great Yarmouth's Grosvenor Casino

The staff is exceptional. 

If you want a cheap meal, free bets and drinks then it's the place to go. You just need to know how to play the game!

Gambling is all about discipline. If you have no discipline, then you really shouldn't gamble because you will have no stop button. And if you have no answer to a question...there is, literally, no answer. 

Never ever...

That's not good news and why you see too many punters being controlled by gambling than controlling this big, bad bear. 

You can turn the beast into Nookie the Bear, by playing the role of Roger De Courcy, with your hand stuffed in the innards of psychopathology. 

I really enjoy a night at the casino because it is fun and I bet so little that a free bet here and there and free alcoholic drink means you have the odds in your favour. 

That's the point about gambling. 

The odds.

Is there any value in your bet? And what percentage is the rake on your given game of play? 

I really don't understand most gamblers. They are a strange bunch of ''hoodlums''. I say that tongue in cheek because most people in life are respectable (to a point) and not involved in criminal activities. Although saying that, I'm sure much of the money at casinos is laundered. Strange how you see some players betting thousands and their shoes are held together with blood, sweat and tears. I'm pretty sure there is someone waiting outside to take the ''winnings'' from the ''losings''. 

Anyway, it is surprising how few gamblers have any idea of what gambling is all about and have little idea about the basics. 

This is a big problem because they may be betting and have no idea (interest) in the overround. 

This is brainless. 

In theory, a gambler could be betting at such a ridiculous overround that they are guaranteed to lose. You are almost guaranteed to lose on any fixed odds betting and reason you should bet on skill-based sports as it is the only variable you can try to control. If you bet you can beat Garry Kasparov at chess don't be surprised if you lose. It's the same with many bets and the reason why you need to know your onions.

So which games at the casino are, in theory, the best to play because the house takes less of your hard-earned money? 

Take a look at the house edge for these popular games.

Roulette (single zero) 2.5%

Slots 2 - 10%

Three Card Poker 1.5% 

If you don't know the odds, don't bet. 

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

You Don't Have to Lose Your Shirt at the Casino

Last year, I was lucky enough to spend many months in the United States of America. Florida is a beautiful destination and West Palm Beach is one of those places that offers something for everyone. It's funny but while I've been sunning myself by day, I haven't been to the many casinos by night. It's too easy to go open the laptop and check out the USA best online casinos

As it happens, while in Florida, myself and Marlene booked a mini-cruise to the Bahamas and a day at Nassau. 

The cruise liner named Grand Classica a giant of a ship (if that is the right term). Onboard they have the customary casino. I can't say I have felt inclined to play roulette on board as there are better things to do and the dreaded double zero just gives the house (or ship) more chance to see you lose your shirt. 

So even though it is a less fancy location, you cannot beat going to the casino in the UK. 

I do enjoy getting to Great Yarmouth and the Grosvenor Casino which resides on the front of this Norfolk seaside town. In fact, this listed building is like a mansion. Well, it is a mansion and even frequented by Edward the VII, the future King of England. 

I have been to this casino on a number of occasions after going to the horse racing at Great Yarmouth and a bit of a jolly boys outing. 

Noe, here's the point that you don't need to lose your short when betting at the casino. It's just a matter of using all the casino's promotional power for your advantage. Take it from me, it makes a big difference in winning and losing cash.

For starters, check out the Facebook page for a meal deal, free bets, match bets and free drinks offers. 

In fact, if you go to the horse racing and give your ticket to the casino cashier's desk they will give you a free £5 match bet and alcoholic drink voucher so you have literally been given a tenner just to turn up. I'm not sure if this is allowed by all but I've seen people get many tickets from the races and change them to four or five vouchers and have a match bet of £50. That's quite incredible if you have no intention of betting more than that original sum. 

In an instant, you can beat the house rake and if you are lucky enough to win early you can put your money in your pocket and leave with cash in hand and shirt firmly on your back. 

So don't be fooled by those who say you can't beat the house and have a good evening in a refined setting. 

I have done this on many occasions and literally have a day at the races and stay overnight in a decent hotel without costing me a penny because I used these free promotions and a little bit of luck to win £100 and all expenses were paid. 

Who says gambling doesn't pay?

Friday, 17 April 2020

Do Casinos Track Your Losses?

Do Casinos Track Your Losses?
How much does a casino know about its players? All modern casinos require their players to use ‘Player Cards’ which is a system designed to get a hold on them. This tells them who is playing their machines, what machine they are playing, how much money they are wagering and how much time are they spending on each of their machines. 

In the slightly older times, casinos had to employ a really intricate system of surveillance cameras, personal and other tracking devices to keep an eye on their players. This came with a lot of tediousness. Not only did they have to alert throughout, they also had to be smart & vigilant enough to track some of the more carefully planned errors. 

Over time, casinos starting pushing the player cards in the garb of loyalty programs. Players were encouraged to buy such cards so that they could avoid buying coins, paper money or tickets. This was originally inspired by the credit card and airline card systems where rewards (food, rooms, gifts, cash, free play etc.) exist but every kind of behaviour is also recorded. 

The membership is always free and each player is issued a card when he or she signs up at the players’ club booth. The machines too were modified later to include card readers so that every member inserts the card to initiate a game. Casinos, at the end of all this, are able to get a definite sense of their customers by using complex programs that sort through data. All of this is then broken into demographic detail, an analysis of behaviour of sorts, which allows them to modify or introduce new offers. 

The player analysis also helps casino draw generics and target players accordingly. For example, retired men and women under 30 have similar proclivities when it comes to gambling. This information is especially gold for casinos who can devise and innovate for these needs. When this cloud of data is enquired, an animated sense of behaviour is realized. 

The data analysis tells them how to approach a gambler individually and also where they fit collectively. Where they’re at that evening, what they are likely to do next and the whole profitability factor. Casinos, to put in simple terms, are not particularly interested in a player’s win/loss record but the design of their game-play and how they can be targeted. 

The whole deal might seem very sketchy and a bit intrusive too. But there are quite a few advantages to using a player card: 

Free Slot Play: Every casino offers free slot play reward when a player signs up newly. This allows players to try out a few slots and get their heads around how things work in a casino. These rewards are usually loaded into the card by default. 

Complimentary Gifts: Casinos offer gifts in many ways to encourage loyalty on the player’s part. These gifts are often interesting and useful that tends to showcase the personality of the place. There’s usually a team dedicated to these aspects of casino that put in good thought. Free drinks to gas cards, the gifts range according to individual tastes. 

Travel: Many casinos offer travelling as a complimentary gift that usually includes visiting a sister casino. The lowest tier players too are offered in many cases where a short trip, usually a bus ride away, is offered along with the stay. 

Tracking of Losses: 

One thing is for sure. If you’re a frequent visitor and enjoy a bit of gambling every now & then, it is imperative to keep a track of your gambling winnings and losses. This helps you to deduct losses because the government mandates to provide tickets, statements, receipts or any other form of proof that acts as acknowledgement. 

Gambling winnings are certainly taxed like regular income. Every time you cash in a slightly large amount in chips, you are asked to show your ID and fill out a tax form. The government however allows you to deduct your losses from the winnings but not more than the winnings.

It is therefore highly important to have clear idea of where the losses have occurred and to ensure a proof of sorts resides with us. Let’s say you get lucky and win really big. To reduce your taxes, you would want to reduce your losses from the gambling winnings. If there is no document around that supports your claim of having lost so much, there’s no way the government is going to believe it. This is where the player’s card comes in very handy. Every casino that gives out this card will require you to swipe or use it all the time. Casinos are then able to track your performance and maintain a record of wins and losses. Thereby, when the taxing time is around, the casino can give a detailed account of losses.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Casino Bucket List: Seven World Famous Casinos You Have To Visit

Crown London Aspinalls (London)
The Kurhaus of Baden-Baden Casino 

Back in 2006 everyone in England knew all about Baden-Baden. At the height of the WAG culture, England captain David Beckham campaigned for wives and girlfriends to travel to the 2006 World Cup in Germany. 

As skipper and just about the most powerful man in English football, he got what he wanted and they all checked in at the spa town of Baden-Baden. For three weeks it was paparazzi photos of Cheryl Cole, Victoria Beckham, Colleen Rooney and co drinking cocktails all day, making trips making to designer boutiques in the afternoons and hitting the nightclubs when the sun went down. What a waste. 

They should have ventured up the mountain to the town’s famous Casino. On the outskirts of the Black Forest, the 1824-built Casino is made to look like a French palace in the Belle Epoch style, filled with chandeliers suspended by velvet ropes, golden mirrors and hand-painted stained-glass windows. 

The surrounding Caracalla Spa is a 43,000 square-foot complex with thermal waters in pools, grottos and whirlpools and once you’re done feeling cleansed and invigorated, you can always visit the Faberge Museum, also on the premises. Up the road is the Iffezheim racetrack, home to some of Europe’s most prestigious horseracing events. 

Dostoyevsky’s famous ‘The Gambler’ is set there and the great Marlene Dietrich, who knew a thing or two about these things, called it ‘the most beautiful Casino in the world’. 

Hotel de Paris & Casino de Monte-Carlo (Monaco) 

If it’s luxury, exclusivity and tasteful bling you want, head to this one. 

Created, built and owned by Monaco’s ruling Grimaldi family as a way of financing the principality almost 150 years ago, it’s been a big hit among millionaire businessmen, big-spending sportspeople, deep-pocketed playboys and members of European royalty ever since. 

It’s not unusual to see millions of pounds worth of sports cars parked outside the doors or to spot world-famous names chancing their arms at Roulette, Blackjack or Baccarat. Mind you, it’s not so easy to get a game there as most evenings are invite-only affairs and getting on the guest list is easier said than done. 

Part of Ocean’s Twelve was filmed there and It was the inspiration for James Bond’s first-ever gambling outing in Casino Royale. That’s pretty appropriate because as far as the world’s Casinos go, it’s royalty. 

Estoril Casino (Portugal) 

Like with the Monte Carlo Casino, James Bond makes a stop here as well, this time in ‘On her Majesty Secret’s Service’. And that’s hardly surprising. 

During the Second World War it was a popular meeting place for real-life spies, double agents, informers and ‘upmarket’ criminals, so a realistic spot for 007 himself to get to work at. Rubbing shoulders with the spies of the day were also dethroned Royals and wartime chancers, playing the tables like everyone else. 

These days it’s a slick, smooth, sharp operation that lacks the somewhat artificial feel of a Vegas Casino and is far more friendly to the general public than some others on this list. 

Located in the seaside town of Estoril, the Casino boasts a performance space for concerts, a valuable art gallery and one of Portugal’s finest Chinese restaurants. 

But what about the gambling? Well, there’s the small matter of it having the largest slots/video poker gaming area of any Casino in Europe, on the ground floor. Head upstairs for all the usual table games.

If you’re not currently within a stone’s throw of Estoril, you can always play casino games at Marathonbet, instead. Signing up and getting under way should take you less than five minutes. 

Marino Bay Sands (Singapore) 

Not every Casino on this list can have history on its side and this one isn’t even quite a decade old. Built in 2010 and apparently costing a rumoured $8 billion, it’s thought to be the most expensive standalone Casino in the world ever built. 

Nightclubs? An indoor ice-skating rink? Michelin-starred restaurants? You got it. They’re all there, as are 600 gaming tables and over 2,5000 slot machines in what is the best-known building in the whole of Singapore.

If you’re one of the guests occupying one of the 2,561rooms you’d be well-advised to take a trip to ‘the pool’, which happens to be the largest infinity pool in the world, on the top-floor roof deck. 

Venice Casino (Venice) 

This one has more time on its side than any other featured here. After all, it’s the world’s oldest Casino.

Admittedly, the building in which its located has only been the site of the Casino since the 1950s but before that, Venice Casino was just a couple of doors down and had been since 1638. 

It manages to combine classic good taste with modern, understated d├ęcor and cool lighting and doesn’t make an unnecessary spectacle of the gaming itself. Games are played out in a professional, controlled way rather than in the loud, chip-throwing, vigorous-clapping environment of a few other Casinos we could name. 

Given a trip to Venice Carnival or the Film Festival are great outings in their own right, a trip here to the Casino is a must, if only to be able to say you once arrived at a Casino by water taxi. 

The Wynn Casino (Macau) 

Say what you like about the controversial Steve Wynn but he sure knows how to build a Casino. Having been responsible for the facelift given to lots of Casinos on the Vegas strip in the 90s and having owned plenty of Casinos in Vegas for almost 50 years, he decided to roll the dice in the East. 

The Wynn, built on Macau’s waterfront, comes under the lavish and decadent category of gaming joints. Another one where Michelin-starred restaurants are two-a-penny and one where the grounds have more luxury shopping outlets than most mid-size cities have in total. 

There are 840 slot machines and 500 table games to choose from in a place that’s all about the extravagance. Case in point: a Dragon of Fortune with an animated head and red eyes rises 30ft from the at regular intervals to the shock of the Casino’s patrons. Just because. 

Crown London Aspinalls (London) 

Sadly, you can’t just rock up and play here. You’ll need to fill in a membership form in advance, e-mail or fax it to the Club and well, hope for the best. You’ll also need a Tuxedo or an evening dress because a place for the gambling riffraff, this is not. 

When it first opened its doors in the 1960s it really was the place for English aristocrats to gamble away money they hadn’t worked for, in luxurious surroundings. Among those was Lord Lucan, whose disappearance in 1974 remains one of England’s great unresolved mysteries. Founder John Aspinall didn’t want his mate to be forgotten about and erected a bust of the enigmatic Lord within the Casino. It’s still there. 

These days it’s more representative of Mayfair’s current residents, so English gentry has been replaced by internet millionaires, the odd Premier League footballer and other folks for whom money is of little concern. But there’s still something very special and classy about the place and the name is still associated with everything that’s affluent and stylish about London nightlife.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Is Gambling to Do with Nature or Nurture?


It's an interesting question. 

I am part of a horse racing Facebook page - Craig's Betting Blog. It's a new page with about 34 members. I help Craig promote his website. 

What I love about horse racing is that you can bump into people from all over the UK if not the world. 

Craig comes from Liverpool, a great fan of his football and two-year-old horse racing. He, like me, can't get enough of two-year-old horse racing. As we know, domestic thoroughbred horse racing has come to a halt but that hasn't stopped Craig's Facebook Page (or website for that matter) from carrying on regardless. 

Anyway, I could ramble on for an eternity about people, horse racing, gambling and all those things that put a smile on your face. 

One of the members of Craig's Betting Blog Facebook page is Seamus Furlong. 

To learn a little bit more about each of the 34 members of the page I asked this question: 


I wonder which part of the world does everyone come from? Hometown and your favourite racecourse you go to regular. I want to put some pins on my new globe.

Only about three of the group replied. However, those who have a good story to tell.
This is what Seamus Furlong said:


I’m southeast of Ireland, a little village called Camolin. It has three petrol stations, three pubs, four shops, and butchers. It's a nice community. Everyone knows each other. The only downside is if you fuck up everyone knows.


Wexford is the nearest racecourse but my fav course is Punchestown.

Mick Fitzgerald, ex-jockey, was two classes behind me in school sound lad. 

Jimmy fortune ex-jockey lived about three miles from me, sound lad, as well. Bobby Beasley ex-jockey rode Captain Christy to win the Gold Cup in 1974. Thomson Beasley’s father in law trained a Grand National winner. I can’t remember his first name or the horse's name bit before my time.

Anyway, Seamus replied about a recent visit to Great Yarmouth Grosvenor Casino. Readers may know I like to visit this Norfolk coast for horse racing, casino nights out and just to have a relaxing holiday. 

Seamus considered whether gambling is a matter of nature or nurture. 

This is a philosophical debate.

I wonder if Charles Darwin was a gambling man? (Yes, I know it was the Theory of Evolution rather than specific to nature vs nurture but they are all found along the same path depending where you stop).

I studied Psychology at the Open University. I manage to achieve a 2:1, so I guess I have a little bit of understanding.  

This will be far from a tutor-marked assignment (just as well).

I will detail my basic thoughts from a personal perspective. So the answer, from what I understand, is this:

Would I have been interested in gambling if it hadn't been for environmental factor/influence? 

Most socialisation comes from your parents or caregivers. My mum has never been that interested in gambling. However, she used to play the lottery for a number of years. Considering this started when I was in my late 20s I very much doubt she steered me down the gambling route. 

So if I have anyone to thank or blame, it is most likely to do with my dad, Colin. My father loved a bet. He loved going to Great Yarmouth racing, and he used to enjoy going to the casino when they had one in March (our home town) called the March Cabaret Club & Casino owned by local businessman Peter Skoulding. If memory serves, all of my family, relatives and Dad's friends loved the place. Uncle Keith used to tell me how he would go broke every Saturday night and work all week returning like something out of Groundhog Day. Even though most must have lost their shirts, it sounds like a lot of fun. 

Have I followed in my father's shoes? 

I know for a fact, my love of horseracing and gambling comes from my father.

Dad wasn't a big gambler. He was like most people too busy earning a living to be able to make his betting pay. He had a few big wins over the years when a yankee or two come in. He never backed short-priced horses so a few bets made biggish money. However, I doubt very much he was in pocket. 

Anyway, that is another story. 

So nurture definitely played its part in my journey of life. 

But what about nature?

Would I have been a gambler if never being in the betting goldfish bowl (so to speak)? 

That's the trouble with psychology and trying to manipulate variables. How can you take the nature out of nurture or nurture out of nature? 

More importantly, would you gamble without experiencing it for yourself? 

Homo sapien evolved to gamble, even before the casino was built up the road. It was probably the characteristic or trait that gave an advantage over the other poor souls who didn't appreciate those two flies crawling up a wall. 

Seamus said he had read somewhere about genes of a past king influencing the likelihood of a future generation of gamblers. 

It could well be the case individuals are more prone to gambling just because of their DNA, biological capacity, or whatever you wish to call it. 

But, without question, gambling, as with all aspects of the human condition is intertwined between nature and nurture. 

Saturday, 21 March 2020

The Mysterious Psychology of Playing Roulette

I guess Ian Flemings' Casino Royale, starring James Bond 007 helped bring a touch of glamour to roulette. Originally written in 1953, the 2006 film, starring Daniel Craig, was very well received in many critics' Top 10 Lists.

For many punters, they simply rely on Lady Luck. However, is there any psychological underpinning to why people love to bet at the roulette table?

The main reason we love to play roulette is due to dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter in the old grey matter that's your brain (if you didn't know). Dopamine is released whenever we do something pleasurable so I suggest you draw up a list. Also, more in keeping with gambling, when something is uncertain that may have a favourable outcome. 

Just like a big stack of chips on the number 23 red. 

Interestingly, a near miss on the roulette, perhaps number 10 black if you are betting on 23 red, even though a loss (boo hoo) is more pleasurable than a big miss.   

It inspires you to carry on gambling...

How many times have you said: ''That was close?'' ''The bloody ball just bounced out of 23'' 

''BLEEP''

You probably bring your own personal psychology to roulette in the sense that you may have a favoured number (15th in my pet dog's birthday), you may have green fingers so go for the colour green and number (zero). 

In a way, playing roulette is similar to taking drugs because it taps into the dopamine pathways of pleasure. 

Playing online, where you have the opportunity to spin the wheel actually adds the addictive nature. Another reason why online slot machines are very addictive. 

Unlike playing poker you are in essence playing against yourself with roulette...all those internal influences and ''Lady Luck'' who you are sure isn't far away. 

In truth, your fate relies on the spin of a wheel, numbers (0 - 36) and just three colours (red, black and green). 

Where will the ball stop?