Tag: video poker

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Blackjack At The Cromwell Might Surprise You, But The Rest Of The Casino Won't

Where: 3595 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
April 22, 2014 at 4:33 PM | by | Comments (5)

The Cromwell opened its casino floor Monday afternoon and, boy, did it take us a minute to find a hidden gem! There are two $10 tables that return 3:2 when you are dealt blackjack.

Color this writer†surprised that the 3:2 blackjack game we saw over the weekend is available to low limits players. The game is dealt from a shoe and the dealer stands on 17 just like the original†picture shows. These are only two of the 66 table games in the casino, but they're definitely worth looking for. Since these tables arenít in plain view, you may end up at a quiet table. We didnít see anyone playing this morning and had to ask ourselves before we found it. You'll find them in front of the Drai's construction wall, just to the left of the High Limit nook.

The rest of the gambling is what youíd expect from a Caesars Entertainment property. Hereís a quick breakdown:


Blackjack: $10 minimum, 6:5 blackjack, dealer hits on soft 17; $10 minimum, 3:2 blackjack, dealer stands on 17
Roulette: $10 minimum, double zero
Craps: $5 minimum, 3x-4x-5x odds
Video Poker: 7-5 Jacks or Better (9-6 would be full pay if youíre not familiar with the lingo)

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The SLS Las Vegas Casino Is Promising

April 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM | by | Comments (14)

SLS Las Vegas has revamped their website and revealed some interesting facts about their casino that have us excited for its opening at the end of summer.

Last year, we relayed Sam Nazarian's vision for the SLS sportsbook. He mentioned that it would be operated by an outside company, later revealed as William Hill. He also said that it wouldnít be a traditional sportsbook, rather it would be a combination sportsbook and bar/restaurant. A place to grab a beer and a burger while watching the game you just bet on. Now, we know the sportsbook will be attached to Umami Burger and a beer garden. Add in some 50 TVs and the concept sounds great. We canít wait to see it in action!

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Playing Video Poker And Watching TV On Same Screen Now Possible

April 9, 2014 at 6:54 PM | by | Comments (3)

This writer sat down to play a little video poker at Downtown Grand†before lunch the other day and noticed something a little different. (I know the video poker†pay tables arenít that great, but I wasn't risking much money.) After inserting the MyPoints players club card, I saw a variety of options from playing in a slot tournament on the same screen as my video poker game to cashing in free play. What really caught my eye was the ability to watch TV on the same screen. I could change channels, but really only ESPN seemed to make much sense on mute.

The option is a really cool feature for playing video poker in the casino, but still being able to keep tabs on a game. Looking a little deeper, I found out that it was made possible through the SYNKROS gaming system by Konami Gaming. This is the casino management system that runs when you insert your players club card into a slot or video poker machine.

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In Nevada, Don't Look For Online Gambling Beyond Poker And Sports

March 28, 2014 at 2:57 PM | by | Comment (1)

One of the many great and strange things about living in Nevada, and specifically Las Vegas, is that you can gamble just about everywhere you turn. Get a carwash and you can play video poker while you wait. Head to a drugstore or supermarket and get the itch to gamble? You can take a break and play some slots. If youíre just grabbing a bite or a drink somewhere, chances are you can sidle up to the bar and gamble, too. If youíre just driving around town, youíll inevitably pass one of many tiny casinos like the Dottyís across the street from In n Out Burger on Sahara.

All of the gambling you see in Nevada takes a little getting used to, but after a while you realize that gamblers get the urge to play just about anywhere.†At least Nevadans arenít gambling while dropping the kids off at the pool like 42% of online gamblers do in New Jersey. (At least, we don't think...) This is different than other states that have legalized all types of online gambling. In New Jersey, you can play online blackjack or slots anywhere, but you can only gamble at a land-based casino in one town (Atlantic City).†Since gambling is so ubiquitous in Nevada, online gambling has been limited to just poker.

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Gambling Now Everywhere At Cosmo

Where: 3708 Las Vegas Blvd S. [map], 89109
March 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (10)

Ever since it opened in December of 2010, The Cosmopolitan has been known for not getting gamblers. Despite having beautiful hotel rooms and suites, great fried chicken (among other excellent dining options) and being home to a nightclub that brings in some of the most money in the country, the Cosmo has continued to lose revenue. That's slowly changing as losses for the Cosmopolitan have lessened over the past year and a new focus on gamblers has begun. In fact, casino revenues increased 25% in 2013 from 2012.

Casino changes at Cosmopolitan havenít been subtle. When you enter the resort from The Strip at night, youíre smashed in the face with the lights, a DJ and dancing girls at the†new(ish) Bond gambling pit. Thereís nothing wrong with another party pit on The Strip (besides the 6:5 blackjack). As you walk deeper into the casino, thereís gambling everywhere now. The once serene Chandelier Bar now has video poker. Even Queue Bar has been morphed into a gambling lounge with Pai Gow Poker and a few other table games. When you hop across the casino, youíll be greeted by a couple hologram dealers throwing hands of (virtual) cards in the air and somehow spinning a detached roulette wheel.

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A Battle Between Nostalgia And Odds

March 19, 2014 at 2:51 PM | by | Comments (7)

The nostalgia lover inside us loves playing the old video poker and slot machines that pay with coins. The sounds and ability to touch the winnings immediately strike a chord. Meanwhile, the practical person inside us doesnít want dirty coins touching our skin. We just want to rip the winning ticket right out of the machine and get the bills without messing around at the casino cage. Most machine games are operated on the Ticket In Ticket Out (a.k.a. TITO)†system today.

The TITO system was introduced by slot machine manufacturer IGT over 10 years ago, in part for convenience but also so that we'd gamble more. While the convenience of TITO allows a cleaner and simpler way to get paid, it also allowed IGT to make more multi-denominational games. Since you don't have to drop coins into a machine to play, it's easy for the game to switch from penny to nickel to quarter and dollars.

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In-Between Royal Flushes, A Lot Of Hands Are Dealt

March 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM | by | Comments (10)

When we play video poker, we all want the Royal Flush. The Royal Flush in video poker pays exponentially more than any other hand. Itís possible to win in the short term without getting a Royal Flush, but those extra credits go a long way to making us happy.

To non-video poker players, all the games look the same but they arenít. Payouts are different, giving each game different odds and volatility. The Royal Flush may pay the same 4,000 credits in most games, but it may not come up as frequently from one game to another. Each video poker game has a different Royal Flush cycle meaning youíll only see a Royal Flush every so often. Hereís a look at the breakdown:

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Checking Out The New Bond At Cosmo

Where: 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
February 7, 2014 at 12:19 PM | by | Comments (4)

There was a day where it could be said that the Cosmopolitan didnít get gamblers. It may be still be true that they donít get gamblers, but itís no secret the Cosmo has been trying to acquire gamblers. Over the past year, theyíve been making small tweaks to their casino marketing to draw in more gamblers to supplement their bottom line. One of the more drastic changes to the casino is with Bond Bar.

The Cosmo has copious bars throughout the property making it a favorite place for many to stop, relax and grab a drink. However, gamblers (like this guy) would drop $10 for a drink and head to a casino elsewhere. Thatís no longer necessary as Bond has gone from being just a loud Strip-side bar to being a loud Strip-side bar with video poker and table games.

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5 Great Resources For Learning About Gambling

November 26, 2013 at 4:16 PM | by | Comment (1)

Perfecting skill and winning casino games isnít easy. In fact, perfection is impossible since the casino has a built-in advantage in every game. At best, we want to play games with a small house advantage and an easy strategy to learn in order to maximize how long we play. Playing longer improves chances of hitting a hot streak or a jackpot. Here are a few resources we use for honing our gaming skills:

vpFREE: vpFREE2.com is a great site for video poker players or people interested in learning how to play. vpFree2 lists how much optimal returns are for different video poker games as well as which casinos have those games. They also detail exactly where you can locate the games on the gaming floor. The information is updated every few months so it may not be 100% accurate, but itís pretty darn good.

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Downtown Vegas Has Great Video Poker

Where: 89101
November 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

Downtown Vegas is a place for gamblers. It's always been this way and if Downtown Vegas casinos don't hide from their history it should remain this way in the future.

Last week, we reported that Downtown Grand lowered its video poker pay tables shortly after they opened. Nobody was happy to see this reduction so quickly, but Downtown Grand's video poker only went from bad to worse. Most people concerned with playing good video poker games wouldn't have played the better option at Downtown Grand, anyway.

The reaction to Downtown Grand's video poker pay tables led us to check out how other downtown casinos compare. According to vpFREE2,†there are plenty of good video poker games to be found downtown. Here's a list of the best games in each casino with percentage of return. They're broken down only by the best game(s) offered. Click on each game listed to find details on how many of those games are in that casino, where they are located, and what other good video poker games are available.

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Downtown Grand Downgrades Video Poker

November 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM | by | Comments (8)

Things change in casinos. Thatís why VegasChatter exists. Things changed for the worse while†Downtown Grand†was still in their soft opening phase and don't look like they'll change for the better any time soon. When we first walked through the casino on the opening day, we found†good returns on blackjack, but not much elsewhere. 3-4-5 craps odds arenít bad, but they arenít good, either. When we checked, video poker the Bonus Poker game was 7/5 (pays 7-1 for full house, 5-1 for flush). Again, not the worst, but not good, either.

As the days past, we read a few Facebook and forum posts about Downtown Grand changing the pay tables on their video poker games, but we didnít see before and after pictures to confirm these reports. When we checked the video poker at Downtown Grand for a second time, the pay tables were, indeed, changed. The same Bonus Poker video poker pay tables that used to be 7/5 were downgraded to only pay 6 for a full house and 5 for flush.

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How Do You Stop A Cold Streak?

November 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM | by | Comments (14)

Trips to the casino are filled with ups and downs. Sometimes, there's a winning session and, sometimes, there's a losing session. The casino has a few percentage point advantage on every game so losing a little isn't really a surprise. We can deal with losing by small percentages. It's part of the territory. The sessions, however, where there's no winning at all is what really grinds this writer's gears.

On a recent trip to the casino, I couldn't shake off a cold streak. I played every game to see if I could change my luck and nothing worked. The first session started out at the tables with 3 card poker where I was actually up for a little before losing. Later, I played craps and that was a loser, too, mostly on my rolls. Gasp! I switched to Mississippi Stud Poker and that was a loser. The only win was $10 while killing time on a penny slot before dinner. After the break, the losing continued with blackjack, video poker, higher denomination slot machines and Mississippi Stud Poker (again) before I just gave up.

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