4 Tips on Gambling with Family

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The holidays are drawing close, and families are drawing closer. Of course, the scene is not

always as picturesque as it seems on Hallmark cards. There are skeletons hanging loosely out of

every closet, and drama is on the tip of every tongue. People everywhere are struggling to find an

inch of common ground, a safe frame of conversation in which everyone can relax. What do

conservatives and liberals, drug enthusiasts and non-drinkers, techies and luddites all have in

common? It’s simple. Everyone enjoys some light-hearted fun, at least every once in a while.

The most difficult feat is treading the line, keeping the game light for everyone, no matter their

own personal beliefs. It’s not easy, but a few tips bring the game well along its way.

1. Choose a good time.

For many, gambling games are not a daytime activity. Whether money comes out or not, the

game may be best left to the late hours of the night when less prim and proper things can occur.

If someone doesn’t like it, they can go to bed early.

2. Pace the drinking.

It may be a challenge for some, but for others, one drink is enough. Many family members may

only drink one beer or one glass of wine for the whole night, and be good. It can be hard for

people who are accustomed to drinking more, but ultimately pacing the intake with the group is

better for bonding. Drinking the same thing as everyone else around the table also establishes

healthy comradely.

3. Ask parents first.

It may seem perfectly natural to a great number of people that money-free gambling games,

much like virgin margaritas, are perfectly alright for kids. After all, it’s not really gambling, so

where’s the harm? This assumption may offend individual parents, however, so even when the

money is tucked away, it’s better to ask before inviting minors to the table.

4. Let it escalate.

Ultimately, the goal is to unwind and relax around everyone, no matter everyone’s political

views or what they think about each other. Building a fun atmosphere isn’t easy, but in a way, it

is. The best way to build fun is to let it happen on its own. Once people start putting their guard

down and competing for real, the mission is accomplished.

Have a lot of family coming together this year? Remember that the best advice is to know your

audience. For better or worse, no one knows family like family.


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How to Play Dreidel

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With just a few days left of the Hanukkah week, its high time to get the dreidel rolling. The rules

are simple, and the game lasts as long as the chips keep flying.

I can hear you asking: Wait, but isn’t dreidel a religious game? I don’t want to offend anybody.

Well, that’s not exactly true. True, dreidels mostly make the rounds during Hanukkah, but the

game did not originate within Jewish culture.

Starting out, dreidel was actually an English game called teetotum. The spinning top was the

same shape with the same rules with slightly different symbols, Latin instead of Hebrew. Just

like with dreidel, the four symbols mean “nothing,” “half,” “everything,” and “put in.”

What you need:

1. A dreidel.

2. Poker chips (or other small objects).

3. Awesome friends.

1. Several awesome friends gather at a table and set out their chips. About 10-15 chips per player

makes for the best game length.

2. To start each round, each player places a chip in the pot.

3. One by one, every player spins the dreidel.

נ (nun): Do nothing.

ג (gimel): Take everything in the pot.

ה (hay): Take half of the pot, rounded up if there is an odd number.

ש (shin): Place one chip in the pot, saying “shin, shin, put one in.”

At the very end of their turn, the player places a chip in the pot no matter what happened before.

4. When a player runs out of chips, they may ask another player for more.

5. The group continues to play until one player owns all the chips.

Optional rule: When rolling “shin,” place three chips in the pot instead of one.

More on dreidel:

There are more than a few theories about the true meaning of the dreidel and what it was used

for. The possibilities are real. The dreidel may have been used to preserve the last vestiges of

Jewish belief, just in case the worst happened. Here is how.

1. The four symbols on the dreidel together are “nun gimel hay shin,” an abbreviation for “nes

gadol haya sham,” meaning “A great miracle happened there.” In Israel, one of the letters is

switched out to mean “A great miracle happened here.”

2. By analyzing the letters on the dreidel numerologically, the term “mashiach,” meaning

“messiah,” can be drawn out. In fact, the dreidel may be used to communicate in code as each

Hebrew letter has a numerological equivalent.

Is there a deeper meaning behind the dreidel? Who’s to say, but you know what’s more fun than

pondering the truth behind an unknowable question? Playing dreidel.

3 Casino Games that are a Thousand Times Better Online

Posted by & filed under Craps, Entertainment, slots.


It may be fun to play casino games in person, but sometimes the gameplay is more rewarding,

more straight-forward, and less tedious from the comfort of a mobile phone or a desktop

computer. For players new to online play, these choices are worth checking out.

1. Craps

Believe it or not, many craps players have an entirely different play style when playing online.

When playing with others, there is an awful stigma around betting on “don’t pass.” This kind of

bet is seen as hedging bets against the team, celebrating while the other players are mourning,

and otherwise stirring up trouble. What many players do not want to recognize is that “don’t

pass” actually stands a better chance of winning. When playing at the casino, players have two

choices: make the inferior bet and make friends or make the superior bet and make enemies.

When playing online, the social stigma disappears. Players are finally free to grasp the best odds

of winning and see where it goes.

2. Slots

It can be hard to keep going when the dials are not cooperating. Playing a slot machine online

means that players can play until they get frustrated, then walk away to do something else. When

the mood strikes once again, the game is right there waiting. This sort of play style is impossible

to pull off at a land-based casino. When a player at the casino is frustrated, the only options are

to keep playing or to go home. This does not make for a good night.

3. Baccarat

There are some casino games out there that follow a simple model, and players rarely change up

what they are doing. Baccarat is one such game. Most players who know their stuff set their

chips down, bet on banker, lather, rinse, repeat. This playing style can start to feel tedious. Some

players may even worry about the dealer and how dull the process must be for them. When

playing online, there is no need to worry about the dealer because the dealer is just a part of a

computer program.

Some games simply work better online. The player has the freedom to place the best bets, there

is no tedious upkeep to speak of, and best of all, the player can start and stop playing whenever

and wherever. When it comes to casino games, online is the best choice.


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The Greatest Comeback in Online Gambling History

Posted by & filed under blackjack, Entertainment.


At the turn of the century in the year 2000, online gambling proceeds were at an all-time high.

Even in its infancy, being only six years old, the online gambling industry was pulling in $2.2

billion a year, two thirds of which was coming from American pockets. The business was young

and exciting, bringing in gamblers who loved every variety of gambling, from casino games to

sports betting to poker to the lottery. Things were looking up for the online casino business, but

then a wrench dropped into the machine.

In the year 2008, one particular piece of legislation went through, and it was as cryptic as it was

deafening. Without banning online casinos, without regulating online gambling behavior at all,

the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act declared that banks and credit card companies

could no longer handle transactions for online gambling purposes.

The act caused much confusion and disruption. Many internationally owned online gambling

businesses closed their doors to the U.S. shutting out about two thirds of their revenue. Others

stayed open, but for a chosen few, it wasn’t for long. To demonstrate that they were serious, in

2011, the United States government shut down multiple gambling websites for violating the

dreaded UIGEA. The government seized domain names, froze customer accounts, and issued

restraining orders against 77 bank accounts, multiples of which did not even reside in the United

States. The strangest part is that all of the targeted websites specialized in poker.

Thus ended the poker market in the United States. A few online casinos have been brave enough

to stay open, but others have long since packed their bags. But wait, things get better.

The year 2013 brought on the rebirth of the American online gambling business. Two new

venues shattered the gambling norm: mobile gaming and social gaming. The two may not appear

directly related to gambling. After all, gambling is not just a game. Surprisingly, online casinos

make up one fifth of the social gambling industry, a business which managed to net $8 billion in

2013 alone. This number is nothing compared to the mobile gambling proceeds, though: $10

billion in wagers in that same year.

It is hard to argue with that kind of data. It just goes to show, where there is a demand, there is a

supply. So long as there are still more and more players eager to hit the online casinos, the

business can only grow.

4 Cheats from the Olde West

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Grifters and gamblers played a dangerous game in the olde west, finding loopholes and taking

advantage of a lawless world. Some grifter secrets might still work in the modern day, but it’s

not the same world anymore.

1. Dealing Backwards

In the age before the Internet, there was no way to know the true rules to a card game besides

word of mouth. New players were easily duped because the people teaching the game often had

their own interest in mind, and left little details out of the explanation. Grifters would place

desired cards at the bottom of the deck, and then drop those cards right into their own hand. Most

players, especially new ones, were none the wiser.

2. Coin on a String

When slot machines first came out, the coin slots weren’t quite as secure as they are today. Even

now, it is possible to trick a coin slot with a fake chip, coin, or token, but back in the day, it was

possible to stick pretty much anything in the machine and get something back. A handful of

clever thieves were caught feeding slot machines a coin on a string. They would feed the

machine then yank the coin back like a yo-yo, making for infinite replays.

3. Spinning Dice

There is a reason the most widely used dice game uses two dice instead of one. Tricksters have

honed the art of spinning a die instead of rolling it, causing the die to land on the same side every

time. When spinning is too obvious, loading is also an option. Loading dice is about making one

side heavier than the others, causing the die to fall on that side at least most of the time. Loading

dice is a dangerous game, however. Plenty of grifters got caught when another player picked up

the die and realized something was strange about it.

4. Card up the Sleeve

Cheaters of the old gambling world didn’t just hide cards in their sleeves. Some had devices for

tucking away the card and then shooting it out, no electricity required. These devices got past the

casual observer easily, but getting caught with one did not make for a good day.

Who would have thought that the olde west was so full of clever gadgets? It wasn’t all tattered

cards and rugged dice. Being a grifter in the land before laws had its own dangers, but it certainly

sounds adventurous.


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4 Jaw-Dropping Gambling Stories

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The strangest things happen when people are gambling. Good luck or bad, these twists do not

just happen inside the game, but all around it. Do you believe these stories? Read on to find out.

1. The Final Countdown

During an unforgettable poker match in Macau, something very strange happened. A poker

player by the name of Lo Shing Fung took a break from eating to go all in, dropping $471,000

into the pot so that the total soared over $1,000,000. Just in case his opponents didn’t think he

was serious, Fung told everyone around the table what cards he had, listing out all the cards in a

straight. While Fung ate out of a paper box with his chopsticks and swirled around in his chair,

his colleagues took the bait and bet against him. To no one’s surprise, Lo Shing Fung won every

penny in the pot.

2. Caught Green-Handed

An undocumented Arizona woman won too big when she was awarded a $1,200 jackpot and was asked

for her ID. The Mexican-born woman, Mirna Valenzuela, was playing at the casino with her

daughter, Zamira Osorio, when they pulled off an impressive gambling win. The two were asked

to return with valid ID in order to claim their prize. Rather than walking away and hiding their

undocumented status, the two charged onward to claim their prize.

Minra Valenzuela was deported almost on the spot, but Zamira Osorio qualified to stay in

America thanks to Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The prize money remains

in the casino’s hands waiting to be claimed.

3. Bad Dogs

The Pennsylvania town of Hellertown was faced with an underground gambling locale in an

unlikely place: a hotdog shop for kids. Called Mike’s Kids’ Doggie Shop, the restaurant was

searched and found to contain several video gambling machines. A law has been in the works in

Pennsylvania to allow gambling in places that serve alcohol, but this kids’ place was not exactly

what they had in mind.

4. Get Out of Jail Free Machine

A gambler in Germany was not on good terms with the police. After a history of noncooperation

with the police, this man was expected to show up for a jail sentence of 71 days and also pay a

fine of about $910. He did neither. Instead, he was playing slots when they found him. Just as the

police were bracing to take him away, the slot machine lit up and presented him with about

$1282. The police took the winnings on the spot, but at least he didn’t have to go to jail.

These stories are borderline unbelievable. From smooth poker drama to strange strokes of good

and bad luck, these are the things that make gambling so exciting.


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6 Unbelievable Celebrity Gambling Problems

Posted by & filed under casino, Entertainment.


PLEASE NOTE THIS IMAGE IS FOR USE VIA THE CONSUMER POD SITE ONLY. PHILADELPHIA - MAY 11: Allen Iverson #3 of the Philadelphia 76ers wants the crowd to get louder during the closing minutes of their win over the Detroit Pistons in Game four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2003 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2003 at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers won 95-82 to even the series 2-2. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

They’re at it again. Celebrities pull out big chunks of dough betting on anything from blackjack

to baccarat to the very sports they play in the field. Find out what celebrities have been up to

behind closed doors

Michael Jordon

For the basketball legend, regular gambling games aren’t enough. He may play his fair share of

craps and poker, but there is a darker rumor running amok. Michael Jordan’s hiatus when he

switched to baseball is rumored to be a punishment from the NBA for betting on sports, and not

just any kind of sports, but basketball, itself.

Tiger Woods

Perhaps money really can buy happiness. For Tiger Woods, happiness costs $25,000 a hand at

the blackjack tables, and many, many more than one hand per night. At least he has recovered

well since the divorce, so far as we can tell from here.

Allen Iverson

The professional basketball player could not keep his gambling issues a secret, but few people

know the full extent of the problem. Though perhaps not gifted at selecting the right bets, Iverson

somehow managed to gather together a debt of millions of dollars to casinos in Detroit.

Phil Ivey

For a professional poker player, Phil Ivey sure plays a lot of games that aren’t poker. His very

favorite game to play in his spare time is craps, and it is a pity that Ivey is not any better at the

dice game. The poker pro has lost more than a million dollars in a single night at the casino. The

betting doesn’t stop there, however. Ivey is also a fan of sports betting, and has lost millions of

dollars on that as well. It’s a pity he isn’t as good at picking sports teams to bet on as he is

playing poker.

John McCain

If you did not hear about this scandal, then the cover-up worked. John McCain is said by his own

friends to hole up playing craps for a full day at a time or longer, fighting sleep deprivation and

refusing to be hauled away. If what his friends said are true, this foul play was going on even

during McCain’s failed election.

Ben Affleck

Finally a gambler who has something to show for it. Ben Affleck has won $950,000 in a single

night of gambling, with the bet amount for a single hand being $60,000.

Most of us don’t have $60,000 to bet, but at least we don’t have $60,000 to lose.

The Online Casino Safety Checklist

Posted by & filed under casino, Entertainment.



Before depositing money into a casino, there are some things you need to know. Not all websites are trustworthy, and some will all but steal from the players given the chance. The plus side of using online casinos is the prizes and bonuses make them a million times better than a land-based casino, so don’t give up now. Instead, take a look at this safety checklist to make sure the casino is legit.


  1. Do you know the company?

Many well-established casinos are owned by reliable names like Silver Oak and Royal Ace. Other companies come out of the woodwork. While they might just be friendly and reliable websites, these are untested waters. Established casinos have numerous customer reviews assuring good service. Others are more questionable.


  1. Can you reach customer service?

Many modern websites offer live chat with English-speaking customer service representatives who can help with any problems that come up. Others leave just a phone number with long hold times or an email address which is not checked regularly. If something goes wrong, you need to know that you can reach the other side of the line, so test it out before depositing money.


  1. Is the online casino licensed?

Certain lesser known online casinos are not licensed to be played in the United States. These websites are often operated from outside the country and may appear shady or suspicious in how they handle deposits. Bear in mind that if you deal with one of these suspicious websites and they do not send you the money you have won, there is no turning to the United States government for help. To say the least, this is a bit of a downer.


  1. Do the game rules make sense?

It is normal for gambling games to have house rules. Blackjack and video poker in particular have numerous custom rules dictating how much a combination is worth, whether a hand can be split, and other such things. The more options that a game allows, the more friendly it is to the players. A setup which does not allow players to use certain helpful rules is a hostile environment which is not giving the player a fair chance to win.


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4 Reasons We All Wish We Rocked the Casino Like James Bond

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Most would kill to be James Bond, with his unwavering confidence and his ability to excel at

everything he tries. He can outshine any gambler at any game, no matter how much they have

practiced and how many loopholes they have managed to figure out. What does he have that we

don’t? Find out here in order to fully appreciate what it is to be jealous.

1. He’s a magnet.

The moment he walks in the door in Diamonds are Forever, there is a gorgeous woman tailing

him. She is forward, even making a bold mood for 1971: asking him out for a drink. What

propelled her is a mystery. She didn’t even know he was James Bond. It’s hard not to be jealous

of that level of eye-catching confidence.

2. He’s never a sore loser.

When James Bond faces off against Xenia Onatopp in Golden Eye, he doesn’t even bat an eye

when he loses. Xenia, on the other hand, loses her head and walks away from the table to

moment she loses a round. Even when things go wrong, James Bond flawlessly rolls with the

punches, leaving everyone else in the dirt.

3. He’s a mastermind at everything he tries.

Though he claims he has only played craps once before, James Bond spins off the lingo like he

has spent his life at the craps table. In Diamonds are Forever, he even creates his own gambling

strategy, which is used today in real life, and is actually mathematically sound. After his personal

strategy wins tremendously, he wins $50,000 all in one round. Meanwhile, most of us struggle to

break even.

4. He Has Crazy Good Luck

First of all, yes, it is a movie series, and naturally he always wins, but James Bond’s track record

of winning is off the charts. In Casino Royale, in a single round of poker in which every single

player goes all in and the least anyone bets is $5,000,000, James Bond beats a full house with a

flush. It’s rare to see either in a game of cards, no less both at once. Why is he hogging all the

good luck?

What makes James Bond so great, anyway? Besides everything, of course. Even if we can never

truly be James Bond, at least we can put on a suit, demand our drinks shaken, not stirred, and at

least bask in the shadow of his fictitious greatness.

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The 3 Types of Gambling Strategies

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Every gambling strategy has the same goal: earning money. How each system goes about

claiming the victory can actually differ quite a bit. While some betting strategies are

conservative, others are far more risky. Some strategies are a labyrinth of “if this then that,”

while others follow a simple model. Find which type of gambling strategy works best for you,

and how to implement it in your favorite casino games.

1. Pattern Prediction

If a coin lands on heads, is it more likely to land on tails next? The math says the odds are still a

dull 50/50, but everyone knows that the numbers eventually even out if you flip the coin enough

times. Does this mean it’s possible to predict what the coin will land on next, what the dice will

read, where the roulette wheel will stop? Pattern-predicting gambling strategies declare that

keeping track of the results can help predict the next result. Craps players bet “pass” for the first

two turns then back off and sat “don’t pass.” Roulette players note what types of spaces the

wheel has been landing on and pick the results (black, low, even, etc) that haven’t been showing

us as much. Accurately predicting the next result may not always be possible, but pattern-

predicting strategies seek to do just that.

2. All-Base Coverage

The vast majority of gambling strategies involve placing multiple bets at the same time in order

to improve the odds of winning. This is partially because there are many ways to cover all of the

bases, but it is also because making multiple bets at once does actually improve the odds of

winning. The trick is to spread out all of the bets with enough coverage without losing too much

money on said bets. The odds of winning do, in fact, improve from a variety of bets, but the

profit margin gets slimmer and slimmer with each added bet.

3. Make-Up Betting

One gambling philosophy is that money is not truly lost so long as it can be won back. The more

money that is lost, the more that must be bet to make up for it. When it comes down to bets that

pay 1 to 1, for example, it is necessary to double up every time that the bet is lost. The betting

gets pricier as the player goes longer without a win, but so long as the player can afford to stay in

the game, the money can still be earned back. Other strategies involve winning back the money

to break even rather than making a profit, and focusing on cheap games with a higher winning

payout so that following up is cheaper than doubling up.

There are hundreds of gambling strategies out there, but they all boil down to three basic

categories. Between the three, there is no wrong answer. Everyone has their own favorite

strategy which works best for them.

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