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Posts Tagged ‘Spin Poker’

Black Friday Shopping? No, This Was Way More Fun Than Shopping

Monday, December 1st, 2008

So it’s now the Sunday evening after Thanksgiving and I haven’t set foot in a store all weekend.  (Well, except for the grocery store and that was just a quick stop for bread to make turkey sandwiches!)  No Christmas shopping, no bargain-hunting, no “Black-Friday-up-at-o’dark-thirty-to-hit-the-mall” stories, nothing … nada.  Instead, P.B. and I headed out to Harrah’s Ak-Chin in Maricopa for Black Friday where we played our favorite video poker game, Spin Poker.™ 

Harrah's Ak-Chin in Maricopa, Arizona.

Harrah's Ak-Chin casino in Maricopa, AZ.

Harrah’s was actually pretty crowded Friday, probably due in part to people using the free slot play coupons — good for the holiday weekend only — like the $100 ones P.B. and I had just received in the mail.  (Way to get people in the doors, Ak-Chin marketing!)  Plus Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are when the qualifying drawings are held for the $1,000,000 giveaway finale coming up on December 28 at Ak-Chin so I’m sure lots of players came out for that, too.

We had a fun day at Harrah’s — much more fun than slogging through the stores looking for some Holy Grail of gifts.  We each started out playing Triple Double Bonus games on nickel Spin Poker Deluxe™ and not hitting much at first but then the cards started coming and we each hit for some aces, some deuces, and then threes with a kicker.  I even hit for a Royal Flush in hearts.  P.B. had the “best pay of the day” (we always have a fun competition going between us) with his four aces and a kicker on two lines which paid a little over $440.  We stayed most of the afternoon and left with a little more than we walked in with so a good trip in more ways than one. 

Oh, and on a side note, the bank of new Wizard of Oz™ slot machines was crazy-crowded with people gathered around watching the players and rooting them on during bonus rounds.  People love these new Wizard of Oz machines!  Guess you have to get there early to snag a seat at one. 

The rest of the weekend I’ve spent pulling together the holiday “Gift Guide” along with the other gift suggestions you’ll find here on our site — all for you to give to the players on your holiday list.  The Internet is a wide and wonderful place if you know where to look!

And how did you spend your holiday weekend?  Get any gaming in you want to tell us about?

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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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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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How To Turn a $25 Coupon into $1200

Saturday, October 25th, 2008
While maybe not a fortune, Fort McDowell had $1200 waiting for me.

While maybe not a fortune, Fort McDowell had $1200 waiting for me.

Sounds like an infomercial, doesn’t it?  The funny thing is – it’s true!   It happened to me this week at Fort McDowell Casino in Arizona and it proves – again – why you should use your player’s club card.

Earlier this week, P.B. and I decided to head out to “The Fort” to take advantage of some coupons that came in our quarterly “Fortune Club” mailers – one for $25 in cash, another for free dinners.  After we turned in our cash coupons, we sat down to play at a couple of All-Star Poker™ machines.   I chose the Spin Poker™ option – my favorite game – playing Double Double Bonus in the 10¢ denomination and, on my third hand, hit for a couple hundred dollars with four 2’s and a kicker.  About 10 hands later, I was dealt the ace, king, queen and ten of spades…held the four cards… held my breath…and YES!  Got the JACK for royal flushes on three lines and $400 x 3 = $1200 (and a W-9!) 

With the free dinners thrown in, this turned out to be a profitable trip for us and all because of a $25 coupon.  I think it’s more than we made in the stock market this week and a lot more fun!

There were a lot of people at the casino that same night, many of whom were cashing in coupons so The Fort’s promotion is paying off in terms of getting people in the door.  It would be nice to think that they – and casinos everywhere – would continue to offer decent incentives to frequent players, especially in this economy.  Jean Scott has a couple of really good articles this week on her blog at Anthony Curtis’ Las Vegas Advisor.  In an interesting post from October 18, she talks about the different ways casinos can react to the economic downturn and in a second post from October 23; she outlines some “Slot Club Changes.”  You’ll see, when you read them, how the two articles are related.

From my own perspective, while local casinos have no where near the competition that Las Vegas, Reno or Atlantic City casinos have, I would like to tell them that offering decent club incentives would keep frequent players coming in – good economy or bad.  Don’t give me $5 or $10 to show up – at midnight – or other ridiculously-low, crazily-limited “bonuses.”  You’ll weather the storm and build player loyalty to boot.  Win, win.

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There’s No Whining in Video Poker

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
Cha-Ching!  A Triple Double Bonus Beauty

Cha-Ching! A Triple Double Bonus beauty for the video poker player.

Recently, on a visit to a local Arizona casino, I had the unfortunate experience of sitting next to a truly annoying fellow video poker player.

Let me set the stage.   I was playing my favorite casino game, a type of video poker called Spin Poker Deluxe.  I was playing the nickel Triple Double Bonus game and having some pretty good luck.  When dealt three low cards, I drew the fourth and a kicker and hit for a couple of hundred dollars.  That happened more than once in a short amount of time so I was up a nice sum and decided to increase my denomination to ten-cents.  A bit later, I hit on four aces with a kicker – on two lines – and that paid another $800 plus and I was up a very nice amount after that hit.  Not bad for nickel and dime play.

So, I should be having fun here, right?  Enjoying a rare “lucky streak,” something we all know comes and goes like the wind.   But, no, I had to be sitting next to someone who felt it necessary to whine and complain to his companion – LOUDLY and CONTINUOUSLY – that my winning meant “no one else would be winning anything” and that “the machines were fixed because only one person was winning” and other such nonsense.  Under different circumstances, I would have moved to another machine,  but, number one, I was hitting on this machine; number two, there were no other Spin Poker machines open; and number three, I absolutely refused to let this person bully me into relocating.

Scenes similar to this have happened to me before albeit not quite as annoying as this one.  So, to the guy who was making all the noise:  Here’s where a basic understanding of video poker — pay tables, the “RNG,” “expected return,” strategy, etc. – along with simple casino etiquette would have made all the difference.  Plus, in my mind, if someone spends all their time complaining about how bad the machine is or how badly they are losing then guess what?  Time to take a break or call it a day.  Unless you are a professional gambler and earn your living playing poker, a visit to the casino is supposed to be fun!   (And actually, if you are able to make a living playing video poker I’d have to think that actually would be pretty fun!)

Yeah, we all complain once in a while — the ace that got away, the royal flush missed by a single card — but to do so repeatedly and to blame the player who is winning?  Not cool.

In an upcoming post – some thoughts on casino etiquette.

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