Some tips and advice to get the most from your casino outings

The Times Of Northwest Indiana

There are many reasons for slot players to learn how to play video poker, but one of the very best is the transparency of video poker games. Whereas the individual payback percentages of traditional spinning reel and video slots are proprietary information, video poker is an open book. The payback percentages of video poker games are based on a mathematical formula using information from the game's pay table, which is in clear public view.

Of all the wagers you can make in a casino, there is one in which the odds aren't stacked against you. That wager is called "free odds" and it's found at the craps tables. The odds are free because the house takes no edge on them. Payoffs are made at true mathematical odds. Once you make a line bet and a point is established, you have the option of making an additional bet that the point will be made. Playing free odds is essential to taking advantage of the opportunities at the dice table and in doing so you're also trimming even further the low house edge that the casino takes on line bets. It's really the best bet you can make on any casino game and makes learning how to play craps well worth the effort.

Building up playing credits on slot and video poker machines carries seeds of destruction for recreational gaming enthusiasts. When you are playing with electronically metered credits instead of cold, hard cash, it is easy for your money to lose its value. Always be aware of exactly how much money you have on the machine in credits no matter what denomination you are playing. With the increase in the number of low-denomination slot games, it's easy to forget that pennies add up to dollars. Don't make the mistake of squandering away any good fortune by neglecting to pause to figure out just how much money those credits add up to. Winning never comes easy.

The gaming industry is always in search of inventive ways for casino-goers to wager. Even blackjack, a game that requires a degree of skill to play successfully, isn't exempt. However, be cautioned that blackjack side bets with bonus payoffs typically pack a house edge that makes them not worth playing. Blackjack requires concentration, and if played correctly, the house edge can be reduced. Gimmicky side bets only serve as a distraction. Any money you divert from the base game by making side bets with regularity at the blackjack table will cut into your profits or add to your losses. A side bet once in a while is okay, but a steady diet of them is not recommended.

The built-in house advantage that casinos wield over all the games they offer is relentless, a virtual guarantee to wear down every gambler's bankroll over the long haul. But did you know the speed at which people play the games has a direct impact on how hard the house edge will hit them? Because you can play a slot machine faster than any table game, it is important to play at a slower pace. Spinning the reels every few seconds during any given playing session translates into a major investment, every dollar of which gets hammered by the house edge. By slowing down the speed at which you play slots you give yourself a fighting chance of staying in the game longer.

Video poker has a legion of fans who are attracted to the game because every hand you are dealt and every card you draw is as random as a computer program will allow. This makes the game as close as humanly possible to playing with your own 52-card deck at the kitchen table. A virtual deck of cards is constantly being shuffled between plays in the game's computer program. When you make a bet and hit the deal button, the shuffling stops and five cards are dealt off the top popping up left to right on the screen. The shuffling of the remaining virtual cards continues until you make a decision on what to hold. When you hit draw, the number of cards you need to fill your hand pop up in the vacated spaces.

AMERISTAR: MyChoice players club members who are eligible for “Forever Young” perks (age 55 and up) can print a voucher from any promotional kiosk on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to receive a buy one-get one meal off of a special Forever Young menu at Barstool Sportsbook or 15 percent off regular menu items.

BLUE CHIP: FanDuel Sportsbook wants you to win a “2024 Big Game Package” which includes two tickets the Big Game in Las Vegas on Feb. 14, 2024, a 3-night stay at The Orleans Hotel & Casino, and $1,000 in travel gift cards. There’ll be a grand prize qualifier drawing on Feb. 14, 2023 at 10 a.m. at which five winners will receive $500 in cash and an entry into the grand prize drawing. The grand prize drawing for the Big Game Package takes place on Feb. 15, 2023. Boyd Rewards members are invited to swipe their card at any promotional kiosk to receive a complimentary entry. Earn an additional entry for every one tier credit earned on sports wagers placed now through Feb. 12.

FOUR WINDS: W Club members who are 55 years of age and older enjoy dining discounts every week. Every Wednesday at the New Buffalo, Hartford, and Dowagiac locations, receive 25 percent off at Timbers or 25 percent off at The Buffet in New Buffalo. On Thursdays in South Bend, receive 25 percent off at Timbers and Kankakee Grille. Earn 100 W Club points the same day at any location and receive $10 in instant credit/free slot play after swiping your players card at a kiosk from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Eastern). Present W Club players card and valid photo ID to be eligible.

HARD ROCK: A “doubleheader” of complimentary entertainment is scheduled at Hard Rock Café Stage on Friday (Jan. 13) with Erin Coburn performing at 8 p.m. and Ally Venable hitting the spotlight at 10 p.m. On Saturday (Jan. 14) The Spazmatics are on tap at 9p.m. Over at Council Oak Bar Stage look for The Smiley Tillmon Band featuring Kate Moss on Friday and Vino Louden on Saturday. The shows begin at 8 p.m.

HOLLYWOOD JOLIET: If you’re active military, a military veteran, police officer, fire fighter, or EMT, be sure to get in on the myheroes promotion every Monday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Swipe your myheroes players club card at a promotional kiosk to instantly win up to $250 in free slot play. Not a member? Be sure to sign up for a card with valid ID at the mychoice players center to instantly receive perks and discounts.

HORSESHOE: Make plans for The MLK House Party Celebration at The Venue on Saturday (Jan. 14). Deon Cole, nominated for two SAG awards and two NAACP Image Awards but best known for his role in the TV sitcom “Black-ish”, will start the party with a DJ set, followed by performances by Grammy nominated DJ Terry Hunter, mixtape specialist Boolu Master, Chicago female DJ’s Sundance and DJ Chyna, and DJ Slugo. Doors open at 5 p.m., show starts at 6 p.m. Please visit for ticket availability.

Opinions are solely those of the writer. Reach him at [email protected] 25 days

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