Category Archives: art and entertaiment

Ultimate Texas Holdem – Play This Table Game Against a House Dealer, Raise Up to 4 Times Your Bet

If you like poker but you feel you’re not seasoned enough to compete against other players in a poker room, then Ultimate Texas Holdem may be the table game for you. In this game you play solely against the house dealer, not the other players at the table.

How the Game is Played

The table has positions for up to five players and a house dealer with a standard 52 card deck of playing cards.

Players start by making two bets of equal size in the Ante and Blind Circles. There is also a spot for an optional Trips wager.

The dealer will then give each player and his or her self-two cards face down. S/he will also place five community cards face down on the table.

Players then look at their hole cards and make a decision depending on the strength of their cards to either check, (make no bet) or raise 3X or 4X their ante wager.

The dealer then turns over three of the five community cards. This is known as the flop. After this action, players that checked may make a play bet equal to two times the ante, or check again. Players that already bet may not bet further.

The dealer then turns over the two remaining community cards. All players that checked twice must now make a play bet equal to their ante, or fold forfeiting their ante and blind wagers.

The players and dealer then make their best possible five card poker hand by using their two hole cards and three of the five community cards.

The dealer must have at least a pair to open. If the dealer does not qualify to open, All the players ante bets push. All other bets receive action.

If the player beats the dealer, the play and ante bets win even money.

If the dealer beats the player, the ante, play, and blind bets lose.

If the dealer and player tie, all bets push.

The winning blind bet pays with the following progressive pay table if the player beats the dealer with at least a straight, otherwise it pushes:

Blind Pay Table

Straight – Pays 1/1

Flush – 3/2

Full House – 3/1

Four of a Kind- 10/1

Straight Flush – 50/1

Royal Flush – 500/1

The following optional trips bet pays according to the following pay table even if the player loses to the dealer:

Trips Pay Table

Trips – Pays 3/1

Straight – 5/1

Flush – 6/1

Full House – 8/1

Four of a Kind – 30/1

Straight Flush – 40/1

Royal Flush – 50/1

Strategy

Here’s some simple pre-flop strategy: Raise 4X with any A/2 to A/K.

Raise 4X with suited K/2 to K/4, Q/6, Q/7, and, J/8, J/9.

Raise 4X with any pair of 3’s or higher.

Always make a 4X raise, never 3X.

House Edge

The house edge for this game has been calculated at about 2%. When making the optional trips wager, it jumps to about 3.5%.

When Can Betting Wrong Be the Right Choice? Only in the Casino Game of Craps

Craps strategy for the Wrong Bettor could be the right choice since your chance of winning the roll increases when the shooter sevens out. (Loses the roll). A wrong bettor is usually in the minority and not very welcome at the table. Only about 2% of bettors bet against the shooter.

Wrong Bettor Strategy

Start by selecting a lower minimum table, such as a $5.00 one, and buy in for $120 which will give you a reasonable play session. Ask the dealer for 20 five-dollar chips and 20 one-dollar chips. When the dealer announces the new game by shouting “comin’ out”, place the five-dollar chip on the Don’t Pass Line. Then place three one-dollar chips on the table, directing the dealer to put two-dollars on any seven (payout is 4 to 1), and one-dollar on the eleven, also called the yo’ (payout is 15 to 1). These two plays will keep you in the game on the Come Out roll with the following possibilities:

If the Shooter Rolls:

7 – you win 8, lose 6

2 or 3 – you win 5, lose 3

11 – you win 15, lose 7

12 – you lose 3, the $5 bet pushes

4,5,6, or 8,9,10 – lose 3

The five dollars remains on the Don’t Pass Bar. For example, if a 4 is rolled, your five-dollars is still active. The 4 becomes the point number. As a wrong bettor, you want the 7 to be rolled before the 4, in order to collect your wager.

The Odds Bet

When you place an odds bet as a wrong bettor you’re laying odds instead of taking odds because your chances of winning are now greater than losing. However, it will cost you more to lay the odds.

For example, there are 6 ways to win with a 7: 4,3; 5,2: 6,1: or 3,4: 2,5; 1,6. The three ways to lose with a 4 are 3, 1; 1, 3; or 2, 2. In other words there is a 1 to 2 payoff. You will have to lay $10 odds to collect $5 true odds. The total line bet is $15 ($5 on Don’t Pass; $10 on odds) total win is $10. ($5 for the Don’t Pass, $5 for the odds.)

When you lay your odds bet, place it off center atop your Don’t Pass wager chips. This tells the dealer that you are laying single odds against the point number 4.

Some casinos only offer single odds to wrong bettors. If you are interested in playing double odds, check with the dealer first. It’s advisable to remember that laying double odds as a wrong bettor can become quite expensive, depleting your buy in quickly.

True odds against other point numbers are:

Point Numbers True Odds

4 and 10 – 1 to 2

5 and 9 – 2 to 3

6 and 8 – 5 to 6

While a wrong bettor puts up more to win less, the risk to benefit advantage is that you can win more often.

Odds Strategy

Lay odds bets against the point numbers 4, 5, 9, or 10 only. The 6, 8-point strategy is played differently.

Place Betting
After you lay your odds bet, put $12.00 on the table and tell the dealer to place the 6 and 8.Each time a 6 or 8 is rolled before a 7 you’ll be paid seven-dollars. Press up one time so that you have $12.00 on each number. These numbers are as important to you as a wrong bettor as they are to the right bettor. You want Lady Luck to drop her 6’s and 8’s before your seven is made or the point number is rolled.

If the shooter sevens out, you’ll collect your Don’t Pass wager, but will lose the 6, 8 place bets. If the shooter makes the point, you’ll lose the Don’t Pass wager. The place bets remain on the felt and are still active.

6 and 8 Point Strategy

If the 6 or 8 becomes the point on the come out, use a different strategy. For example, if the 6 is the point, make a $6.00 place bet on the 8. This time do not lay odds. Hedge the point by asking the dealer to make a Hard Way bet on the 6. The hard way is one way only, in this instance a 3 and 3. The hard ways are proposition bets that I don’t normally recommend but in this case, it could be a good hedge.

This bet pays 9 to 1 and the payout is $45 if the shooter makes the point the hard way. Your Don’t Pass wager will lose.

Keep in mind that craps is still a game of pure chance and is best viewed as simply a form of entertainment. When the dice do not confirm your hunches, leave them to play another day.

Three Card Blackjack, a Casino Table Game Where Players and Dealers Never Bust

The blackjack rules for the casino table game of Thee Card Blackjack vary in that the player is dealt three cards instead of two.

How Three Card Blackjack is Played

Three Card Blackjack is played with a standard 52-card deck. The objective of the game is for players to make the best blackjack hand to beat the dealer using two or three of their cards. Players or dealers cannot bust. Standing, Hitting, doubling, and pair splitting are not permitted, and a player blackjack always beats a dealer blackjack, however a blackjack pays even money instead of the traditional 3/2.

There are three betting positions, Ante, Ace Plus (optional side bet), and the Play Bet. Players must first make an ante wager. Also, the ace plus option if he or she chooses. The dealer pitches three cards face down to each player and three cards to his or herself. The two dealer cards are face down; one is face up.

Based on the value of the dealer’s up card, players must make one of two decisions after looking at their cards:

Fold – the ante wager is forfeited, but the ace plus wager if made will remain.

Raise – the player makes a play wager equal to the ante.

Here are some hand examples:

Player #1 – Has an A, 5, 4.

Player #2 – Has a 6, 7, and 9 (player cannot bust, so the 6 is not counted)

Player #3 – Has an A, 3, A

Dealer – Shows an 8-up card and a 10, 6, are face down.

Note that player #1 has a total of 20 (11 for the Ace, + 5 + 4 = 20) this player chooses to raise against the dealer 8. Player #2 has a total of 16 (9 + 7, = 16. The player chooses to fold. Player #3 has a total of 15 (11 + 1 for the two aces, plus 3 = 15.) He or she also folds, but the ace plus bet remains.

The dealer has a total of 18, so player #1 wins even money for the ante, raise, and ace plus bet. Player #2 loses the ante wager and ace plus bet if made, because no ace was dealt in that hand. Player #3 loses the ante wager but is paid 10/1 for two aces.

The dealer must have at least a 17 to open. If the dealer cannot open, the ante and raise bets will push, unless a player has a blackjack, for which even money will be paid. If the dealer can open, the higher hand wins.

Optional Ace Plus Wager

Here is the pay table for the optional ace plus wager, which pays even if the player loses the hand. Pay tables may vary between jurisdictions:

Ace, any, any – 1 to 1

Ace, ten, any – 3 to 1

Ace, ten, ten – 6 to 1

Ace, ace, any – 15 to 1

Ace, ace, ten – 25 – 1

Ace, ace, ace – 100 – 1

Strategy and House Edge

The strategy for a player’s total to raise against the dealer’s up card is as follows:

16 or less – Never raise

17 – Dealer 2

18 – Dealer 2 – 8

19 – Dealer 2 – 9

20, 21,- Always raise

The house edge for Three Card Blackjack is about 2% for the ante and play bets but increases to between 2.5 & 7% for the ace plus bet depending on the jurisdictions’ pay table.

Free Bet Blackjack – The Casino Table Game Where the Dealer Actually Gives You Free Bets

The rules for Free Bet Blackjack are played like the traditional version except for the two variations listed below. The casino uses six decks of cards, the dealer hits soft seventeen, (hand containing an ace +6) a player blackjack pays 3/2, re-split certain pairs up to four hands, and double after splitting is allowed. Here are the two variations:

Variation One

Double Down Rule – A player may double down on hard totals (hands with no ace) of 11, 10, or 9 only. Doubling on other hands is permitted however by doing so the player will not receive the free bet wager offered by the casino.

After a player makes the allowable double down wager, the house then gives the player a free double wager by matching the player’s original bet with a free bet button. If the dealer wins the player only loses his or her original wager. If the hand is a push, the player keeps the original wager only. If the player wins, he or she keeps the original wager plus winnings equal to double that wager.

Variation Two

Pair Splitting – A player may split any pair except 4’s or 10’s up to four times. The player receives one free split wager each time, where the player’s split cards are divided into two one card hands. The player’s original wager is placed on the first card and the second card receives the free bet button. Doubling after splitting is allowed. If the player so chooses to double after the split he or she will also receive a free double wager. For the winning hands, each free bet button is replaced with real chips. For a player loss or push, the house takes back the free bet button(s).

You may wonder why all this generosity? Instead of the dealer busting with a total of 22, where the house would pay winnings to all remaining hands, 22 becomes a push. Therefore, all remaining player hands also push.

Optional Side Wager

Push 22 Side Bet – This is an optional wager where a player may bet that the dealer will push with a total of 22. If the player wins, ascending payouts are made depending on the cards. Here is the pay table:

Suited Dealer 22 – Pays 50 to 1

Same Color 22 – Pays 20 to 1

Any other 22 – Pays 8 to 1

The house edge for Free Bet Blackjack is about 1.0% without placing a Push 22 side wager, but jumps to almost 6% if the option is made.

Strategy for this game is simple. Besides exercising basic strategy, take advantage of every opportunity to free split and free double.

Casino Hold ‘Em: The Poker Table Game Where Players Compete Against the Casino, Not Other Players

Casino Hold ’em is similar to the king of all poker games, Texas Hold ’em. The main difference being players compete against the house rather than other players. It is easy to learn and play, as long as you understand poker hand rankings. Novice players need not worry about being intimidated by other players. First let’s list the face value for each card and the five card poker hand rankings in sequential order:

Face Value of Cards

2 through 10 and Jack, Queen, King, Ace (2 is lowest, Ace is highest)

Poker Hand Rankings

High card – Five cards of different values with mixed suits and Ace being the highest.

One Pair – Two of the same cards such as 2, 2.

2 Pair – Two of the same cards twice, 7,7, & K, K

3 of a Kind – Three of the same cards, K, K, K, (AKA Trips)

Straight – Five cards in sequential order with mixed suits, 7,8,9,10, J

Flush – Five cards with the same suit in any order (5 Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds.

Full House – Trips and a Pair, Q, Q, Q, 8,8, (AKA, Full Boat).

4 of a Kind – Four of the same cards, J, J, J, J, (AKA, Quads).

Straight Flush – Five cards of the same suit in sequential order.

Royal Flush – 10, J, Q, K, A, of the same suit.

How to Play

A standard 52 card deck is used. All players must first make an ante wager before play begins. There is also an optional bonus wager called AA Bonus. The dealer will then deal his or herself two hole cards face down, and place three community cards face up in the center of the table. This is known as the flop. The community cards can be used by all players to complete their hands.

Players examine their cards and must make one of two decisions:

Fold – forfeiting the ante bet.

Call – Make a wager equal to two times the ante bet.

The dealer will then deal two more community cards face up for a total of five, and reveal his or her cards. The players and dealer make their best five card poker hand by using any combination of their own two cards and the five community cards.

The dealer must have a pair of 4’s or better to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify, the call bet pushes and the ante bet will pay according to the pay table listed below.

If the dealer qualifies and player beats dealer, the call bet pays 1 to 1 and the ante bet pays according to the ante pay table below.

If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player loses the ante and call bets.

If the dealer qualifies and ties the player, the ante and call bets push.

Pay tables may vary, below is supposedly the most common one:

Ante Bet Pay Table

Royal Flush – 100/1

Straight Flush – 20/1

4 of a Kind – 10/1

Full House – 3/1

Flush – 2/1

All Other – 1/1

Optional AA Side Wager

The AA optional side wager pays if the player is holding a pair of Aces or better. The bet pays even if the player folded the original hand. Here is the pay table:

Royal Flush – 100/1

Straight Flush – 50/1

4 of a Kind – 40/1

Full House – 30/1

Flush – 20/1

Straight – 10/1

Three of a Kind – 8/1

Two Pair – 7/1

Pair of Aces – 7/1

Strategy

Strategy is rather simple for this game according to gaming Analysts. Only the worst 18% of hands should be folded. Which are two low unsuited hole cards with no chance of a straight or flush when matched with the three-card community flop.

House Edge

The house edge has been calculated at 2.16% for the call wager and 2.97% when making the bonus wager, based on the pay tables listed.

Good Luck!

Casino Games With a Skill Element – A New Genre for Millennials While Playing

The reasons for the influx of skill games in casinos today can be summed up in three little words: Millennials, Millennials, Millennials! We all know what happened when casinos noticed in the early 1980’s that more people were playing slots than table games. While the now oldest of the millennials were having their diapers changed, their baby boomer parents were bypassing the blackjack tables to play the one arm bandits, which now account for over 80% of gaming revenue.

Those that were born in the early 1980’s to the late 1990’s are Millennials that grew up playing video games, and the casinos also took notice that this generation didn’t care to sit in front of a machine that did all the work for them in order to win. They want to be involved to make it happen. This led to the introduction of games of skill at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

Two Companies, GameCo and Gamblit Gaming, introduced their wares at the expo and by all accounts, things look very promising for skill-based games. Other companies, Konami, Scientific Games, and Next Gaming are creating their own versions to attract the Gen Y’s.

Here’s a brief look at what could be coming soon to a casino near you:

GameCo Products

Danger Arena

Skill-based Video Game Gambling Machines (VGM), with patented game design, maintain the same return to player as traditional slot machines. Play as Baz or Thyme to conquer Danger Arena. Take out 6 or more Danger Bots and you’re in the money. Eliminate 10 bots for top payout!

Pharaoh’s Secret Temple

The adventure has begun and players must unlock the riches of the Pharaoh’s Secret Temple by matching gems to collect rare treasures before their time is up. Gamble playing this casual video game with awesome boosts, Power-Up Prizes, charms, and Egyptian-themed traps.

Nothin’ but Net – Basketball

Get ready to hit the courts with a new game. Players can choose from a male or female player and have 16 chances to win big. Your skills will be challenged as you test your range from down-low to downtown. Just don’t miss the money ball!

Gamblit Gaming Products

Cannonbeards Treasure

An adventure awaits in the deep blue as 2-4 players engage in a fast-paced game of cards, skill, and naval warfare! Build a hand by grabbing the cards you need and reach the objective first to win a chest of gold! Be careful not to bust lest your opponent’s take the booty! makes for an extremely social, interactive and satisfying experience that will keep players engaged as they lower the sails and take to the seas!

Gamblit Poker

Grab the best poker hand and win big! This game puts a fast paced, irresistibly fun, skill-based spin on the ubiquitous game of poker. This 2-4-person game makes for a highly social, head to head interactive table experience that can result in cash winnings up to 240x your bet! Each player starts with two cards which, as soon as the game begins, are followed by a single deck of cards shown in rapid succession in the middle of the table. Players have to quickly grab the cards they need in order to complete the best possible poker hand. The player with the best hand wins the pot!

Other games of skill that may soon occupy the gaming floors are Terminator 2, Mission Impossible, and Judgment Day

Keep in mind that these, like any other casino game, carry a House Edge.

Casino Etiquette for Beginners – Top 7 Do’s and Don’ts

Below is our guide of the top do’s and dont’s at the casino. Follow our example and you will master the casino etiquette.

Do:

1. Know your limits
Surely, this is not a behavioural thing, but it will keep you from losing all of your money – believe me, amateurs are really good at blowing their money. You need to know your bankroll in order to play (relatively) stress-free. Because once you have decided the amount of money you are prepared to lose, you will expect the losses you endure, and winnings will be bonuses.

2. Know the rules
Once you learn how to play without blowing all of your money, you need to learn how to know the rules of the games (knowing every casino game is preferred, but you can learn the rules of the games you like the most and stick to them).

So, before you sit at any table, study the game online, watch a video maybe or just watch a real-life game. In addition to not pissing you opponents off, you will also increase your winning chances if you learn the rules of casino games before sitting down to a stable.

3. Know where to smoke
You may not know, but some casinos limit smoking to particular sectors of their venues. There are also those casinos which permit smoking anywhere within the premise. If you are a smoker and you have entered a casino of the latter type, you should always be considerate. Dealers and fellow players may not be smokers, but even if they are, exhaling smoke in their faces is the worst possible thing you can do.

Another thing you should always do is completely extinguish the cigarette you have put out, as otherwise a stream of smoke could rise and enter your fellow player’s personal space, and that is-you guessed it-rude and annoying.

4. Know what to bring
It is essential that you bring a watch and your cellphone to the casino. Most casinos do not feature clocks and windows. Unless you want to spend more time at the casino than you initially expected, you should be able to see what time it is.

As for mobile devices, those can be of use if you get separated from your friends and you need to call them. However, you ought to familiarise yourself with the casino policy – some casinos have a cell-phone policy under which you may be asked to leave the premise if you use your mobile device while playing.

Do not:

5. Believe in superstitions
Most casino games are based on luck. So, even if you get an authentic rabbit’s foot, it will help you win in any way. Do not think that all those weirdos wearing “lucky charms” at the casino are getting lucky because of the charms.

In fact, every bet has no connection to the previous one or the following one – it is a grave mistake to treat bets as successive events. In the end, remember that the house has an edge, and no lucky charm can get you beyond that edge. All you can do is be knowledgeable and be prepared for losses.

6. Drink excessively
Of course, since you are a first-timer, you need a drink to help you relax. But do not let this one drink turn into 100. Excessive drinking will cloud your judgement and you might spend more money than you have prepared in your bankroll. That is not all – while you may be having fun, your opponents at the table probably do not have fun.

7. Be shy
Okay, we said that you need to know the rules of the game before you proceed to playing, right? Well, now we are telling you that if you are not sure about the rules of a particular game, you should ask the dealer for advice. Did we confuse you? We meant that you should not dive in the pool if you have no idea how to swim. Once you have learned how to swim-dive-but let the lifeguard save you from drowning. Even professional swimmers are at risk of drowning, you know, i.e., even professionals need help from time to time. Do not be afraid to ask for advice when you need it.

Gambling Vs Your Brain: Who Wins?

Disputes about whether gambling has a positive or destructive influence on your brain has been going on for a while among both ordinary people and scientists. The latter have done a bunch of studies showing some unexpected results. Gambling is not always a thing that will cause problems for people, it may be even useful for your brain, and life. In this short article, we’ll tell you how games of chance influence your brain.

Gambling as a Cure
Muhammad Ali, Robin Williams, and even Pope John Paul II had one common feature – all of them were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Most of the sufferers showed signs of slowness of movement, shaking, difficulty walking, and thinking problems. So how does Parkinson’s work? It literally destroys dopamine neurons in the brain that control body movement. Dopamine has another property – it’s one of the elements responsible for pleasure. From the point of view of gambling, the gaming process imitates the impact of the drug on your brain. In a nutshell, a person feels better, at least for a while. Of course, there are drugs which may help reduce the effect of the disease, but you need to increase doses every time you take the pill. And in the end, drugs becomes useless.

A Way to Keep Your Mind Young
Youth is something we wish to get rid of at first and then we desire to get it back. We can’t always be young, but at least we can slow down aging by using various innovational methods. As for the human brain, it also gets older with time. And if you want to be clever and witty in your 60s, then you should take care of your mind. The best way to look fresher than your peers is simple – just think and develop ideas.

Studies showed that those who keep their mind busy are much more likely to retain their mental capabilities than those who don’t have any brainstorm activities in their daily routine. Of course, there are plenty of exercises that can help you be a “clever guy” but all of them seem dull and mundane. And finally we’ve reached the major point – what about combining pleasure with utility? Gambling is at your service. And if you think that the previous sentence is nonsense, don’t rush to conclusions.

Almost all table games (Blackjack, Hold’em, etc.) require the use of short term memory. While you’re playing, you have to memorize and count cards. Besides that, keeping a conversation with gamblers, and making up a couple of witty jokes could never do any harm. Summarizing this paragraph, we can firmly say that gambling is a way to look bright in old age. By the way, choosing a proper place to play at is also a big deal. Most of the cool land-based casinos can be found only in certain cities and the ones you have in your hometown may not provide you with the necessary pleasure. Thankfully, nowadays, we can play at online gambling venues. But even when it comes to online casinos, it may be tough to choose the best option, since there are thousands of them. One of the best portals that review casinos and give you a reliable and informative opinion is HolyMolyCasinos. Those guys stand out from the crowd – the information is given in both funny and enlightening ways.

Addiction
Despite the facts listed above, gambling can’t be regarded as a totally harmless pastime, just as medicines can’t always be considered a cure. Games of chance may potentially become as addictive as physical substances. People who are heavily into betting feel an overwhelming desire to play more and more, until they win. And when players hit the right combination, the idea to win even more overcomes them. It seems to be a vicious circle.

The integral part of online casinos is a Self-exclusion program. Players can request this option, which will ban them from the access to a casino. So, if you’re afraid of getting carried away by playing online games, you can always force yourself to stop by reaching out to support agents.

Closing thoughts
We’ve reached the final point – it’s time to sum up everything that’s been said here. We have demolished a myth that gambling is always a “bad guy” and it’s better to stay away from games of chance and luck. Now you know that diseases like Parkinson can be prevented (or even temporarity remedied) by spinning slots, or playing table games. Another advantage is that not only is gambling a good way to spend your leisure time, but also you can retain your mental abilities for the rest of your life. But keep in mind that games of chance and luck may be addictive, and may cause some problems to players as well as their family.

Taxes on Your Gambling Winnings – You Owe Uncle Sam a Piece No Matter How Much You Won

When you’re gambling at a casino, you may win a few bucks here and there and leave with more dollars than you brought with you. It may be as little as $20, or as much as $1,000. When cashing out you were never presented you with a form to declare your winnings to the IRS. If you think you’re home free, think again. As a U.S. citizen, you owe Uncle Sam a piece of the action regardless of the amount. Many players think that just because they were not given a tax form there’re home free. Not so.

So, what does get reported to the IRS? Larger amounts that are won at gambling establishments such as casinos, lottery retailers, horse race tracks and off-track betting parlors. They will issue a form W-2G, one copy to you and one to the IRS. Here are some details:

Machine Games

$1,200 or more won at a slot machine, video poker, video keno, video blackjack, etc. This only applies to a single jackpot payout amount. Accumulated credits are credit meter wins and do not count.

$1,200 or more won at a live bingo game will also trigger a W-2G, and $1,500 or more at a live keno game (minus your wager amounts).

The casino will not withhold any gambling taxes from awards in the $1,200 to $1,500 range provided you present a valid photo ID and social security number. If you do not provide this information, 28% will be withheld.

Live Table Games

Winnings from live table games are not reportable on a W-2G, except if there is a very large prize amount offered for a small wager, such as a dollar bet for a shot at a progressive table jackpot, where the winning odds are over 300/1 and the win is more than $600. For example, Caribbean Stud offers a huge progressive jackpot for wagering only $1, if you’re lucky enough to hit a Royal Flush.

If you win $600 or more in any other wagering game, such as horse, dog racing or sports betting, and the amount is at least 300 times your bet minus your wager amount, the establishment will gift you with a W-2G. If your winnings exceed $5,000 and the amount is more than 300 times your bet, 25% will be withheld. The same withholding percentage also applies to any cash prize of $5,000 or more in poker or other card tournaments minus the buy-in amount.

Winnings on state lottery games such as lotto, numbers, scratch-offs, etc. can be collected at your local retailer up to $600. Any more and you’ll have to visit the main lottery office in your community, where a W-2G also awaits you. This information is from the New York lottery. Other states may have different rules.

Winnings on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests at this time are considered games of skill. DFS sites will issue a 1099-MISC, not a W-2G for winnings of $600 or more.

Video Lottery Terminals (VLT)

$600 or more in winnings from any class II ​Video Lottery Terminal game will also invite a W-2G. This includes any winnings on machines at jurisdictions that are operated by a state lottery. For example, New York State has nine race tracks with VLT’s that are pseudo slot and video poker machines.

Deductions

The good news in all of this is that gambling losses are tax deductible but only up to the amount of your winnings, and only if you itemize deductions on your tax return.

The IRS wants to make sure that you indeed lost what you claim you lost, so a record of all your losses is required. Win- loss statements are available from most major casinos at the end of the year, provided you used your player’s club card when playing machines. Save those losing scratch-off tickets, Lotto, Powerball, and Mega-Millions tickets, daily numbers, Quick Draw, OTB, etc.

For losses on Daily Fantasy Sports contests, the IRS position at this time is unclear. Because of the skill factor, your winnings are in the hobby category. Therefore, any losses would not be deductible, although this situation could change at any time.

You don’t have to record the tickets on your tax statement, but they may be necessary if you are audited. All the IRS wants to know is the type of wager, the amount of the bet and the date of the transaction.

High Five Poker: The Casino Table Game Where the Joker Is Wild

High Five Poker is a casino table game originally developed and marketed by SHFL entertainment. The objective is to have a better five card poker hand than the dealer. If you ever played Pai Gow Poker you’ll find some similarities in that it uses a 53-card deck, where the 53rd card is a Joker. This lone semi-wild card can be used to complete a Straight, Flush, Straight Flush, or Royal Flush; otherwise it can be used as an Ace.

High Five Poker tables are currently at The Brass Ass (real name) Casino in Cripple Creek, CO, which also offers a progressive version.

How High Five Poker is Played

The table has seats for up to six players. Players must first make an Ante wager. The dealer will then deal seven cards face down in a clockwise manner to each player, and seven to him or herself. Each player then examines his or her cards and makes one of the following decisions:

– Fold, forfeiting the Ante bet.

– Discard two cards while keeping the best five card poker hand and make a Play bet equal to the Ante wager.

The dealer then reveals the house cards to make the best five card poker hand. The dealer qualifies if he or she has at least a pair of sixes or against a player who has a straight.

For example, if the dealer has a pair of deuces and player number 1 has a straight, and player number 2 has a pair of three’s, the dealer qualifies against player 1 but not against player number 2. So, what happens to the payouts when the dealer does or does not qualify?

– If the dealer does not qualify, the Ante bet pays even money, and the Play bet pushes.

– If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets lose.

– If the dealer qualifies and is beaten by the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets pay even money.

– If the dealer qualifies and ties the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets push.

The dealer works counter-clockwise when determining the outcome of all of the remaining players’ wagers. The house edge is about 3.6%.

Trips Side Bet

The Trips side Bet pays for a player hand with Three of a Kind or better, regardless if the player wins or loses the hand, according to the following table:

Three of a Kind pays 1/1

Straight pays 2/1

Flush pays 4/1

Full House pays 7/1

Full House (Aces Full) 20/1

Four of a Kind pays 40/1

Straight Flush pays 50/1

Royal Flush pays 100/1

Five Aces (Four Aces w/Joker) 200/1

Pay tables may vary slightly between jurisdictions.

Strategy

The strategy for this game is quite basic in that the dealer does not qualify if he or she has less than a pair of sixes, then you should fold with less than a pair of sixes. Otherwise make a play bet.