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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Smart Play Makes Casino Outings More Fun

1 April 2009

All games should be played using the best strategies to help you come out a winner. This is especially true for casino games because of the fact your hard-earned money is at stake.

Here are a few pointers for beginners and casual casino-goers to keep in mind the next time they tackle the slots or give the roulette wheel a spin.

Inexperienced players are naturally attracted to the new-wave video slots with multi-line, multi/coin play functions. They usually don't have a clue as to what machine to play, which denomination to select, or how much to bet.

Video slots are high-tech electronic marvels, a far cry from their mechanical reel-spinning cousins of yesteryear. Their interactive play features, second screen bonus round components, and attractive themes make them appealing to a broad audience.

After you select a game to play, always remember that you will give yourself the best opportunity to win by betting on the maximum number of lines. The numbers vary, so it's wise to check before you sit down. Some games have nine lines; others have 15, 20, 25, 50, 100 lines or more. The more lines, the more money it's going to take to bet the max.

When you've found a machine with which you are comfortable, the next decision to make is how many coins to play per line. This decision is dictated by your bankroll, with the caveat that even penny games can amount to dollars per spin.

The coins-per-line option usually varies from as low as one, two or three coins, graduating upward into multiples of five into double digits.

Just remember that activating the maximum number of lines is the key to maximizing your potential to win something on any given spin. The number of coins you bet per line increases the amount you win.

Beginning players also make mistakes at the roulette wheel by failing to take advantage of all of the wagering opportunities that are available.

Roulette is a game which is appealing to inexperienced recreational gaming enthusiasts because there is minimal strategy required, the pace is slow, and the premise is easy: Pick a number from 1 to 36, keeping in mind that an American roulette wheel also has "0" and "00" to give the house an edge.

The most common strategy is to bet a number "straight up", which pays 35 to 1 if it hits, or perhaps wagering on one of the even-money propositions, including odd/even, red/back, or high (18 through 36)/low (1 through 18).

Roulette players owe it to themselves to expand their horizons by learning to make a bet on groups of numbers. This is done by placing a chip in the appropriate position on the layout, something any dealer will be happy to assist you with.

For example, you can make a bet on six numbers (payoff 5 to 1); four numbers (8 to 1); three numbers (11 to 1); or two numbers (17 to 1). Or you can choose to wager on a column of numbers or a group of a dozen numbers. The payoff in either case is 2 to 1.

The house advantage on all of the wagers listed above is the same, 5.26 percent, so it's not as if you're looking for an edge. You're just looking for variety and the opportunity to "work" your stack of chips.

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