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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Gambling Tips to Start the New Year

12 January 2011

* There are many reasons for slot players to learn how to play video poker, but one of the very best is the transparency of video poker games. Whereas the individual payback percentages of traditional spinning reel and video slots are proprietary information, video poker is an open book. The payback percentages of video poker games are based on a mathematical formula using information from the game's pay table, which is in clear public view.

* Of all the wagers you can make in a casino, there is one in which the odds aren't stacked against you. That wager is called "free odds" and it's found at the craps tables. The odds are free because the house takes no edge on them. Payoffs are made at true mathematical odds. Once you make a line bet and a point is established, you have the option of making an additional bet that the point will be made. Playing free odds is essential to taking advantage of the opportunities at the dice table and in doing so you're also trimming even further the low house edge that the casino takes on line bets. It's really the best bet you can make on any casino game and makes learning how to play craps well worth the effort.

* Building up playing credits on slot and video poker machines carries seeds of destruction for recreational gaming enthusiasts. When you are playing with electronically metered credits instead of cold, hard cash, it is easy for your money to lose its value. Always be aware of exactly how much money you have on the machine in credits no matter what denomination you are playing. With the increase in the number of low-denomination slot games, it's easy to forget that pennies add up to dollars. Don't make the mistake of squandering away any good fortune by neglecting to pause to figure out just how much money those credits add up to. Winning never comes easy.

* The gaming industry is always in search of inventive ways for casino-goers to wager. Even blackjack, a game that requires a degree of skill to play successfully, isn't exempt. However, be cautioned that blackjack side bets with bonus payoffs typically pack a house edge that makes them not worth playing. Blackjack requires concentration, and if played correctly, the house edge can be reduced. Gimmicky side bets only serve as a distraction. Any money you divert from the base game by making side bets with regularity at the blackjack table will cut into your profits or add to your losses. A side bet once in a while is okay, but a steady diet of them is not recommended.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp