Extreme Turbo Poker Tournament Guide

Extreme Turbo Poker is a very popular variant of a Sit & Go tournament, also referred to as SNG tournaments. Poker Tournaments seem to be taking over more and more from regular "Ring" games at  Online Poker Rooms. It is easy to find these games but one of the places I recomend for good Sit & Go Tournaments, and in particular Extreme Turbo Poker, is Spin Palace Poker.

Sit & Go Poker tournaments are described in other articles on this site but in brief they are the most flexible form of Poker tournament there is. All you have to do is go to the Poker Room lobby, click on Sit & Go Tournaments and then click on the betting level you are happy with, for example $5. As long as there are still places free on a table you can join it. If all the tables are full then just wait a few minutes, a new one is sure to pop up. Most poker rooms mix all the variants of Sit & Go tournaments together and there are quite a few different types, like heads up and full table freezeouts and I will be discussing all these other types in future articles.

Extreme Turbo Poker is usually played as a No-Limit Texas Hold’em game but I have seen some Omaha games as well. The rules are much the same as in any other Poker tournament, you are given a stack of chips in return for your entry fee to the tournament. It is then a straight elimination match between you and your opponents and usually the top 2 or 3 players will share the total cash pot, which will be the entry fee multiplied by the number of players who entered. It should also be noted that Extreme Turbo Hold’em is usually played shorthand with 6 people but can also be played longhand with 10 players.

The main difference with Extreme Turbo Poker compared to standard Sit & Go poker tournaments is the speed with which the blinds increase. Each stage of the tournament is split into levels and each of these levels correspond with a betting level. In a standard poker tournament these levels rise every 5-10 minutes but with extreme turbo Poker is is every few hands so very soon the blinds can be up into the hundreds. This of course means that you have to play very aggressively right from the start to build up your stack otherwise the blinds will eventually destroy you. In many respects it is similar to the final few hands of a multi-table freeroll or standard multi-table poker tournament, where the betting levels are typically very high at the end and there is a lot of bullying and stealing of blinds. A lot of good players therefore use Extreme Turbo tournaments to practice for this stage of poker tournaments as well as also playing "Heads up" Poker, where there are just 2 players, to practice the final end game!

People either love or hate Extreme Turbo Poker tournaments and it depends a lot on whether you are a tight or aggressive player. I would however recommend that if you don’t like it you should probably force yourself to play it as it means you need to get out of your comfort zone, every one should feel comfortable in playing good solid aggressive poker sometimes, whereas at other times it is important to have the discipline of playing tight.

In summary Extreme Turbo Poker is an extreme roller-coaster ride through Poker World and I highly recommend you all check it out. 

Choosing the right casino for you

As you can see from the pages of our websites and  indeed just by having a look around the internet that there is a massive choice of online casinos, poker rooms and other online gambling sites like sportsbooks and online bingo places on the internet these days. It is however important that you choose an online gambling site which is right for you and this depends on a number of factors.

Firstly you need an online casino or poker room which is reliable. All of the casinos that we have listed on High-Roller Casinos are reputable and honest. If you should ever have any problems with any of them then please inform us and we will chase them for you, that is our service to you. 

The second thing to look out for is the type of games which are offered. In our reviews we try to give an indication of the games offered by each of the online casinos and poker rooms but the only proper way of seeing this is by visiting the site, downloading the software, registering for a play/fun account and trying out some of their games. If you decide that you like their games, you can deposit some real money and start playing for real.

The third thing are the bonuses. I could write several articles purely on the topic of bonuses and in fact I plan too over the coming weeks but for the purposes of this article I want to stress one thing, always read the terms and conditions of the bonuses before signing up for them so that you know what the gambling requirements are etc. Some bonuses seem mind blowing large but have big conditions attached to them whilst other smaller bonuses are actually far more realistic and you can achieve them just through regular play. It is also important to note that some games are excluded from bonuses, very often Blackjack is.

One final important factor when choosing an online casino is the customer service offered, you should always keep an eye out for Live support or Live chat, if a casino offers this then it is a sure sign that they take customer service very seriously. With Live chat the casino or poker room provide a customer service agent who you can talk to in real time and therefore resolve your problems much quicker. This isn’t to say that casinos and poker rooms without live chat aren’t good but it is a definite plus.

In summary, choosing the right casino for you is probably a combination of all these factors and many more, the most important thing and the best way to get started is to read our reviews, look at how we scored the casinos and poker rooms, click on the link and check them out for yourself, if you like what you see, sign up and enjoy.

Big Field bets in Craps

One of the most popular bets for inexperienced craps players is the field bet. Once again, it seems like a good bet. The betting area occupies a large chunk of the craps layout at each end of the table. For the table minimum, a player can wager that the two, three, four, nine, ten, eleven or twelve will appear on the next roll. Only a five, six, seven or eight will defeat that bet. The bet pays even money.

But take a closer look. Even though the field numbers winners seem to be more numerous than the losers, it’s simply not true. The amount of dice combinations that make up those seven numbers totals 16. But there are 20 ways to roll the five, six, seven and eight, so the player is giving the house a 5.56 per cent advantage. Looks can be deceiving in craps.

Another often well advertised bet at most dice games is the big six or eight. Because the six and eight are rolled so frequently, players mistakenly believe it is a good bet. By placing this bet, the player is betting that a six or eight will appear before a seven is rolled.

It is the same bet as a place bet on the six or eight, but the payout is considerably worse. By placing the six or eight, the player receives odds of 7-6, but a winning wager on the big six or eight only gets even money. A casino advantage of 9.1 per cent means the player will lose £1 for every £11
gambled. By placing the six or eight, players are dramatically reducing the casino’s advantage to only 1.5 per cent, meaning a player loses £1 for every £66 bet. But you won’t see that advertised anywhere. Only the most knowledgeable players realize they can get the best bets at the craps tables, while avoiding the “sucker” bets.

Video Poker – Introduction

Video poker is not live poker, and except for how you evaluate the hands, it bears little resemblance to the table game.

Video poker is a fairly recent phenomenon, dating back to only the mid-Seventies. Although early slot machines used cards and poker hands as payout symbols, players had no choices to make; the reels stopped wherever the machine determined they would.

The increasing popularity of video poker can be traced to several factors and characteristics it has in common with many of the more popular casino games. For instance:
– It’s fast (like craps).
– It gives players the opportunity to make decisions and a reasonable control over the results (like blackjack).
– It’s similar to poker (like many of the newest casino games).
– It gives the possibility of a large payout and is not intimidating (like slot machines).
– You can play it for a low minimum, an investment as small as a few coins.

Maybe what makes it even more popular is that it returns your investment for a pair of Jacks to Aces. In effect, this makes the player feel that a tie (a push) is a win. This is an important psychological factor that makes it seem like you’re winning more than you actually are. Maybe it’s because when you drop a coin into the machine, you consider that a lost coin, so that when it reappears on an even-money payout, you feel like you’re a winner. It’s a subtle point, but a powerful one.

Perhaps the chief reason that video poker is becoming more popular is that even a casual player can determine the value of an individual machine. By simply glancing at the pay table included on every video poker game, you can determine how much that machine will pay back to players who use the optimum video poker strategy, or expert strategy.

Playing winning video poker requires three very important tenets. First, you should only play machines that give you the highest payout. Second, you must know how to use the best strategies to play those machines. And finally, you should be aware of how those machines reach those payout percentages. That is, you must be aware of whether that payout percentage is reached by awarding a single large jackpot or whether it encompasses many smaller payouts.  The level of frequency of the payoffos is called the volatility of the machine.

Many machines can be played to pay back more than 100 per cent of the money invested. How is this possible, you ask? Isn’t the casino going to lose money by putting these types of machines on the floor?

This question has two answers. Yes, the casino would lose money if every player on that particular machine understood and used expert strategy. But since only a small minority of video poker players truly know how to take advantage of
such a machine, no, the casino will not lose money by offering such a machine. And even if it was just expert players that were attracted to such a machine, they wouldn’t all be able to play at the same time. Therefore, the casino would undoubtedly surround that machine with others offering a significantly lower payout than that single 100 per cent-plus machine, guaranteeing the casino the chance to win more money from those other players.

Introduction to poker

The late Walter Matthau described poker as exemplifying’all of the worst aspects of capitalism that have made our country so great’, Along with Hollyvvood road movies, the images of the ‘rambling-gambling man’ and the poker-playing cowboy, willing to risk all on the turn of a card, are abiding metaphors for the free¬spirited American ideal, A recent Hollyvvood film, Rounders starring Matt Damon, realistically portrayed the game with all of its thrills and excitement. Set in New York’s underground poker world, Rounders tells the story of a card player who attempts to leave behind the poker-playing rounds for a legitimate career and a chance for a new life with his girlfriend. However, the new life is short on the buzz of high-stakes poker games and the Damon character is soon drawn back to the poker table.

Rounders gives one perspective on the game of poker, but often poker games are played by groups of friends purely for enjoyment, with winning or losing being secondary to the social experience, and with the stakes often nothing more than matchsticks, Inventor Sir Clive Sinclair is perhaps the best known of all the players who have appeared on Channe14’s Late Night Poker series, and he plays socially in a private game. For him, poker is an opportunity to meet friends and pass an enjoyable evening, Sir Clive has played poker for about ten years and for a recreational player he has acquitted himself very well against the ranks of professionals in the series. I am not alone in believing that if he played as much as some of the rest of us, he would become a very formidable player indeed.

However, I would contend that to experience the true thrill of poker it should be played for stakes that matter to the players. If you are playing for a sum of money that is meaningful to you, your sense of excitement will be heightened, your palms will start to sweat, the adrenaline will start to pump in your bloodstream and you will experience a sense of risk rarely encountered in everyday life.

Joker Poker

It’s only one card, but what a difference it makes! with 53 cards in the deck, the different possibilities for winning hands in Joker Poker are very appealing to slot players who enjoy video poker. When that Joker appears on the screen, it adds an immediate bonus.

The explosion in the popularity of video-poker slot machines has understandably led to the development of games that use wild cards. The Joker Poker slot machine is the most popular of these games. It adds a 53rd card to the deck for each hand. Since this gives the player more opportunities to draw winning hands, and indeed makes the game easier, the payout is lower than ordinary video poker.

The Joker will come up about ten percent of the time and the player must be prepared to react to certain situations in a different manner to how he would in an ordinary video poker game. Strategy changes in this game and the different situations must be understood to take advantage of the higher payouts.

Though there are many different types of Joker Poker machines – most pay only on two pair, others pay for Jacks-, Kings- or Aces-or-better – and pay tables vary, the strategies are applicable to most situations. In Atlantic City and some riverboats, the highest jackpot is for five-of-a-kind. In Las Vegas, the royal flush cops the top award.

The Joker can be used as a substitute for any other card, or used as a fifth imaginary card of any value (to complete a five-of-a-kind hand, for instance). The machine automatically computes the best hand when using the Joker.

The only exception to this rule is that the Joker cannot be used to complete a royal flush (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten of the same suit). A Joker completing this hand is paid off as a straight flush. In most versions of Joker Poker, the lowest payout is two pair, unlike many video-poker machines that pay out for Jacks or Better.

There are some basic rules that apply only to Joker Poker. These guidelines are formulated by the unique situations and odds that exist by the addition of the one wild card.

Never draw more than three cards, regardless of the first five cards received. If you get a Joker in the first five cards, always keep one additional card to start with a pair, before the draw. If you don’t have a Joker, keep at least two cards of the same suit, so you at least have the beginning of a flush. Drawing a royal flush simply is not possible when you get a Joker in the first five cards, so any flush will be paid off, at best, as a straight flush.

When you start with a Joker, you can’t finish with two pair. It’s simple.

With the Joker, partial straights are better than partial flushes. If you have a Joker-Seven-Eight-Nine any Five, Six, Ten or Jack will payoff. That is 16 possibilities. For a four-card flush with a Joker, you only have ten possibilities to complete that flush. Though the payout for a straight is slightly less than for a flush, you will draw a straight more times than a flush.

Winning at Joker Poker is no more difficult than an ordinary video-poker machine. Joker Poker is, however, much more complicated, and you must understand what the addition of the wild card does to the probabilities. This very challenge makes Joker Poker more exciting.

Give it a try.

Keeping the Baccarat Score

Baccarat requires no skill. Luck is the dominant factor and nothing at all can be done to affect the outcome of the hand after you place your bet. All decisions are automatic. You cannot reduce the inherent house advantage by altering your betting strategy or even counting cards. It’s simply not possible.

A mathematical study of the game reveals that the Banker hand wins 45.8 per cent of the time, the Player hand wins 44.6 per cent, and the Tie wins 9.6 per cent. By ignoring the tie bet, we find that the Banker hand wins 50.7 per cent of the bets and the Player hands win 49.3 per cent. The house charges the five per cent commission because it would simply not be fair to give this Sort of advantage to the baccarat player.

Like the toss of a coin, the hands in baccarat have no memory. Just as whether the previous coin toss came up heads or tails, it doesn’t matter whether the previous baccarat hand is won by the Banker or the Player. You could toss ten heads in a row, and there’s no guarantee the 11th would come up tails. The same is true in baccarat, but the “streak” of the same winning hand is what makes the game so fascinating.

Every casino provides a scorecard to its players to keep track of the winning hands. While this is a very useful tool, it’s important to remember that it is simply a reflection of the history of the game. Many players believe that it is an indication of future trends, but many other players have gone broke trying to chase patterns or streaks.

Because baccarat offers simple decisions – odd-even, up-down, heads-tails – it is a game that has long intrigued systems sellers.
A simple system with a fancy name is the “Gargante Marche” system. In fact, this system is simply one that takes advantage of streaks. The theory is to latch on to a streak and ride it until it fizzles out. It sounds simple, but is actually difficult. While you’re waiting for the streak in baccarat, you’re going to experience what is known as a “chop”, where the winning hand alternates between the Banker and the Player irregularly. You’ll be there for the streak, but you may have a long wait. In the long run, this system is no more effective than simply guessing which side is going to win.

Introduction to Baccarat

Baccarat is the casinos most elegant and profitable game, with an air of sophistication and wealth. Although it looks complicated and intimidating, baccarat is one of the casinos simplest and most profitable games for the player.
If roulette is a glamorous game enjoyed by Europe’s upper crust, then baccarat is the game of kings. Until James Bond began playing the game in the Sixties, it was one of the casino’s most misunderstood games. Crouched in mystery, baccarat is conducted in a private gaming room, and caters to some of the world’s biggest high gamblers – or “whales” as they’re known to casino executives.

The dealers are attired in tuxedos rather than standard casino uniform. The supervisors watch over the game like hawks, sometimes sitting in chairs elevated above the game, to give them a complete view of the action. The players seem to be a cut above those vou’d find on the casino floor.

It seems a million miles from the rattle of the slot machines, where the players are noisily slamming coins into the shrill machines. Baccarat is unlike any other casino game, but it is in reality one of the simplest games in the house. Yet because of its elegant atmosphere, baccarat seems to be beyond the reach of the average gambler. Don’t let them try to tell you that.

Baccarat (pronounced “bah-kah-rah”) is one of the most socially involved games, one where you get to know your fellow players, and one where it’s very difficult to do something wrong. At the same time, you can’t make bad strategy decisions that will erode the minimal house advantage. In short, baccarat should be investigated by any player looking for entertainment and a good return on his investment.

Learn the basics of playing in online casinos

In case you have never gambled online before, you might feel confused about how to get started. Online gambling is still a young industry and this is why people might find quite difficult to differentiate the reputable casinos from the less reputable ones. All the casinos, whether good or bad, are fiercely competing, hungry for market share. So, it’s a good idea to be very careful when choosing an online casino to play at.

As an average observation, the casinos keep about 75% of money deposited, so they should not need to cheat. Nevertheless, there have been a lot of players complaining of the problems caused by playing at some non-licensed casinos that use anonymous software. Every player should be aware of the fact that quality counts. All you have to do is to take a close look at their web sites or free games. In case they look like a professional organization (and have all the necessary features to look this way), then there are high chances that they really are. It is also advisable that you follow your own instincts. If you do not feel all right about a certain online casino, you must obey your inner voices and resist playing there. You can find two ways of gambling online, namely Java and downloadable software. They have both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, Java offers almost instant playing, but on the other hand, downloadable software offers better sound and graphics. More than that, about half of the casinos with downloadable software offer a free CD version as well.

After having installed the software , the next step will be to open an account. This can be done either on the web site of the casino or through the software. Then you have to put some money into your account. Most of the time, this is done with a credit/debit card. There are also other options such as: Western Union and bank wire transfers, with the observation that both of them imply substantial fees (which many online casinos will credit back to your account). You must be aware of the fact that some credit cards will treat deposits to an online casino as a cash advance. If you do not agree with this, it is possible for you to have success in arguing the charge, although many credit cards have a flat policy referring to the fact that a purchase of casino chips counts as a cash advance. It is recommended that you should use debit cards instead, as there is never any cash advance fee involved and the transactions are posted faster. As soon as you have money in your account you can start playing, but not before checking the rules.

Many online casinos favour the European rules which are sometimes different from the US rules. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on the particular game. If you are about to play you shouldn’t forget getting the necessary information first. If you think of playing some other time too (in the near future), do not cash out, just leave your money in your account. The moment you cash out, the chips will be converted into cash and credited back to your credit card, up to the amount of the initial purchase. Online gambling is different from gambling in a traditional casino, there is no doubt. In some aspects it is better and in other aspects it’s worse.

Online gambling is a competitive business and this is why many casinos will offer different sign-up bonuses to new customers, adding from 10 to 50% of their initial deposit to their bankroll. Some casinos will simply deposit money in customers’ accounts randomly, while others will offer vacations for specified levels of total money bet. Another favourable aspect of online casinos is represented by the fact their rules are usually better than those imposed by traditional casinos. More than that, you do not have to travel long distances because the casino is right inside your own home. If choosing to play online casino games you do not have to suffer all the annoyances involved with the traditional casinos like smokers, for instance and you do not need to give tips to anyone. An unfavourable aspect regarding the online casinos stands in the fact you have to be patient in order to get your money after having cashed out. The period of time between cashing out and your money appearing on your credit card will be of (at least) two weeks. Debit card operations are much faster, taking only about three to five business days. There are also disadvantages related to the customer service support.

Some places offer great service through the agency of chat, e-mail and a toll-free telephone number. Others take several days to reply to an e-mail, do not have any telephone numbers, and generally seem like they just don’t want to be bothered. Anyway, this does not mean that all online casinos act this way. An extremely positive thing brought about by online gambling is the freedom to learn. If you have ever wanted to try out a game but you have been reluctant to risk any money, you will be no more if choosing to play at an online casino. The great majority of online casinos offer ‘play for free’ versions of their games that enable novice players to learn and practice them without risking a cent. In addition, as you’ll be playing alone against the house, you can take your time when making crucial decisions or even use strategy cards (where possible) in order to be sure that every move that you make is just perfect. Thus, a major advantage in online gambling is represented by the great possibility of setting your own rhythm.

In case you are not at a multi-player table, online gambling offers the players enough time to better consider their moves and play at a slower pace. When it comes to traditional casinos, it can be quite awkward to sit at a blackjack table trying to decide what to do while other players and the dealer are waiting for you. On the other hand, in an online casino, you can play slowly, thinking twice before making any moves as there is no one waiting for you. Above all these things, many sites provide their players with unique games that you cannot find in other online casinos or in traditional gambling halls. Related to this subject we can point out a couple of originals games, namely ‘SpaceJack’ (a video variation of Blackjack) and ‘Treasure Box’ (a different version of the traditional slot game that allows players to hold the reels after each spin).

Progressive Pots in Video Poker

Another twist in video poker payouts is a progressive jackpot. These incorporate a progressive meter above a carousel of video poker machines, and a portion of each bet is designated to fund the progressive jackpot that is usually hit on a royal flush.

When a bank of Jacks-or-better machines offers a progressive jackpot, you won’t find 9/6 machines because the top award accounts for a larger percentage of the overall payout percentage. But don’t be fooled by being attracted to a big progressive jackpot when the payoffs for a full house and a flush aren’t at a reasonable level. You’re not getting the best bet unless you play at an 8/5 machine on a regular Jacks-or-better game.

Professional video poker players know that when the progressive meter hits £1,250 on a quarter video poker machine, they have the edge. Often a team of players will occupy every seat on such a carousel until the jackpot is hit.

IGT, the company which developed the Megabucks, Quartermania and Dollars Deluxe linked-slot systems, has had some trouble developing a similar system for video poker. Because the players can actually play for a royal flush when the progressive jackpot reaches. high levels, professional players could actually make it more likely that they’d hit the big jackpot. Requiring the winning hand to be “sequential” – that is lined up from Tento Ace left to right or vice versa – didn’t work, either, because the professional player could alter his style to go for that jackpot as well.

At one point, IGT developed what they called Star Poker. The random number generator added stars to the cards that make up a royal flush, and the players couldn’t predict when or where those stars would appear, so they couldn’t alter their playing style to try to win the progressive jackpot. But because it was so confusing, it wasn’t very popular.

Today, there is a system called Pokermania that designates a particular suit for each machine. For instance, a player sitting at a machine designated for diamonds must hit a sequential royal flush in diamonds to win the progressive jackpot. If he draws a sequential royal flush in hearts, he will get a good payout, but not the progressive. These machines seem to satisfy the player, but are still not as popular as the slot versions of the giant progressive jackpots. And because you’re supposedly playing for the big jackpot, you pay a big price in the full house/flush payout. Rarely will you see a giant linked-progressive jackpot video poker system paying more than six for a full house and five for a flush.