Monthly Archives: February 2010

Complimentary points earned by playing games at casinos

Many people don’t think much of comps but they can actually be a boon when saving money or playing longer. For the average person, comps can be earned electronically through a card at the casino. Usually you can earn these by sticking this plastic credit card sized account card into a slot built into slot machines, video poker and other electronic gambling machines. You will earn points every time you make a bet and usually after about 100 points, you can exchange it for $1. This isn’t much unless you play at casinos for a long time. Some players can easily earn 100,000 points and exchange it for $1000 to play at the machine.

Loyal members who have been around for awhile or high rollers can sometimes get a special deal where they can earn 2, 3, or more points for each bet, allowing for their comps to add up quicker. Many casinos will even give out $10 or even $100 for birthdays at larger and more luxurious casinos. Seniors can get specials as well and certain days of the week can offer special benefits. The key is to always bring your comp card when you go to the casino.

Luckily, at online casinos, you do not need to worry about remembering your comps card. Your comps add up automatically in your account as you play, making it very convenient. The good casinos offer the same specials as land based casinos, such as birthday bonuses, membership loyalty levels where you earn more points per wager and the VIP comps.

VIP and high roller comps are usually given to players who bet a lot of money and these can range from a free nights stay at their hotel and resort, free dinners, vacations and special gives. Casinos know that if people bring in big money, they can make a LOT more from casino games than they could from a hotel room, so they can throw these extra gifts in to appeal to the customer. This even applied to online casinos, except for the hotel rooms and dinners of course. Though, some online casinos were known for sending out $100 valued boxes of steaks to their valuable customers! If you are looking for some good casinos with comps points, check out  Cherry Jackpot and CasinoMax. Remember, both of these casino allows US located players to gamble online and accepts deposits by credit card.

Roulette – The casino gambling game of the high rollers

You may have noticed when you walk around the casino or if you’ve played online that each game has a maximum betting limit. High rollers are generally the kind of people that have deep pockets and can easily afford to lose a lot of money. Though in order to satisfy them, they need high limits in order to give them a rush. Imagine how boring roulette might be if you could only wager one cent bets up to 5 pennys maximum. This is how many high rollers feel about one dollar bets.

The big games like blackjack, craps and even slots can have table and betting limits up to $500 or more. Usually the big casinos have limits up to $50000 like those found in Nevada, New Jersey and Europe. If you play online, the limits are usually greatly reduced unless you sign up at one of the VIP casinos offered on the internet. Note that even though the VIP casino is based online, they still offer special comps like free vacations and gifts that would be offered to exclusive members in Las Vegas.

Roulette tends to be the game that offers the highest betting limits for players and one of the most frequented by VIP players. Even in Las Vegas, limits can go as high as $10,000, $50,000 and even $100,000 or more. Just read about Ashley Revell and his widely publized $135,300 single wager on roulette. Not many games other than roulette will allow for the massive table limits. Even online at the VIP casino I mentioned, the casino will let players customize their own tables and betting limits depending on how valuable and how money money the bring in. It was told that these private online casino members could bet as high as $25,000 per spin when playing roulette.

In my previous article, I talked about mini roulette, which actually allows an unlimited betting limit. This one is ideal for the high rollers but the house odds are much higher and the player odds are much worse. The casino knows that it’s more likely that players will lose so they allow these high roller limits. Your best bet is to review the Jackpot Factory VIP lounge casino if you are seriously considering to play with big money and be offered the great odds of the European roulette wheel.

*EDIT – As of 2015, the Jackpot Factory VIP Lounge no longer accepts US Players. Please check out CasinoMax, Cherry Jackpot, Slots Capital, Black Diamond Casino, Buzz Luck, All Star Slots, and Manhattan Slots online casinos. All of these accept US players and credit card deposits. They are owned by the same brand, which is very old and highly reputable. Each casino has an invite-only VIP program available for regular players!

Mini Roulette – What is it and How do you Play?

Some people may have heard of mini roulette at one point or another. This is actually a relatively a new variation of roulette found both at land based casinos and on the internet. Basically it uses many of the same rules of regular roulette, except there are one third less numbers in play. The numbers range from the single zero in the green slot along with 1 through 12 alternating between red and black.

Players can still do the same outside bets such as betting on black or red and they can still bet on a single number. Many people think this game will improve your odds but it’s mostly an illusion. Even though a number will come up more often, you will not be paid as much. Also, the green zero takes up a much larger percentage of the actual wheel because there are fewer numbers. Which means the house has a much larger edge on a mini roulette wheel.

The game is still fun to play and it is a change from the usual, but the odds are not as high. There is an extreme advantage to playing this game over any other game though and this depends on the casino you are playing at. Some casinos will have an unlimited table limit with this game, meaning you can effectively implement the Martingale betting system without having to worry about being capped by the table limit if you lose too many times in a row. Also, VIPs can bet massive amounts of money and literally go “all in” and bet everything. This benefit is extremely convenient for those who can afford it.

Remember though, the house edge is a very large 7.70% because of the fewer numbers in play, even with a single zero. In fact, this game has a house edge nearly 3 times as large as the European roulette and about 50% larger than American roulette. This is actually a pretty bad game in terms of odds, even though it is fun. It depends on the player though, if they find that an unlimited table betting limit has greater benefits than the poor odds, then this would be the game for them since not many casino games have no table limits.

The reason why US players can’t gamble online anymore

Actually, the government tried to shut down online gambling to US players back in 2006. So it’s been quite awhile since the law has been around. Basically the US has been targeting banks and money transferring systems based online. For instance, Neteller used to be a huge service for depositing funds into your favorite online casino and one of the most popular services to use.

After the US anti-gaming laws were put in place, Neteller immediately banned US players from transferring money to casinos and getting money out. Basically people had to use other less known services, which still are effective in getting money deposited so players can play casino games. Also, there are quite a few online casinos that still allow US players to gamble and deposit money. In fact, people can still put money into these places with a credit card or the more well known services. This makes it much easier and quicker to gamble online.

For example, CasinoMax and Cherry Jackpot both accept deposits by US players through convenient methods that include credit card. There are many others but I promote these two and any that are owned by the same brand because they have the leading edge in gaming experience, amazing graphics and the best game play out of almost every internet casino I’ve seen. I would also recommend Slots Capital as another high-stakes casino that accepts US players. All of these places offer roulette and big sign up bonuses, even though the bonuses are not the whole story in determining what casino is the best.

This law is very controversial because it’s not exactly clear why the law was put into effect. Many say it was a result of “back room deals” with big money executives in Las Vegas so they could pull in more money from US players in America who would otherwise play online. The European Union also states that this law violates other laws held within the World Trade Organization. Personally, I do not believe this law is constitutional as gambling is perfectly legal all over the US, yet the law is basically telling people that they can not spend their own money on gambling online. Congressmen and Senators in the United States are beginning to start a movement to roll back this law so it may not be around very much longer.

A few tips about etiquette and manners

I wrote an article a few weeks back and wanted to comment on it here on the blog, just in case the readers here haven’t seen it. Basically etiquette doesn’t seem to be much of an issue here in the US and I’ve never had problems with it here at the local casinos, but there are a few important tips you should know.

I would say the main one is not to touch the chips on the table unless the dealer tells you to. I actually saw a guy get close to crossing that line at the casino once by trying to add more chips to the bet after the dealer tells him not to. Usually the dealer says “no more bets” and raises his hand at this time after the ball has been thrown into the wheel. It would be full out cheating if the ball lands on a pocket and someone places more bets on their spot after the winning number has been chosen.

Well basically when the guy tried adding more chips to the bet, even when the ball was still spinning, the dealer caught him doing this and had to stop. Basically he stopped the wheel and took the ball out and everyone had to place their bets again. Imagine how embarrassing this would be if the dealer points you out and announces that the spin needs to be canceled. Luckily the guy wasn’t thrown out of the casino, probability because he was new to the game. Basically the dealer gave him a lecture for a few minutes in front of everyone and that was it.

So these etiquette rules really are important to follow and you should check them out before going to a land based casino especially.

More events at the local casino

Last night I hit up the casino again. It was sort of an interesting night because they had a major raffle ticket contest going on. One guy won a $20,000 brand new pontoon boat and another guy won a snowmobile. These are both surely some awesome prizes but I would personally try and sell any of these and settle for just the cash instead!

Other than that, it was just slot machines, a little bit of roulette and some blackjack for once. There was also a loud drunk guy that had to be removed from the casino unfortunately for banging on the slot machine in the row behind me. Apparently he accused the slot machine of stealing money from him and apparently the casino accused him of being drunk and out of his mind lol.

As for the roulette, the central theme of this blog, not much interesting happened here as well. I went to the table with $100 and walked away with about $30. One of the lessons in gambling and a great tip is to walk away when your night is not going well. If your hot, you are hot. If you are not, then you are not… Otherwise I would have just walked out with $100 lose instead of $30.

What is the special “En Prison” roulette rule?

Someone asked about this on a discussion forum so I figured I would write a little bit about this. There is sometimes a special rule that players will be allowed to take advantage of. This rule applies to both American and European roulette in some casinos. Note that not all casinos will allow players to use this and you will usually notice the En Prison rule at big casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, especially if you are playing on a single zero wheel.

Ok, basically if you are betting on red or black, and the ball lands on a green slot, the dealer will give you the option to use the En Prison rule. Now this only applies when you are betting on black or red, and then the ball lands on the single zero or double zero (if your roulette wheel has the 00 slot).

For example, if you bet $100 on black and the wheel lands on a zero, the first option is to surrender half of your bet or lose $50. The other option is to chose to go into prison “En Prison”. If you choose to go in prison, the dealer will place an “En Prison” marker over your bet and you leave your $100 on the table and the dealer spins the wheel once more.

The goal is to not have the ball land on the green zeros or the red slots since your original bet was black. If the ball lands on single or double zero again, you lose the bet. You will also lose the bet if the ball lands on red. If it does not land on any zeros and it lands on black, then you go out of prison and you break even. When using the En Prison rule, you can never win. Basically you lose your entire bet or your break even.

Why and How is Roulette such a Popular Game in Casinos

The game itself has been around for hundreds of years so it did have some interesting times in becoming popular. In fact, it was told that this game originated from a scientist during a physics experiment and then became a form of entertainment for the monasteries before hitting up to the casinos. One thing that always stuck with the game was the entertainment, even before money and gambling became involved.

This game is fun to play when you are around many people because they can all play at the same time. In the casinos, you will usually find a large crowd around the wheel with the table covered in various chips. This game, along with craps, is considered a social type of game since people gather around a single table as opposed to having a slot machine all to yourself. Also, it usually takes a few minutes for each spin in a land based casino so players can chill out and have drinks while socializing with their friends or other people around the table while the croupier (roulette dealers) places bets and spins the wheel.

Besides the excitement of the game along with cheering on the spinning wheel, the game is incredibly easy to play. Basically players just need to bet on a single number or pick a color and bet on it. Some of the bets are as easy as betting on whether a coin will be flipped heads or tails. The actual odds are nearly identical as well. Again, this game is much more exciting than flipping a coin and why the game is widely accepted as a fun and popular game. Anyone can jump right into the action, even if you are playing online as well.

A few tips for winning at roulette

Probably the number one tip I can give is to always check what game you are playing. Roulette has a few variations of the game, each with different odds. The good game is French and European roulette. These have single zero tables and wheels with only one green slot. The American wheel has two green slots: a single zero and a double zero “00”. This extra green slot throws the odds off and gives the casino a much bigger edge on every single bet. So my best tip is to play at a roulette table with a single zero. The house edge or profit margin on the American variation is 5.26%, which is much higher than the 2.70% edge on a European wheel for instance.

Tip 2 is an important tip deals with betting systems like the Martingale for example. Practice these systems online using a free roulette table like the free flash games we have on this site. That way you can get the system down good and learn how to do them properly. If you use the system wrongly, you will not be able to manage your risk and bankroll as efficiently.

Tip 3 is to always bet on outside bets such as the red/black, odd/even, hi/lo or something with low payout odds. You will win $1 for every $1 but you win more frequently. The house edge is also smaller on these bets so you won’t lose as much in the long run.

Tip 4 is to observe any patterns going on. For instance, some casinos display the numbers and colors that the ball lands on for the previous spins. If you notice a lot of black numbers coming up for example, then you should know that eventually the red ones should come up soon since it is highly unlikely that they will keep coming up. For instance, imagine flipping a coin 20 times and getting heads on every flip. Eventually you will get tails in the long term.

Tip 5 involves watching the numbers that are appearing after each spin. You need to watch closely for a long period of time in order to discover some kind of bias in the roulette wheel, such as a flaw in it’s engineering. Some people can figure this out in their head but most of the time you need a computer to input and save all the numbers. In the old days and still in older casinos with old equipment, there are biased wheels that would let the ball land on certain numbers more frequently than others, usually due to a slight unbalance or the wheel leaning in a certain direction. If you can figure out the bias, even a slight one, you should bet on the biased numbers and you might be able to beat the tiny 2.70% house edge.

Biased Roulette Wheels – Cheating at Roulette

A biased roulette wheel is one that is off balanced and favors certain numbers over others. Theoretically every roulette wheel is biased in some way or another and some are more biased than others. This is just a matter of physics because no wheel can be absolutely perfect with ideal balance. Anything from wear and tear or microscopic weight differences can cause a wheel to go unbalanced. Even the small engineering flaws can cause it to not spin in a way that would give every spot on the wheel complete randomness.

For practical purposes, casinos have high quality roulette equipment that is as fair as possible. In the past though, casinos had old lower quality wheels that did not spin perfectly. Basically a wheel could be leaning over in one position and because of this, the ball spinning around would land on certain numbers more often than others. If someone was able to figure out what numbers these were, they could make a ton of money from the casino and this actually did happen at some point. In one case, a gambler actually broke the casino!

A biased wheel can be found by using computer software to find a pattern. Every time the ball is spun in the wheel, the number that it lands on gets recorded into the computer. After so many iterations, one can find what numbers the ball lands on more often. In fact, many companies that manufacture the roulette wheels need to use these computers to test out a wheel before it goes to the casino to ensure that there is a large margin of fairness and that there is no major bias in the numbers.

Cheaters can use the same technology to find patterns. It may not be useful to use this software on a brand new wheel, but it can be beneficial if one was to use this software on an old wheel that has seen a lot of use over many years. An old wheel is likely going to have some bias to it due to age and these are the ones that cheaters tend to go after. They can use the software to find the biased numbers and then bet on those numbers because their odds are better than the rest of the numbers. The computer can sometimes calculate the odds as well and depending on what variation of the roulette game you are playing, a lot of money can be won if those odds exceed the house edge or the odds that the casino normally has against everyone playing.

Note that a casino is a business and they need these odds in order to make a profit to stay in business. Every casino game has odds in favor of the casino unless you can find a vulnerability in the game. Dice control in craps is a way to beat the house in craps. Card counting is another method used to beat the house in blackjack. Finding a biased wheel is actually the way to beat the house in roulette.

Interestingly enough, you might find it obvious that you could not find a biased wheel by playing at an online casino but it is possible! You would have to find an online casino with live dealers with an actual roulette wheel otherwise the virtual software version of roulette uses a random number generator (RNG) to select numbers to perfect fairness. Live dealers usually have a real roulette wheel on a web camera where you could use your computer software to find the bias of the wheel over the internet. One of the deterrents is routinely switching out wheels with other random wheels, even at land-based casinos.

The drawback of using biased wheel software is it normally takes at least 5000 numbers to be inputted into the computer to find a pattern. If you have every played roulette in a casino, you know that sometimes you can only get 40 to 100 spins per hour so it would essentially takes days to find a pattern. More importantly, we are not recommending that anyone actually bring this software into a casino because it is illegal. You could risk getting thrown out of a casino and possibly serving jail time. This is just an interesting article for those who were interested.