Bonuses are a big part of playing casino games on the internet and they provide a great way for players to get more money for free and thus enjoy their favorite gaming options without any stress. As the industry has grown over the years, so have the available promotions and an interesting trend has appeared where slots players receive much higher bonuses than the offers for table games or video poker. There are many reasons for this and it is always good to know which bonuses are available in order to get the best offers.
Standard Welcome Bonus
The welcome bonus is an offer used by most online casinos to help attract new customers. It is usually only available on the first deposit and the standard offer is 100% up to a few hundred dollars. This should be enough for more players to get started and enjoy a variety of games at the casino.
Standard wagering requirements mean that the bonus amount must be wagered several times before the player can withdraw money from the online casino. This is a string attached to almost every bonus in the business and it is something that users should check out in detail before joining the casino.
Improved Welcome Bonus for Slots
While the average welcome bonus is nice, some online casinos are looking to make it even more appealing for new customers to join and since slots are the most popular games, they focus on this category with significantly bigger offers. As a result, some websites can have a bonus of 400% up to an impressive $10,000 just on one deposit. This means that depositing $200 will generate a bonus of $800 and thus the account balance will be $1,000.
As mentioned, this bonus has an additional string attached since the money can only be used on valid games in the slots category. Often times, the casino will include scratch cards and keno so that players can have a bit more variety. The exclusion of table games is important to keep in mind since playing these games can cause the bonus to become invalid and thus the amount will be deleted.
Customers who only enjoy spinning reels will certainly prefer the higher bonus since more money will mean more spins and thus more ways to win big. The wagering requirements will still apply to the amount but they shouldn’t take too long to meet for a regular player.
Bonuses for Table Games
Some of the sites that offer exclusive bonuses just for slots will also include offers for table games. These normally have a lower percentage than the one mentioned previously and there are more valid games on which to use the money. It is important to point out that table game bonuses are not limited just to one category and users should be able to bet on a variety of options that include slots and video poker. For more information and exact list of the eligible games, the terms and conditions of the bonus contain all the details.
Not all casino games equal
So why can slots bonuses be bigger than table game bonuses? The answer can be found in the house edge and the way the casino uses the promotions. While players can get a much larger amount on one deposit if they opt for the slots offer, they will have to spend more time on the casino, betting on the spinning reels. Not only is the bankroll bigger but it will also take more time for the wagering requirements to be met and so the online casino gets long-term customers by offering them a large bonus when they join.
On the other hand, table games are not generally as volatile as slots so players can expect to win quite frequently, even if the size of the prize is not that big compared to the bet. This lowers the risk of each wager and makes it easier for users to meet the requirements and cash out their prizes if they want to.
For example, blackjack has a low house edge and players win a bet quite often so even a smaller bonus can go a long way towards making a profit. Slots have a higher house edge and the player loses more money on each wager in the long run and this requires a larger bonus to make up for it.
Video poker is an entertaining gaming option provided by most online casinos. It is fairly easy to play and those that already have some experience with playing poker will certainly get the hang of things right away.
The key aspect that makes this game so popular among casino players is that it is one of the few titles where the player has the power to change the outcome of the game after placing the bet. This means that strategies can be used to improve the results and thus make it more than your regular casino game. However, it is always a risk when changing cards so one must consider the possibilities very carefully in order to get the best wins in the long run.
Quick Guide to Video Poker
If you are not familiar with video poker, it is a casino game played on a computerized console. It is based on five-card draw poker and is actually a version of the popular game that is not played against other players. Instead, the wins are determined by the strength of the hand and the prizes are allocated according to the table. Five cards are dealt at the start and each or all of them can be exchanged for new cards from the deck.
There are different variants of video poker available at online casinos and they offer slightly different rules. To keep things simple, we will focus mostly on Jacks or Better throughout this article. As the name would suggest this variant of video poker pays for pairs of Jacks and higher valued hands.
Playing a Made Hand
Made hands are very straightforward in video poker so unless there are options for getting one of the top ranking hands, the strategy here is to keep the forming cards and just exchange the rest for the chance to improve.
Of course, the actual made hand is very important since a pair of Jacks or better will leave three more cards to exchange. Here is where the most common decision in video poker comes in: do you exchange all three cards or keep one in the hopes of getting two pair. The standard paytable offers 2:1 for two pairs and 3:1 for three of a kind and the odds tell us that there are 47 cards left in the deck, with one of two required to make three of a kind and one of three for two pairs. As a result, it is better to go for the third card to match the initial pair rather than play for two pairs.
The same can be said about getting three of a kind from the first hand. It is recommended to exchange both remaining cards rather than keep one for the chance to make a full house. Four of a kind will pay 25:1, in comparison to 9:1 if the hand becomes a full house.
Draws are really where the action is at in video poker. There are plenty of things to consider in every scenario but there are some easy rules to keep in mind that will help you get the most out of the cards in the long run.
In some scenarios, it can even be better to break a high-valued made hand in order to play a draw for an even better hand. This is the case for a straight or a flush that can become a royal flush with the perfect card exchange. Four-card royal draw is the best hand to have after a straight flush and a royal flush due to the significant increase in the payout between a royal flush and a straight or a flush.
Four of a kind does remain higher on the list than four to a royal flush because there is no scenario where breaking it by one or even two cards can result in the top prize.
It is important to keep in mind that a royal flush can pay anywhere from 800:1 to 1,000:1, depending on the version of the game, and any chance at getting this rare hand should not be missed.
That one card needed to complete the combination has a ton of value and losing some weaker hands in an attempt to get it will be worth it if you are playing the odds over a longer period of time.
Also, it is important to not overlook that fact that playing four to a royal flush actually has its fair share of outs for lower prizes. There are at least three high cards in the hand that can become a pair with any of the 9 or 12 right cards for a 1:1 payout.
Poker is considered a game of skill and there are various strategies which can be applied in order to improve the results at the tables. This led people to believe that a combination of perfect play could be achieved with the help of a computer and that this will outplay even the best poker players in the industry.
While the idea of a computer playing poker is certainly nothing new, the recent challenge was the most serious attempt to determine how a programmed computer can hold its own against professional players. The result of the contest was quite interesting and it is safe to say that the likes of Daniel Negreanu don’t have anything to worry about right now.
Taking the Seats
The competition was known as “Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence” and it took place in early May 2015. Dr. Tuomas Sandholm, a Professor of Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University was the one who developed the AI program by the name of Claudico for the purpose of playing no-limit Texas hold’em against players heads-up. The computer first showed what it can do during the Annual Computer Poker Competition, where it won against various other computers designed to play poker. This made it the perfect candidate to represent the AI side.
In the other seats, several professional poker players took on the challenge and these were Doug “WCGRider” Polk, Bjorn Li, Dong Kim and Jason Les. Polk was by far the most successful from the group as he has more than three million dollars in earnings from live tournaments and also has a bracelet from the World Series of Poker to show for it. The other three are specialized in heads-up play and have at least half a million dollars in cashes.
The entire contest was designed to last for quite some time in order to determine who was actually better and avoid any short-term swings. The action started on April 24th and concluded on May 7th, with a total of 80,000 hands being played against the computer.
In order to make sure that the luck element involved was at a minimum, the pros were divided into two groups. One of them would be on the casino floor and the other in a different location on the second floor. Those in the isolation room upstairs would get the exact opposite hole cards when playing against the computer in order to see how each scenario plays out. The players changed groups periodically.
Interested viewers had the chance to follow the live stream on Twitch and see how both sides performed. Once the contest was over, the results became quite clear, with the pros leading for most of the competition. The final score was a significant advantage of $732,713 in chips ahead of the computer.
Bjorn Li was the biggest winner, finishing with more than $529,000 on top of the AI counterpart, while the only one who lost money was Jason Les, being $80,482 in the red after playing his share of the 80,000 hands. Les did compliment the program once everything was settled and called it a major improvement from other programs designed to play poker.
Polk on the other hand was not so happy with how Claudico played and stated that there were some spots where he simply didn’t understand what the program was doing. He added that there were spots where poker players would bet big, like half the pot or even three quarters of it, and the AI only opted for 10% of the pot. Other times it would go too much and place a bet 10 times the pot, or even more, betting $19,000 to get a pot of $700.
The official result from the Carnegie Mellon team is that the competition ended in a draw. The reasoning being that although three of the four pros finished ahead of the AI program, the collective amount of just over $730,000 is not large enough to declare the pros the clear winners. The total amount of bets exceeded $170 million throughout the two-week contest so the lead at the end is quite ignorable and isn’t accepted as being scientifically reliable.
Online casinos have really helped players become familiar with new games and the one which arguably benefited the most from the iGaming industry is baccarat. The expansion of this simple but exciting card game has been very impressive over the last decade and it is safe to say that it is now one of the most played table games at online casinos.
This means that a lot of new players are enjoying baccarat and while the game is very straightforward and easy to learn, there are some things which can slip by most users and can have a big influence on the overall results. A good example of this is in the available bets and there are some which should be avoided by experienced players in order to not damage their playing bankrolls.
Breaking down the bets
The game is influenced on the available bets and this is where the player has to decide. Baccarat has four games available. The banker bet is the first and it comes with a house advantage of 1.06%, making it one of the smallest edges in a casino. This makes it the best bet to place in the casino game but it is not that far ahead of the player bet, which gives the house and advantage of 1.24%. It is important to keep in mind that winning bets on the banker side will result in a 5% fee taken by the house but even with this string attached, it remains the best bet to place in baccarat.
Compared to other casino games, the house edge is a bit smaller for both the banker and the player bets than the advantage found in single-zero roulette or in blackjack without following the correct strategy.
Players can also choose to wager on a tie bet. This is a bet with a very high house edge and should be avoided. While it can differ among casinos in different markets, the advantage the house has on a tie bet is about 14.4%. In the United Kingdom, the pay is increased to 9:1 for a tie bet and this means that the house edge drops to about 4%. Not playing this bet despite the potential to win big is the recommended move and many new players are fascinated by the chance to win a big prize and they forget to look at the actual numbers involved.
The fourth bet available in baccarat is the pair bet. This is not available in all versions of the game but has been gaining quite some popularity among online players because it offers more options to the already exciting card game. The pair bet is basically a side wager on either of the two hands getting a pair and it normally pays 11:1. Unlike in poker, pairs and combinations don’t matter in the regular game of baccarat as the only goal is to get as close to 9 as possible.
However, with this bet, the game adds a poker element and it comes with the biggest payout in the game, if successful. The bad part is that by considering the odds and the prize, this bet comes with a house percentage of 10.36% and while it isn’t as bad as the normal tie bet, it is still significant enough to be avoided.
Popular baccarat variants and odds
There are several popular variants of baccarat which come with slightly different odds and should be considered as alternatives to Punto Banco, the most common version found in casinos.
EZ Baccarat is the first to stand out as it has no commission for bets placed on the banker side. The rules remain pretty much the same but banker bets will pay 1:1 and not 19:20. This lowers the house edge even more and makes it 1.018% by betting on the banker side. The reason the difference is so mall is that this variant comes with an additional change which makes every three-card hand of a 7 a push, adding basically a 4.912% commission on every banker bet.
For even money on banker bets, the Super 6 version of baccarat also pays 1:1 on this wager but when the banker wins with a 6, the payout is halved. This game can also be found as Punto 2000 and it actually has a higher house edge on banker bets of 1.46%.
A good part of casino players have some superstitions they hold dear. These were generally made across years of playing and they have shown a lot of promise over time, with lucky numbers being the most popular choice among table and card game players. There are some numbers that are considered lucky across the board, with 7 being a great example, but gamblers tend to have their own strings of lucky numbers and these often times have a personal meaning that goes way beyond the gaming tables.
Dates of birth, anniversaries, current year and many other numbers are considered lucky by casino customers and the question is if they are really special? In order to provide a complete answer to this question, we must first cover several topics that show the core mechanics of casino games as well as human tendencies over unpredictable situations.
Casino games with lucky numbers
If we take a look at the standard offer of casino games, we will see that a decent portion of them is based around numbers. Roulette is arguably the best example for lucky numbers as players can choose from a wide range of options and select just one or an entire group. Quite a few roulette players will place two bets: one on a group of numbers that has higher odds of generating a return and another on one number, deemed to be lucky.
Keno is another great game with lucky numbers as players can choose a lot of them for every round. These can cover various dates and events but they can also represent the numbers from previous draws that have been selected several times and now stand out in the player’s mind.
To some extent, blackjack can be considered a game with lucky numbers since players can either choose to stand at a certain value because it represents something with superstitious significance or hit because the number they need is their lucky one. For example, players may avoid hitting at 13 despite the fact it is recommended by basic strategy because 13 is considered an unlucky number and this means that they will bust with another card.
Various slots games use symbols associated with lucky charms and playing some of them can be considered by the player to have better odds, since luck is part of the game.
Random outcomes for every game
Casino games are designed to be unpredictable so that every round is fair. There is also a house edge involved in every option so that the casino wins over long periods of time but this is a different story.
The cards are shuffled to make sure that players and dealers alike have no way of knowing what comes next, the wheel and the ball in roulette spin in order to provide a random outcome and the dice in craps create a similar scenario. When playing online, the random factor is improved even further as the games use random number generators (RNG) in order to make sure that everything is legitimate.
Previous rounds do not influence the outcome of the current hand, nor does the game have any preference to any particular numbers.
Into the mind of a gambler
As humans, we are hardwired to search for patterns and try to predict the outcome of our auctions. This can cause a lot of players to create strategies around lucky numbers which they believe are tested and proven to work. The truth is that we tend to pay more attention to numbers that we have associated a certain characteristic, be them lucky or unlucky, and this makes us think that they come around more or less often.
For example, if we think that 7 is a lucky number and we play roulette 360 times, the odds are that the number will appear 10 times. However, every time it appears, we give it a bigger significance in our heads than the basic probabilities of the game because we already start with the idea that 7 is a lucky number and every time it is hit, it further strengthens our previous notion. The problem is that during the other 350 times in which other numbers are hit, we just shrug it off or even get new lucky numbers based on random results.
The final answer
All things considered, there are no lucky numbers when it comes to casino games and the outcomes are random, with no influence by the options on which players placed their bets. The system is designed to be fair every time and at the end of the day, this is what makes casino games exciting.
When you look to join a new online casino, you will most likely check out the welcome offer. This is meant to give new customers a boost and help them get started by matching their first deposit up to a certain limit or even multiply the amount several times so that a lot more bets can be placed for free.
Although pretty much every online casino nowadays has a welcome bonus available, there are ways through which to get a better offer for the same casino and these don’t even require anything extra from the players.
Special casino bonuses
The easiest way to get a better offer from an online casino is to check out reputable gaming hubs that offer casino reviews and can even include special bonuses. These are obtained by the website through negotiations with the casinos and are in fact very easy to claim.
For example, casinocashvault.com has several bonuses for certain online casinos that are not available to regular customers and the only thing players need to do is trigger the special promotions through the reviews on the website. These can be as easy as following a link that will send you to a customized landing page for the casino where you can register an account or a short bonus code that can be entered when making the first deposit. Both these options are meant to let the casino know that you learned about it from the review available on the site.
Special bonuses are not just limited to the welcome offer as online casinos can feature a lot more benefits that can be improved even more through reliable reviewing websites. These include free gifts through the rewards program available at the casino and make for a very profitable run for existing customers since points are generated based on the size of the bets.
Keeping up to date
Exclusive casino bonuses don’t come around every day and a good part of them are launched to help promote special events celebrated by certain online casinos. As a result, it is recommended to be subscribed to regular updates in order to never miss an opportunity to earn free money for playing casino games.
Most of the times, a simple email address is all that is needed to subscribe for exclusive bonuses and there are no fees to worry about since the website is simply designed to spread the word as soon as the casinos launch their offers.
If for any reason you no longer want to get updates for special offers, you can easily unsubscribe to the service.
A growing trend among online casinos is to cater to players through different offers. While these are not always displayed on the official page, they can be found at bonus websites and presented in detail. The most popular offers are the bonuses that offer a certain percentage based on the size of the transaction. For example, a deposit of $35 can land players a bonus of 210% while a deposit of $250 will come with a bonus of 320%
This kind of offers encourages players to deposit bigger amounts per transaction rather than opt for smaller and more often deposits.
Special offers for slots games are also quite common. The spinning reels provide various winning possibilities and they also represent the most popular category of casino games so operators normally offer a lot more titles to meet the demand. With the increased number of users playing slots, the casino can feature special rewards to keep the symbols spinning. On the other hand, table games are based on different mechanics and come with different bonuses since the payouts and the house edges generate bets at different rates.
Whatever the casino offer, it is important to check out the terms and conditions of the bonuses. These include the exact amount of times the bonus amount has to be wagered before it can be withdrawn as well as other requirements that can come attached with free spins, special rewards and more.
Online gambling is still growing but if we take a look at its history, it is safe to say that it has reached a certain level of maturity that guarantees that it is here to stay. The history of online gambling has seen its fair share of ups and downs and while there is still a long way to go, looking back can offer some important hints of what is to come.
The start of online gambling began in Antigua and Barbuda as this was the first market to legalize online gambling back in 1994. The act was called Free Trade & Processing Zone and while it covered a variety of topics, it was also the first act to fundamentally allow operators to offer their betting services on the internet and any willing company was free to set up its quarters here and get started.
However, Rome was not built in a day and neither was the online gambling industry. While the liberal regulations where there, there were no operators and no software providers to really take advantage of the new legislature and offer a product that players would actually want.
The same year, Microgaming came into the scene and became the first software developer for the iGaming industry, creating several casino games for the online sector. Cryptologic followed after a short time and focused mostly on online security and encryption protocols that would make sure every piece of personal information and account data would be stored securely.
It took another two years for the first online casino to open its virtual doors and in 1996, online gambling for real money was more than just an idea, it was a reality. Once the ice was broken, the industry saw incredible growth between 1996 and 1998 and this was thanks in no small part to the tremendous pace at which technology was improving.
As more and more people began having access to the internet, they started doing more things online and casino games fit in just perfectly. The advantages of internet gaming when compared to traditional land-based casinos were starting to show and the demand from the customers forced casino operators and software providers to grow at a very fast pace in order to keep up.
Promise of Big Winnings
It is a known fact that players enjoy casino games because they provide opportunities to win big from small bets. This is best seen with progressive slots and when Microgaming introduced the first online progressive jackpot to the industry, an important step forward was made. Cash Splash had a top prize that would increase based on the bets placed by players and after a while, the number would get very impressive.
Stories of players cashing in huge prizes seemed to be everywhere and what made it all gain a lot of traction was the fact that the winners were regular guys playing from the comfort of their own homes. Online casinos were starting to get a lot of attention and this turned out to have more than just a few negative aspects as well.
Opposition and Regulations
As online gambling became more than just a blip on the radar, governments saw the need to act and introduced regulations that would significantly slow down the growth of the industry. In 1998, Senator John Kyl introduced the Internet Gambling prohibition act in the United States, the biggest market in the world at this time.
The bill didn’t make it past the House and Kyl returned the following year with another bill that saw the same faith. However, the start of the opposition had begun and the Senator spent the next six year trying to introduce and lobby new bills for banning online gambling.
In 2000, the Federal Government in Australia passed a new act that made it illegal for online casinos that didn’t hold a license in the country to accept Australian customers. With the added mention that casinos that operated before May 2000 in Australia were also banned, only one casino could still take bets from the citizens.
In 2001, it was estimated that over 8 million people had participated in online gambling despite the fact that the legislations in most of the countries did not allow for it.
In 2008, the iGaming industry was estimated at having total revenue of $21 billion and the number only went up in the following years.
A good part of the markets continue to ban online gambling but recent changes have shown that governments are beginning to understand the benefits it can bring to the table.
The United States changed the bill that banned online gambling and thus allowed states to individually pursue legalization. In 2013, three states went live with their online gaming options, with two of them allowing internet casino games from licensed operators.
That is the question that many online casino players are asking right now. Pretty much every online casino is offering a welcome bonus that applies on the first deposit but users are normally given the option to opt out of the promotion if they don’t want it.
Welcome bonuses are meant to increase the playing bankroll that the user has and also attract more customers with the promise of free money. The standard amount is 100% but this can easily get significantly bigger and reach percentages that would multiply your first deposit four or even five times.
Understanding How It Works
The important thing to always keep in mind is that casino bonuses normally come with wagering requirements. This is in order to prevent players from just claiming the bonus and then immediately cash out with the free money. Wagering requirements also make the players bet the amount several times on the games before the winnings can actually be withdrawn from the casino.
The exact number of times needed for the amount to be wagered is usually mentioned in the terms and conditions for the bonus and it is highly recommended to read this section first before claiming any offers.
Since players who join online casinos actually want to bet on the games and not just leave right away, the wagering requirements aren’t generally a problem and customers are happy to get more money that allows them to place more bets. The thrill of the games can be just as important as the winnings, if not even more so.
To make it easier, most casinos offer the bonus amount as a separate currency in the account. As the money is used to place bets and win more money, the bonus credits are transferred to the active balance that can be withdrawn at any moment. This makes it convenient for players and always lets them know where they stand.
Reasons To Claim The Welcome Bonus
The main reason why players would want to claim the welcome bonus is also the most obvious one – it represents free money. Getting a bonus on the first deposit is one of the main reasons why customers join a certain casino over another since this gives them a lot more freedom when it comes to the size of their bets and the number of games they can play without any worries.
Having more money in casinos means more chances to win big prizes and it is hard to turn down an offer that will double the available bankroll right from the start. And casinos really make the entire process as easy as it can be. The standard promotion is set to apply on the deposit without requiring anything from the customer or just a bonus code at times.
Reliable websites offer reviews and provide useful information on the promotions available at leading online casinos so that users can make an informed decision and get the best offer right from the start.
Why Not To Claim The Welcome Bonus
With the option to opt out of the bonus being available, there can be several reasons to walk past this offer and just keep the initial bankroll for playing the games. The biggest one is due to the wagering requirements that can also apply on the deposited amount. This would mean that you cannot withdraw from the casino if you claimed the welcome bonus without forfeiting the offer.
It can take some time to roll over the bonus since this generally depends on the category of games it is used on. Table games tend to have lower percentages while slots bets count fully for the wagering requirements. Some games don’t even register towards meeting this restrictions and those that just want to play these titles basically have no reason to claim the welcome bonus since they will likely never roll over the amount enough times to cash it out.
Granted, the list of games that do not count is not that long but it is always a good idea to read the terms in order to avoid any surprises later on.
Overall, there aren’t many reasons not to claim the welcome bonus for regular casino players and it seems like a great way to get started at a new online casino. Enjoy the free money and make sure to play responsibly!
It can be easy to get lost in the specifics sometimes and forget about the fundamentals but these are there for a reason and should be paid attention to. When it comes to online gambling, similar rules apply and it doesn’t matter what casino games you enjoy or what stakes do you play on the internet, there are several guidelines which should always be part of your gaming session.
Security Comes First
Sometimes players will disregard security and just enter their personal information on a website which is not secure. This usually happens with new users and this is why it is highly recommended to first check out some reviews and get another opinion on an online casino before giving it your personal and financial data.
The potential for fraud on the internet is significant and while reliable online casinos do a very good job at making sure this is not even a concern, the risk outside of verified websites is quite big. As part of the measures every player can take, it is advised to have a special bank account or debit card which is used just for online gaming and doesn’t have large amounts of money on it for long periods of time.
However, it is known that even some accounts can be hacked even if they are on reliable websites and having a difficult password to guess can help prevent that. Also, using a different email address than the personal one used to communicate with friends is another good way to avoid security issues when playing online for real money.
Enjoy Your Time
The thrill of online casino games and the chance for big winnings can sometimes overshadow the main reason why players enjoy these games in the first place. They are meant to be fun and exciting and while winning does certainly make it better, it shouldn’t be all about the money. There is an entire range of casino games with different styles and betting options which are sure to provide an entertaining experience.
This doesn’t even have to mean playing for real money as the games can be enjoyed for free, with casino virtual credits which can be recharged without cost and are just used to keep track of the results.
Online casino games are very easy to access at all times but this doesn’t mean that they have to be played around the clock. Everything has to be done in a responsible manner and it is recommended to take a step back once in a while and see if there are real signs of problem gambling to worry about. Some of the most common indicators are financial strains due to betting in excess at a loss and difficulties in turning down options to gamble.
Not playing responsibly will usually end with big financial problems and can require professional help in order to get better. This of course is an extreme scenario but it should be considered since playing in a responsible manner is certainly one of the fundamentals of online gambling.
Pay Attention to the Promotions
Online casinos are great when it comes to promotions and free money but the best offer is normally found on the first deposit and players tend to ignore other offers after that despite the fact that there can be some amazing promotions available that can really make playing more exciting. Regular promotions are meant to please casual players so the amounts are not that big but even a few tens of dollars can be significant for recreational customers who don’t really want to make other deposits too often.
Having more money means playing more games and casino bonuses can really help with all the fundamentals mentioned above. They are offered in a secure environment and at an online casino you verified before joining, they eliminate the stress of losing real money and thus make games more fun and they make the games seem more like a casual thing rather than a needed activity.
Deposit bonuses, free spins, regular promotions and comp points all help make online casino games better and so they represent a fundamental part of internet gambling and every player should benefit from them.
Video poker is one of the most popular games found in a casino and it is also one of the few games in which knowing how to play is important as it improves the odds of winning. While there are big strategies which can apply for most situations when at the machine or when playing online, there are also some atypical situations in which the basic strategy doesn’t apply. As a good player, it is essential to know what to do in these situations in order to maximize the potential winnings every time.
What is video poker?
Since the guide is aimed at players who already know how to play the game and are familiar with basic strategy, there is no need for a detailed explanation of video poker. However, for those which are new to casino games, video poker is a game which is played on a machine using random number generators. The goal of the game is to get a strong hand and these are ranked as in poker. The stronger the hand is, the bigger the payout will be.
Once the bet is placed, the player receives five cards and he can choose to exchange any or all of them for new cards in order to get the strongest hand possible. After the cards are exchanged, the game pays out according to the selected table and a new round can begin.
Using basic strategy
Since the player has to make a decision which determines the outcome of the game, video poker is one of the few casino games in which the player actually has to consider his next move and not just worry about the size of the bet.
Video poker is about knowing how to play common scenarios in order to get the best odds out of it. Even if they don’t always work out, they do provide an advantage in the long run and have a high degree of accuracy. That being said, basic strategy doesn’t always apply and the exceptions can have a big impact on the total results.
Exceptions to basic strategy in video poker
The first exception on the list will also help with the next ones and is a very important one. Let’s say that the variant of the game is Jacks or Better and that we have a hand made out of K-Q-J-T-T. These are of different colors and there is no flush draw to worry about so basic strategy tells us to keep the pair of Tens and the King in order to go for double pairs or for three-of-a-kind. If we do this, we would go for a payout of 0.824x and it would be a mistake.
The right choice in this situation would be to break the pair of Tens and only exchange one Ten for a straight and an average win of 0.872x. The improvement is more than big enough to seriously take into consideration when this situation comes up on the screen. It is also important to point out that this is the only exception to the rule of not breaking a pair unless it provides a Royal Flush draw or a flush draw.
Next up, a good example of an atypical situation in video poker is when you have Ah-Kh-Jh-5h-5c. The game is still Jacks or Better so the rule is to exchange the five of clubs and see if the flush draw comes through. However, by going for the flush, your average payout will be of 1.340x, while keeping only the three big cards and going for a Royal Flush will give you a payout of 1.387x. This situation is quite common and many players overlook the potential and only focus on either keeping the low pair or going for a flush by exchanging the different colored card, despite the fact that the best move is to exchange the pair entirely.
The third and final atypical situation in video poker is found in Deuces Wild. The hand is As-Js-8s-5s-5h. The majority of players will just exchange the five of hearts and hope for another spade to complete the flush. The idea is that in this version of the game, all pairs have the same worth so keeping the fives will have an average payout of 0.560x while the flush in this situation will pay a bit less at an average of 0.511x.