Slot machines are designed to entertain, that’s a fact. If played for real money, they represent entertainment you pay for – most of the time the winnings don’t cover the money wagered on them. People like to play these games, though, even if they know that in the long run they almost surely lose money – the games are entertaining, enticing… fun.
People often think that the outcome of the spins at the slot machines are governed by other things instead of pure chance, believing they are more likely to win using certain patterns in different times of the day. There are a series of such ‘slot machine myths’, usually disproven by statistics. Let’s see some of these below.
Some people believe that the time of the day has a certain influence on slot machines. Some say slots pay more often in the morning, others swear that the night is a more lucrative period. Well, this is not true: random number generators are computer programs, and as so, they don’t get tired or refreshed depending on the time of the day.
Also, some say that the slots can be ‘confused’ by alternating different betting patterns. This is not true either, and for the same reason as the above myth: random number generators. These programs are designed to be impartial and fair, and most importantly completely random. Pushing or hitting buttons, or touching the machine in certain ways don’t work either, for the same reason. Positive thinking also doesn’t influence the outcome of the spin, but it’s always a good thing to think positive, so don’t drop this one…
Some people believe that continuing to play after a losing streak will lead to a winning that makes up for the losses suffered earlier. This is not true either, as statistics show. The previous wagers don’t have any influence on the outcome of the current spin – it would also be illegal in some territories. The slots – and every other casino game – are designed (and required) to operate randomly under any circumstances.
Another slot machine myth: a ‘close miss’ indicates an imminent big win. This is also disproven by statistics, and for reasons the same as above. Every spin is a separate, random event, with no influence on the next one. This is a fact, deal with it.
The worst myth of all does not refer to the machines themselves, but to the person of the player, and can be applied to all games relying on pure chance. If the player thinks to be a skillful enough player to beat the odds of these games, he is wrong: skill has nothing to do with the outcome of these games. Your chances of winning are the same, no matter if you play slots for the first time or you spent half of your life betting on these machines.
So, forget about hoodoo, forget about caressing the machine or talking to it nicely – all you need is luck to win at the slot machines.
Average Jack doesn’t know a thing about roulette. Of course, it’s clear to him that the game is French, and that it involves a ball, a table and lots of wealthy folks around it, but that’s about all he knows about this popular casino game. And it’s OK – Average Jack doesn’t even have to know anything about this game. Until, at least, he decides to try his luck at the casino.
Roulette is present in all casinos of the world. In some places the local laws prohibit it expressly – in these jurisdictons only video roulette is available. It is almost as common as the common cold, so it’s important to know at least the basics of the game for anyone planning to visit a casino – real life or online.
First, a word about its history. Back in the day, roulette was only played in France. Later it spread to other European countries, and has crossed the Atlantic to conquer the US. As many other French games, in infiltrated the Americas through New Orleans. Back then, the wheel had a single and double zero slot – this was the traditional French layout.
Two Frenchmen invented the single-zero layout (with a slight advantage to the player) and started promoting it in Germany. As the years passed, more and more countries prohibited gambling, so the two Frenchmen moved to Monte Carlo with their single-zero wheel, establishing the best known European casino – the Casino Monte Carlo near Monaco. The single-zero wheel spread from this casino all over Europe.
Nowadays there are two versions of the roulette wheel in use: a single-zero layout (especially in Europe), and a double-zero, American layout (popular in the Americas and Macau). Both of these are available in online casino, though.
The goal of roulette is simple: the player places a bet on a single number or one of the other available options, the croupier (traditional French name for the dealer) spins the wheel, launches the ball, and the slot the ball settles in is the winner. The numbers (36 of them) are either black or red, and plus the zero (and double zero) is green. The bet placed on the number thus selected wins.
Players have quite a variety of betting options when it comes to roulette. They can place a bet on:
- a single number (pays 35 to 1)
- groups of numbers (three or four)
- lines and columns
- red or black, even or odd
- dozens of numbers (the first, second or third dozen, or 12 numbers)
- high or low numbers (the lower or higher 18 numbers on the wheel)
- the zero or double zero (pays the same as the single number bets)
The payouts are variable, between 1 and 35 to 1, depending on the bet.
That is all about roulette that Average Jack has to know to start playing the game. There are also a number of other bets available, but those we will cover later. The above are the absolute basics, the 101 of roulette – with these, and a bit of luck, Average Jack can start gambling and winning. We wish him good luck, don’t we?
A handsome, yet strong male enters the casino with a crisp tuxedo and an engaging smile. He walks to the bar, asks for a vodka martini – shaken, not stirred – and approaches the Baccarat table. Yes, you guessed it – it’s Fleming’s immortal special agent in Her Majesty’s service, James Bond. And yes, his favourite casino game was Baccarat.
Back in the day Baccarat was the game of the rich in French casinos, with high stakes, placed in a separate section of the casino, reserved for high-rollers. Later, with more and more people entering the casino environment, several other versions of the game were developed, making it accessible to the ‘masses’. There are also varieties specific to certain regions – please find below the most popular varieties of the game available in online casinos, and their offline counterparts.
Players bet on either the banker hand or the player hand. Experienced players don’t, but beginners might also bet on tie. The dealer places the cards on the table, counts their values, draws a third card if needed and announces the winning hand.
Similar to the original game, but in a simplified form, on a smaller table and with a smaller number of participants. This is the most common version to be found in most online casinos and real life American and Canadian casinos. It has lower betting limits when compared to the traditional game, being thus more accessible to larger masses of gamblers.
A French variation of the game. It’s name means ‘railroad’ in French, and indicates that upon losing a hand, the shoe (and the dealership) is passed on to the next player. Otherwise, the rules are similar to the original game.
Baccarat en Banque
Another French variant of the game. In this the player is dealt either one, or two hands, and the dealer gets only one hand. Participants can’t bet on the dealer hand in this version. Also, the shoe doesn’t go traveling the railroad in this game, put permanently stays with the dealer (the banker).
Super Pan 9
A version played with incomplete decks – sevens, eights, nines and tens are removed. In return the starting hands consists of three cards rather than two, and the dealer can deal a fourth card if the hand value is 3 or 4. This game is available only in certain casinos.
Traditional and mini baccarat are present in most online casinos, but other variants might appear – it’s better to know of them. Good luck – you will need loads of that in Baccarat.