Intertops is probably better known for their poker room than their casino or sports book, even though they were the world’s first online sports book. But last week Intertops became part of the Revolution Gaming Network and the largest online poker network in the US. Maybe. Because today players trying to join Intertops are getting a message that Intertops reserves the right to refuse US registrations and that no new registrations are being taken from the US at this time. Now, they haven’t pulled completely out of the US market. Existing US players can still play on the site and it does appear that at least for poker, existing players can invite new players. I haven’t been able to verify this for blackjack, but blackjack players do have more options than poker players.
There is some speculation that Intertops may be planning to reopen to the US market again in the future because they haven’t completely dropped US players and tweeted yesterday that US players would always be welcome. Perhaps they’re having some growing pains or looking for more payment processors for US players. The other possibility is that they want to clean up their act as far as US gambling in hopes of applying for an online poker license or future online casino license. We’ve seen William Hill go through that process with Nevada and they dropped their Australian audience to satisfy Nevada’s desire for squeaky clean poker rooms.
If you’re looking for a good online site that will give you access to both online poker and online blackjack, I recommend Bovada.lv. They have both games as well as a casino available for players. Or check out http://www.best-online-casino.us/online-blackjack-tips.htm for more blackjack help.
Have you played blackjack at a live casino? If you have, there’s a certain pace to the game. This pace will vary depending on the number of players at the table, but even if you sit at a table with just you and the dealer, there’s always a bit of a pause between cards while the dealer reaches for the cards. But online the pace of the game changes. After all, with an online blackjack game, there’s no dealer who has to take part in the action and no other players sitting at the table. You can play as fast as you want.
But be careful because speed isn’t necessarily a virtue. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve learned your blackjack strategy and when you look down at your cards, you know almost immediately whether you need to hit or hold. And that’s a good thing. But there are a couple of other issues you might want to think about.
First, let’s look at a live casino. The big reason to play at a more casual pace here is because comps are decided as much by how much time you spend on the casino floor as the amount you bet. Experienced players know this and they also know to how to spot the pit boss or floor manager and make sure he sees them playing. Of course they don’t hold up the action at the table, but they know the benefit to not rushing the game.
But online there are no pit bosses to watch the action and how fast or slow you play doesn’t make a difference. You can learn about playing blackjack online at blackjackonlinerealmoney.com. Even online there is a bit of a psychological difference when someone plays fast or slow. We may think of fast as showing confidence, that we know what move to make. And it can show that. But in gambling, speedy play may also be a sign of frustration. When a player has suffered a string of losses, they tend to play faster in as they attempt to win back their money.
So, when you find yourself rushing your play, ask yourself if you’re in a rush to win back a loss. Because that will affect your decision making, often causing players to make the wrong decision or sometimes simply to misread the hand in front of them in their rush. It may be time to take a break and go for a walk. You can always come back to the table later when you’ve regained your calm.
Months ago the Department of Justice changed the ruling on the Wire Act of 1961 and said that it only applied to sports betting, not all online betting, a decision that opened the gateway for both federal and state online gambling legislation and which had the csmonitor.com predicting an internet gambling book for the United States. But that boom may be coming slower than some players want and faster than opponents of online gambling want.
First, congress has yet to address the idea of federal online gambling and seems to be quietly leaving this up to the states to tackle first. Which has worked well for some states. Nevada is already issuing online poker licenses. And less well for other states like Iowa which dropped its online poker bill due to lack of interest. And some states are trying to plant themselves firmly in the path of any gambling progress in the country. This would be Utah which has already outlawed all forms of gambling and is now objecting to any potential federal online gambling because they … um, okay, because they’re Utah and that brings up all sorts of reasons.
But New Jersey may be the folks making Utah unhappy. New Jersey plans to have online gambling in line by the end of the year and now they’ve announced that they don’t want to just offer it to residents of the Garden State but across the United States to any state that agrees to join them. So, in effect New Jersey wants to bypass the need for federal online gambling legislation by just filling in that spot themselves. Which could be that boom. Except other states would have to agree to participate and as we’re seeing in California, in many places that means that tribal gambling will have to have its say first.
So, it may not be Utah that keeps up from gambling online, it may be the tribal casinos, who have their own reasons for wanting to keep gambling dollars coming in.
The folks in the United Kingdom are making a change in the way they tax gambling, and I think it’s a method that we may see more places adopting. There are both good and bad aspects to it, but I think the goods might outweigh the bads. I’ve been following the news on sources like telegraph.co.uk
Let’s look at the change. The UK has been taxing gambling based on the “point of origin” which means based on where the casino is located. This is a process that shows the world still hasn’t really adjusted to the internet age but is still thinking in the physical world. Sure, fifty years ago if you gambled, you went to the casino and the casino and you were located in the same spot. So it made sense to tax the business based on where it was located. But now you can play blackjack online real money by just logging into an online casino that may be located anywhere in the world. If the tax is based on where the casino is located, then casinos are going to locate physically in locations with lower taxes. So, the UK wants to change the tax process to tax based on where the activity takes place. So, if the player is located in the UK, the UK wants to collect tax money.
The bad. Well, it’s a tax. Everyone hates taxes. But in this case it is a tax on something that is entirely optional to life. I really have trouble getting too worked up over gambling taxes since they really are on a luxury or optional form of entertainment, unlike petrol or fuel taxes which I have to pay to get to work. On the positive side, the UK says that the change will prevent casinos operating and employing people in the UK from being unfairly taxed when casinos operating outside the UK aren’t. It’s hoped that this move will keep more online casinos operating inside the UK where they employee a number of people from technical experts to developers to phone support operators. These days more employment is good for everyone.
I find advice on setting a blackjack bankroll out on almost every site that discusses blackjack. Now, in my humble opinion (which isn’t all that humble if I have to be honest) most of them get it wrong. Oh, they get it right in the sense that they use mathematical formulas and probability to figure out just how much money you need if you want to sit down at the $5 table or the $25 table. Their advice is sound, given an unlimited amount of money to draw from so you can go sit at the tables. Which is where the advice falls down for the average player.
Blackjack is a bit like poker in the respect that what the pros do may vary significantly from what the regular players do simply because the pros will have a larger bankroll to draw from and will be making their living by risking more money. So, if you’re a blackjack pro, certainly you want to sit down and look at the probability equations and determine how much of your money you’ll need to risk to play at $50 a hand. If you’re a casual player, you’re going to do this the other way around. You’re going to look at how much money you have in your bankroll and use that to estimate which table you can afford to play at. And I can even simplify the math for you — the larger the bankroll in proportion to the size of the wager for each hand, the longer you’ll be able to stay in the game. So, essentially, you’ll always be able to stay at the $5 table longer than at the $50 table because the math works that way.
The critical part of all this is that you don’t want to risk more than you can afford in any session of blackjack. So, first determine your bankroll based on the simple math of deciding how much money you can afford to live without. Don’t risk the rent money, the grocery money, the tuition money, etc. Gambling money comes out of the entertainment budget. If you lose, you might need to see fewer movies that month or skip going out to dinner, but not skip paying the rent. And if you have trouble keeping within that boundary, you don’t need fancy math from a website. You need to contact Gamblers Anonymous. Play well. Play safe.
I’m sometimes asked by people if I think they should play blackjack or video poker in the casino. After all, bith are reputed to have great odds. But is one better to play than the other? To answer the question, I’m going to take a look at both and compare some aspects of them.
Are the odds the same? Well, yes and no. See, the odds in video poker depend on hitting a royal flush, a hand that takes place only about one time in every 40,000 deals. Take away the royal flush and the odds in video poker look more realistically like you’re slowly and steadily losing money. Play a few games of video poker and you’ll probably experience that effect. But in blackjack, the odds are more evenly spread over the game. So, blackjack has more realistic odds. Which makes it the better game – but only if you only consider the odds.
For many players, bankroll is an important factor when considering a game to play. And blackjack takes a larger bankroll to play than video poker. The smallest blackjack bet at a casino is usually $5. The smallest video poker bet is a nickel. So, if you have a limited bankroll, video poker is the better game, especially since your other option might be slots, not blackjack.
Are you a social player? While there is little difference as it pertains to online blackjack, it can be a large factor when playing at land based casinos at public tables with other players. Blackjack tends to draw a more social crowd. If you’re uncomfortable playing this way, you might find video poker more enjoyable. But if you’re the social type, blackjack is going to be your game. So, this one is a tie.
Which brings me to the conclusion that the right game is going to be a personal choice. If you have a decent size bankroll and like playing in a social environment, then head to the blackjack table. If you have a smaller bankroll or are the shy type, head to the video poker machines.
Okay, let’s discuss the incontinent elephant in the room – Facebook. Yes, I have an account. I’m a writer when I’m not gambling and every writer I know has a Facebook account. I also have a twitter account, but that’s a conversation for a different time. See, Facebook has indicated it’s going to make an effort to enter the online gambling market. Now, not in the US, where it would run into trouble. But in the UK and other potential markets.
Now this probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. Facebook is already known for its games. Have you played them? If not, let me explain them. Most of Facebook’s games are “clicky” games built around socializing. In Farmville you grow virtual crops and send friends gifts. It sounds harmless enough, except the game is designed to keep you returning to Facebook on a regular basis or your crops die. It’s not a strategy based game like blackjack. But Zynga, the company that runs Farmville also offers Zynga Poker. You can play it online today because it’s not a real money game. Players are given a number of credits each day and can play with those. If you lose all your credits, you will get more the next day. But if you want to keep playing, you can actually purchase credits with your credit card. Now, let me be clear – you pay real money to play a poker game for fake money. If you win, Zynga and Facebook don’t give you anything except credits to keep playing the game.
So you can see why a strong poker player might decide they’d be better off playing in a real online poker room. So if Facebook offered real online gambling, they’d be able to attract players who like to play for real money and win real money.
But would you be comfortable gambling on Facebook? It seems like every week brings a new privacy concern for the site. And they have a habit of announcing everything users do to everyone else. Look, right now if I play online blackjack, it’s my business. I don’t want a social network announcing how much I won or lost to all my friends, acquaintances and advertisers who want to know if I suddenly have money.
The online casino giant bwin.party has been in the news recently with their work to reenter the US gambling market. In fact, the online casino giant will become even more of a giant with an announced partnership with MGM Resorts Entertainment and Boyd Gaming. The partnership is part of the bwin.party’s effort to reenter the US market. An effort that was even discussed in this WSJ article: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110831-704007.html
Now, the reentry of the popular Bwin.Party brand (or brands for this who remember Bwin.com and PartyPoker as separate sites) would be good news for US players since Party Poker was once the most popular online poker room in the US. But the news is good for Blackjack players also. And couple with it is the news that Bwin.Party has announced a new “Instant Play” casino.
There are generally two potential methods to use when playing at an online casino. One is to download the casino software and install it on your computer. This is actually the preferred method since it provides access to all the casino’s games and tournaments. But it also requires that the player be at a computer where they have the ability to install software. Many casino have instant or webplay options for their casino which allows a player to sign on to a web version of the casino with access to many of the casino’s games. This allows players to play from computers that may not be their own or to check out the casino before they install the software on their computer. And Bwin.Party has just set up their own “instant casino” that offers players to 75 or more games, including blackjack.
Look, I’m not going to believe this news until I see it on something like http://www.msnbc.msn.com/ but the news on the gambling sites is that Full Tilt may have finalized a deal with Groupe Bernard Tapie. Look, even bloggers who deal in reporting unverified, uncertain news are having trouble coming out and reporting this news. Yes, that’s how secure the fate Full Tilt Poker is — the bloggers won’t believe the news even when it comes from the source. Look, if the head of Full Tilt Poker called me right now and told me the deal was really happening, I’d tell him I’d believe it when I heard it from a reliable source, like Twitter.
See, Full Tilt’s problem is that they’ve so damaged their reputation that they’re no longer a good source of information about themselves. Or anything else. But oddly, this doesn’t mean that poker players are against Full Tilt Poker. This is perhaps a surprising thing. Despite being soundly trashed on many sites for their really poor money management skills, players really still remember them when they were a great site to play poker on. And they want them back in that position.
So, what does this have to do with blackjack? Well, the problems that online poker has been facing that resulted in the Black Friday Poker Shutdown of four sites by the US government and the crash of Full Tilt Poker are being felt by the entire online gambling world. We need strong legislation and oversight to make sure that sites are operating properly and that players are protected from bad business decisions. Because gambling is risky enough already.
Today I want to take a look at what goes into a blackjack bankroll. Now, it may seem that the most important part of playing blackjack is the strategy. Now strategy is a critical part of blackjack, and we at blackjackonlinerealmoney.com recommend that you practice and follow a sound blackjack strategy when you play. But often people talk about strategy and forget to explain the importance of bankroll.
Here’s what you need to think about when it comes to bankrolls and blackjack. While a good blackjack strategy can turn the odds in your favor, you can’t walk into the casino and expect to win every hand and turn a quick profit. The odds stretch over time which is what your bankroll needs to be prepared to do. Now, in many casinos the lowest bet you’ll find at the blackjack table is $5. So, if you hit a blackjack table with $100, you can play 20 losing hands before you’re out. Now, yes, you should win some of those bets but you’re only giving strategy 20 chances to win. If you play with a $500 bankroll, then you can play 100 hands to give the odds time to kick in.
This is important to consider before sitting at the blackjack table. Do you have a large enough bankroll to last through a short term downturn? Or even a long term bad streak. If you have $500 dollars, do you want to jump in to the $20 table, which you’d think you could or do you want to play at the $5 or $10 table where you have more “wiggle room” when it comes to losing. Bankrolls — they’re important to think about before you play.