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Posts Tagged ‘video poker’

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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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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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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Vote for Best – and Worst – of Las Vegas in Annual “Trippies”

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
Vegas Tripping let you vote on favs and failures.

Vegas Tripping lets you vote on favs and failures.

Best slots.  Best video poker.  Best table games.  Best cocktail waitress uniforms.  Worst buffet.  Worst casino.  Worst overall.  Vegas Tripping wants to know who – or what – you think should take home the prize in these and lots of other categories for the site’s 2008 Trippies Awards

Here are my choices — designated in boldface — in just a couple of categories:

  • Best OverallBellagio, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Orleans, Wynn Las Vegas –  Love the decor, Jean Philippe pastries, the Conservatory, the Chihuly ceiling in the reception area, the Lake Show, the restaurants, the pool – the whole vibe.
  • Worst Overall – Casino Royale, Circus Circus, Hooters, Imperial Palace, Tropicana – Smells bad, weird layout and I never win anything there plus it’s too easy to rag on the Circus.
  • Best Cocktail Waitress Uniforms – Caesars Palace, Orleans, Rio, Paris, Wynn Las Vegas – These outfits stick in my head.  Royal blue and boobs.  What more do you want?
  • Best Buffet – Caesars Palace, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Wynn Las Vegas, The Venetian – Beautiful food in a beautiful setting for beautiful people.
  • Best Signage/NeonFlamingo, New York New York, Wynn Las Vegas, MGM Grand, Caesars Palace – That flashing, clashing orange and pink just says “Vegas” to me.  I still remember my first ride down The Strip in the early-80’s (back when you could actually hit 35mph) and seeing that riot of glowing neon.  Sigh.

So, do your duty as a citizen or denizen of Las Vegas and go vote at Vegas Tripping.

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Head to Harrah’s Ak-Chin for this Super Promo

Sunday, October 26th, 2008
Harrah's Ak_Chin Casino gives players a "mystery multiplier" on Monday.

Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino gives players a "mystery multiplier" this Monday.

Just a quick Sunday “drive-by” post for players in the Phoenix area.  Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino in Maricopa has a terrific special promotion going on tomorrow – Monday – for Total Rewards Club (TRC) members.  Swipe your card at the Total Rewards center to receive a multiplier of 10x, 15x or even 20x on Bonus Reward Credits earned on play from 6 AM until midnight.  (The website reads 6 a.m. – 5:59 a.m. but I was told midnight when I called to check on details.) 

Be sure to swipe your card at the TRC desk BEFORE you begin play.  That’s also when you’ll learn your “mystery” multiplier. 

If you have any questions about this promo, be sure to ask a casino host or the folks working the TRC center desk. 

Good luck!

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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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Free Video Poker Classes with Bob Dancer

Friday, October 17th, 2008
Learn the game then try your luck at South Point's casino.

Learn video poker strategy then try your luck at South Point's casino.

If you are a video poker player like P.B. and me and you want to take your game to the next level, then here is an opportunity for you – FREE video poker classes with America’s most well-known player, Bob Dancer.  Mr. Dancer has spent years researching and teaching video poker strategy through his popular books, software programs including “Video Poker for Winners” and live lessons. 

Beginning on Tuesday, November 11, and continuing through to January, Mr. Dancer will be giving classes at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.   Again, classes are free but you must be 21 or older to attend.

The classes will offer both a 90-minute session for beginners as well as a one-hour portion for intermediate players.  Classes focus on different games such as Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild and Double Bonus Poker as well as varying subjects so see the class schedule here for more details.

Also, check out the great package prices available at South Point and combine your free video poker training with a hotel stay.  South Point is about 10 minutes from The Strip but offers guests all the amenities such as a spa, multiple restaurants, show room, lounges and more that Las Vegas visitors have come to expect in a casino destination.

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