Video Poker: Why Do People Like It

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling

Yesterday, I was having a pint at my local bar when I noticed a small guy in a dark suit. Sitting to the far-right corner of the bar and away from all of us, this short man was crouched over a glowing video poker screen. Huh?

It was just a few months back that casinos all over the world and especially in Las Vegas were removing poker, baccarat and blackjack tables and adding more and more slot machines instead. But then something peculiar took place. Casino owners and employees noticed that one corner of the machines was more crowded than the rest. A short examination revealed that the games allocated to the slot section was none other than video poker. So why are so many interested players preferring video poker?

Here, I will try and answer some of the more practical reasons why this has happened and will happen even more and more:

1) The Odds: While slot machines offer odds that are pretty difficult to win on (and by that I mean the real big bucks), video poker machines are much easier when it comes to accumulating a large sum because it is somewhat based (even though loosely) on poker. This makes each player think that it is based on his skill more than just on luck.

2) More Choice: By this I am not referring to the pick of different slot machines, but rather to the fact that you have the choice of selecting the row to play with it whereas in slots, you have no real control after you press the button or pull the lever. It is not a secret that the principle of both these two games is to try and hit the money jackpot whether it is by getting the appropriate numbers or symbols aligned or whether it is by getting a royal poker flush. To do this in video poker, you have to pick from a number of five-hand cards.

3) Sitting Out: When playing at a slot machine, you have to play each and every time. If you want to stop, you have to clear the machine so that someone else can get a try. But this is not the case when playing video poker. This game allows you to simply sit out a round or two and then continue whenever you feel like.

4) Higher Money Ratio: Because of the chance that you can sit out any round where your cards are not any good. You have a bigger chance making an overall profit out of the time you spent playing at the casino whether it is an online casino or a land one or even whether it is just a small machine in the local diner or bar or regional gas station.

5) It is also said in many video poker circles and plenty of other articles around the web that the statistics of hitting higher paying options while playing video poker are higher in comparison to playing video slot machines.

Not withstanding all of the above reasons, the fact that poker is very popular and slot machines too only leads me to assume that a game combining the two will be greatly appreciated by any player of either of the two games but more so by those who enjoy the drone of the machine.

Video Poker: How to Play the Game

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling Tips

If you are looking for a fun and challenging alternative to playing slot machines, video poker is the game for you. Instead of simply pulling the machine handle and hoping that you will be lucky enough to meet a row of identical icons, in video poker your moves would rule whether you win or lose. Moreover, the house edge in video poker is much lower than at slots.

Playing video poker is similar to playing draw poker on a slot machine. It enables you to enjoy the action of poker without having to face other players who may be more experienced and skilled than you are. In addition, in video poker, there are no dealers, no rakes, no bluffing, no cheating; it is all about you and your poker skills.

How to Play Video Poker:
There are several variations to video poker. Some of the video poker variations are played with standard 52 card decks while others are played with additional wild cards. All the variations are based on the traditional card game of poker. Therefore, a basic knowledge of poker hand ranking is necessary.

You start by choosing the coin value you wish to play and then pick the number of coins that you want to bet. Afterwards, you click on deal and five cards will appear on your screen. You can discard some or all of the cards and replace them with new ones. After pressing hold on the cards you wish to keep, you push the deal button and the machine replaces your discarded cards with new ones.

The outcome of the second draw determines whether you win or lose. Each video poker machine displays its payout table, which details the number of coins the machine pays for each five card poker hand. The payout table differs from one video poker variation to the other and so is the minimum hand that qualifies for a payout.

Video poker odds are the same as in regular card poker. A 52 card deck produces more than 2.5 million hand combination. Each video poker machine is set by a random number generator, which simulates the probabilities of drawing any of the poker hand combinations. While in regular card poker, the casino ensure its profits by collecting a rake, in video poker the casino ensure its profits by setting each machine pay table differently.

Video Poker Tips:
1) Learn the basics of draw poker before you start playing video poker at online casinos or at a casino nearby.
2) Know the machine payout of the table you have decided to play at by selecting the machine that offers the highest return.
3) Adjust your strategy to the specific video poker variation you intend to play.
4) Use a mathematical strategy to play the game correctly.
5) Do not keep cards that cannot be used to form a winning hand.
6) Hold on to any pair instead of keeping a high card.
7) Keep any pair rather than draw into a straight or a flush.
8) Practice playing online video poker in a play money mode.

Poker Movies: Top 5 Films about Poker

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling Info

Since the golden age of the Western, poker playing has always been a popular theme in Hollywood. Although many of the Hollywood films that feature poker are not very good and some of them even display poker in a ridiculous manner, watching poker action on the big screen is great fun, especially if you play poker yourself.

Here are the best poker movies that were ever produced in Hollywood. Some of the movies are actually excellent movies regardless to their display of the poker game, while in others the poker games is the feature that makes them worth watching. However, if you are a poker fan, add these movies to your musts list.

The Sting directed by George Roy Hill in 1973

The Sting is less about poker and more about the art of card sharking but it will provide you two hours of sophisticated fun. The 1973 Academy award winner features young Paul Newman as the greatest con artist of them all who mentors young Robert Redford in the art of trickestry. David S. Warn screenplay is based on true con games stories.

The Cincinnati Kid directed by Norman Jewison in 1965

The classic stud poker film known for its climatic final hand and the unforgettable quote: Gets down to what its all about, doesn’t it? Making the wrong move at the right time. In short, The Cincinnati Kid is about the battle between Steve Macqueen who plays a young poker player also known as The Kid and the veteran poker gambler known as The Man who is played by Edward G. Robinson during the Great Depression in New Orleans. It may not appear at any other list of best movies, but it certainly has one of the best poker scenes ever seen on the silver screen.

California Split directed by Robert Altman in 1974

California Split may not be the pick of Robert Altmans creation, but is one of the best movies to depict the messy everyday life of two professional gamblers played by George Segal and Elliott Gould. Like in many of Altman films, the narrative is not particularly straight and the end is not necessarily happy, but it does succeed in describing an authentic experience. Additionally, poker trivia fans would be thrilled to learn that poker legend Amarillo Slim plays a small role.

Rounders directed by John Dahl in 1998

It is hard to tell whether the movie pushed to the 21st century poker boom or the rise in the popularity of poker during the last decade made Rounders a cult hit. However, Rounders is one of the best poker films to display the contemporary high stake poker scene. The core of the movie is a long poker marathon in which Mat Damon and Edward Norton are trying to earn money to pay off the latter gambling debts. World Series of Poker champion Johnny Chan plays a featured role.

Maverick directed by Richard Donner in 1994

Although Maverick is not the most brilliant film ever made and some of the poker scenes are kinda silly, it is a fun and lightheaded poker movie. It might even provide you a basic idea on what it was like to be a rambling gambler in the old west card scene with Mel Gibson as a maverick who tries to earn enough money for the big five card draw poker tournament.

Poker Hands: Best and Worse Starting Hands in Texas Holdem

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling Info

The basic poker lesson is when to hold and when to fold. Knowing whether your initial deal is worth staying in the game or if you should call it a day, is one of the most important decisions to make at the beginning of the poker game. One of the most common beginner’s mistakes is holding onto the worst pair of hole cards instead of folding and protecting your money.

Therefore, if you are a novice poker player, one of the first things you should memorize is which initial hands are worth holding and which hands leaves you no choice but to fold. Since Texas Holdem is the most popular poker variation, here you can find lists of the best and the worth Holdem poker starting hands.

Best Poker Hands

If you are lucky to be dealt one of these initial hands, you are definitely having an excellent beginning:

Pair of Aces: as known as American Airlines or pocket rockets, it is the best possible Texas Holdem starting hand.

Pair of Kings: not as good as a pair of Aces but still an excellent way to open a game of Texas Holdem.

Pair of Queens: if you want to look at the bright side, you will be beaten only by Kings and Aces.

Ace and King: if they are of the same suit, your condition is even better, since you can form the nut flush at ease.

Pair of Jacks: unless the flop shows either a Queen, King or an Ace, you have decent chances of winning with this promising starting hand.

Ace and Queen: the same as Ace and King, a suited hand would increase your chances of stepping out as a winner.

King and Queen: unless the community cards contain an Ace, you are in a good shape with this starting hand and even better if it is suited

Ace and Jack: even if appears unsuited, this starting hand is still worth holding.

King and Jack: still one of the best Texas Holdem starting hands, but be careful with it, especially when unsuited.
Ace and Ten: the Ace upgrades it to a pretty good hand, although requires a cautious play since it can be beaten by any of the starting hands mentioned above.

Worst Poker Hands

These hands would suit you well if you play some of the lowball variations, but if you play traditional Texas Holdem poker, the best advice would be to fold.

2 and 7: if you are dealt this hand, especially unsuited, you cannot even make a straight. Even if suited you should be so lucky to form a low flush or the lowest pair. In one word: fold.

2 and 8: same as the previous hand; pair of 8s is still a low pair.

3 and 7: although it can beat the previous hands, it still a worthless pair of cards

3 and 8: again, hardly even a low straight.

2 and 6: only if the community cards will feature 3, 4 and 5, you will have a chance of forming a straight. However, do not count on it, especially if there are more than 3 attendances in the game.

2 and 9: thanks to the presence of the 9 you are in better shape than with the former hands, still you cannot form a straight and even a pair of 9s would be beaten by pairs of 10s, Jacks, Queens, etc.

3 and 9: the same thing: higher than 8 lower than almost any other hand.

4 and 9: as mentioned above; foldem.

2 and 10: even though Doyle Brunson had won two WSOP bracelets with this starting hand, unless you have the talent and experience of Brunson, do not hold this hand.

5 and 9: also known as Dolly Parton, this hand would get you nowhere near the final table.

Poker Betting Limit: How to Pick One 4 U

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling Tips

Before you head for the nearest empty chair at an open poker table, hold on. There is one very important factor that you must check and verify before you start playing.

What? Check the betting limit of that particular table.
Why? This is what determines the professional skills of the poker players you will face and will also help you calculate approximately how much cash you need for this particular round of betting.

For the Casual Poker Fan:
You should try and begin by selecting a table with a low limit. Here, you will enjoy the relatively casual ambience and friendly opponents, who will not have a lot of experience playing and thus you stand a fair chance of winning. The slight problem with such games is that such kinds of tables are difficult to locate. In addition, those playing at such tables tend to play in a very conservative manner and this slows down the flow of the game. If you are still interested in looking for such tables you will be able to find them at the downtown casinos and gambling halls or at poker rooms not located on the Las Vegas strip itself such as the Palace Station.

Wish to Play Texas Holdem Instead?
Here too, select the lower limit games such as the 4/8 version. In this game, you will be allowed to increase only by four dollars and hence the name. Then, when you come to the last two betting rounds, you will have to double it to eight dollars. Likewise, you can also find the following limits: two and then four, three and then six, four and then eight, eight and then sixteen, fifteen and then thirty, thirty and then sixty and the last one which is pretty different to find (and which unless you are prepared to dish out large sums, you should avoid.) forty and then eight during the last two rounds of betting.

How Many Chips Should You Purchase In Such Games?
What you can do is multiply the end limit by about twenty and then make sure you have that amount. For example, if you wanted to join a table where the limit is two and then four. Multiply four into twenty and you get eighty. So, this is the sum of chips you must bring in to the game by buying them from the cash counters in the casino.

Another option is playing Texas holdem with no limits whatsoever, but beware. Such games pull pros and then you will find yourself at a big disadvantage.

For the Experienced Poker Player:
Most pros prefer playing Texas holdem than other poker games. And such professionals opt for games with no limit or that have a high limit of at least fifteen dollars. Beware, these tables (You can find them in the top casinos such as the Bellagio and others on the strip.) are places where you can lose hundreds of dollars in minutes so unless you are aware of this or unless you want to swim with the sharks because you consider yourself a shark too, stay away.

Note that sometimes the tables might be occupied and it might take you a while to get a seat. Remember that this is not an online casino where tables are always open. Have patience and wait and do not leave and just join a higher or lower limit table than the one you have decided on. Remember that the outcome of your casino experience depends on this decision.

Live Poker: Pros and Cons of Participating in a Tournament

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling Info

If you have had enough of playing poker with friends or with playing it online and winning some money and then losing some money to only win that money back again, then you have reached the stage in your poker playing experience where you need to start entering live tournaments. That is the real deal. No more long hours in front of the computer, no more feeling guilty for taking your friends’ money: you are now ready to turn pro.

But, before you do, here are a few things you must consider:
1) One of the big differences of playing in a tournament is that you need to pick you hands carefully. Spend most of your time throwing your cards away at the right beginning. If you see that your cards won’t amount to much, fight the urge to exchange most of them, and just hand them all in. This is what most tournament players do anyway. If you don’t believe me, watch the others play.

2) Money you take with you to tournaments lasts for a much lengthier period than when playing with friends or online. This is one of the advantages of not playing every hand you are dealt. (Hint: You should do the same thing when playing with friends even though that then becomes boring.)

3) Do not sit to the left of the dealer. Ensure that there are at least two players between the dealer and the players to the left. Why? Only the first 2 players seated on the left of the dealer have to place the ante. Since, most of the tournaments involve ten players on each table, you save this much each time you play. This also means that each hand that you fold will mean that you have spent only half that of the lower limit. This amounts to three dollars in a two to four dollar rake tournament.

4) Take into consideration that the mere fact that you are away from home means that you will spend money on food and drinks. Try and get your own, but in any case keep it light.

5) Tournament dealers are not paid much, and so it’ general practice to give them about three percent of whatever you win. Consider that all gambling halls and poker rooms also take a certain percentage but at least this comes from the money you win and so you don’t feel it.

6) One of the other advantages of playing in a tournament is that you can use more money than you had. For instance, for a hundred dollar sit-in, many casinos and poker rooms will give you about five hundred in tournament chips to bet with.

7) If high odds and high risk is not what you are looking for you can take advantage of the late night satellite tournaments. These generally begin at one in the morning and since the number of players won’t be high, you stand a bigger chance of winning.

Playing poker requires tremendous skill as well as come luck. While you cannot depend on luck, improve your skills and your online casino or other kind of betting account will show a profit.

Las Vegas: Top 5 Poker Rooms in Las Vegas

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling Info

If you want to experience live poker action at the gambling Mecca of the world, here is a guide to the top poker rooms in Las Vegas. You can read here updated info on each of the recommended Las Vegas poker rooms including their game variety, limits and tournaments.

1) Bellagio Casino and Hotel
If you want to experience Las Vegas poker action and hang out with pros, the Bellagio is the casino for you. It is one of the classiest poker rooms available in Las Vegas. It is so popular that you might find yourself spending over an hour at the waiting list and then find yourself stuck with a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs.

The games offered are Texas Holdem, Omaha and stud games, and you can also join one of the tournaments, but note that this involves playing No Limit Holdem. As for the table limits for the regular games, these are as follows:
a) Limit Holdem: 4/8, 8/16, 15/30, 30/60, 60/120, 75/150 dollars and up.
b) No Limit Holdem: 200 dollars buy ins with 2/5 dollars blinds.
c) Omaha: 6/12, 15/30, 20/40, 30/60, 50/100 dollars and up.
d) Stud Poker: 1/5, 4/8, 8/16, 30/60, 75/150 dollars and up.

2) Mirage Las Vegas
If you are tired of waiting for a table at Bellagio, the poker rooms at the Mirage can be an acceptable alternative. It resembles Bellagio’s with its luxurious atmosphere, variety of games and its huge popularity among pros as well as tourists.

The games offered are Texas Holdem and Omaha, Stud and as the Bellagio, playing in a tournament means getting involved with No Limit Texas Holdem. As for the limits of each table in a regular game, they are:
a) Limit Holdem: 3/6, 6/12, 10/20, 20/40, 40/80 dollars.
b) No Limit Holdem: between 100 and 500 dollars buy ins with 2/5 dollars blinds.
c) Omaha: 5/10 dollars.
d) Stud Poker: 1/5, 5/10.

3) Excalibur Las Vegas
If you want to play in a less stressful environment, check out the poker room at the Excalibur casino. You can play spread limit Holdem with the lowest limits available on the Strip and enjoy beginners friendly rules such as limitation on three raises. The room has been renovated recently and the poker tables and seats are very comfortable.

At the Excalibur, you can play Texas Holdem or 7 Card Stud, and the limits are slightly lower:
a) Limit Holdem: 1/3, 2/6 dollars.
b) No Limit Holdem: 100 dollars buy ins with 1/3 dollars blinds.
c) 7 Card Stud: 1/5 dollars and up.

4) Binions’ Horseshoe Hotel and Casino
If you want to play at the same room where the first WSOP took place, you must visit Binions’ poker room. Although the casino has been renovated and went through many changes since the days of Nick the Greek, the ghosts of the past still haunt the place, but in a good way.

Here too you can play Texas Holdem, No Limit Holdem in their own tournament, Omaha and Stud games for the following limits:
a) Limit Holdem: 2/4, 4/8, 10/20 dollars.
b) No Limit Holdem: 100 dollars minimum buy ins with 1/2 dollars blinds.
c) Omaha: 4/8 dollars.
d) Stud Poker: 1/5.

How to throw a poker run

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling Tips

My first motorcycle was a 1957 Harley Davidson. When I found the bike for sale I had no money, but I knew I needed to have this motorcycle. So I came up with a way to raise the money and throw a great party at the same time. I threw a Poker Run. The concept of the game is easy. Each person tries to make the best 5 card poker hand.

The way it is played is, each bike has to ride along a planed rout, every few miles there are checkpoints at each checkpoint along the way each bike must stop and receive a card. Along the rout there are 7 checkpoints, and at the end the rider with the best 5 card poker hand wins the prize

Over the years the poker run has been adopted to lovers of many different hobbies.

The poker run was originally an event bikers played on their Harley’s, but over the years it has been borrowed by boaters and even runners.

Throwing a poker run is fairly simple but takes time and some not to hard work. The first thing you need to do is get approval from the towns that your poker run will go thru. There may be some paperwork and fees.

You will also need to make sure that at the end of the run is at a park or event hall. Depending on where you live you may also need a permit for the park.

Next you will need riders. By figuring out how much you want to have for the prize money and how much the part after the poker ride will cost you can figure out how many riders you will need and how much the entrance fee will be, but it should be no more then $100 per bike.

The next thing you will need to do is register riders. The best way to do this is to make a website, go to biker bars and biker events in your area. If you live in New York don’t go to Daytona Bike week to sign up riders, most people will not travel that far for a poker run. Try to get locals.

After you have registered the riders you now have to plan for the party. Along with registering riders for your poker run you should also sell tickets so friends and family can join in the party after the ride is over and the poker winner is declared.

The best way to advertise the party is on a local radio station and with posters around town. The more people you can get the more money you will have for a prize and for whatever cause you are trying to raise money for.

You can either, buy your own food and get some friends to help cook or you can look in the phonebook for a caterer and you should be able to find a caterer who will throw you a great BBQ.

Then all you need to do is wait for the big day and enjoy all the bikes, poker, beef and beer.

How to throw a Poker game in your Home without your wife finding out

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling Tips

It is not uncommon for a man to want to have a night out with the boys, maybe play a little poker. It is also not uncommon to have the plans of men thwarted by their wives.

To help with this problem I am telling you the secrets about how to have some harmless fun at home without the wife catching on.

The best way to get rid of the wife so you can have a little “Man Time” is the easiest but most expensive way to do it. For her birthday you get her and one of her friends a trip to a weekend spa place.

Your wife will think you the best hubby ever and will never suspect you are going to throw a poker game in her absence, and the best part of this plan is that when it is over your wife will be so grateful for what you have done she may be more inclined to allow you to go out with the boys more often.

The next way is a little complicated and will only give you 4 or 5 hours of time at best, but it is much less expensive then a trip for 2. It may seem a little childish and yes I also have seen it on TV but a scavenger hunt scam can work.

The trick to the scavenger hunt is that each spot has to mean something. An example would be the first place you ever went on a date as one of the places she needs to go.

The end of the game is the most important make the last stop a restaurant and make sure to be there before she does. A good idea is to try to think of something meaning full in the area of where you live so you do not have far to drive, this will leave you the maximum amount of time to lay poker with your pals.

I have to admit this is not the ideal way to play poker, but getting away with even an hour of poker without her knowing is more excitement than any regular poker game could ever be.

Now that you have a plan to get her out of the house you need to be ready to go. The most important part of this is a large plastic drop cloth. This is so that if anything spills it will be simple to clean up.

Make sure you are ready to go with the table and chairs and make sure they get put back exactly the same as when you took them. You may want to use a digital camera to make sure you remember exactly how everything was before the game, because I promise you that you wife does.

If you send your wife on the trip I do not recommend using a cleaning service right before she comes back. If the house is too clean she will know something funny is going on

The last two tips I have is to make sure that you have a really nice gift around at all times just incase she finds out, and the other is that if your wife and your friends wives are friends do not invite those friends, if one guy gets caught you will all get caught.

Good Luck.

How to Make Millions Playing Video Poker

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Gambling Tips

Most people will tell you that the only way to walk out of a casino a Millionaire is to walk in a Billionaire, but the fact is this is not the truth. It is only the easiest way to do it.

If you are the type of person who is not afraid to risk it all for the big payoff then this may be for you.

Video poker machines can be found in every casino both land based and online casinos. These machines have the best chances of making you a millionaire in any casino.

All you need is a credit card with at least $20,000 and the nerve to risk it, in what can be less then 20 minutes. I recommend saving up $20,000 dollars before trying this and not just running up your credit card, but when I first tried it I did just run up my card.

The game you pick is very important. There are many different types of poker games offered in video form, in some of them you play a computer player and the player with the best hand wins, in the second there is no other player, the better the hand you make the more the machine pays out. A pair pays 1:1; two pairs pay 2:1 and so on. The 2nd type of Video Poker machine is the one you want.

Please keep in mind that this is not a guaranteed way to win money, and if you do not win money you can wind up twenty thousand dollars in debt, but it has made me a lot of cash, over the past 2 years I have paid all my expenses playing poker in this manner.

I usually start with at least 20,000 dollars, and making $1,000 dollar bets before the $20,000 is gone I have had at least 1 good hand where I have at least made back my money and can now start going for the big money.

Do not increase your bets to more then $1,000 until you have made at least $100,000.

I first discovered this method almost 2 years ago; I was spending my weekends down in Atlantic City playing poker, blackjack and roulette, and not winning any money, but during the week I would play a free video poker game from home, and I was winning millions of dollars every week.

So one day I decided to give it a try and instead of spending my money at the table games I went right to the video poker game, and by the end of the weekend I was up almost $60,000.

Now every few months I go down to either Atlantic City or Las Vegas, I have a bank roll of $20,000 and I make a few hundred thousand to get me till the next time.

Remember there are no guarantees that this will work for you. There have been times where I went over my $20,000 bank roll before I got my first really good hand, but I also remember one time I got a full house which paid off $25,000 on my first hand. Learn more at

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