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Accreditation: There are a few organizations on the Internet who aim to help watch and govern the online gambling industry particularly the online casinos. The Interactive Gaming Council (www.igcouncil.org) is one of them. The IGC has been largely responsible for establishing fair and responsible trade guidelines and practices that enhance consumer confidence in the online casinos and other interactive gaming products and services.

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eCOGRA (e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, www.ecogra.com) provides player assurance and online casino regulation by ensuring that eCOGRA approved online casinos deliver an honest and professional service. eCOGRA’s Seal, displayed on the homepage of approved sites, shows that the online casino and online card-room/poker-room operator is committed to player protection, fair gaming and responsible conduct.

Although there is always some risk in regard to online gambling with any operator such as online casinos, your risk is greatly reduced when you see the eCOGRA logo on the casino homepage.

Good Online Casinos – A tip to evaluate a good online casino

Call the customer service of the online casino that you are thinking of gambling at. Ask them what you want to know (ex: availability of a specific game, security issues, payout time and method, etc.) and clarify anything you are unsure of. If they respond promptly and give you satisfactory answers and make you feel at ease, then chances are the casino is good.

Trustworthy online casinos are likely to be those who have a friendly professional customer service team on the other end of the line, and have a 24/7 international support telephone line.

A good casino should also offer a range of safe and practical purchasing methods when depositing money as well as cash-out methods when withdrawing money.

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Links to online casinos or sites that may have gambling related content and/or online wagering:
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Great gambling information site

Use the “Main Menu” on the top right margin to explore this site. This is a comprehensive gambling information site with advice on winning, how to gamble, Betting systems, gambling articles, world land-based casinos directory, casino reviews (reviewed and rated), the best Online casinos, free online games, and lots of gamblers information and resources.

Topics covered include game rules, how to play, how to win, betting strategies, gambling tips, glossary, on: Blackjack, Roulette (showing Table layouts of American, European and French roulettes and also the fast-play Roulite version), Poker classic and variants including Texas hold’em and Let-it-ride, Craps (dice game), Jackpot slots, Videopoker, Video games, Baccarat, Keno, Lotto/Lottery, Powerball, Bingo, Sports betting, Horse and Greyhound racing (including racetracks, race programs and results), and new gambling games.

This is the gambling website with lots of information and resources as well as helpful advice and frequent updates thanks to your helpful feedback.

The basics

The object of the blackjack game is to accumulate cards with point totals as close to 21 without going over 21. Face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) are worth 10 points. Aces are worth 1 or 11, whichever is preferable. Other cards are represented by their number.

If player and the House tie, it is a push and no one wins. Ace and 10 (Blackjack) on the first two cards dealt is an automatic player win at 1.5 to 1, unless the house ties. A player may stand at any time.

Playing blackjack

To win you need to beat the dealer without busting. You bust when your cards total to more than 21 and you lose automatically. The winner is whoever has closest to a total of 21. You reach 21 by adding up the values of the cards.

The blackjack table seats about 6 players. Either six or eight decks of cards are used and are shuffled together by the dealer and placed in a card dispensing box called ‘Shoe’.

Before receiving any cards players must place a wager. Then the players are dealt two cards face up. The dealer gets one face up, one face down. Each player in turn either stays or takes more cards to try and get closer to 21 without busting. Players who do not bust wait for the dealer’s turn. When all the players are done, the dealer turns up the down card. By rule, on counts of 17 or higher the dealer must stay; on counts of 16 or lower the dealer must draw.

If you make a total of 21 with the first two cards (a 10 or a face and an Ace), you win automatically. This is called ‘Blackjack’. If you have Blackjack, you will win one and one-half times your bet unless the dealer also has Blackjack, in which case it is a Push or a Tie (or a Stand-off) and you get your bet back.

The remaining players with a higher count than the dealer win an amount equal to their bet. Players with a lower count than the dealer lose their bet. If the dealer busts, all the remaining players win. There are other betting options namely Insurance, Surrender, Double Down, Even Money and Split.

  • Insurance: side bet up to half the initial bet against the dealer having a natural 21 – allowed only when the dealer’s showing card is an Ace. If the dealer has a 10 face down and makes a blackjack, insurance pays at 2-1 odds, but loses if the dealer does not.
  • Surrender: giving up your hand and lose only half the bet.
  • Early Surrender: surrender allowed before the dealer checks for blackjack.
  • Late Surrender: the dealer first checks to see if he has blackjack. If he does, surrender is not permitted.
  • Double Down: double your initial bet following the initial two-card deal, but you can hit one card only. A good bet if the player is in a strong situation. Most casinos will allow you to double down on any two cards. Some casinos will let you double down after splitting and some will limit your doubling down to hands that total ten or eleven. However, there is one condition: When you double down, you must take one additional card and you cannot receive more than one.
  • Even Money: cashing in your bet immediately at a 1:1 payout ratio when you are dealt a natural blackjack and the dealer’s showing card is an Ace.
  • Split Hand: split the initial two-card hand into two and play them separately – allowed only when the two first cards are of equal value. Use each card as the start to a separate hand and place a second bet equal to the first.
  • Hard Hand: A hand without an Ace, or with an Ace valued at 1 is said to be Hard in that it can only be given one value, unlike a Soft Hand. (You can value an Ace 1 or 11 to suit you).
  • Soft Hand: A hand that contains an Ace counted as 11 is called a Soft Hand.

Blackjack and a Soft Hand.Hard Hand.

House advantage (approximate, may vary with different rules)
Without basic strategy 7% average.
With basic strategy 0.5% or less.
Card counting can reverse the advantage up to 1% to the player.

Some blackjack variations

Using different number of decks: all other conditions being the same, as a general rule the fewer the decks, the better for the player.

Allowing the dealer to hit a soft 17: a disadvantage to the player. It gives the dealer a chance to improve.

Allowing a double down after splitting pairs: can be advantageous to the player if used wisely.

Allowing re-splitting of Aces: a clear advantage to the player.

No dealer hole card: common on cruise ships, this variation is a disadvantage to the player. The dealer does not deal himself a second card until the players have played and they can lose the doubles and splits.

Las Vegas and Atlantic City variants

Las Vegas blackjack:
Las Vegas games are played with two decks and the House must hit on hands less than soft 17 (17 involving an Ace) and must stand on hands of 17 or greater.

Atlantic City blackjack:
Atlantic City games are played with four decks and the House must hit on 16 and stand all 17’s.

Perfect Pairs blackjack

Perfect Pairs is a blackjack side bet. It can be played on a standard blackjack table and does not require the main game rules to be changed. All Perfect Pairs wagers are decided and dealt with at the completion of the initial deal.

Perfect Pairs bets are made prior to any cards being dealt and must be supported by a regular Blackjack bet on the same betting box. A Perfect Pairs bet wins if the first two cards dealt to a players Blackjack hand are a pair and it loses if they are not a pair.

There are 3 different types of pairs and the payout odds vary accordingly:

  • Mixed pair (A pair that is made up of 1 red suited card and 1 black suited card – example 2 of clubs + 2 of hearts)
  • Coloured pair (A pair that is made up of 2 same cards of the same colour but are of different suits – example 6 of clubs + 6 of spades) example 8 of spades + 8 of clubs)
  • Perfect pair (An identical pair – example K of diamonds + K of diamonds)

Perfect Pairs rules

  • A player may place a Perfect Pairs wager on any box on which the player has placed a Blackjack wager
  • A Perfect Pairs wager must be placed before any cards in the round of play are dealt
  • A Perfect Pairs wager wins if the first 2 cards dealt to the player are a pair
  • A Perfect Pairs wager loses if the first 2 cards dealt to the player are not a pair
  • Winning Perfect Pairs wagers must be paid as per the displayed paytable
  • After each player has been dealt the first 2 cards, the dealer must take all losing Perfect Pairs wagers and make a payout to each player who has a winning Perfect Pairs wager
  • The dealer then goes on to deal with each player in the usual way for Blackjack

Perfect Pairs payouts

  • Perfect Pair pays 30 to 1
  • Coloured Pair pays 10 to 1
  • Mixed Pair pays 5 to 1

The house edge on Perfect Pairs blackjack side bet is 6.76%.

21+3 – Blackjack and Three-card poker side game

Play Blackjack and 3-card Poker at the same time. 21+3 is a European-style Blackjack game with a high-paying side bet opportunity similar to the very popular Pairs Plus bet in the Three Card Poker game. No special poker skill is required.

The 3-card side bet, which pays relative to the combination of your first two cards and the dealer’s up card, is optional. You receive two cards, both face up, and, the Dealer receives one face up card. If you made a 3-card bet and these first three cards form a winning outcome, you are immediately paid according to the side bet pay table. This side bet is independent of your subsequent Blackjack play.


Great gambling information site

Use the “Main Menu” on the right margin to explore this site. This is a comprehensive great gambling information site with advice on winning, how to gamble, betting strategy, listing the best online casinos and world land-based casinos directory.

Topics covered include game summary, rules, how to play, how to win, game strategy, betting systems, gambling tips, on: Blackjack, Roulette, Poker classic and variants such as Texas Hold’em poker, Craps/Dice, Slots and Videopoker, Baccarat, Keno, Lottery, Powerball, Bingo, Sports betting, Horse racing and Greyhound racing.

This is the gambling website with lots of information and resources as well as helpful advice and frequent updates thanks to your helpful feedback.

Rules and how to play Roulette:

Roulette was first played in France back in the 17th century. It is now one of the most popular European gambling games and Monte Carlo in Monaco is a well known and famous casino centre for playing roulette.

The Basics
Players, usually up to eight, play against the House represented by the croupier also called the dealer, who spins the roulette wheel and handles the wagers and payouts. In the European roulette and French roulette version, the wheel has 37 slots representing 36 numbers and one zero. In the USA most roulette wheels have two zeros and therefore 38 slots.

Each player buys-in a different coloured chips so their bets don’t get mixed up. At the end of play, if you won, you exchange back the colorued chips with cash chips. These are special chips with the value amount imprinted on them. There are several denominations in various colours. You then take these chips to the cash desk where they will give you actual cash money in exchange.

To play roulette, you place your bet or bets on numbers (any number including the zero) in the table layout or on the outside, and when everybody at the table had a chance to place their bets, the croupier starts the spin and launches the ball. Just a few moments before the ball is about to drop over the slots, the croupier says ‘no more bets’. From that moment no one is allowed to place – or change – their bets until the ball drops on a slot. Only after the croupier places the dolly on the winning number on the roulette table and clears all the losing bets you can then start placing your new bets while the croupier pays the winners. The winners are those bets that are on or around the number that comes up. Also the bets on the outside of the layout win if the winning number is represented.

The House advantage
On a single zero roulette table the House advantage is 2.7%. On a double zero roulette table it is 5.26% (7.9% on the five-number bet, 0-00-1-2-3). The House advantage is gained by paying the winners a chip or two (or a proportion of it) less than what it should have been if there was no advantage. (See Roulette Quiz – The Casino Advantage.)

The ‘En Prison’ rule
A roulette rule applied to even-money bets only, and by some casinos (not all). When the outcome is zero, some casinos will allow the player to either take back half his/her bet or leave the bet (en prison = in prison) for another roulette spin. In the second case, if the following spin the outcome is again zero, then the whole bet is lost.

The ‘La Partage’ rule
The la partage roulette rule is similar to the en prison rule, only in this case the player loses half the bet and does not have the option of leaving the bet en prison for another spin. This refers to the ‘outside’ even-money bets Red/Black, High/Low, Odd/Even and applies when the outcome is zero. Both the La Partage and the En Prison roulette rules essentially cut the casino edge on the ‘even-money bets’ in half. So a bet on Red on a single-zero roulette table with the la partage rule or the en prison rule has a 1.35% House edge and one on a double-zero roulette table has a House edge of 2.63%.

The payouts
A bet on one number only, called a straight-up bet, pays 35 to 1. (You collect 36. With no House advantage you should collect 37 (38 in the USA on double zero roulette wheels).
A two-number bet, called split bet, pays 17 to 1.
A three-number bet, called street bet, pays 11 to 1.
A four-number bet, called corner bet, pays 8 to 1.
A six-number bet, pays 5 to 1.
A bet on the outside dozen or column, pays 2 to 1.
A bet on the outside even money bets, pays 1 to 1.

Object of the game
To win at roulette the player needs to predict where the ball will land after each spin. This is by no means easy. In fact, luck plays an important part in this game. Some players go with the winning numbers calling them ‘hot’ numbers and therefore likely to come up more times. Others see which numbers did not come up for some time and bet on them believing that their turn is now due. Some players bet on many numbers to increase their chances of winning at every spin, but this way the payout is considerably reduced. Other methodical players use specific roulette systems or methods, money management systems, or both.

French roulette rules

The French roulette rules are very much like the European roulette rules. It has the same 37 numbered wheel with one zero but a different table layout for the outside bets. See Table layout (Link opens new window).

The player odds in French roulette are the same as in European roulette (only one zero) and better than the odds in American roulette (two zeros). The players loose only 50% of their even-money bets when the outcome is zero, known as the ‘La Partage’ rule.

The object of the game is still the same – to predict which number out of possible 37 the ball will land on. And of course, they speak French. Below are the English and equivalent French terms for the various roulette bets:

Inside bets

  • One number Straight up = En plein
  • Two numbers Split Bet = Cheval
  • Three numbers Street Bet = Transversale
  • Four numbers Corner = Carre
  • Six numbers Line Bet = Sixainne

Outside bets

  • Twelve numbers Column = Colonne
  • Twelve numbers Dozen = Douzaine
  • Red or Black = Rouge, Noir
  • Even or Odd = Pair, Impair
  • Low or High numbers = Manque, Passe

Canasta Roulette

In Costa Rica some casino table games have different names, others have different names and different rules. Roulette in Costa Rica casinos is called “Canasta” and is played with a double-zero layout. However, instead of using a roulette wheel the winning number is selected from a circular wire cage with numbered balls similar to the one used in bingo halls.

Canasta roulette in Costa Rica.

California Roulette

The difference between California casinos and Vegas (and other) casinos is the way roulette and craps are played.

In California it is against the rules and regulations to have a roulette wheel that is spun and to have a ball drop decide which number is the winning number on the wheel. It is also against the state rules and regulations to throw dice to decide the outcome of a game.

In 2004, California legalized a form of roulette known as California Roulette. By law, the game must use cards and not slots on the roulette wheel to pick the winning number.

There are at least two variations. In some casinos, the dealer spins a wheel containing 38 cards from 1 to 36, plus 0 and 00, and after betting is closed, stops the wheel; a pointer identifies the winning card, which the dealer removes and shows to the players.

In the Cache Creek casino in northern California, a wheel resembling a traditional roulette wheel is used, but it has only alternating red and black slots with no numbers. As the ball is spinning, the dealer takes cards from a shoe and places two of them face down on the table in red and black rectangles. When the ball lands in a red or black slot, the card in the corresponding rectangle is turned over to reveal the winning number.
(Source: Wikipedia.org)

Did you know?

In every casino it is customary that the croupier starts the first round/spin of the day with the ball lying in the number slot of the date of that day. This obviously excludes the numbers 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 and 0.

Roulette * Rules . Table layout . Single zero wheel . Double zero wheel . Electronic roulette . Glossary . Tips .Strategy . Books . Links . Extras


Great gambling information site

Use the “Main Menu” on the right margin to explore this site. This is a comprehensive great gambling information site with advice on winning, how to gamble, betting strategy, listing the best online casinos and world land-based casinos directory.

Topics covered include game summary, rules, how to play, how to win, game strategy, betting systems, gambling tips, on: Blackjack, Roulette, Poker classic and variants such as Texas Hold’em poker, Craps/Dice, Slots and Videopoker, Baccarat, Keno, Lottery, Powerball, Bingo, Sports betting, Horse racing and Greyhound racing.

This is the gambling website with lots of information and resources as well as helpful advice and frequent updates thanks to your helpful feedback.

Slots are fun and easy to play. There are really no particular rules you need to be concerned with. The main object of the game is to hit a jackpot. Drop in a coin and pull the handle. The lights and ringing bells will let you know when you have hit the jackpot. If you have a question or are unsure of something, simply ask a slot attendant for assistance.

All slot machines display the payoffs, and those that work in a certain way, have instructions on them.

Slot machines were introduced around the turn of the century, and their popularity increases daily. For many players, playing slots is still the most enjoyable and relaxing form of gambling.

These so called ‘one-armed bandits’ can be found in every casino, with a variety of models and coin denominations to please every player, including mechanical, electromechanical video, and the new touch-screen versions. With one touch of the screen, you can change from poker to slots. There are three to nine reels, criss-crosses, multiples, progressives, and specialty machines such as 21, Keno, Videopoker, Poker Bingo, and Video Horse Racing and Dog Racing.

What has really revitalized slot machine play is the adaptation of bonus games. Bonus slot games can pay the player in a variety of ways including; free slot spins, coin multipliers or progressive jackpots. Bonus slot games can be triggered by getting three bonus symbols on a pay-line or on some slot games three bonus symbols in the pay-field. Online casinos have utilized the power of computer software to create some of the most exciting versions of bonus games in the industry.

There are many different slot machine games. Jackpot size, combinations, symbols, size and number of coins allowed in each play vary as well. Included in these games are the popular Videopoker games. Modern slot machines are completely electronic. Symbol combinations come up randomly and machines are pre-programmed to return a certain percentage to the players.

Slots account for a good portion of a casino’s action and winnings. They are simple to use, inexpensive to maintain, and require little or no skill to play.

To the player, a slot machine returns on average between 85% and 98%. The average casino advantage is calculated to be around 9%.

Smart Card Gaming Technology – the coin-less gaming system

Gaming has never been easier with the introduction of Smart Card Coinless Gaming. This also means added security and more convenience to the players.

Smart Cards replace the need to feed coins into slot machines and provide players with hours of coinless casino pleasure.

A Smart Card is a credit-card sized plastic card with an embedded computer chip. Cash is loaded onto the Smart Card electronically and amounts are stored on the card and can be retrieved immediately or at a later stage.

The Casino offers automated cashier machines called Smart Cashiers that allow players to retrieve or cash out their winnings or their credit balance amount from their Smart Card on these Smart Cashiers machines.

The Smart Card reduces the need to carry large amounts of cash and coins and is clean and far more hygienic. Bets are loaded electronically into slot machines via the Smart Card and winnings are automatically recorded onto it. Table games such as Roulette, Baccarat (Punto Banco), Poker and Blackjack can also make use of the Smart Card system.

Videopoker

Video Poker Machine.

Videopoker is a draw poker in slot machine form. Players Hold or Discard from five cards showing and get a second deal, or stand with a pat hand. It has become the most popular game of chance among casino players in the U.S. Eighty percent of respondents to a recent survey in Las Vegas said they played videopoker.

There are important differences between Videopoker and Table Poker worth noting as follows:

  1. In Videopoker the House is represented by a machine not a dealer and the video machine does not attempt to beat you.
  2. You don’t have to figure out what the other player’s hand could be like when playing against other players.
  3. You cannot bluff.
  4. You do not run the risk of being beaten by another player. If you have a strong hand, you win. In Table Poker, you could have a strong hand like three of a kind and lose to another player who has a better hand.
  5. A good decision in Videopoker may be a bad one for Table Poker. What is advantageous to hold in Videopoker may prove disadvantageous in Table Poker and vice versa.

Since its introduction in the early 1980’s, Videopoker has grown into one of the casino’s most popular games. Unlike regular Poker, which is played against other players at a poker table, Videopoker is played individually on a machine that uses video technology to create a Poker hand.

Based on the classic Five Card Stud, Videopoker challenges players to build the best possible five-card hand. The player is dealt five cards and has the option of discarding any or all of the cards. New cards are dealt to replace the discards.

Payoffs are based on a scale, paying players for hands as low as a pair of tens or Jacks all the way up to a Royal Flush. Like slot machines, Videopoker machines are available in many denominations, with 25c and $1 machines being the most popular. Many casinos also offer progressive payoffs or bonuses for Royal Flushes or other special hands. Videopoker provides variety too, with versions ranging from ‘Jacks or Better‘ to ‘Deuces Wild‘ and ‘Jokers Wild‘.

The ranking of hands starting from the highest are as follows:

  1. Five of a Kind
  2. Royal Flush
  3. Straight Flush
  4. Four of a Kind
  5. Full House
  6. Flush
  7. Straight
  8. Three of a Kind
  9. Two Pair
  10. A Pair

Five of a Kind is only possible when using a Joker or Wild Cards and is the highest possible hand.

Note: Las Vegas regulations require that the outcome of any hand in Videopoker not be affected by the number of coins played. If you get a good hand with one coin bet, you would have been dealt the same hand with two or more coins.

House advantage 3% average

Slots, Video Poker * Rules . Glossary . Tips . Strategy . Books . Links . Extras


Great gambling information site

Use the “Main Menu” on the right margin to explore this site. This is a comprehensive great gambling information site with advice on winning, how to gamble, betting strategy, listing the best online casinos and world land-based casinos directory.

Topics covered include game summary, rules, how to play, how to win, game strategy, betting systems, gambling tips, on: Blackjack, Roulette, Poker classic and variants such as Texas Hold’em poker, Craps/Dice, Slots and Videopoker, Baccarat, Keno, Lottery, Powerball, Bingo, Sports betting, Horse racing and Greyhound racing.

This is the gambling website with lots of information and resources as well as helpful advice and frequent updates thanks to your helpful feedback.

ports Betting rules: (How to bet, types of bets.)

The basics

The main object of sports betting is to beat the ‘Oddsmakers‘ or the ‘Odds Compilers‘ and win some money. Additionally, placing a bet on your favorite sport event makes the game exciting and more enjoyable.

Betting is done through Sportsbooks (US) or Bookmakers (UK) entities that accept bets. You can bet on the outcome of several sporting events, such as; Baseball, Basketball, Football, Tennis, Hockey, Snooker and Soccer games.

To place a sports bet, you go to a sportsbook, physical or online. You could also bet over the phone with many sportsbooks. Note that a sports book or sportsbook is not the same as an oddsmaker. The sportsbook simply accepts sports bets. An oddsmaker is a person who sets the betting odds.

You need to state what you are betting on by making a selection, the type of bet and the amount you are wagering. Your selection will obviously depend on the odds offered, so you will want to examine the range of odds available before you make a decision.

There are many types of bets you can place. Some sportsbooks may offer more betting varieties and combinations than others. Below is a list of the more common types of bets.

Straight bet or Single. This is the simplest and most common bet. You bet on a winner at given odds.

Point Spread. This bet lets you bet on a winner from two selections who have been made equal by allocating appropriate points to the underdog team. The Point Spread is the number of points allocated and is shown with a – sign for the favorite and a + sign for the underdog. The favorite has to win by more than the Point Spread for you to win, otherwise you lose your bet even if the team wins. Inversely, if you bet for the underdog, that team has to lose by less than the Point Spread for you to win. If the favorite wins by the exact Point Spread, then it is a push or a tie. You get your bet back. To eliminate a tie result, the oddsmakers sometimes include a half point spread. Since scores use full numbers only, one team has to win outright.

Buy Points. Also, to buy Key Points. Move the Point Spread favorably at a price.

The Moneyline. This establishes the odds for each team but inversely proportional to what would have been a Point Spread, and is indicated by a + for the underdog and a – sign for the favorite. Say team A is favorite and quoted at -180 and B is the underdog at + 120. The bets offered would be 10:18 odds-on for the favorite, and 12:10 for the underdog. For every $180 you bet on A you would win $100 or lose $180, but for every $100 you bet on B you would win $120 or lose $100.

Total. A bet for the number of points scored in the game by both teams combined, including points scored in overtime.

Over/Under. A bet that the combined number of points scored by the two teams in the game will be Over or Under the total set by the oddsmaker.

Parlay or Accumulator. A multiple bet. A kind of ‘let-it-ride’ bet. Making simultaneous selections on two or more games with the intent of pressing the winnings of the first win on the bet of the following game selected, and so on. All the selections made must win for you to win the parlay. If a game is a tie, postponed or cancelled, your parlay is automatically reduced by one selection; a double parlay becomes a straight bet, a triple parlay becomes a double. A parlay bet can yield huge dividends if won.

Teaser. It is like a parlay, but with the option to add or subtract points (called ‘moving the line’) from one or more Spread bets. When betting a teaser additional points are either added to the underdog or subtracted from the favorite. The odds vary according to the number of points the spread is moved and the number of teams combined to form the teaser. As in the parlay, all selections must win for the teaser to win. Teasers odds are usually worse than the parlays.

If-wager. A bet that allows the bettor to make a second wager, up to an equal amount, pending a win on the first selection.

Open Wager. Open wagers allow the bettor to play teasers or parlays making a selection at different times and even different days.

Future. A bet on a future event. At the start of each season, the sportsbooks give out odds for teams to win a certain championship. The odds change as the game date approaches and in most cases get shorter, but if you win you get paid at the original odds that you took. This is possibly one of the most profitable bets if you have considerable knowledge of the sport that you are betting on including the players, and a good sense of judgement.

Exotic Bets. Betting on unusual events. Some sportsbooks post odds and take bets on a wide variety of other sports related events and activities. A few others will take bets on just about anything you can think of.

Proposition Bet or Prop Bet. An offer of bets at odds and conditions chosen by the sportsbook, usually on ‘Exotic’ bets.

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Rules and how to play Poker:
(See Slots for Video Poker)
(See Other for poker variants including Omaha, Texas Hold’em and Let it Ride)
(See Live Poker Sites for online live poker rooms)

The Basics

Poker originated in the saloons of the Wild West and has probably the most game variants. It is played player against players and not just against the dealer as in Blackjack, and there is a lot of psychology involved during play. Poker takes a moment to learn and a lifetime to master.

Poker is played from a standard deck of 52 cards. Some variant games use multiple decks or addJokers or Wild Cards.

The cards are ranked in descending order starting from the highest; Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. Ace can be high or low. There are four suits; spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs, but no suit is higher than another.

Each player is dealt five cards and is called a hand. The hand highest in ranks wins. In some games there are Wild Cards or Jokers, which can be labelled whatever suit and rank the possessor wishes to.

The Ranking of Poker Hands

The ranking of poker hands based on probability starting from the highest are as follows.

There are 2,598,960 possible combinations of cards in a poker hand you can be dealt. In brackets below next to the ranking of hands, are 1st the number of possible hands of that rank in 2,598,960 possible combinations, and 2nd your chances of getting one in percentage probability:

 

  • Five of a Kind (with a Wild card or Joker)
  • Royal Flush (4 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 0.000154%)
  • Straight Flush (36 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 0.00139%)
  • Four of a Kind (624 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 0.0240%)
  • Full House (3744 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 0.144%)
  • Flush (5108 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 0.197%)
  • Straight (10,200 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 0.392%)
  • Three of a Kind (54912 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 2.11%)
  • Two Pair (123,552 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 4.75%)
  • Pair (1,098,240 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 42.26%)
  • High Card (1,302,540 possible hands in 2,598,960. Chance to get one: 50.12%)

 

Five of a Kind is only possible when using wild cards and is the highest possible hand. If more than one hand has five-of-a-kind, the higher rank wins; e.g. five Aces beat five kings, which beat five queens, and so on.

Straight Flush is the best natural hand. A straight flush consists of five cards in sequence and of the same suit. An Ace high straight-flush is called a Royal Straight Flush or Royal Flush and is the highest natural hand.

Four of a Kind is a hand that contains of four cards of the same rank. The hand with the highest rank of four-of-a-kind beats other four-of-a-kind hands. If there are many wild cards, as used in some game variants, there could be two four-of-a-kind hands with the same rank. In this case, the hand with the higher ranking fifth card wins. This rule applies to hands that tie, such as a pair or two pairs. Dead heats split the pot.

Full House is a hand consisting of three-of-a-kind and a pair. Again, where Wild Cards are used, ties are compared first by the three-of-a-kind ranking, then the pair.

Flush is a hand consisting of cards that are all of the same suit in any order.

Straight is a hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence, such as 5-6-7-8-9. An Ace may either be high (A-K-Q-J-10) or low (A-2-3-4-5).

Three of a Kind is a hand similar to the four-of-a-kind hand, except that if the remaining two cards are a pair, then it becomes a Full House.

Two Pair is a hand that contains two pairs only.

Pair is a hand that contains one pair only.

High Card is a hand that is none of the above and is a weak hand. If no player has a pair or better, then the hand that contains the highest ranking card wins. If multiple players tie with the highest card, then the second highest card decides, followed by the third and so on.

Note on Wild Cards

How the wild card can be used depends on the game you are playing and the rules. A wild card can be defined as a joker or standard card that, by player agreement and/or dealer’s choice, can be used to represent any card desired.

When a joker is in play, it usually can only be used as an Ace or to complete a straight or flush. It cannot be used as a true wild card, for example, as a king to make KK75X play as three kings. When playing for low, the joker becomes the lowest rank not already held, so 864AX is played as 8642A, with the joker used as a deuce.

Wild cards add an additional hand, five of a kind, which normally ranks above a straight flush. They can also cause confusion when two players hold the same hand composed of different wild card combinations. The standard rules of poker do not distinguish between such hands, but some players prefer to rank hands using fewer wild cards above less ‘natural’ versions of the same hand.

Playing Poker

In most games players must ‘ante’ a nominal amount just to have the cards dealt. Once the cards are dealt, the betting starts. Players bet into the pot in the middle of the table and it is done in turn clockwise.

The player with the highest rank showing, is the first to speak and to bet. He can either bet or check. By saying ‘Check‘, he passes the decision to bet to the next player who can also check. If all players check, then it is the end of the round. Everyone opens his cards and the highest hand wins.

Only after one player places a bet the real betting starts. Each player in turn can either ‘Call‘, ‘Raise‘ or ‘Fold‘. To fold is to pass or drop out of the round and not play. To call means willing to match the bet, and the same amount must be placed on the pot. To raise means to match the bet and add an extra bet.

Say you start with a $5 bet. If someone else raises $10, he puts $15 in the pot. When your turn comes again you need to add $10 difference to the pot to stay in the game, and if you want you can also raise or even say ‘Pot‘. Pot is a raise to the maximum, which means to bet the same amount as the total money available in the pot.

If there are no more raises and all the cards have been dealt, then it is the end of the round. Everyone opens his closed cards and the highest hand wins the pot.

Interesting Link (Link opens new window)

Probabilities in Poker

Related links (Links open new window)
Online Live Poker Rooms
How to join a live poker site
Introduction to online live poker rooms


Great gambling information site

Use the “Main Menu” on the right margin to explore this site. This is a comprehensive great gambling information site with advice on winning, how to gamble, betting strategy, listing the best online casinos and world land-based casinos directory.

Topics covered include game summary, rules, how to play, how to win, game strategy, betting systems, gambling tips, on: Blackjack, Roulette, Poker classic and variants such as Texas Hold’em poker, Craps/Dice, Slots and Videopoker, Baccarat, Keno, Lottery, Powerball, Bingo, Sports betting, Horse racing and Greyhound racing.

This is the gambling website with lots of information and resources as well as helpful advice and frequent updates thanks to your helpful feedback.