History of Video Poker

Video poker is a game based on five-card draw. The software deals and displays the cards. The player bets against the casino,which acts as the dealer and the banker. The object of the game is to make the highest ranking poker hand possible. Video poker differs from most other slot machines because the skill of the player affects the outcome of the game.

A winning hand is paid a fixed return. The payouts for winning hands are displayed on the casino’s website. The higher the ranking of the hand, the greater the returns. The payouts vary depending on the casinos rules.

Video poker differs from a traditional game of five-card draw in a number of ways:
•    There is only one player so it is not necessary to beat other players’ hands.
•    It is a much faster game.
•    The payout odds for particular hands are fixed.
•    It does not involve bluffing.


The history of video poker
Poker has been played on gaming machines since the 1800s. In 1891 Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn began manufacturing poker card machines. They proved extremely popular and were installed in virtually all Brooklyn’s licensed liquor establishments, which at that time numbered over 3000. By 1901 the machines had been redesigned so that draw poker could be played.
In the mid-1970s video poker was invented. By 1976 the first black and white video poker machines appeared. They were superseded eight months later with a colour version. Nowadays, video poker is one of the most popular casino games.


Types of video poker
There are a number of different games with slight variations in the rules. The most popular games are jacks or better, deuces wild and joker wild. Games can also be played where three hands at a time are played. For beginners, jacks or better is a simpler game to play. The returns for a royal flush on some machines are fixed, on others there is a progressive jackpot, which accumulates each time a game is played.


21Nova Casino

21Nova are regarded as one of the very best online casinos in the industry and they have built this reputation through a lot of hard work and more importantly by listening carefully to what their customers want. Apparently what the customers wanted was a huge number of games and great service and this is what 21Nova deliver.

21Nova are fully regulated and this is something which is very important in the online gambling world as it gives you the customer assurance that this online casino plays fair and will pay out your winning in a prompt manner and that the games at the casino are all fair and even.

The gaming software used by 21Nova is Playtech and they have been growing steadily over the years until they now rival Microgaming in terms of quality of games. The graphics at 21Nova are very good and overall the gaming experience is very pleasant, 21Nova offer the following games:

Table games: There’s about 20 table games to choose from including the following, Blackjack, Pai Gow, Baccarat, Casino War, Pontoon, Casino Hold’em and many more.

Live games: I just love live games because you really get a sense of being in an online casino when you play them, 21Nova have Baccarat, Roulette, Baccarat and Sic Bo.

Slot Games: Plenty to choose from in this category in a lot of fun variations like, Video 5 Line, Video 20-line as well as classic reel games.

Video Poker: Again a very respectable selection in this category, there’s about 15 different video poker games too choose from.

Arcade Games: As the name suggest these games are a bit more light hearted but that doesn’t mean that you can’t win big money on them!

Progressive: These games offer the really huge jackpots, and when I say huge I mean huge. The majority of these games are slots games.

Asian Games: If you want to try something a bit different why don’t you try your hand at some of the Asian Games.

21Nova online casino have some fabulous promotions and bonuses to tempt you with. To start off with there is the very nice signup bonus which is paid out in three stages with the final stage offering a 320% bonus up to $320! If you make your deposits via Neteller, Bankers draft or a Wire transfer then you get an extra 15% bonus on every deposit and if you deposit with Citadel, EcoCard, FirePay, Maestro/Switch Card, Moneybookers, PaysafeCard, Solo
Card, UseMyBank or WebMoney then its a 10% bonus. They even give you €50 for every friend you introduce to 21Nova so if you are popular that could be a very nice extra bit of money. 21Nova  online casino run a very nice loyalty programme with comp points which I recommend that you join if you decide to sign up with them.

In summary I think this is top online casino and I’m sure you’ll enjoy playing at 21Nova. 


How to play Blackjack

The cards are shuffled. In order to play, players must make an initial bet by placing sufficient chips in the betting box. The player is dealt two cards face up. The dealer also receives two cards – one face up and one face down. The dealer’s card that is not revealed to the players is called the hole card.

Players judge their chances of beating the dealer with the cards they hold and the card shown in the dealer’s hand. The cards you have compared to the card in the dealer’s hand will determine what you do next. You have several options. You can stand (take no further cards); take more cards to try to improve your score (hit); split your cards into two hands by making an additional bet; or you can double your additional bet. With some online casinos there will be a time limit for you to make your decision. If you do not act within the time limit, it will be assumed that you want to stand.

You can take as many cards as you like to improve your score, but if your score exceeds 21, you lose and your cards will be cleared away. Your bet loses and will be removed. You still lose even if the dealer’s hand exceeds 21. A tie or standoff occurs only if both scores are equal and do not exceed 21. Once you are satisfied that you have sufficient cards to beat the dealer’s eventual score, you should ‘stand’ (take no more cards).

After the player’s hand has been dealt with, the dealer’s hand is played. There are rules that determine the dealer’s action. If his score is 16 or less, he must take a card. If his score goes above 21, he has lost and all winning bets are paid. Once he reaches 17 or over he must stand (he can’t take any more cards). If the player has beaten the dealer’s score, he is paid. If you tie with the dealer, your bet is a standoff (not lost). If your score is lower, you lose.


Depending on the initial value of the cards dealt, you have several options available to you. 

You may double your initial bet. Rules vary as to when you can double so always check first. Whether or not doubling your bet is a wise move depends on the dealer’s score.

After two cards have been dealt, you have. the options of splitting them into two separate hands. An additional bet equal to your initial bet can be made. If two aces are split into two hands, only one extra card can be taken. If you split two aces and then get a 10-value card – this is not blackjack as you can only have blackjack after two cards have been dealt. Instead, you have a score of 21.

Insurance is an additional bet you can make if the dealer’s first card is an ace. Here, you make a further bet equal to half your original stake. If the dealer gets blackjack, your original bet loses but your insurance bet is paid at odds of 2/1. If the dealer does not have blackjack, you lose the insurance bet, but your original bet is paid at even odds.
If you have blackjack and the dealer has an ace, you will be asked if you want to take insurance. When you take insurance, the outcome is the same whether the dealer has blackjack or not. Your net winnings are even money. Some casinos automatlcally pay you even money as soon as you take insurance. It is generally more advantageous for the player to not take insurance as there is a greater chance that the dealer will make another score and not get blackjack.

Odds paid
If both the dealer and the player have the same score, the bet is a standoff (not lost).
If a player wins with a score of 21 with his first two cards only (blackjack) the odds are 3/2.
If the player beats the dealer on any other score, the odds are 1/1.
Insurance pays 2/1.


Where to place bets
The table is marked with boxes where bets can be placed. These may be rectangular or round (see Figure 7.1). You can bet on as many boxes as you like, up to the table maximum. You can either play yourself or bet on other players’ hands. Chips must be placed in the correct position:
•    for single bets, chips should be placed in the box
•    for split bets, chips should be placed on the line of the box
•    for doubled bets, chips should be placed behind the original stake
•    for double split bets, chips should be placed behind original stakes on the line.

888 Online Casino

888 have an outstanding track record when it comes to treating its
customers in a fair way. 888 aren’t content to rest on their laurels,
they are always adding the very latest features and gaming technology to
their online casino. 888 looks fantastic and runs on very good gaming
software offering a lot of high quality games. I always think that
whilst big bonuses aren’t essential for an online casino they certainly
give a clear statement that the casino is serious and 888 is in this
respect at the very fore front of online casinos.

Below are the main sections of casino games offered by 888, I could list
every single game they have but I fear I don’t have enough space on
this page!

– Progressive Games: At 888 the majority of the progressive
jackpots are slots games but there are a few others as well, all
offering huge top payouts.

– Slots Games: For some people Slots games are their favourite
casino games and it is certainly the area where online casinos excell as
they can offer such a massive choice. 888 is no exception with a superb
choice of games

– Table Games: In this category 888 offer Craps, American Roulette, European Roulette and a whole lot more.

– Video Poker Games: I know some players who are absolutely
hooked on VideoPoker and I can see the attraction, they offer a lot of
excitement and you also have very good odds compared to many other
casino games. 888 have many different types of VideoPoker for your
gaming pleasure.

– Card Games: 888 have a really great selection of card games,
and it is card games which most people associate with online casinos.
Games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em and many more.

In addition to the games listed above 888 also have the following sections of games, Arcade style games.

Some times it can almost seem like there are too many promotions and
bonues to choose between, but is that such a bad thing! 888 have some
very nice bonuses for you to choose from but as always check the small
print before you sign up for them. The bonuses at 888 kicks off with a
fantastic welcome bonus of £/$800. Now that’s a nice way for any online
casino to say hello! Online casinos take player retention very seriously
and with good reason as the online casino market has never been more
competitive. The loyalty scheme offered by 888 is amongst the best I’ve
seen. In addition to the signup bonus they also have many other
excellent promotions and I recommend you check out their promotions page
for the very latest info.

888 is a great online casino but don’t just take my word for it. Click
on the link on this page to take a look for yourselves, you have nothing
to loose as they offer free money games so that you can test the games
before you desposit any money.

What is Blackjack?

Blackjack is a card game played with several decks, commonly four, six or eight. Standard 52-card decks are used. It is based on the game of 21 (pontoon). Rules may vary in different casinos, so always check them before you start playing. You play only against the dealer who plays for the casino. The other players’ hands do not affect your game. To win you need to beat the dealer’s hand up to a score not exceeding 21. It is played on a semi-circular layout. The software shuffles and deals the cards, pays out winning bets and collects the losing bets. The cards are usually shuffled after each game.

Told you it was a brief article! 🙂

Review of Eurogrand Casino

Eurogrand online Casino

Eurogrand is a fairly new casino but they have some fantastic promotions and are constantly growing bigger and bigger and attracting a very loyal group of players. That is fairly hard to do with online casinos where players tend to me more fickle than most but by offering great service and actually listening to their players they are achieving it.

Eurogrand have all the main casino games which you would expect to find in a good online casino, these are split into the following main areas:

– Exclusive Games: Eurogrand also offer a few exclusive games which you won’t find anywhere else like EuroGrand poker slots which is a lot of fun to play.

– Slot Games: A nice selection in this category from classic single line all the way to video 20 line games.

– Card Games: All your favourites are represented here like Blackjack, Pontoon, Baccarat, Casino War, Caribbean poker, Pai Gow Poker, Red Dog, Casino Hold’em and Tequila Poker.

– Arcade games: I just love these games as they add a bit of fun to the gaming experience and some of them even have progressive jackpots. Eurogrand have about 15 games in this section.

– Progressive Games: Lots to choose from, they have about 15 games offering extremely healthy jackpots.

– Video Poker: Again a solid selection of video pokers in this section, my favourite here is probably jacks or better but I also enjoyed the 4-line Aces and Faces game.

– Table Games: Sic Bo, European Roulette, American Roulette and Craps.

– Live Games: I really like the fact that live games are becoming more commonplace as it adds so much to the gaming experience, Eurogrand have Live Baccarat, Live Blackjack, Live Roulette and Live Sic Bo.

– Asian Games: This is a new category for me but I had a lot of fun trying out the game Dolphin paradise, which actually involves a bit of skill as you have to try and guide a ball into the dolphins mouth.

It’s the promotions which really set Eurogrand apart though and I recommend you visit the promotions page on their site for the up to date list but at the time of writing this they had, on top of the $1000 first depsoit bonus, a $500 second deposit bonus and $300 third deposit bonus, this is one of the best bonus schemes I’ve seen. They also give you an extra 15% bonus if you deposit with Neteller, Wire Transfer or Bankers Draft and 10% if you deposit with Moneybookers, FirePay, Citadel, EcoCard, PaysafeCard, UseMyBank, Maestro/Switch Card, Solo Card and WebMoney. As a cherry on top they even give you comp points for every $1 you bet and these very quickly add up to yet another nice little bonus.

All in all then I really rate Eurogrand as a great place for high-roller casino players to gamble, they have plenty of action and excellent bonuses. 

Deciding which Horse to Bet on

Deciding which horse to bet on in a race is not easy. Many factors influence the outcome of horse races. These include things like the jockey, the weight carried, the condition of the ground and the distance of the race. This makes betting on horse racing both interesting and challenging. A gambler needs to use his skill to assess the likely winner and or placed horses from a field of between two and up to 40 runners.

Even after taking into account all the different factors some aspects of horse racing are unpredictable. No matter how carefully you have assessed a horse’s chances of winning, something can go wrong that will affect the outcome of a race. In national hunt races, horses can be brought down by others. Horses may slip on wet ground. The weights carried by the horse may be lost in the course of the race, causing the horse to be disqualified. Even the jockey’s actions may result in a horse being disqualified. Races are run at a fast pace with the jockey making split-second decisions. His actions can result in other horses being impeded, which may lead to disqualification. In his eagerness to make a horse win, he may use his whip more frequently than is allowed under the rules.

A great deal of the information that you need to consider when assessing a horse’s chance of winning is given by the race cards printed in newspapers and programmes. The format varies depending on the publication. To save space a lot of abbreviations are used. Take time to familiarize yourself with what all the abbreviations mean.
The analysis of all this information is very time consuming. In recent years computer programs have been developed to process this information. Using a computer can cut down on the work. There are many different programs on the market, all offering different features, so it is worth shopping around for the best deal.

There is now a wealth of information available on the internet. The amount of information is almost overwhelming. Lots of online racing magazines, horse racing websites and tipsters services now exist. Many provide up-to-date analysis of all the statistics like the performance of favourites, the influence of the draw, the top trainers, the top jockeys and pedigree information.

Unibet Casino

Unibet have been around a few years and in that time have firmly established themselves in the online casino business. Unibet always seem to be able to offer me something new each time I come back to freshen up the review. Unibet uses one of the top online gaming software’s and benefits hugely from this in terms of playability and looks. Unibet have some fantastic bonuses and promotions which I will talk more about later on in this review.

Unibet are well known for their fantastic choice of exciting online casino games, below you’ll find the main categories of casino games which Unibet have:

– Progressive Games: In this category you find the really massive payout casino games, and when I say massive I mean massive. At Unibet the majority of these games are slots games.

– Slots Games: A nice selection in this category from classic single line all the way to video 20 line games.

– Table Games: Unibet have a good selection of table games for your enjoyment, amongst these are Roulette (American and European), Craps and Sic Bo and many more as well.

– VideoPoker Games: I just love VideoPoker games and for some reason they tend to be the games where I get the most luck. Unibet have a superb selection all the way up to 100-line video poker games which I find a bit confusing but handily the game tells me which of my 100 lines have won!

– Card Games: Unibet have all of the most popular Casino card games including Tequila Poker, Red Dog, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em, Caribbean poker, Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Casino War and Pontoon.

Unibet have a few more sections of games as well, they are, Sportsbook, Poker, SuperToto, Scratch Cards, Skill games.

Now we get to the best bit, promotions and bonuses and this is where Unibet really excel. To start you off at the online casino Unibet offer you a very nice signup bonus, €100. You can add this money to your stack to give yourself more leverage in terms of betting for most of the casino games but make sure you check which casino games qualify for the bonus as not all of them do! Loyalty schemes are becoming better and better as online casinos battle amongst themselves to offer their players the best value for money. This is great news for us as we get even more bonuses through these loyalty programmes and Unibet is no exception. Unibet have a good selection of bonuses and promotions which they tell all their registered players about.

Great Games, Great Bonuses, Great Promotions, Great Customer Support, Unibet have the lot. So what are you waiting for?

Spread Betting

Spread betting started about 25 years ago and was used as a way to speculate on the financial markets. Bets were placed on how much the stock exchange would go up or down on a certain day. This form of gambling has been adapted for betting on horse racing.

Instead of betting on individual horses winning or losing, it is betting on combinations of events like how the favourites will perform at a meeting, what the starting prices of all the winning horses will be and what the winning distances will be. The spread betting company will make a prediction about a particular event. You need to decide if their prediction is too high or too low. The more you’re right, the more you win and the more you’re wrong, the more you lose. Due to its connection with the financial markets, the terms buying and selling are used. Buying is betting higher and selling is betting lower.

It has a higher level of financial risk than traditional betting. With traditional betting you know beforehand how much you will lose if your bet loses. You simply lose the amount you stake. With spread betting it is possible to have huge losses. To restrict the amount you can lose, it is possible to place a stop order on a bet.


Spread betting on favourites
A spread betting company will give a favourites’ index at each meeting. This index is based on a Score given to favourites that are placed in a race. The scores given can vary but as a general guide a favourite is awarded 25 points for winning, 10 points for coming second, five points for third place and 0 points for finishing in any other position. If there are joint favourites, then the one with the lowest race card number is considered the favourite.

To place a bet, you need to decide whether to bet higher or lower than the predicted score. If, for example, the predicted score is 70 and you think the likely score is higher then you bet high (buy). If you think the predicted score will be lower then you bet low.

The payout is calculated on the basis of how much higher or lower the score is.

If you bet £2 high and the result is 85 then you win 15 times your stake: (85 – 70) X your stake = 10 X £2 = £30.

If you bet low and the result is 80 then you lose 10 times your stake: (80 – 70) X your stake = 10 X £2 = – £20.


Jockey performance index
This is a bet on how a jockey performs in a meeting. A jockey is awarded 25 points for winning a race, 10 points for coming second, five points for coming third and no points for any other position. The spread betting firm will quote an index for each jockey at the meeting. You need to decide if the result will be higher or lower than the predicted index.

At a race meeting a jockey is predicted as having a performance of 32-34 points. You can bet higher than 34 or lower than 32.
Suppose you bet £10 lower. If the jockey’s score is 25, you win £70: (32 – 25) X 10 = £70. If the jockey’s score is 80, you will lose £460: (80 – 34) X 10 = £460.


Starting prices (SPs) of the winners
This is a bet on the total of the starting prices of all the winners at a race meeting. A 4/1 winner is four points, 10/1 is 10 points up to a maximum of 50/1 or 50 points so a 100/1 winner will have 50 points.
The SP prediction may be 55-58. If you predict that the result will be higher, you bet high, if you think it will be lower then you bet low.


Match bets
This is a bet on the distance between two nominated horses in a race. The maximum makeup on for flat races is 12 lengths and 15 lengths for national hunt. A short head is 0.1 of a length, a head is 0.2 and a neck 0.3, half a length 0.5, three-quarters of a length 0.75.


Race index
This is a bet on an individual horse. Bets are placed on whether or not a horse’s index will be higher or lower than the prediction.


The number of points awarded will depend on how many runners are are in a race.

For races with over 12 runners:
50 points for first
30 points for second
20 points for third
10 points for fourth
0 points for any other position
Races with up to 12 runners:
50 points for first
25 points for second
10 points for third

A horse is predicted to get 13-16 points. You bet £1 higher at 16. Maximum win is £34; maximum risk is £16.

The horse finishes sixth so has no points. The difference between the price and the result is 16 – 0 = 16. Loss = £1 x 16 = £16.


Double race card numbers
This is a bet based on the total of the winners’ doubled race card number at a meeting. For example, if the race card number of the winners of a meeting were numbers 2, 5, 11, 7, 3, and 6, this totals 34. The result would be 2 x 34 = 68.

If the prediction had been 75-79 and you had bet £10 low (sell), the difference between the result and the prediction is 75 – 68 = 7.  Your wininngs would be £10 X 7 = £70.


Heavyweights index
Here the performance of the heavyweights is predicted.


Winning distances
Here the total winning margins for a meeting is predicted.

SpinPalace Casino

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Right from the first look at their website I had the feeling that I would really like Spin Palace Casino. Spin Palace Casino keep on getting better and better each and every time I come back to them. Having a good look and feel is absolutely vital for an online casino if it wants to do well in the highly competitive gaming market and Spin Palace Casino have one of the best online casino interfaces I have seen. Having big promotions and bonuses is not the be all and end all of an online casino and it is important to really look at what is being offered as some of them look a lot better than they really are. In the case of Spin Palace Casino I can confirm that the bonuses are superb as I will demonstrate later in this review.

Below are the main sections of casino games offered by Spin Palace Casino, I could list every single game they have but I fear I don’t have enough space on this page!

– Progressive Games: At Spin Palace Casino the majority of the progressive jackpots are slots games but there are a few others as well, all offering huge top payouts.

– Slots Games: Spin Palace Casino have a great choice of games for slots fans. Their slots games come in many different shapes and sizes, like classic slots, reel slots and video slots.

– Table Games: Table Games are probably what is most synonymous with a casino, it includes games like Sic Bo, Roulette and Craps. Spin Palace Casino have all these favourite games and many more.

– VideoPoker Games: I know some players who are absolutely hooked on VideoPoker and I can see the attraction, they offer a lot of excitement and you also have very good odds compared to many other casino games. Spin Palace Casino have many different types of VideoPoker for your gaming pleasure.

– Card Games: Spin Palace Casino have all of the most popular Casino card games including Tequila Poker, Red Dog, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em, Caribbean poker, Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Casino War and Pontoon.

On the chance that this isn’t quite enough casino games for you Spin Palace Casino have a few extra sections, these are Unique games.

Spin Palace Casino online casino has some simply fantastic bonuses and promotions. To start you off at the online casino Spin Palace Casino offer you a very nice signup bonus, £1000. You can add this money to your stack to give yourself more leverage in terms of betting for most of the casino games but make sure you check which casino games qualify for the bonus as not all of them do! A lot of online casinos offer loyalty schemes to keep hold of its players and this is something you should take advantage of. The loyalty scheme at Spin Palace Casino is excellent and if you intend playing there then you should definitely sign up for it. When I was writing this review they were running a promotion which gave you an extra £1000 bonus if you hit a progressive jackpot, talk about getting the cherry on top! 🙂

All in all I can’t recommend Spin Palace Casino enough, I have always enjoyed playing at their online casino and I expect I will for many years to come.