Successful Video Poker Play Differs from Slot Play

Successful Video Poker Play Differs from Slot Play

This post is syndicated by the Las Vegas Advisor for the 888 casino group. Anthony Curtis comments on the 888 article introduced and linked to on this page.

AC says: Two comments on this article. First, the return percentages cited are too low. I haven’t seen many slot statistics or par sheets, for that matter (par sheets disclose what a machine is set to hold), that indicate returns of 85% and below. Certainly higher-denom slots can be found in the 95% range. The range for slots should be more like 87%-96% returns. Similarly, it’s a rare video poker schedule that returns only 88%. The range for video poker is more like 94%-99%. Second, this article correctly indicates that results in video poker are skill-dependent, but mentions only knowing how to play the hands correctly. The first part of the skill equation is paying attention to the paytables and playing the higher returning among them. There are many good learning tools, including these.

This article was written by Jerry Stich in association with 888Casino.

Successful Video Poker Play Differs from Slot Play

A major portion of virtually every casino’s floor is filled with slot machines and video poker machines.

They’re huge money makers. They work 24 hours a day – non-stop. They do not require rest or lunch breaks. They are always there, never crabby, always beckoning the gambling public to give them a try.

Video poker machines are classified as slot machines in monthly casino financial reports. They are mixed into the sea of standard slot machines. To the untrained eye, they may all look alike. However, becoming a successful video poker player is quite different from having success playing standard slot machines.

This article covers the differences in play, preparation, and expectations playing video poker versus standard slot machines.

Click to continue reading …


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Hacksaw Gaming Partners with Sisal, Expands in Italy

Hacksaw Gaming Partners with Sisal, Expands in Italy

Hacksaw Gaming, a leading developer of iGaming content, has agreed to provide the Italian operator Sisal with a selection of games. As agreed, the provider will integrate some of its best titles into Sisal’s platform, including all-time favorite hits such as Cubes.

Cubes, one of Hacksaw Gaming’s signature titles, will be the first game to become available to Sisal customers. It is famous for being Hacksaw’s first 3D-styled release. Its popularity earned it a sequel called Cubes 2, which was released in 2021.

Under the agreement between the two companies, more Hacksaw games will go live on Sisal’s platform over the next few weeks. This includes fan-favorite slots such as Hand of Anubis, Hop’n’Pop and Aztec Twist. In addition, players will also be able to enjoy some of Hacksaw’s instant win games, such as Mines and Coins.

Sisal is a company owned by Flutter Entertainment that has cemented its position as one of the leading operators in Italy. What differentiates the gambling firm from its competitors is its rich portfolio of slots, poker, lotteries and sports betting.

Sisal is perhaps best known for its wide range of lotteries as it offers some of the best lottery titles in Italy. These include games such as SiVinceTutto, Vinci per la vita – Win for Life, Eurojackpot, VinciCasa and the exclusive SuperEnalotto.

Hacksaw Is Happy to Partner with a “Household Name”

Gabrielle Star, Hacksaw Gaming’s chief commercial officer, commented on the agreement. She noted that her company has been steadily expanding its presence in Italy since its foray into the market earlier this year.

According to Star, the deal represents a “signal of Hacksaw’s intentions” as it furthers its presence in regulated jurisdictions. She believes that the current deal will benefit Hacksaw a Lot, considering Sisal’s local popularity.

Sisal is a household name in Italy, and we’re delighted its players can finally get a taste of our award-winning games.

Gabrielle Star, CCO, Hacksaw Gaming

Hacksaw Gaming is a Malta-based company that was founded in 2018. It has quickly grown into a leading supplier of top iGaming titles and now serves over 20 regulated markets. The company seeks to disrupt online gaming in jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, Malta, Italy, Germany, Ontario, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Romania and West Virginia via its innovative and user-driven tech.

Earlier this month, Hacksaw Gaming signed a deal with William Hill, one of its newest partners, agreeing to launch a branded version of its Mines games. Prior to that, the supplier agreed to power Glitnor Group with gaming content.

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Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts Withdraws Investment in Uy’s PH Resorts

Mansion Group to Surrender Operating License, Leave the UK

Bloomberry Resorts Corp., the operator of Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila, announced in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines that its investment pre-agreement with PH Travel and Leisure Corp was terminated.

Term Sheet Termination

The filing with the SEC confirmed the news that the board of billionaire Enrique Razon Jr.- owned Bloomberry Resorts had approved a resolution to terminate the term sheet it had signed with a subsidiary of PH Resorts Group Holdings, a group of companies owned by Davao-based tycoon Dennis Uy.

According to the information provided by Bloomberry Resorts and cited by The Inquirer, its board decided to terminate the term sheet “after considering the results of due diligence on the target companies and the projects.”

In May, Bloomberry Resorts signed a term sheet to invest in two PH Travel and Leisure subsidiaries: Lapulapu Leisure Inc., which is currently developing the Emerald Bay Resort Hotel and Casino in Punta Engano in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu, and Clark Grand Leisure Corp., which is developing The Base Resort Hotel and Casino in Clark in Pampanga, subject to a number of closing conditions.

By that time, both Bloomberry Resorts and PH Resorts Group immediately attracted investor interest and their shares grew as markets welcomed the addition of Razon’s deep pockets and experience in gaming to Uy’s casino projects and the casino industry was starting to recover from the pandemic.

The news that Razon withdrew from the projects resulted in investors dumping shares of PH Resorts, part of Udenna Group, forcing its share price to drop by more than 9%, though later partly recovering to close down 5.9%. At the same time, Bloomberry Resorts’ share price rose by 2%.

Pursuing Other Investors

PH Resorts issued a confirmation that the deal with Bloomberry Resorts was off after trading hours, stating that it would allow the group to pursue other investors that were previously put on the back burner.

PH Resorts president, Martin Escalona, outlined that, while unfortunate that a deal was not closed, it would allow both parties to pursue their own plans, and PH Resorts would most likely reenter into discussions with other parties that have been considered secondary to Bloomberry Resorts’ investment proposal.

Located on 12.4 hectares of land on the beachfront in Cebu, Emerald Bay will feature a casino with 146 gaming tables and 729 gaming machines, and offer luxury accommodation in hotel rooms and villas. The other casino project, The Base in Clark Global City, will be on a 4.4-hectare lot and feature an adventure-themed integrated casino resort.

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Oklahoma Betting May Become a Reality as HB 1027 Passes the House Vote

Oklahoma Betting May Become a Reality as HB 1027 Passes the House Vote

In February, Representative Ken Luttrell filed House Bill 1027, which would legalize tribal sports betting in the state of Oklahoma. The measure continues to gain traction and has now been approved by the House.

Earlier this month the sports betting bill passed the Appropriations and Budget Committee vote by a landslide, receiving 27 “yes” votes and 4 “no” votes.

House Bill 1027 would enable Native American tribes to offer sports betting and mobile sports betting. Tribes will be allowed to run their own gambling sites and sportsbooks or sign agreements with bigger betting companies.

The bill seeks to capitalize on the opportunities that a regulated sports betting framework would offer. Currently, the state is losing millions of dollars to the black market. To make up for that, House Bill 1027 will tax sportsbooks and give a large part of the proceeds to the Education Reform Revolving Fund. A portion of the money would be used to finance problem gambling treatment.

The House of Representatives Approved the Bill

Several weeks later, the bill received a favorable vote from the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Yesterday, state representatives passed the measure with 66 votes in support of the legislation against 26 votes against it.

This is another major step for House Bill 1027, which may have a chance of bringing sports betting to the Sooner State. The next threshold the measure will have to pass is the Senate. If the Senate approves the bill, it would be sent to Gov. John Kevin Stitt for a final signing.

Luckily, the measure has the Governor’s support and will likely be signed into law if it manages to pass the Senate vote.

The bill is also supported by many tribes in Oklahoma. There are currently a total of 35 tribes that offer some form of gambling in the state. Tapping into sports betting is likely to benefit not only the tribes but the state as a whole.

Oklahoma Continues the Push

The Sooner State has been discussing the potential of a new sports betting bill since 2022. The discussions followed a misfired attempt to bring retail sports wagering to the state. The failed legislation was called House Bill 3008 which, just like House Bill 1027, envisioned the legalization of sports punts at tribal casinos. However, House Bill 3008 would not have seen mobile sports betting legalized.

Proponents of House Bill 3008 argued that it would bring more money to state coffers. Unfortunately, the measure failed to pass all the necessary votes.

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Star Entertainment Appoints David Foster as Chairman amidst Ongoing Difficulties

BtoBet Names Malte Hegeler as VP of Product

The company is experiencing significant hardships after losing its New South Wales and Queensland licenses, owing hundreds of millions in fines and facing several class action lawsuits. Foster’s appointment is part of an ongoing process to remedy the company’s shortcomings, ensure compliance and contest unjust allegations. The new chairman remains optimistic regarding the company’s future as he helps foster a new chapter for the group.

The Operator Is Scrambling to Reform

The past year has not been kind to the once-leading Australian casino operator. A 2021 investigation by The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and 60 Minutes revealed severe AML failings and possible ties to terrorist organizations. An official probe soon followed, confirming that The Star had severely and systematically violated numerous regulations. An apathetic response only worsened the situation, drawing the ire of authorities across Australia.

The Star faces up to $1 billion in fines and is engaged in several class action lawsuits. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) relentlessly pursues the operator’s former and current directors and executives. Furthermore, losing the NSW and Queensland licenses has severely impacted the operator’s bottom line. The ongoing turmoil has prompted The Star to elevate new, controversy-free talent to its management team.

Foster Has Experience Salvaging Struggling Enterprises

David Foster’s appointment as chairman has him replace Benjamin Heap, who is facing legal action. Heap is the last active director or executive involved in the proceedings, so his departure will hopefully signal a fresh start for the embattled operator. The former chairman was confident that his successor would help restore The Star’s damaged reputation.

I have every confidence The Star will be a powerhouse of the Australian tourism and entertainment sectors for decades to come.

Benjamin Heap, former chairman of Star Entertainment 

As chairman, Foster will be directly involved in remedying the operator’s shortcomings, hopefully restoring at least a part of its previous market position. He thanked Heap for spearheading the arduous rejuvenation process and promised to aid the renewed board of directors in the company’s journey back toward compliance.

I’m delighted to assume the role of chairman as we continue with an unwavering focus on earning back the trust of the community.

 David Foster, chairman of Star Entertainment 

Foster’s wealth of experience will be invaluable for the company’s remedial efforts. His career of over 25 years in the financial services sector saw him take the reins of Suncorp Bank, salvaging it from the consequences of the global financial crisis and steering it back into stability. Such experience is just what The Star needs to turn things around and recapture its former glory.

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Intralot’s New CCO Will Spearhead North American Expansion

Intralot’s New CCO Will Spearhead North American Expansion

The new appointment is the latest step amidst Intralot’s restructuring efforts. The gaming and lottery technology provider severely underperformed last year, but several promising high-profile agreements may herald substantial improvements. Bateson’s extensive industry experience and history of success may be just what the company needs to get back on its feet.

In December, Intralot SA posted dismal Q3 results, recording a 65.8% drop in profit year-to-date. Despite the disappointing financials, the company’s management remained optimistic, pointing to the positive effects of its ongoing re-organization efforts. Furthermore, rising inflation, interest rate hikes, and economic instability likely harmed Intralot’s bottom line.

Despite such ongoing challenges, the lottery provider continues to pursue expansion opportunities. In December 2022, the company penned a 5-year sports betting contract with the Ohio Lottery Commission, pledging to provide retailers and customers in the state with its critically-acclaimed solutions. February saw another vital milestone for Intralot as the company partnered with NeoGames to enhance Brazil’s Loteria Mineira.

The recent successes are a breath of fresh air for Intralot as the company tries to regain momentum. February’s change of CEO had Nikolakopoulos Nikos take the reins, hoping to capitalize on his vast management experience. With Richard Bateson stepping in as CCO, Intralot is ready to capitalize on its favorable position.

The New CCO Should Be a Valuable Addition

Bateson’s extensive experience in the lottery industry makes him a perfect fit for the position. He spent most of his career with Camelot, which managed the UK national lottery. Over his tenure there, he rose to the international senior vice president, honing his skills across both sides of the Atlantic.

The new CCO’s resume also includes several other lottery-related advisory positions with companies like Jumbo Interactive and Teneo, culminating with his tenure as executive director appointment at management consulting service provider Hector Consulting. Bateson has over 20 years of relevant experience, which should prove invaluable in his new position.

Bateson is well-respected across the gaming industry. In 2022, he partnered with the European Lotteries, lending his vast industry knowledge to the next generation of lottery talent. He also recently attended ICE London 2023, staying in touch with the most recent gaming technology developments.

Bateson will report directly to CEO Nikolakopoulos as the developer focuses on the booming US market, seeking further expansion. Successful partnerships with retail sportsbooks are instrumental to these goals. With more states legalizing sports betting, Intralot should have more opportunities to repeat its Ohio successes and build its reputation.

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Wynn Resorts Designates ALEC as Wynn Marjan Contractor

Wynn Resorts Designates ALEC as Wynn Marjan Contractor

Wynn Resorts has taken another step toward its goal to recreate the Las Vegas Strip in the United Arab Emirates. The global gambling operator has announced that the main contractor for the construction of the unprecedented Marjan Island property is ALEC Engineering and Contracting.

The contractor, a part of the Investment Corporation of Dubai, was provided with the main contract to turn Wynn Resorts’ vision into a reality. In the meantime, Bauer International will take the piling and enabling works.

Wynn Resorts’ UAE property will be a first-of-its-kind venue in the United Arab Emirates – a region known for its disfavor of gambling. Ras Al Khaimah, one of the emirates comprising the UAE, is currently working on its gambling laws, which will allow Wynn Resorts’ Wynn Marjan to operate.

The emirate will base its rules on tested regulatory frameworks such as the ones in the United States and Singapore.

Wynn Is Optimistic about Its New Property

Wynn Resorts plans to capitalize on being a pioneer in the UAE and recreate the famous Las Vegas Strip in the Middle Eastern country. The company is bullish on this goal as attested by its recent actions, which saw it register “Arabian Strip” and “Marjan Strip” as trademarks.

RAK Hospitality Holding is one of Wynn’s main allies in the region. The local developer will see through the construction work of Wynn Marjan, helping the global operator bring Vegas-styled casino experiences to the UAE.

The UAE, however, is yet to completely overturn its harsh stance on gambling. Establishing the Marjan Stip as Wynn envisions it might prove to be difficult if the UAE refuses to allow gambling.

Despite that, Wynn is determined to finish this project and turn it into a signature property that will amaze locals and tourists alike.

Wynn Resorts Continues to Expand Its International Business

Wynn Resorts remains committed to expanding internationally and conquering new markets with its premium casino resorts and exciting gambling offerings. Despite the setbacks in Macau, the company remained committed to supporting its business in the region throughout the pandemic and even provided its local subsidiary with a $500M loan during the worst months for the local gambling industry.

Wynn Resorts finished 2022 with strong results, which it published last month. The company’s revenues remained more or less the same but it experienced strong EBITDA growth and managed to cut its losses drastically.

Last year, Wynn finalized the sale of Encore Boston Harbor, an integrated resort in Massachusetts.

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Responses of DCMS Gambling Inquiry Published

UK Gambling: Affordability Checks Under Fire Again

Launched in December, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee sought to examine the regulation of gambling in the UK. The Committee invited industry stakeholders such as gambling operators, nonprofit organizations, researchers and other organizations within the gambling sector to answer a series of questions.

The invitation for written evidence was opened through February 10, 2023. It included multiple questions regarding the market in the UK such as “what is the scale of gambling-related harm” in the country, as well as what “should the key priorities be in the gambling White Paper?”

Additional questions included “how broadly should the term, ‘gambling,’ be drawn” and also if it is possible “for a regulator to stay abreast of innovation in the online sphere?” The final question that the DCMS sought to receive an opinion on included “What additional problems arise when online gambling companies are based outside of UK jurisdiction?”

Gambling Operators and Industry Stakeholders Respond to the Inquiry

Now, on Tuesday, the written responses received by the DCMS regarding the Gambling Act review were published by the Public Accounts Committee. Overall, 91 different organizations or individuals submitted a response to the query of the Committee.

Respondents included leading betting and gaming industry operators such as 888 Holdings, bet365 and Bally’s Corporation, among others. Additionally, the DCMS inquiry received written responses from UK Hospitality, Bournemouth University, Channel 4 and The Christian Institute, among other organizations.

The recent publication of written evidence submitted by stakeholders within the gambling vertical comes at a time when the White Paper on the review of the Gambling Act has been delayed multiple times. In fact, by now, the White Paper is known to be in a constant “to be released” soon state, with lawmakers hinting that it will be published shortly. Yet, no solid date is set for the release of the White Paper.

At the same time, the single industry body representing the gaming and betting industry in the country, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), recently released a new study outlining that a majority of gamblers in the UK favor promotions and bonus offers. The study found that 82% of gamblers favored “promotions such as free bets,” while 54% confirmed that a possible ban on such incentives may push users to the black market.

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888poker Player Carlos Pal Pulls MASSIVE $30K Mystery Bounty Prize and Buys…a Pizza!

888poker Player Carlos Pal Pulls MASSIVE $30K Mystery Bounty Prize and Buys...a Pizza!

Earlier this month, “pinvoypuzec” triumphed in the $300,000 guaranteed Mystery Bounty Festival Main Event at 888poker and took home $25,262 for their efforts. However, it was the 14th place finisher that reeled in the overall prize, one worth $35,228 thanks, in part, to capturing a $30,000 mystery bounty before they busted.

The massive mystery bounty winner treated himself to pizza and got straight back on the multi-table tournament grind after padding his bankroll with one of the largest mystery bounty payments 888poker has awarded.

Carlos Pal
Carlos Pal: winner of a $30,000 mystery bounty

Carlos Pal is a software developer residing in Costa Rica, who plays poker part-time. Like many poker players, Pal discovered poker on television and immediately caught the bug.

“I found out about poker maybe 15 years ago,” explained Pal. “I used to watch the WSOP Main Event on ESPN, then Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker.”

From a $100 Bankroll to a $100 Average Buy-in

It has been quite the poker journey for Pal, who started his online poker career grinding $0.55 and $0.82 buy-in tournaments from a $100-$200 bankroll. These days, Pal is found frequenting a wide range of tournaments, with an average buy-in of $100.

The call grinding such because continually playing the same tournaments can become a grind. Thankfully, 888poker being the only online poker site offering daily mystery bounty tournaments added a new element of fun into Pal’s routine.

“I only started playing on 888poker at the end of last year. I noticed they were running daily mystery bounty tournaments, and thought I’d give them a try. I kind of just signed up because I though the 888poker tournament structures were quite good, in general, and playing for mystery bounties on a daily basis sounded fun.”

One such mystery bounty tournament was the $300,000 guaranteed Main Event of the inaugural Mystery Bounty Festival. Pal played in the Main Event, but failed to progress to Day 2, which is when the mystery bounties came into play.

“It was funny because I played an early Day 1 flight and didn’t bag. Then a friend reminded me that there were still four flights left, and he managed to get a nice Day 2 bag, so I fired another Day 1 flight, and thankfully managed bag for Day 2 on the same day. We kept an eye on each other’s tables from then on! Thanks to “Profanic” for reminding me to register; haha cheers!”

Day 2 went very well for Pal, especially when he hit the jackpot after eliminating an opponent, and a mystery bounty worth a whopping $30,000 appeared on his screen.

“When the envelope of the mystery bounty started to slide, I saw a couple of zeros on the right already, so I quickly called my ‘one time,’ and bang, $30,000, hahaha!”

$35,000 Worth of Mystery Bounty Payments

Pal also captured two or three more bounties, including one weighing in at $3,000, before busting in 14th place, narrowly missing out on his goal of not only winning the largest bounty and taking down the tournament.

What would you do with $30,000? Enjoy a lavish holiday? A downpayment on a house? Guess what Pal did?

“I might have indulged myself with pizza for dinner that night, but that’s about it, haha! We just keep on grinding, nothing fancy”

Obviously, Pal is a huge fan of the mystery bounty format and would like you to give them a go at 888poker.

“Mystery bounties are quite the popular format around the globe for a reason; it’s exciting to always sweat that envelope reveal. You can play them daily on 888, so if you enjoy that type of sweat, give them a try.”

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Massachusetts Introduces Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program

Fanatics Suitable for Category 3 License in Massachusetts

Massachusetts recently launched its own sports betting market. Retail wagering went live on January 31, followed by an online launch on March 10. As interest in sports bets grows, the state introduced a self-exclusion program for people who wish to shield themselves from gambling.

The so-called Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (VSE) is a statewide program that allows players to exclude themselves from any kind of wagering for a predetermined amount of time. Joining the program also means that players will forfeit or suspend all their reward points and will be removed from marketing lists.

The program was developed to help people bar themselves from gambling, regardless of their reason. The exclusion scheme, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, represents an agreement between itself, the Massachusetts operators and the self-excluded player.

The VSE allows players to either exclude themselves from casino gaming or exclude themselves from sports betting. The first option will make players unable to enter any Massachusetts casino or play online games, while the second one will prevent them from placing bets on sporting events.

Alternatively, players can pick the dual self-exclusion option to completely bar themselves from gambling. Operators, on the other hand, may extend the exclusion of certain players for a variety of reasons.

If people wish to return to gambling after the end of the exclusion period, they must first complete a brief reinstatement session.

There Are Many Ways to Enroll

There are various ways to enroll in the VSE. One of them is contacting the 24-hour Safer Gaming Education Line. Alternatively, customers can visit GameSense’s website and use the 24/7 chat.

Alternatively, there is a variety of in-person ways in which players can exclude themselves from gambling. Gamblers can schedule an appointment with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission by visiting its headquarters after securing an appointment through phone or email. Players can also visit any GameSense Info Center without an appointment and exclude themselves from gambling there.

When a person opts to join the VSE program, they will be connected with a professional who will help them make an informed decision. To exclude themselves from gambling, players will need to provide a piece of identification with their photo and signature clearly visible. Gamblers will finally be asked to sign a Voluntary Self-Exclusion Agreement and have a photo taken.

Player information is confidential, allowing players to sign the VSA with confidence.

In other news, Massachusetts recently waived some of the restrictions regarding affiliate agreements for sports betting operators.

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