Archive for May, 2013

Online Poker Casinos for US Players

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

play poker online with real moneyPoker is extremely popular worldwide these days. Sure, we’ve all probably witnessed the slot games that players that just can’t seem to get enough off either. But let’s not compare apples to oranges here. Unlike other casino games, poker does not come with a house edge attached to its proverbial swagger. Online poker casinos and land based poker rooms make their income off of the rake, which is typically a small take from the combined wagers generated from each hand played. What’s more, poker is a game where highly skilled players can make a good earning with relatively little risk. While being a constantly successful poker player or pro requires the commitment and restraint of a pro athlete, this is not a casino game void of potentially earning you sizable winnings.

And unlike many other casino games that have come and gone, poker doesn’t seem to be fading into the sunset. You’ve seen it played in movies for decades; You can now follow huge pro events online and in physical casinos alike, generating some of the highest earnings throughout any casino event ever witnessed; Your local charity even hosts poker shootouts and tourneys to help raise money for very important causes.

Whether you enjoy the uber-popular Texas Hold’em or Omaha, low stakes or high stakes tables, there is a poker game perfect for your playing needs and bankroll.

However, you will see a difference in specific game availability between online poker sites and land-based casinos. Texas Hold’em is found most anywhere at both types of casinos. While Omaha Hi/lo or Seven Card Stud can be found online, they typically are not found at brick and mortar casinos. At online casinos, especially those that focus on poker, you will likely find different versions of poker that include Three Card, Caribbean Stud and Let it Ride.

Consider the following when you play at online poker rooms: Caribbean Stud Poker poses players against the casino, and features a progressive jackpot that players have a chance at winning. There’s an intricate strategy involved in Caribbean Stud that many players find compelling. Let it Ride pays out through qualifying poker hands, so a player is not playing against the casino or even other poker players.

Whatever your interests are in poker, if you have an inkling to gamble at online poker casinos, there are many options for you. In fact, those options are ever increasing thanks to new legislation signed into law in many regions of the world, not to mention the explosion of online casinos on the cusp of regulation in a handful of US states. Heck, Nevada’s first online poker casino, Ultimate Poker, is now live, with more coming in the very near future. While Nevada’s online poker rooms will be open to Nevada residents only, there are a few highly accredited online casinos catering to US players, such as Club USA, which has a handful of Caribbean poker varieties, a Let it Ride style game, and Three Card Poker options. Another great US player option is Drake Casino (a few states are prohibited), where 3D gaming software creates an amazing, innovative online gaming experience like nothing else we’ve seen, technologically speaking. While Drake carries several slots in 3D at this time (using the BetSoft Gaming platform), be on the lookout for 3D effects coming via BetSoft’s software Poker3 soon.

Depending on your personal skill level and location, there will be certain online poker casinos that will be more accommodating than others. Some cater more towards the VIP player, while others look to provide a haven for newbies. But whatever your level of game-play, there will always be a sign up bonus involved – it’s overall value dependent on your bankroll. Always look for poker rooms online that offer guaranteed payouts, 24/7 action and tournaments, and of course, a large member base. Let’s face it – an online poker casino with a huge player cache must be doing its job above and beyond. Sites with less than stellar reputations will lack major player traffic, and frankly, should not make the cut.

As we’ve mentioned, the US market is opening slowly but surely, and is about to become a burgeoning market. You should know that many of the online gaming sites that were involved in the major US federal driven smack-down UIGEA (who formerly left the sector) have been effectively and lawfully taking bets elsewhere. As of late, many have even begun (some completed by now) to revamp and meet all the required licensing requirements in order to introduce themselves back into the fray of the burgeoning US casino market.

Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to understand that online poker sites – sites that are focused on poker versus slots and other casino games – will be the best places to find tournament-style games like Texas Hold’em. Be patient in the US, as there’s more to come where online poker casinos are involved!

NJ Judge Hearing PokerStars Dispute With Atlantic Club

Friday, May 24th, 2013

In an increasingly bitter dispute that has been developing in recent months, a New Jersey judge has decided to hear the argument taking place between PokerStars (the world’s largest online poker site) and the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, which Poker Stars is seeking to purchase.

PokerStars parent company, The Rational Group, was able to obtain a temporary restraining order on May 6, prohibiting any other company from buying the Atlantic City casino. But according to the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, the deal to sell itself to PokerStars is no longer in effect.

PokerStars vehemently disagrees. The online gaming poker room insists it has already given the Atlantic City casino $11 million of the $15 million purchase price. The large down-payment was to keep the casino in operation during what Atlantic City is witnessing to be very tough times stemming from Hurricane Sandy (among other things) last October.

Why would PokerStars want to buy this casino in the first place you ask? Back in February, many of you know that New Jersey legalized online gambling. And purchasing an Atlantic City casino would effectively provide PokerStars’ parent, The Rational Group, a platform for launching PokerStars in the Garden State, where a lucrative online gambling hub is now burgeoning.

When New jersey Governor, Chris Christie, signed legislation into law making online casino gaming legal, many stipulations were added, including one that gives land-based Atlantic City casinos the right to launch online casinos. Consequently, once PokerStars (or another approved online casino) owns a land-based casino, it can legally launch the online site and be open for business once all stipulations and licensing agreements have been completed.

While The Rational Group hasn’t had have any real trouble gaining the State’s approval for its purchase of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, according to the casino, the deal is dead. Details surrounding this development will most likely become available once the hearing is over and the judge has heard both arguments.

At this time, we can only speculate the reasons for Atlantic Club Casino’s decision to pull out of the deal, which was in motion before Christie even signed any paperwork legalizing online poker and gambling in New Jersey. It was a preemptive move on PokerStars part due to the fact that legalization was looking like a no brainer. In other words, it was a good bet on the part of PokerStars.

Atlantic City was dealt a huge blow when Sandy rolled in – and many casinos, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel included, started to bleed cash. While some of the big name casinos and hotels may have had a bit more padding, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel found itself in need of a life raft. Most all of Atlantic City, however, was waiting with baited breath for Governor Christie to finalize the legalization of online gaming. Bringing online casino revenue into a state where its major revenue generator (Atlantic City) was failing, seemed like the logical answer. With an already liberated land-based gambling industry, why not get it together and legalize gaming online as well?

So then, what has changed between the casino and the poker room? Did the Atlantic Club Casino hotel suddenly win the lottery and erase its major losses and debt? Is there another internet endeavor on the horizon with another? It could be anybody’s guess. We will find out shortly. Stay tuned.

John Burzichelli to Speak at iGaming Super Show

Friday, May 17th, 2013

igamingsupershow2013It was just announced that New Jersey Assemblyman John Burzichelli will be speaking at the iGaming Executive Conference, which coincides and is affiliated with the iGaming Super Show to be held June 11-14, 2013 in Amsterdam at the RAI.

The online gaming industry in New Jersey, in most part, owes this Assemblyman a great deal as he was an integral part of the legalization of online casino gaming in the state. His hard work pushing the bill that New Jersey’s Governor, Chris Christie, signed into law made New Jersey one of the first states in the US to legalize online gaming for real money.

Scheduled to speak on June 12, Burzichelli will no doubt share his extensive views surrounding the politics of legislation when it comes to states moving forward with creating bills to legalize online gaming in the US, as well as his personal findings within the push to legislate in his state. The session will cover the visions of the lawmakers and the significance of iGaming and its major impact on Atlantic City’s casinos. US states, innovative companies and industry investors will definitely benefit from his views and experiences.

The Super Show itself will boast some 2,400+ delegates and more than 100 speakers that will take in some seven different events spread-out through the same venue. The convention includes a dedicated affiliate event, mobile gaming summit and a social gambling conference. There will be workshops and other seminar-type events scheduled throughout. There will be no stone unturned according to the very detailed schedule of events posted on the iGaming Supershow website.

Like Burzichelli, several more of the biggest names in the gaming business will be speaking at these different events. Playtech CEO Mor Weizer will speak, as well as American Gaming Association CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf, and Nevada State Gaming Control Board Chairman AG Burnett. Speakers will share their latest insights into both European and American gaming spheres.

There will be a large selection of gaming companies advertising their services, and networking will abound with than 100 booths are set to showcase these companies. Speaking from the educational and business perspective level, the iGaming Supershow is set to divulge major information regarding all aspects of online gaming worldwide.

Looking at the scheduled events, there will be a major focus on social and mobile gaming. Both Nevada and New Jersey will be well represented to discuss further US iGaming relations and developments. Even the legal aspect of exploring the status of the major European iGaming markets and exploring the wider European Union policies and debates surrounding iGaming will be discussed by both law firms and industry leaders.

Whether you are in the gaming business, a staunch advocate for the continued legalization and development of online gaming, or an active online casino member looking to further enjoy playing for real money online, this event will affect you in some way.

As far as Assemblyman John Burzichelli’s presence at the event goes, it is certainly refreshing to see more US involvement (as mentioned, Nevada State Gaming Control Board Chairman AG Burnett will also speak) in these international online gaming industry events.

The first ever Super Show was in Prague, 2010. Since then, its wildly successful casino affiliates, gaming vendors, media representatives, casino operators and gaming industry regulators, have made major advances in the industry. It is also important to mention that this massive iGaming event in Amsterdam is free of charge to anyone in the online gambling industry. So, if you are on the fence about attending, wait no longer. The 2013 iGaming Supershow is literally right around the corner.

Online Slot Tournaments 101

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Typically speaking, playing slots online is not the most competitive way to gamble. Sure, you are playing against the machine in a sense. And while some of you are not even interested in competing against anything but a machine, others still want the ability to go toe-to-toe against other players for the best outcome. While slots do not pose a major need for you to strategize nearly as much as other casino games, slots tournaments are a great way to gain some competition without having to use much strategy or bankroll (other than smart wagering when needed).

For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on the different types of slot tournaments that you can find online, as opposed to land-based casinos. Even though there are not many differences in rules and regulations, technically speaking, online casino slot tournaments may come with a few circumstances you’ll want to better understand before playing.

Liberty Slots Tournaments

The main reason players enjoy slot events online is that they come with added excitement – beyond the simple game-play of betting solo against the virtual machine. When you participate in a slot tournament, you are not directly playing against another player per se, you are playing the best you can to achieve the most credits to win overall – against all other players. Meaning, you are not matched up to play against one certain other player, but rather, you are trying to achieve the highest amount of coins/credits to win the event by being the one player that has the most coins/credits at the end of the event.

There are different types of online slot tournaments, but most all are played this way:

Whether your tournament requires a buy-in or not, all participants are allotted the same amount of coins/credits to play with for a certain period of time. The player that has the most coins/credits at the end of the time limit of game-play wins. These events are pretty simple and straightforward.

Another attraction to these events is that they take place all the time (for the most part) and not all players have to start at the same time. These events are based on a certain period of time, meaning you have an amount of coins/credits that have to be wagered within a certain period of time, but not necessarily at the same time as other participants. This is extremely convenient.

You may ask where the fun is involved if all tournaments are pretty much played the same. This is where the prize pool comes in. Of course it’s always more fun when there is real money to win. Each casino online, such as OCS-approved Liberty Slots, has slot tournaments that offer a variety of prizes and prize value. There have been online tournaments where the winner gets a free 4 star vacation, while others dish out cold-hard cash. The buy-in cost will vary depending upon the prize awarded, but in general, they are no more than $2.

Beyond the potential prize winning, online slot events are a great way to play slots for a period of time at basically a flat rate cost, yet still for potential real-money winnings. This makes it easier on your bankroll. Trust us when we say hat you can easily blow through some cash when you start playing and forget all about time! There is also the added entertainment value of a good slot event. Just being able to follow player standings during these live events is quite exciting, and is a feature available at many online casinos such as Liberty Slots, which is certainly highly recommended for slot tournaments, especially for players in the U.S.

All in all, for added value and entertainment that provides increased excitement without having to play directly against another player who may have better skills (ie. poker), online slot tournaments are well worth your consideration. We will say that if you simply want to play only against the machine for straight-up cash, tournaments are not for you.

Lastly, online slot tournaments come with separate rules and regulations. For example, players who are participating in slot events do not keep the money they win individually (the coins/credits they amass during the event). On the contrary, they are awarded a prize which could very well be cash and usually is. Cash prizes awarded for winning an online tournament do vary. Some winnings are guaranteed, while others are a percentage of the prize pool (tabulated by how many players participate). You are simply trying to obtain the most coins/credits to win the described prize. If you don’t want to go all-in on the prize showcased – whether it’s a new car, trip for two to Tahiti, or cash – stick to solo machine play.

Whichever you decide, tournament or non-tournament, try playing at online casinos that provide the most overall perks. Casinos like Liberty Slots offer a variety of different types of events. There are Daily Free Slots every day of the week; usually for a guaranteed $300 prize. There is also Play for the Pot tournaments that cost $2 to enter. Play for the Pot prize pool and odds of winning will depend on how many players are involved, whereas Daily Free Slots at Liberty have a guaranteed prize pool, with odds of winning varying upon how many players have entered the event.

Before you play in any online slot tournament, make sure the casino accepts your money, and you are playing in a region where gambling online is legal. You will need to be a depositing player at the casino to enter. And above all else, remember to have fun!

Play Craps Online For Free

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Have you played craps online yet? No, it’s not a rhetorical question. Okay, well maybe it is.

Let’s just say that whether you have experience playing craps or not, it can be one of the more difficult casino games to play (whether online or offline). Sure, part of the allure of gambling is the excitement that comes with chance. But more so than slots or even some poker games, the game of craps demands some experience for there to be any favorable outcome beyond the limits of chance. Quite honestly, unless your bankroll (play money or not) is limitless, this is a game where practice is vital.

The good news is that there is no shortage of venues for you to play craps online for free. Most online casinos that accept real money wagers also provide a free platform that can be played with unlimited fun-money credits. You are not required to bet with real money, and in fact, there is very little involved in getting setup to play the free gaming version at internet casinos. Typically an email is required, however some destinations, like Drake Casino (one of our top picks for US players), do not even require you to register.

To experience the very latest in casino software and for the most realistic way to play craps online there is no better place than an online casino. Operators of the best online casinos have shelled out serious money to provide players with the best entertainment and most realistic gaming experience possible. Why not take advantage of free software like this? And when playing intricate games like craps – especially when learning how to play – this is an important factor to keep in mind.

At some point, you may decide you have the hang of it, and begin to wager real money at the Craps table. In this case, it will be easy for you to create the real money account and you’ll already know the software like the back of your hand. You may also realize that it is not the game for you. Either way, deciding to play craps online for free before you commit to anything further is an intelligent move. One thing is for certain; You will be pleasantly surprised at how realistic online casino software can be when playing craps.

Once you find your favorite place to play craps, you’ll want to arm yourself with an understanding of the main craps strategy, and namely, which bets to avoid.

Inside Scoop

First and foremost, the main strategy for craps is to not be intimidated by the intense looking table! Seriously though, once you get past the intimidation factor, it is all good. The very fist thing you need to learn is how to make a passline bet. In the beginning, you will not need to concern yourself with anything else. There are typically 40 different wagers on the craps table. Most of these bets, such as proposition and hardway bets, have horrible odds that you should steer clear of. Sure, in the case that you are playing craps for free, it won’t hurt to venture into some serious risk; But for strategy sake, hang around the passline bet for now. After all, you do want to win, right?

Here’s how it works. When placing a passline wager, online or anywhere else, you place your bet on the passline before a new shooter begins their turn. This first throw of the dice is known as the come out roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you win. It’s that simple. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12, you lose. Should the shooter roll any other number, that number becomes the point number. The shooter must roll that number again before a 7 shows. If the point does show again, you win even money for your passline wager. Should a 7 show again before the point number is rolled again, you will lose your wager. A passline bet on its own for a comeout roll has a low house edge of 1.41% (.85% after getting the point established). To further help lower the House Edge even more, you will need to back the odds on your passline bet.

This is a basic start for you to try when playing craps online for free and when learning the game  (before you ever wager real cash). Keep in mind that while standing in a casino in the middle of the Vegas Strip may be intimidating enough to make you never step up to a craps table, online casino software takes a bit of getting used to as well. Again, craps is a multifaceted casino game. Take our advice and pay a visit to any of the free play casinos here. You will not find better quality gaming for free anywhere else. And have fun!