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Gaming – How to Play & Tips

Gaming - How to Play & Tips

There are a bunch of great online lotteries and scratch card games out there, but why not go old school every once in a while? These days, the world has gotten much smaller, and for many of us, our network of friends and associates has grown to include people from all over the world.  If you trust them, and they trust you, why not join in some of the lotteries that are available in their local districts?

If you have the funds, you can increase your chances of winning ‘free’ money, and – of course – make your friends rich through the process. And what better way is there to improve international relations?

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Gaming - How to Play & Tips

Not so long ago, slot-machine players were seen as the second-class citizens of casino customers.

Jackpots were small, payout percentages were dismal, and slot players just weren’t eligible for the kind of complimentary bonuses – such as free rooms, shows and meals – commonly given to table players. But in the last few decades, the face of the casino industry has changed drastically.

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Next time you’re at the casino tables, listen out for the hollering and look out for the high-fives… follow those and you’ll more than likely find yourself at a craps table.

Craps is by far the most exciting game in the casino and the players are not afraid to let their emotions show. The game is fast-moving and at times very loud. It is for this reason that craps is probably the most intimidating game to new players. If you feel this way, fret not, you are not alone.

Craps is actually not as confusing as it looks. An understanding of the basics and how to make a passline bet will get you on your way.

Bank craps is played by one or more players against a casino. The casino covers all player bets at a table and sets the odds on its payout. Players take turns rolling two dice. The player rolling the dice is called the “shooter”. Other players at the table will make bets on the shooter’s dice rolls. The game is played in rounds, with the first roll of a new round called the “come-out roll”. The second round resolves with a point being rolled or a seven.

To begin, a player wishing to play as the shooter must bet at least the table minimum on either the passline or don’t pass line.  The right to roll the dice is rotated clockwise around the craps table. A player next in turn to become shooter may refuse the dice, but can continue to bet on the shooter’s rolls; the dice then pass to the next player willing to become the shooter. The shooter is then presented with multiple dice (typically five) by the stickman, and must choose two to roll with. The remaining dice are returned to the stickman’s bowl and are not used.

First, the shooter makes a “come-out roll” with the intention of establishing a point. If the shooter’s come-out roll is a 2, 3 or 12, it is called “craps” (the shooter is said to “crap out”) and the round ends with players losing their passline bets. A come-out roll of 7 or 11 is called a “natural,” resulting in a win for pass line bets. Either way, the come-out roll continues for the same shooter until a point is established. If the point numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 are rolled on the come-out, this number becomes the “point” and the come-out roll is now over. The dealers will move an “On” button to the point number which identifies the point number to all players at the table. The shooter will now continue rolling for either the point number or a seven. If the shooter is successful in rolling the point number, the result is a win for the pass line. If the shooter rolls a seven (called a “seven-out”), the pass line loses. A seven-out ends the round with the dice being passed clockwise to the next player who wishes to become the new shooter.

A player wishing to play craps without being the shooter should approach the craps table and first check to see if the dealer’s “On” button is on any of the point numbers. If the point number is “Off” then the table is in the come-out round. If the dealer’s button is on, the table is in the point round where some casinos may allow a pass/don’t pass bet to be placed, but the player should check with the dealer. All single or multi roll proposition bets may be placed in either of the two rounds. Between dice rolls by the shooter, there is a period for dealers to make pay outs and collect losing bets. When the dealers are finished, players are then allowed to place new bets. The stickman monitors the action at a table and decides when to give the shooter the dice, after which no more betting is allowed.

In a casino, players will make bets with chips on a specially made craps table with a table cloth made of felt that displays the various betting possibilities. In most casinos, craps tables are double sided. The layouts on both sides of the table are identical, with the center bets in the middle. This allows for more players to participate. Players can make a large number of bets for each turn, round, or roll and should become familiar with the craps layout.

A casino craps table is run by four casino employees: a boxmanwho guards the chips, supervises the dealers and handles coloring out players (exchanging small chip denominations for larger denominations in order to preserve the chips at a table); two base dealers who stand to either side of the boxman and collect and pay bets; and a stickman who stands directly across the table from the boxman, takes bets in the centre of the table, announces the results of each roll, collects the dice with an elongated wooden stick, and directs the base dealers to pay winners from bets in the center of the table. Each employee makes sure the other is paying out winners correctly. Occasionally, during off-peak times, only one base dealer will be attending the table, rendering only half the table open for bettors or one of the two base dealers will assume the role of the stickman.

The dealers will insist that the shooter roll with one hand and that the dice bounce off the far wall surrounding the table. These requirements are meant to keep the game fair (preventing switching the dice or making a “controlled shot”). If a die leaves the table, the shooter will usually be asked to select another die from the remaining three but can request using the same die if it passes the boxman’s inspection. This requirement is used to keep the game fair (and reduce the chance of loaded dice).


  • Make sure the shooter is not about to throw the dice and put your money down on the table in front of the dealer and ask for “nickels”.
  •  If the current shooter has a point established (look for the buck white-side-up on a number) wait for the series to end by the shooter either making their point or rolling a 7 .
  • Put your bet down on the Pass Line in front of you.
  • On the come-out roll: 7,11 wins; 2,3,12 loses; 4,5,6,8,9,10 are points.
  • If a point is established: point number before 7 wins; 7 before point number loses.
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Backgammon is a strategy board game for two players, in which the playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice.

A player wins by removing all of his pieces from the board. There are many variants of backgammon, most of which share common traits. Backgammon is one of the oldest classes of board games in the world.

Although luck plays an important role in Backgammon, there is a large scope for strategy in the game. With each roll of the dice, a player must choose from numerous options for moving his checkers (playing pieces) and anticipate possible counter-moves by the opponent. Players may raise the stakes during the game. There is an established repertoire of common tactics and occurrences.

To start the game, each player rolls one die, and the player with the higher number moves first using both the numbers shown. Both dice must land completely flat on the right hand side of the gameboard. The players then alternate turns, rolling two dice at the beginning of each turn.

After rolling the dice a player must, if possible, move his checkers according to the number of pips shown on each die. For example, if the player rolls a 6 and a 3 (notated as “6-3″), that player must move one checker six points forward, and another or the same checker three points forward. The same checker may be moved twice as long as the two moves are distinct: six and then three, or three and then six. If a player rolls two of the same number, called doubles, that player must play each die twice. For example, upon rolling a 5-5, that player may move up to four separate checkers forward five spaces each. For any roll, if a player can move both dice, that player is compelled to do so. If a player cannot move either die in a roll, given the position of his checkers, then that turn is over and the turn passes to the opponent.

If it is possible to move either die, but not both, the higher number must be played. For example if a player rolls 6-3 and can only move a 6 or a 3, the 6 being the bigger number must be moved; if it is possible to move the 3 but not the 6 then the 3 is played. Furthermore, if one die is unable to be moved, but such a move is made possible by the moving of the other die, that move is compulsory. In short, the rules compel a player to exhaust every option available to complete both die moves where possible.

In the course of a move, a checker may land on any point that is unoccupied or is occupied only by a player’s own checkers. It may also land on a point occupied by exactly one opposing checker, or “blot”. In this case, the blot has been hit, and is placed in the middle of the board on the bar that divides the two sides of the playing surface. A checker may never land on a point occupied by two or more opposing checkers; thus, no point is ever occupied by checkers from both players simultaneously.

Checkers placed on the bar re-enter the game through the opponent’s home board. A roll of 2 allows the checker to enter on the 23-point, a roll of 3 on the 22-point, and so forth. A player may not move any other checkers until all checkers on the bar belonging to that player have re-entered the game.

When all of a player’s checkers are in that player’s home board, that player may start removing them; this is called “bearing off”. A roll of 1 may be used to bear off a checker from the 1-point, a 2 from the 2-point, and so on. A die may not be used to bear off checkers from a lower-numbered point unless there are no checkers on any higher points. When bearing off, a player may also move a lower die roll before the higher even if that means ‘the full value of the higher die’ is not fully utilised.

If one player has not borne off any checkers by the time that player’s opponent has borne off all fifteen, then the player has lost a gammon, which counts for double a normal loss. If the losing player has not borne off any checkers and still has checkers on the bar or in the opponent’s home board, then the player has lost a backgammon, which counts for triple a normal loss.

1) Once a backgammon opponent makes an advanced anchor, it is even more important to make one yourself. Your opponent can now afford to make bolder plays which could really put you on the defensive.

2) If you are already substantially behind in the race, it may not hurt your chances to fall further behind. When you are way behind in the race, it may actually improve your timing to be hit again, giving you a better back game or avoid crunching your board.

3) When ahead in the race, race! Break contact if you are ahead and bank on your racing advantage.

4) When you are behind in a race it is usually wrong to abandon an anchor or a holding point. Waiting for that shot may be your only chance to win.

5) When you are in doubt, hit. Hitting takes precedence in most situations, especially on your opponents side of the board when it makes a bigger difference in the race. Your opponent may dance.

6) When you are behind in the race and waiting for a shot, slot and build the points in your home board in order.

7) Always slot to extend primes, especially 6pt primes since you have less checkers to work with. The exception would be when you risk being put behind a prime yourself.

8) When considering a double, for every 2 gammons you think you will lose, you have to win 1 more game to make it up. Varies with match score.

9) When considering a double, you should be able to win 25 per cent of the games, if there is little risk of a gammon, to break even. Varies with match score (when behind be a little more aggressive, when ahead be a little more conservative).

10) When trying to save a gammon, always bear into the 6pt, and make crossovers whenever possible. On last roll situations, make the play which allows you to save gammon the most often.

11) In prime vs prime situations, make plays that don’t allow you to play high numbers on your next roll.

12) Fight for equality early in the game. Battle for your 5pt and 4pts on both sides of the board.

13) When considering doubling while on the bar, a better backgammon tip is to make sure you have serious market losers, you may dance.

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Blackjack, also known by many as Twenty-one, is the most widely played casino banking game in the world.

The basic aim of the game is to add value to an initial two-card hand to reach a card value of 21. If a card value of less than 21 is dealt, the player may choose to be dealt single cards until they either: reach a value of 21, reach a value they feel comfortable to play, or reach a value that exceeds 21.

The winner must hold a hand with a value of, or nearest to, 21 without exceeding it.

Much of Blackjack’s popularity is due to its mix of chance, skill, and the publicity that surrounds card counting (calculating the probability of advantages based on the ratio of high cards to low cards).

In casino blackjack, the dealer faces one to seven players. Each player plays his hand independently against the dealer. At the beginning of each round, the player places a bet in the “betting box” and receives an initial hand of two cards. The object of the game is to get a higher card total than the dealer, but without going over 21 which is called “busting” or “breaking”. The card values are as follows: spot cards count two to nine; the 10, jack, queen, and king count as 10; and an ace can be either one or 11 at the player’s choice.

The player goes first and plays his hand by taking additional cards if he desires. If he busts, he loses. Then the dealer plays his or her hand. If the dealer busts, he loses to all remaining players. If neither busts, the higher hand total wins. In case of a tie, no-one wins – the hand is a “push” and all bets are returned. It is possible for the dealer to lose to some players but still beat other players in the same round.

Cards are dealt in three ways, either from one or two hand-held decks, from a box containing four to eight decks called a “shoe,” or from a shuffling machine. When dealt by hand, the player’s two initial cards are face-down, while the dealer has one face-up card called the “upcard” and one face-down card called the “hole card”.  When dealt from a shoe, all player cards are normally dealt face-up, with minor exceptions.

It shouldn’t matter to the player whether their cards are dealt face-down or face-up, since the dealer must play according to predetermined rules. If the dealer has less than 17, they must hit. If the dealer has 17 or more, they must stand (take no more cards), unless it is a “soft 17″ (a hand that includes an ace valued as 11).With a soft 17, the dealer follows the casino rules printed on the blackjack table, either to “hit soft 17″ or to “stand on all 17s.”

The highest possible hand is a “blackjack” or “natural,” meaning an initial two-card total of 21 (an ace and a ten-value card). A player blackjack is an automatic winner unless the dealer also has blackjack, in which case the hand is a “push” (a tie). When the dealer upcard is an ace, the player is allowed to make a side bet called “insurance,” supposedly to guard against the risk that the dealer has a blackjack (i.e., a ten-value card as his hole card). The insurance bet pays 2-to-1 if the dealer has a blackjack. Whenever the dealer has a blackjack, he wins against all player hands except those that also have a blackjack (which are a “push”).


  • Find a table whose minimum is no more than five per cent of you total stash. In picking a table, consider rule variations that help the player like the option of doubling down on any two cards, or the dealer having to stand on soft 17. Even if you don’t completely understand them, these rule variations can work to your advantage.
  • Start with the basics: Since the dealer has to hit (take a card) on any hand 16 or lower, you’ll never win with less than 17 unless the dealer busts. Take a hit on any hand below 17 when the dealer shows ace, K, Q, J, 10, nine, or eight, cards that are unlikely to make the dealer bust. Stand on any hand above 11 when the dealer shows a four, five, or six, cards that will lead the dealer to bust more than 40 per cent of the time.
  • “Doubling down” involves doubling your bet and receiving one additional card when you suspect strongly that you will beat the dealer by doing so. This is the player’s chief advantage, so don’t ignore this option. Doubling with 10 against a nine or lower and with any hand of 11. Rules permitting, double with nine, or with “soft” hands (hands that count an ace as 11) of 13 to 17 against a four, five, or six.
  • If you are dealt two cards of the same value, you may “split” them, doubling your bet and playing two hands. Never split 10s or fives. Always split eights or sevens against a dealer’s card of equal or lower value. Always split two or threes against a four, five, or six. Always split aces. Never split face cards, 10s, or fives.
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Poker has become not only one of the world’s most popular card games, but also a part of pop culture.

Such poker-related phrases and clichés as ace in the hole, ace up one’s sleeve, beats me, call one’s bluff, cash in, high roller, pass the buck, poker face, stack up, up the ante, when the chips are down, wild card, hijack, and others are often used in everyday conversation, and there have been several Hollywood films centred around poker themes, such as Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton.

Poker’s popularity boomed at the beginning of the 21st century, largely because of the introduction of online poker and hole-card camera, which turned the game into a spectator sport. Viewers could now follow the action and drama of the game, and broadcasts of poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour brought in huge audiences for cable and satellite TV distributors.

Because of the increasing coverage of poker events, poker pros became celebrities, with poker fans all over the world entering into expensive tournaments for the chance to play with them.

There are many different poker variations, but all of them follow a similar pattern of play and generally using the same hand ranking hierarchy. The main families of poker variants are:

A complete hand is dealt to each player, and players bet in one round, with raising and re-raising allowed. This is the oldest poker family; the root of the game as currently played was a game known as Primero, which evolved into the game three-card Brag, a very popular gentleman’s game around the time of the American Revolutionary War and still enjoyed in the U.K. today. Straight hands of five cards are sometimes used as a final showdown, but poker is currently virtually always played in a more complex form to allow for additional strategy.

Cards are dealt in a prearranged combination of face-down and face-up rounds, or streets, with a round of betting following each. This is the next-oldest family; as poker progressed from three to five-card hands, they were often dealt one card at a time, either face-down or face-up, with a betting round between each. The most popular stud variant today, seven-card stud, deals two extra cards to each player (three face-down, four face-up) from which they must make the best possible five-card hand.

A complete hand is dealt to each player, face-down, and after betting, players are allowed to attempt to change their hand (with the object of improving it) by discarding unwanted cards and being dealt new ones. Five-card draw is the most famous variation in this family.

A variation of Stud poker, players are dealt an incomplete hand of face-down cards, and then a number of face-up community cards are dealt to the centre of the table, each of which can be used by one or more of the players to make a five-card hand. Texas hold-em and Omaha are two well-known variants of the Community family, with the former being the most popular form of poker currently played.

In casual play, the right to deal a hand typically rotates among the players and is marked by a token called a dealer button (or buck). In a casino, a house dealer handles the cards for each hand, but the button is rotated clockwise among the players to indicate a nominal dealer to determine the order of betting.

One or more players are usually required to make forced bets, usually either an ante or a blind bet (sometimes both). The dealer shuffles the cards, the player one chair to his right cuts, and the dealer deals the appropriate number of cards to the players one at a time, beginning with the player to his left. Cards may be dealt either face-up or face-down, depending on the variant of poker being played.

After the initial deal, the first of what may be several betting rounds begins. Between rounds, the players’ hands develop in some way, often by being dealt additional cards or replacing cards previously dealt. At the end of each round, all bets are gathered into the central pot.

At any time during a betting round, if one player bets and no opponents choose to call (match) the bet and instead fold, the hand ends immediately, the bettor is awarded the pot, no cards are required to be shown, and the next hand begins. This is what makes bluffing possible. Bluffing is a primary feature of poker, one that distinguishes it from other competitive games.

At the end of the last betting round, if more than one player remains, there is a showdown, in which the players reveal their previously hidden cards and evaluate their hands. The player with the best hand according to the poker variant being played wins the pot. A poker hand consists of five cards, but in some variants a player has more than five to choose from.

Here are some tips to help you improve your poker game:

Pay attention!
Watch who’s playing in an aggressive or loose way and who’s playing tight, try to play the loose players and avoid the tight players, unless you’ve got a strong hand.

Watch those chips
Always be aware of the chip count of everyone at your table. Know who has more chips than you and play more carefully against them – a mistake could knock you out of the game. It’s usually better to play pots with players who have fewer chips than you do, to minimise the risk of losing out.

Aces high?
Don’t play every time you have an ace in your hand, assuming you’ve got a great hand. Only play an ace if it’s accompanied by a card of the same suit or by a 10 or higher.

Hands to stick with before the flop:
Play with pairs (7-7, 9-9), two face cards (K-Q, Q-J), or hands that can make both a straight and a flush (8-9, 6-7 of the same suit). Be wise and fold other hands, unless you’re in the blind.

Go all-out
In no-limit Texas Hold’em, players can bet all of their chips at any time, so bet aggressively and confidently when you have a good hand.

Call a bluff
If someone raises in a late position (near or on the button), re-raise them a good amount if you are on the blind. Chances are, they don’t have a big hand and they’re just trying to steal your blinds. (This style of play, known as going ‘over the top’, is probably the strongest play one can make in no-limit Texas Hold’em.)

Patience is a virtue
The biggest mistake most poker players make is to act too quickly. When you’re making an important decision, pause to think about how the betting has gone and what your opponent might have. Take your time.

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