A report from the European Commission this week suggest that online Euro gambling growth could be up to fifteen per cent next year, an amazing statistic that shows just how popular online gaming is becoming. In particular we can attribute this success to poker: many European players are now getting in to playing over the internet, something that has already been readily embraced by American players, particularly the professionals who know exactly how to make a living out of the game and play their opponents off against one another. Online blackjack games have also seen record numbers for the past three consecutive years, showing that card games really do rule the roost where Europe is concerned!
It is abundantly clear that online casino games are popular all around the world, a factor that is pushing the decline of land based casinos in some areas of the world where revenue increases are either slowing down or declining completely. You will also find large amounts of strategy guides, casino discussion forums, databases that contain reviews and statistics for the casino sites, and news blogs like this one that regularly report on movements within the casino industry. Now, mobile gaming is also rearing its head, as more and more players download apps onto their smart phones and tablets that allow them to bet on all kinds of games wherever they go.
Convenience is obviously a huge factor in the popularity of these forms of the games, but it could also be that we are all just getting more used to using the internet for any purpose. Writing letters has been replaced by email; calling or getting in touch personally has given way to Facebook; even gaming on other sites or using gaming devices has begun to fall under the sway of Facebook’s impressive application library, and of course real money gambling is being developed for that platform too. It is estimated that online gaming earned revenues in the EU in 2011 of €9.3 billion, and that is not including the estimated 15,000 unregulated sites that are still out there.
Plans are now in place for a Dutch casino revolution, which will see the Dutch government changing the way that it deals with casinos in the country and will bring in more options for players there. The plan is for them to sell the state owed casino monopoly which is currently in place, and instead legalise online gambling in order to open up competition in the country and allow for more tax revenue to be gained in that way.
The new government was sworn in earlier this month, so this is one of their first proposed changes – and it is a big one. They promised to sell Holland Casino and bring in legislation which will allow for online casino games and online betting to take place in a legal manner, and though not every detail has been worked through yet reactions have been positive. “It is unclear at this stage if it will be a sale or an initial public offering. The government hasn’t decided how the sale will take place,” says Justin Franssen, a lawyer with VMW Taxand who has his speciality in the gaming sector.
There are fourteen Holland Casino venues throughout the country, most of them based in the larger cities which attract more tourist visitors such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam. They bring in around one million visitors per year, but their profit is modest compared to casinos elsewhere in the world at only 3.8 million Euros. It is certainly true that they are far from the glamour of Las Vegas, and a bit of rejuvenation could be just what they need to get business really booming. Tellingly, the casinos all put together receive about the same number of visits each year as the house in which Anne Frank hid from the Nazis during World War II, but they do not achieve the kind of status that the Van Gogh Museum enjoys. A weak economy has already harmed the casinos, with the management announcing they would cut ten per cent of the work force over the next two years to save on costs.
Tons of different cards games and table games are out there in the online casino world, and many of these games have similar sets of rules or general ideas about how to play without necessarily being the exact same. Stravaganza is a good example of a game that fits into a lot of the ideas that players have about table poker and blackjack without necessarily fitting into the actual mold for either game. Get in on the action with this game by learning the rules and the best strategies for trying to win.
This game starts off by you making a bet and receiving two cards face up. The dealer is given three cards face down. Your total is decided like in blackjack with two exceptions. First, aces always count as one. Second, there is no such thing is going “too high” because you can’t bust in this game, even though it’s the highest total that will win between yourself and the dealer.
If your initial two cards give you a score of five or less, then you have the option to get your bet returned to you and start a new game. You should always exercise this option. With totals ranging from six to nine, you can use the rescue option which basically means you take back half of your bet and start a new hand, and it’s much like surrendering in blackjack in this regard. Finally, playing with totals of ten and higher gives you two options for playing your hand.
One option is to stand pat and hope that you have a higher total than the dealer’s three cards. The second option is “play on,” and that involves doubling your bet and receiving an additional card to bump up your total. The trick here is that you can get certain bonus payouts if you play on. Picking up three face cards pays 1.5:1, and if they’re of the same rank, that payout doubles to 3:1.
Strategy in this game is simple. Always take back your bet with totals of five or less, and always take the escape option with totals from six to nine. If you have a total of 10 to 14, then you should always stand. However, totals of 15 and higher should double. It’s that easy to play this game well, so you should add it to the list of titles you’re comfortable with after playing a few free play rounds.
Outside of the United States the most popular and glamorous gambling destination is Monte Carlo. Gambling in Monte Carlo is centered about the Monte Carlo Casino, which is as much a tourist spot as it is the Mecca for gamblers.
The history of the Monte Carlo Casino is about 150 years old. In 1854 Prince Florestan I of Monaco legalized gambling so as to generate revenue for the state. The first casino was opened in 1856 in a villa near the harbour. Prince Charles III had a greater vision for the future and ordered the construction of a new quarter called Monte Carlo. The plan included a grand new casino, which we now know as the Monte Carlo Casino. Charles Garnier, who was the architect of the Paris opera, designed the casino in the Baroque style. The construction of the casino began in 1858. A 50-year concession to operate the gambling rooms was granted to Francois Blanc. Blanc at that time had been running casinos in some smaller towns in Germany. Gambling was outlawed there and hence the opportunity to run the Monte Carlo Casino came as a god send.
The Monte Carlo Casino opened to the public in 1863. Initially things did not go well for Blanc. He was unable to draw sufficient clientele to be able to pay his fee to the state. At that time the roulette wheels in Europe had 0 and 00. Blanc had been operating wheels with only 0 in Germany so as to give players an advantage. He introduced those wheels in the Monte Carlo Casino. Since then the casino has grown from strength to strength. Incidentally the single 0 roulette wheel became the standard in Europe after that. The Monte Carlo Casino has had many exciting moments that have been recorded in history. But the most outstanding one is when Joseph Jagger broke the bank in 1873. At that time the bank was referred to the money held on a table by the croupier and not the entire resources of the casino. Jagger discovered a bias in one of the casino’s roulette wheels and exploited the bias by breaking the bank several times. In 1891, a con artist named Charles Wells played at the Monte Carlo Casino with borrowed money. Using the worthless Martingale Doubling system he hit the roulette wheels and struck lucky. He became the second man to break the bank at the Monte Carlo Casino.
In 1898 the concession was taken over by the Societe des Bains de Mer, which is a private company with a substantial government stake and which still runs the casino. 1n 1910 a theatre was added to the casino complex. The Monte Carlo Casino has featured in many movies, the most notable ones being from the James Bond series. Some of the movies that had scenes shot at the casino include Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye. Today apart from the regular casino games, poker is a major attraction at the Monte Carlo Casino. Since 2004, the casino hosts its own poker tournament, the Monte Carlo Millions. One of its most famous winners is the poker professional Phil Ivey. The Monte Carlo Casino also hosts the finals of the European Poker Tour.
Blackjack is a game where you can drastically increase your payout rate and your chances of winning by choosing the right strategies. However, because there are so many forms of blackjack out there, it’s not very clear what the best strategies are a lot of the time. Instead of trying to learn to play one particular variation of blackjack perfectly when you first start out, you should build a foundation first with the basics that apply to all of the game. Then you can adjust from that general strategy to the specific rules of the game you’re playing to maximize your payout rate.
The first thing you need to know is the point of the game. A lot of people think the object is to get as close to 21 as you can without going over, but that’s a bit misguided. Instead, your goal is to win, and depending on the situation, you can get the best chances to win in different ways. When you hit with hard totals of 12 or higher, you’re putting yourself at risk of going bust. Remember that if you bust and the dealer busts, you still lose the hand. Depending on the card the dealer is showing, you might want to stand and give him a chance to bust instead.
The key to understanding when you should hit and when you should stand is based on the strength of the dealer’s up card. When the dealer has a two through six, he’s a bit more likely to bust than if he has a seven or higher. Along these lines, you should make sure that you pay attention to which card the dealer has instead of only looking at the total in your hand.
You should also be much more aggressive with soft hands, especially if you’re facing a weak dealer card. If you have a soft hand of 12 through 17, and you’re facing a dealer with a two through six, then you should often be doubling. The weakest cards, in order starting from the weakest, are 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2, so make sure that you’re more aggressive against the six and five especially. This is tricky for new players to understand, but just remember that a six makes 16 very often, and a hard 16 is the worst hand you can have in the game of blackjack.
It is summer time and people are traveling away to foreign lands for holidays. There are several online video slot games that are based on the holiday theme. The similarity between these games is such that players often tend to mix them up. But this will not happen with the holiday themed slot game from the leading online casino software provider Top Game. The game is appropriately titled Voyager’s Quest. It does have similarities with other slots of this genre but it is the uniqueness that counts in the end.
There are two types of symbols generally used in holiday themed slot games. One type is popular tourist landmarks and the other is the means of travel used in holidays. Top Game Voyager’s Quest uses both these types of symbols. The higher paying symbols are the tourist landmarks, which are the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Big Ben of London and Eiffel Tower of Paris. The lower paying symbols are air balloon, steam engine, ocean liner, stage coach and car, which cover both early and modern means of travel. What makes these symbols unique is the caricatured way they are crafted. This along with the bright colors and lively background music will put the player in the perfect mood for the holiday. And the operating buttons of the Top Game Voyager’s Quest slot game are depicted as items of baggage all packed up and ready to go.
As is the practice with Top Game online video slots there are three special symbols in Voyager’s Quest. The airplane is the wild symbol and it also offers the highest jackpot line payout of 9,000 coins. When it assists in making a winning combination it flies around a globe. The open suitcase filled with gold coins is the scatter symbol. When this symbol appears at the same time on reels 1 and 5 players are awarded five spree spins. The compass is the bonus symbol.
What sets Top Game Voyager’s Quest apart from the other slot games of this genre is the bonus game on the second screen. The bonus game is triggered when the compass symbol appears simultaneously on reels 2, 3 and 4 of an active payline. The objective of the bonus game is to reach the ship by using the car, train, boat and plane on different legs of the journey before it embarks from the port. There is a maximum of 3,600 points up for grabs in this bonus game.
The bonus game is a visual delight. The first leg of the journey shows a number of roads from the home to the station and the player has to choose one. The car moves along the chosen road and as it reaches the station it discloses the credits awarded. The second leg of the journey shows a number of rail tracks from the station to the water ways. Similarly there are a number of water ways and finally a number of flight paths. Each choice sets off the animated journey and awards bonus credits. There are booby traps on the way. If a player chooses a wrong path on any leg he will crash out and miss the ship, but will keep the bonus points accumulated till then.