Archive for October, 2007
Following a couple of recent blogs I’ve posted on Basic Blackjack Strategy we’ve had a lot of requests from people wanting to know where they can practice Blackjack online for free - (no download, no registration, no obligation to play for real) and where you can find several different Blackjack game variants to try. (e.g. Single deck, Blackjack surrender, Vegas Strip and Atlantic Blackjack)
The team at GoonersGuide.com** has published an excellent page of free links to casino games on Microgaming, Playtech and Real Time Gaming Platforms so you can compare the different virtual blackjack tables!
Check out this page by clicking on the image (left) or use this link Free Blackjack no download, no registration.
Remember - try the Basic Strategy to improve your blackjack play - it WILL improve your profits!
(**A “Gooner” is an Arsenal supporter, and the GoonersGuide web site is a long standing source for all sorts of betting tips and advice - not just English Football tips and opinion!)
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Okay, building on the last 2 blog posts I made (the 3 approaches to blackjack and basic blackjack strategy) here are two tables that should help you make smarter decisions on what to do when you hold specific cards - and the dealer up-card is a certain card. They should be used in conjunction with the earlier table (The “Easiest Options” posted 24 October, 2007).
Playing pairs in blackjack basic strategy.
How to play the soft hands under basic blackjack strategy. (For example where an A-3 hand can be totalled as a “soft 14″ or a ”4″)
Remember, the basic rules that make up these tables are tested (not just by me - but through billions of hands by computer software). Quite simply, if you apply these rules on when to Stand, Hit, Split or Double down you will considerably improve your chances of making money playing Blackjack!
Play blackjack at Blackjack Ballroom Casino (play for free as a guest to practice your basic strategy!) Europeans, Canadians, Australians, UK residents… and Americans from 39 States are very welcome.
The best Live Dealer blackjack on the net can be found at Ireland’s DublinBet.com. DublinBet’s Distance Gaming® is a ‘must-try’ even if you’re not fussed for live dealer games - we rate the unique and patented Early Payout Blackjack. (Sorry, no US players)
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This blog posting and the one a couple of days ago are all about “How to Become a Winning Blackjack Player” - you really can improve your play and potentially make more money at the Blackjack table.
In my last blog posting I discussed the 3 playing strategies for Blackjack (ie be a loser and just back yourself, your lucky stars, or whatever; play “basic strategy”; or card count). I also covered some key info you should find out before you start to play a blackjack game for real money…like the table rules! These can make a significant difference to your chances of winning.
There’s no one perfect basic strategy for every Blackjack game, as the rules do vary between casinos and between individual game variants. But, for a typical set of rules, some of the key decisions you take are set out in the table below. This covers “the easy options” - what you should do when you have specific cards in your hand and when the dealer’s up-card is a specific card.
Note: The dealer’s hand is considered the most important card at the blackjack table - and many players still don’t even bother to even look at it!
I’ll give you a quick summary table of what to do with pairs and also how to handle “soft hands” (ie like A-7 or A-2) under basic blackjack strategy in my next blog post.
Remember, this stuff is tried and true and tested (not by me - but through billions of hands by computer software). If you follow it, these decisions on when to Stand, Hit, Split or Double down will considerably improve your chances of making money playing Blackjack!
As I said in my previous blog, my favourite online casino for Blackjack is Blackjack Ballroom - their 38 Microgaming Blackjack game variants offer excellent game play. (US players from 39 States accepted, but a favourite with Canadians and Europeans too)
Carbon Poker is the other site I enjoy - and lots of CasinoLabRat.com readers frequently pull fairly large wins at the Blackjack side games on offer at this US-friendly online poker room! (players from all US States welcome)
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There’s a fun new slot you can play at Australian based Centrebet Casino. Well, actually it’s part of their GAMES suite rather than their Playtech Casino - but it’s still a 5 reel slot machine with a bonus game!
It’s called Creatures of Rock. And it does rock. Like it.
PROMOTION: The $2,000 Monster Mosh Pit - To celebrate it’s launch, Centrebet are running a promo and all you have to do is play the new Creatures of Rock slot (for real money) to go into the daily draw for $100. In addition, the player winning the most cash on Creatures of Rock slot between 23 Oct - 6 Nov will win an extra $500.
SLOT GAME GRAPHICS: The characters of this game are fun little “demons” with rock guitars and the usual piercings and attitude. I like the “Red Bull” the little guy drinks and then crushes on his head as a “wild”. The stage dive is fun too, as is the “pick an amp” bonus round where the lead guitarist (green with pointy horns of course!) trashes amplifiers to reveal your wins. The graphics are a bit different, sort of cartoony compared to some of the more recent photo realistic slot releases - but the game play is fast and the audio, relevant (ie suitable for a mosh pit).
You can play Creatures of Rock for real money - or for free in demo mode just to get that heavy metal buzz…remember, you’ve gotta toggle over to the GAMES section at Centrebet to find this one…
GAME RATING: A “must play” for all rock chicks and metallers - and in reality, anyone looking for some fun online gaming.
>>Visit Centrebet Casino (sorry, no US real money play)
>>Read more about Centrebet Casino in a detailed independent review
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Yes! You can beat casino odds and win at Blackjack.
There are 3 ways to play Blackjack:
1. Rely on your gut instincts on whether to take another card, have no understanding of splitting or doubling-down and, above all, never look at the dealer’s up-card. You’re essentially giving the casino a needless 30% advantage, you’ll be dead meat! A huge number of Blackjack players “try their luck” in this manner!
2. Learn Basic strategy. This is the most sensible option. Thanks to computer programs that have tested how to play every possible hand billions of times, players needn’t take decisions based on gut reactions or ignorance. Basic strategy has transformed the pot-luck approach of the game – and you’ll win more often (although you’ll sometimes still get burned). And remember that the odds are still against you, so managing your stakes and having a clear financial strategy for winning or losing is essential.
At CasinoLabRat.com it’s amazing how often we see big winners – and we mean big - at the blackjack tables of many of the top rated online casinos!
Note: there is no one perfect basic strategy for every Blackjack game, as the rules are variable. But, for a typical set of casino rules, a table of the decisions you take will be set out in the next blog I’ll post.
3. Use a card counting technique. Ah, yes, this is the best way to win. It isn’t difficult to understand, but takes time to perfect. Operated well, card counting reverses the odds. Instead of the odds favouring the casino by about 2% even for a good basic strategy player, a card counter turns the odds to perhaps 2% in his favour. However, be warned: the better chance of card counting comes with a severe risk of being banned and facing a scary session with the gorillas below the stairs! (And it’s really only achievable at in-the-flesh casino Blackjack rather than online blackjack play).
Some Tips for Winning Blackjack
Top Tip 1: Big wins usually result from successful splits and double-downs. Always be ready to grab the chance when presented!
Top Tip 2: If the dealer’s up-card is an Ace, the dealer offers the chance of buying insurance. Basic strategy dictates that you don’t!
Top Tip 3: Blackjack rules vary, so check ‘em out before playing! Here’s some examples of things to look out for:
- Does the dealer have to stand on soft 17 (e.g. A-6?) This is a good rule for the player.
- How many decks are used? (It varies from one to eight or so usually) One is good.
- Can you surrender a bad hand, losing half the stake against a good dealer up card?
- Can you double down on any hand or just on certain totals?
- How often can you double down? (More is better)
- Can you only split pairs?
- Can you split more often than once? (This is good for players but seldom allowed)
- Can you double down after a split? (If you can this is a big advantage)
- If splitting Aces, then can just one more card be taken on each hand? (This is a bad rule for the player)
- Does the casino pay 3/2 if you get a Blackjack (and Ace plus a 10, Jack Queen or King?) Or are they into the new trend of paying only 6/5? (ie bad!)
…Continued in the next blog post,
If you’re looking for the best site for Blackjack , we like and play at Blackjack Ballroom Casino. There are 38 different Blackjack variants available at Blackjack Ballroom – including several single deck blackjack options and a range of the popular Microgaming Gold series game format with ultra realistic card turns, chips and table layouts. Players from most countries are welcome, including US players from 39 States.
We’ve seen some big wins come through on Blackjack tables from players at CarbonPoker.com too – all US players are welcome at this top Australian-run online poker and gaming room.
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If you want to win big you might as well aim REALLY BIG and take on one of the amazing Progressive Jackpots that are ripe for the picking at present. Both Microgaming and Playtech casinos have a progressive casino slot machine with jackpots that are just screaming for a big winner!
So where are the tastiest casino Progressive Jackpots on the net at present?
This one is by far the top Progressive video slot on the net today today - Microgaming’s Mega Moolah’s jackpot is now sitting at over $3.8 MILLION. It’s got a Wild African theme and if Progressive slots are your thing - this is the one to play this week.
To date, Mega Moolah has paid out well over $225 million to over 7,000 players from all over the world, making eleven millionaires in the process. It seems as though the twelfth millionaire will be just around the corner… The big win really could be just a spin away!
For every $50 purchased and played on MegaMoolah this weekend, (and every weekend until the massive $3.8 million Jackpot is struck!) Blackjack Ballroom and Zodiac Casinos will give you $10 Insurance on all losses. That is a 20% Money Back deal! (Players from around the world including US players from 39 States are welcome)
Playtech’s Gold Rally
If Wild Africa is not your thing, try some old fashioned gold mining instead. UK’s Bet365 Casino has a cool $2.4 MILLION waiting for some lucky player on their Gold Rally 8 line video slot. Become a member at this top Playtech Casino today and claim your bonus of up to £100 as a 100% first deposit match. (Sorry, no US players).
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With the next wave of Microgaming’s new slots releases due out before month end does the sneak preview we’ve had give us something to look forward to?
It’s hard to tell!
NO WORRIES - an Ocker shocker?
Just when I was about to write off the Australian “down under” themed “No Worries” Video Slot as yet another “Free Spins 5 reel”, it does sound like it’s got a new feature! The Pick-a-Prize feature lets you choose to either “Collect”, “Replay” or select a “Mystery” prize! OK, we’ll hold off on our Waltzing Matilda or boomerang jokes till we’ve played this one…
BOOGIE MONSTERS - What’s hiding under your bed?
Boogie Monsters 5 reel video slot apparently combines disco balls and the creatures from every childs nightmare. Well, perhaps not. Werewolves, purple haired witches and scarecrows feature. Yawn. Find the Fat Bats hiding in the messy bedroom during the bonus round to win. Sounds strange, but not spooky - lets hope its out in time for halloween!
PATH OF THE PENGUIN - Martial Artist gets Freezer burn?
Path of the Penguin is another spanking new 5 reel video slot due out late October. It apparently has “a truly cool, if somewhat unlikely” Ninja Penguin theme. The two bonus feature games have us interested but the thought of Nunchaku Squid and Snowflake Shuriken are weapons smell a tad fishy to me…
MORE READING ON SITE AT CasinoLabRat.com
>>Check out casino game reviews of the latest slots and games online at the best online casinos
>>Read detailed casino reviews - whats hot and not about the top online casinos.
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So you’re looking for somewhere safe to play Blackjack or Roulette - where the casino doesn’t always win?
Gaming software at all casinos rated and reviewed by the team at CasinoLabRat.com is independently tested and certified for fair play - and the number of decks, card shuffling and casino edge are in general clearly laid out on each casino’s site so you can make the right decisions about where to play.
That said, we’ve had some great feedback from players at Bodog Casino recently - this US-player-friendly casino has suffered a good run of sizeable Blackjack and table game payouts since late September.
Check out the following Blackjack and Table Game wins reported over the last week at Bodog Casino:
October 5th, 2007 - Charles B. was getting hot cards at the tables. He made $37, 499 on blackjack. Ralph Z. made money off the tables too. He made $4,183 off of blackjack while James N. made $5,775.
October 2nd, 2007 - Robert E. rode the roulette wheel to big money making $43,362! James N. was money at the tables, he made $13,371 while Paul B. dominated blackjack with a $8,450 payout.
October 1st, 2007 - Kevin B. of NJ took down the biggest casino win last weekend in Bodog’s online casino when he walked away from the virtual blackjack table with $29,012. Congratulations Kevin, you are The Man! Other Blackjack winners included Aaron S. of TX and Frank L. of CA who made $11,916 and $10,850 respectively. Jim P. of CA added to his previous days Blackjack winnings by taking home another $9,850. And Glen K. of MD was yet another big Blackjack winner as he took home $9,030. Dennis P. of AL won $9,368 playing Tri-Card Poker.
September 27th, 2007 - Jim P. of CA who was the Bodog online casino’s big winner yesterday with a $45,450 payday proving the Jim definitely knows how to play Blackjack.
Jeffrey D. of NY who must have heard the buzz about Bodog’s Let Em’ Ride game and how much it has been paying out because he got in on the action and won himself $24,717!
Ryan L. of NM turned out to be another big Blackjack winner with $7,920.
And Tom A. continued his winning streak on Double Double Bonus Poker with another $5,245 payout.
September 26th, 2007 - Tom A. of PA must’ve of got the bonus playing Double Double Bonus Poker. He made $23,520! Mattew M. was solid on the blackjack tables, he made $23,457. Nice.
September 24th, 2007 - Blackjack was hot as usual in the Bodog Casino! Brenda A. cleaned out the blackjack table last night with a $11,969 win. There were some other winners on the tables as well. Nathlie C., Stephen P., and Lisa B. made $9,338,$7,488, and $6,512 respectively.
>> Visit Bodog Casino to start your winning blackjack streak today!
>> Compare the best casinos online for Blackjack play
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New Forest of Wonders Slot is an Alice in Wonderland-themed 5 reel slot machine with 25 paylines, at UK’s Bet365 Casino.
It’s always been fairly controversial, but many believe that Caroll Lewis wrote his fantasy stories ”under the influence” - and as you’d expect on a psychedelic drug trip courtesy of Playtech gaming software, the bonus round is triggered by 3 consecutive mushrooms on an active payline.
Check out the cool Cheshire cat that vanishes except for his grin when you spin a winning reel combo. “Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,” thought Alice; “but a grin without a cat!” I also like the opium smoking catepillar and the zonked out Dormouse. In fact, all characters in this new slot game look totally wasted. Wonder what was in the tea? Must have been the bonus mushrooms.
Three or more scatter March Hares give you a free spins bonus - and you can win free spins and bonus rounds within free spins! Excellent - and they just keep coming.
A fun slot for Lewis Caroll fans with nice fantasy forest game audios, plenty of player interaction and a growing Progressive Jackpot (currently at $28,325).
>> Play Forest of Wonders Slot Machine for free or for real money at UK’s Bet365 Casino (Sorry, no US players can play for real at any casino powered by Playtech software).
>> Read more about Bet365 Casino in a detailed online casino review. What’s hot and not about Casino365.
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The new Dragon’s Loot Slot game is a gentler type of fantasy world to FrankenCash and all that electrification (click to read an earlier blog posting), but in this 5-Reel, 25-Payline game you still get to take on a fire breathing dragon in order to make some cash.
Three or more Dragons trigger the bonus round where you select a treasure chest from the Dragon’s Lair to reveal the number of free spins and your multiplier. Up to 75 Free Spins and an x8 Multiplier are possible - so this game can be highly rewarding! The base jackpot is $20,000 and can increase to $160,000.
The game is stylish, perhaps “pretty” with a nice audio track through the free spins wins. The girl (carrying a lager?) is a bit anime chic in style, but the castle is far too Disney comic for my taste. The knight fancies himself with the sword…and comes out slashing - personally I’ll back the fire breathing dragon to keep his loot any day!
Annoying features: Dragons Loot has that clicketta, clicketta sound as the reels roll and 9,10,J,Q,K images instead of expanding on the theme of the slot.
That said, all fantasy role players and those fond of dragons should enjoy a spin on this new Microgaming slot. The $160,000 possible jackpot is the most promising of the 3 new game releases out this week - and we topped up our casino account handsomely during a freespins win. With some luck you might too!
You can play Dragon’s Loot slot machine (free play or for real money) at:
Play at UK’s 32Rred Casino (sorry, no US players)
- Read our detailed review on 32RedCasino here.
Play at Zodiac Casino (accepts players worldwide including from 39 States of the USA)
- Read our detailed review of auspicious Zodiac Casino here.
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