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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Revenue Share vs. PPH Agency

Q & A with
Dalton Wagner, Founder V.O. Group, S.A.

Dalton Wagner, Proprietor of V.O. Group, S.A. has recently found himself in the middle of a controversy between Revenue Sharing Sportsbooks and his Price Per Head Agency Concept. We had an opportunity to catch up with Dalton Wagner and discuss the issue on his last visit to Curacao.

Vegas Offshore: We hear that the Price Per Head offering you launched several months ago has landed you in some hot water?
Wagner: Yes, it appears that my Price Per Head Software offering has been a little too popular with onshore bookmakers and it is making my competition a little upset.

Vegas Offshore: Can you be a little more explicit?
Wagner: Several offshore bookmakers have lost relationships with their agents because my Price Per Head offering has lured them away and toward my offering. Specifically, several of the largest credit sportsbooks in Costa Rica have lost packages to me in the range of 500-1000 head apiece. And, they are not happy about it.

Vegas Offshore: Why are so many people leaving their agency relationships with credit sportsbooks?
Wagner: Well, in the old days an offshore sportsbook might partner with an onshore bookmaker. The deal was based on the onshore bookmaker finding the business and the offshore operator writing it and doing the accounting for a fee. The deal was typically 50%/50%. However, with my Price Per Head offering, I can offer the same offerings, but only charge the onshore bookmaker a nominal fee for using my service. The fact is that 50% is simply too much to charge an onshore bookmaker. I charge bookmakers a flat fee based on the number of head I am writing and let the bookmaker keep the rest of the money.

Vegas Offshore: Wait a minute. How can you afford to write the business for a simple fee when it historically cost 50%.
Wagner: The simple fact is that 50% of the revenue is ridiculous. I can charge a fee as little as $25 per head, per week and allow a client to have access to sports wagering, casino wagering and horse wagering – and, make a profit. Furthermore, we have written a software interface that allows agents onshore to manage their clients limits, run reports, etc. from any computer in the world. The offering is robust, efficient and simple to use. And, unfortunately for offshore sportsbooks that share in revenue, agents and bookmakers simply love it.

Vegas Offshore: Is the PPH product only based on sports wagering?
Wagner: No. We actually have the ability to offer clients two (2) casino products including blackjack, baccarat, slots, 3 card poker, roulette, etc. And, clients may also bet on horses at over 350 tracks worldwide.

Vegas Offshore: How many bookmakers do you currently work with?
Wagner: We are writing business for over 250 bookmakers now. Some represent groups as small as 2 or 3; and others represent groups as large as 500. Again, remember the key is finding as many clients as possible. If you get to where you are writing 15 clients or more, it is almost impossible to lose for an extended period of time.

Vegas Offshore: Anything else you would like to add?
Wagner: Sure. If you’re a bookmaker onshore, call us or visit us online to learn how to save money and/or grow your business beyond your wildest dreams. The service is modestly priced, and we have never had a disgruntled user. The value proposition is simply huge for any bookmaker.

Vegas Offshore: So how does a bookmaker learn more about this?Wagner: Simply go to any of the V.O. Group, S.A. sites to learn more. I suggest starting at www.BettorsNet.com or calling 1-877-512-1001 or emailing agents@bettorsnet.com to get more information.

posted by online poker games @ 7:17 AM

0 comments


Innovation In Bookmaking

Q & A with
Dalton Wagner, Founder V.O. Group, S.A.

As Founder and Proprietor of V.O. Group, S.A., Dalton Wagner has the reputation of ferreting out new markets and attacking while other companies sit on their hindquarters and watch. One market that has always eluded offshore bookmakers is the ‘guy who likes dealing with his credit bookmaker’. Typically this market has been untouchable for the offshore bookmaker, but NOT for Dalton and V.O. Group, S.A. We had an opportunity to catch up with Dalton Wagner on his last visit to Panama.

Vegas Offshore: Tell us about this new product that you are calling your Price Per Head Agency Relationship.
Wagner: As you know, one market that a post-up sportsbook has historically been unable to attack is the huge market of bettors that have been betting with their local guy for years. The reason this market exists is the personal relationship that an onshore bookie has with his clients. Sportsbooks have attempted to educate the player and lure him away from the local bookie, however we have taken another tact. We have partnered with local bookies around the world to make their offering better and more valuable.

Vegas Offshore: So instead of attacking the local guy, you actually approach him with your offer?
Wagner: Exactly. The fact is that the relationship is the last thread holding clients to a local guy. Yes, there is the fact that the local guy extends credit, but with bonuses and promotions we can overcome that offering. The key is the relationship.

Vegas Offshore: I’m confused, please explain.
Wagner: As you know, the onshore bookmaking market has lost steam to the offshore providers like V.O. Group, S.A. The reason is that the offerings that I can provide are far superior to those that any onshore bookmaker can offer. The PPH concept is based on allowing the onshore bookmaker to provide his clients my offerings on a purely anonymous basis via an online automated tool. Rather, by signing up with my PPH service, an onshore bookmaker can compete with all offshore sportsbooks on equal footing offering 24-hour wagering, 365 days a year. All the bookmaker does is use an online system to assign PINs and PASSWORDs and pay me a small fee per week for the service.

Vegas Offshore: Wait a minute. So, this means that a small time operator in Cleveland, Ohio can offer all the same things that V.O. Group, S.A. does without making the multi-million dollar investment?
Wagner: Now your catching on. For as little as $25 per head per week, a guy in Ohio can compete with the biggest sportsbooks in the world. And, better yet, never answer another wagering phone call again.

Vegas Offshore: OK, I get it. They use your automated tool to drive their clients to your software online, and they simply pick up the figures at the end of the week.
Wagner: Exactly correct with one exception. Their clients can bet on the phone via our call center staffed with 250 people OR bet online. Again, they have access to all of the offerings V.O. Group, S.A. provides including call center access, client services and technical support.

Vegas Offshore: Is the PPH product only based on sports wagering?
Wagner: Very good question. The answer is no. We actually have the ability to offer clients two (2) casino products including blackjack, baccarat, slots, 3 card poker, roulette, etc. And, clients may also bet on horses at over 350 tracks worldwide.

Vegas Offshore: Wow! That truly is incredible. So, a bookie that has one client can compete with the likes of MVPsportsbook.com on equal footing?
Wagner: Exactly correct. But, there are two keys to the success of the product launch. The first is being able to compete head to head with the biggest sportsbooks in the world. But, arguably the most important factor is that since the onshore bookie no longer has to answer phones or track plays, he can spend all of his time picking up new clients, NOT writing bets.

Vegas Offshore: I remember that in a prior interview you had stated that the key is not winning, but finding more losers.
Wagner: An embarrassing quote, but true. Amateur bookmakers think that the key is to beat the clients you have. That is a huge mistake. The key to getting rich as a bookmaker is finding a new client every single day of the year. The numbers take care of themselves, the key is to get more and more people playing. That is the TRUE BEAUTY of the PPH software and agency relationship.

Vegas Offshore: Do you have any success stories to tell?
Wagner: I have many, but will tell you one that emphasizes what the PPH program can do. I have a bookmaker that has been working out of San Antonio, Texas for 10 years. The guy has historically made $200,000 a year from his 25 or 30 players. He was introduced to our product in July 2004, and today he is writing over 185 clients. The ability to outsource answering calls and writing tickets to us has allowed him to grow his business 600% and his revenue over 1000%.

Vegas Offshore: Why did his revenue grow more than his business? Is it because your lines are sharper than his?
Wagner: There you go again. That is the obvious mistake that everyone makes. Again, don’t worry about beating the clients. Worry about getting more clients to play. But, to answer your question directly, the ability for his clients to play in the casino, play 24 hours a day, play games/halves/quarters, props, etc. is where the extra revenue comes from. Our lines might be sharper, but the advantage is more clients betting more often.

Vegas Offshore: How many bookmakers do you currently work with?
Wagner: We are writing business for over 250 bookmakers now. Some represent groups as small as 2 or 3; and others represent groups as large as 500. Again, remember the key is finding as many clients as possible. If you get to where you are writing 15 clients or more, it is almost impossible to lose for an extended period of time.


Vegas Offshore: So how does a bookmaker learn more about this?Wagner: Simply go to any of the V.O. Group, S.A. sites to learn more. I suggest starting at www.BettorsNet.com or calling 1-877-512-1001 or emailing agents@bettorsnet.com to get more information.

posted by online poker games @ 7:17 AM

0 comments


Monday, June 13, 2005

State of the Offshore Gaming Industry

Q & A with
Dalton Wagner, Founder V.O. Group, S.A.

As Founder and Proprietor of V.O. Group, S.A., Dalton Wagner has the reputation of making one-dollar work like three in online marketing. With formidable competition, Mr. Wagner founded V.O. Group, S.A. in 1998 and has quickly risen to be one of the largest offshore operators in the world with over 50,000 active clients. We had an opportunity to catch up with Dalton Wagner on his last visit to Antigua.

Vegas Offshore: This year has been interesting for V.O. Group, S.A. and the offshore industry as a whole (advertising changes, etc.). How do you feel about the industry at the current time?
Wagner: I feel the industry is as strong as it has ever been. We are still finding that our advertising is bringing us new clients at an ever-growing rate. Some competitors are complaining that the crimp on advertising is affecting the industry, but we are not seeing this trend. Consolidation within the industry has begun, and I am sure you will continue to see smaller competitors gobbled up, and medium to larger companies merging. The weaker will go by the wayside.

Vegas Offshore: What about the rumors of V.O. Group, S.A. being bought?
Wagner: I am glad you used the term 'rumors'. The fact is that in July 2004 three suitors approached V.O. Group, S.A. because of our record-breaking profit year. In two of the cases we did see 'value' in a merger/relationship. However, at the end of the day, we could not come to terms that were agreeable on both sides. At this time V.O. Group, S.A. stands independent. And, we are happy being independent, profitable and growing.

Vegas Offshore: It is rumored that Bet On Sports (PLC; BSS.L) was one of the suitors. Is that true?
Wagner: There were three suitors that approached V.O. Group, S.A. And, in all cases confidentiality agreements were signed. For this reason, I cannot confirm or deny who any of the potential suitors were. What I can tell you is that one was a major sportsbook player, one was a major casino player and two were PLCs. I doubt that helps.

Vegas Offshore: Well, if Bet On Sports was involved, I bet you are happy you weren't involved in their November 24, 2004 stock debacle.
Wagner: The Bet On Sports stock debacle was an over-reaction by the market in my opinion. In one day you saw their stock drop 50% in value. And, the reason was poor performance in a very short period. If you looked at the other publicly held offshore gaming companies, you saw the same thing, just not as drastic as with BSS.L. Simply put, I know the founder of Bet On Sports, I know the management of Bet On Sports, I know the staff at Bet On Sports and I would not hesitate to invest in Bet On Sports. They were, and still are, undervalued in my opinion. They are a great competitor and a great company. I wish I had some of their stock at the new adjusted price. I just don't see how you can lose.

Vegas Offshore: It is rare to hear the 'competition' speaking so highly of a major competitor. Why would you do so?
Wagner: Simple. Bet On Sports is a great company. And, I am sure they would tell you the same about V.O. Group, S.A. The fact is, that there are companies out there that make our industry stronger. And, ones that make it weaker. Bet On Sports and V.O.Group, S.A. strive to make our industry stronger and more legitimate on a daily basis (as do BetCris.com; BoDog.com; etc.). What kind of ambassador for the industry would I be if I downplayed a 'good' competitor like Bet On Sports for my own benefit?

Vegas Offshore: If Bet On Sports did approach you, would you consider a merger?
Wagner: I like being independent. But, simply put, NEVER say NEVER.

Vegas Offshore: What of the rumors that you are looking at Panama as a potential relocation site?
Wagner: Our operation currently has offices in Costa Rica, Antigua and Belize. In Costa Rica we currently have over 400 employees. With employment costs in Costa Rica on the rise, the burden of Caja and the ever-changing political climate, we have looked at several alternative locations. One of the most desirable is/was Panama. However, due to the massive failure of BetPanAm.com and the political debacle involving their past gaming commission, we have decided to stay put for the current time. I think it is very safe to say that our primary location will be Costa Rica for the next 5 years. Pending any crazy licensing or governmental changes.

Vegas Offshore: I have visited your office in Antigua, however had no idea that you employed 400 individuals in Costa Rica. Why do you need such a large staff?
Wagner: Our industry has a reputation for being lazy and getting by on a shoestring budget. Most sportsbooks, casinos, racebooks and poker rooms answer phones when it is convenient and buy computers when the ones they are operating blow-up. Most are simply embarrassing to the legitimate operators. To run an operation like ours, servicing 50,000 bettors, you need lots of space, a 1st rate phone system, fiber and satellite phone and Internet backups, IT professionals, accounting professionals, etc. V.O. Group, S.A. is currently located in 35,000 square feet of space, operating 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and we are busting at the seems. At the current time, we are negotiating to buy the building next to us for future expansion. I think we will employ 600 people come this same time next year.

Vegas Offshore: I have noticed that you are still branching into other products. How has this strategy worked for V.O. Group, S.A.?
Wagner: In 1998 we started with our sports product. We then branched into the casino product. In 2001 and 2002 we opened several major race books and poker rooms. The fact is that we are profitable in all products. However, our core product, and hub for our advertising, is focused on the sports product. The strategy has worked, but we will not desert our core product. You can look for our re-launch of interactive betting in early 2005 and bingo in mid 2005.

Vegas Offshore: What other changes do you see in 2005 for V.O. Group, S.A.
Wagner: I think you will see V.O. Group, S.A. work more on our Internet interface to make it more gamer-friendly; you will see our company move into land-based gaming; and you will see us acquire two or three smaller competitors. Rather, you will see what you have always seen, expansion.

Vegas Offshore: What other changes do you see in 2005 for the industry as a whole?
Wagner: The strong will get stronger. The weak will get weaker. And, the acquisition race will be on.

posted by online poker games @ 10:55 AM

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

BOOKMAKERS!

Read Below To Earn More Cash Than Ever

Are you a onshore bookmaker that wants to Minimize Legal Exposure, Increase Potential Profits, Spend More Time Enjoying the Money You Are Making, and Grow Your Business Beyond Your Wildest Dreams? If you answered ‘YES’ to one or all of these questions, then you need to look at a Price Per Head Agent Relationship with our company.


The concept of a Price Per Head Agent Relationship is based on you, the onshore bookmaker, paying our company a service fee to offer the same services that we offer to thousands of clients (on an anonymous basis).


For the first time, you will be able to offer Internet and Phone access to Sports, Horse and Casino (2 casinos) wagering to all your current clients (via a simple PIN and PASSWORD betting system). No longer do you have to compete with offshore sportsbooks and lose clients. YOU WILL BE ABLE TO OFFER EVERYTHING THAT THEY OFFER!


We are Licensed to offer bookmaking services.


We have been in business for 7 years.


We write business for 15,000 clients daily.


We are open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365 days a year.


We have over 500 operators standing by to make you money!


Take advantage of our $5,000,000 USD investment to make your services better than ever. No longer will you have to answer calls all Saturday and Sunday. No longer will you have to lose clients to the offshore bookmakers. No longer will you have to worry about having your door kicked in by the authorities. Now you can compete with the Big Boys! You will simply sit back, watch the games, and earn more than ever before.


To learn more, go to our website, and click on ‘Agents’. If you prefer to use a white-labeled site without bonus and promotional text, visit www.BettorsNet.com for more information.


We look forward to being your service provider.


Call 1-888-333-6914 for more information.

posted by online poker games @ 5:08 AM

0 comments


Monday, March 14, 2005

Innovation In Bookmaking

Q & A with
Dalton Wagner, Founder V.O. Group, S.A.

As Founder and Proprietor of V.O. Group, S.A., Dalton Wagner has the reputation of ferreting out new markets and attacking while other companies sit on their hindquarters and watch. One market that has always eluded offshore bookmakers is the ‘guy who likes dealing with his credit bookmaker’. Typically this market has been untouchable for the offshore bookmaker, but NOT for Dalton and V.O. Group, S.A. We had an opportunity to catch up with Dalton Wagner on his last visit to Panama.


Vegas Offshore: Tell us about this new product that you are calling your Price Per Head Agency Relationship.


Wagner: As you know, one market that a post-up sportsbook has historically been unable to attack is the huge market of bettors that have been betting with their local guy for years. The reason this market exists is the personal relationship that an onshore bookie has with his clients. Sportsbooks have attempted to educate the player and lure him away from the local bookie, however we have taken another tact. We have partnered with local bookies around the world to make their offering better and more valuable.


Vegas Offshore: So instead of attacking the local guy, you actually approach him with your offer?


Wagner: Exactly. The fact is that the relationship is the last thread holding clients to a local guy. Yes, there is the fact that the local guy extends credit, but with bonuses and promotions we can overcome that offering. The key is the relationship.


Vegas Offshore: I’m confused, please explain.


Wagner: As you know, the onshore bookmaking market has lost steam to the offshore providers like V.O. Group, S.A. The reason is that the offerings that I can provide are far superior to those that any onshore bookmaker can offer. The PPH concept is based on allowing the onshore bookmaker to provide his clients my offerings on a purely anonymous basis via an online automated tool. Rather, by signing up with my PPH service, an onshore bookmaker can compete with all offshore sportsbooks on equal footing offering 24-hour wagering, 365 days a year. All the bookmaker does is use an online system to assign PINs and PASSWORDs and pay me a small fee per week for the service.


Vegas Offshore: Wait a minute. So, this means that a small time operator in Cleveland, Ohio can offer all the same things that V.O. Group, S.A. does without making the multi-million dollar investment?


Wagner: Now your catching on. For as little as $25 per head per week, a guy in Ohio can compete with the biggest sportsbooks in the world. And, better yet, never answer another wagering phone call again.


Vegas Offshore: OK, I get it. They use your automated tool to drive their clients to your software online, and they simply pick up the figures at the end of the week.


Wagner: Exactly correct with one exception. Their clients can bet on the phone via our call center staffed with 250 people OR bet online. Again, they have access to all of the offerings V.O. Group, S.A. provides including call center access, client services and technical support.


Vegas Offshore: Is the PPH product only based on sports wagering?


Wagner: Very good question. The answer is no. We actually have the ability to offer clients two (2) casino products including blackjack, baccarat, slots, 3 card poker, roulette, etc. And, clients may also bet on horses at over 350 tracks worldwide.


Vegas Offshore: Wow! That truly is incredible. So, a bookie that has one client can compete with the likes of MVPsportsbook.com on equal footing?


Wagner: Exactly correct. But, there are two keys to the success of the product launch. The first is being able to compete head to head with the biggest sportsbooks in the world. But, arguably the most important factor is that since the onshore bookie no longer has to answer phones or track plays, he can spend all of his time picking up new clients, NOT writing bets.


Vegas Offshore: I remember that in a prior interview you had stated that the key is not winning, but finding more losers.


Wagner: An embarrassing quote, but true. Amateur bookmakers think that the key is to beat the clients you have. That is a huge mistake. The key to getting rich as a bookmaker is finding a new client every single day of the year. The numbers take care of themselves, the key is to get more and more people playing. That is the TRUE BEAUTY of the PPH software and agency relationship.


Vegas Offshore: Do you have any success stories to tell?


Wagner: I have many, but will tell you one that emphasizes what the PPH program can do. I have a bookmaker that has been working out of San Antonio, Texas for 10 years. The guy has historically made $200,000 a year from his 25 or 30 players. He was introduced to our product in July 2004, and today he is writing over 185 clients. The ability to outsource answering calls and writing tickets to us has allowed him to grow his business 600% and his revenue over 1000%.


Vegas Offshore: Why did his revenue grow more than his business? Is it because your lines are sharper than his?


Wagner: There you go again. That is the obvious mistake that everyone makes. Again, don’t worry about beating the clients. Worry about getting more clients to play. But, to answer your question directly, the ability for his clients to play in the casino, play 24 hours a day, play games/halves/quarters, props, etc. is where the extra revenue comes from. Our lines might be sharper, but the advantage is more clients betting more often.


Vegas Offshore: How many bookmakers do you currently work with?


Wagner: We are writing business for over 250 bookmakers now. Some represent groups as small as 2 or 3; and others represent groups as large as 500. Again, remember the key is finding as many clients as possible. If you get to where you are writing 15 clients or more, it is almost impossible to lose for an extended period of time.


Vegas Offshore: So how does a bookmaker learn more about this?


Wagner: Simply go to any of the V.O. Group, S.A. sites to learn more. I suggest starting at www.BettorsNet.com or calling 1-877-512-1001 or emailing agents@bettorsnet.com to get more information.

posted by online poker games @ 1:12 PM

0 comments


Baccarat, The Game Online Poker Games

Baccarat, The Game




There is probably no other casino game so simple yet so seemingly aloof. There are two considerations for two main possibilities: where and how much? The rules are hard and fast, with the game moving at a pace that makes it easy to understand the strategies and outcomes. Compared to fast-action, multi-bet craps, baccarat moves at a snail’s pace. Thought of in a different light, this is a game of heads and tails, with one other wrinkle, the Tie.



There are only three choices on which to bet: Player, Banker, or Tie. The outcome of the game features no other options. Player offers odds of 1.23% and Banker odds 1.06%. There are subtle game variations, but this is how the game is played: eight decks are thoroughly shuffled by a dealer sitting in the middle of a large oval table with six to eight spots on either side.



The mathematics of the dictates the Banker hand will win 44.8% of the time, the Player hand will win 44.6%, with the Ties winning 9.6%. With Ties excluded, the Bank wins 50.7% as opposed to 49.3% for the Player. This difference accounts for the 5% commission commonly charged by the casino to offset the Banker’s winnings.
Some casinos make the commission a bit more attractive at 4%, but that is usually a short-term promotion. The commission can be paid at any time during the game, but if it hasn’t been dealt with prior to the end of the game, after the last hand in the shoe is dealt, the dealer will ask that each player settle up. You may also be asked to pay if and when you leave the table for any reason.



Baccarat has rituals which are descended from the European games of “En Banque” or “Chemin de Fer.” In the traditional game, there can be up to three dealers, each responsible for a different function or table area. In most casinos, eight decks are employed with the cards shuffled then dealt from a shoe, beginning with an initial “burn” sequence similar to blackjack. The object of the game is to choose the side, “Banker” or “Player” which finishes closest to a total of 9, with 8 the next best possible hand.
Two cards are drawn face down for Player and two for Banker, in this order, Player, Banker, Player Banker. Player’s cards are turned over or exposed first, then Banker. Tens and face cards or royals have a value of zero. An ace counts as one. If either side has a total of 9, or 8, with the two exposed cards, it is called a “natural” with 9 winning automatically and 8 if there is no nine on the other side. Failing this, one or two cards are drawn to decide each total. There are specific drawing rules for each set of circumstances with no option, the third card draw is quite specific.



The side closest to 9 wins, with casino chequess paid by the dealer equal to the amount initially bet. Remember on the Banker bet, a commission of 5% is charged if that side wins. In the case of a Tie, neither side wins, but if you had placed a bet in the Tie circle, the third option next to Banker or Player, you would be paid at an 8-1 ratio. The reason for these odds is that tie occurs approximately once in every 12 hands. An entire shoe can be dealt without a tie, or it can occur several times in a row, 3 or 4 different times.



When you consider the third card draw chart, it will be obvious Banker has many more options than Player, giving this side an advantage of 1.23%. The casinos elevate this to the 5% vig or commission. Again, the commission is paid upon the completion of each shoe, if not before.



The betting ranges differ at each property, but as a general rule, full tables run $25-5000, minimum to maximum, and mini-bac tables $5-1,000. There are higher level tables available at certain properties, reserved for upper limit players who have been known to wager as much as $250,000 on the turn of a card. If you want to experience a real thrill, wander over to the high-roller pit (or area) and you will probably see more money bet on one hand than most folks make in a year.



The Standing and Third Card Draw Rules



The best and worst of all scenarios comes with the natural draw of an 8 or 9. And, naturally, it all works out if you have bet that side, and doesn’t if you haven’t. As soon as the Player side, which opens first, draws a 9, the best the Banker side can hope for is to pull another 9 and thus tie or push. In this case, there are no winners or losers as far as Player/Banker goes. The winner here would be the person who bet Tie.
Naturally,the worst thing that can happen is to draw a lovely 8 and a face card, only to have the Banker pull a 9 and a face. That is what we call a bad beat. Failing a natural 8 or 9 on the first draw, things get a little trickier, but they aren’t that difficult to figure.
First let’s look at the card values:



Aces=1 (not 1 or 11 as in blackjack)

Cards with denominations of 2-9 are equal to their face values.
Tens and face cards (the royals, Jack, Queen, King)=0 (baccarat!)
Naturals can consist of any combination of cards making 8 or 9, ex. Ace + 7=8; 4 + 5=9, etc.
Lacking a natural on any draw, there are third card draw rules which are strictly adhered which offer no options or possibilities of drawing and standing by the player on either side. The following rules help give the game its simplicity:



On the Player’s Side

First Two Card Totals Player side must:
1,2,3,4,5,10 = Draw
6,7 = Stand
8,9 = Natural (No draw, Banker cannot draw)



On the Banker’s Side



First Two Card Totals Banker must draw if player shows: Banker does not draw when Player draws:

3 = 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10 8
4 = 2,3,4,5,6,7 1,8,9,10
5 = 4,5,6,,7 1,2,3,8,9,10
6 = 6,7 1,2,3,4,5,8,9,10
7 = always stands always stands
8,9 = Natural (Player cannot draw)



These rules contain one exception: if player takes no card (stands on 6,7), then the banker stands on 6.



One thing should be obvious from these hard and fast rules: the Banker has a great deal more options than Player. This translates into a 1.8% advantage for betting Banker, but the casinos, in their infinite search for profits, round this figure off to a full 5%.
These commissions are maintained by the dealers and each player is held accountable by the end of play on each shoe, unless previous arrangements have been made.



The Waiting Game and Betting Options



The beauty of baccarat lies in its simplicity. Once again, there are two choices: which side to bet, and how much. Three if you want to count tie, and four if you add that you may not want to bet at all. This is also another fine feature of the game, unlike blackjack, where you will incur the wrath of other players as well as the dealer and the floor supervisor by jumping in and out. In baccarat, this is a commonly practiced procedure.Online Poker Games
Many baccarat veterans chose to use this facet of the game to their advantage. They employ a patient approach, choosing to wait until there is an opportunity or perceived advantage. Some will wait until at least 10-15 hands have been played to consider any emerging trends.
Another fine feature of baccarat is the fact that you are permitted to bet any amount from the table minimum to maximum or anything in between on a regular basis without any problems. This is not often the case for blackjack, where jumping your bet wildly will often bring scrutiny from floor supervisors. Please refer to the money management section for more detailed information.

posted by online poker games @ 10:36 AM

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Monday, February 07, 2005

An interview made to Benny Binion in 1973

An interview made to Benny Binion Online Poker Games

Benny Binion was a Texas gambler who operated Binion's Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. In this page, learn a little about Binion's life and career as related in his own words.
In May 1973, Binion was interviewed by Nevada historian Mary Ellen Glass for an oral history. Below are several notable excerpts from the interview that shed light on Binion the man, his casino, and the World Series of Poker. Online Poker Games
Mule dealing and gambling First, I learned to play poker. And everybody had his little way of doing somethin' to the cards, and all this, that, and the other, so I wasn't too long on wisin' up to that. Some of 'em had different ways of markin' lem, crimpin' 'em, and--. So then I kinda got in with more of a gamblin' type of guy, you know, the--you might say road gamblers. And then I'd go around with them, you know, and I'd do little things for 'em, and they'd give me a little money, kinda kept me goin'. Then maybe I'd drift back to the horse traders, maybe stop somewhere and punch cows, or do somethin' a little bit, you know. Always had me a saddle and bed with me.
And then about World War I time--you see, I'm gettin' these things as I think of it. World War I time, I worked for some big mule dealers, you know, and sold mules to the army. And I learned how to tell horses', mules' age real good by lookin' in their mouth. And fact of business, I was real good at it, and all them old guys that I worked for, they'd let me do the mouthin' of the mules, and horses, and everything, you see, while they was tradin' and talkin'.
I went to Bonham, Texas with a bunch of mules, was workin' for Clarence McMillan. He hadn't got there yet. He was kind of a wild man, and had these mules in this wagon yard, where he kept 'em in them days. A guy by the name of Bryant come in there, and said he wanted to buy the mules, but Clarence hadn't got there yet, and he was real hot to buy these mules, and he had a order to go on to Tennessee, or somewhere, with them--what they call cotton mules. So he said he was anxious to buy 'em. "Well," I says, "I'll price 'em to you." Online Poker Games
So--"Well," he said, "well, you--I'm just a little guy." He said, "You can't price 'em and sell 'em." So them old traders around there said, "If he prices mules and sell lem to you, it'll be all right." And when Clarence McMillan got there, I'd sold him out. He was out of business. [laughs) gamblin'. That was before 1928. That was in 1924, 1926. I was just a kid.
What makes a good gambler? Oh, yeah, yeah, them poker players, and this, that, and the other. Well, I'd kinda learnt this--. All the time, I'm kinda learnin' about the gamblin' from these guys, you know. But then, I never was able to play anything, dice or cards, or anything, myself. I never was a real good poker player, and never did learn how to do any of these tricks like cheatin' people, or anything--which I'm kinda proud. of now. But I was always pretty capable about keepin' from gettin' cheated.
[MEG: Your bit was to get people to come and play the games? Was that it?]Oh, yeah. Yeah. I was always a pretty good what they called a "steer man" in them days.
[MEG: What kinds of people made the best players?]Oh, trading type people. In the early days, in the oil business down there, the oil guys, and, you know, somebody that handled money all the time, and traded, moved around. What I think makes a player is somebody with a lot of energy. Like if one of them kind of fellows come to town at night, you know, he's kind of a nervous type, and he had to have some outlet, you know, couldn't just go to bed like a ordinary person.
That's what I really think about 'em. They're not--a lot of people describe lem as suckers. But to me, they're far from bein' a sucker. There ain't nobody in the world that can produce money like they can. And most of 'em, if there's any possible chance, if he owes a debt, he'll pay it, because he's that type of a guy. He's got to pay his debts to stay in the type of business he stays in to get that kind of money.
See, I know my way of describin' things is a little bit off base, because I'm not educated and don't use good English.
I know that much, too, you know.
Well, you just got to kinda judge honesty, and--just like the.guy that comes in to cash a check, or somethin', now. I can just almost tell about him. I don't know how I do it, but there's just a kind of a tell on people. I don't really know what it is.
Well, there's all kinds of cheaters in them days. Fact of business, 'most everybody cheated. And today, people're smarter, and it's more or less absolutely on the honor, he's on the square.First operations In about 1928, 1 opened up what they call a "policy"-it's kind of a numbers business--in Dallas, Texas. I star ted with fifty-six dollars that day. The first day, I made eight hundred dollars. And, of course, that was a kind of a fluke thing. It didn't make that much money, for sure, for a long time. So I ran 'till my brother got up a little size. He was six years younger than me. So he went in with me, and we ran that 'till 1945. And my brother got killed in a airplane accident when he was twenty-three.
In 1936, the city of Dallas kinda opened up gambling. So I went into the dice business there. You know, it was mostly all dice. And I stayed in that dice business from '36 'till '45. And then in '46--the last of '46, things was rocky there, no good, so a deal came up here in Las Vegas. Kell Housells and Chick Fernoy and Fred Merrill had this deal out here.
I didn't fool with dice 'till--. I knew a lot about it. I been around a lot of guys, and all, but I never really fooled with dice until 136. But there was fellows before that, that I knew, and knew about, that had what they call "daub," them days, they put on dice. And you could roll the dice on a layout, and this daub caused the dice to hesitate, slow down, and turn up on their number. It wouldn't do it every time, but you give 'em a little percentage. The most famous with this was a man named Van Swofford, and another fellow by the name of Williams--called him "Slim" Williams. Ile was a tall, skinny man. And Slim Williams was the first man that I ever seen that put loads in dice.
The dice was all one-just the "come" line. There was no back line. There's been a lot of talk about who star ted to "do" and "don't," but I think, from what I've heard that it was a fellow by the name of Chicken Smart from Chickasha, Oklahoma. And where he got the name "Chicken Smart," I hear, he was a fightin' chicken [gamecocks] man.
And this numbers business I was in, the way I hear it, it started out in Memphis, Tennessee. There was a lawyer went to Memphis, Tennessee (and I've forgotten his name; I used to know it, too), and he went and opened him up a law office, and he didn't do any business, so he figured out the odds on this policy racket, and opened up. And I think the next time, somebody opened up in New Orleans, and then the next was in Dallas.
It was a fellow by the name of Warren Diamorld opened it in Dallas, many, many years ago.. And Warren Diamond was the first big dice fader T ever knew. He opened up in this Camp Street wagon yard. Those wagon yards had big, high fences around 'em, where nobody couldn't slip in there and steal nothin', just kind of a--looked like a stockade. So
Warren Diamond had a gamblin' house in the Camp Street wagon yard, and they had this gate barred, you know, and they had a gate man on there. But one time it came a big storm, and some deputies got in a covered wagon, come a-trottin' down the street, and the man thought it was somebody comin' into the wagon yard, you know, from the country. And he opened the gate, and it's full of deputies. And they sent Warren Diamond to the penitentiary. And there's a fellow by the name of George Pootes got him out. So from then on,they was partners.Leaving Dallas [MEG: Well, in 1946, then, some of your people lost the election in Dallas?]Yes, [I] couldn't operate. Yeah, had to go.
[MEG: This was just right at the end of the war. The war must have been kind of a profitable time for you.]It was, very profitable. So then I came--like I told you, Chick Fernoy and Fred Merrill, they'd been a-comin' out here, and Pred Merrill. had got well acquainted in this state, and there was some fel- lows had a gamblin' house in Reno. Fred Merrill went up there, and got to gamblin' high, and won $160,000, which, I guess at that time, was the biggest winnin' that there was in the state. So he got pretty well known, so him and Chick Fernoy, they never did have no damn money, but they was good fellows. So they come and they had this deal here [in Las Vegas] with Kell Houssels for me to put up the bankroll. And I said, "I'll go out there and try it a little while."
So we came out here, and we was very successful. So I kept thinkin' I'd leave, you know. I didn't think this town was ever goin' to be anything like it is. I just couldn't believe that. I just thought--bein' that I'd been where they close up, and do this, that, and the other all the time, I thought this just had to go. But it didn't.
Thank God for that.
And, then we quit up there, and Kell sold the place (he owned it). And in that same old building, I leased it, and built the place called the Westerner. Then I sold that after awhile, and then I decided. I might leave. Then this place, here, the Horseshoe, was called the El Dorado Club. It had a corporation loss. So I bought the thing and opened up here, and here I am, stuck forever now. [laughs]
Las Vegas, circa 1946 Well, wasn't but somethin' like 18,000 people here, and the most enjoyable place that you can imagine. Everybody was friendly, and there wasn't none of this high jackin', there wasn't no stealin', wasn't nothin', Justhell, you couldn't get robbed, if you hollered, "Come rob me!" I just don't understand why it was like that. To me, ever since I've been here, they've had the best law enforcement, the most honest law enforcement that I've ever seen. A officer don't have to be anything else here. You know, they don't get the best pay in the world. But it's always been customary here, when they went in anywhere here, there's comp for their food, and this, that, and the other, and no strings attached. And as you know, a bad guy, or anything, lights here, there's just--there ain't one out of a hundred ever gets out of here without gettin' caught. Still that way.
[MEG: In '46, the Strip wasn't there.]Well, the El Rancho and the Last Frontier was there, two hotels. And they had the best damn food you ever seen in your life! And the food was cheap, and they was very liberal, didn't cost you nothin' to go see the second show. Of course, the transportation was bad. There wasn't much of a airlines comin' in here then. A lot of people even came on train. A lot of people'd ride a train from here to New York, Chicago, and Washington in them days in the wintertime when the weather was bad, and all. And the automobile traffic wasn't too much.
Cheating in the 1940s Oh, there was a lot in them days--you don't see too much of it any more--guys that could hold out the cards on the "Twenty-one", and come back in with 'em, this, that, and the other, and make 'em a hand, this, that, and the other. And they crimped the cards on the "Twenty-One", and didn't have that counter bunch to--. The counter is gettin' smarter. They've got to where they donft tyy to win Do big amount of money. They jus' go around and kinda nibble you. You know, you never feel gettin' nibbled on 'til they bite you. So they's a certain amount of that counters around, now, that gets by without bein' detected. Then the slot cheaters, which I don't know a thing about--I never did care nothin' about slot machines, and I never was one to--. A lot of people regard 'em as being money-makers, but I would never want to depend on a slot machine to make a livin'. I depend on the dice to make a livin'. And I can go anywhere in the United States, almost, and make a livin' with the dice, if I had to, 'cause I could hustle up some players, and get in a room, and play with 'em. All you got to have is some square dice and a big bankroll, and some men that can deal. And I got two sons can do that, if we had to.
[MEG: Did they try to bring dice in on you in the early 1940s?]Yeah, but I've always had some guys around that was good dice men. And I know a good dice man. You know, I know enough about that. I know a good dice man. They ain't a livin' human on earth that can't be cheated on the cards, over and over again. There's always somebody comin' up with somethin'.on cards.
[MEG: But not on dice?]Oh, dice--if you keep your eyes on them dice, and you know 'em by the way they act, and all this, that, and the other, dice is damn hard to cheat. But I think, eventually, they'll come up wit1h some new ways, all this electronics, and all this stuff. They may come up with some ways someday to give you some trouble with the dice. But as long as you watch them dice, and see that they don't get out of--you know, that they don't switch 'em on you---.
[MEG: Did they try doing that in the Las Vegas Club?]No, I don't think we ever had any dice troub1e, in the Las Vegas Club.
[MEG: Any other kind of-?]Not -too much, not too much. Just that instance there. Naturally, some of your dealers steal a little once in awhile, you know. It's to be expected. You know what keeps the people honest?
[MEG: Fear of getting caught?] No. The biggest coward on earth would steal.. His own self-respect. If a man don't have respect for himself, he'll steal, the way I believe it. And there's more people got respect for theirself than don't. If they didn't have, you couldn't operate, I don't think.
Fear will not keep 'em from stealin'. I've caught 'em, seen 'em, have 'em lay down on the floor, say "Kill me! I'm a dog. I'm no good." Damn near killed some of 'em, too (laughs]. Just kick hell out of 'em, just for bein' a dog. Earning the player's trust There's a fellow came in [the Westerner] one time, and he wanted to gamble high. And he said, "How do I know I'm goin' to get paid?" "Well," I says, "I'll take you back there and show you how you're goin' to get paid." I took him back there and showed him a lot of money. And he lost $90,000. But he was a man that played a lot, went up and down. He won a lot of times, and he lost a lot of times. But I don't know how he came out overall. He was from Los Angeles. I wouldn't care to mention his name without his permission. I don't like to mention nobody's name without permission, or somebody that I know personally, they don't care.The carefree life Well, I never took no part in no civic affairs, never did belong to no organizations, anything like that. I just ain't that type of guy. Just like I was late on you this mornin . I want to live a kind of a carefree life. I don't like too many appointments, and I don't like to be nowhere at a certain time. But culture, I don't know what that means, really. Las Vegas characters Well, Nick the Greek, he was the strangest character I ever seen. Nobody never knew where he got that money. And after he ran out of money, he used to come down here off the Strip. The Dunes give him a. room. And he's come down here to eat, and held ride the bus. Well, he didn't want nobody to know he's rode the bus. So when I know he'd be gettin' about ready to go back, I'd say, "Say, Nick." I says, "Soand-so's goin' out on the Strip to pick up some money, or somethin'. You want a ride?" "Yeah."
I'd send him out there, don't you see. So now, his sister died. And he came in here, and I never seen him even show no remorse at all, and he set, and he cried, tellin' me. And he said that he had wasted his life, and just, "Yah, yah, yah." So now, while I got him "Nick," I said, "for Christsake, tell me where you got that money. And," I says, "if I outlive you, I'll tell it, but if I don't outlive you, it won't never go no further. I'll never tell it," and he got to laughin'. He never did tell. me. And there don't nobody know.
But he was a kinky ol' guy. He'd put a snake in your pocket and ask you for a match. He was hard to stay even it with. One day a guy beat him out of a five hundred and somethin' thousand dollars playin' poker. So he was give out, and I went with him to get the money to take back to give to the guy. And I said, "My God, this is a lot of money to give to a man!"
He said, "My life don't go with it," and he was pullin' his clothes off to go to bed.
And he had that money in a old chest in his room, and it wasn't even locked, down under some clothes.
Let me see. Who else might've been around here? But he was the most outstanding one of all times. And there was another heck of a character around here named Joe Bernstein, that's been a gambler all his life, never done nothin' else. And he won a lot of money, about $800,000, here, a year or two ago, and he blowed it all back, and his health was gettin' bad. I been up at Duke University, and I knew that doctor up there was doin' some good, and he had $6,000. And I told him, I says, "For Christ sake, why don't you go up there to that doctor and get yourself straightened out?" He was gettin' some age on him, seventy-somethin'.
He says, "I don't have the money. The money's only for gamblin'."
well, when he had all that money, he's buy some clothes every day, dress up. He was a dressy kind of ol' guy. So he came down here one night. He had a nice-lookin' sport coat on. He says, "You like this coat?"
I says, "It looks very nice on you." He says, "That's the first time I've wore any." I said, "My God, you don't wear lem twice, do you?" And he got a big kick out of that.
And then, like Willie Alderman, you know. They had that "Ice Pick Willie" named on him, you know, don't you see, but I don't believe all that stuff. He was the nicest, kind-
est-hearted man--I don't know anything about his past. From the time I knew him when he was here, I never knew a kinder-hearted man than him.
Then there's another one, Dave Berman, that they said did this, that, and the other, and he was another high-class guy. And actually, when I walked in the Riviera after he died, I just always been used to seein' him, and liked him, and tears came into my eyes. I just kinda choked up.
And there's another one got killed down there at Phoenix, Gus Greenbaum, that I never heard of him ever turnin' anybody down for any charitable thing, or anything like that. Good man.
I have no idea why he was killed. But he was, in my way of thinkin', he was just a heck of a good man. Oh, hell, he was the best guy! He just was--just was no foolin' about it,you know, just--anything is all right. He was there.
[MEG: How about Ben Siegel? He came the same year you did.] I barely knew him. But, actually, he was another one, most accommodating, most likable fellow, had the best personality you ever seen. And if he was a bad guy, he damn sure didn't show it from the outside.
[MEG: You haven't mentioned Doby Doc (Robert Caudill).]Oh, Doby Doc! My God, don't let him go! Well, Doby Doc's just the damnedest character you ever seen. He came to Nevada in 1906, and just picked up junk, you might say, and run it into a fortune, just a hobby with him. Just a-- he's a kind of a pack rat.
One time, at--Elko had the first entertainment in Nevada, was the way Doby told me. Oll man Crumley did it. You see, Elko used to get more publicity than any place in Nevada., through old man Crumley. And he was just a kind of a--come here as a kind of a saddle blanket gambler. He was a cowboy. And one time, Sophie Tucker was up there. She went out there to Doby Doc's to see all of his junk, and don't let him hear I call it junk. So Sophie Tucker says, "Doby, give me a souvenir."
He says, "There's a eighty-pound anvil you can have. Just pick it up."
Doby Doc worked for Mr. Moffat, I was tall-in' you about early. He was a bookkeeper. He was a very smart man; Doby Doc'd been to college, and all this, that, and the other, before he came here. So he got to be a damn old man. He come here in 1906, and done been to college; I don't know how old he is. So one time ol' man Moffat lost $10,000,000 on the wool market. He cornered the wool market. So the telegram came, he'd lost $10,000,000. Well, Doby Doc's openin' the mail--they was settin' across the desk from each other, and Doby Doc just kinda froze up. Oll man Moffat says, "What the hell's the matter, Doby?" He's scared to tell him, 'fraid. he'd have a heart attack, or somethin'. Pitched him the telegram, he raised himself, "Hell," says, "I thought some friend had died!" That's a absolute true story.
[MEG: Mr. Moffat must've been quite a character, himself.]Oh, my God, what a character he was! They can't too much be said about him that he was just great. Smarter In a whip. After he got to be a old man, after I came here, all these cattle that come from Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, and he shipped 'em a killin' plant out there, and everything-and he worked a hundred and eight cars of cattle in Reno.Buying the Horseshoe Well, yeah, yeah, all right. When I took the Horseshoe, I wouldn't've took it, but I really didn't know what I wanted to do at that time. I didn't care whether I did anything right then or not. So now, the Eldorado Club had a $870,000 tax loss, which was very attractive. So I took it, and I built the thing here. And I put the first carpet on the floor here in. the Horseshoe that was ever downtown. Everybody said that wasn't no good, but it was. Everybody's got 'em now. So I just did it through accident, I guess. So the carpet cost $18,000. And the fellow that put the carpet in, well, he was a player, and the first night he played, I won $18,000, exactly. So I win the carpet [laughs]. So I put my oldest son in (he was about twenty-one then), runnin' the darn thing, you might say. Well, I had 'em to deal all the games, them boys, Jack and Ted. They learned to deal all the games so they'd know what it was all about. And each one of 'em when they become twenty-one, I put 'em in as a boss. They just as well learn early as late, you know. And they've done very damn good. They still mind me
just like they was six-year-olds. Now that the kids got bigger, and nothin' for my wife to stay at home for, well, she come in here. She's pretty good with figures. She looks after books, and the money, and all this, that, and the other. Everybody has to work nowadays to make a livin'. So the Horseshoe has been a very good place for me.The Horseshoe's design Well, my wife did that. My wife designed this Horseshoe. And I think she did a very good job, and it's had a lot of comment on it. I don't know nothin' about designin' nothin' like that. Hell, all I want's four walls and crap tables, and a roof -to keep the rain off, and the air condition to keep people comfortable. Got to have that, you know. And I like good food and a clean kitchen. My kitchens get dirty, I'd call the health department. They'll straighten 'em up pretty quick.

posted by online poker games @ 6:51 AM

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Slot Machine Game Objective Online Poker Games

Slot Machine Game Objective

The point of playing slots is to line up the symbols on the reel so that you receive a payout. Different symbols are worth different amounts of money. Listed on the machine will be the different amounts that you will be paid out, if you see three of the same symbol on the reel. The main objective is to manage your money and stay in the game as long as possible. Online poker games

Strategies vary according to what type of machine you are playing. If you are playing on a progressive slot, your goal is to remain in the game as long as possible, so you can hit that big progressive jackpot. Straight slot machines pay out a pre-determined value, where progressive slot machines pay out an ever-increasing jackpot that can reach as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars.

posted by online poker games @ 9:56 AM

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How and when to make a "Catch-Up" bet online poker games

How and when to make a "Catch-Up" bet
It's rare to win a tournament round without having to make a catch-up bet somewhere along the way. Deciding when and how to catch the chip leaders at your table is therefore the most common decision a player must make, but it's also a decision where many players make fundamental errors. This article will look at ways to make the right play. Online poker games
First, how do you decide when to make your move’ If the chip leaders at your table are still within a max bet of your bankroll, you can usually afford to wait a bit, and see if they continue to make large bets. If they're betting large, you can bet small and hope the dealer wins. Of course, your opponents will often extend their lead in these situations. Still, the best way to catch another player is to bet opposite of them. As long as that has a reasonable chance of working, you should postpone any riskier plays. Online poker games
Usually, one way or another, those small waiting bets just won't get the job done. If the leaders begin betting small, and you're still within one max bet of them, your best chance is winning one large bet to take the lead. You're much better off trying to regain the lead in one hand, rather than hoping to win several of the next few hands with medium-sized bets. If you find yourself multiple max bets behind the leader, you'll need to be lucky to catch up, winning several large bets. In those cases, there's often little strategy involved. Bet big, and hope for the best.
If you instead can achieve your goal with one bet, you should time your bet for optimal effect. Assuming you have a few hands left before the final hand, you are usually best served by waiting for the first-base button to pass you before making your catch-up bet. Being able to see all your opponents bets before you make your large bet allows you to bet enough to take the lead, and no more. If you're forced to make your catch-up bet from another position, you'll have to guess what your opponents are likely to bet. Worse yet, your opponents can easily margin your bet once they see you are making a run for the lead.
Sometimes you don't have the luxury of waiting for the button to pass. In those cases you should try to guess what your opponents will bet behind you. If you've been paying attention to their bets all along, you may have picked up on their 'favorite' bet size. That's valuable information.
Now, how much to bet’ Let's look at an example.
Seat 1 : Bankroll $850 Bet $10 Seat 2 : Bankroll $550 Bet $100 Seat 3 : Bankroll $320 Bet $60 Seat 4 (You): Bankroll $520 Bet ?
Assume there are 5 hands left, and betting limits are $5 to $500.
The leader has $850, which is a considerable lead of $330 over your $520. Since the leader has made a small bet, this is a good spot to risk a large bet. How much should you bet’ I've seen players who would bet $335 here, betting their deficit plus a chip. That's fine if the leader pushes or loses this hand while you win, but that's not the most common outcome. If you win, the leader is likely to win as well, since you're both playing against the same dealer cards.
A better bet is $345, so that if you both win, you still lead by $5. But you can do better yet. Since the leader has bet so little, you can easily cover several other possible problems. If the leader gets a blackjack, or a double down, the $345 bet comes up short. Why not add a few more chips to cover those possibilities?
In general, if you can cover an opponent's double-down bet with just a few more chips, do it. I like a bet of $355 here, and I might consider $365 or $375 as well. These amounts cover multiple splits or doubles after split. However, an opponent is unlikely to win more than double his initial bet, so $355 is probably my choice unless I have chips to spare.
Now, let's change one key part of our example. Assume instead that this is the next to last hand of the round. Now what's the best bet’ It's not the same, because the value of your unbet chips is very different now. If you lose a $355 bet, you're left with only $165. $165 is useless on the final hand, unless your opponents really make a big mistake. If losing a bet will leave you in a hopeless situation, you should make a max bet. Your best bet on the next to last hand is a max bet of $500. If you have to win the hand to have a chance, you may as well be paid as much as possible for it. The extra chips you win can be decisive on the last hand.

posted by online poker games @ 8:20 AM

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Friday, January 28, 2005

A Thousand Miles of Blinds online poker games

A Thousand Miles of Blinds
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Suppose you are playing $20/40 Holdem. The game is nine-handed, and you play about thirty-six hands an hour (four orbits around the table). Now let’s suppose you wish to make about one big bet an hour. To simplify it, let’s make that $36 an hour, or an average of $1 a hand. Let’s say then that the casino charges you $18 an hour time collection to play. That means you actually have to win $1.50 per hand to manage that $1 per hand win rate. Many players find “beating the rake” to be an overwhelming task. In fact, many players actually beat the game for six or seven dollars an hour, but end up being twelve or eleven dollar an hour losers because of the time collection/rake.

But on top of the rake, to achieve this win rate you must place $120 of blind bets into the pot each hour (four orbits, a $20 big blind and a $10 small blind each orbit). Clearly the cost of the blinds overwhelms both the rake and the player’s target win. The player must win $3.33 a hand just to stay even with the cost of the blinds.While the blinds aren’t strictly a “cost” of playing since that money plays for you in pots in which you have equity, when you take all these elements together we see that to achieve a $1 per hand/$36 per hour win rate, we really have to win $4.83 a hand, $174 an hour.To win our relatively puny $36 an hour, during that hour we need to use the betting rounds to extract $174 from the pots we play. Of course this isn’t a rigid requirement every single hour. The point is that the blinds present significant hurdles that need to be overcome every hour. In limit poker the expense of the blinds dwarfs the rake and win rates.At the same time as we put all this blind money into pots, our opponents do too. They must plunk that $120 an hour into pots just like we do. That’s $960 an hour in blind bets from our eight opponents.Successful blind play is a two way street: you have to try minimize the equity you “give away” to your opponents when you are forced to make the blind bets, while at other times you want to get what equity you can from your opponents when they have the blinds. If you can turn a big blind situation into one where other players lose $17 but you lose only $12, you are playing both good offense and good defense.In poker there are many ways to win. Some players are excellent at defending the equity they have in their own blinds, but not so great at snatching blind equity from opponents. Other players play too weak and passively when they are in the blinds, but are relentless in ripping equity out of the hands of opponents in the blinds. And then, there are some players who lose a bunch when they have the blinds because they are way too reckless in protecting their equity, but still win overall because they attack other people’s blinds extremely successfully.

Clearly the idea I am suggesting here is to sensibly attack the blinds when you don’t have them, and sensibly defend them when you do. But more than that, I’m suggesting this is the un-sexy battle at the core of Texas Holdem (less so in Omaha and Stud). Winning the battle for the blinds is a large part of winning the game.Many players ignore the importance of the blinds because they are “blinded” by the greater sexiness of the big pots played for. Other players obsess over slight differences in time collection. Both views don’t focus on the bet as the fundamental unit in poker -- one bet at a time... one big bet an hour... one small bet as the big blind.A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. A bet looks so simple and whole when you toss it into a pot, but winning poker comes from cobbling together many pieces of bets from all the hands you play, so that you come up with one complete big bet each hour.

posted by online poker games @ 10:14 AM

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