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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

History of Blackjack

Blackjack - also known as 'twenty-one' and 'pontoon' - is a card game that nowadays is often found in a casino with people trying their luck on achieving the elusive '21'. It is widely believed that the game originated in France during the 17th century. However, as with most other gambling games the precise evolution of the game remains a mystery: suffice to say it has probably been around forever.

Blackjack was introduced to the United States following the French Revolution, but the game didn't become popular in the gambling dens until the casino offered payouts as a bonus. This was the only method that seemed to get people gambling on blackjack. One variation on the bonus payout was for a player to make '21' with the black jack card (worth 10 points) and an ace (worth 11 points). With the increasing popularity of the game the payouts were phased out but the name 'blackjack' remained.

Blackjack isn't just about achieving an outright '21', but the primary challenge is to beat the dealer without going 'bust'. The casino obviously has an advantage over the gambling players in the long run, but with blackjack the player retains an element of choice.

Since 1931 when America first legalized gambling, blackjack has become a classic casino card game. Furthermore, it is the combination of both skill and math used in blackjack that has made the game hugely popular. Blackjack provides an attractive proposition to any scientist, mathematician or gambling player wanting to research the strategy of the game.

Monday, July 2, 2007

How to Play Bingo

Bingo is another game that depends on luck to win and takes no skill except listening to the numbers as they are called. A player picks preprinted cards and pays a set fee for each card. The rest of the game is all about what numbers are called out by the house caller. In the US the total numbers that could be called come from a pool of 75 numbers. In the UK they come from a pool of 90 numbers.

The game is simple in that the player tries to get 5 numbers in a row and if this happens then they win. In the states, the card is a square with five rows up and down and five side to side. In the UK the rows are three across. The winner is still the cardholder with five numbers in a row. This game is offered online by some sites, but not by all. It s also played in live casinos, but more often in halls and meeting places within cities. In England it is played in almost every seaside town. In some cases the promoters tie the games together between sites in order have bigger prizes on these games.

This game while very popular in many countries is not a game that has ever had much of a following in live casinos or even in online casinos. There are sites on the Internet that offer bingo, but they are not the big online casinos. They are not like the ones that offer all forms of gambling and attract large numbers of players to the site.

There are specials that can be played such as special numbers or the playing until someone has the numbers in four corners covered. Another variation is to cover two rows of the card. This makes for longer games and may have an extra fee or a better prize to the winner. Another variation is the coverall numbers game. In this game, the player must cover all numbers on the card. This game will come with a larger prize and will take longer to play. There are also local variations that can be played, but these games are played at the local establishment and may not be common to other bingo parlors. Check the rules at any place you play to see if they offer a game that you are not familiar with.
A new variation can be thought up by any promoter and can be know only to that area of players.

Gambling laws in different countries control where and what can be offered to winners. The churches and other groups have done a very good job of making these rules as friendly as possible for the game. On the Internet the games can be structured any way the casino wants, as there are no rules to abide by that are mandatory.

Bingo is a good way for charities to raise money and have a social event at the same time. Churches have been using this game for this purpose for a long time.

Some casinos use this game to bring in customers they would no ordinarily get through the door. The way they do this is to have a bingo tournament. This will draw patrons online and to live casinos that would not be there except for the tournament. If the prize money is high enough, this can draw a large number of players. But remember casinos are using this game as an attraction and not as one of their more common specials. They are trying to attract a crowd.


Online Casinos For Mac Users

Ok I'll admit it I'm a Mac user, shame on me, I do use a Windows PC as well though.

Anyway, there's a serious lack of online casinos that offer a No Download Version of their software and a lot of those that do, particularly Microgaming Casinos, require ActiveX controls which are Windows only. Useless.

It's not all bad though some of the bigger casinos like 888 and Golden Palace have a no download version that you can use.

I've managed to find around 70 casinos that you can use. The list is on my site (click the link in my signature)

Do you know of any other Mac Casinos?


Saturday, June 30, 2007

Baccarat Strategy

You've seen it in casinos. You've seen James Bond play it in the movies. Of course, we're talking about the game of Baccarat. It's a challenging game of chance which can test the nerves and determination of even the most seasoned gambler. If you are looking for a game with a low house edge and easy to play, then baccarat is a great game and playing is almost as easy as betting on the toss of a coin, making it a great game for novice gamblers.

In order to do well at the game, there are several tips which you should keep in mind. While these will not guarantee you of winning, they should make your overall gaming experience more enjoyable. Before we look at a winning at baccarat strategy, lets dispel a couple of common myths that make many novice players lose.

Myths - Looking for patterns
Looking for patterns in baccarat is as pointless as it is in roulette, they are both games of chance where the previous play never influences the next play. This is a simple trap that many novice gamblers all around the world fall into when playing any game of chance. If you were betting on the flip of a coin, and it landed heads up 9 times in a row many gamblers would say the chances of tails as a next land have increased, but of course they have not. The chances remain 50 -50 for the next toss

Myths - Systems
Casino's give out cards where you can write down the games history, but this is really entertainment and won't increase the odds of success. Finally, never buy a system for money the sales copy may sound good but by the nature of the game they can never work.

Myths - Card counting
Card counting is usually associated with blackjack, as it can be quite an effective strategy when utilized correctly to put the odds in your favor over the long term. It would then appear to be a good strategy in baccarat, as it works off a similar shoe. The problem is though, the issue of used cards being fed back into the shoe before very many have been removed (thus negating any count a player had made). Also, unlike blackjack baccarat does not offer opportunities to alter a bet in mid-hand play. Blackjack offers this in a number of situations, so you can increase your bet if your count changes during play. Using card counting in baccarat though offers so few situations with an advantage against the house that this will not work.
Baccarat Strategy

The house edge
The house has an edge in baccarat, as in all, casino games but it's a slim one, just 1.24% for bets on player and just 1.06% for bets on banker.

1. Keep in mind that Baccarat is a game of chance. There's no use in trying to count cards, because it will not help you in this game. Instead, use your time to focus on the game itself - not the cards.
2. Don't use baccarat systems. It is futile to base your gaming decisions on results of previous bets.
3. Practice without paying. Free software exists for almost any casino game imaginable. Download it onto your computer and then practice, practice, practice. When you feel as though you've mastered the game, then you'll finally be ready to wager some of your hard-earned money.
4. Money management. It's very important to understand the financial side of the game. Several money management systems exist, and it might be a good idea to experiment with a few of them to find the system which works best for you. Try them out first on free games, and then you'll be ready to employ them when it really counts.
5. Number of decks: Choose the game with as few decks as possible.
6. Commission: Look for the casino that charge a commission on banker bets lower than 5% if you can find one.
7. ALWAYS Bet on the banker. This bet has the lowest house edge and is the one to go for.
8. Know when to call it a night. Try to pace yourself and always avoid losing it all early in the game.
9. Never bet more money than you can afford. This behavior goes against the money management theory and will cost you in the end.
10. Save some on the side. As you play, try to set aside a little money on every hand so that you'll have a reserve just in case you have a bad run at the table.

There is only ONE good bet

There is only one good bet for winning at baccarat and you must use it frequently.

Use the banker bet the most, for variety you may want to bet on the player occasionally and never bet on the tie.

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