Archive for the ‘General Tips’ Category

Belle Rock Publishes Online Video Poker Tips

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Video Poker Glitch Allows Players to Increase Wager on Double Up Feature

Via press release, Belle Rock Entertainment – one of the oldest online casino groups in business today (not to mention one of the most reputable) – has announced the publication of a mini strategy guide for Jacks or Better video poker. Offering unlimited free-play on their suite of Microgaming-powered video poker games, Belle Rock is hoping to attract gamblers who’ve never played video poker before, but have always been curious about the game.

The fact of the matter is that when played with optimal strategy, Jacks or Better video poker offers one of the lowest House Edges of any casino game. And while video poker strategy is not as mind-taxing as the “basic” Blackjack Strategy, it certainly takes a good deal of practice to master. While this is certainly what Belle Rock is encouraging players to do with a mini Jacks or Better strategy guide like this one, a more comprehensive video poker strategy guide will be necessary to lower the House Edge as much as possible.

As far as Belle Rock is concerned, they still welcome bettors to play Jacks or Better with perfect strategy. In the end, the edge will still be in the favor of the casino. Just how much can be verified by payout percentage reports, which at the best online casinos generally hover around the 98 percentile. Nor is it rare to find video poker payouts actually exceeding 100% – in the favor of the player!

By publishing strategy tips of their own, Belle Rock simply wants to encourage action on their video poker machines and give players a solid shot at winning money. It’s not too often that online casinos do this, which is one of the primary reasons why we give Belle Rock a top rating.

Furthermore, Belle Rock online casinos, such as Jackpot City (reviewed here) and Lucky Nugget (reviewed here), are eCOGRA approved. This means that monthly payout percentages are indeed available for player perusal every month. Just look for the eCOGRA seal located near the footer of each Belle Rock website to see the latest payout report. Jackpot City’s payout report, for example, shows a return of 97.26% for the month of June, 2012. Go see for yourself, and don’t forget to sharpen up on your video poker strategy while you’re at it!

Learning to Love Slot Machines all Over Again

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I have a confession to make. I have a love-hate relationship with slot machines. There, I said it. By God, I may never be forgiven by the slots fanatics out there, but at least I got it off my chest!

Granted, I don’t know if it’s just me, or if anybody else out there has this problem, but the thing is, I used to love playing slots all the time! Now, whether I’m playing slot machines on the computer, in Las Vegas or on an overpriced cruise ship, I find myself loving and cursing the slot machines in a single breath. If you’re wondering how on earth this is possible, welcome to the club.

Sure, there’s those freakishly inhuman people who never seem to get upset no matter how much money they lose on the slots. I’m not one of them. I’m just a Jedi in training. I can only aspire for the day in which the force will be with me, and I too will be able to lose $500 on the Monopoly slots and look that machine in the eye….err, coin slot, and say, “Nice doing business with you. Thanks for the good times”.

No, I’m thinking most people are probably wondering how it’s even possible to curse and love something on a single breath to begin with. Let’s just say that’s how long it takes for a slot machine to take your money. If you’re one of those deep breathing Yogi’s, you could probably get in ten spins (and lose twenty bucks) on a single breath!

But seriously folks, that’s part of the problem. Looking back on my relationship with slots, I can see that during the times in which I went on auto-pilot and wasn’t taking my time and wasn’t reminding myself to have fun and that I was losing money I could afford to lose, that’s when the love would turn to hate and I would start shouting out expletive’s at the slot machine (as if it could hear me), and all to the chagrin of the poor little old lady sitting behind me. Actually, she turned out to be more of a sailor than me, but that’s another story.

Needless to say, I’m a happy man when the machine is spitting out coins. My challenge is to learn how to be happy when it’s not.

That said, I suppose the moral of this story (and the whole point of this diatribe) is that if you too find yourself loving and hating the slot machines in a single breath, remind yourself to take it slow and have fun. Take in your surroundings, stop to sip on a drink and watch those around you. If you’re playing at online casinos, remember to take more frequent breaks. You could check your email, update your Facebook account or catch up on some news.

The point is to prevent yourself from getting into what I like to call the zombie zone and forget that you are playing slots to have fun. If you can win some money while your at it, then consider yourself lucky.

Betting Systems Don’t Work

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

betting-system1I recently had a discussion in which someone tried to convince me that by using the right betting system, they could gain an advantage. I remain unconvinced. Why? Because the math and logic are on my side.

The odds are the odds. With games of chance like slots and roulette, the game has predetermined odds. The game is set up with those odds and a random number generator makes the game pay out at the rate determined by those odds. Changing the amount of money you get cannot change those odds.

To illustrate that, let’s look at a simple bet on the flip of a coin. The odds say that since there are two possible outcomes (head or tails), there is a 50% chance of either occurring on any true flip of the coin. If you bet $10 that it will come up heads and you are wrong, betting $20 on the next flip won’t improve your odds. There is still exactly a 50% chance that your bet will win.

The martingale system is popular because people think if you keep doubling your bet after each loss, when you win you will make your money back. There are two major problems with the martingale strategy. First, doubling your bet after each loss means that a losing streak will quickly deplete your bankroll. Many people using this betting system will simply run out of money during a losing streak. Another problem is betting limits. Casino games, including online slots, have a maximum limit to what you can bet. Those betting limits are specifically designed to combat betting systems like the martingale.

Betting systems continue to be popular because of the gambler’s fallacy. That fallacy says that if an event has not happened recently, it is overdue and more likely to occur. Just like with the flip of the coin, there is no truth to it in games of chance. Even if you flip heads five times in a row, there is still only a 50% chance that the next flip will be tails. A lot of scams use the gambler’s fallacy to encourage betting on something to happen when it is due. A wise gambler stays away from those scams and avoids any betting systems.

Sorting Through Complaints to Gauge an Online Casino’s Reputation

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

In the world of online gambling, reputation goes a long way. Much longer than you just might think.

When speaking of an online casino, reputation is most directly affected by the experiences of other players, which in turn, is often shared via forums and review comments. Take our very own forum, for instance. The online casino complaints sub-forum is one of our most active of the lot. On the surface, this doesn’t necessarily paint a good picture for online gambling, does it not? However, it’s important to keep in mind that players often do not post forum threads when things are going good or when they’ve won a large jackpot. It’s usually only when things are going bad that posts get made.

As far as were concerned here at OCS, that’s okay. That’s exactly what our casino complaints forum is for! Furthermore, if you pay a visit to the forum, you will see that the majority of these complaints are resolved in favor of the player. These days, considering the payment roadblocks that U.S. friendly internet casino operators face, the majority of complaints pertain to payment delays, which rightfully should end up in favor of the player…i.e., the player getting paid!

Now, just because a player makes a complaint, doesn’t mean the recipient of the complaint should be deemed a business to avoid, i.e. a rogue online casino. Even the most reputable online casinos with outstanding track records make mistakes. No business is perfect. In some cases, the complaint isn’t even valid. Needless to say, there are dishonest players who knowingly break the rules to win as much money as possible from casinos. Bonus hunters and multi-account holders are the perfect example.

However, there is great value in the complaints system, so to speak, when a particular online casino begins to receive steady complaints from multiple players. If the casino is doing all they can to resolve the complaints, which could be happening as a direct result of unforeseen circumstances that are out of the control of the casino operator, there really is no need for a blacklisting. Depending on the type of complaints and if/how they are being addressed, a temporary warning may simply be issued. It should then be up to each player’s personal discretion regarding opening an account at the casino in question.

So, next time you are thinking about opening a new account at an online casino, check out our player’s forum first. And most certainly look over our Blacklist. If there is ever a complaint you would like to make regarding an internet gaming site, especially one that is approved and listed at Online Casino Suite, please do not hesitate doing so.

Why Online Casinos Have Wagering Requirements

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Wagering requirements are something that a lot of new online gamblers don’t understand. They look at it as a way of taking the good deal away from the bonus or they look at it as a way of the casino being greedy. Here at, we are dedicated to setting the record straight. Sure, casinos can be greedy (making money is their goal), but that’s not the reason for the wagering requirements.

Your average new player sees a bonus and is excited. Wow, a free $2,000! What a great deal, they think. But then they see the terms and conditions. What, I must wager the bonus 25 times before making a withdrawal? Why?

To answer the average player’s question, I will show you what a scheming, fraudulent person thinks when they see a bonus. Whoa, a free $2000. That’s great. I’ll just join a bunch of online casinos, take the free money and then laugh my way to the bank! Oh, wait. I can’t do that because I must wager it at least 25 times.

In the early days of the online casino industry, the casinos offered sign-up bonuses and did not have any wagering requirements. People took advantage by signing up for casino after casino without ever playing at any of them simply so they can take the bonus money. The wagering requirements are to protect against that. The purpose is simply to get you to use the bonus as they are intended: to wager on casino games. The bonuses are a reward for joining or playing at a casino and are intended to help you play more games for less money. Taking that into account, the wagering requirements are (usually) not bad.

Online Blackjack Tip: Check the Rules

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Sometimes when people get comfortable with something, they forget the basics. When you’ve been driving for years, you probably no longer conduct all of the pre-driving checks before pulling out of the driveway. If you’re use to taking the same medicine, you no longer read the directions before popping the pills. If you have been playing blackjack for years, you probably don’t read the rules before playing. That would be a mistake.

If you’re a blackjack veteran, you might think “I know the blackjack rules” and don’t bother checking them before playing. However, blackjack rules can vary a lot. Aside from poker, blackjack is the casino game with the most rule variations. If you log onto an online casino to play blackjack, you need to read the rules for that particular blackjack game. Some games allow late surrender while others do not. Some allow you to split any doubles while others have restrictions. Some have side bets, though in general those are never good deals.

There are also countless variations, such as Double Exposure Blackjack or Pontoon, that drastically change the gameplay. Any changes in the rules change the odds of the game. Usually deviation from the standard rules means a worse house edge, so you want to play a game with the standard rules, where following blackjack basic strategy can reduce the house edge to 0.5%.

The important thing is to never get to comfortable and take the rules for granted. If you just log onto the online casino, find a new blackjack game to play, and then jump right in, you could lose a lot of money before you realize you are playing a game with bad rules. To be safe, always read the rules for that particular game before you put any money down.

Avoid Gambling Debt

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

DebtIf you live in the United States, you have been bombarded with talk about government spending and debt for at least the past month. If you are someone who pays a lot of attention to politics and economics, you’ve heard the same talk for years. With Congress set to pass a deal to increase the debt ceiling today, it’s worth looking at how debt and irresponsible spending hurts gamblers.

Unlike the government, when a person reaches their debt limit, they can’t just raise it and borrow more money to pay off money that they borrowed. If they do that, they will end up broke at the very least and in jail at the worst. Despite that, some gamblers still spend money irresponsibly when playing casino games. One of the most irresponsible gambling behaviors is accruing debt.

You know those movies where someone needs money so he borrows it from a loan shark and bets on a “sure thing” only to have it backfire, resulting in him owing the loan shark a lot of money he can’t repay? Well, that actually happens, but for the purpose of this article, we’re talking about a less obvious form of gambling debt.

In brick and mortar casinos, it comes in the form of casino markers. Players take out a marker, which is the casino extending a line of credit to them, rather than bringing their money to the casino. We advise against this practice because when you spend money you don’t physically have in your possession, it can become too easy to spend money that you don’t even have in your account. There have been many cases lately of players taken to court for failure to pay casino debts.

In online casinos, it’s much easier to accrue a gambling debt. All you have to do is use your credit card to make the deposit. That is spending money that you will pay for at a later date. While your card has a credit limit, you can still easily spend too much this way. Also, if you don’t pay it off right away, your credit card company will charge you interest.

Gambling with debt is always a bad idea. As a general rule of thumb, whenever you make a wager, assume that you will lose it, because you might. If you can’t afford to lose the money, you shouldn’t wager it. That includes spending money you don’t have, which puts you in debt.

No Guarantees In Online Gambling

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Safety-First---14--x-10--5197980There are a lot of misconceptions that new players have about online gambling. Players are often wrong about strategy or about the rules of a specific game. Sometimes they are confused by tournaments or promotions. The most dangerous misconception, however, is from your odds.

I recently read a page on what is supposed to be an informative online gambling website. On that page, it says that you shouldn’t put money on a game that doesn’t guarantee you a return on your investment. For that reason, the website says, you should only wager real money at the best online casinos.

That last part is true, but there is an implicit lie in the previous statement. Or if not lie, it is misleading at the very least. Some people think that you can be guaranteed of winning money when playing casino games online. There are no guarantees when it comes to gambling. That’s why they call it gambling.

There aren’t even guarantees on the stock market or with mutual funds. Any time you invest or spend money, you are risking it. With online gambling, you have a chance to get your money back. You also have a chance to earn more money and walk away with big winnings. You can also lose everything. Because losing is a possibility, you need to plan accordingly, which means using wise money management.

If you play online blackjack, the house edge is pretty low and you have a pretty good chance of making some money, but there is still a house edge. That means that in the long run, the casino wins. With online poker, you are only competing against other players. If you are the best player, you have a really good chance of making money. But you might still lose. Someone could outplay you or just luck into an unbeatable hand.

Keep all of that in mind when doing online casino gambling. We want you to have fun and be safe with your money. That means knowing your odds and having realistic expectations.

Important Lesson to Online Players about Reputable Sites

Monday, July 11th, 2011

When we sit down to play our favorite online casino game, we often get caught up in the action and the strategy. Often this excitement begins at the very moment we make the decision to play for real money in an online casino. It is that excitement that can lead to hasty decisions in where to deposit and play with our money. This is why we here at advocate players to do research about any potential online casinos they are considering playing with. Players should do research in order to make sure that the site they choose to play at is reputable.

Unlike a land casino, players do not actually see their money handed over and nor do they receive any sort of physical indicator of their money such as chips or a ticket. Instead players deposit their money and then wager based off of a digital readout the online casino provides. In other words, the online casino tells you how much of your money they have. This is why it is important to know that you are playing at a reputable site, and knowing comes from research.

Some of the things that players should be looking for in an online casino that makes it reputable can be found right here on Other aspects do require a little digging. One thing players should be looking for is the Fair and Safe Seal from eCOGRA. To bring everyone up to speed, eCOGRA is one of the most highly respected independent auditing and advisory companies when it comes to online gambling. Not every online casino is able to receive the Fair and Safe Seal. In order to receive it, the online casino must pass an eCOGRA audit initially and then continue to pass periodic audits. Audits pertain to the online casino’s randomness of their games, their handling of players’ money in a safe manner, timely payouts and overall treatment of players.

While an eCOGRA Fair and Safe Seal is important to look for and while it is a very good indicator of a top online casino, there are other factors players should look for: a strong customer support staff, an encrypted web address (https) when making deposits and withdrawals, and strong bonuses and player rewards clubs.

I know that sounds like a lot to look for in an online casino, but at the end of the day it is important to know that you are playing in an online casino that will value you as a customer and not just a source of money. You certainly do not want to wind up playing unknowingly at a blacklist casino because you were so excited about getting started playing. Take the time to do some research. We have concise online casino reviews, which can serve as a good starting point when it comes to looking into online casinos. Playing as a reputable online casino can make the difference in your playing experience.

Free Online Casino Games

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

If you’re reading the blog on this website, there’s a good chance you like playing online casino games for real money. There is nothing like it, with the thrill of winning real money and the drama that comes with the risk of losing it. Of course, there are also benefits to playing free casino games. The top online casinos offer a good variety of free casino games, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of them.

The most obvious way to play online casino games for free is to play the free trial versions. The online casinos offer free versions of most, if not all, of their games so new players can decide if they like the casino or the games before joining. However, you can still access those free games even after joining, so you can enjoy free casino games anymore. The only difference between the free games and the regular games is that you don’t wager or win real money.

A less obvious way of playing free online casinos games is through tournaments. In casino tournaments, instead of spending real money each time you place a bet, you wager with points that are given to you by the casino. Instead of winning money, you win points that can be used to win prizes at the end of the tournament. Most of the tournaments have small entry fees that you have to pay to buy your way into the tournament. However, the top online casinos also offer freeroll tournaments, which are tournaments that have no entry fee. Those generally have smaller prize pools, but considering that you can enter and play at no cost, it’s an excellent deal.

Playing free games on occasion is a good way to stretch out your gaming budget without having to cut back on playing casino games. For that reason, playing free games is a good part of any wise strategy.