The popularity of online casinos is something that has been brought to light by many organisations, including BBC’s panorama. Whilst gambling was once reserved to bingo halls and physical casinos, the option to play online means you have the chance to win money from the comfort of your own home. Some may see this as a bad thing, however, if played responsibly, online gambling is no different to any other hobby. But what top tips should you follow to ensure you play responsibly?
Know What You Can Afford To Lose
Our first top tip for all online gamblers is to decide how much you are willing to lose before you start. This applies to all forms of gambling and is not just appropriate for online games. Only having the amount you’re willing to lose before placing bets will prevent you from losing control and ending up in financial trouble.
Remember that there is a risk with all games which you place bets on, and it is this risk which is half the fun. Make sure you can afford to play and if you’re worried about your finances then play free games instead. You can always use these to get used to the rules and online system before putting your money on the line.
Know When To Quit
Carrying on from the point above, it is also important to know when to quit. You may decide to quit when your earnings are up by 15% or once you have invested a set amount of money into the kitty. This can prevent you from continuing to gamble, which could eventually end in you losing money. The same applies for when you are losing in gambling. Don’t bother chasing your losses, because the odds are against you, and will rarely turn out the way you want it to. Instead, follow the old proverb and “quit while you are ahead”.
Take Regular Breaks
The Ancient Greeks taught us that all things need to be taken in moderation, and this certainly applies to gambling. Take some time out from playing casino games online to get the most out of their services. This way you’ll be able to approach new games with a fresh perspective and use the online casino as it is intended.
Try New Games
Another great tip is to vary what games you play when visiting online casinos. For many people, playing familiar games is the safest option but you could be missing out on plenty of enjoyment by limiting your options in this way. Most online casinos have diversified to offer a range of exciting games so that there is something for everyone. From virtual bingo to poker, roulette and even digital slot machines, online casinos are now kitted out to cater to all needs.
Most casinos will offer free-to-play trial versions of their games, so those new to them can learn the basics as quickly as possible. Always look at these before trying something new so you can understand the game and get to grips with some winning techniques.
Working the lobby is as important as working the game you play. In casino poker you can walk around the room, briefly look at all the games and limits being played, and study what type of game each one is. Similarly, the online lobby offers a wealth of information just by clicking buttons: average pot size, number of players seeing the flop, how many hands played per hour, names of the players in each game, who is on the waiting list, and how many games of a particular limit are underway. (There is also another critical use of the lobby, but we will get to that below.)
Each bit of information is something we can use to choose the right game and limit. Some folks like wild games. Some prefer more passive ones. Some like full games; some prefer short-handed. Players who are nearly equally competent in all games can choose between dozens of games at the limit of their choice. Game and table selection is a critical part of casino poker. Fundamentally, it is even more important online. At first glance it might seem that table selection is less important online because it is extremely easy to move from one game to another. That really is just an argument for why table selection is even more important online. As players come and go, a bad game can turn into a good one (and vice versa) very quickly. It is not uncommon for average pot sizes to vary wildly among games of the same limit. You should be constantly monitoring the lobby, looking for the best games, and you should be prepared to make table changes when appropriate. Be vigilant in looking for the best games, and you will be handsomely rewarded.
When signing up for games that are full and have a waiting list, you may be presented with the option to either sign up for a specific game, or to sign up for the first available seating at a given limit. Let’s say, for example, that you decide that you want to play $15/$30 Holdem. When you click to be added to the waiting list, a box may pop up asking if you would like to be added to the waiting list for a specific table, or if you would just like the first available $15/$30 seat. It is always better to select the specific game option. Do this for each game that you think you may want to play. If the game conditions change, or if you change your mind about playing any game, you may simply pass on taking the seat when it becomes available. You will still remain on the list for the other games that you have selected. If you choose the “first available seat” option instead of the specific table option, it will restrict you to your detriment. This is because, if you make the “first available seat” selection, and you decide that you do not want the first available seat that is offered to you, you will be removed from the waiting list for all of the games. Simply put, signing up for tables individually will give you more flexibility and game selection options, which will allow you to make better strategic choices about the games that you will play in. Always keep your options open!
At the more popular online card rooms, you have many options to choose from, and a lot of information to use in choosing. Don’t restrict yourself. Keep several card rooms’ software on your computer to choose from. Look for the games that fit with your style. When your game texture changes from favorable to mediocre or worse, cruise the lobby for greener pastures. Stay vigilant. Knowledge is power.
Playing Two (or More) Games
One enormous difference between casino poker and online is the ability to play two (or more) games simultaneously online. Many players choose this option. And that is very, very, very good for us. No matter how good a player is, it is inevitable that when playing two games, a player’s ability will diminish a little or a lot. A player making $20 an hour playing one game is simply not going to make $40 an hour playing two games. It’s a certainty that sometimes hands will overlap, small opportunities will be missed, decisions rushed. This player may do better overall by playing two games, say making $34 an hour combined from the two games, but as opponents, they will do less well in any particular game they play in. This means, instead of facing a player who has an expectation to take $20 an hour out of our game, we face one who will only take out maybe $17. And, a player who expects to lose $30 an hour will now lose $37 an hour (or whatever) in our game.
When a player’s expectation goes form $20 an hour to $17 an hour, he is missing out on $3 an hour. Where does this money go? Quite simply, it is split up and added to the expectation of the other players in the game, based upon each individual’s playing ability. Good players can expect to receive more benefit than bad ones. Remember, expectation is a zero sum game. If one player’s expectation suddenly decreases, it is offset by increases in the expectation of his opponents (or additional rake to the cardroom).
You can anticipate that your expectation in each game will drop as you add games. This does not mean that you shouldn’t play in multiple games, on the contrary. You should play in the number of games that yields the highest combined expectation. Obviously, playing two games at a $17/hr win rate each is better than playing one game at a $20/hr win rate. In fact, most players do multi-table. Multi-tabling is not for everybody, however. If you notice that your expectation dropping sharply as you add games, or if you find managing multiple confusing or difficult, stick to one table at a time.
You should also understand that multi-tabling is in itself a skill. Many players can handle three or four games at a time. A few high volume players report that they can handle fifteen games at a time or more. But they didn’t start out playing fifteen games at once. They worked their way up to it, adding an additional game to the mix as their efficiency improved. In other words, they practiced multi-tabling and got better at it. If you want to start multi-tabling, add additional tables slowly and one at a time, to be sure that you can handle it. Remember, if you overload, not only will your expectation drop, but your action will slow way down and you will upset the other players in the game.
It is easy to see if your opponents are multi-tabling. You can see the names of all the players in each game in the lobby. Also, many sites have a “find user” search box. If you type in a name, it will display all of the games that the player is in. Simply knowing that your opponent is multi-tabling can provide you with an advantage. The first thing that you should know about multi-tablers is that they don’t handle nuance well. They often miss small details which may impact the correct play of the hand. They also don’t have time to think deeply about their actions and so they are prone to quick, rushed decisions. This is very useful knowledge to have and applies to many situations. I will discuss a few here.
One common mistake for a multi-tabler to make is to stall before making a continuation bet, or to miss it all together. They do this because they momentarily lose track of the action in that specific room. If they suddenly hesitate or check in a spot where you would expect a continuation bet, it often indicates weakness, and quite often a bet or a raise will take the pot. Be aware that this is a specific situation where hesitation indicates weakness. In general, a long pause or hesitation is often an attempt to feign weakness, by a player with a strong hand. In this case you would not want to attempt a bluff.
Generally, it is easier to bluff players who multi-table. This is because they are often involved in multiple hands at the same time, and they tend to give priority to their higher value hands. If they have a marginal hand, they will often let it go without much thought. They simply don’t have the time to analyze a bet as a bluff and consider the merits of re-bluffing.
Most players who multi-table know that they are giving up some of their edge, and they will try to compensate for this by tightening their preflop hand selection. This means that players who multi-table tend to play slightly fewer hands preflop than those who don’t. They also tend to defend their blinds less. This doesn’t mean that players who multi-table are weak-tight. Multi-tablers tend to have more online experience than average, and they certainly recognize the value of bluffing or betting into a checked pot.
So we know that multi-tablers tend to be experienced online players, who are susceptible to missing bets and being bluffed. They tend to give high priority to their good hands, acting quickly, and low priority to their marginal hands, acting more slowly. Our play should reflect what we know. We should be more inclined to value bet or bluff against a multi-tabling opponent. We should attempt to steal their blinds more frequently. We should look for and evaluate hesitation tells in this context. We can even use the “find a player” search box to look for players playing more games than they can handle effectively.
Finally, if you are a losing player, here is the number one lesson for you: play only one game at a time. You will lose less money.
Monitor Stack Sizes
Keep an eye on the precise size of the short stacks. If you are paying attention, you will be able to tell when they are likely to go all in and how this will be likely to impact future betting. This is especially important for no-limit and tournament play. Most online card rooms use the half bet rule. This means that if a player goes all in for at least 50% of the amount required to raise, it reopens the betting for the initial bettor. Consider the following situation. You are playing $2/$4 blind No-Limit Holdem. The player in first position bets out $10 and the player in second position goes all-in for $15. Under the “half bet rule,” The $15 all-in wager is considered a raise, because it is at least 50% ($10 bet + $5 raise) of the amount required ($10 bet + $10 raise) for a true raise. This reopens the betting for the initial bettor, who will now have the option to reraise any amount of $10 or more. Since he bet initially, there is a good chance he also wants to reraise. You need to consider this before you even call the $15 all-in wager. Incidentally, if the all-in player only had $14 ($10 bet + $4 all-in wager), the all-in wager would not be considered a raise, and the betting would not be reopened for the initial bettor. So, in this situation, calling a $14 all-in wager is a lot safer than calling a $15 all-in wager, because you do not run the risk of being reraised by the initial bettor.
Being aware of this rule can keep you out of trouble, but it can also be used to your advantage. Consider the following. You are in first position on a $2/$4 blind No-Limit Holdem game, where you have flopped middle set. You are confident that you have the best hand, and would like to make a large bet but are worried that you will not be called. The short stack to your left has $15 and is looking for a good spot to go all in. The correct play here is to bet $10 (or less) hoping that the short stack will go all in and reopen the betting for you. Keep in mind that not all card rooms use the half bet rule as it is laid out here. Some use a slight variation, and some card rooms require a 100% raise in order to reopen the betting. Some cardrooms have different rules for limit play and no-limit play, so don’t make any assumptions and check the rulebook where you play.
Like in casino poker, bigger stacks tend to get bigger respect, especially from new players. So always keeping a decent amount of chips “in front of you” is a good idea. Also, if you keep your whole bankroll in front of you at some cardrooms, you can’t buy-in to second game without cashing out of the first game first.
If you are a winning player, a smooth game with prompt action is almost always in your favor. The more hands you are dealt in, the more money you will make. To help the game run quickly and smoothly, select the “muck losing/uncalled hands” box and the “automatically post blinds” box, so that your hands are released and your blinds are posted by default. If you are not sure if you want to take your next blind, simply uncheck the appropriate box. Be careful about unchecking the “muck losing/uncalled hands” box. Anytime you voluntarily show a hand that you are not required to show, you give your opponent information about the way that you play. This will absolutely be used against you. One possible reason to uncheck this box is if you want to show a bluff after your opponent has mucked. Showing a bluff can have “advertising value.” It can get you action on future hands, and can put your opponent on tilt. Even so, showing a bluff is usually not recommended. First of all, it is considered rude and unsportsmanlike. Secondly, it will hurt your chance of success on future bluffs, because your opponent may now catch you. Generally, you want to try to avoid giving your opponents “free” information, and showing a bluff certainly falls into this category.
If you are a multi-tabler, do not play so many games that you slow each one down. You need to consistently act within a few seconds. While you have a timer which allows you to think for a few moments, it would be considered very rude to use it more than once in a while. Also, if you are a winning player, slowing the game down will result in fewer hands dealt, which will have a negative effect.
Perhaps 5% of online players are very rude. Sometimes literally half the game is spent repeatedly waiting for the same self-absorbed player to act on his hand. While this obnoxious behavior might be irritating, just ignore it, or change games.
Careful When Using “In Turn” Buttons
Most online card rooms have boxes that you can check which will allow you to select your action in advance. If you use these boxes, the software will automatically make the action you’ve selected, when it becomes your turn to act. These boxes vary slightly from site to site, but may include the following: fold, check, bet, call any bet, raise any bet, fold to any bet, etc. These boxes are very helpful for players who multi-table, as they speed up the action and allow you to handle multiple games efficiently. That being said, you need to use caution when using them.
The problem with using the “In Turn” action boxes is that the other players will know that you are using them. This is because the software will instantly act on your choice when it becomes your turn to act, making it clear to the other players that you have pre-selected your action. This can be problematic in several ways, exemplified by the following situations.
Imagine that you are playing multiple games and you are using the check boxes to increase your efficiency. You are in the big blind with a bad hand, and you check the box that automatically checks your preflop option if the pot is unraised, and mucks your hand if the pot is raised. When it becomes your turn, the software will act on your hand instantly, faster than a human could act, and the other players will know which box you have checked. Why is this bad? Because of the information it gives to your opponents. If the pot is unraised, and the software instantly checks for you, your opponents will know that you have a bad hand, worthy of check-mucking, and they will likely play at you on the flop, no matter what. Your use of this box has indicated that you are weak, and your opponents will take full advantage. Furthermore, if your opponents know that you use the check-fold box regularly, they will be more inclined to try to steal your blind. Similarly, using the other boxes can also leak information to your opponents.
These boxes can be especially dangerous to use in tournament play, where players make major decisions based upon minute bits of information. The most dangerous button in tournament play is also the most commonly used: the “fold in turn” button. Consider the following situation. You are on the button at the final table of a no-limit Holdem tournament. It mucks all the way around to the player on your right, who wants to steal the blinds, and must decide on how much to raise in order to do so. Under normal circumstances, this player must fully consider the fact that you may call behind him if he does not raise enough. If you use the fold in turn button regularly, your opponent can discount the likelihood that the size of his bet will have any impact on whether you call or not. From his perspective, if you are using the fold in turn button, a minimum raise will cause you muck, just the same as if he had raised three or four times the big blind. This allows the players on your right to shave down the amount they bet on blind steals, which can substantially reduce their exposure to risk. This will impact you negatively, especially late in the tournament. It may even cause your opponents to make small raises at pots they would normally leave for you to steal. Using the check/fold boxes while in the blinds will also cause your opponents to attack your blinds with small bets more frequently.
So you can see that using the “in turn” buttons gives free information to your opponents, which can be used against you — and even more importantly, you can gain information from how your opponents use (or misuse) the boxes. In addition to this, things can happen in the game between the time you check the box and the time the software acts for you, which may alter your correct play. This does not mean that you should never use the “in turn” boxes (although I recommend not using certain buttons in certain situations, as in the examples above). If you are a winning player who can make more from multi-tabling, your efficiency gains will likely justify their use. But use caution, and be aware of the information you are giving up.
For those of you who didn’t know, Pai Gow Poker is loosely based on the traditional Chinese tile game of the same name. Pai Gow, which means “make nine”, is played using special domino like tiles, and is a very popular casino game in China, across Europe, and even in some Las Vegas casinos.
The card game, which is similar to the tile game but uses the value of the cards rather than dots on a tile, is played by giving each player 7 cards. The winner is determined by whoever has the best hands, a five card hand and a two card hand. There are a lot of other rules, but for the sake of time we’ll just tell you how you can win Pai Gow Poker with these simple strategies.
- If you aren’t dealt a pair, straight, or flush, just play the highest card on your five-card hand, and the next two highest cards in the two-card hand.
- Split a two pair if the top pair is an ace. If you have a two pair where the top pair are kings, split except when the other pair is deuces, then play them together; playing the two highest remaining cards in your two-card hand.
- If you have a three pair, play the highest card in the two-card hand.
- If you’re dealt five aces, split them between the hands unless you also have two kings – play those in the two-card hand.
- Bank whenever you have the chance. When you “bank” you’re essentially playing your own money against the hands of all the other players. Sadly, more casinos will only let you bank every 7th hand, but if you’re given the opportunity to do it more often, go for it.
Oh, and one last thing – don’t play the bonus bets. The casino makes more money on the bonus bets than it does on the commission it earns from what it charges players to play Pai Gow. Sure, playing the bonus bets can make the game more exciting, but chances are that you won’t win and you’ll just lose more money.
Pai Gow Poker is a fun table game with ancient roots. Use these simple strategies to increase your chances of winning, and let us know how you did. PrismCasino.com has some of the best Pai Gow Poker games online, and we are more than happy to teach you a thing or two about winning – even if you lose.
Many casino enthusiasts jump at the first online casino they find. No questions asked, they deposit some credits and presto, they are gambling and having a good time. Some players comment that all online casinos are exactly the same, as the games come from the same developers. Even if that argument holds truth in some cases, it is a completely and utterly exaggerated view of reality.
Every online casino is different from the next, so while the experience of the player may be horrid in one, it may be incredible in the next. Here players will find a short and easy guide so they can choose the best online casino available.
Fishing Bonuses and Promotions
Physical presence casinos don’t provide players the luxury of promotions and bonuses when they enter. Online casinos, to stand apart from the competence, tend to offer a wide variety of bonuses and small/big incentives. These vary from deposit match up bonuses, free gaming sessions and weekly events with big prizes, among many others.
Nonetheless, even if almost every online casino offers bonuses, many like to glorify theirs. This means that they may be offering average or low bonuses but promoting them like an incredible and exclusive opportunity. So how can a player get to differentiate great from bad bonuses? Checking up different online casinos and seeing what are the most common offerings. The promotions and bonuses that stand above the average are the ones the player should be after. Remember that it is a privilege for the online casino to have you inside, not the other way round.
Relaxation makes the Experience
The interface and graphics are one of the most critical parts of an online casino. Even if the platform has a load of incredible bonuses, if it is ugly to the eye, the player will close before getting into any of those goodies. It is imperative that the online casino has a colour palette and overall deigning direction that suits they eye of the player. This helps the player to feel comfortable in the place and with comfort comes relaxation. It is no mystery that a relaxed player has a complete superior efficiency than a tensioned player. This may not be noticeable in a few gambling sessions, but in the long run it really becomes a defining factor.
The unprecedented growth of live casinos reflects the industry’s response to the strong need of having a “real feel” of casino gaming within the comforts of one’s home. But although there are plenty of options to choose from, this should not prevent players from being selective. After all, their gaming experience is on the line.
We’ve come up with a short list of things to consider before entering a live casino.
1) High-definition view
Live casinos should deliver a great view of the game. They need to make sure that player see the cards, tables and most especially, the results, clearly. Members are entitled to having crisp images and vivid footage of the ongoing game. Actually, the term “entitled” is an understatement. It is a player’s right.
Through the years, various online casinos invested on high-definition cameras to capture the essence of delivering live games. And if your live casino fails in this aspect, the best antidote of course, is to look for a better room.
2) Well-trained dealers
Quite the contrary of what many think, players don’t just chase good looking dealers. The looks matter. However, many would also go for someone who knows how to efficiently supervise the game, answer questions and a little bit of spice into the game. Nobody loves a dull and boring live dealer.
3) Extensive games
Indeed, it is true that live baccarat and blackjack are exciting. But too much of something is also not that good. For sure, you’d want to try a little bit of live sic bo or some live roulette on the side. Choose live casinos that have an extensive product offering. You don’t want to experience burn out, do you?
Choose your live casinos well. Look out for those details. If you’re really into that “real gaming” feel,” applying the above-mentioned criteria is a great way to do yourself a favor.
When betting in online casinos, it is very important that the player feels both comfortable and like a winner. In many instances, players continue to play in some places even after several defeats. This is the worst a player can do, as different online casinos have different casino games and mechanics, which can contribute incredibly to the win factor.
In the event that the player has faced several defeats, they should think about playing another casino. They should also take into account that many online casinos give exclusive bonuses to its players, so they can gamble for a longer time. These include an automatic double on the first deposit the player makes, random credit among online casino players, special occasions promotions, etc..
Players must try in different casinos until we find they find their own, this is a luxury that only the online casinos players can have. A regular player can’t start up the engine and go to 10 casinos in a row, as it is both expensive and time demanding. In addition to this, the player should be a billionaire with anything better to do.
Taking a Break
But we must be smart in our bets, if we have three hands without winning at blackjack must know to be retiring in five laps slots winless streak means that we must change our casino. And if we find the solution and keep losing, it is recommended to take a break or try the casino at a different time of day.