Is This The World’s Fairest Casino?

We all know casinos are built to make money from poor saps like you and me, yet no matter what, people keep on gambling. However, this article isn’t on the socio-psychological habits of gamblers, this is a look into what could possibly be the world’s fairest casino.

Just quickly, in case you don’t know why casinos aren’t fair, it’s because of a thing called the ‘house edge’. This is something that gives the casino an advantage over the player, for example the ‘0’ or ’00’ slots on a roulette wheel which mean the player automatically loses and the house wins. All casinos (well not all anymore as we’re about to learn) have a house edge on all their games, giving them the inherent ability to make money.

Then comes along BetFair. BetFair is an online casino that has been operating for a while, though they’ve just launched what they call their ‘Zero Lounge’. This is an area of the casino where most of the house edges have been removed from their games. For example in roulette, the ‘0’ slots in the wheel have been removed, making the game just as fair for the player as it is for the casino.

In the casino and gambling world this is absolutely astonishing. No casino previously has ever considered doing anything like this as it would basically take their guarantee of making cash away from them and put them on an even playing field with the player, though despite this, it’s exactly what BetFair have done.

The only logical reason I can surmise is that they’ve done it is to draw players to the site in the hope that once there, you’ll also spend money elsewhere on their webpage like their sports betting. If this is the case, it’s an absolutely fantastic marketing ploy to get customers to the site. Hell, it got me to go there!

One game which hasn’t technically had the edge taken away is blackjack because you still can’t see the dealer’s second card, however they do give a higher payout if you achieve a two card blackjack.

Anyway, this isn’t a plug for the casino at all, just a tip that if you want to bet somewhere that you can actually say your odds are even with the casino, then this would be the only place on earth I know you can do this.

Casino Hold ‘Em: The Poker Table Game Where Players Compete Against the Casino, Not Other Players

Casino Hold ’em is similar to the king of all poker games, Texas Hold ’em. The main difference being players compete against the house rather than other players. It is easy to learn and play, as long as you understand poker hand rankings. Novice players need not worry about being intimidated by other players. First let’s list the face value for each card and the five card poker hand rankings in sequential order:

Face Value of Cards

2 through 10 and Jack, Queen, King, Ace (2 is lowest, Ace is highest)

Poker Hand Rankings

High card – Five cards of different values with mixed suits and Ace being the highest.

One Pair – Two of the same cards such as 2, 2.

2 Pair – Two of the same cards twice, 7,7, & K, K

3 of a Kind – Three of the same cards, K, K, K, (AKA Trips)

Straight – Five cards in sequential order with mixed suits, 7,8,9,10, J

Flush – Five cards with the same suit in any order (5 Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds.

Full House – Trips and a Pair, Q, Q, Q, 8,8, (AKA, Full Boat).

4 of a Kind – Four of the same cards, J, J, J, J, (AKA, Quads).

Straight Flush – Five cards of the same suit in sequential order.

Royal Flush – 10, J, Q, K, A, of the same suit.

How to Play

A standard 52 card deck is used. All players must first make an ante wager before play begins. There is also an optional bonus wager called AA Bonus. The dealer will then deal his or herself two hole cards face down, and place three community cards face up in the center of the table. This is known as the flop. The community cards can be used by all players to complete their hands.

Players examine their cards and must make one of two decisions:

Fold – forfeiting the ante bet.

Call – Make a wager equal to two times the ante bet.

The dealer will then deal two more community cards face up for a total of five, and reveal his or her cards. The players and dealer make their best five card poker hand by using any combination of their own two cards and the five community cards.

The dealer must have a pair of 4’s or better to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify, the call bet pushes and the ante bet will pay according to the pay table listed below.

If the dealer qualifies and player beats dealer, the call bet pays 1 to 1 and the ante bet pays according to the ante pay table below.

If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player loses the ante and call bets.

If the dealer qualifies and ties the player, the ante and call bets push.

Pay tables may vary, below is supposedly the most common one:

Ante Bet Pay Table

Royal Flush – 100/1

Straight Flush – 20/1

4 of a Kind – 10/1

Full House – 3/1

Flush – 2/1

All Other – 1/1

Optional AA Side Wager

The AA optional side wager pays if the player is holding a pair of Aces or better. The bet pays even if the player folded the original hand. Here is the pay table:

Royal Flush – 100/1

Straight Flush – 50/1

4 of a Kind – 40/1

Full House – 30/1

Flush – 20/1

Straight – 10/1

Three of a Kind – 8/1

Two Pair – 7/1

Pair of Aces – 7/1

Strategy

Strategy is rather simple for this game according to gaming Analysts. Only the worst 18% of hands should be folded. Which are two low unsuited hole cards with no chance of a straight or flush when matched with the three-card community flop.

House Edge

The house edge has been calculated at 2.16% for the call wager and 2.97% when making the bonus wager, based on the pay tables listed.

Good Luck!

Baccarat – A Casino Card Game With III Phases and a Bit of History

Before I explain this Baccarat game that dates back to the 15th Century, let’s review a brief bit of history. Americans got their first real glimpse of this casino game during the 1962 James Bond movie, Dr. No, when Bond, played by Sean Connery, was winning in a Monte Carlo casino. The game was Chemin de fer.

Phase I – Chemin de fer

In this original version Players wagered among themselves and won or lost with their own money. A dealer shoe rotated around the table counterclockwise after each hand. Players could decline the bank and pass the shoe to the next player. A 5% commission for winning bank hands paid to the house was to cover the casino overhead.

Phase II – Punto Banco

Punto Banco, meaning Player, Banker, was introduced in Nevada from Cuba in the late 1950’s, where it was very popular until Castro closed he mob run casinos. The main difference from the French version is that the house banks the game. A tie bet was added to increase the house edge, and the 5% commission to the house for a winning bank bet remains in place. Eventually the name baccarat, Italian for zero, was coined. Today baccarat is played in high limit rooms throughout the world where millions are won and lost each day.

Phase III – Mini-Baccarat

Eventually gaming establishments saw profit potential with Baccarat however they had to make it attractive to the average player. Hence, a new version was born, Mini-Baccarat.The rules for this game are exactly the same as Punto Banco except one house dealer controls he game for up to seven players. Table minimums are as low as $5 or $10. Numerous optional side bets have been added to increase the house edge.

How to Play Baccarat

The objective of baccarat is for the player to come as close to the number 9 as possible. Aces count as one, 2’s – 9’s are face value and 10’s – K’s count as zero.

Regardless of the number of players, the dealer only deals two hands from a six or eight deck shoe. Prior to the deal players must first place one bet on either the bank hand, player hand, or tie. Croupiers pass the shoe so players have the option in turn to deal the cards. In Mini-Baccarat, the shoe remains in place and the dealer controls all the action.

When a hand is totaled, it cannot exceed 9. If the two cards total more than 9, the first digit is dropped. The second digit becomes the total. Ex: 7,8=15. (the 1 is dropped) total = 5.

Baccarat requires no skill to play. All the player needs to do is place one bet before the deal. The dealer examines both hands to determine if a third and final card should be drawn. The determination is made according to a fixed set of game rules. Here they are:

Game Rules for Player Bet

The player position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2,3,4,5, unless the banker has a natural 8 or 9. Player always stands on 6,7,8, and 9. When the play bet has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Game Rules for Banker Bet

The banker position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2 unless the player has a natural 8 or 9. The banker always stands on 7,8, and 9. When a banker has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Strategy

No playing strategy is required. Always bet the bank which has the lowest house edge at 1.06%, even with the 5% commission owed to the house. A player bet has a house edge of 1.24% while the tie bet that pays 8 to 1 has a whopping house edge of 14%!. This bet is not recommended. A number of optional side bets at the mini tables have house edges from 2 to 13%. These are not recommended.

Good luck!

Macau Travel – A Night at the Casino

Macau, or “Asia’s Las Vegas” as it is sometimes referred to, has gone from zero to hero during the last decade, outrunning its Nevada counterpart in terms of both volume and range of games, and while the former Portuguese colony has much more than just gambling, a Macau travel plan is incomplete without visiting some of the cities famous casinos.

Casino Lisboa Macau

A proper “casinos safari” should obviously start from the “Lisboa”, Macau’s iconic gambling house, which for many years was the only casino in the city, and has made a name for itself for its rowdiness, smoke-chocked rooms and promiscuous cabaret shows… Things look more “civilized” nowadays, but the Lisboa certainly retains some of its colonial-days charm…

Grand Lisboa

The Grand Lisboa occupies a gleaming 250 m lotus-shaped skyscraper, right in front of the good-old Lisboa, and while it lacks the ambience of its ‘older brother’, it more than makes up for it with a decent range of games (including Texas hold ’em), a fabulous buffet restaurant, and the famous ‘Crazy Paris Show’… This is also where you can see ‘The Star of Stanley Ho’: The world’s largest cushion-shaped internally flawless D-color diamond.

Wynn Macau

Still around the corner of the Lisboa, Steve Wynn’s Wynn Macau occupies a modern glass-clad monolith, with 100,000 square feet of casino space, and other than gambling you can enjoy a lovely Italian dinner at ‘Ristorante il Teatro’ and watch the famous Wynn Performance Fountain.

Sands Macau

Further up Avenida de Amizade, the colossal gold glass-clad facade of Sands Macau can be seen from every corner around that area. This huge casino used to hold the title of the “world’s largest casino” until the Venetian opened up, in 2007, but although it is no longer “the biggest”, it is certainly one of Macau’s most impressive gambling halls. One of its restaurants, 888 Gourmet Place, features what is possibly the best Las Vegas style buffet in Macau.

City of dreams

Recently opened City of Dreams is the hottest thing in Macau nowadays, and while the colossal casino is not as big as the one at the neighboring Venetian, it is properly geared for mid-range gamblers, which might make it more popular among the average tourist. In terms of entertainment, you should see their ‘Vquarium’ (virtual aquarium) and the ‘Dragon’s Treasure Show’.

The Venetian

And finally… The world’s largest casino: The Venetian. Nestled within the spectacular Venetian Macao Resort, the Venetian casino boasts a gambling space of almost 600,000 square feet, with 3,400 slot machines and 800 gambling tables, spread across four themed gaming areas. While there, you should make a point to hang around the Venice-themed ‘Grand Canal shoppes’, one of Macau’s most extravagant shopping and dining complexes.