Introduction to Sports Betting

Sports’ betting has taken a huge leap in popularity in the last five years that has coincided with the rise of the internet. Everybody can now have a piece of the action, and there is a multi billion dollar industry that thrives thanks to the ever growing demand for sports betting.

It is safe to say that sports’ betting has been around for as long as two men have sat in a room together. A simple wager on how far someone can throw, or how high they can jump is a form of sports betting, but of course now it goes much deeper. The internet allows casual gamblers to bet as they watch the action without having to visit their bookie, while this instant nature also means that an almost infinite amount of in game markets have arisen.

You can now bet on sporting events as they happen. Who will score next in a football match, who will have the most aces in a tennis contest, and that is literally just the tip of a very large and ever growing iceberg.

Here we will take a look at the world of sports betting and give a great guide for any beginners in the market. [Read more...]

Greg Elder’s “Gamblers Fight Back” Book Review

Today is the official release date for Greg Elder’s newest book “Gamblers Fight Back: A Professional Gambler’s Journey of How to Survive and Thrive in the Casino”. Since I grabbed a pre-release copy about a month ago and already finished reading the book, I decided to write a review about it. In short, the book has a strong emphasis on professional gambling, but the book is filled with information that could be used by anyone to become a better gambler.

He starts his book describing why he started seeking for more excitement in his life and how he ended up in Las Vegas. I found this part quite inspirational, not many of us would consider a career in professional gambling while unemployed. That’s exactly what Greg did and he became successful.

After the intro he explains various techniques used by casinos to get you to spend more money at their venues than you would be comfortable with. Some of the things he reveals are not even known by most casino employees, let alone regular gamblers (I should know, I’ve been a dealer myself). I have always been wondering why the casinos are laid out the way they are, now I know why. This revelation would fall short if there weren’t any follow-up tips on how to not end up in one of the casino’s traps. The tips Greg gives can and should be employed by anyone, regular and professional gamblers alike.

Now’s the time to get to the core, Greg starts by describing all the characteristics of a winning gambler. Not having these, one should seriously rethink his career in professional gambling, or be tremendously talented like Stu Ungar, what a fascinating person he was.

Greg then goes on to explain different ways to make money as a professional gambler. Topics range from money management to how to interact with casino employees, as well as common pitfalls to avoid. As disciplined Greg is, he has fallen fallen for one himself.

He dedicates a big part of the rest of his book to video poker, blackjack and sports betting. All of these sections contain tips on how to turn the odds against the casino. The reason he picked these 3 forms of gambling is that these games have pretty good odds to begin with and with various techniques he explains in his book, it is not that hard to exceed the desired 100%+ payout (100% is the line between loosing and a winning gambler). Of course it is possible to reach that goal with other games as well, but the winning margin would be lower than with these 3 types of gambling activities. After all a professional gambler is in a casino in order to earn money, not to seek entertainment by trying out different types of games.

One of the notable things I found out by reading his book is that one does not have to be a math savvy to become a card counter in blackjack. All you need is dedication and a lot of practice. Similarly you need to learn and practice all the right moves in video poker. He doesn’t go much into details regarding the most optimal strategy of blackjack or video poker, but he does point to the right direction where anyone could learn these.

Finally he writes what he thinks the future will hold for professional gamblers and ends the book with the conclusion of his own experience as one.

In conclusion the book is perfect for those who consider a career as a professional gambler in the US, especially in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Though most of the information in the book is universal and can be employed by almost anyone, you may still find some things not working out for you as described in the book should you lack discipline or if you are ‘working’ with non-American casinos.

The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the simplest casino games, and is also the most popular of the entire casino banking games. Blackjack is also known as Twenty-one, and has been around for hundreds of years and has since become a staple of casino gambling and has also found a strong audience in the growing trend of online casinos.

The objective of Blackjack is very simple, with the clear goal being to accumulate cards that amount to or very close to 21 without going over that number. Reaching twenty one can be accomplished in a number of ways, with picture of face cards worth 10, Aces worth 1 or 11 (depending on which is needed more) and all other cards correspond to their own numbers.

If a player receives a 10 and an Ace then this is deemed Blackjack and is an automatic win unless there is a tie.

The Game
When you sit down at the Blackjack table you could be playing with up to five other players (making 6 including you). The dealer will be using either eight or six decks of cards all shuffled together, which are then placed in what is called a Shoe.

To win a game of Blackjack you need to reach the number of 21 without going over, this is called busting. The winner of a game is determined by which player gets the closest to 21 with out busting, although getting precisely 21 is perfectly fine.

In Blackjack you bet before receiving any cards. So unlike poker you cannot see your first two cards and make an educated decision, instead you must play the cards and bet before you are dealt in. After the wagers are taken the dealer will give each player two cards which will be dealt face down.

After these two cards are revealed each player can decide to stay (or stick) or can take more cards. A player may decide to stay if they feel they already hold a good enough hand to win, or if the risk is too high of busting if they take more cards. Those who take will likely do so because they do not have a high enough total to win, or want to risk improving an already promising hand.

After each player has decided the dealer will turn up the down card and the rule states that if the dealer has 16 or under then they must draw, but if they have 17 or over they must stick.

If you achieve a Blackjack (21 with a face card and an Ace) then you will win the hand automatically unless the dealer also makes Blackjack. In this event the hand ends as a tie.

The game of Blackjack is easy to play and lots of fun to play. Now you have the basics join us in part 2 to see some of the other bets available in Blackjack.

Surrender
A surrender is where you “surrender” your hand and only lose half of your bet.

Early Surrender
An early surrender is where you give up your cards before the dealer checks for Blackjack.

Double Down
A double down is where you are allowed to double the amount of your bet after you have seen your two card hand. A rule of a double down bet is that you must take another card to add to the two you hold, but you may only take one more.

Insurance
If the dealer is shown an Ace on his facing card then you may wager up to half the initial bet that he will then get Blackjack. If the dealer then receives a 10 and makes Blackjack you will win the bet at odds of 2-1, however if he reveals a card of any other numeration then you will lose.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack
Perfect Pairs Blackjack is a side bet that is available on a standard Blackjack gaming surface, and all wagers are decided at the end of the initial hand.

You must be playing in the regular Blackjack game to take part in Perfect Pairs and all bets must be completed prior to the cards being dealt. The concept of Perfect Pairs is simple, you just bet on the outcome of your two hand deal being a pair. For example if you are dealt a pair of 2’s or any other matching pair then you will win, but if there is no pair in the hand then you will lose.

There are three variants of a Perfect Pair bet:

Mixed Pair
A mixed pair is a pair that consists of one black suited card and one red suited card, for example a 6 of Diamonds and a 9 of Spades.

Colored Pair
A pair that is made up of two cards of the same color but of different suits; for example 7 of Hearts and a 5 of Diamonds.

Perfect Pair
This is the Perfect Pair bet that carries the most risk but also the most reward. A perfect pair is exactly that, for example two identical cards such as a King of Spades and a King of Spades (Remember that Blackjack is played with multiple decks of cards).

That concludes our beginners look at Blackjack. This basic guide will give you the stepping stones you need to enjoy this much loved game and experience the thrill of beating the dealer in the race to 21.

How to Play Online Craps

Craps is one the classic games of luck, where players bet on the outcome of a roll of the dice. It has become a casino favorite as the intensity and pot luck nature draw players to the game. It is a great game for those looking for casual gambling fun but is also suitable for high rollers, but be warned the luck is in the dice.

Being such a popular land based casino standard meant it was inevitable that Craps would make the transition to the casinos internet based cousins. The game is now found one almost all online casinos and gaming sites and if anything the popularity of this exciting game has grown.

Here we will look at how the game of Craps is played and how you can enjoy it as an online experience.

The Basics
Of course looking at a computer screen will mean there is no table in front of you, but the display is the same as it would be if you were at a land based venue. The Craps table is a specially designed gaming surface that has all the possible betting scenarios mapped out on it. The table is home to two dice and there can be as may as 16 players at any one time.

Any player who is currently betting and rolling the dice is called the shooter, and once one round of Craps is played the dice are passed to the next player. The dice move clockwise around the table and it is common practice for the shooter to be presented with five dice, from which he or she will choose two to play with.

The shooter makes a bet and does so either on “Pass” or “Don’t Pass” which are represented by boxes on the table. A round of Craps as two phases called “come out” and “point,” the shooter will begin the round with some come out rolls, and Craps is landed if they roll a 2, 3, or 12, and this will be a losing roll. If 7 or 11 are rolled then this is a win for “pass” bets and is called a natural.

The remaining possible rolls are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 and a landed throw on these numbers will initiate the point, and that number must then be rolled again, although a 7 will result in a loss. For example if a 5 is rolled the player will then need to aim to throw another 5 while avoiding landing 7.

The Game
Before any Craps round begins the players make their initial bets, and it is at this time of the game that the pass and don’t pass lines are bet on.

The shooter will now be able to begin the game by rolling the two dice in his possession, and this first roll is known as the “come out”. If a wager made is to come out as a winner at this stage the dice will need to land on 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12, and if this is the case the round is over.

If the dice land on the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 then the rolled number will then become the point number for subsequent rolls in the round.

This is known as the point and the player will now need to land the roll to win the game. For example if the dice roll to a 5 then to win the game a player will need to roll the 5 again, and avoid a 7 which is a loss for any point number bet on the pass line, and a win for those on the don’t pass line.

The Pass Line
The pass line bet is the most popular in Craps and is played by placing your bet in the pass line section of the gaming surface. Winning or losing this bet will now depend on the outcome of the dice roll.

  • If what is called a natural is rolled then a pass line bet will be victorious. A natural is a roll of 7 or 11.
  • A player will lose a pass line bet if the numbers 2, 3 or 12 are rolled, these numbers are also known as Craps.
  • If a number of between 4 and 10 comes out on the dice roll then this then becomes the point for further rolls.
  • If the point is rolled before a losing 7 then the pass line bet wins.

The Don’t Pass Line
If you wish to predict that the shooter will lose then the don’t pass line is the place to bet on the Craps table.

  • A roll of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 will set the point for further rolls
  • If a 7 or 11 is landed by the roll of the dice then this will result in a loss for the don’t pass bet.
  • A don’t pass win is claimed if a 2 or a 3 are rolled by the shooter.
  • If the dice land on a 12 then the don’t pass wager maker will have their money refunded.

Someone Just Won Nearly 18 Million Euros with Mega Fortune Slot

I just published this breaking news at my slot blog how a Finnish man has just won almost €18 million at PAF online casino with Mega Fortune slot machine. I have been able to confirm the story is true by sending an e-mail to PAF and they replied with this press release:

New world record! Player wins nearly 18 million euros in online
slots game

A new world record for online slots winnings was set on Sunday, 20 January, when a middle-aged Finnish player won 17.8 million euros while playing on Paf.com, the site of an Åland-based gaming company.

The former world record in online slots winnings can be found in the Guinness Book of World Records, and was a little over 11.7 million euros. In other words, the old record has now been surpassed by a staggering six million euros in one blow.

This win is completely off the charts for these kinds of games. The whole gaming world has been holding its breath during this fall and winter, while the jackpot has just kept on growing. Since this jackpot was pooled, which means that it is shared by several gaming companies, we are naturally very happy about the fact that the jackpot was again won by one of our customers. Paf players seem to have an incredibly good flow at the moment, says Anders Sims, Head of Press and PR at Paf.

Many big winners

During the last year, several big jackpots have been won at Paf.com. In 2012, one player cashed out a jackpot worth 6.9 million euros, and another took home 8.6 million euros.

This win is the crowning glory of online slots game jackpots, and the prize sum of 17.8 million euros will be paid out tax-free into the player’s account, Anders Sims says.

Keeping in contact with the winners

Every time a Paf customer wins a large amount of money, the gaming company does its best to support the player in their new life situation.

Since we want the prize money to be a source of joy for the winner, we strongly recommend that winners seek economic counseling and that they remain anonymous. We also recommend that big winners take a break from playing, says Paf CEO Anders Ingves.

We want our customers to feel that they really are among friends with us, and to this end we are personally in contact with big winners as long as we are needed, says Robert Söderdahl, Paf’s Country Manager in Finland.

Second world record for gaming systems supplier

NetEntertainment, a gaming systems supplier for Paf and several other companies, are also happy about the new world record.

This is our second world record jackpot in online gaming. The large liquidity within the slots with progressive jackpots enables the rapid growth of these jackpots, which is great news for the operators. We want to congratulate the winner of this record jackpot and hope to turn many more players into millionaires in the future, says Per Eriksson, CEO at NetEntertainment.

Facts about the new world record

  • Prize sum: 17,860,368 euros
  • Time: Sunday 20 January 2013
  • Place: Paf.com
  • Slots game: Mega Fortune
  • Game provider: NetEntertainment
  • Winner: Middle-aged man from Helsinki, Finland

Paf will interview the winner and distribute the interview to the media later today.

So now the current standing for 3 biggest progressive slot machine wins is as follows:

  1. €17,860,368 with Mega Fortune at PAF
  2. €11.7 million with Mega Fortune at Betsson
  3. €8.65 million with Arabian Nights at PAF

Free Gambling Book Giveaway

I know I haven’t paid much attention to this blog for the past year, but that’s because I have been busy building and improving a slot blog I own. I announced a free gambling book giveaway at 777click.com about a week ago and figured since this is a gambling blog, you might be interested.

It’s a new book called “Gamblers Fight Back” written by a friend of mine Greg Elder. I’ll be giving away 1 pre-release copy of the book for an author of a blog comment at 777click, the second pre-release copy will go to a newsletter subscriber.

The idea of the book is to give gamblers the tools they need to counter all the dirty tactics many casinos employ to get you to spend more money at their venues than you might be comfortable with. In some cases you can even come out on top by using techniques commonly practiced by professional gamblers. Who else has the authority to speak about these matters than a professional gambler Greg Elder himself who went to Vegas with the sole purpose of becoming a professional gambler and support his family by gambling for a year. You’ll know more about his adventures as well as techniques he has picked up by reading his book. He also runs a professional gambling blog, so you might want to take a look at that instead, if reading a full book is too much for you. I do hope I can get Greg to write for WGB as well.

Synopsis of “Gamblers Fight Back”

After reading a book about a guy who gave up everything, moved to Las Vegas to become a professional gambler with only $6,000 to his name, and went on to become a millionaire, Greg Elder’s mission was set. For the next year, he decided to support his wife and daughter as a professional gambler. He wasn’t exactly sure HOW he was going to do this, but he couldn’t wait to get started.

The odds moved slowly in Greg’s favor as he discovered the method to making professional gambling a career. Over the course of 12 months, he became an expert on the world of casinos. He investigated everything from the most beneficial tactics to the psychological warfare that is used to deter unsuspecting gamblers. In the midst of this, he discovered a new purpose for himself, one that allowed him to do what he loved without losing himself along the way.

Be prepared to have your eyes opened and your perspectives broadened as you follow Greg’s journey through the busts, folds, and jackpots of being a professional gambler.

This book will show you the methods used to defeat the casinos. You will learn the step-by-step practical techniques Greg used to put the odds in his favor over the casino. Also, you will be exposed to all the tactics used by the casino industry to get people to spend more money than they intend. Decide for yourself if these methods are simply good business practices to maximize profits, or dirty attempts to manipulate people into uncontrollable emotional choices.

The book will be officially released at Amazon on March 12. 2013 but if you want to get a pre-release copy now for free, check out the giveaway details at 777click.com. The competition is really weak because I have failed to spread the word around properly so you have a really good chance of winning the book. For example if you were to make 2 comments or subscribe to a newsletter, you would have 50% chance of winning the book, do both and you will have 50% chance of walking away with 2 books and 75% chance of winning 1 book.

Roulette School, a Beginners Guide

In this article we will be looking at the game of roulette and explaining how the game works and how it is one of the best casual gambling experiences.

The first thing that any roulette player needs to know whether you are a beginner or an expert is that the game is pure chance. There are no strategic ways in which you can increase the probability of victory, and if you come across any that claim it then ignore them.

The great thing about roulette is that it is possibly the simplest of all the casino games to learn, and in fact can be picked up in a matter of seconds. It is basically a game of choice and selection, and even kids can be familiar with the concept as it is similar to a toss of a coin in that the outcome is predetermined to be one of a set amount of options.

In the case of roulette you play against the house and bet on the outcome of colors on a spinning wheel. The wheel is made up of 37 or 38 numbers, and each number is indented into the wheel, with the numbers 1 to 36, zero and sometimes double zero represented. Odd numbers in the wheel are black while even numbers are the color red (Hence the famous red or black choice) and any zero section is green.

You will essentially be playing against a casino representative who may be known as the dealer, croupier, or banker, and it is he or she who will be spinning the wheel and handling any monetary transactions. After bets are placed the dealer will spin the wheel and then spin a white ball in the opposite direction to the already spinning wheel. Where the ball places itself at the end of the wheels revolutions will determine the winner of the game. The aim is to predict where the ball will end if you are to claim a victory.

There could be as many as 6 to 8 fellow players, which is the limit a roulette table accommodates, and each will place their predictions before the wheel is spun. Remember that it means little how many people are involved because it will not increase or decrease the chance of winning, roulette is decided purely by chance. If the ball lands on red 10 times consecutively, there is no guarantee that the next time it will land on black, it will again be a 50/50 chance. This makes roulette one of the few casino games that cannot hold a guaranteed win percentage, meaning that in theory during an hour of roulette there could be payouts on every spin, or conversely there could be no money won in that hour.

As the players align, they will each have a different color chip to bet with, this is done simply to keep track of which player has bet on which outcome. Being assigned a colored chip is mostly for those who intend to play for a while, but if you are just mulling around the casino and fancy placing a bet quickly it is perfectly fine form to put down cash or a regular house chip.

There are a fair amount of different bets available in roulette but for an absolute beginner you just need to know that these constitute either an inside bet or an outside bet.

At the start of each game there is a minimum bet posted, so if you are to participate you will need to at least match this low bet before proceeding. Next all the players will place their bets. The croupier/dealer does not do this and the player is allowed to place the wager on their own by simply putting their chips or cash into the center of the betting square or circle of their choice. There is a betting table that houses all of the numbers and betting options, and this counts as the gaming surface.

The dealer will now spin the wheel and then shortly after will “drop the ball”. This stage signifies the end of betting, any changes in bets can be made at anytime prior to the ball drop, however once the dealer has placed the ball all bets are closed. The dealer will signal this by waving his or her hand across the table and declaring “no more bets”, if you attempt to change anything now your placed bet will be immediately deemed as void.

When the wheel stops spinning and the ball comes to a rest on a specific number and color, the dealer will place a plastic marker on the gaming table where the winning number is represented. Next any losing bets will be collected by the dealer, and any player winnings will be issued. Beware not to retrieve your own winnings until the plastic marker has been removed, there is etiquette in roulette and it is one of the more leisurely gambling games. If you were lucky enough to win then claim your winnings at the appropriate time and decide to either chance your luck again or walk away with what you have won.

Now we will look at the specific bets that can be placed and the chance of winning off of each separate bet. There are two forms of roulette betting, and they are called inside and outside betting, and are named because of their relation to numbers on the table. Here we will look at inside betting, which is not the most commonly used betting system, but is the most famous when thinking of roulette.

Inside Bets
A roulette table is set up as a place to bet on the outcome of the spinning wheel. Each number of the wheel is represented on the table with the numbers 1 to 36 displayed in three vertical columns and twelve horizontal rows. Each row contains three numbers, so row one would consist of 1-2-3, and row two of 4-5-6, and so it continues over the twelve rows. There is also a green section which represents the zero. This whole part of the table is called the inside betting area.

There are various number bets which increase in both potential winnings and probability of success.

A six number bet is where you choose six numbers from two adjacent rows in sequence, for example 4-5-6-7-8-9. This is also called a line bet with odds of success at 5 to 1.

There is also a five number bet when you can choose numbers in combination with a zero, and this carries odds of 6 to 1.

A four number bet is where you choose a group of four intersecting numbers, for example 5-6-8-9. This is also known as a corner bet with odds of success at 8 to 1.

A three number bet is when you select three numbers on a row, for example 4-5-6. This is also known as a street bet and the odds of success are 11 to 1.

A two number bet is when you choose two numbers from a row, for example 1-2 or 4-5. This is more commonly known as a split bet, and the odds of success are at 17 to 1.

A single bet is where you place the chip on any possible number in the inside betting area. This is the largest potential win in roulette but also the one with the lowest odds, with a 35 to 1 probability of success.

Inside betting carries greater risk as you are lowering your chances of success significantly in the hope of getting a big win. For the casual roulette player inside betting can be the most fun if you are not too interested on the outcome, but for the serious player these bets carry a risk. Although sometimes the reward can be landing that high risk bet and winning big.

Outside Bets
As a beginner in roulette you will want to feel the exhilaration of victory, and although the rewards from inside betting can be higher, more often or not you will find yourself disappointed and out of pocket. With outside betting you will be increasing your chances of winning a game and also tasting the delight of the victory.

Outside bets are also easier to make than inside bets, and are a good way to do a spread bet and increase the probability of success. The outside betting area runs along the outside (hence the name) of the inside betting area, along the left flank and underneath.

There is one outside betting column for each group of four inside betting columns consisting of three numbers. So if you look at the four inside betting columns that house 1-2-3, 4-5-6, 7-8-9, 10-11-12 below it there will be one outside betting section that encompasses the twelve numbers. A bet in one of these outside betting sections means that you are gambling on any one of the 12 numbers landing, with odds at 2 to 1.

The remaining outside bets sit to the left of the inside betting area, and this is where the dozens bets lie. This is similar to the above outside bet option, but here the numbers table is split into three sections of 12, and you place a bet in one of these sections. If any one of the 12 numbers in your section lands then you win the game, with a payout of 2 to 1.

The remaining outside bets are classic choice games, and one is the famous red or black bet, where you make a choice between red and black. If you bet red and the ball lands on a red of any number then you will win the game, but if it lands on any black then you lose.

Even or odd is similar to red or black in that you make the choice between the ball landing on either an even number or an odd number.

Yet furthering the split chance scenarios on the roulette table is the high or low number option. A low number would be any number from 1 to 18, where as a high number would be any number from 18 to 36. If the ball lands on zero you lose.

These may seem like 50/50 games but in reality they are not because of the chance the ball will land on the zero. However, these split choice bets still offer a great chance for you to win the game.

Summary
That concludes our roulette school, and we hope that you can now enter the world of roulette with confidence. Just remember it is all chance and nothing you can do will change the outcome, so just enjoy the experience of playing this casino classic.

The Art of Poker: A Beginners Guide

Welcome to this online guide for the game Of Texas Hold’em. This guide will give you a complete beginner’s crash course, and equip you with the skills to start your poker playing confidently. Poker is as much about instinct as it is tactical nous, and although our guide cannot promise you victories it can give you the best platform to only need to find your instinct.

Poker has become a global game, and in recent years has become popularized beyond the gambling fraternity. It is now enjoyed both professionally or simply as a past time by millions of people worldwide, and each day more and more are being attracted to this fun and tactical pursuit.

As Poker has become more popular, it has spread itself into the mainstream and away from a shadowy image. You can now see poker played by friends enjoying an evening together; while there are still those who play to win, and win big. Even in this aspect the game has been revolutionized as it is now seen on mainstream sports channels who air coverage of big stake tournaments. The advent of online poker has meant that people can now play from the comfort of their own home, and can take part in both huge stakes and low stakes matches.

With Poker now at the forefront of the gaming industry it will come as no surprise to learn that more and more casual punters are seeking the game out. If you are new to poker and still have some doubts about the game, or are unsure of the rules, then read our in depth beginners guide and release your inner poker star.

Dealer
If you are playing in a full tournament then the dealer will not be a participant and will merely be the one who deals the cards and officiates the game. If you are in a casual game, the dealer may be assigned to one person or it may rotate through the group after each played hand. If you are a total beginner you just need to know that the dealer is simply the one who gives you the cards.

Blinds
The blind is a forced bet that is issued to the players directly to the left of the dealer. A blind can be issued to anywhere between 0 and 3 of the players to the left. Without bogging a new player down with the technicalities of the blind in its basic sense it is there to stop players continually folding out of hands without losing money.

Now you are ready for your first game, but do not worry this guide will be here to help you every step of the way.

WINNING HANDS
Firstly it is very important to know which cards you may receive can win you a hand, and at what point those hands can become relevant. Many newcomers fail to learn all the possibilities and can often squander a great hand by not knowing they are even holding it. That is why the winning hands are at the top of our guide starting, from lowest to highest.

High Card
If no player holds a better hand then the game is determined by who is holding the highest single card in their hand. For example if player 1 had a King, player 2 had a Queen, and player 3 had a Jack, then player 1 with his or her king would take the hand.

Pair
Two cards of the same value, for example two 10′s would be a pair. This is a risky hand because a high pair will often be tempting, but as it is still a low winning hand a play is fraught with danger. If another holder also has a pair then the player with the highest pair will win.

Two Pair
Two pairs of any value, for example two 10′s and two 5′s. Again in the event of a tie the single highest pair will determine the winner of the hand.

Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same number, example three 4′s. This is a good hand and often is enough to encourage a good bet, but be wary because even though the odds are getting slimmer there could be another player with a better hand. Look out for those bluffs!

Straight
Quite simply a running sequence of cards, for example, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; although it is not required that they are of the same suit (Club, Hearts, Spades, Diamonds). Again the highest straight wins in the event of two players holding.

Flush
A flush is five cards from the same suit, but they do not have to be in sequence, so any selection of a single suit means a flush. If two or more players are holding a flush, then the highest single card will choose the winner.

Full House
A full house is a three of a kind and a pair combined. This is a great hand to have, and bets can be confidently played from it, and in the event of a tie the highest three of a kind wins the hand.

Four of a Kind
Four cards of any value, for example four 7′s.

Straight Flush
This is a straight and a flush combined, so any cards in sequence and of the same suit. For example 4, 5, 6, 7, and the 8 of Hearts.

Royal Flush
The Royal Flush is the holy grail of poker, and it is essentially a straight flush that encompasses the five highest value cards (10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace).
That completes our look at all of the winning hands in Texas Hold’em, and also part 2 of our guide. Be sure to check out part 3 where we will look at the rounds of the game.

ROUNDS OF BETTING

Round 1 – pre-flop
The pre-flop is where each player is dealt 2 cards called pocket cards (or hole cards) in a clockwise order, beginning the game and the first hand.
As you look at your cards the options available to you in round one are to Bet, Call, Raise, and Fold (to fold is to leave that round and hand). Firstly you will have to evaluate the two card hand you are holding and then decide upon your course of action dependent on the quality of those cards. Each player will have to meet the blind and bet the same amount, but if one chooses to raise the bet the other can either fold, re-raise the bet, or Call.

Round 2- The Flop
After every player has finished the pre-flop, and has placed bets based on the cards they are holding they will be given the three community cards. These three cards are called the Flop and will give you an idea if you will be able to build a winning hand like the ones listed in part 2 of this guide. Each player can use these three cards to determine if they will stay in the game, and the cards will remain in the middle of the game surface.

The same rules of betting take place this time except that the Bet is replaced by the Check. The check is when a player does not wish to fold, but is unwilling to open the round of betting.

Round 3 – The Turn
In round 3 of the game a fourth card is added to the three already in the community at the center of the table, and this fourth card is called the turn. Now you will have six cards (2 in your hand, 4 on the table) in which to try to make the best possible winning hand. Again you can fold if the cards are not to your liking, or conversely if they are you can again Check, Raise, or Call.

Round4 – The River
After the third round of betting is finished there is a fifth card added to the four community cards, and this card is called the river. You are now left with seven cards to make the best possible five card hand that you can, and what you can come up with will determine who will win this hand.

Again your options are to Check, Call, Raise, or Fold. A mistake many make is to have too much pride to fold at this stage if things have not gone to plan, if you can learn to live to fight another day then you will win more in the long term.

The Showdown.
At the completion of all the rounds of betting any remaining players in the hand will be asked to show their hands of the best five card combination they have. If player one reveals his cards and it is clear that you have lost you are not obliged to show your cards, you can merely declare the loss and place your cards face down. If you wish to show them you can, but there is no need. However if you are holding the best five card hand then you can claim your winnings for that round.

Summary
That is the end of our beginners guide to poker. We hope that it will help you as you embark on your poker adventure, and refer back to it at any times in which you get a little lost. You now possess the tools to at least enjoy a game of poker and to take that first baby step on the bottom rung of the ladder. Although this guide can help, nothing can replace experience, so get out there and play some poker!

The Best Online Bingo Venues

Bingo is a much loved games that had been enjoyed in bricks and mortar venues for decades, and has also made a very successful transition to the online medium. In its traditional form bingo become known as a game for a certain demographic of the public, namely the older generations.

However, thanks to online bingo the game has expanded and is now enjoyed by people of all ages, and all walks of life. Being able to get in a round of number dabbing from the comfort of your own home has seen the world of online bingo take off in a big way.

In this three part article you will see a list of the very best bingo websites available.

Bet365 Bingo
Bet365 have a reputation that is revered throughout the gambling fraternity, and they are one of the biggest gaming operators in Europe. The company gained notoriety for its extensive sportsbook and award winning casino, but has also enjoyed rave reviews for this excellent bingo experience.

The site opened its doors in 2008 and has since gained a reputation for having a staggering amount of games and also for jackpots that are befitting one of the industry’s big hitters.

X Bingo
X Bingo comes with the backing of the Mandalay stable of gaming venues and as such can deliver on great progressive jackpots while also offering the very best in safety and security measures. X Bingo is one of the best looking bingo websites but there is much substance behind the gloss, and despite its young age it has quickly established itself as one of the best online bingo options.

With the reputation of its parent company to uphold the pressure was always on X Bingo, but luckily it has lived up to its billing and sits comfortably beside its more illustrious contemporaries.

Caesars Bingo
This brand new bingo offering may be in its infancy, but with the massive name that is carries it is little wonder that it has began its life in such grand fashion. There was much hype when Caesars launched in the summer of 2011, after all this was an online bingo venue from the same people who run and operate the world famous Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

You will feel that you are in the gambling Mecca of the U.S when you play your bingo on Caesars. It oozes that Vegas feel and is a really classy place to be, while coming from a complete gaming legend means that you will be treated to some market leading jackpots, bonuses, and offers.

Foxy Bingo
If you are from the UK then you will be hard pressed to find a more recognizable bingo brand than Foxy Bingo. That is because the company have certainly been assertive in their marketing strategies, and are the sponsors of familiar TV shows as well as operating their own radio station.

Luckily Foxy Bingo has much to shout about as it has become one of the biggest online bingo venues. A mix of top games and a great and vibrant community keep the players flocking back to Foxy, while the jackpots can reach very high sums meaning that all types of bingo players are catered for.

Ladbrokes
If you are looking to play your bingo under the umbrella of one of the biggest names in European gambling, then Ladbrokes will surely be at the top of your list. The company are the biggest UK land based betting operation with every town and city in the UK housing at least one Ladbrokes venue.

Although the company are best known for their sportsbook, they have taken to the online bingo world with aplomb. Ladbrokes have also used decades in the industry to deliver a great all round bingo destination that despite its formal looks scores high for its great cash incentives and breadth of gaming choice.

Sing Bingo
Sing Bingo brings something new to the online bingo party, and offers players a totally unique environment and concept in which to do their number dabbing. As the name suggests, Sing Bingo is created around the theme of music with its gaming rooms carrying musical names and prizes taking the form of music memorabilia (although of course cash jackpots are available).

Sing Bingo has put itself firmly in the fun bracket of bingo websites, but there is some serious gaming action to be had, and some great jackpots to be claimed.

Sun Bingo
Newspaper giant The Sun has noticed the growing trend in online bingo and its popularity, and opened their own website in 2006. Coming from the world of tabloid journalism may not be the credentials needed for a top bingo experience, but Sun Bingo delivers what could arguably be claimed as the best online bingo experience.

With the backing of the UK’s biggest selling daily newspaper it seems that Sun Bingo had the means to deliver all the things that avid bingo players want. High jackpots, great gaming choice, fun promotions, and lucrative bonuses are all in evidence on Sun Bingo, while its look is a refreshing break from the traditional online bingo website design.

32red Bingo
32red are one of the biggest operators in the online gambling sector and they have become one of the best in what they do. Being able to count numerous awards from their various ventures, it is little wonder the 32red Bingo is a great bingo venue. It is also one of the oldest, opening its doors in 2001. Years of experience have allowed 32red to hone their craft, and what the player is left with is a bingo site that ticks every box.

As one of the biggest gaming brands you can expect to see some of the very highest progressive jackpots around, while the customer service and security is award winning and admired throughout the gambling fraternity.

32red Bingo concludes this look at the best online bingo venues. This list is in no way exhaustive and you will find dozens of other online bingo destinations that are fantastic gaming experiences. Always be prepared to look for a venue that suits your specific needs and carries some great offers.

These listed venues merely offer an all round package that cannot be surpassed elsewhere.

Are Free Bingo Bonuses Really Free?

As we have covered previously on Gambler’s Joy, there are always new Bingo sites making splash but how do you discover the best sites out there for you. Luckily, we have some valuable tips for our bingo players that might be of value.

[Read more...]