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Showing results for tags 'gambling'.

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  1. As the world of online casinos expands, the gambling industry evolves into a more diverse and highly imaginative market. Long gone are the days of boys’ clubs and their smoky cigar rooms void of female presence. Modern gambling has a lot to offer female consumers and studies reveal just how popular gambling is among women in the 21st century. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when most consider what women want to do while they relax, but evidence leads us to believe that the rise of online casinos opened countless doors for women in gambling. Today we meet ladies from various parts of the industry who sit on either side of the felt table. Historic Female Gamblers The following ladies made a name for themselves as legendary gamblers with some existing in history books and others still rocking the casino world. ✓ Carlotta Thompkins Two centuries ago, a Texan lady by the name of Carlotta Thompkins caused quite the upset in her family by becoming one of the greatest poker players of the time. Born in Kentucky, Ms Thompkins’ father taught her everything he knew about gambling sports betting. Her mother wasn’t a big fan of the industry although Mr Thompkins made a career out of it. Carlotta had quite the knack for playing cards and soon everyone started calling her Lottie Deno, partially derived from the Spanish word for money, dinero. Because her mother had other plans for Carlotta, she sent her to Detroit to get married, but the plan failed and Lottie Deno fell for an outlaw with a love for gambling. The pair led a nomadic life for a while, making money from gambling and eventually slowed down and settled in New Mexico. ✓ Judy Bayley Born in the early 1900s, Judy Bayley is one of the most famous gamblers of the 20th century. Interestingly, she is also from Texas and around the 1960s she became known as the First Lady of Gambling in Nevada. Her husband Warren Doc Bayley died an untimely death in 1964 and left Judy as the sole owner of their hotel-casino in Nevada. In the blink of an eye, she became the first-ever woman to own and operate a hotel-casino in the area. As it turns out, she did not only have a gambling gift, but she also became an icon in the casino industry for her strategic publicity approaches. Her passion for entertainment had a great impact on how she managed her business and although she had no formal business training, the casino flourished under her reign. ✓ Annette Obrestad Fast-forward a few decades on and we run into a young lady named Annette Obrestad. Born in 1988, she had an early start in gambling when she started playing poker on free websites. Annette was only 15 years old at the time but since then she has made a name for herself in the modern poker community. Purportedly, Annette never deposited money into her online gambling accounts and only used funds she won in the free tournaments. She made waves in the poker community by raking in some big pots in her first year of playing. Between 2006 and 2007, Annette won $600,000 on Pokerstars, $175,000 on Tilt Poker, and $260,000 on UltimateBet. She is also the youngest person to ever win a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. ✓ Vanessa Selbst ome call her the greatest female poker player of all time, and for good reason. Vanessa Selbst became one of the best-known faces in poker during her career as a professional poker player. Born in the decade of bad fashion and brilliant music, Vanessa won three WSOP bracelets and is the only woman who reached number 1 on the Global Poker Index. She made a name for herself as an aggressive opponent and through her brilliant card-playing skills amassed an astonishing $12 million to her bank balance in prize winnings. In 2018, the Yale law graduate announced her retirement from poker and explained that it felt like an actual job. ✓ Kirsten Bicknell Canadian-born Kirsten Bicknell made a name for herself by playing online poker during her first year of attending university. Kirsten dubbed herself ‘The Ultimate Grinder’ when she played an astonishing number of poker hands to become the esteemed player she is today. Rumour has it she played 7.5 million hands over two years from 2011. With over a decade of games under the belt, Kirsten collected prize money worth $11 million, and some estimate her net worth at $16 million. She won her first WSOP bracelet in 2013 and since then won two more bracelets. Another feather in her cap is the numerous nominations as the GPI Female Poker Player of the Year, which she won three years in a row. Women Shaking Things Up in Gambling Let’s move to the other side of the table for a moment. The following women shattered the glass ceiling in the gambling industry. Today, some of them continue to shape it into a more diverse and inclusive industry. ✓ Denise Coates and Her Vision Born into a family business comprising betting shops, Denise Coates’ destiny with the gambling industry was pre-ordained. When her father gave her control of the betting shop franchise, Denise was eager and ready to take their family business to the next level. With the support of her brother, John, and the belief that online platforms are the best bet, Denise launched Bet365. Today, Denise is one of the highest earning females in the world and her dream company is a reputable top-tier gambling business. Although she describes the endeavour as a gamble, luck had very little to do with the econometrics graduate’s success. Humble beginnings in a Portakabin and her determination to make the online business greater than any other paved the way to bet365 success. ✓ Therese Hillman’s Strategic Approach Most punters are familiar with their favourite games and the true fans know which software providers created them. What many don’t focus on are the people behind the companies that continuously deliver amazing content. One such person is Therese Hillman, the former CEO of leading software provider NetEnt. She oversaw the birthplace of Gonzo when he first arrived on our screens, and she guided the path for NetEnt’s expansion over several years. Therese first joined the NetEnt team as the CFO in January 2017 and a little over a year from there, she became the acting CEO. The CEO position officially became hers in May 2018 and 16 months later she helped seal the Red Tiger acquisition deal worth £197 million. She led the company through some of its most historic events, like the Evolution Gaming takeover. After the Evolution take over, Therese took a step back and her fans await her next move. ✓ Pansy Ho and Her Silver Gambling Chip Although she is the daughter of the infamous Macau casino mogul, Stanley Ho, this casino executive is not riding the wave her father triggered with his casino monopoly. Pansy Ho set out to build a reputation for herself as an ambitious and able businesswoman. Sure, her current $3.1 billion net worth comprises her share of the empire her father built, but she proved her solid business acumen over the past decade as an entrepreneur in her own right. She shares the same passion for business with her late father and used her ambition to secure wise investments in multiple industries including property, transportation, and gambling. In 2018, Bloomberg named her the richest woman in Hong Kong and many believe it is her fierce approach to business that landed her the wealth and title. ✓ Zoë Osmond Pushing for Responsible Gambling GambleAware is one of the biggest forces in the British player protection sphere. The organisation appointed Zoë Osmond as its CEO in 2021. Zoë previously held positions at the charity organisation as its Communications and Engagement Director where she spear-headed safer-gambling campaigns and increased the company’s reach throughout the UK. Anyone following the UK Gambling Reform saga knows that Zoë and her team are fighting tooth and nail to increase support for RET funding, which is currently a voluntary practice. She has the responsibility of distributing funds to national partners in aid of gambling addiction. Women like Zoë and the others mentioned above, are in the right positions to change the industry completely. An Influx of Female Gamblers Although some women started making history in gambling centuries ago, it remained a male-dominated scene for very long and only recently the tables started turning. With a more feminine approach to handling business and the convenience of remote gambling options, statistics show a significant rise in female gamblers. They must harness the opportunity that comes with this change in demographic through more diverse provider teams in all areas of igaming. Studies reveal female gamblers behave differently from their male counterparts and enjoy games like slots, roulette, and bingo the most. The data shows women use gambling as relaxation instead of entertainment and developers would do well to answer this call.
  2. Some gamblers have a list of superstitions and create habits around these as they believe it will increase their odds. The truth is that whether you believe in lucky charms or cross your fingers before clicking spin, your probability of winning doesn’t change. Yes, some games have better odds than others, and certain online casino games allow players to use their skills and increase their chance to win, but the one certainty in gambling is that the house always wins. That being said, there are approaches you can take to improve your experience and minimise your risk. Navigate your gambling activities according to the best and worst times to wager, as the wisest of gamblers do. Let’s explore when it is safe to place bets and when you should rather watch your favourite series. To Bet or Not to Bet? That is the Question! One way to approach gambling is to consider whether it’s the best or worst time to make a wager. An important deciding factor here is whether you have access to licensed and regulated online casinos. When the answer to this is yes, the following points can direct your decision. Good Times To Bet: ✓ You Have Money You Can Afford to Lose Thanks to the golden rule mentioned earlier, the only time it makes sense to gamble is when you have money you can afford to lose. Always consider the house-edge rule before having a flutter, and understand that you may lose everything you bet, regardless of the game you choose. Once you are comfortable with losing the money, go ahead and pick games with better RTP ratings. With online slots, the average acceptable rating is 95% and above. Table games like blackjack have better odds, and so do other online casino games. Take a look at our gambling strategies for the best options. ✓ You Have a Budget and a Target So, you have established that you are ok with losing the money you bet, and you know which games you prefer. The trick to staying in control of gambling is to manage your bankroll effectively. This advice will come up time and again from anyone who understands sensible gambling. If you want to gamble, it must be part of your budget, and it is paramount that you stick to the budget. When you reach your spending limit, it is time to walk away. Similarly, players must have a win limit in place. If this sounds bizarre, that is probably because it seems counter-intuitive. Don’t we play casino games to win money and lots of it? Yes, but a winning streak can just as easily turn into a losing streak and players get caught up in chasing the losses. Without a win limit, the risk of losing everything becomes much more likely. A win limit makes it easier to know when to walk away. ✓ Operators Have Promotions With steps one and two in place, punters can confidently find fun games to play at the best online casinos. On affiliate sites like GamblersPick, players get information on the newest and top offers from operators available in their region. These include deposit match bonus offers and free spin offers. Depending on the time of year, it may also include tournaments with massive prizes. Use the tools at your disposal, like news articles and community updates from affiliates. If your casino of choice has an option for a newsletter, sign up. This way, you stay ahead of the best promotions and get the first option in participating. Loyalty programs often include attractive offers that improve as your membership status grows. Find the best VIP offers and take advantage of them. ✓ It’s the Holidays The holidays make people more generous, except Ebenezer Scrooge, of course, which makes it a great time for online gambling offers. Most providers have tournaments with exciting prizes to give away during the holidays. International and local celebrations often inspire software providers to release aptly themed games, which makes it so much more fun to play. With a responsible plan for managing your bankroll, there are few other times of the year where it is as much fun to gamble. Because celebrations tend to include alcohol, we suggest you continue reading this article for advice on drinking and wagering. ✓ You Are in High Spirits Because casino games vary in outcomes, gambling may sometimes feel like an emotional roller-coaster ride. For this reason, it is wise to wager only when you are in high spirits. This is simply because winning triggers positive feelings, and losing potentially does the opposite, especially when you are feeling down. When you are in a good mental space, it is easier to remain in control of your emotions throughout the win-lose ride of gambling. This empowers you to walk away when the time comes. When in a negative mindset, gambling can be a slippery slope. When players make wagers and hope the outcomes will improve their emotional state, they become susceptible to gambling harm by chasing a big win. If you are having a great day and you have responsible wagering measures in place, it is a good time to bet. If not, rather choose a different way to pass the time. Betting for the Right Reasons To have some fun To switch off for a few minutes To enjoy a game you are skilled at Don’t Bet When: ➀ You are Cash Strapped As previously mentioned, to have an enjoyable casino experience means having a well-planned budget. Therefore, if your bank balance is low or you haven’t covered all your monthly expenses yet, it is a bad time to gamble. Researchers found that those who find themselves in a financial predicament and turn to gambling as a solution or distraction are twice as likely to suffer from gambling harm. Some may think that ‘smart’ wagers can turn their situation around, and if lady luck smiles on them, the difficult times are over. In reality, there is no way of telling whether you will win or not. When in doubt, refer to step 1 of the previous section. Only gamble when you can afford to lose. ➁ You are Chasing a Loss This is easy to fall prey to when it has been an especially lucky gambling session. When we’re on a winning streak, and suddenly our luck turns, we often continue gambling hoping the tides turn again. This is where the loss and win limits become extremely helpful. Regardless of your game of choice, call it a day once you reach your loss limit. Because gambling has a way of evoking powerful emotions, limits have to be predetermined according to your budget. Do not give in to thoughts of adjusting your limits during gameplay. Take control of each gambling session by knowing your budget and limits, and stick to it. ➂ You’ve Had Too Many Drinks Let’s be honest. We are talking about online gambling, and it isn’t like you will stumble onto a casino floor from a night out at the hotel club or cocktail bar, but online gambling is accessible anywhere, anytime. Studies revealed that when gamblers use alcohol excessively or wager while intoxicated, the likelihood of getting themselves into a financial pickle is quite high. The well-documented fact that alcohol and other narcotics impair our ability to make reasonable decisions is a guiding factor. If you are planning to let your hair down by having a few drinks, leave the gambling for another day. ➃ You’ve Been Gambling For Too Long Gambling is meant to be a fun pastime and should not take time away from important areas in your life. Unless you are a professional poker player, it is advisable to use time limits. Many operators have responsible gambling tools that can help players with this. Use the time limit tool to ensure you don’t lose track of time. A healthy gambling regime comprises limits for spending, winning, losing, and time. Whichever one shows up first is your cue to walk away. Reasonable time limits depend on the game you choose to play. Those with quick or instant results like online slots, video poker, craps, and the like can quickly become dangerous games if played for too long. Strategy games like live blackjack and live poker require players to pay attention while applying their skills, and once exhaustion kicks in, poor decision making follows. Set your time limit and end your session once the buzzer signals. ➄ You Have a History of Compulsive Gambling If you have ever been diagnosed by a professional or show any signs of gambling addiction, there is no good or right time to gamble. The best approach for anyone who displays signs of gambling compulsion is to stay away from all forms of gambling through self-exclusion programs and seek counselling for support on the road to recovery. If you or anyone you know is having a difficult time with responsible gambling, reach out to your national gambling support program. UK players have BeGambleAware, GamCare, and GameStop to turn to, and players from other jurisdictions can contact their local health systems for guidance. Betting for the Wrong Reasons Chasing a Loss To make up for a short To turn your luck around To Improve Your Mood Healthy Habits At the end of the day, gambling must be a fun activity used for entertainment and not to make money, unless you are Phil Ivey. The most responsible approach to wagering includes the above measures. Focus on making these habits and walk away when the game isn’t fun anymore.
  3. Gambling has been around for thousands of years, dating back to early civilizations. While it may come in different forms, gambling games are often adjusted to suit the time and place they’re being enjoyed. You may know that there are video games currently on the market that feature casinos and gambling games. Titles such as GTA Online and Red Dead Redemption both feature different forms of gambling. You can visit a virtual casino in GTA and play for in-game currency or take a seat at a blackjack table when playing Red Dead 2. However, these are not the only video games where you can play to win (for fun). Let’s take a look at these popular adult-targeting video game titles where you can gamble as you play. Buckle in, as you find yourself very surprised. ✓ Original Pokémon Games One of the most well-known franchises around the world, Pokémon games haven’t always been about catching creatures on your phone. Many Gen I Pokémon games feature a casino building where you can visit to spin the reels of adorable slots. Still available today on consoles such as the Nintendo 2DS and 3DS, you can download early versions of the original Pokémon games. Available in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, visiting the Rocket Game Corner will give you access to a number of slot machines where you can bet in-game cash. In Gen II to IV games, the building is known as the Game Corner, a large building where you’ll find rows of slots, most of which don’t work. The games are familiar with a fun Pokémon theme where you must match symbols to receive in-game rewards. You can find the casino in the following Pokémon games: Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal What was once a fun tradition to be found in every Pokémon game, the Game Corner buildings were removed from newer titles to maintain the family-friendly age restriction the games have always held. ✓ Stardew Valley The fun and friendly Stardew Valley may seem like an innocent game but for those who play, it’s easy to see that this video game was created with adults in mind. Sinister storylines, vague and clever descriptions, and an unexpected casino are all a part of the game’s fabric. After completing several tasks for the mysterious Mr Qi, the casino will be unlocked in the Calico Desert. Use Qi coins to play casino games that resemble slots, blackjack, and roulette to win even more Qi coins that can be exchanged for prizes. You can even purchase the coveted Statue of Endless Fortune (from a rather shady customer) for 1,000,000 gold. While the games resemble those you’ll find in land-based casinos, playing is all in the name of fun. There is no way to make real-money deposits or withdrawals, with all in-game currency simply used to purchase farm equipment and upgrade buildings. ✓ The Sims 3 For those who’ve spent any amount of time playing the many games available in the Sims franchise, this may come as a real shock. While many have only ever delved into the newest version of the game, The Sims 4, those who explored The Sims 3 will know that there was once a casino available for download. Lucky Simoleon Casino was available for download from The Sims 3 Store, an online shop that allowed players to purchase additional gameplay items. This item was a premium content venue that featured casino games for your Sims to enjoy. What makes this very surprising is the squeaky clean reputation that The Sims tends to have. Sims only drink juice with no alcohol added to the game and when things get ‘exciting’, they can retire for a bit of WooHoo. While the game is played by millions of adults around the world, The Sims team has always kept playing as PG as possible. The addition of the Lucky Simoleon Casino was interesting and it was an optional extra that could be purchased for real money. It was never added to the game through an expansion pack, which is probably how The Sims team got around the possible implications of affecting their game rating. Honourable mention: The current version of The Sims may not have an official casino available but Sims modder, Arnie, has released a fantastic custom content option for The Sims 4 which can be found on his Patreon page. Look out for the Royal Casino CC available now. ✓ Fable II Pub Games The Fable franchise is one of the most popular series of video games created by Lionhead Studios. Fable II, the second instalment in the series, has an optional addition containing gambling games called the Fable II Pub Games. Available as a download for Xbox 360 players, Pub Games was free for those who preordered Fable II from participating retailers. The games included can be played to win in-game rewards for your Fable II character, as well as in-game currency, giving you the chance to start the game with a fair bit of coin. While not available to play in the game itself, Fable II Pub Games directly impacts the character you play which makes it even more exciting. There are 3 casino-style games included: Fortune’s Tower – A card game featuring multiple decks, the aim of the game is to complete the tower to win the jackpot prize. Complete the card cycles and place your bets to be a winner. Keystone – Described by Peter Molyneux, Fable game creator, as "a bit of a cross between Roulette and Craps", Keystone features 3 dice. Based on the bet you place and the roll that lands, winning is all about luck. Spinnerbox – Slot games that pay out on a chain of wins, there are 6 different slots to choose from, each with its own fun theme. If one thing is for sure, each of these video game titles is aimed at providing even more entertainment for adults who choose to indulge in these creations. Gambling and casino games within video game titles may not be as prevalent anymore but it’s all in the name of fun.
  4. Modern society often looks back on ancient civilisations with wonder and this wonderment uncovers fascinating lifestyles of people who lived thousands of years ago. According to historians and archaeological discoveries, gambling is one of the oldest practises known to man. Records indicate that people in ancient civilisations enjoyed it so much, it had to be outlawed and controlled. Playing games that involve chance and luck dates back to Aztec and even Mayan cultures and anthropologists track gambling all over the globe. We still play games of chance that originate from primitive China and early civilisations used dice throwing, or something similar, to resolve quarrels and serve justice. Historians believe the origins of wagering are divinatory with the casting of marked sticks that later spurred betting on the outcome. Regardless of why humans started gambling, the practice and love for games of chance are engraved in our origins. We look at some of the wagering traditions of bygone cultures and some that stood the test of time. Aztec and Maya Games Ancient Mesoamerican culture is one of the most studied periods, and scholars constantly discover fascinating traditions and practise within the Aztec and Mayan tribes. Some of the information passed through the hands of Spanish investigators and modern discoverers unveiled other prehistoric details. ✓ Patolli Recorded by Spanish discoverers, Diego Durán and Bernardino de Sahagún, who witnessed the games during their travels to the region in the 16th century, Aztecs played patolli and wagered on the game. According to Durán, Aztecs loved the board game so much that today we would consider it a highly addictive game. Sahagún indicated that the Aztec king did his best to regulate the game in an attempt to prevent major distractions for his people. They described it as a social game as multiple players could join in on the fun and onlookers quickly gathered when a patolli mat made its appearance. As most Aztec reference stems from the civilisation’s capital, Tenochtitlan, it seems that this was where the game was most popular and widely practised. Sometimes players would call on the god of games, Macuilxochitl, to bring them favourable play. We could describe patolli as a board game, and tools for the game included pebbles, bean dice, and a game mat. They also traced the board on the ground if a matt wasn’t available. The board had 60 or 70 places where the pebbles could move along and the aim was to move pebbles from one end to the other. Results or moves were determined by tossing dice made of dried beans. The Spaniards both agreed on the fact that these wagering games sometimes became heated and one described heads being split open. Durán noted that problem gambling arose for some who wagered clothes off their body and gambled themselves into servitude. They found evidence of the game in other Mesoamerican tribes, denoting the popularity of this forgotten board game. ✓ Ullamaliztli Known as ‘The Ball Game’, nobles in Aztec tribes enjoyed this high-speed game and Mayan tribes played the sport as well. For Aztecs, though, this was a way of life and a central part of their culture. Known as ullamaliztli, the ball game was second only to the Aztec god, Huitzilopochtli, and every settlement and city had a dedicated ball court. The Aztec ball game was not just a means of entertainment, it carried political and religious meaning as well. They made the ball from hard rubber, which had a rough surface with the potential to injure players. For this reason, deerskin guards covered the areas players would use to keep the 9-pound ball in the air. Highly skilled players took part in the game where they may not drop the ball, and contenders mostly finished a game with many injuries and bruises. Apart from keeping the rubber ball, named ulli, in the air, players had to get it through a stone carved hoop on either side of the court. Because of the difficulty of this goal, a ball passing through a hoop would mark the end of the game. Six markers along the courtside presented other opportunities to earn points and rules included fouls for touching the ball with the wrong part of the body, like hands and calves. Gambling was a big part of ullamaliztli and spectators staked almost anything on the outcomes. Ornate feathers, land, and even children were acceptable wagers, while some sold themselves into slavery to pay off their gambling debts. The Aztec ball game has a darker side to it as well, where blood sacrifice came into play and they sacrificed entire teams to keep the sun moving. A modern and civilised version of the Aztec ball game exists today and Siniloan women and children play it as a pastime and sport. Roman and Greek Gambling From the ‘throw of Aphrodite’ to landing Venus with knucklebones, gambling has deep roots in Roman and Greek history and some believe these cultures had the greatest influence on wagering as we know it today. ✓ Roman Board Games and Races Roman gamblers enjoyed playing board games that often involved dice made from ivory, bone, glass, and other materials. Their die resembled the modern cubes with six sides and the simplest Roman games entailed rolling dice for the highest total. A board game called ‘the game of twelve’ was very popular in Roman culture and is comparable to backgammon. They played the game with three dice, fifteen pieces - called ‘men’ - for each player, and a board carved out of stone. ‘Game of Brigands’ was a strategy game that incorporated coloured glass pieces and the player who captured the most pieces was dubbed the king. Sounds familiar, right? Romans used knucklebones in a game of chance where they tossed four bones marked 1, 3, 4, and 6 to land the highest combination. The highest throw was a ‘Venus’ and oddly enough, the lowest throw included all aces and they dubbed it the ‘dog’. A well-known section in the Bible describes how Roman soldiers cast lots to divide clothes belonging to Jesus. More popular than wagering on games, though, was race betting. Romans were passionate bettors in chariot races. Some event venues could house 250,000 spectators and Romans originally viewed race days as religious events. Gamblers bet on the outcome of races, and this hobby dates back to 753BC, and it is said that some used magic to cheat during chariot horse racing. They outlawed gambling for a few centuries due to gamblers causing havoc, increased violence, and even riots, but today Italy is one of the more successful gambling regions in the world. ✓ Gambling Gods in Greece According to Greek mythology, deities Hermes and Pan were avid gamblers. Some folklore tells the story of Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus settling the universe split by throwing dice. Others say the gods drew straws to settle the dispute. Greeks had a few variations of gambling games, but dominant ones included tossing coins, rolling die, betting on animal fights, and board games. Punters still believe that a double six dice roll is lucky, but in ancient Greece, it was the winning combination and carried the name ‘throw of Aphrodite’. Greek dice were 20-sided, icosahedron, and inscribed with Greek letters or numbers and sometimes, they used these when seeking divine answers. Similar to the Romans, Greek gamblers played a board game resembling backgammon, but they also bet on simple games like Par Impar Ludere. Here, a player would hold several objects in his hand and the opponent would guess whether it’s an odd or even number of items. Spectators would bet on the outcome of the game. They placed similar bets on coin tosses and chicken, dog, and birds fights were very popular. The Greeks believed that their gambling fate lay in the hands of the gods and winning was a sign of godly favour. Notably, many Greek writers and philosophers had a negative view of gambling and labelled it as a plague, which is probably true as the Greek government outlawed the practice for some time. Gambling Origins in the East A game that many punters still enjoy today is Keno and this famous card game dates back to 2,000 years ago in China. The gambling game comprises lotto-type playing cards with 80 characters (or numbers) and most Chinese provinces offered the game named, baige piao. Much like state-owned lottos in modern society, the province governor permitted games to take place for his share of the profit. Keno arrived in the US in the 19th century through travellers from the east and they say the game inspired lotto and bingo as we know them today. Most lotteries offer variations of Keno and it is a popular game among many cultures. The Chinese also invented a gambling game that involves 144 tiles, called Mahjong, where players need to make the best possible hand with 14 tiles. Also referred to as Asian Gin Rummy, China currently prohibits their citizens from playing this game. Pai Gow dates back to over 1,000 years, and this strategy game is often mistaken for dominoes. Modern versions of this ancient game include mobile adaptations like Pai Gow Poker. The Human Nature of Wagering Gambling dates back centuries and clearly, the practice of taking a chance with a wager is deeply rooted in our nature. Looking back on how ancient civilisations went about their gambling practices can teach us a few things and one fact remains: When it becomes too serious, take a break. Gambling should always be fun and approached responsibly to ensure its enjoyment for generations to come.
  5. Being a gambling enthusiast doesn’t have to mean spending all of your time at a casino – whether online or land-based. Even professional sports players don’t spend all their time on the field or in the gym, right? If you want to find a balance between still living your best gambling life and staying close to the games you love, keep reading. Punters from around the world have plenty of creative ways to show off their favourite pastime, and if you are a fan, these ideas will work perfectly for you. Kick It with Online Streamers Being a spectator while you take a break from placing bets yourself is one way to stay connected. Casino streamers became all the rage in the last year, and sites like Twitch and YouTube Live host millions of live streamers who cover an array of topics. Twitch is by far the most popular choice for gambling live streams, though, and they have well over 100 channels devoted to this topic. You can expect to see a live feed of the game the streamer is playing as well as a video stream of the player - if they’re not playing from a land-based casino. Because these live recordings are of real money gambling, which is an age-restricted topic, the streams are only intended for viewers of legal age. The advantage of tuning in to a live stream of a popular casino streamer is that you get to enjoy the thrill of casino games, most often slots, but you don’t spend a cent and you can chat to your fellow viewers. One of the most popular Twitch streamers is Trainwreckstv. Tyler Faraz Niknam has 1.7 million followers on his Twitch channel, and the streamer plays various casino games while preferring slot games. Streamers like AdinRoss take a different approach and stream with a bunch of friends. They stay online for hours and incorporate other entertaining feeds into their videos. With a mind-blowing 5.4 million following, they rake in close to a million views on a session. CasinoDaddy streams every day and plays high roller games, including poker. Roshtein is very popular on Twitch as well with 830K followers and Teceno is a good choice for esports betting fans. Get Inked with Gambling Symbols Serious gamblers have often turned to a permanent trophy they can always have with them. The popularity of tattoos increased tremendously in the 21st century, and the stigma attached to getting inked slowly became something of the past. Today, it is an art and tattoo artists with tremendous talent create masterpieces for enthusiasts. Punters no longer need to page through a booklet of pictures and pick their favourite image. Modern tattoo artists can envision the inspiration behind your tattoo and create something truly unique to you. Some of the most popular gambling tattoo images include playing cards and most refer to luck in some form. The Vegas, Nevada, sign is a very popular choice to incorporate into your art, as well as casino chips and whiskey on ice. The ace of spades card is a good option and blackjack as well. Some of the most famous gamblers have tattoos that incorporate all aspects of gambling, making it a stunning collage of casino images. A hand that holds a royal flush, rolling dice, and money often make it into the design and they can easily incorporate lucky numbers to make it as personal as possible. With the right tattoo artist, you can get a piece that is incredibly personal and may even be your own personal lucky charm. Dress in Gambling Apparel The love for gambling is nothing new and a couple of designers have used it as the inspiration behind their labels. Lucky7 is one such brand and the iconic logo of the brand incorporates the luckiest number. You can’t help but feel lucky dressed in this men’s brand available in Quebec. A brand with a similar name called Lucky Brand, founded in Los Angeles, gives you the chance to dress in luck from head to toe. Other brands may not scream gambling, but a name like Ed Hardy is a quintessential rock label and his designs incorporate some symbols well known in gambling. Wearing a Don Ed Hardy creation may not be everyone’s style and you will definitely stand out from the crowd, but his recognisable work with its skulls and tigers will tick all the boxes for punk punters. Rhinestone finishes and contemplative phrases make his clothes an exciting choice for gamblers. If you are looking for something unique, you can design a custom image or download free templates of gambling images and have them printed on clothing. Some websites offer a range of images to choose from and a variety of shirts or hoodies to print on. These include cute phrases and iconic images to show off your love for gambling. Textiles with unique gambling prints on them are available online as well and with these, you could make outfits according to your liking. Hollywood and Casino Life Gambling is such a big part of society that it must be part of filmmaking. Movies allow us to travel from this world to one where anything is possible. Casino inspired Hollywood titles are a great way to enjoy the wagering life while placing nothing on the line. ✓ Rounders (1998) Matt Damon takes the lead in this classic gambling flick. The young Mike McDermott (Damon), a gifted poker player, is a reformed gambler that faces a tough call when an old friend knocks on his door. Lester Murphy, portrayed by Edward Norton, lures Mike back into the game and before long he is tangled in a KGB mob drama where he must face his nemesis Teddy, played by John Malkovich. This gambling drama is one of those must-watch 90s movies. ✓ 21 (2008) If you are a blackjack enthusiast, you may have heard of the MIT club of students who trained to become card-counters and subsequently cleared out Vegas casinos. 21 is the movie based on facts of the MIT crew and this release has Kevin Spacey as the team’s coach. Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira play the team of students, and Laurence Fishburne portrays a ruthless casino boss. This drama-thriller is the dramatised version of the story and makes for superb entertainment while teaching us about a piece of gambling history. ✓ Ocean’s Eleven (2001) Possibly one of the most popular Hollywood films in the casino genre, this star-studded movie was released at the beginning of the millennium. Since then, Danny Ocean and his 10 accomplices became synonymous with epic heists, and we can’t imagine a movie where Brad Pitt and George Clooney are in that does not include Julia Roberts. Matt Damon shows up once again in a casino film and Andy Garcia helps with a well-rounded cast. The team plans to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously and the crime thriller will capture you from the first scene. ✓ Casino Royale (2006) A James Bond (Daniel Craig) fan favourite, this 007 film plays out when Bond first received his 00 status, and his mission is to beat a private banker to terrorists at a game of poker. The venue for this extremely high-stake game is Casino Royale, Montenegro. The villain, Le Chiffre, must win the game to maintain his status within the terrorist market. M sends Bond and Vesper to prevent this at all costs. A classic within the spy-film world, this is a must-watch for any gambler. Listen to Casino and Gambling Inspired Music One of the best ways to unwind is by listening to music. Creating a playlist with songs inspired by gambling is easier than ever with streaming sites that have music from all corners of the world, dating back to when music was first released on public platforms. Here are five gambling songs to get you started. ✓ Lilly, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts by Bob Dylan Some may argue that this is about more than gambling, but the theme that will resonate with gamblers is one of chance and fate. It includes a haunting murder plot involving a game of cards and a love quartet. Seems like Bob Dylan created the perfect dramatic song to suit the highs and lows of gambling. ✓ Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Perhaps this song is the reason Elvis has the honour of officiating marriages in Sin City. One thing is clear, though. The king of rock and roll certainly captured the glamour of Las Vegas in this song and if you want a different take on it, try Bruce Springsteen’s cover of it. ✓ The Gambler by Kenny Rogers A gambling playlist would be incomplete without this one. An absolute classic for the moral value late Kenny Rogers put into this song, it is a must for any punter. Naturally, it has a country tinge to it, but whether or not you enjoy that type of music, you may learn a thing or two from the lyrics. ✓ Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen One of his many hits, this is a bit of a sombre one from The Boss, but he tells a story many could identify with. Atlantic City is a well-known gambling hub, and the lyrics are about a man who struggles to make ends meet and he is going to take his chances there. ✓ Ace of Spades by Motörhead The rock and roll legends wrote a song about the most important card in the deck. Perhaps that has something to do with the enormous hit this song became, but it is one of the most famous gambling songs of all time. The lyrics are all about card gambling and it is a must for any punter’s feel-good playlist. Take a Breather The above methods are all good fun when you want to soak up what gambling offers without taking part in games of chance and staking your money. However, take a breather from gambling now and then to clear your head. Returning to the slots or tables with renewed vigour will help you think clearly and place bets responsibly.
  6. With gambling success stories, many tend to believe that luck has a lot to do with the win. We all know that casino games usually stack odds against the gambler and the house mainly wins. For this reason, countless punters believe that charms may add to their fortune and, with some games, players can use all the luck they can get. Certain gambling games require a level of skill to win, but even these skilled punters have superstitions and carry talismans for added luck. Others may even have a ritual they perform before playing their game of choice. Let’s take a look at the interesting lucky charms people believe in around the globe and explore where some of these amulets originated. Some are well-known beliefs while others have questionable roots, but some believe these charms to bring fortune to the wearer. ✓ American Charms Thanks to the media, American traditions seem to be some of the most well-known ideologies in the world. This rings true for superstitions and good luck charms as well. One of the most popular amulets is the horseshoe. This belief stems from folklore about Saint Dunstan, who struck a deal with the devil and from there on out the horseshoe wards off evil and brings luck. Be sure to position your charm in the right direction though as the u-shape will catch the luck for you if pointed up, but lose it if pointed down. The Rabbits Foot is another well-known lucky charm that America seemed to have put on the map. Its origin is debatable but said to be linked with the European mid-century practice of the ‘hand-of-glory’. As it is not the most upbeat of tales, we suggest you rather focus on the luck of the rabbit’s foot. Not to worry, as you do not need to capture and injure a real bunny. Faux rabbit’s foot charms are available, and you can always have one made in silver or gold. If you want a real one though, be sure it is the left hind foot of a rabbit caught in a cemetery at night. Animals seem to play a big role in the realm of superstitions and one more American folk tale states that alligator teeth are a talisman that will bring the wearer luck and money. It is not surprising that American gamblers wear these odd trophies to ensure big wins then. Alligators have better luck than bunnies though, as their teeth fall out periodically, so gator slaughtering isn’t necessary for these trinkets. Moving toward the more ancient parts of America, Peru has a national symbol represented by an ornate ceremonial axe. It is also a lucky charm in Peruvian culture. The origin of this charm is a little strange though as it used to be a ceremonial axe used to perform religious sacrifices and trepanation. The latter is an ancient Incan surgery performed to remove a piece of the skull. Today, they wear it for fortune and hang it on walls of homes to ward off evil. ✓ European and British Lucky Trinkets Beliefs from the European and British continents seem to be well-known ones too like the four-leaf clover everyone hopes to find. The clover symbol is so well-known as a lucky charm that we can find it in many casino games and although the rare four-leafed version is scarce, clovers have a positive meaning. The inspiration comes from the Christian faith of the Holy Trinity and when there is a fourth leaf; it represents God’s grace. In Britain and certain parts of Europe, they believe an acorn to be the symbol of prosperity, wisdom, fertility, and youth. Legend has it that the Norse god Odin hung himself from an oak tree to get wisdom and from there on, people wear the tiny nut for good fortune. The acorn does not need to be real. Simply pick from a variety of jewellery items made with this symbol. Some European traditions are not that well-known and these two smaller countries have unique amulets they believe will bring luck to the wearer. In Poland, it is a tradition to eat carp for Christmas, but the meal includes some scales from the fish. Superstitious Poles then carry a few of these scales in their wallet for the rest of the year to attract wealth, prosperity, and good luck. Swedes carry a Dala horse which originates from the 18th century. Soldiers would carve these horses out of wood and trade them for food. Since then, it represents luck, perseverance, and good fortune. When it comes to luck, many believe that the key is not just to attract it, but also to ward off evil omens. Nazar Boncugu, aka the Turkish evil-eye bead, is for exactly that reason. The name seems counter-intuitive, but many believe this cobalt blue symbol has the power to ward off curses and ill intentions from other’s staring eyes. People from all over the world place these glass beads on key chains, in their cars, their homes, or wear them as jewellery. It is especially lucky to wear while gambling, as opponents could not block your luck. ✓ African and Middle Eastern Amulets for Luck The very popular Hamsa Hand is now found in most western cultures as a universal sign of protection, but it found its origins in the Middle East and North Africa. It is predominantly a Jewish and Islamic symbol with similar meanings in the religions. Also known as Hamesh, Chamsa, or Khamsa, this charm is a hand with five fingers, but the two outside fingers are often symmetrical thumbs. Linked with the meaning of the number five, it wards off evil and brings the wearer happiness, luck, health, and good fortune. Ancient Egypt had a language made up of symbols, so it is easy to find meaning within the cultural signs, but some symbols carry significant weight. All Egyptians wore the Scarab Beetle to protect them and guide them, even in the afterlife. Punters will recognise the symbol, as many slot games have Egyptian inspiration and the beetle is present, more often than not. In Ghana, West Africa, the age-old tradition of Adinkra symbols originates and the Ghanaian people have a symbol for almost everything. They create their beautiful textiles with these symbols printed on them and wear traditional clothes made from them. Wrap yourself in cloth covered with Mmusuyidee to remove bad luck and attract good fortune. It is not uncommon for these traditional prints to show up in high-end fashion collections, so you might even find a scarf or purse to carry along when you place your bets. ✓ Eastern Money Charms In the East, they usually ordain their homes and businesses with gold and red ornaments and symbols, and in Chinese culture, one will find the luckiest charms of all. Laughing Buddha, also known as ‘Hotai’ or ‘Pu-Tai’, is a figurine of Buddhist origin. A version of this chubby figurine holds a pot of gold or gold nugget, and this represents prosperity and wealth, befitting for gambling luck. Best you rub the smiling figurine’s belly so that his luck can rub off on you. Don’t worry, there is no need to carry a statue into the casino. Because he is such a popular charm, laughing Buddha is available in many sizes and in a keyring shape to travel with you. A Chinese money frog, often found at the entrance of a business or Chinese family home, known as Jin Chan is a three-legged gold bullfrog. He has red eyes, a coin in his mouth, and sitting on a pile of traditional Chinese coins. Chinese folklore tells how the golden toad appears near homes or businesses during a full moon to announce the coming of good fortune and wealth. Be sure to place it in the correct direction, as the frog must face inward to bring money. According to tradition, if it faces outward, the money will flow away from you. The colour red is the national colour of China and represents happiness, beauty, vitality, good luck, success, and good fortune. Most Chinese charms and symbols display this colour, and it is a tradition that children receive a red envelope filled with Chinese coins for New Year to bring fortune. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure added luck when placing your stake. Wear something red for added fortune to beat the odds. Maneki Neko is a Japanese talisman known as the beckoning cat. This figurine comes in different colours and always has one front paw waving. Depending on which paw is up and what colour the cat is, the owner will experience different fortunes. It dates to the 17th century and often one will see it at the entrance of Japanese or Chinese businesses. Some of these charms are available with a mechanical paw that waves at you and others come in luxury materials like jade or precious metals. Look for a Maneki Neko that has a coin in its paw and a koi fish, as this charm will bring fortune and wealth. With a raised right paw, it attracts good luck and wealth. This is the feline to accompany you to a gambling outing. ✓ No Charms? Here are Other Tricks for Luck Seasoned gamblers have their charms of choice, although some choose not to carry a trinket for luck. You may wonder what you can do if you don’t have any of the above talismans, and the following tricks will help. Carrying a momento that is sacred to your family is an age-old manner to carry luck around. Many successful gamblers wear an item of clothing they wore when they first won big, so dig out those lucky socks before you place your bets. Craps players sometimes set up their dice with certain numbers facing up and others blow on the dice for luck to transfer on the die. Astrology followers can visit their gambling horoscope to see whether the planets align for their big win to roll in. Finally, you can always bet on 7, the luckiest number, or in increments of it. ✓ Feeling Lucky? At the end of the day, all forms of gambling come down to odds and in some games the numbers are great, but in others not so much. Whether you knock on wood or cross your fingers, the fact remains that the house always wins. Carrying charms should add to the fun of the game and applying wisdom and limits to your betting ensures that the fun doesn’t transform into a negative experience.
  7. If you are looking for a new hobby and online gambling is the option, here are a few pointers to make it an enjoyable experience every time. For seasoned gamblers, these may be obvious, and the wisdom may have come with expensive lessons, but even experienced punters forget the basics. With land-based casinos closed for long stretches over the last two years, many countries finally saw the importance of a regulated online gambling market as their citizens turned to igaming. Now that we see many new regulated markets and platform providers popping up from everywhere, it is more important than ever to keep your head cool when taking part in remote betting activities. Especially if you are new at this. Online casinos offer bonus deals to attract players to their platform and developers do their best to make their games stand out. With all the flashing lights and “Free” banners popping up, would-be punters as well as experienced gamblers can easily get carried away. So, before you get caught up in the moment, implement these 5 steps to ensure a relaxing and entertaining online gambling time. ✓ 1. Do Your Homework We get it. If reading was your thing, you would curl up on a sofa and get lost in your favourite book. The thing with reading casino and game reviews, though, is that it saves you a lot of time and unnecessary frustration. How so? Experienced players do the grunt work for you by checking all the important facts to consider when picking your gambling platform and which games you will wager your money on. If you pick a reputable source, you can rest assured that the casinos they write about and suggest to their visitors have the correct licenses in place. It is very important to only gamble at online casinos that are regulated within your country, as this ensures your right to recourse if you are dissatisfied with the service you received. On top of that, licensed and regulated platform providers need to adhere to strict gambling laws to maintain their licensed status within their respective jurisdictions. This ensures that players’ safety is a top priority to the casino and their staff. A good review will include factors such as payment solutions, available currencies, available languages for customers, and the level of customer service provided. With online casinos, punters need to know how long they will wait for their withdrawal as well. Most good review sites will include details on bonus deals from all the leading licensed operators, but always be sure to read the terms and conditions for yourself, to ensure you understand them. Review sites will help you choose the best game for your preferences too. With the multitude of slot games available, rather read a couple of reviews and play demos, if available, before you place your first bet. The important statistics will be on the review as well as the theme and rules. Should slots not interest you, all other casino games will have reviews too. Where your hard-earned money is involved, it is always better to have a good understanding of the game rules. ✓ 2. Manage Your Most Precious Resources: Money and Time Cash-flow mismanagement is the quickest way to get yourself into trouble with gambling and bring an abrupt end to the fun. The habit of setting a monthly and a session budget should be part of your gambling strategy to ensure that you don’t overestimate your betting allowance. Always make sure that you stick to what your budget allows and never overspend. Breaking this rule, even once, is a slippery slope to problematic gambling habits. Another golden rule of money management for gambling is to never wager with borrowed money. Some you win, some you lose. Take this to heart and walk away from your losses. Borrowing money to place a ‘sure bet’ or to cover your losses is a certain trap and one that you should avoid at all costs. Money is not the only precious commodity you own. The mentioned budgets should go further than currency to include how much time you spend on gambling. Time management is just as important, if not more so, and knowing when to stop even if you must ‘end on a high’ or walk away from a big loss will set you up for success in the long run. This, in turn, creates a winning mindset, which is a key component in every successful punter’s arsenal. Make sure that your time spent gambling fits in with your daily schedule and does not take away from other priorities, such as family time, work, etc. If you find it challenging to stick within the budget(s) you set for yourself, consider talking to someone about these challenges. Impulsive gambling can lead to detrimental consequences. ✓ 3. Make Use of Deposit and Time Limits The third point ties in with our discussion above and will make it so much easier to manage your bankroll. Online casinos and gambling regulators created this tool to help punters stick within their means and budgets. This is a great tool that promotes responsible gambling and helps you live to wager another day. Utilising the deposit limit application takes one more thing off your mind, as you only need to focus on the game and your betting strategy. Most veteran gamblers have learnt that it is too easy to give in to temptation and make that extra deposit in the hopes that the tides will turn or that the table is about to turn hot. In the heat of the moment, you may believe that the next spin or hand will bring your fortune but sticking to your budget is a skill to hone and setting a deposit limit helps you do exactly that. Regulators require online casinos to offer punters the deposit limit tool and, in most instances, you can limit yourself in different forms. Daily, weekly, and monthly limits will make it easy to structure your budget. ✓ 4. Check the RTP and Variance RTP, the acronym for Return to Player, refers to the amount the game pays back to the player over thousands of spins. They normally display this value in percentages. For example, if a slot has an RTP of 95%, it will give back 95c for every €1 spent. Essentially, this statistic communicates how much you can expect to lose. The % difference is the house’s edge, which translates to the percentage of player bets retained by the game in the long run. Although it is a theoretical amount, the fact remains that the house always wins. Some games have better return values and lower house edge and naturally, these should be the ones you play. The accepted average RTP for online slot games is around 95.5% but some slots can go as low as 85% as certain regulators allow for it. Finding out what the game’s RTP is will empower you to make better game choices for greater winning potential. Slot games have one more vital element to consider and that is the payout variance, also referred to as the game’s volatility. They rate it from low to high and it has a tremendous impact on how you should manage your bankroll. A low variance game will pay out often, but the returns are usually small. High variance games have erratic payout structures and spinners can experience dry spells and sudden big wins. These games are popular for the big wins but understand that they can stretch your bankroll with wins awarded seldom. ✓ 5. Ignoring Betting Lines on Games Understanding the mechanics of the game you are playing is key to the success of any prospective punter. Betting lines, also known as paylines, are a line-up of specific symbols on which they will reward a payout. Traditional slot machines used to have only one betting line running through the middle of the reels, but most modern slot games can have anything from five to hundreds of paylines with winning combinations in all types of patterns. Some video slot developers allow the player to decide how many lines they want to bet on before the spin and more lines mean more winning opportunities. Most of these slot games have a set number of lines you would need to bet on, so adjust your bet amount accordingly. Usually, there are two different bet settings. One for the currency you bet on and one for how many coins you will use per spin. This mechanic may confuse punters and others may just ignore the fact, but this can push your bet up without you realising it. If you find that your total bet displayed on the game’s dashboard is more than the bet amount you entered, chances are the structure of ‘bet per line’ is in place. These details are available in the paytable menu or the game rules, another point that many punters forget to explore before spinning away. Here you will see what individual symbols will reward you and how many need to match for a pay-out. The payline structure will explain how stakes apply and wins are split. If your bet amount is split between lines, they calculate your payout according to line wager. For example, a €3 bet on a 30-line slot means you are only betting 10c per line and would pay out relative to this. As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. So always check the mechanics of the game before playing and find a game best suited for your betting style. When the Fun Stops, So Should You Having fun while gambling is about staying in control of the situation. Incorporating the above steps can help gamblers to focus on the entertainment factor while practising responsible gambling habits. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our recommended and reviewed GamblersPick online casinos.
  8. Gambling has an interesting past and has been prevalent around the world since ancient times. As long as people have been competitive, crude ways of gambling have been around. Casino gaming is only a few hundred years old and has undergone many facets of change over the years. Commercial casinos are usually tied back to the USA eventually. American gambling culture is like no other in the world. Gambling in the Old West, in grubby saloons, has become a stereotypical image of traditional Americana but travel a little way south and you will find that paddlewheel riverboats provide a succinct betting pictorial as well. Famous movies, like Mel Gibson’s 1994 film Maverick, pays tribute to the riverboat casino world and provides a great picture of the sort of shady environment that was attached to the industry in its earlier days. While paddlewheel boats represent a vintage era in American history, they are still found in number along the Mississippi River, providing gambling entertainment in the modern era. They generate hundreds of millions of dollars in state tax revenues in six states along the river lines, including Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, and Missouri. History of Riverboat Casinos In the 19th Century, there was a strong trade route established between the towns lying across America’s longest river – the Mississippi. As a result, the waterways were busy with traditional paddlewheel vessels, which traders and passengers would use to commute effortlessly along the trade route. They accommodated mostly wealthy merchants and businessmen in the beginning, though professional gamblers soon made these vessels their marketplace. Gambling was first introduced to the vessels as a cure for boredom on the often tediously long journeys up the waterway. Passengers would use their available spare time to engage in games of chance, like poker and other card offerings. The presence of money and the need for entertainment made gambling the natural choice among the elite. As these gambling pastimes became more prevalent, it started attracting professional gamblers from far and wide. Gambling professionals were not well tolerated though and were regarded largely as cheats. Because the waters were not regulated, it allowed for gamblers to move around unchecked. This resulted in strong reactions from the public who were commonly bamboozled out of their money. It is understood that ‘lynch-law’ was used to deal with alleged transgressors at the time. The Decline in Riverboat usage Towards the end of the 19th century, railroads superseded boat travel as a mode of transport. Train travel was far faster and proved more convenient for business. That along with the American Civil war stymied the riverboat transport business in the states. As a result, the riverboat industry turned towards the leisure market, offering travellers the opportunity of taking cruises – a form of escape from the mundanities of life. The gambling affiliation attached to the boats never died out though and gambling became a primary form of entertainment on these cruises. The Laws Many states started outlawing gambling within their regions to protect their residents from problem gambling and to curb gambling associated crimes. Because the riverways were effectively a borderline between states, the boats would take advantage of the fact that they were treated like a no man’s land which provided the perfect grey area jurisdiction for betting trade. Gambling was practiced with no interference from the authorities. Most forms of gambling were outlawed in the USA by the end of the Second World War and it wasn’t until the 1980s before the first states started legalising gambling over waterways. Iowa was the pioneer for the introduction of this form of regulated gambling in 1989 but was followed by Illinois and Louisiana in 1991 and Mississippi, Indiana, and Missouri by the end of 1993. In each of these areas, casino gaming was expressly forbidden on land. Only boats on areas of water could offer this form of play. Initially, they could only offer slots and table games while the boats were cruising on the waterways, but later on, it was decided that docked boats could offer gaming too, which was far safer and more secure for the consumers. The purpose of restricting gambling to boats on waterways was done to limit the geographic and economic scope of gambling within the states. This way, the industry could be better controlled. Unfortunately, there is a lack of uniformity in the industry from one border to the next. Areas in the laws that vary include things such as: The appearance of the boats and the technical requirements: In Louisiana, the boats must resemble the traditional paddlewheel vessels of the 19th century and must be driven either fully or partially by a paddlewheel mechanism. The number of passengers the vessel must be able to carry also varies greatly from one region to the next. Betting Restrictions: Bet limits and loss limits are set by each state independently and may vary greatly. Geographical Restrictions: In most of the states, it is only lawful for gambling to take place while the boat is in transit, however, some have questioned the safety of this and allow the ships to be docked at the time of game commencement as long as the boat is still on the water. Licenses: The number of authorised casinos is set independently by each state. Where Louisiana will not license more than 15 casinos, Illinois will only grant up to 10 permits. Each of the 6 states that have legalised Riverboat gambling have done so independently which has led to these differences and variations. Riverboat Casinos Today Over three decades in and the riverboat casino industry is still thriving and producing strong revenues for each state. They remain a great avenue for job creation while providing an iconic traditional American experience – one that speaks to the heritage of the country. As of 2018, there are 63 Riverboat Casinos in 6 states. This includes both docked boats and those that traverse the rivers while gaming is at hand. These are however not the only form of River Casinos available anymore. Several casinos are located on boats situated in a moat or a waterway that has adjacent access to the main waterway. The government has turned a blind eye to these, as they prove lucrative for the coffers. In some areas, the government has allowed water-based casinos to move away from boats. These operators have been allowed to build their casino establishments on stilts above the river, as long as they are situated over the water as stated in the legislation. Perhaps the biggest factor for the change in the scope of riverboat casinos was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm winds destroyed most of the riverboat casinos and their facilities along the Gulf Coast of the country. In some states, such as Mississippi, the legislation was changed to allow the casinos to be rebuilt on land if they were within proximity to the waterway. Most of the destroyed operators have rebuilt their casinos. One of a Kind Experience The old-school atmosphere of Riverboat casinos provides players with a totally unique gambling experience, allowing them to traverse back in time and experience true American history. The traditional architecture ensures that all gamers can experience what it was like to gamble over 100 years ago. You’ve seen it in the movies, but you can experience it in real life, too. The boats offer luxury amenities, including bars, restaurants, spas, gyms, hotels, and access to hundreds of slot games and skill-based gaming tables, like poker, blackjack, and roulette. Online Riverboat Dream Such is the premium experience of Riverboat gambling that the theme has managed to traverse the realms of the physical and has found a place to wow digital casino gamers via the internet at online casino sites like the River Belle. If you cannot travel to the United States at this time, the online casino owners have made sure that you can enjoy the next best thing from the comfort of your own home. River Belle has been around since 1997 and was designed with the authentic riverboat feel in place. It provides all the modern perks you have come to expect from online casinos, such as improved return to player ratios, competitive bonuses, and modern, engaging slots and virtual table games. Ride the River to the End The riverboat legacy holds a special place in the hearts of sentimental Americans and there is no evidence that this type of casino experience will die out any time soon. While the legislation on this form of gambling seems to evolve every few years, the base values remain intact, in a well-regulated and now safe gambling environment. The industry seeks to maintain its heritage in one hand while grasping for modern convenience in the other, ensuring customer satisfaction all the way.
  9. Casinos have been around since the 17th century. During that time, we've seen them develop into some of the most stunning and luxurious places in the world, as well as some of the most bizarre! What are the boldest, the oldest and the biggest casinos in the world? Which are the casinos you really need to see before you die? Keep reading as we take a look at some of the most spectacular casinos ever built. The Biggest Casinos in the World What is the largest casino in the United States? What about Europe? Is the biggest casino to be found in Vegas? Here are some of the biggest casinos in the world. WinStar World Casino, Oklahoma If you guessed that the world's largest casino was in the US, you were right. If you guessed it was a Vegas, you were very wrong. The largest casino in the world is the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma. Coming in at around 600,000 square feet of gaming space, this mega-casino has eight gaming areas, seventeen restaurants, a 7,000 seater Colosseum, and more than 7,000 gaming machines. What is the largest Indian casino? Well, it's this one. That's right, the largest casino in the world is owned by the Chickasaw Nation. MGM Grand, Las Vegas What is the biggest casino in Vegas? That honor goes to the MGM Grand. At 170,000 square feet of gaming space, this enormous casino is still less than a third of the size of the Winstar World Casino. That still doesn't stop it from being one of the most popular and recognizable casinos in the world. Expect to find around 3,000 slots, 200 table games, poker rooms, fifteen restaurants, and two theatres. It certainly lives up to it's Grand title. Venetian Macau, Macau What is the largest casino in Asia? That prize goes to the Venetian in Macau, which has a floor area of over 500,000 square feet. Macau is a former Portuguese colony and now a special administrative region of China, and it is home to some of the most impressive casinos in the world. In fact, the highest-grossing casino in the world is the Galaxy Macau which turned over nearly $6 billion in 2014. The Venetian Macau may not make the most money, but it certainly boasts the most floor space. The Oldest Casinos in the World Unsurprisingly, many of the biggest casinos in the world are fairly new. But what is the oldest casino in the world? We'll take a look at some of the oldest casinos out there. Casino di Venezia, Italy Casinos have been around since before the US was formed, so it's no big surprise that the first casino was in Europe. Where in Europe is the world's oldest casino? The answer is Italy. The Casino di Venezia sits on the grand canal in Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. When was the first casino invented? Incredibly it opened in 1638, five years before Isaac Newton was born and only eighteen years after the Mayflower first landed at Plymouth Harbor. Who made the first casino? It was originally set up as a theatre with a separate area for gambling in the intermission. The gambling proved more popular than the shows, however, and by the 18th century, there were more than 100 casinos in Venice. The casino stopped operating for many years but was reopened in the 1960s and could claim possibly the boldest marketing ever done by a casino. The entire baggage carousel at Marco Polo airport in Venice was turned into a giant roulette wheel. The casino said the stunt saw visits rise by 60% making it one of their most effective ads. Kurhaus of Baden-Baden, Germany The Casino di Venezia may be the oldest casino, but it hasn't been operating continuously during that time, having only moved to its current location in the 1950s. If you're looking for the oldest continually-operating casino, then its the Kurhaus of Baden-Baden in Germany. The casino was completed in 1824 and has been running ever since. When gambling was banned in France in the 1830s, things began to really take off. The casino was visited by the author Fyodor Dostoevsky and was the inspiration for his novel The Gambler. The Boldest Casinos in the World There are some truly weird and wonderful casinos out there. What's the most provocative casino? What is the craziest casino design? Read on as we look at some of the boldest casinos in the world. The Venetian, Las Vegas What is the boldest casino theme? Well, how about recreating the canals of Venice, Italy? The Venetian in Las Vegas does exactly that. It includes replicas of famous Venetian landmarks, including the Rialto Bridge, the Piazza San Marco, and the Palazzo Ducale. You can even take a gondola ride along those famous canals. The Bellagio, Las Vegas What is the most innovative casino? That's hard to say; it depends on whether you mean innovation in gaming technology or innovative design. Regardless, we couldn't have a list of the great casinos without including The Bellagio. The go-to casino for many a Hollywood movie, this casino is based on another region of Italy: Lake Como. It features an eight-acre lake that contains the casino's most innovative feature: the Fountains of Bellagio. This enormous water feature is the centrepiece of incredible performances featuring light and sound that take place throughout the day and are visible from the Strip. When it was built, it was the largest fountain in the world. Ready to Learn More? If this list of the oldest, boldest and biggest casinos in the world has whetted your appetite, then you're in the right place. Our site is devoted to bringing you information about everything related to online gambling. Whether you're looking for tips and tricks to increase your chances of winning, or reviews of bonuses and online casinos, you'll find everything you need is just a click away. Our aim is to offer trustworthy and reliable information to help you with your online gambling journey. Why not join the GamblersPick community today?
  10. Did you know that the song "Luck Be a Lady" was written in 1950 for the musical Guys and Dolls? As you may already know or have guessed, the song is about gambling. But what other gambling phrases and quotes are out there? Knowing a quote about gambling (or two) might just allow you to show off your knowledge while sitting at the poker table the next time you're playing with your friends. Here are 10 amazing quotes about gambling you should know. 1. Hunger Games "May the odds be ever in your favor." In context, Hunger Games is a harsh fight to the death where only 1 person wins. In the end, they get to bring home both glory and food for their district. While gambling isn't so much about survival and is, instead, about entertainment, it can still feel like you're facing challenging odds. In that case, this quote can be very fitting for your gambling situation. It can be a good quote to wish someone luck as well. 2. Italian Proverb "The best throw of the dice is to throw them away." This quote was first written down in 1790 and is Catholic in nature. As you may guess, they didn't condone gambling; the quote is saying to not even bother with Lady Luck. However, if you're not Catholic and/or you're an avid gambler who loves to play, pay no mind to this proverb and keep testing your luck! 3. Terrence Murphy (VP Pappy) "A gambler never makes the same mistake twice. It's usually 3 or more times." Terrence Murphy is not only a poker player, but also an author who's also written under the name VP Pappy. He's so well-known for his gambling books that he's been quoted in many gaming magazines as well. As you can see, he has quote some astute and funny observations about betting. If you've placed quite a few bets in your lifetime, then you'll totally understand where he's coming from. 4. Thomas Austin Preston, Jr "Look around the table. If you don't see a sucker, get up, because you are the sucker." This quote is very similar to the previous one. Considering it comes from a professional and renowned player (he's in the Poker Hall of Fame), you should definitely heed his advice. Betting money can be exhilarating, but if you're losing a significant amount, know when to call it quits and cut your losses. 5. Nicholas Dandolos "The house doesn't beat the player. It just gives him an opportunity to beat himself." Nicholas Dandolos is another professional gambler; he's actually known for playing high stakes poker. Again, you should listen to this quote, as it's sage advice from a pro. While it's true that the house always wins, a lot of it has to do with your own psychological warfare. Treat gambling as a source of entertainment, and you won't beat yourself. 6. Mitch Hedberg "I love blackjack. But I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle." Mitch Hedberg was a famous comedian who was known for his deadpan style of humor. He often poked fun at himself, which you can see in this quote. Seeing as the comedian died in 2005, you won't find many more quotes from him on gambling, so this is a good one to have in your repertoire. 7. Irish Proverb "Hoping to recoup is what ruins the gambler." This proverb is quite fitting, considering we all know about the "luck of the Irish." But even the Irish know when you should cut your losses and stop chasing wins that probably won't happen. You should keep this proverb in mind whenever you're on a losing streak. Perhaps it'll be what gives you the strength to walk away from the table. 8. Baltasar Gracian y Morales "Quit while you're ahead. All the best gamblers do." Baltasar Gracian y Morales was actually a Spanish Jesuit priest who lived in the 1600s. In addition to being a priest, he was also a philosopher, as well as a writer. In fact, he penned the book "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." As you can see, there's a running theme with many of these quotes: it's extremely important to stop chasing losses early on. 9. Leo Tolstoy "A gentleman is a man who will pay his gambling debts, even when he knows he has been cheated." Leo Tolstoy is a Russian writer who was famous for his works of realistic fiction; his most famous novels are "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina." While he was known for rejecting extravagant lifestyles, it was discovered after his death that he actually indulged in some vices; specifically, gambling and prostitutes. Although he indulged, Tolstoy still maintained a code of honor, as you can see from this quote. 10. Michael Jordan "Gambling is not a bad thing if you do it within the framework of what it's meant to be, which is fun and entertaining." While many look up to famous NBA player Michael Jordan, this quote is maybe a little ironic. There are rumors that he's actually lost millions of his fortunes due to, you've guessed it, gambling. He might've even retired early from basketball because of this bad habit. Whatever the case is, maybe you can learn from his mistakes and avoid such costly financial fumbles. Now You Know Some Interesting Quotes About Gambling Now that you know some interesting quotes about gambling, you can show off your new knowledge to all your friends. With your impressive library of both thoughtful and funny gambling quotes, you're sure to be the life of any party you attend. Have these gambling quotes gotten you in the mood to try your luck? Then check out the rest of our website for some great guides.
  11. While in-person gambling is a fun tradition that's been around for centuries, the popularity of online gambling is growing at an enormous rate. In fact, by 2020, the global market for gambling online is projected to grow by a whopping 8.77%! As you can probably imagine, the fact that there are two exciting and viable options for getting your gambling fix makes gamer's loves more interesting, but also vastly more complicated. After all, choosing which form of gaming is right for you can be an overwhelming task. Luckily, we're here to help! Today, we're going to talk about offline vs online gambling and outline the pros and cons of each. Read on to get some insight as to which of these alternatives is best for you. Offline Casino Gambling Even back in medieval times, people enjoyed heading to gaming parlors to place bets and socialize with others. That tradition still persists today despite the fact that games are different and casinos have a much more modern aesthetic. Read on to learn some of the merits and downsides of offline casino gaming! How Does Traditional Gambling Work? To partake in traditional gambling, you need to hop in your car, drive to the casino, and start placing bets (as soon as you know the rules!) Most of these locales are attached to other venues like malls, hotels, restaurants, and resorts. At an offline casino, all gamblers are present in the room where bets are being placed. The room is filled with neon lights and a roaring crowd of other gamers, which is an engaging aesthetic that makes lots of gamblers feel high on adrenaline. Pros There are a lot of pros to offline gambling that make for an amazing experience: Social experiences. You're surrounded by other gamblers, which is a fun experience if you're interested in making gaming a social experience. Aesthetic and adrenaline. The lighting and traditional aesthetic of a land-based casino really helps to get the adrenaline pumping and the excitement at an all-time high. This is especially the case because excitement is contagious, so when other people are having a good time in the casino, you're likely to as well. Less paperwork. While online casinos require registrants to include personal information into their accounts, most offline casinos are pretty chill about background verification. This means less paperwork for you so that you can start gaming faster. Opportunities for a high payout. There aren't really any limits as to what you can bet at an in-person casino, so this is a great option for high-risk gamblers. Cons However, there are also a few downsides: Less variety. Since there are space constraints in land-based casinos, they can only have so many gaming options. You won't have the same amount of variety as you would online. Strict unspoken rules. There are a lot of etiquette rules that you'll need to follow at a physical casino. It overall makes for a better experience where all gamblers respect each other, but it can still be annoying sometimes. Lack of disabled accessibility. Casinos can get loud and bright, which a lot of people like. However, for those with sensory processing issues, it can also get overwhelming. Know yourself and your preferences! Online Gambling Now that you know the pros and cons of going to a land-based casino, it's time to take a look at the alternative: online gambling. Read on to learn why this might be the right option for your needs! How Do Online Casinos Work? Online casinos are basically large online rooms where you can play virtual versions of all the games that you would at a casino. You place bets using a bank account or, more popular as of late, bitcoin. Online casinos are great for games like slots that don't require a lot of interaction. However, poker, blackjack, and other card games are an entirely different experience digitally. Pros Here's why online casinos are awesome: Convenience. Online gambling can happen in your PJs from the comfort of your own home! You can be really comfortable while playing as a result. High percentage of payout. While land-based casinos offer opportunities for high payout, you'll likely not win very often. Online casinos offer more chances to win smaller prizes. Opportunities for real-life experiences. When you use an online casino, you aren't sacrificing the opportunity to play against real-life players. Live dealers are an option on most casino sites, so you can play against other people in a virtual room. More variety. Online casinos have no space restrictions and therefore offer more games. Cons However, there are also a few cons: Less social opportunities. You can't bring friends to an online casino for a night out. It's a generally slow experience. The lack of a roaring crowd and neon lights also makes for less adrenaline. More restrictive. High-stakes gamblers have betting restrictions. Many sites also make it so the more you win, the less likely you are to win in the future. This is obviously unfortunate for those who are skilled at gaming. So, Which Option Is Best? Neither offline or online casinos are inherently better than the other. Which alternative is right for you depends on what you want your gaming experience to be like. If your primary goal is winning anything, including small prizes, then online gambling is likely the right choice for you. However, if you have a lot of money and are a high-stakes gambler, you won't like how restrictive most casino sites are with betting and probably want to head to your local offline casino. If you're looking for a social experience, then you're definitely going to want to head to an in-person venue. You can bring friends and hang out with them while placing bets. This is a great way to have a night out- casinos serve most food and alcoholic drinks in addition to the awesome entertainment that they provide. Those who are interested in convenience may want to go with online gaming that you can do from the comfort of your own home. This is also the case for autistic gamers and those with other sensory processing accessibility needs. The bottom line is that you need to know yourself! Place a Bet Today Whether or not you prefer to gamble online or in a casino, there are lots of options out there for the places you can make bets and the types of games you can play. Now that you know the pros and cons of both online and offline gambling, it's time to get started. Check out the 'games' tab on our homepage for more information about the various casino games you can play in the format of your choosing. From slots to poker to blackjack to roulette, we've got you covered.
  12. Gambling has been played around the world for thousands of years. People just seem to love participating in games of chance and trying their luck. In modern history, the world of gambling has developed into an industry that's worth more than half a trillion dollars! Gambling is a fun and thrilling activity where fortunes can be won and lost almost instantly. And almost just as interesting as gambling itself are gambling statistics. So continue reading and we'll walk you through some of the most fascinating and interesting gambling facts and stats you should know about. 1. Gamblers Have a 30% Chance of Winning on Any Given Day This statistic is according to the Wall Street Journal. While some amateur gamblers may be breathing a sigh of relief after reading that, you should know that that number doesn't give the whole story. That data point is from a two-year survey that studied people who played at online casinos. Over the two years, 11% of those players ended up in the black. And most of them had profited less than $150. Perhaps more interesting is when you see how the numbers change when you look at frequent gamblers. The top bettors are the players who put up the most wagers over the two years. And only 5% of those players walked away with more money than what they started with. Looking for some more fascinating details from the study? 50% of the casinos' revenue came from just 2% of the players. And 80% of the revenue came from only 10.7% of the gamblers. But what about the players who didn't gamble as often? How well did they do? According to the study, 10% of the players who bet the fewest wagers had the highest winning percentage. And 17% of them walked away profitably. A total of 4,222 gamblers were involved in the study. And only seven of those players won more than $5,000. Sadly, 217 players lost more than $5,000. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t gamble or play casino games. It just means you should take a reasonable approach. Casino gambling is a lot like eating candy. It’s best done in moderation, but who’d want to live their entire life without candy? 2. 2 to 3% of Americans Have a Gambling Problem While 1% - or 2 million - Americans have a severe gambling problem, around 4 million more have a mild or moderate gambling problem. Those four million Americans meet at least one of the criteria for gambling addiction but they don't meet the full diagnostic criteria. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), gambling addiction includes all gambling behavior patterns that damage, disrupt, or compromise someone's vocational, familial, or personal pursuits. The symptoms of gambling addiction include: increasing preoccupation with gambling irritability or restlessness when attempting to stop loss of control despite mounting negative consequences "chasing" losses desire to bet more money more often In extreme cases, gambling addiction can lead to depression as well as legal and financial problems. On the bright side, these odds probably mean that you're not a compulsive gambler. 3. 49% of Americans Have a Favorable View of the Casino Gaming Industry A record number of American adults (49%) have a favorable view of the casino gaming industry. That's up from the 2018 numbers of 45%, according to a national survey conducted by the American Gaming Association. Perhaps sparked by the Great Recession, Americans have, in recent years, started seeing the casino industry as being helpful to local economies and acting as a job creator. And they also feel that the casino gaming industry benefits the communities where the casinos operate. A whopping 71% of Americans believe that casinos create jobs. And while 49% of American adults say that communities are helped by their local casinos, 57% of people think that the casinos are beneficial to the local economies. This increase in favorability is occurring alongside a major boost in casino visitation. Many people today feel that the casino gaming industry offers high-quality and innovative types of entertainment. In fact, 44% of American adults visited a casino in 2019. That's equal to around 124 million people. Those numbers are also significantly higher than the 35% of American adults who visited casinos in 2018. 49% of American adults surveyed also said that they intend to visit a casino to gamble within the next twelve months, which is 20 million more people compared to those surveyed the year before. And lastly, two out of three Americans believe that the casino gaming industry provides high-quality entertainment and 63% of people feel that the entertainment options offered by casinos are innovative. 4. Over $18,226,355,000.00 USD Is Spent on Gambling in Great Britain In Great Britain, gamblers spent around £14.5bn between October 2017 and September 2018. That's equal to around $18,226,355,000.00 USD. That includes betting on sports, horse races, bingo games, and National Lottery tickets. Online gambling receives the most revenue at £5.6bn, which is nearly 40% of all of the money waged. That includes online casino betting, games, and bingo apps. Betting shops came in second, generating revenue of £3.2bn. In the same period, a little less than £3bn was spent on tickets for the National Lottery. 5. The House Edge for the Lottery is 50% According to Michael Shackleford, famously known as the Wizard of Odds, the lottery is the worst gambling game that you can play. The house has a staggering 50% edge. Compare that to blackjack, where the house edge is only 0.5% when players know how to play basic strategy. Roulette even has better odds than the lottery. In that game, the house has an edge of just over 5%. So why does this stat matter? Once you realize how terrible the odds are for the lottery, you're probably going to think twice before marking off that Powerball ticket. It's interesting to note that the one gambling game that the government is in charge of is also the most corrupt and house-heavy game around. So next time you think about buying some lottery tickets, consider spending your money more wisely and go have fun at a blackjack table. 6. The Best and Worst Slot Machines In Las Vegas Can Be Found on the Boulder Strip When we say best and worst, we mean in terms of payback percentage. And that term represents the amount of money that the casino is expecting you to win per spin over the long run. Let's look at an example. The best slot machine in Las Vegas has a payback percentage of 96.71%. When you play that machine, you'll be betting 25 cents for each spin. Let's imagine that you make 600 spins per hour. For every 25 cents that you bet, you're expected to win 24.18 cents, according to the casino. This means that you'll have a net loss of 0.82 cents for every spin. So after 600 spins, you can expect to lose a total of $4.92. Paying less than $5 for an hour of entertainment certainly isn't a bad deal. And that's the rate of return that you can expect on the Boulder Strip for the quarter machines, according to American Casino Guide. However, when you're on the Boulder Strip, you should do your best to avoid the MegaBucks machines. These slot machines have the worst payback percentage. While you have the possibility of winning a life-changing amount of money, you're more than likely going to be keeping only 87.15% of the money you wager. It also costs you $1 per spin. So if you spin 600 times in one hour, and spend $600, the casino is expecting you to only keep 87.15 cents for each spin. That means that they're going to be winning 13.85 cents each time you pull that lever. After an hour of playing, the casino would've made $83.10 off of you. Just think about how big the difference is between losing $83 in an hour and losing under $5 in one hour. Whenever you can, avoid playing the MegaBucks slot machine games. Although they have better odds than the lottery, they're not a whole lot better. If you want to be a savvy gambler, you should always be comparing the odds of different games like this. 7. Macau Leads the World in Gambling Revenue In 2002, Macau made as much in gambling revenue as the state of Mississippi - a state not particularly known for its gambling culture. Three years later, Macau was taking in more than Atlantic City. The next year, they beat out Las Vegas. By 2008, Macau had surpassed the gambling revenue of the entire state of Nevada. As the fastest growing gambling destination in the world, nowhere else comes close to Macau's number. This small Chinese region is just 44 square miles in size while Las Vegas is 140 square miles. Despite that, Macau made an incredible $37 billion in 2018 while Las Vegas made only $6.5 billion. And if you're interested in visiting Macau at all, then you should make sure to brush up on your baccarat. Baccarat is the most popular game in the region, bringing in 85% of the city's gambling revenue. In the United States, it's the slot machines that generate the most revenue for casinos. 8. The Odds of Rolling a Pair of Dice 154 Times Continuously at a Craps Table Without Rolling a 7 is 1 in 1.56 Trillion Why would we share this statistic? It seems so random and so improbable. Yet despite those absolutely insane odds, they're not actually impossible to beat. And that's exactly what Patricia Demauro, a grandmother from New Jersey, did in Atlantic City in 2009. In what is likely one of the most historic lucky streaks in gambling history, Mrs. Demauro rolled 154 times without ever "sevening out." Remember those crazy odds for winning the lottery? You're still several hundred times more likely to win the lottery than have a lucky streak like that. All in all, the woman played for a total of four hours and 18 minutes and broke multiple world records. The average number of dice rolls in a game of craps is eight. Nobody knows how much she won that day. But if she made good bets, she probably would've won in the hundreds of thousands. And if she made expert bets, she would have walked out of that casino a millionaire. 9. Blackjack Is Becoming Less Popular Blackjack is one of the most iconic and quintessential casino games in the world. However, it's fallen out of favor in recent years. Slot machines have now become the dominant game, according to the Centre for Gaming Research at UNLV. How far has blackjack fallen? In 1987, blackjack took a unit share of 75.88% of all games played in Las Vegas. The next most popular game was Craps with only 10.5% Today, blackjack only takes up 50.86%. This staggering drop represents a decrease in the game's popularity at land-based casinos in Las Vegas. With that said, blackjack is one of the most popular online table games, alongside Roulette and Texas Hold'em. While the decrease in blackjack's popularity started before online gambling existed, it's demise was certainly accelerated by the new technology. Now that people can play blackjack for free from their homes, many would-be players are choosing to stay inside instead of going out to the casinos. The Importance of Learning Gambling Statistics Gambling is an age-old pastime and one that can give a person a sense of community and belonging. Casino games can be thrilling and exciting and loads of fun. But it's important to understand that they should be viewed as entertainment first. And although there's no casino game that's going to give the edge to the player, you can certainly minimize your losses by understanding gambling statistics and how the casino gaming industry works as a whole. Are you interested in playing some fun online gambling games? If so, check out the rest of our site and pick that game that suits your fancy.
  13. Did you know that the probability of being dealt a royal flush in a poker game is about 0.00015%? Probabilities are calculated based on the number of favorable cases divided by the number of possible cases. There are 4 types of royal flushes in a deck of playing cards and nearly 2.6 million different card combinations. If you divide 4 to 2.6 million, you get the probability mentioned above. While you're waiting to get a lucky hand at poker, check out more interesting facts about playing cards! 1. Playing Cards Contain Glue Although playing cards do not stick to the hands, they contain a glue core. This glue holds two pieces of paper together representing each side of the card. On top of that, the glue is designed to make the playing cards opaque, so you cannot see the value of the card if you keep them in direct light. The edges of the cards also contain a special layer to prevent moisture from deteriorating them over the years. 2. Casinos Routinely Replace Their Playing Cards It can be very tempting for casino players to mark their cards or pull some valuable cards from their sleeves. That's why casinos over the world go the extra mile to minimize cheating, especially during high-stakes games or when a lot of players are gathered around a table. One way cheating is avoided is by changing all the playing cards in a casino at an interval of eight hours. Another way is to frequently change the playing cards during important events, sometimes once every few hours. Cards that have been used are marked by the casino staff, usually by puncturing a hole through the middle. As you can probably guess, hundreds of decks of playing cards are used in large casinos every week. 3. Playing Cards Were Invented by the Chinese in the 9th Century Most experts have reached the conclusion that the first playing cards were used by the Chinese in the 9th century. However, they used a 32-card deck that resembled domino pieces. These cards were also used as a form of currency among gamblers. The first playing cards were printed on bone, wood, or paper and they have quickly spread to Persia and Egypt back in the days. 4. Canceled Casino Cards Can Be Bought Online As mentioned earlier, a deck of cards doesn't last for very long, especially in a busy casino in Las Vegas. These cards are "retired" after just a few hours of play to prevent players from making personal marks on them. Some of the canceled cards are punctured, others are just marked with special signs and put away. However, many of these canceled playing cards are also sold online. That's because many people would get excited at the idea of playing with cards that have been used at a famous casino in Las Vegas. Retired playing cards are also sold cheaply and shipped internationally. 5. The Oldest Deck of Card Has Been Sold for Nearly $3,000 Old playing cards still have a lot of value. Collectors routinely buy old decks of cards at prices up to $1,000. However, there are also centuries-old playing cards that are sold for nearly $3,000. This is the case for a 52-card tarot deck used in the 15th century in the Netherlands. This old playing card deck is currently on display in New York at the Museum of Art. 6. Face Cards Actually Represent Real People Did you know that the kings represented on face cards depict real historical figures? For example, the king of diamonds represents Julius Caesar, the famous Roman military general. The king of hearts represents Charlemagne, the king of clubs represents Alexander the Great, and the king of spades represents David from the bible. Now you know what you're looking at each time you draw a king card. 7. Bicycle Is One of the Most Famous Playing Card Brand in the United States Playing cards under the brand name of Bicycle have been produced since the 1800s. This is one of the most popular card brands in the United States and it still produces playing cards for regular clients or casinos. Bicycle playing cards are used by famous gamblers, magicians, tricksters, and more. 8. Current Playing Cards Are Strictly Linked to the Modern-Day Calendar There is a reason why there are 52 playing cards in a deck. This number represents the 52 weeks in a year. At the same time, the 13 values in a deck of cards represent the 13 weeks in a quarter or the 13 lunar cycles in a year. There are 4 different suits because there are also 4 different seasons in a year. Lastly, you have 2 colors for your playing cards (red and black) because they represent the day and night. On top of that, if you add up all the values depicted on each playing card, assigning 11 for the Jack, 12 for the Queen, and 13 for the King, you reach 364. Add one for the Joker and you have 365, the number of days in a year. Add the second Joker and you have 366, the number of days in a leap year. 9. The Card Depicting Number 8 Holds a Secret Take a closer look at your 8 card in a standard playing card deck. If you look at the negative space between the pips, you'll see that it resembles the 8 digit. This is obviously done intentionally and it is valid for all the 8s in a playing deck. Unfortunately, this rule doesn't apply to the other playing cards, so don't try to match their negative spaces with the corresponding digit. Now You Know a Lot of Interesting Facts About Playing Cards! Nothing can be more exciting than playing cards, especially when the weather outside is bad. Next time you and your friends gather for a night of games, don't hesitate to share these facts with them. They will definitely find them entertaining! In the meantime, make sure that you check the other interesting articles on our website to learn more about card games and how to become a better gambler.
  14. The gambling industry is currently making over $41.7 billion in revenue, putting it at an all-time high. If you're someone who loves to gamble, you probably are always looking to media related to your hobby. After all, there's nothing quite like reading about characters doing what you yourself love, and when that hobby is gambling, it's even more fun. The stakes are always high in stories about casino games and betting! If you haven't looked into reading gambling manga yet, we highly recommend that you do so. Japanese comics and their unique, interesting drawings are the perfect media to capture the emotions and ideologies of those who love to gamble. Read on to learn what manga you'll want to start with as a gambling lover! Kaiji Kaiji is one of the most popular gambling manga of all time. This manga is still ongoing despite the fact that it began in 1996. Divided into six parts for easy reading, the latest installment began in 2017! If you're into trying the TV anime out before committing to reading the manga, you're in luck- there's an amazing anime adaptation called Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor. In any case, Kaiji follows a young man named- you guessed it!- Kaiji. This character really should be looking for a job, but he isn't having any luck of finding one, so he turns his attention elsewhere. He decides to focus his energy on playing cheap pranks on others, becoming intoxicated, and, yes, gambling. In comes a loan shark, Endo, who tells him all about high-stakes gambling. Immediately interested Kaiji accepts, only to be double-crossed by Endo. He takes him to an underground labor camp and tells him he must work for 15 years to pay off all the gambling debt he's in! This is obviously not an ideal situation, but Kaiji learns that he has hidden gambling skills. He uses them to get out of many, many situations. You'll need to read the manga to learn what they are, though! We aren't going to spoil you! Kakegurui Kakegurui is different from the rest of the series on this list in that it's shojo. Its art style is slightly different than the other manga we're talking about, and its primary target audience is women! However, men can also enjoy these spirited and lively stories with no shame. This is especially the case when Kakegurui is such a high-stakes series! This series follows students who attend a private school called Hyakkaou, where wealthy and privileged teens must compete in a series of games in which they wager their fortunes against one another. The prize? Elitism in the social hierarchy of the school! However, this social hierarchy is a bit... extreme, to say the least. The poorest students, who lost their money in the gambling that they partook in, are then seen as slaves to the rich students that won their fortunes. However, a new student shortly arrives at the school who simply loves gambling for the thrill of it. She wreaks havoc across the school and its hierarchal structure as she continues to defeat the student council in its attempts to eliminate her time and time again. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya Moving back into the shonen genre, Legendary Gambler Tetsuya is a classic that ran from 1997 until 2004. It has also been adapted into an anime series that ran in 2000 and 2001, so you can check it out that way, too! The plot is set in a post-WWII world, so it's also a historical series for all you history buffs out there. People are struggling to survive after the war has ended and the Axis powers have lost miserably. People lack money, and they can't buy food, shelter, and other necessities, so many of them begin to gamble away what money they do have in hopes of striking it big. The series follows Tetsuya, who is, as you may have guessed, a legendary gambler. He makes his fortune off playing Mahjong, a game in which he defeats his opponents with pretty much zero trouble. However, that all changes when Tetsuya meets a man who is very skilled at the game and realizes that he still has a lot to learn. This action-packed and heartfelt series is sure to have you rooting for Tetsuya to win at his chosen game against any odds that may be stacked against him. Akagi Like Legendary Gambler Tetsuya, Akagi also follows a player of the classic Chinese game Mahjong. This is unsurprising considering the game's popularity in Japan, which persists to this day. Akagi is also known as 'Akagi: The Genius Who Descended Into Darkness,' which is a much more descriptive title. The series follows a boy called Shigeru Asagi, a teenage boy who beats yakuza (Japanese mafia) members in Mahjong. He doesn't know the rules of the game, though- he just relies on his intuition to beat these dangerous men. He winds up disappearing, as those who meddle with the yakuza tend to do. However, six years later, he returns to the game carrying the status of a legend. His ultimate rival is called Washizu. He's one of the wealthiest men in the Japanese underworld who tempts people to bet their lives for great sums of money. The two of them create and play a variety of the game that Akagi calls 'Washizu Mahjong', in which three tiles for every tile type are transparent so that players can see what's underneath them. Bring Gambling Manga to Life No matter which of these gambling manga you choose to read, you're sure to be riveted. After all, the characters and plotlines are all high-stakes, all the time! Now that you know some of the best Japanese gambling manga that you can enjoy, it's time to learn more about gambling and casino games. Head over to the GamblersPick home page and sign up for our newsletter. We'll give you the latest gambling-related news and facts so that you can be as amazing a better as possible in bringing the strategies you learn in manga into the real world. Good luck out there!
  15. If you're a religious person, then you've probably always considered how gambling plays into your faith. You might love the fun of gambling, but unsure of whether the Bible tells its readers to partake or not. One big factor in many directions that the Bible gives is the intent behind the actions that it warns against. It does so in an effort to protect God's children from conforming to evil acts. As you'll see in this article, there are many different verses pertaining to it. So, what does the Bible say about gambling? Be sure to read below in order to find out. 1. Avoid the Love of Money Whether you're religious or not, anyone reading this can benefit from the rule of avoiding the love of money. The love of money is what gets you into trouble. If you're not careful, it can cause you to make immature decisions (such as spending more than your predetermined bankroll) while gambling. 1 Timothy 6:10 says "for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." In other words, the Bible isn't necessarily against the pastime of gambling. It's against the love of money that can grow from those that aren't guarding their hearts. 2. Be Grateful for What You Have If you've never heard it before, there's a common term in the gambling world known as a "bankroll" (as previously mentioned). A bankroll is a certain amount of money, that a person sets aside for themselves in their budget to use for when they gamble. It's the same as setting aside money for going to the movies or buying a new TV. The key to successfully using that bankroll is being grateful for the opportunity to gamble and not exceeding the predetermined amount. If your bankroll ever hits zero, then you're done for the night. It helps keep gambling in perspective and never lets it get out of hand. Hebrews 13:5 says to "keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." That verse speaks to the usage that some people have for gambling as their main source of income. To reassess, gambling as a pastime is fine. Using gambling as your main way to make money is bad. 3. Don't Prioritize Gambling Over Your Faith The Bible's main concern with those that gamble is how quickly one's heart can start to depend on gambling. People don't just depend on gambling for money. They can also depend on it to give them a thrill they're searching for, give them a feeling of self-worth, and much more. That dependency is what can quickly shift your focus off of your faith and onto worldly things. These worldly accomplishments might be making as much money as possible or winning more than anyone else. The Bible states that as soon as you reach that level with your money, you lose your love of God. Matthew 6:24 is a great reminder of this. It states that "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money." 4. Work Hard, Then Play Another huge concern that the Bible warns against is that gambling can send people down a slippery slope of not working for their money. The Apostle Paul warns people of the faith that they are to work hard for their money in order to receive fulfillment from the Lord. It encourages you to follow in their example and work for every penny that you receive. However, as long as you're gambling with money that you've earned from your career, it's okay to try and gain additional money from it. It's sort of like placing your hard-earned money into a high-yield savings account or a Roth IRA. That money will gain compound interest over time. You didn't necessary work for that compound interest, but the money you earned added more to it. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says that "the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat". The combination of working hard to make an honest living and guarding your heart against turning gambling into an idol will help you abide by the Bible's rules on gambling. 5. Guard Yourself Against Envy Gambling as a pastime is a great way to spend a Friday night hanging out with friends or getting out of the house. It's not meant to brew up envy in people's hearts, but some people tend to find themselves leaning in that direction. They start to covet someone else who is winning excessively in gambling. Heck, you might even envy the life of a professional gambler. The Bible warns to not use money in an attempt to fill your heart's void. Exodus 20:17 says "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife... his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." What Does the Bible Say About Gambling? Maintain Perspective So, what does the Bible say about gambling? It warns against using gambling purely for the means of gaining more money. If you wish to gamble, then do so as a pastime. Work hard for your money and don't fall victim to selfish ways. As long as you do that, you're keeping in with the laws of your faith! Be sure to browse our website for some fun online gambling games and get some amazing casino bonuses!
  16. Many people would guess wrong if you'd ask them what country has six gambling facilities, 283 online casinos, 18 online poker sites, 34 online sportsbooks, four online lottos, and two online DFS. It may surprise and delight you to learn that Ghana is competing to be the largest gambling industry in the world. The online games and casinos offered in Ghana have lenient and user-friendly regulations. Ghana is also dedicated to becoming one of the fastest-growing gambling industry countries in the world. Due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), more and more people on a global basis are becoming restricted to when and where they can go outside their homes. Many have been self-isolating in their homes. As a result of the (COVID-19) Pandemic, the digital platform for gambling is growing throughout the world. Read on to learn more about how the global gambling industry, with its online games and casinos, is re-invigorating Ghana through the online gambling market. This upturn in interest has resulted in more of a demand for worldwide gambling recreation. History of the Gambling Industry in Ghana The history of the gambling industry in Ghana started more than fifty years ago. The Lotteries Betting Act of 1960, The Gambling Machines Act of 1973, and the Casino Licensing Act were all passed as legislation to bolster the economy of Ghana. Ghana's steady and well-regarded stewardship over gambling entertainment venues has created six gambling facilities in their biggest city of Accra. In fact, the largest casino in the entire country of Ghana is the Victoria Casino Accra is the Victoria Casino Accra located in the city of Accra. More and more people are seeking extra money, fun activities to participate in, and a chance to take their mind off COVID-19. The Victoria Casino Accra offers past and present success to all online gamblers to keep hopeful spirits alive. Examples of businesses and gambling industry company leaders who rose to the top of digital platform opportunities are represented throughout history from episodes similar to COVID-19. SARS in 2002 provided a unique opening for Alibaba, one of the world's largest eCommerce stores to offer thousands of supplies needed by those restricted to their homes through their online mobile-optimized storefront. Airbnb was born in 2008 during a global financial crisis because people needed smaller and hospitality-based rental properties for travelers in need of quality but low-cost rental properties. Ghana is now meeting the COVID-19 demand through gambling entertainment that’s versatile, fun, and diverse. Gambling in Ghana Gambling in Ghana has never been more robust. Ghana started seeing a real uptick in its online gambling industry during the advent of more reliable and faster high-speed internet. The online gambling industry's growth helps Ghana dedicate funds for improving its economy and infrastructure. In context to other African nations, the countries of Uganda, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and Morocco also offer gambling entertainment. However, in West Africa, the country to visit in person or online for entertaining gambling venues is the country of Ghana. Gambling in Ghana provides the best definition of the constant evolution of the African continent due to the impact of the gambling industry's economic growth. Ghana offers classic forms of gamblings like lotteries and bingo to more sophisticated, well-developed games in the most prominent online casino brands. People can use their smartphones, IPADS, and laptops to participate in online casino game websites. In Ghana, you have online casino game websites that offer poker rooms, bingo, sports betting, lotteries, and online casino slots and games. The Growth and Economic Impact of Ghana's Gambling Industry In Ghana, almost all budgets are suitable for online casino gambling site games. You can play for as little as USD 11 or bet several thousand depending on what you want to wager. Many residents of Ghana prefer the online mobile casino games because if you go into a brick and mortar casino, the minimum bets are more substantial due to the range of stakes being smaller. Ghana also provides sports betting on the NFL, European Football, NBA, and other sport team specialties. There are five well-known betting companies in Ghana with many onsite and online shops open 24/7, 365 days a year. Statistically, Ghana has over 283 gambling online websites. Most of the online website platforms offer state of the art online casino functions. These functions include a memory-based system that stores the best, your favorite, anything recommended, as well as wide players data integrated with top game statistics and suggestions. All are available for you to review before your play begins. As an added benefit, anyone playing an online casino game in Ghana is offered players anonymity with all other players. Supreme Online Gambling Industry Ghana offers a supreme online gambling industry because every player's engagement and interest is guaranteed. This results in Ghana's gaming business profits never goes down, which helps the country continue to grow and develop. During the COVID-19 global health concerns, it's crucial to have a trustworthy and supreme online gambling industry you can trust. People also need to be able to have diversions from day-to-day life concerns and have some fun betting on everything ranging from basketball games online or their online poker games that are fun to play. These diversions can help bring you some good financial bet winnings. The Way Forward There's only one way forward in Ghana's gambling industry, and that way is up. Due to the cancellation of everything from sporting events, concerts, to visiting a brick and mortar casino, we all must be able to find a way to rejuvenate with the entertainment industry. The rules and regulations now in place for COVID-19 need to be taken seriously, and everyone needs to stay at home and work remotely, if at all possible. But you also need to be able to relax and have fun doing some things you used to be able to get out and do. Ghana offers you a way to have fun, bet on games, and grow the economy all by participating in casino online games that are available with one click on your keyboard. Join up and find new friends, make a bet, play a game, and find the diversion you've needed but never knew where to find.
  17. In the online gambling community, it seems like every year brings more and more developments nobody ever saw coming. From month to month, the influx of information, data, law changes, and new opportunities can be a little daunting. So, what's an igaming enthusiast supposed to do if they want to stay up to date with what's going on in their world? Who do we follow if we want to know what's happening, when it's happening, and how it affects us? Join us, today, as we bring you eight of the biggest Twitter influencers in the online gaming industry, right now! David Purdum In the world of online gambler names, ESPN Chalk columnist David Purdum is a name you should know, whatever your sporting preference is. With his hands in nearly everything you can place a bet on, right now, Purdum is also a fairly notable name in fantasy sports. Look for David on Twitter if you want great posts and a solid jumping-off point for joining the online gambling community. Purdum's profile is where many of the top analysts actually gather when they want to have a discussion. This makes it perfect for anybody looking for great commentary. Find David Purdum on Twitter: @DavidPurdum Steve Ruddock The Steve Ruddock Twitter profile sets the stage for the open and honest Tweet content to follow. "Nominated for an award once... didn't win." As Editor in Chief at Gaming Law Review, Steve's insights into the poker and gaming industries are surface deep. What is really intriguing when it comes to Ruddock's Twitter content is his views on the legal and legislative development of gambling in the US. And what is the most intriguing is his coverage of terrestrial and online gambling and their slow growth into each other. What we're saying is Ruddock has a lot of great content and is an insightful influencer in the online gambling sphere. Maybe he should have been given that award, after all. Find Steve Ruddock on Twitter: @SteveRuddock Alun Bowden The well-known Alun Bowden offers unique perspectives on the igaming industry. More important, however, he is actually one of the only gambling names on the platform making the time to interact with his followers in any way. He is, also, quite sarcastic, but that's what we go to Twitter for, right? Based out of the UK, Bowden puts his years of industry experience and gaming industry contacts to good use. Follow him for excellent observations and commentary on gambling, highlighting often overlooked issues. Follow Alun Bowden on Twitter: @gamblinglamb Ryan Rodenberg Ryan Rodenberg is a leading name in the United States sports law community. He's been at the forefront of the legalized sports betting fight over the last few years. It's his informed perspective on the issues and expert commentary that make Rodenberg stand out. When it comes to gambling, on and offline, some of the best content concerns the often-complicated legal perspectives on the topics of the day. Ryan Rodenberg brings that expertise, arguing for legalization and exhibiting why legalization matters. Follow Ryan on Twitter: @SportsLawProf Mike Kowall With regard to legalizing online gambling, Michigan has been the site of many developments in recent years. And State Senator Mike Kowall has been a leading name in drafting and guiding that legislature. Kowall spearheaded online gambling legislation in 2016 and reintroduced it again in 2017. Despite not being as active on Twitter, he has a profile and has been involved directly in legal battles that affect the entire industry. This makes his content a great measure of the state of things. It also makes him an official source of information. This is especially nice when everybody else seems to spend their time sharing any old rumor they've heard recently. Follow Senator Kowall on Twitter: @SenMikeKowall Rosita Youngblood Pennsylvania State Representative, Dr. Rosita Youngblood is a leading proponent of online gambling. She sponsored the first bill to reform gaming laws, by the name of HB 2150, and has been extremely outspoken on the subject. Follow Representative Youngblood on Twitter: @RepYoungblood Sarah Friedman Sara Friedman is a notable name in the gambling compliance creative community. Her focus is largely on new and emerging online gambling laws and regulations. Follow Friedman for updates from the gambling regulation frontlines. Her rapid turnaround on pretty much all updates from the igaming and gambling worlds is unmatched. If it's been announced, Friedman is probably already Tweeting it. Follow Sara on Twitter: @SaraEFriedman Victor Rocha Victor Rocha represents the California online gambling community in a bigger way than most. With content leaning toward tribal gaming, Rocha's Twitter is a great source of content for California game followers. Tune in for unfiltered opinions on the state of California gaming. Follow Victor on Twitter: @VictorRocha1 Matt Assad Industry journalist Matt Assad works the gambling beat for Pennsylvania news site, Morning Call. It's his closeness to the daily news that gives him his understanding of the local scene, including gambling regulations. Chris Krafcik Chris Krafcik works as the research director for Gambling Compliance. This kind of information is worked with under very strict NDAs. That said, Gambling Compliance's work has made it a solid resource when they do release updates. And Krafcik's Tweets, though not all that frequent, epitomize that idea. Follow Chris Krafcik on Twitter: @CKrafcik Stay Up To Date With iGaming By Following Influencers Ultimately, no matter what your preferred industry is, it's always valuable to know who to follow if you want updates right from the horse's mouth. And where better to get up-to-the-minute updates from every industry out there than on Twitter? Hopefully, with the help of today's igaming influencer list, you'll have everything you need to follow all the men and women who know it best. Looking for more great insights into the world of gambling? Check out some of our other blog content.
  18. Did you know that nearly 1.6 billion people all over the world gamble at least once a year? Approximately 20% of these people prefer online gambling as they have a multitude of online casinos and games to choose from, depending on preferences and needs. Since so many people gamble, it's only natural for a lot of misinformation and misconceptions to appear. This article is structured like an episode of Mythbusters, so keep reading to find out a few popular myths about casinos, online gambling, luck, arbitrage, addictive gambling, and more! Casino Mythbusters - Debunking the Most Popular Myths About Casinos Various myths and misconceptions about casinos appear as a result of a lack of knowledge among players. Also, people who casually earn money at tables might be tempted to spread false knowledge and advice around, in an attempt to boost their self-esteem and appreciation from others. 1. If a Game Has a 25% Win Rate, You Will Always Win 1 In 4 Times This is a common myth that usually circulates among people who play poker or Russian Roulette. The theory sounds good, but in practice, a 25% win rate doesn't always guarantee that you win one hand in every four dealt. For example, let's say that you play 100 hands at your favorite game. How do you know that you will not get most of the winning hands at the end of those 100 dealt? In other words, you can get a long streak of bad hands and have a short streak of good hands after that. When you calculate the odds over the 100 hands dealt, you might get a 25% win rate, but the winning hands don't necessarily come at regular intervals. 2. You Will Win Your Money Back If You Keep Gambling This myth keeps a lot of players stuck on tables, but unfortunately, the laws of probability can easily debunk it. Gambling is all about chance and there's no way you can predict it. You might be lucky and bet on the winning horse from time to time, but that's just coincidence. Therefore, if you lose most of your money, there's no scientific reassurance that you'll get it back if you keep playing. Even worse, you might be so frustrated that you make very poor decisions and lose even more money, so make sure that you take regular breaks to prevent that. 3. Gambling Is Not Addictive, You Can Stop Whenever You Want This is a dangerous misconception and many people are fooled by it. Gambling can definitely become addictive and it can lead a lot of careless players on the path of failure and bankruptcy. This type of activity is addictive because it acts like a drug. Every time you win, your brain releases endorphins that make you feel good. You automatically want to play more so you can get more rushes of endorphins that make you feel good. However, as you probably already know, not every time you play you also win. Some players get addicted to gambling because they are still unconsciously looking for that "feel good" moment and they cannot stop hunting it. In worst-case scenarios, players bet their family savings, rent money or valuable personal belongings and this is when things get really bad. To prevent gambling from becoming an addiction, you might want to play with small sums of money and take regular breaks. 4. All Casinos Are Rigged and the House Always Wins The term "rigged" in this context means that the casinos have various mechanisms that ensure that the house always wins. This is not true if you play at licensed establishments. Many casinos are trustworthy as they have been inspected by third-party companies and they are closely monitored by the authorities. As long as you find a reliable casino in your area, you should play without being afraid that you'll be scammed. 5. Wearing Certain Jewels and Clothes Can Increase Your Luck This misconception has an air of mystique and fantasy associated with it. You might be happy to find out that there are no magic amulets or special bracelets that increase your chances of winning at casinos. If some people try to push such products for sale, they're definitely taking advantage of the naivety of players. Remember that playing in a casino is all about luck and you should treat it as an entertainment activity without getting too attached to it. 6. Gambling Is an Easy Way to Make Money If this would have been true, it's very likely that many players would have become millionaires by now. As mentioned earlier, gambling should be treated as an entertainment activity, not as a job. It is possible to earn large sums of money by playing at casinos, but no one guarantees your next paycheck. Just as easily you can lose all your money in one night, so it's a very risky activity if you're not careful. In some cases, you might see professional gamblers playing at large Las Vegas tournaments and you're probably wondering how did these legends make their fortunes. Why are they now able to bet thousands of dollars on each hand? Well, the truth is that many of these players are probably established, businessmen or actors. They gamble money they have made outside the casino. Some of them enjoy large winnings, but you should never live with the thought that you will eventually become rich by gambling regularly. Now You Know Why Most Casino Myths and Misconceptions Are Untrue! As you have seen in this Mythbusters-type article, playing at casinos can be a fun as well as a dangerous activity, depending on how you treat it. If you ever hear pompous or extravagant ideas related to casinos again, chances are that they are popular myths that can be easily debunked just like the ones mentioned above. If you decided to play casino games but you're too lazy to go to a brick-and-mortar one, make sure that you check our top recommended casinos. We feature a large collection of gambling games and casinos that offer large payouts and quick withdrawal times, so you can use your earned money as soon as possible!
  19. Despite that it should, the expression 'cost you an arm and a leg' didn't start with medieval gambling. Even with the sometimes cutthroat play style of early games, and the presence of early cheaters, few limbs were lost outside of the Crusades. The early games of chance had surprisingly deep rules. Playing pieces were sometimes rudimentary and uneven, but were also varied and collected as works of art. Players invented and spread new games as they traveled for opportunities and war alike. Gambling has existed in many forms throughout time. Before the concept of money, favors, goods, and livestock would be wagered on contests of skill and events of chance. The so-called detriment to society rhetoric sprang up as early as the first Crusades and has found new avenues and strengths while never quite being convincing enough. Let's break down the appeal and the prohibitions against games of chance and how they spread and advanced through medieval society. Medieval Gambling Pros and Cons The idea fo betting on games of chance would take longer to develop as it would be a while before tools of chance took proper shape. Historians have found evidence of card games forming as early as the 10th century in China. Dice show some evidence of existing as far back as 2,000 BCE. However, newer archaeological digs in Egyptian tombs have moved that number as far back as 6,000 BCE. The basis for several notable dice games started in Greece around 400 BCE. Games of chance began to be noteworthy as civilizations tried to be, well, more civilized. this is where the compulsion for victory and the morality of an orderly society started to create an interesting dynamic that has fought back and forth for almost a thousand years. Image credit: Egypt Musem (egypt-museum.com) Image credit: Egypt Musem (egypt-museum.com) Appeal The allure of gambling is deeply rooted in the human psyche. Psychologists have done numerous studies on what is called "random reward reinforcement'. It's generally understood that people look for chances to succeed beyond their limitations. The idea of luck permeates many behaviors to our overall benefit. Hope is essential to getting your run of the mill peasants out fo bed each day and back to working int he fields. They can't be convinced that their lot is simply to toil day in and out and then die. They have to believe that they can overcome their fate and rise to a new station. Stories of the normals that became knights and landholders, the soldiers that won against the odds, and the kings that led nations to prosperity all find purchase because of the intermixing of luck and hope. Even in animal studies, it's shown that an animal would rather wait for a chance to win big than to work steadily at a sure thing. Getting what you deserve is fine, but getting more than you deserve activates powerful reward centers. In medieval times, the idea that you could win a week's wages in a few minutes was every bit as compelling as it is now. Of course, at the time, they didn't have handy guides that helped explain the rules and odds. It wasn't uncommon for a few 'local' and 'house' rules to stymie an otherwise successful player in the olden days. Knights and Nobles Gambling wasn't for everyone, though. Even during times when it was openly permitted, it was only permitted to a few. During the crusades of Richard I only those ranking at knight or above were allowed to wager on any game or event. Part of this was about morale and fighting ability. The other part was about ease of liquidity. A peasant or squire with a bunch of loose coin would more easily be considered a thief than a victor in a game. Nobility also had more leisure time, allowing them to engage in and better themselves at these games. Betting on sporting events, especially tennis, was popular throughout England and France. Prohibitions The ugly side of games of chance is that the chance to lose exists. In modern society, losses are easier to mitigate. For one thing, you can't really wager things that aren't money. It takes some doing to risk your livelihood. In the 1500s this wasn't the case. People who got on a losing streak could, and would, risk items precious to their survival such as their clothing, tools of trade, and objects that didn't strictly belong to them. Gambling also brought about unseemly events and people. These complaints mirror those made today, but with some key differences. One, we've dispensed with some of the moral hand-writing associated with liquor, sex, and other leisure activities being adjacent to each other. Two, sophisticated systems exist to prevent cheating on any side of a game and the existence of official establishments dry up the influence of unofficial ones. Like any prohibition, criminals found ways to exploit the rules and the people living with those rules. The Church The clergy were quick to want to see games of chance shut down for the usual reasons relating to the control of self and denial of temptation. They were also keen to curb gambling because it was a popular thing to do while IN church. Parishioners, which in those days stood as there were no pews, used the proximity to each other to bet on events and outcomes. Because they were supposed to attend church, it was not frowned upon when they congregated as it would otherwise have been. At the time, a man leaving the home to meet with others was always met with suspcisoun if not for a civic duty or work. Issues over gambling also created strain between the few competing religions at the time. In Spain, prohibitions against gambling were principally about preventing fights between Islamic law, Jewish law, and concepts of blasphemy. Soldiers Gambling was popular among soldiers who risked their lives each day. It was also a terrible idea that affected their battle readiness. Soldiers did not own much of what they had, their arms, armor, and even clothing and food were all rationed to them by the nobles they served. A soldier that lost his sword in a game of dice not only was useless in a battle but could be seen as a thief. mercenaries were not held by such laws, which is one reason that mercenary armies were so popular in the years between 1200 and 1600. Wagers Wagers in medieval times were sometimes about money but more often about goods. The nobles could afford to wager actual money, with famous wagers from King Henry VII to Jakes Haute over a tennis game totaling £10. A day's wage at the time was roughly four pence. This was the equivalent, then of nearly a year's wages over a single game. Tavern owners and innkeepers had carte blanche to run their establishment and could take anything they deemed reasonable for payment for room and board. This made them an essential part of medieval society. They worked as hotels, bankers, and pawnbrokers. Gamblers could offer their belongings to the house in exchange for a writ or promise of payment in dice and card games. This is both where 'the house' and 'losing your shirt' come from as terms. Still, games didn't have strict recordkeeping attached. It wasn't uncommon for a few math errors to occur. You wouldn't find anything then akin to today's progressive jackpot system found in slots and poker games. Board Games Though card and dice games are the ones most frequently thought of as games fo chance for gambling, board games had their role as well. In particular, chess and backgammon would see a lot of sets created and wagers made both by the players and onlookers. Since these were games of skill, the wagers were often low and consisted of heavily favoring local talent over unknown players. It's funny to think about, but there was a time that roving chess players were held in the same respect as old west poker players. Cards Playing cards have an interesting history of their own, especially as they moved from China to Europe around the late 14th century. In the days before the printing press, churches used idealized scenes in the forms of frescoes, tapestries, and stained-glass windows to tell Bible stories. Though paintings existed, playing cards were the first disposable art that anyone had access to. This allowed playing card designers to create and deliver messages that rivaled the power of the Church in terms of ideological expression and dissemination. It didn't help that the first playing cards were used for gaming and Tarot readings. Early decks also used very different suits then you see today. Ideas such as feathers, acorns, leaves, horns, hounds and more would appear. The traditional suits would not be standardized until around the 17th century in France. Cards were not cheap and some were inlaid with silver and gold paints and metal pigments. Card Games The high cost to create a deck of cards and their ability to be lost and damaged, destroying the set and requiring the entire thing to be replaced, left them initially in the hands of nobles. Prohibitions against card games rose quickly in cities, where idle card players clogged up eateries and loafed through the day. If you've ever wondered why there are so many card games with similar but slightly different rules, that owes to this time. When a magistrate would declare a game forbidden, the local card sharps would add or remove a rule and declare a new game. This loopholing added to the confusion that travelers would have in playing a game and led to certain types of widespread cheating. Dice Construction of dice was usually of bone with some artisans making them of ivory. Wooden dice were not trusted because it was well known that the weave of the wood could make it favor landing on one side favor over another. That said, it was common for cheats to load dice with drops of mercury. These were worked into bone dice to weigh them on an end, causing a high number to appear frequently. Dice were easy to make and available to many. Of course, these dice were also notoriously uneven and it was not uncommon to find one or another of a players 'lucky dice' to be poorly crafted or even repeat some numbers. Dice Games The popularity of dice games owed both to the ease of creating new dice and also the higher element of chance. Even with card games, a level of skill and strategy was available to hone the game towards a victor. Dice, in as much as they were crafted well, provide random results. Most early dice games were then about consistency. Pub dice games could be as simple as rolling two dice and the highest roll between a set of players was the winner to complicated trains of rolls that required players to roll specific numbers in a pattern. One such game was Hazard. This was a popular tavern game and one played with a small mat that players put bets on. This game morphed over time into modern-day Craps. Cheats and Punishments Cheating was always a risk with medieval games. It didn't matter if it was a street dice game or a group of friends at church. Cheaters were punished severely when found out but had many avenues to ply their trade. The game of thimble-rig, aka the shell game, was popular among swindlers that roamed from town to town taking the money of soldiers and nobles with more money than sense. Punishment for soldiers caught gambling was especially harsh, with three full days of lashing being an oft-cited course of action. Play Now It's been a nearly thousand-year road from the early designs of many of the dice and card games we see today. Medieval gambling represents a lot of the same promises and excitement of modern gaming but perhaps with more dire stakes. The biggest advantages in today's gaming are the ease and relative openness of play. You don't even have to leave the home to enjoy gaming at any number of online casinos that exist just a click away.
  20. Online gambling is a lucrative and growing industry worldwide. While many countries have banned gambling in one form or another in their regions, there are key countries that have been far more liberal about gambling activities inside their borders. Many of these regulated jurisdictions are controlled from within Europe, including the United Kingdom and the European Union. Progressive thinking governments have seen the advantages of allowing controlled gambling, which quite simply put – contributes to their revenues each year. Of course, this means that casinos and betting businesses are therefore being taxed. But, have you ever stopped for a few seconds to wonder how this taxation is conducted? Players seem to be far more concerned about whether they need to pay taxes, that many of us don’t give a second thought as to how the government benefits from the operators themselves. Land-Based vs Online Betting Levies A few decades ago, when talking about casinos, it was taken for granted that we were talking about physical betting premises with physical game cabinets, tables, roulette wheels and more. We cannot be as assuming today, as online gambling has reached fever pitch, affording its own segment in the gambling industry. It goes without saying that the costs involved in running a brick and mortar casino versus running an online operation vary greatly. For starters, the overheads in a physical premises ought to be much higher, not to mention the salary cheques paid every month to the massive staff compliments. So there is a distinct difference in the business makeup in each of these sectors, but are these various platforms seen in a different light by the governing authorities and therefore taxed differently? – This is the question we hope to answer. We will take a look at some of the prime gambling districts in Europe to draw our conclusions, namely the United Kingdom (under the regulation of the UK Gambling Commission) and most of the European Union (most of which gambles under the banner of the Malta Gaming Authority) and Sweden (which is a new regulated jurisdiction under the Spel Inspektionen). A Kingdom of Difference in the UK The United Kingdom is commonly accepted to be the most tightly regulated market in the world. The legislation in place is far more bias towards the player’s interests than the casino’s needs, yet still commands a lot of ‘dough’ from the operators to boost their coffers. In the online sector, the general taxation on remote gambling operations lawfully catering to UK citizens under license rose from 15% to 21% of the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) in October of 2019. This constituted a steep climb in taxes, and together with further tougher laws coming into place with regards to betting limits and credit card payment restrictions, online casinos are sure to feel the pinch. The pinch is not as painful as that experienced by land-based operators, who face taxes of up to 50% GGP. The tax system for land-based operators is on a tiered system, so some casinos and betting facilities could pay as little as 15% of their income, while those gaming giants yielding in excess of £5 million in revenues will be subject to the maximum tariffs. All the while, players in the UK needn’t worry about coughing up for the tax man, as all gambling wins are exempt in this regard. GGR: Gross Gaming Revenue is calculated by subtracting wins paid out to players from the total revenues paid from players to the casino. Machine Mayhem in Malta The Malta Gaming Authority is one of the fairest and most well-balanced gaming regulators around often said to be the benchmark for gambling regulatory bodies around the world. While the taxation seems far more lenient than those set out by the United Kingdom, there is once again a marked trend in extra costs for land-based operators. While all gambling establishments must foot the €25,000 per annum licensing costs, additional taxation of 5% on the GGR is required year on year. While this already sounds favourable, the costs do not stop here. All land-based operations must pay separate levies on each gaming device offered on their gambling floors. This could see the casino or betting facilitator paying around 30% of the GGR on those devices, depending on the type of game being offered. But it doesn’t stop here. Both land-based and online operators must also pay a Compliance Contribution based on the types of games that they offer to the public. The maximum tax level incurred here is around 4% with a set cap for each type of game offered. Traditional casino gambling is split into: Type 1 Games: These are casino games of chance controlled by RNGs. The tax cap is €375,000. Type 2 Games: These are casino games similar to those in Type 1 gaming, but where the game outcomes are not determined by RNGs. The Tax Cap is €600,000. Type 3 Games: These are facilitated games, where the operator promotes and abets the gaming, but where players play against other players and not the house (Like World Series Poker). The tax cap is €500,000. From the above information, it is discerned that land-based gambling operations are run at a greater cost than online vendors. Did you know: The RTP on slot games run at land-based casinos are lower than those offered by online games? This is because the overheads and taxation costs are generally higher and a higher profit is therefore needed to make ends meet. The Swedish Switchover For a long time Sweden operated gambling via state run casinos, who offered both land-based and online casino entertainment to its citizens. Though they were always allowed to issue licenses to other parties, they never did. The country has since relaxed its hard stance on solely government owned casinos, and now issues licenses freely (without compromise of quality of regulation) to remote casinos who want to operate within the borders of the country. Whether an independent casino is land-based or online, they are taxed in exactly the same way (though licensing costs will differ), at a fixed rate of 18% of GGP. All social and public gaming remains tax exempt. This rate falls a little below the UK, which is why many UK Licensed casinos are now turning their attention to the budding Swedish market to grow their platforms. Tax Highs and Lows Though we have concentrated efforts on three of the most well-known regulated jurisdictions in Europe, there are many more countries incurring either much higher or much lower taxation levels. For instance, the most expensive country to run a casino from would be Germany. Here the taxation rate is as high as 90% in some provinces, which is shockingly high. It puts a new light on the term ‘sin taxes’. Then there is Gibraltar. This region runs a tight ship when it comes to gambling regulation, to such a degree that the UK Gambling Commission will allow Gibraltar-licensed casinos to trade within their borders, but of course, they must cough up the remote gambling tax of 21% for doing so. Normal taxes levied by the Gibraltar government are very low, having just recently dropped from 1% of GGP to a meagre 0.15%, constituting as a casino ‘heaven’ for operators. Russia, however, is surprisingly the most accommodating country in the world when it comes to gambling operators, as the tax rate on casinos is 0%. Here, players pay more on their winnings declared than the casinos do (an amount of 13%). Verdict Despite the already pressing expenses incurred at brick and mortar casinos, it seems that regulators believe that they have the most to gain from these establishments, as they load the levies for land casinos. Online casinos are treated more mildly and are left with a great opportunity to earn rewards with minimal expense, especially if they are licensed in the right area.
  21. Card counting isn't just something that savvy mathematicians do in the movies. It's in fact very real and potentially very profitable. Some card counters are so talented at the practice that they can earn millions of dollars in a single night. But what exactly is blackjack card counting? And how does it work? Continue reading and we'll walk you through everything you need to know about card counting and how you can use it the next time you go to the casino. The Origins of Card Counting Blackjack wasn't legally played in casinos in America until the 1930s. But it wasn't until the 1960s that blackjack card counting would become a real thing. It all started with a mathematician by the name of Edward O. Thorp. Thorp received his Ph.D. in mathematics at UCLA in the late 1950s. He then went on to teach math at MIT, New Mexico State University, and UC Irvine over the next several years. After earning his degree, he became very interested in the game of blackjack. Using an IBM 704 computer, he researched the probability of winning blackjack with different hands. After much research, he came up with what he called a "ten-count system." With this system, he would start with two numbers in your head - 36 and 16. The 16 represents the 16 cards with a value of ten and the 36 represents the other cards. As cards were dealt out during the game, he would count backward and divide that count with the number of remaining "other" cards. This was back in the day when there were single-deck games. Using Thorp's method on today's eight-card decks would mean that you would have to start with the numbers 288 and 128 and then count backward while also doing division. Thorp took his system to the casino one weekend with $10,000 in hand. He left the casino a few days later with $21,000 in his pockets. News spread quickly of Thorp's method and he became a celebrity among the gambling community. Then, in 1966, Thorp wrote his seminal book Beat the Dealer. It was an instant success and even became a New York Times bestseller. The Casinos React As we can imagine, the casinos weren't too pleased that Thorp had figured out a way to beat the game. They started to implement changes. For example, they went from single-deck games to four-deck games. Blackjack dealers were also required to reshuffle more often. However, the casinos soon realized that Thorp's book was actually good for them. Suddenly, floods of wannabe high rollers started coming in and playing blackjack. But these new players didn't have the patience or the skills needed to apply Thorp's system. Despite Thorp's book, the casinos were doing better than ever. Hi-Lo Count Going off of Thorp's work, a computer programmer by the name of Harvey Dubner invented a counting system known as the Hi-Lo Count. As computer systems became more popular, programmers were able to take the variables that casinos kept adding and determine what their advantages would be. The Griffin Agency The reason why casinos don't make blackjack a lot harder is that they want the game to still be attractive to players. Even if you play perfect basic strategy, the house still has an edge and is thus likely to win your money. Because of this, they even encourage players to try and beat the game. Dealers know exactly what basic strategy suggests and they're more than happy to offer the system's advice whenever a player is deciding what to do. But what were casinos to do about players who actually figured out how to beat the house? Robert Griffin, a private detective from Las Vegas, came up with a solution to this problem. He made a book that contained information and pictures of suspected and known card counters and sold it to the casinos. He would constantly update the book and sell them newer versions too. Team Play A card counter by the name of Al Francesco devised the team play system in 1971 as a way to avoid being caught by pit bosses. He would go to the casino with his brother who was also a counter. While his brother sat, Al would sit next to him and pretend to have a conversation. Whenever his brother placed a large bet, Al would casually throw down $100. The scheme was so successful that he became the first Big Player in blackjack history. Al would go onto train other players including Ken Uston. Uston went on to write a book about the strategy. This book led to a major increase in people engaging in team play, including the MIT team which the movie 21 is based on. Stanford Wong Stanford Wong took card counting to another level. After earning a Ph.D. in economics, he wrote a book called Professional Blackjack and wrote about his own strategy. He suggested back-counting and hopping around different tables to find the best shoes. By counting cards but only betting when the count was in his favor, he could avoid losing money and he could also avoid attention by not making constantly shifting bets. Also, during this time, casinos weren't as worried about using computers. Players would design complex machines that they could hide inside of their clothes. They would input information by tapping their feet and then the computer would output information through vibrations. What Is Card Counting? Essentially, to count cards means that you are keeping a general mental record of the cards being dealt. Because you know how many cards are in the shoe, and which type of cards are still left, you can more or less determine if you have good or bad chances of winning upcoming hands. The most popular method for counting cards is Harvey Dubner's Hi-Lo count. How the Hi-Lo Count Works First off, it's worth pointing out that you don't need a Ph.D. in mathematics to count cards. You just need to be someone who is patient, level-headed, and disciplined. The very first step to being a successful card counter is learning basic strategy. Card counting is useless unless you can master and memorize basic strategy. This system is a strategy that tells you the mathematically optimal move for every possible hand in the game. Once you have basic strategy down, it's time to learn the running count. To do this, we're going to have to give a value to every card. Imagine separating a deck into three chunks. The cards numbered 2-6 will be our low cards. They will have a value of +1. So every time you see a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, you're going to add 1 to your running count. The 10 through Ace cards are your high cards. They have a value of -1. Cards numbered 7-9 are neutral and have a value of zero. Keeping a Running Count To practice keeping a running count, you should flip over cards in a deck one at a time. As each card comes out, attempt to keep the count going at a steady pace. By the time you reach the end of the deck, your running count should equal zero if you were doing it correctly. When at a table, you can use the hi-lo system no matter how many decks are in the shoe and no matter what the specific rules of the game are. When keeping the count, you need to make sure that you are counting every single card that comes out. Not just your card but the cards of the other players and the dealer too. You want to continue counting until the cut card comes out and the dealer reshuffles. When this happens, the count resets. As more low cards continue to come out, that means that there are more high cards on the verge of being dealt out. This is how blackjack is different than any other game in the casino. Other games are based on the spin of a wheel or throw of the dice. But with blackjack, all of the hands are cumulative. Cards that come out of the shoe aren't going to be in play again until the shoe is reset. Calculating the True Count Unfortunately, keeping a running count isn't enough to give you a good advantage. Having a running count of +10 but with five decks still left in the shoe will be different than that count with only one deck left. Because of this, we also need to calculate the true count. Figuring out the true count requires only some basic division. To calculate it, you divide the running count by how many decks remain in the shoe. Let's go over an example. Imagine that you have a running count of +15. If you have five decks left then you calculate 15/5. This would mean that your true count is 3. This information will determine how you bet as well as which playing decisions to make. Using the True Count When counting cards, there are times when you don't want to follow basic strategy. Only when you know how to use basic strategy as well as calculate the running and true count can you gain an edge over the casino. The higher the true count gets, the more you should increase your bet. Also, as the true count gets higher, you'll spend more hands standing, doubling, splitting, and surrendering. If your True Count is +4 or greater, you will always want to stand. This is because a high count means there are more high cards in the shoe. And if you hit, you increase your chances of busting. But you also have better odds of being dealt out a winning hand. Is Counting Cards Allowed? Contrary to popular belief, counting cards is not illegal. You're not cheating when you're counting cards and you're not committing fraud or tampering with any equipment. All you're really doing is doing mental math. And there's nothing against the rules about doing mental math. With that said, casinos can ask you to stop playing. Casinos are private institutions and they have the ability to tell you to stop. Yet, they can't always do that. For example, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that casinos can't discriminate against card counters, even if they know they're counting. So instead, if you go to Atlantic City, you'll see that they use eight-card decks and that dealers are shuffling a lot more often. This is to inhibit card counters from playing. This is much different than in the Las Vegas casinos. If you get caught card counting in a Nevada establishment, the pit boss will come up to you and tell you that it's time to play a different game. How to Avoid Being Caught Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to play it cool. Don't count out loud or move your lips. Try to keep all of the math in your head. Also, don't drink alcohol. Non-alcoholic drinks are fine but drinking alcohol can quickly lead to major slip-ups. And if you start winning a lot, don't be afraid to throw in some misdirection. Purposefully making bad bets or bad decisions can throw the pit bosses off your trail. And also remember to tip your dealer. Tipping helps to get the dealer on your side and it also distracts them. The Importance of Knowing About Blackjack Card Counting As we can see, blackjack card counting is something that most people can do. However, it's something that most people aren't willing to put the time and energy into. But if you commit the effort, you can be counting cards as well as your winnings in no time. Looking to play some blackjack right now? Be sure to check out our many blackjack games and start playing!
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