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Casino lovers holiday gift ideas

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Every year we run some short posts giving our readers some fun ideas on gifts for the casino aficionados on their holiday giving list.  Here are a few of our top picks available from Amazon.com or you can check out some of your local stores for similar items!

best home slot game lobstermania

IGT Slots put some of our favorite games into this home version including Lobstermania and DaVinci Diamonds.

Best home slots game — IGT Slots: Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania

IGT strikes gaming gold with this fun in-home slots game that includes such favorites as Cats, Carnival of Mystery (love this game at Caesars in Las Vegas,) Frog Princess and Stinkin’ Rich.  At less than $20, it’s a great deal for those who want to play, not pay!

Best Cross Body Bag for Women — Cole Haan Bailey Bag

Here’s the dilemma — as much as you (or the woman in your life) love toting around that jumbo purse/suit

case/carryall, it just isn’t very practical for a day at the casino.  Do you keep it on that sticky shelf between machines or clutch it to your body like you’re protecting the family jewels?  And, please, don’t even think of hanging it off the back of your chair!

Solution:  enter the Cross Body bag which — just as the name suggests — smartly and compactly sits across the chest holding valuables and necessities in neatly and stylishly.  We couldn’t believe the price on this beauty (less than half the regular price!) and it comes in a gorgeous shade of lipstick red as well.  This doesn’t have to go in her stocking…it can be her stocking! Love it.

Also, be sure to check out our extensive Gift Guide here.

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A Big Win at Harrah’s Ak-Chin

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
Poker Buddy scores with a double Royal Flush for a cool two grand.

Poker Buddy scores with a double Royal Flush for a cool two grand.

P.B.:  “Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino is announcing their Alaskan cruise contest winners tonight.  Do you want to go out for it?”

Me:  “Not really…I’m kinda’ tired today.”

Three hours later —

Me:  “Okay, I got my second wind.  Let’s go out and see if we won a cruise.”

P.B.:  “Yeah, let’s go but I don’t want to play too much.”

Me:  “Nah, me neither.”

Two hours later —

See above photo!  Poker Buddy hits for $2000 on a quarter Triple Play DDB video poker game.  Dealt four to the Royal Flush, he pulls the queen twice for TWO Royals.  Cha-Ching!

Hmm, maybe we should not “want to play too much” more often?  (No cruise by the way.)

Got any stories you wanna’ share?  We’d love to hear them so tell us about your big wins in the comments section of this post.

Want to practice your video poker strategy for free online?  Just go to videopoker.com to play your favorite games on the ‘net’s largest non-wagering video poker site.


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Video Poker Tournaments A Perk for Players

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
Video poker machines wait for tourney players at Bally's Las Vegas.

Video poker machines wait for tourney players at Bally's in Las Vegas.

One of the benefits of joining a casino’s players club is getting invitations to free tournaments — slots, video poker, table games, even bingo — along with the free hotel stay and other perks that go with the invite.  (Of course, you have to have past play in the casino to receive these types of invites.)

In a previous post, I mentioned that our last trip to Las Vegas was planned around a video poker tournament that we played in at Bally’s Las Vegas.  The tournament consisted of two 10-minutes sessions (one per day for two days) and it is no exaggeration when I say neither of us could hit anything during the tournament play.  No four-of-a-kinds, no straight flushes and certainly no Royals.  We both held four to the Royal, three aces, three low cards, three high cards — you name it — and still couldn’t hit for anything.  Funny thing though, while playing “for real,” we both did pretty well.  All those hands we couldn’t hit on in the tourney, we did, in several instances, pull off in the casino.

I’m thinking about this because we’re playing later this week in another video poker tournament — this time here in Phoenix — and I’m hoping that our luck will have a change of heart and maybe one of us will end up “in the money” this time out.  But, as always, even if we don’t win it’s always fun to compete, meet and talk with other players and generally just go out and have a good time on the “house’s” dime.

By the way, I’ve been practicing my Double Double Bonus tournament-style “holds” at videopoker.com, a great site for free, non-wagering game play.

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We Have A Contest Winner!

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

We have our very first contest winner!  In a random drawing,* our reader/commentor “AL” has won a copy of the 2009 Edition of Steve Bouri’s popular “American Casino Guide”.  Congratulations to Al and thanks to all who entered.  Our next contest starts tomorrow so come back then for details and another chance to win.

Here is the comment Al posted about his favorite/first big casino hit:  (more…)

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Always Wanted to Own a Casino? Here’s Your Chance!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
Here's the game for the budding Steve Wynn on your holiday list.
Here’s the perfect gift for that would-be Steve Wynn or Sheldon Adelson on your holiday shopping list.

Yes, Casino Mogul really is a game.  Yes, you can actually buy it.  And, once again, yes, I really, really want this for Christmas.  (And here you thought I was going to try and sell you a half-finished Echelon.  Maybe next year.)

How do you play you ask?  Well, directly from the advertising copy on the box comes this riveting description: 

   “Build, design and manage your own casino!  (Hmm, I would think you would want to design it and then build it.  But, then, what the heck do I know since I’m not (yet) a casino mogul?) 

   “Hire and Fire Staff!”  (Oh yeah, that sounds like fun but better make sure they’re not union before you do it!)

   “Manage Your Clients!  Fleece Them (but keep them happy!”)  I didn’t make that up — it really says that on the box.  They must be talking to the people who run the real casinos.  Except for the happy part.

And my personal favorite right off the box “Become the Bugsy Siegel your parents always wanted you to be — run your own casino and make bucks!” (Well, you would have made bucks, Bugsy, if you had gotten out sometime before October.)

 The game is from Monte Cristo software and you can buy it here — Casino Mogul — for your own budding little gambling boss!  Just one of the items featured in our new gift guide

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Playing Las Vegas — Games and Places

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Planet Hollywood, video poker and a chocolate chip cookie -- that works for me.
Planet Hollywood, video poker and a chocolate chip cookie…that works for me.

I get asked this question a lot — “When you go to Las Vegas, what and where do you play?”  As I’ve written in other posts, I am mostly a video poker player so I always look for my favorite games with the best pay tables.  On The Strip in Las Vegas, you can find me at Planet Hollywood where they have the games I like — Spin Poker™ and Super Times Pay™ plus the multi-game All-Star Poker™ machines — and the pay tables are reasonable for what I’m playing.  For several reasons, “Planet Ho” just has a “vibe” that appeals to me.  I like the music and I really like the adjustable chairs.  The drink servers are friendly and pretty good about keeping me supplied with bottled water and the occasional glass of white wine.  Plus, (more…)

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Favorite Slot Machine, Hot Topics at “Slot Manager” Site

Sunday, November 16th, 2008
It's no surprise that Blazing 7s from Ballys is a customer slots favorite.

It comes as no surprise that Blazing 7s™ from Ballys is a customer slots favorite.

The iconic Bally’s Blazing 7s machine and Vision Gaming‘s old-time favorite, Pot of Gold, were named as two of the games casino slots managers “can’t pull” off their floors due to customer popularity. This question — “What old school slot or video poker games are so popular with players that you just can’t pull them off your floor?” — is asked and answered at the website belonging to popular industry-insider magazine, “Slot Manager.”

The site has lots of interesting information and categories including “Hot Topics” where you’ll find the question-and-answer forum, a “New Products & Games” section, and great articles and columns by industry pros.  (more…)

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New Slot Machines I’d Like to See

Thursday, November 13th, 2008
Lucky cherries...why not lucky lawyers or smoke monsters?  (Photo courtesy of Lisa Brewster, sophistichate.com)

Lucky cherries...why not lucky lawyers or smoke monsters? (Photo courtesy of Lisa Brewster, http://sophistechate.com

I think being a slot machine inventor, game developer, whatever you want to call it, would be one of the coolest jobs on the planet.  I want to be the person who decides that the cherry gets to be the lucky fruit.  Sorry apples, pears and pomegranates…move back to the bowl because you just don’t cut it.  Triple diamonds, blazing 7’s, weird Slingo™ dude and even you, Monty Hall –  yep, you’re all in.  But “Chainsaws & Toasters®?”  What kind of weird nightmare did the person have before coming up with that game?

So, if that game made it through the vetting process, why not some of these?

Magic Ex-Wife –– Get five lawyers in a row to go to the bonus round where the machine takes all your credits and your dog.  Sorry, there’s no winning this one. (more…)

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Video Poker Variations – New Games & Popular Favorites Keep Things Interesting

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Play free video poker games at Action Gaming's videopoker.com

Play free video poker games online at Action Gaming's videopoker.com website.

As I’ve said before, when it comes to playing video poker, the original Spin Poker™ and it’s 20-line sister, Spin Poker Deluxe™, are two of my favorite machines so I found this article by John Brokopp at Casino City Times interesting.   

Mr. Brokopp says  — “There is one video poker hybrid, however, that has stood the test of time: Spin Poker, an invention developed a number of years ago by (who else?), Action Gaming and IGT.

Spin Poker was the first game to successfully blend the components of traditional video poker with those of multi-line video slot play and create something that appealed to both dedicated video poker players and slot players.”  Read more here.

The machines in the casinos I play at here in Arizona are ALWAYS busy — sometimes even attracting a line of would-be players waiting for machines to open up — so I know this is one popular game!

No doubt hoping to repeat that success, Action Gaming and IGT have introduced a couple of new video poker games and you can play them — for free (no money, no wagering, just fun) — at their popular website videopoker.com  Check out new games “Big Times Draw Poker™” and “Quick Quads™” poker.  And, for some great info on strategy when playing Quick Quads™, here’s a recent article by VP pro Bob Dancer at Casino Gaming that you should read.

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Play FREE Slot Games Online Courtesy of Bally

Sunday, October 19th, 2008
Hot Shot by Bally Technologies is a smokin' game!

Hot Shot Progressive by Bally Technologies is a smokin' fun game!

Some of the most popular slot games in casinos across the country come from Bally Technologies and now you can play them for FREE online on your personal computer.  Video slot games such as the extremely popular Hot Shot Progressive® as well as both Playboy® and S & H Green Stamps® can be downloaded from the Bally Technologies site and played for free whenever you want a little casino-style fun at home or on the road.  Follow the link that says “Click here to play for free.”

Not only can you enjoy fun casino-style action but your points stay on the game so you can track your luck visit-to-visit.  To keep your play even more interesting, there’s a “chat room” available while you play so you can connect with fellow players if you wish.

Also, when visiting Bally’s site be sure to check out the “Players Center” section.  There you’ll find a Winners Gallery, current progressive Jackpot Totals, and a game-finder for locating your favorite Bally slot.  For instance, if you click on the Hot Shot Progressive logo, you’ll be taken to a page that lists — by state — the casinos that have that game available.  In Arizona, you’ll find this game at both Harrah’s Ak-Chin outside of Phoenix and the Desert Diamond casino near Tucson.

So if you’re between visits, have fun playing these “reel life” casino games!  Also, check out these fun DVD games at Amazon.com with favorites from Bally’s, WMS Gaming and more.  Specially-priced double-disc set Slots WMS Double Pack, or try these popular games — Slots From Bally Gaming.
More slots fun:

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“Favorite Slots” is a Hot Topic on TripAdvisor Las Vegas Forum

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

"Gold Fish" - a popular slot game from WMS Gaming.

For a spirited discussion on “favorite slot machines,” visit TripAdvisor and check out what people are talking about right now in regards to slot machines. This is one hot topic on TripAdvisor considering the original post asking Las Vegas visitors to name their favorite slots game is dated August 24th and the replies keep coming – six pages of them so far.

I don’t play slots too often but always stop and check out any new games I see  – think eBay®, Deal or No Deal® – and any games that seem to have a lot of people gathered ‘round.

From the topic replies, it looks like “Gold Fish” from WMS gaming is a hot slot favorite.  I mention this one specifically because P.B. and I walked by a double bank of the machines several times during our last stay at Paris Las Vegas and not once was there a machine open.  People were even hanging around waiting for machines to open up so they could play.  Hmm, based on its popularity, maybe we’ll check it out again when we go to Vegas later this month.

The hot new "Wizard of Oz" from WMS Gaming.

The hot new "Wizard of Oz" slot machine from WMS Gaming.

We recently saw this new game at Harrah’s Ak-Chin near Phoenix  – “The Wizard of Oz” from WMS Gaming (for information, click on the game icon in this cool virtual gameroom.)  Check out the high-backed spaceship seating for this game.  Here’s what the manufacturer says about it on their website:   “The Wizard of OzTM is the newest theme in the revolutionary “Sensory Immersion Gaming” product category, where players hear, see, and feel the experience, thanks to real-time 3D animation and our innovative gaming chair that features the BOSE® 3SpaceTM audio system and CPU-NXT®2 enhanced graphics.” Again, we didn’t get a chance to play since all the machines were taken but we will definitely play Wizard of Oz slots in the future — when we get the chance.

If you’re a slots player, I’d love to hear about your favorite game and where you play it.  Also, check out the thread on TripAdvisor and chime in with your recommendations.

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