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'' 


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? 

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Promotion at Great Yarmouth Grosvenor Casino

Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth
Last Saturday (14th March) we ventured to Great Yarmouth and one of our favourite places the Grosvenor Casino, Shadingfield Lodge

It was a bit of a family occasion, my two brothers and I, plus extended family. With the fears of the Corona virus we thought it would probably be the last chance to get out and by the look of things, this is true. 

We travelled from our hometown of March, in Cambridgeshire, by train, changing at Ely and Norwich before the final journey shadowing the Acle straight to Great Yarmouth. The journey takes about two and a half hours. Not too bad with company but boring as hell if travelling alone. 

Anyway, we arrived at the Norfolk coast at about 7:30pm. Waiting for Albies taxi in the bitter cold. I didn't realise how cold it was. They are normally like clockwork but we waited a good ten minutes which seemed longer as the wind blew. 

The taxi dropped us off at the Embassy Hotel. I've stayed there before and the manager, David, is a great person, very helpful & polite. We were shown to our room 28, up in the rafters. It was the family room which consisted of three beds a double and two singles. I think the hotels fall short when it comes to decore but if this room had been decorated to a high standard it would have been the most exquisite room you could find. I couldn't help but think about how I would make the room look if mine. 

I'm not sure if you have stayed at Great Yarmouth, but the cost of staying in a hotel out of season is very affordable. In fact, this family room cost just £50 including breakfast. The Embassy Hotel is a lovely building, especially the bar area, that reminds me of a traditional pub in its contrasting green and brown flock-style wallpaper. 

Embassy Hotel Great Yarmouth Anyway, we settled into our room, had a cup of tea or two then walked from Camperdown to Marine Parade, less than fives minutes away. We walked past Pamela's restaurant that is a hidden gem for fine dining. I would recommend this establishment as you will not be disappointed. 

We arrived at the Grosvenor Casino at about 8:30pm. I love this listed building and it is a beautiful building. In fact, it was a place frequented by royalty and the future King of England Edward VII. 

You need to be a member to play and unfortunately, there were three new members before us which meant we had to wait for about 20 minutes. They really need a different process or swipe-card system as it took literally ten seconds for my memebership card to be scanned. 

I think it must have been one of those days as I didn't have much luck when eating at the in-house restaurant. The plus side is that the room is simply majestic with high ceilings, ornate coving and huge mirrors. It is a beautiful room which looks over the front. In fact, you can see the Wellington Pier across the road. 

Now here is the problem. We have had a few niggles with the restaurant before with very slow service or poor-quality food. To be fair, it can vary from one extreme to another so you don't know what to expect. The staff are always exceptional. They do their best but there must be a lack of communication because I was left wanting when it came to ordering my meal. 

I follow the Great Yarmouth Grosvenor Casino Facebook page to see if they have any promotions. 

I noticed their St. Patrick's Day promotion which ran until the 17th March. The promotion said: Beer, Burger Bet for £12.95. 

This sounded great value. These promotions are detailed to attract new and old customers alike. However, there was a problem. Upon asking the staff about the offer they didn't have any idea what I was talking about!

It really is something and nothing but this just isn't what customers need. If it had been a new customer they would have been left feeling they were the problem for asking for a promotion. At one point, I had three members of staff helping, talking to others, making a phone call, and needing to take my membership card (I have no idea why) and waited literally 20 minutes for the order to be taken. That would be bad enough if I was alone, but my two brothers' order wasn't being cooked because of my promotional meal was in limbo. 

It really is something and nothing but I wasn't happy about it because it shouldn't be a problem. Will it put me off asking for more promotions? No. I could have easily said forget about the promotional burger and got something simple. However, I didn't for the principle because these problems need to be ironed out. I was sent a survey a couple of days later and detailed all of this and I left a message on the Facebook page. It may seem a bit picky but I may save someone else a bit of hassle and it makes companies appreciate if they have an offer or promotion they live up to expectation.   

I was left feeling a bit irritated by the whole scenario. I could tell I was looked upon as the problem when that was far from the case. 

In future, I will be asking for every promotion the restaurant offers and if they don't know about it then I will ask to see the manager and detail all this again. 

I finally got my beer, burger and bet for £12.95. The burger was very good. It was the Cha Cha Slide that is meant to cost £8.95. I had a pint of Coors lager (worth about £5) and given a free bet voucher for £10 to play on the roulette or blackjack table. So in essence, the meal cost about -£2. I think the general bet voucher of £5, but I imagine they gave me the £10 for the hassle and delay. 

People may read this and think I am a grumpy old man. Perhaps, at times, I am but apart from a few occasions, I sing the praises of the Great Yarmouth Grosvenor Casino. I have written many posts on varied websites giving glowing praise and have little doubt I've informed many readers about the existence of this casino and this seaside town as a place to holiday. In fact, if these posts had been paid advertising they would have cost several hundred pounds. 

After an hour or so in the restaurant, we walked downstairs to the gaming room. It has slots, blackjack, poker, three-card poker & roulette. 

Considering the Corona virus was being brought to our attention I was surprised how many people were betting. I guess they, like us, wanted one last opportunity to forget about the problems at hand. 

I don't bet much money at the casino as it is more of a social thing than trying to lose the shirt off my back. The casino are so desperate to get you betting they are very interested in giving you free bets. I had my £10 free bet and a couple of other £5 match bets from a previous occasion. I put £20 on the roulette table and given £40 in bets. This is the reason you are very likely to win when betting small stakes. 

The rake on roulette is (if memory serves) 2.7%. So I firmly have the odds in my favour. This is the way to make your betting pay but also have a great evening out which costs next to nothing. Remember my promotion meal (yes, I haven't forgotten it was hard-fought) cost me nothing. In fact, I was £2 in pocket. 

Additionally, all soft drinks, tea and coffee are free to all when betting downstairs. When you consider these would normally cost £4 - £5 a time you are looked after. They are brought to you at the table or from the bar.

I generally play roulette. I've had a few games at three-card poker but the rake is poor and if playing for a number of hours I think you need to be very lucky to win. From what I have seen, you are more likely to lose. I have the most boring approach to playing roulette. I bet on a single number and hope it comes up early. It is the equivalent to watching paint dry but it is just about the only way I know to give yourself a chance of winning. 

This time I stuck with the number 28. It had come up a couple of times before I started and I often stick to those as they seem to come up again. Unfortunately, number 28 must have been sitting in the middle of a dusty, barren desert. The oasis wasn't anywhere near although it must have taken an hour and a half to lose my chips as the croupier seemed particularly slow. I think it was a combination of slow players and slow spins. I didn't mind as I was people watching. A couple of people won here and there but I think most covered the table and one or two spins which fall on barren ground means they walk away with little to show. 

My brothers played on the roulette machines. Tony was up and down like a yo-yo but finished £90 up while Gareth was level. 

My relatives had mixed fortunes. I would normally say a little bit more about the wins and losses but that's their business. 

I do love the casino. It makes me smile and hearing the cheers of the crowd when someone wins and fleeting thoughts of those who look like they have suffered one loss too many. It is par for the course and you have to protect your own interests because if you lose a fortune you only have yourself to blame. 

We left at about 1am. 

Back to room 28 at the Embassy Hotel. It is like a maze. Through reception, up the stairs leading to number 1 - 7 and up, up and away, to the top of the hotel. I was pleased to get back. 

I must admit I haven't had much luck with hotel rooms. I have stayed at the Comfort hotel and had to change rooms as some crazy couple were laughing and shouting about all hours. 

Well, we got back to the Embassy Hotel and straight away heard some noise coming from an adjacent room. I wasn't sure if it was above, below or to the side but it was a noise wherever. Thankfully it was muffled. However, I could hear a duet of out of tune singing, then, later, argument and cursing at each other. I couldn't help but wonder who was in the room. Where did they come from? What had they been doing that evening? And what on earth did they look like? I had this image of some strange-looking beasts with monobrows, broken teeth and lizard tongues. 

After an hour, I fell to sleep. 

I woke just before 7am. I had a shower. I take a long shower to wake up as much as getting clean. 

Tony and Gareth were still asleep. 

By 8am we were ready to go to the bar area to get breakfast. It was a help-yourself-service but the food was good. It was a full English breakfast and you could have as much as you wanted. The staff were helpful and courteous. 

It made me smile as my cousins arrived one by one. 

One or two got in at 4am. I thought that was quite amusing. One cousin left the casino at 6am. Basically, they must have been asked to leave as it closes at that time, only to open again at 8am. 

I could only imagine someone staying until 6am in the morning meant they were winning at 5am.

I didn't ask too much about winners or losers as I think most were feeling the effects of too much beer. Thankfully, I don't drink more than two pints. I felt pretty healthy and my finances weren't shot either. 

I looked around the room and wondered if the argumentative pair of monobrow nutcases were tucking into a sausage or two. I didn't notice or hear anyone of that description telling the waitress to f-off or singing Morning Has Broken badly out of tune. I guess they had a lay-in.  

We went back to our hotel room. We returned back to the bar area to waste a little time before leaving to walk along the front. 

It was a warmish day and it is always lovely to walk along the front. Great Yarmouth is a place I hold dear to my heart because we always stayed at Caister-on-sea when youngsters as dad timed it to go to Great Yarmouth horse racing and the 3-day Eastern Festival in mid-September. 

We walked along the front from Camperdown, past the Othello restaurant towards the Brittania Pier. I bought four doughnuts from a stall at the front and chatted to the lady about Coronavirus and the effects it would have on business.

We walked back to the casino, with a view to having Sunday lunch, meeting up with our cousins, and perhaps have a little game. 

The casino was pretty quiet. A few patrons eating in the restaurant. The substantial breakfast meant we didn't need to eat, so we went downstairs to the gaming room. I played roulette on the machine and luckily won £30, I won £10 on the night and day. I have been very lucky over the years and well in profit. 

Tony won £50 over the weekend and Gareth finished level.I'm not sure how my cousins went although I know at least one or two won. 

At about 2pm Albies taxi arrived (punctually) and we got to the railway station, waiting just a few minutes to catch the train back to Norwich, changing at Ely and arrived at March about 4:30pm. 

All in all, it was a great weekend.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

A Step-by-Step Guide To Playing Video Poker For The First Time

You must have heard about video poker a lot and so you decided to try your hands on one, but, not sure how and where to start. We will guide you through the whole thing, but first, let’s give you some details about the inception of the video poker. 

Video poker is not a new thing that has hit the gambling world; instead, it has made its presence felt since 1970. Obviously, it was not the same as it is now, but the basic concept of the game has remained intact. 

History of video poker 

In the 1970s, a primitive form of video poker came into existence in the land-based casinos. During that time, the video poker machine was known as ‘Poker-matic’. The journey of Poker-Matic started in the casinos of Las Vegas. Dale Electronics introduced the Poker-Matic for the first time, but Si Redd was the one who tried to promote it. As it was a new concept, therefore, it was not welcomed by the casino executives and let Si Redd have the patent. 

People started taking interest in the game and soon it became a popular game in the casinos along with the slot machines. 

Step by step guide of playing the video poker 

The best thing about video poker is that more or less they all follow the five card poker guidelines. Therefore, it won’t be too hard for you to pick up the game. The only thing that is different between the two is that in the classic poker, you play against an opponent and here in the video poker you will be pitted against a computer or machine. 

  • Rules of the game 

You will come across five random cards and from there you will have to decide which one you want to keep and which one you want to discard. The action can be completed by tapping on the screen or just by clicking on the card. Now that you have decided upon the card, you will have to hit the draw button to start your game. Once you hit the draw button, a replacement card will be provided for the ones that you have discarded. The combinations through which you win a standard poker game are also applicable in video poker as well. The most interesting part of the video poker is that there will be no restriction on time. You can take your own sweet time here to complete the game. 

  • Pay Tables

Pay table is the payout list of specific hands. The pay table can be accessed on the machine only and it will also help you in making decisions while playing the game. Among the six columns that are there on the pay table, the left-most column gives you the information about the hands and the other columns are the size of the wager. If you want to know, how many coins have been inserted for starting the game, you can look for the other five columns. This pay table gives a clear picture of the payout associated with the hand matching the number of coins gambled. Depending on the gambled amount the hand either increases or decreases. 

  • Different types of video poker

Deuces, Joker’s Wild, Multi-play Poker, etc. are some of the popular video poker games that you can enjoy depending on your preferences. In ‘Deuces’, the number two card always serves as the wild card and in the Joker’s Wild, the Joker card is the wild card. Utilizing these cards, the players can get several combinations of hand. Jacks or Better is another popular game that you can try your hands on. The Multi-play video poker games include different versions like One Hundred Play, Ten Play, Triple Play, Fifty Play, Five Play, etc. 

  • Keeping an eye on the pay table

Lots of information can be garnered from the pay table, so it is imperative that you pay attention to the pay table. The best thing about video poker is that here you can actually conclude the payout prior to placing your first bet. It is one of those games where the house edge is the bare minimum. Therefore, if you check the pay table and come up with the perfect strategy, then you can actually emerge winner with complete profit on initial investment. 

  • Practice hard

It is always better to play demo games before you bet with real money. There are several video poker games online where you can play for free. Once you get a hang of it and is good at strategizing your game, you can bet with real money. 

It is always good to have some fun with the cards and when you are winning, it is the best feeling in the world. Always remember to strategize your game perfectly, so that when you start playing video poker, you start with a winning streak.