Archive for November, 2009

Making the Most of Online Casino Customer Service

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Online Casinos With Live Chat

Let me begin this post with a disclaimer. I don’t always practice what I preach! So, while I would like to advise you to hit up all the progressive jackpots right now and win all the big one’s so that I can borrow a buck or two…or three…or four hundred 🙂 I am going to talk about online casino customer service instead.

Now granted, if you read the reviews here at Online Casino Suite, you might very well decide to take our word for it, and open an account at any of the online casinos reviewed and listed on our website – and rightly so, mind you. Remember, we only review the best of the best!

That said, while it’s important to choose your online casinos wisely and listen to what we have to say 🙂 it’s also important to stand up for yourself if and when you are doubtful about the service you are getting. In other words, if there’s ever a time you disagree with the service you are getting from an online casino listed at OCS, you need to speak up – and that includes telling up about in via our Complaints Page. I don’t care if it’s something as little as being disconnected from the playing server or not getting a reply to your email within an acceptable amount of time.

Now, this brings up a good point – emails, that is. So, what exactly is an acceptable amount of time to get an email response from an online casino’s customer service department, you ask? Well, I suppose most people would agree that two business days should be the max. One business day is more like it.

However, if we’re talking about online casinos who claim to be the “best” or who are at least striving to be better than their competitors, we’re talking a matter of hours – preferably the same day. Especially when it comes to questions about payouts, nobody wants to sit around for two days waiting for a reply to let them know if a withdrawal request has been accepted or not.

While toll-free telephone support is a quick way to get an answer, we advise to go with an email so that you will have written proof of all correspondence, including any “promises” or things of the contractual kind. If you simply must call, either get one of those recording apps for your phone (there’s one for the iPhone) and/or request to receive a follow-up email from the customer service representative. Of course, if the casino in question doesn’t get back to you by email within the “acceptable timeframe” we just talked about, you might want to seriously consider packing up and moving elsewhere.

Live chat is also a good alternative to phone conservations and email, as they foster even more communication in a shorter time period than emails, while still providing a written transcript. Of course, not every online casino offers live chat 24/7; However, the best one’s will! U.S. players especially need to be careful about this, as they are playing in an unregulated market so to speak. Don’t get me wrong – there are excellent, safe US facing online casinos out there. But there are also plenty of shady, dirty rogues too!

UK and Euro players need only visit the OCS UK Casinos Page and Euro Casino Page for a shortlist of the best online casinos offering live chat, while U.S. players are wise to start off with the English Harbour Gaming Ventures network of online casinos (all of which offer live chat under VIP Management Services NV that has been given a five star rating with Live Person Chat): These include Millionaire Casino, VIP Slots Casino, English Harbour Casino, Super Slots and Slots Galore Casino.

Online Vegas Casino December Slots Tournament Schedule

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Online Vegas December 2009 Slots Tournament

Just another reminder it’s the last day of the month and the new tournament schedules at leading online casinos will be coming out tomorrow. Of particular note is the lineup at Hambledon NV’s network of online casinos – Golden Casino, Go Casino, Online Vegas and Crazy Slots (what else is knew, right?). Oh yes…and have I mentioned the progressive jackpot tally here is now worth over $2 million? If you ask me, something is bound to bust soon.

For anyone who didn’t catch our last post about Online Vegas Casino, we recently reported on the Black Friday slots tournament here, as well as the last weekender tournament of the month, which is actually taking place this very second. Wrapping up tomorrow at 8 pm (EST), the “See You in December” tournament guarantees $75,000 in winnings, and was the second largest tournament of the month.

December is looking like much of the same, only better. Online Casino Suite has been given an early peek, and we are tickled pink to report that December is guaranteeing more jackpot winnings than November. Not sure if it was the EHGV network, but I recall last year’s online casino tournament schedule was being billed “A December to Remember”. And there you have it – another December to Remember, if you ask me.

The big tournament of the month is guaranteeing $200,000 in winnings, with $55,000 going to the top finisher. It starts on December 4th and runs through Christmas Day, so if you haven’t already checked out Online Vegas, now is a good time. If you are from the U.S., don’t bother trying to open an account at Golden Casino, for tomorrow is the official day Golden will no longer be accepting players from the USA.

Online Vegas allows U.S. players to open free accounts and access their suite of Vegas Technology Software casino games via download or Instant, no-download Flash. A member of the Curacao Internet Gaming Association, Online Vegas abides by the strict responsible gaming standards imposed in The Netherlands, Antilles (Curacao), and also uses a CFG audited software platform by Vegas Technology). For more info, read the OCS Online Vegas Casino Review.

Grande Vegas RTG Online Casino Bonus Codes

Monday, November 30th, 2009

RTG Casino No Deposit Bonus Codes

Grande Vegas Casino says on their website they are the “Best RTG Casino”. Okay, well maybe not exactly on their website. The accolade is one of those subjective terms that anyone can give to themselves, so posting it on their website would likely cause some resentment from other RTG online casino licensees.

If you search for Grande Vegas in Google, the title tag link that comes up says “Best RTG Casino”. It’s also what you will see in the top bar of your browser window. While the accolade itself is certainly something to brag about, it’s probably more of an SEO thing than anything else. In other words, Grande Vegas Casino would like to show up #1 in the search results for the term “Grande Vegas Casino”.

But really, it’s not that big of a searched term anyways, so even if they don’t make it to #1 (they’re on the second page of search results), there’s no reason why they should worry. The only thing that is something of an injustice is that the site in the #1 position, a portal dedicated to providing RTG casino bonus codes, does not even list Grande Vegas. No offense to Rushmore Casino and Cherry Red, for they offer a great bonus package on their own; However, Grande Vegas arguably offers just as good an ongoing bonus scheme and certainly deserves a nod. On that note, here’s the nod:

The first thing you will see at Grande Vegas’ website (besides a picture of the hostess doing a weird arm stretch…really, what is that?) is that Grande Vegas is offering a 200% Welcome Bonus up to $200 Free. Upon closer look, you’ll also see a banner advertising $50,000 in bonus money every month. Now, don’t ask me how that exactly works, but we all know barely 001% of online gamblers would even max out on that much bonus money in a single month anyways. Yet, this figure is a testament to how much free money is actually available here, not to mention the fact that Grande Vegas is loaded and will have the bucks come payout time.

Click the “Promotions” page to see all that is in store, but here’s a breakdown:

WELCOME BONUS: 200% up to $200 Free – Coupon Code: 200MATCH

MONDAY BONUS:

SLOTS: 50% up to $1,000 Free (ten claimable bonuses – $10,000 total) – Coupon Code: MON1.5
OR
BLACKJACK & VIDEO POKER: 50% up to $100 Free (5 claims – $500 total) – Coupon Code: MON2.5

THURSDAY BONUS: The same thing as Monday, different claim codes

SLOTS: 50% up to $1,000 Free (ten claimable bonuses – $10,000 total) – Coupon Code: THU1.5
OR
BLACKJACK & VIDEO POKER: 50% up to $100 Free (5 claims – $500 total) – Coupon Code: THU2.5

WILDE VEGAS BONUS:

100% up to $100 Free (5 claims – $500 total) – Coupon Code: WILD1.1

REDEPOSIT BONUSES:

Depending on the payment method used, get from 5-20% bonuses on all reload deposits.

Read the OCS Grande Vegas Casino Review for more information

Casino Treasure Cruise a Big Hit With VPL Players

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Casino Treasure Cruise at Vegas Partner Lounge

It’s been one week since Vegas Partner Lounge’s Casino Treasure Cruise 2009 returned from its port of calls in the Caribbean Ocean. What has turned out to be yet another amazing trip for the top players at Vegas Partner Lounge and Sun Vegas Casino, the weeklong cruise has become one of the most talked about player loyalty rewards for online casino gamblers.

Leaving from Miami on November 15, Carnival’s “Valor” cruise ship took a detour through the Caribbean, making stops at Grand Cayman, Isla Roatan (Honduras), Belize and Cozumel, and returning back to Miami on November 22. One of the better Caribbean island tours, this particular route makes for less touristy island hopping, and truly gives that exotic vacation getaway feel, aka, intense relaxation in sunny paradise. Oh, and did I mention that there’s also a casino on the “Valor”, and that each night a lucky player was awarded $10,000 ($70,000 given away over the course of the cruise)?

Vegas Partner Lounge knows just how much a loaded cruise like this can do for someone’s well being, and as such, wanted the top players at its twelve eCOGRA approved online casinos to feel good and know just how much their business is appreciated. You might have guessed that a “top player” is one who spends a lot of money. And that’s pretty much how it works, except that Vegas Partner Lounge bases everything off of rewards points.

The Vegas Partner Lounge Loyalty Program, Vegas Loyalty Lounge, offers four levels of loyalty status – Blue Lounge, Silver Lounge, Gold Lounge and Platinum Lounge. And in order to be eligible for an invitation to the Casino Treasure Cruise, player’s needed to have maintained Platinum Lounge status for at least nine months. That equates to earning at least 20,000 comp points every three months, which means one would need to wager approximately little over $65,000 per month.

I know what you’re thinking – that’s impossible, right? Other than a few high rolling millionaire’s, who is really going to be able to gamble that much each month? However, all it takes a big jackpot win to beef up a bankroll large enough to make that many wagers. Remember, much of that $65,000 in wagers could be coming back as more winnings.

For players who have not been so fortunate to gamble thousands every month and are consequently in a lower loyalty tier, a draw was held for spots on the cruise. Three spots to be exact, for each loyalty tier held it’s own draw. Players earned an unlimited number of draw entry’s for every $1,000 wagered within the promotion time frame. When August rolled around, the winners were announced.

Pictures from Casino Treasure Cruise 2009 have not been posted just yet, but last year’s photos are still on the website. Details of next year’s Casino Treasure Cruise will likely be revealed soon, although player’s can expect to get more of the same (no complaining there). For anyone who has never played at one of the twelve online casinos owned and managed by Vegas Partner Lounge, now is a good time to join and start earning those loyalty points. If you need a good starting point, OCS recommends Sun Vegas Casino, River Nile and Crazy Vegas Casino. Each of these online casinos is powered by Microgaming, regulated in Malta and based out of the UK. Furthermore, Vegas Partner Lounge is one of the few online casino networks holding eCOGRA’s “Safe and Fair” Seal.

Upgraded Free Play Bonus at Crazy Vegas Online Casino

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

$3,000 Free Play Bonus at Crazy Vegas CasinoI know it sounds crazy, but just when I thought Crazy Vegas Casino couldn’t get more crazy, they get more crazy! Uh oh – judging by that opening line, I think Crazy Vegas might be rubbing off on me. Certainly one of the more spirited Microgaming online casinos out there, eCOGRA-approved Crazy Vegas is no doubt a great place to open a real money account.

Their play-bonus welcome offer has always been a great incentive for anyone looking to test out their casino games with real money while not having to actually deposit real money. Similar to a no-deposit bonus, a play bonus gives you a free amount of credits to wager during an introductory window of time. Generally, this window is thirty minutes or one hour long.

Crazy Vegas Casino’s main promotion offer has long been a 60-minute play bonus. But here’s where things start to get crazy. The amount of the bonus itself was 1,000 credits, which is already very generous to begin with. Now, however, Crazy Vegas has tripled the free credits, making this a $3,000 play bonus with one hour of free gambling. Oh, and they’re also giving away 50 Free Spins on the Jonny Specter video slots.

Keep in mind, you are not going to be able to get $3,000 free out of this. In other words, at the end of the freeplay time slot (during which you must make a minimum of 100 bets), any winnings over the original $3,000 up to $125 are eligible to be transferred to your real play bonus account. A minimum deposit of $50 is required at this time, and the free credits must then be wagered according to normal bonus terms and conditions.

Whether you win or lose, there is absolutely no risk claiming this bonus. Simply open an account, click the “Free Play” button, and a Flash window will open, allowing you to get started betting. Keep in mind that if you lose connection, log immediately back in for the countdown clock does not stop once it begins. If you do not earn anything over the original $3,000, you are still eligible to claim a normal match bonus worth 100% up to $100 Free.

If you have never experienced Microgaming’s Viper platform of casino games, Crazy Vegas offers freeplay demos of several of their most popular titles, like Hitman, Tomb Raider, Atlantic City Blackjack, European Roulette, Baccarat and Craps. You may need to download a Flash plugin, but that’s it. No account creation is required.

Read Online Casino Suite’s Crazy Vegas Casino Review for more information.

The Basics of Verifying a Safe and Fair Online Casino

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

How do you really know that an online casino’s games are fair and that you are not being blindly stolen from? For that matter, how do you really know a brick ‘n mortar casino is on the straight and narrow? Well, I suppose nobody really can know 100% for sure they are getting the fairest hand possible. The number of “skeptic” questions and conspiracy theories, is – theoretically – endless.

Who’s to say casino management hasn’t changed out the source code chip in the specific machine you  are playing, and in reality, is only paying off 10 percent? Who’s to say the source code of an online casino doesn’t get manipulated after having received a fairness accreditation from a third party testing house, or that fake players or employees are not given “accounts with special benefits” generating higher than average payouts so that overall payouts are balanced out come audit time?

Sounds bleak doesn’t it? Well, although these are legitimate questions (questions you should be asking yourself, mind you), there are legitimate answers that should ease any doubts of players thinking that they might be getting an unfair hand. Here is the minimum of what to look for when searching for a safe online casino to play at.

Software: While software can be altered after it has been licensed to online casino operators, there are certain gambling jurisdictions that do not allow for RNG manipulation. Just as there are tamper-proof mechanisms that land-based casino auditors use to tell if a brick ‘n mortar casino has altered software source code on a slot machine, online auditors and testing houses can identify the same. Go with a third party accredited software platform to ensure you are getting the fairest odds possible. Respected third party auditors include Technical Systems Testing (TST), Certified Fair Gambling (CFG), Price Waterhouse Coopers, Gaming Associates and BMM International.

Regulation/Licensing: To ensure that an online casino is being properly regulated, it is important that it is licensed by a reputable, accredited gaming jurisdiction. Costa Rica is NOT a reputable gaming jurisdiction. England, Gibraltar, Alderney, Isle of Man, Kahnawake, Curacao (Netherlands, Antilles) and Malta are.

Payout Percentages: Many online casinos, such as eCOGRA certified online casinos, will publish payout percentages for the previous month on their website. These should be prepared by third party auditors, such as those mentioned above. Payout percentages confirm the amount of money paid out in relation to the amount of wagers made. Anything under 90% is totally unacceptable, although the more competitive number is around 96%. If an online casino using a fairness accredited software platform does not publish payout reports on their website, contact their customer support center to receive last month’s copy. If they will not supply it to you, think twice before playing there.

New I-Slot, Switch in Time, at Rival Gaming Casinos

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Switch in Time I-SlotThe latest I-slot from Rival Gaming software, “A Switch in Time”, was launched this week and can now by played at all U.S. facing Rival Gaming online casinos. For anybody unfamiliar with I-slots, they are arguably the most innovative and entertaining slots available for practice and real money play on the internet today. Often referred to as “interactive” slots, I-slots provide an engaging storyline that unfolds in relation to the activity on the reels.

Think of I-Slots as being part slot machine, part animated movie. After making it to a bonus round, animated episodes begin to unfold, each one building on the next episode as more bonus rounds are hit down the line. Providing hours of entertainment with countless opportunities to win big money, I-Slots have become the game of choice for many a slots player and fan of Rival Gaming Casinos.

As for “A Switch in Time”, the unfolding story line bounces back and forth between the past and future. The past includes the 19th Century and Prehistoric times, while the future consists of…well, the future. The very distant future to be exact – We’re talking cyborg aliens and robots, which may not be that too distant in the future after all!

Upon entering the bonus round, the player must simply choose a combination of buttons on a time machine, which then gives way to an engaging episode taking the player “somewhere in time”. The computer generated graphics are simply amazing, while the symbols themselves will change depending on what section of time the player goes to.

Now, all this sounds fun and dandy – But where’s all the money? Fortunately, I-slots have always managed to come through on this front, and “A Switch in Time” is no different. The big kicker is a free spins feature that awards up to 78 Free Spins with a 9x multiplier. In free spins mode, an additional 3x multiplier is thrown in the mix, thus giving wins the chance of paying out 27 times the pay table winnings.

Seriously folks, if you have never played I-slots before, I strongly urge you to give them a chance. This is no sales pitch. You can play them entirely for free at any Rival Gaming Casino (Sloto Cash is my personal recommendation). You’ll have so much fun, you might not even want to play for real money. But then again, considering all those free spins and multipliers, you might just have to at least take advantage of a no-deposit bonus ($7 Free at Sloto Cash and $20 Free at Superior Casino).

Superior Online Casino Launches New USA Landing Page

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Superior Giving Away $1,900 in Bonuses

Superior Casino isn’t shy about the fact that they are open to U.S. players. And why wouldn’t they be? Someone has to fill the shoes of Golden Casino, right? All jokes aside, it’s well known that U.S. players face a lot more difficulty these days in opening an account at a reputable online casino with reliable deposit and payout methods in place. Superior Casino recognizes this fact and has recently launched a web page talking all about it.

Here’s what they say:

Our Online Casino is allowing USA players to play at one of the top gambling sites. You’ll find here special bonuses and promotions for our USA casino players, also you can find well-known US casino games and much more. Superior Casino invites United States players to play and win at our US-friendly online casino. Superior Casino is open to citizens and residents of the United States of America. We have worked very hard over the last years to create a fair, professional and friendly casino for the American public”.

It’s a new U.S. players landing page, complete with a big American flag and lots of dollar signs. Yes indeed, another well known fact about Superior Casino, is that no matter where you reside, there is plenty in free bonus money to take home. For U.S. players, there’s up to $1,900 Free to be exact. Depending on your games of choice, Superior offers a slots bonus (up to $1,900 on three deposits) or a casino games bonus (up to $1,000 Free on three deposits).

In terms of wagering conditions and bonus red tape, these welcome bonuses are no doubt some of the best. The slots bonus has a 25x play-through, which isn’t as low as some other U.S. facing online casinos; However, the casino games bonus, which can be used on video poker and blackjack wagers (100% of each bet helping meet the wager requirement), has a play-through requirement of only 35x – the lowest we’ve seen for blackjack and video poker.

Furthermore, Superior Casino offers one of the largest no-deposit bonuses available at any online casino, whether open to the U.S. or not. It’s worth $20, and is totally free without any obligation to deposit real money. In fact, Superior Casino encourages U.S. residents to test their casino games out first. Other promotions include one of the best friend-referral bonuses available – worth $50 Free for each referral – no limit on referrals.

On the U.S. landing page there are two giant links – one for a full download and one for the non-download instant play version. Keep in mind, you will have more casino games to choose from via the download link, including Rival Gaming’s latest I-Slot, “A Switch in Time”, just released on November 24th. For more information about Superior Online Casino, read OCS’s Superior Casino Review or Visit Superior Here.

$75,000 See You in December Online Slots Tournament

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Go Casino Slots Tournament

With Thanksgiving over and the new month just around the corner, online casinos are gearing up to kick off a new monthly tournament schedule – well, at least those sites that even offer tournaments to begin with. These days, it’s rare not to find any tournaments, especially slots tournaments, at casinos vying for the “best online casino” status.

One such destination, or rather, network of online casinos, is Go Casino, Online Vegas and Crazy Slots. Tied together in similar fashion to what brick ‘n mortar casinos would call a wide area progressive network, these three casinos share the same tournament feed. Well, four to be exact – Golden Casino is in the network too – but if you didn’t hear already, Golden will no longer be accepting U.S. players come December 1, 2009. The other aforementioned casinos will stay open to U.S. players. Regardless, these slots tournaments typically have more participating players and higher guaranteed jackpot levels.

For example, in the month of November, this network was guaranteeing over $340,000 in tournament winnings – and that’s not even counting the video poker tournaments. Daily and weekly tournaments take place round the clock, while a “biggin” is usually had at least once a week. The big ones in November were a $150,000 guaranteed Thanksgiving free roll, $50,000 Weekender earlier in the month, and the Black Friday tournament which just wrapped up. Oh, and let’s not forget the one that’s going on right this second, and is still not too late to join.

Kicking off yesterday night at 8 p.m. was the “$75K See You in December” weekend madness tournament. Guaranteeing $75,000, it goes down until Tuesday, December 1 (8 pm EST) and costs just $13.99 to join. There’s a 325 stake with a 20 wager minimum on the Reel Deal slot machine to be eligible for cash prizes handed out down the line to 300 players. First place will nab $21,000, while the smallest award will be worth $20 in bonus bucks.

For more information on the online casinos participating in these slots tournaments, visit the OCS Vegas Technology Casinos page.

Online Rummy Qualifiers for $30,000 Kalooki 51

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Rummy Royal $30K Tournament

Online rummy continues to foster one of the fastest growing gaming communities on the internet. And quite frankly, the largest bulk of this community comes from a single site – Rummy Royal. It may not be the size of say….Poker Stars, yet in terms of the overall size of the Rummy populace and the fact that Rummy Royal has only been online for little over two years, the numbers are impressive.Over 250,000 new players in the first year, an average of 2,000 players simultaneously online and over 200 active tables at a given time, are impressive numbers for some poker rooms even.

The tournaments at Rummy Royal are certainly comparable to any good poker tournament. Wrapping up this month is a $30,000 guaranteed prize pool at Kalooki 51 Rummy. First place alone is guaranteed $10,000, with thousands more guaranteed to the top finishers down the line. But wait, November is practically over already. What’s the use, right.

Actually, the final event for the $30K Kalooki 51 tournament takes place in January, 2010 – January 17th at 7 p.m. (Eastern US Standard Time) to be exact, and has a buy-in price of $100. Qualifier tournaments are the hot ticket right now, awarding main event vouchers to the top winners. In other words, the more vouchers one wins, the better off one will fare in the main event. Since there are just three rebuys allowed up to the Level 6 in the final event, players really need to play their cards right.

Single table and multi-table qualifiers are held throughout the week with buy-ins for as little as $3.25. Five guaranteed vouchers are given away every Saturday ($22 buy-ins), two weekly vouchers with buy-ins of $3.25 and the daily voucher with an $11 buy-in. Visit the Rummy Royal tournaments page for more details, or read the OCS Rummy Royal Review.