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Guide to Online Casinos and Live Progressives

This casino guide offers you articles on the most commonly found games at casinos, although with a bit of winning (losing less) techniques. We now have Jonathan giving monthly casino withdraw updates at where most people on the chat boards and fellow players are playing. We finish off the page with our progressive jackpot comparison chart. This comparison shows you which jackpots are at their peaks amongst four of the top software providers.

Casino Gaming Basics Guide

Playing the Game of Roulette

History of Roulette

The word roulette means “small wheel” in French. The exact origins of the game are unknown, but there is speculation based on historical games that are similar to the game that we know of as roulette. The use of a spinning wheel for gambling purposes can be traced all the way back to the Greco-Roman period.

It is also thought that French Dominican monks may have created the game. Another theory is that French mathematician, Blaise Pascal, invented the game in 1655. Roulette is also similar to the English game of E-O and the Italian game of Hoca.

Roulette Game Set-Up

The game of roulette consists of a roulette wheel with numbered slots and a roulette table with numbers corresponding to those on the wheel set up according to the bets that can be placed. The number of slots depends on the variation of roulette you are playing. The most common variations include European roulette which consists of the slots numbered 1 to 36, plus a single zero and American roulette which consists of the slots numbered 1 to 36, plus a single zero and a double zero.

Playing the Game of Roulette

Players must place their bets on the roulette table. The croupier releases a small ball into the spinning roulette wheel in the opposite direction to the wheel. Players are able to place their bets up until the time when the croupier calls out “no more bets,” which will be just before the spinning ball drops into a numbered slot. From that time, players are not permitted to touch their chips until all payouts for the game are completed.

Understanding Roulette Bets

There are a number of different bets that can be placed in a game of roulette and it is important to understand them in order to understand how to play the game. In a game of European roulette there are ten bets that can be placed, while American roulette offers eleven bets. The bets can be divided into inside bets and outside bets.

Inside Bets:

  • Straight up bet – a bet placed on a specific number
  • Split bet – a bet placed on two numbers that are adjacent on the roulette table
  • Street bet – also known as a row bet – a bet on a row of three numbers
  • Corner bet – a bet on a group of four numbers in the corner of the table
  • Line bet – a bet on two adjacent rows of numbers
  • Five numbered bet – only available in American roulette – a bet on the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2, 3

Outside Bets:

  • Red or black bet – a bet on a red or black number
  • Odd or even bet – a bet on an odd or even number
  • High or low bet – a bet on a high (19-36) or low (1-18) number
  • Column bet – a bet on a column of 12 numbers

Dozen bet – a bet on a group of a dozen numbers (1-12, 13-24, 25-36)

Roulette and Your Odds of Winning

Let’s be honest, this game is not complicated whatsoever, but it brings a ton of excitement because of the “feeling” you’re getting 50/50 despite that fact you’re not. There have been certain strategies and systems written to beat and win at roulette but the quickest way to win is to spin it once, win, and leave. That wouldn’t be too much fun though!

Playing Baccarat

Some casino games are more complicated than others. The game of baccarat is one of the easiest casino games ever invented. Playing baccarat, either at the best online casinos or at a live table game, simply consists of either betting on the “player”, the “banker”, or a “tie”. Once the bets have been made the game begins and hands are dealt out according to baccarat rules.

Players don’t participate in the hand further than the initial bet other than to watch the outcome and collect any winnings afterward.

Baccarat Rules

How a winning hand is determined is where the rules of baccarat come into play. The dealer will give out two cards for the banker and two cards for the player. These cards are flipped over and on occasion the dealer will deal a third card if the hand situation dictates. Hand scores are determined by using the right digit of the card total and are always between 0-9.

For example, two cards totaling 14 would have a score of 4 while two cards totaling 19 would score 9.

A third card is not dealt out if either the banker or player is dealt a total of 8 or 9. When this occurs bets will be paid to the winners. The rules of baccarat that dictate that a third card is dealt in a hand are:

  • Player is dealt a hand total of 5 or less
  • Banker’s total is 2 or less
  • Banker’s total is 3 and the player’s third card is an 8
  • Banker’s total is 4 and the player’s third card is 0, 1, 8, or 9
  • Banker’s total is 5 and the player’s third card is 0, 1, 2, 8, or 9
  • Banker’s total is 6 and the player’s third card is 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, or 9

Paying or Collecting Baccarat Bets

Once the winning hand is determined all the winning bets are paid and losing bets are collected. A successful bet on the player will pay 1 to 1 on the wager. Successful bets on the banker will pay 19 to 20. The 5% difference is a commission paid to the house because the banker bet has a slight edge over the player bet.

To keep the flow of the game moving a successful banker bet will pay 1 to 1 and the dealer will keep track of all the commissions owed. The 5% commissions will only be paid when players either leave the game or when the shoe of cards has come to an end.

A successful tie bet will pay out 8 to 1 on the wager. The tie bet isn’t recommended when you play baccarat because the house holds an edge of over 14% over you with this bet, a standard baccarat betting strategy.

The house edge on the player bet is usually around 1.24% and only 1.06% on the banker bet, depending on the number of decks in the shoe. So mathematically it’s advantageous to always bet on the banker, but that’s not an overly fun way to play baccarat.

It’s nice to hit an 8 to 1 payout, but the chances of a tie occurring are much less than 8 to 1 odds. The more you play this bet the higher the house edge over you. Any ties that do occur will be a push for the other banker and player bets, regardless of whether anyone bet the tie or not.

In the event of a tie the option to leave the bet for the next hand or increase the amount is also available.

Setting Bet Limits

Baccarat is a fast game with lots of action. It’s important to realize what stakes you should be playing at so you can get as much enjoyment out of your buy-in as possible. Setting limits for loses and wins should be an important part of your baccarat strategy before you sit down.

That way you can play the game anytime you want and it will always be an enjoyable way to spend some free time and extra cash.

Playing Craps

If there’s one casino table game that most gamers are intimidated by it’s craps. The game itself is easy to learn, the confusion usually comes from all the game slang that comes with playing craps. Once you learn the terms, and understand the basics, craps will become an exciting casino betting game.

Rules of Craps

The best place to start is with the “shooter”. This is the person who is rolling the dice. Players will take turns shooting or can opt to pass to someone else. The first roll of the dice is called the “come out roll” and will determine a “point” that future bets will be made around. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the come out roll they will roll again until they roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10.

A shooter will continue to roll the dice until they “crap out” (by rolling a 2, 3, or 12).

The rules of craps dictate that once the shooter rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 on a come out roll the number will be known as the point. Once the point is established that shooter will continue, hoping to roll either the point again or any combination of 7.

If the shooter hits the point or seven they will get the dice again and will start over with a new come out roll. Once they eventually roll a craps, the dice will go to the next player and a new come out roll will be established.

Placing Bets in Craps

The most basic bet when playing craps that most players will make is the pass line bet, and gives you the best chance to win at craps. This bet is made before the come out roll and is a bet on whether or not the shooter will roll a 7 or 11.

If a point is established on the come out roll instead of a roll of 7 or 11 the pass line bet will stand and will still pay if the shooter rolls the point number, 7, or 11 before they crap out.

The “don’t pass” bet works in reverse. This bet is also made before the come out roll and is a bet that the shooter will not roll a 7 or 11. The bet is a winner if the shooter craps out on the come out roll; if a point is rolled the bet remains standing and can still pay if the shooter can’t roll the point again before a seven or craps is rolled. If you make this bet you’re called the “wrong” bettor.

The “come” bet is just like a pass line bet but it can be made after the point has been established. The “don’t come” bet is the same as the “don’t pass” bet except it’s made on rolls that are not come out rolls. Like the pass line bets these are the best betting options on the craps table and only give the house less than a 1.5% edge.

The rules of craps also offer numerous bets that will pay out different odds. Most of these bets have a much bigger edge for the house than the pass/don’t pass and come/don’t come bets, but they do offer some betting variety.

Players can also lower the house edge against them by placing odds bets when the opportunity arises.

Players can wager on “place bets”, which offer action on a particular number being rolled before a 7, or on “field bets” which are on the roll of one dice and pay if 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 are rolled. If any combo totaling 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled you lose.

Proposition bets are also available and most are on the roll of one dice as well.

Start Slow to Understand How to Play Craps

The rules of craps may seem complicated at first but once you play the game a few times it all becomes clear. A good way to learn the game is to practice playing craps online in a free-money game until you get the hang of it.

Then you’ll finally be ready to join the excited crowd gathered around the craps tables at the casino.

Simple Guide to Playing Blackjack

The game of blackjack is one of the easiest casino games to learn and is also one of the best betting options in any casino, live or online. It doesn’t take long to understand the rules of blackjack and to play the game well enough to have a chance at winning some money.

After you understand the rules the next step to playing blackjack is to learn winning blackjack betting strategies and lower the edge the house has against you.

Rules of Blackjack

The object of blackjack is to compile a hand total that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s total, while not exceeding a total of 21. Exceeding at total of 21 “busts” your hand out of the game and you will lose your wager. The same rule applies to the dealer, and when the dealer busts all remaining player bets are winners. Smaller cards are valued by numerical amount while face cards are worth 10, and aces can be either 1 or 11.

The game begins with the player taking a seat and posting a wager on the hand. Table limits are set amounts and you will have to choose a bet within the maximum and minimum limits for that table. Always play an amount that you can afford, and if you’re just learning, you can find smaller-stakes tables playing blackjack at online casinos as opposed to live casino tables.

Once the wager is made the dealer will deal everyone at the table two cards, one face down and the other turned up. When it’s your turn to play you will have to decide what your best option is based on the hand situation that you’re in at the time. You know what your hand is and you also know one of the dealer’s cards.

Making the proper decision when it’s your turn to act is what playing blackjack is all about. Once you know the proper play for every possible situation you will lower the house edge as much as possible, and your chances of winning will be maximized.

Blackjack Options

The rules of blackjack allow players up to six options to choose from in any given hand situation, but usually the choice is either “hit” or “stand”. Choosing to stand is pretty straight forward – it means that you like your hand the way it is and have chosen to try your luck against the dealer’s hand. In a live casino one usually indicates a stand by waving their hand once across their cards.

If you decide to hit then you’ve decided that you want to add another card to your hand so you can have a total closer to 21. You can hit as many times as you want, but realize that the closer you get to 21 the greater your chances of busting out of the hand become. Dealers will continue to hit on a hand until they reach 17 or higher.

There are a couple of options in the rules of blackjack that give the player a chance to minimize losses in a hand. The first is the “surrender”. This is an option to surrender half your bet to the house when you think your hand will not beat the dealer’s total. The other option is an “insurance” bet that allows you to bet on whether the dealer will get a blackjack when they’re showing an ace. Playing insurance is not recommended by any blackjack strategy and should be avoided.

In the event that you’re dealt a pair you will have the option of “splitting pairs” into two hands. You will have to make another bet for the second hand, but when you’re dealt a high pair it becomes your best option. The last option players sometime have is to “double down”. Doubling down means that you double your initial bet and agree to take only one more card and stand on that total. Sometimes it’s the best option, especially when you have a total of 11.

Making the Right Decisions

In today’s information age there are readily available tools online for making the right play in every situation when you’re playing blackjack. Basic strategy charts will tell you the right option for every situation; you just have to make sure you’re using the right chart for the game you’re playing.

How to Play Pai Gow

The game of Pai Gow combines the fun of playing poker with the ease of playing a casino table game. You don’t have to be a poker shark to play and learn how to win at Pai Gow, you just need to know a couple of simple rules.

One of the best things about playing Pai Gow poker is that a lot of hands result in a push, which means that the hand has no winner and the bets are returned to the players. This lets you enjoy the game longer than most casino table action.

The game is played with a 53-card deck (one joker is added) and the object is to split seven cards into a high-hand of five cards and a low-hand of two cards. Once players are dealt their cards they are given time to split them themselves or they can opt for the dealer to help split them the “house way”.

You’ll want to have a basic knowledge of poker hand rankings so you understand how to split your cards.

Splitting Cards

When splitting your cards it must be done in a way that the high hand is greater in value than the low hand. If you get dealt the joker it can be used as an ace or to complete a straight or flush. Poker hand rankings are used to determine hand strength, with the one exception that a low straight (A-2-3-4-5) is the second highest ranked straight and will beat a straight of K-Q-J-10-9.

To win even money less 5% on your bet, both your high hand and your low hand have to beat the dealer’s hands. If you win one hand but not the other the hand becomes a push and your bet is returned. If the dealer wins both hands your bet is lost. In the event that your hand is exactly the same as the dealer’s it is considered a “copy”, and all copy hand situations go to the dealer.

How to Play Pai Gow

The game of Pai Gow combines the fun of playing poker with the ease of playing a casino table game. You don’t have to be a poker shark to play and learn how to win at Pai Gow, you just need to know a couple of simple rules. One of the best things about playing Pai Gow poker is that a lot of hands result in a push, which means that the hand has no winner and the bets are returned to the players. This lets you enjoy the game longer than most casino table action.

The game is played with a 53-card deck (one joker is added) and the object is to split seven cards into a high-hand of five cards and a low-hand of two cards. Once players are dealt their cards they are given time to split them themselves or they can opt for the dealer to help split them the “house way”. You’ll want to have a basic knowledge of poker hand rankings so you understand how to split your cards.

Pai Gow Bonus Bet

With a bonus bet option offer you have the opportunity to profit from a big hand. This optional bet will pay out anytime you are dealt a hand of three-of-a-kind or higher. The odds on the payout depend on how big the hand is, and can pay as much as 8000 to 1 on a natural seven-card straight flush. Bonus bets are made at the beginning of the hand at the same time that you place your regular bet and are not played against the dealer. If you don’t get at least three-of-a-kind out of your seven cards your bonus wager is lost. No commission is paid on the bonus bet because the house edge is big enough for the casino to profit without it.

As you get to know the in’s and out’s of playing Pai Gow there is information that can help you lower the house edge over you even further. There are systems for splitting hands that can increase your odds to win a bit over splitting hands the house way, and they are worth learning if you plan on playing Pai Gow with any regularity.

How to Play and Bet on Keno

Keno History

Keno can be traced back to a game that was created more than 3,000 years ago by Cheung Leung, the leader of the Han Dynasty in China. The game was based on a popular Chinese poem, “The Thousand Character Classic” which used 1,000 Chinese characters in an effort to help people learn to count. The game used 120 of these symbols. The numbers of symbols used in the game has declined over time and the game we know today uses 80.

Keno was introduced into the United States in the mid-1800s by Chinese immigrants who came over to work on the railway lines. In order to attract more CA players to the game, the Chinese characters were replaced by numbers. Draws in keno are often referred to as “races” in reference to the fact that keno became known as “racehorse keno” and was considered to be a lottery at a time when gambling games were outlawed in the US.

Different Keno Tickets

There are different types of tickets in a game of keno with the most common type being a straight ticket for a single game. Other tickets will allow you to combine different aspects of the game. A way ticket allows you to mark multiple games on one ticket.

A combination ticket allows you to combine groups of straight bets on one ticket. A split ticket allows you to play more than one ticket on a single card.

Beginning a Keno Game

Before you can begin a game of keno you must select your numbers. You need to select at least 4 numbers (spots) and no more than 10 (although this amount may vary according to the casino). If you are playing online keno, this is a simple process as you just mark your numbers and place your bet.

You then wait until the numbers have been called and compare your numbers with the called numbers.

Winning at Keno

Twenty numbered balls are randomly selected out of 80 possibilities. Your numbers are compared to the numbers that are drawn and if any of your numbers match up, you could be a winner. The number of matching spots that you need to win will vary according to the casino, but typically if you play 5 spots, you will need 3 matches to win anything.

The more matches you have, the higher your wins and the payouts increase dramatically for every extra number you have. For example, if you match 3 out of 5 numbers, you may win 3 to 1; if you match 4 out of 5 numbers, you may win 26 to 1 and if you match 5 out of 5 numbers, you may win 332 to 1.

If you are playing online keno, you simply wait to see if your numbers match and you will be paid out accordingly. It is slightly more complicated if you are playing land-based keno as you will need to check your ticket and present any winning tickets to the keno desk before the next game begins in order to collect your winnings.

Please click here for our more detailed article on how to win at Keno.

Highest Online Progressive Jackpots

From left to right – Rival, NetEnt, Casino on Net, and Random Logic. These four software providers provide the most jackpots in the gambling industry through progressive games. Please use this chart to compare and find the largest jackpots in our live tracker. Our progressive tracker comparison updates every 15 minutes.

Games can be accessed by an online casino that uses the software technology associated with them. Our recommendation is solely optional. For more reviews on the software visit these pages for Random LogicRivalNetent and RTG.