Why choose Online Casinos?

I’m pretty sure that on a night out we’ve all (or most of us!) ended up at a casino. These captivating bricks and mortar establishments have a habit of drawing people in with their bright lights and the potential for a big win. We’ve all heard stories of slots players winning it big and having a night to dream of on slots, poker or roulette, so is it any great surprise that we all fancy a bit of that luck rubbing off on us too. Even if we’re in a more sober and sensible mood, having a fun time and a small wager can be time well spent compared to many of the alternatives. Still, not every night is a ‘going out’ night, or destined to be a big night on the town.

Online casinos have many advantages over their ‘real world’ counterpart. For one you can play them from the comfort of your own home, which is a real plus after a tiring work day when all you want to do is unwind. Just as importantly though are the impressive sign up bonuses and the like (free spins etc) that can often come bundled with joining a new online casino. In an ultra competitive environment so many companies are looking for your custom that in some ways you’re already onto a winner.

Another pro point is the huge range of casino games right at the end of your finger tips. There are so many slots games for instance that you could play a new one every day, and the same applies to many of your other favourite casino games. The best minimum deposit casinos in the UK are available for gamblers of budgets both big or small, so there is no need to break the bank whether you’re a slots fan, a poker or blackjack player.

One last, but equally important plus of online play is that typically you’re able to look through your play history, deposits and so on to see how your gambling is going. Not to mention there’s also several ways to quickly fund your account and also withdraw your winnings, to make for a no nonsense, fun casino experience rather than something you have to put much effort into. In summing up, both online and bricks and mortar casinos have their place, but you’d be foolish not to have a one or two ‘ready to go’ online casino site accounts to hand. Variety is the spice of life.

What’s the history of blackjack?

Blackjack is derived from the ancient game of ‘twenty-one’, which is believed to have existed in Spain, as ‘veintiuna’, in the seventeenth century and subsequently spread to France, as ‘vingt-un’, or ‘vingt-et-un’, the surrounding countries, including Britain, and eventually to America from the early eighteenth century onwards. Vingt-un, albeit occasionally pronounced, and written, as ‘Van John’, was played under its French name in Britain and America throughout the nineteenth century.

However, until 1931, when gambling was legalised in Nevada and the first gaming licence was awarded to the Northern Club on Fremont Street, Las Vegas, vingt-un was played in illicit casinos and speakeasies. In fact, blackjack wasn’t called actually ‘blackjack’ until the twentieth century; in the early days of legitimate gambling in Las Vegas, casinos offered a series of promotional bonus payments, one of which was 10/1 against a hand consisting of the ace of spades and the jack of spades or the jack of clubs or, in other words, a ‘black jack’. Of course, that bonus payment for ‘blackjack’ no longer exists – the best modern patrons can hope for is odds of 3/2 and, even then, only in a standard, six-deck game – but the name stuck.

Following the publication of basic blackjack strategy – a mathematically correct set of rules for playing any hand – in the Fifties, blackjack quickly rose to become the most popular casino game in Las Vegas. Subsequently, in the face of multi-deck shoes and apparently minor rule changes, not least cutting the payout on blackjack to 6/5 in all bar single-deck games, the popularity of blackjack has waned slightly. Even so, blackjack remains the second most popular card game on the Las Vegas Strip, after baccarat.

What is ‘triple zero’ roulette?

Traditionally, the American version of roulette featured 38 numbers, including a single and a double zero. The ‘double zero’ roulette table already increased the house edge to 5.26%, compared with 2.7% for the European version, which features 37 numbers, including just a single zero. However, in recent times, numerous casinos in Las Vegas have introduced ‘triple zero’ roulette which, as the name suggests, features 39 numbers, including a single, a double and a triple zero. The addition of the triple zero – effectively another pocket that is not considered red or black, high or low or odd or even – increases the house edge to 7.69%.

Originally introduced, as ‘Sands Roulette’, at The Venetian in 2016, a triple zero roulette typically offers a lower table limit than double, or single, zero roulette as a ploy to entice recreational gamblers – who may be gambling for enjoyment, rather than to make money – to play at disadvantageous odds. It can be argued that a player making the minimum bet on a triple zero roulette table will lose less, in a given period of time, than a player making the minimum bet on a double zero roulette table, but – akin to blackjack paying odds of 6/5, rather than 3/2, on single-deck tables – the lower table minimum costs 2.43% in terms of the house edge, with no increase in payouts.

When was poker first played?

It can be argued that poker, in its modern sense, was first played on riverboats on the Mississippi River in the early nineteenth century, but the origins of the game are believed to be much older. The sixteenth-century card game known as ‘primiera’in Italy and ‘primera’ in Spain has many similarities to modern day poker and, in turn, provided the basis for the seventeenth-century games known as ‘poque’ or ‘pochen’, which were played in France and Germany, respectively.

Poque was subsequently transported across the Atlantic Ocean by French colonists to territories in North America, which was acquired by the United States in the early years of the nineteenth century. The name ‘poque’ was anglicised to ‘poker’ by English-speaking settlers and, thereafter, the game evolved to resemble the modern version, with a 52-card deck and five-card hands for each player.

The evolution of Las Vegas from a cultural backwater to a major tourist destination in the early twentieth century may have done plenty for the local economy, but casino operators were not keen on poker from a money-making perspective. Nevertheless, as the only casino game where gamblers could play against each other, rather than the house, poker was popular with patrons, so most gambling houses ran a poker room.

Down the years, different versions of poker, including five-card draw, seven-card stud and the current favourite, Texas hold ‘em, have fallen into or out of fashion at various times. Nevertheless, while the ‘boom’ period in the early years of the twenty-first century may have subsided, poker remains the most popular card game on the planet, with an estimated hundred million players worldwide.

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