A Beginners Guide to Navigating the Casino Without Losing Your Shirt

Joshua P. Igo

Joshua P. Igo

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She pulled out three $20 bills and gingerly placed them on the felt, confessing to the dealer this was her first time playing the game.

One of the built-in advantages for a player is that blackjacks traditionally pay 3-to-2, or $15 for a $10 bet. Those who follow basic strategy can reduce the house edge to 0.5 percent or less, making it the closest thing to an even-money game the casino offers. Many are tied to popular movies, TV shows or musical artists – think “Lord of the Rings” or “Pawn Stars” or Dolly Parton – or even games such as Wheel of Fortune, Monopoly and Battleship. At that game, the player with a blackjack gets paid only $12 for a $10 bet.

Slot machines appeal to people looking for a pressure-free way to pass the time. Some games have surround-sound chairs for what manufacturers call “immersion” gaming.

READ: 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Paying Off Debt

“You know what you should do now?” the dealer asked, barely suppressing a smile as he prepared to deliver the punch line. A cynical adage holds that casino executives figure that whatever you bring through the door is theirs – you just happen to be holding it for the moment. Some want a four-star restaurant and a live musical.

However, that doesn’t mean you should just throw your money away on long shots. Smart gamblers find a game they enjoy and learn the strategies that reduce the house edge as much as possible.

A penny machine is a misnomer. Casinos have evolved into one of the country’s premiere entertainment options. If you go out for dinner and a show, you know how much that’s worth to you. As a rule of thumb, the easier a game is to play, the higher the house edge.. Use your players club card whenever you gamble there. The casino gets its cut by collecting a “rake,” typically $4 or $5, out of every pot.

The black-haired woman nervously thumbed through her purse as she took the end seat at the blackjack table. Dollar machines pay out more than quarter machines, and quarter machines pay out more than nickel machines.

Just bear in mind that you’re there to have fun. Never play them. Slot players don’t have to worry about making the “right play” or doing something that could affect other gamblers. They want to gamble but they’re not exactly sure what to do.

Many books and Web sites teach basic strategy for blackjack. Players have the option of hitting or standing, while the dealer must follow specific rules — generally, he must hit if the total is 16 or less and stand with a total of 17 through 21. Those include Three Card Poker, Let It Ride Blackjack Switch and Spanish 21. A rule of thumb is that the higher the base denomination, the less the house advantage. The RNG’s sole function is to spit out groups of numbers. She put out the $10 minimum bet and was dealt a two-card 20 for her first hand. Never bet with money you need for the mortgage or medical bills. In some games, all the players on a group, or “bank” of machines might share in a bonus round. Slot players put their cards into the machine; table game players present their cards to the dealer.

If you find yourself ahead after a couple of hours of fun, then remember the dealer’s advice for the nervous blackjack player: Run for the hills!

Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, the most important fact about a casino is this: The house always has the edge, no matter what game you play. A few favorites: www.WizardOfOdds.com, www.bj21.com, www.BJInsider.com, and authors Stanford Wong, Henry Tamburin and Arnold Snyder.

Regardless of what you might hear elsewhere, there is no strategy for winning at a slot machine.  

Blackjack, if you take a few minutes to learn the basic strategy of when to hit or stand.

Video Poker, if you make the effort to look for good pay tables and learn simple guidelines for which cards to keep and throw away.

Baccarat, including the “mini” form found on the main casino form.

Craps, a game that looks more complicated than it actually is.

Many people making their first casino trip or trying out a new game are like that uneasy blackjack player. You could hit a big jackpot or you could lose your buy-in within a few minutes.

READ: The Downsides of Winning a Powerball Jackpot

Casinos also offer a variety of “carnival games” that are variations of poker and blackjack. Some folks are comfortable eating at a chain restaurant and catching a matinee. The answer depends on your own assessment of how much you’re willing to spend for a night at a casino. Some machines let you choose the value of a credit, such as 25 cents, 50 cents, $1 or $2. Slots can account for 70 percent or more of the money casinos make from gambling.

Casinos offer a variety of games to entice everyone from those dreaming of a life-changing jackpot to people simply enjoying a night out.

Poker is popular, but it differs from all other games because you play against other gamblers rather than against the house. You should be mentally prepared to lose it all.

Blackjack is the most popular card game by far. Casinos make more money from slots than from any other game. The number combination generated at the instant you hit the spin button determines what symbols will be displayed and whether you win or lose.

Slot machines are the easiest and most popular form of casino gambling. They’re generally easy to learn and play.

“No problem,” he assured her. “Run! Run for the hills while you’re ahead!”

When you enter any casino for the first time, head to the players club booth and join. The goal is to beat the dealer. In the short run, anything can happen. In other words, for every $100 put into machines throughout the casino, the machines return an average of about $90 over the long run. Many players mistakenly think the object of blackjack is to get a hand as close as possible to a total of 21 without going over. The vast majority won’t. The machine itself is the entertainment. Each number corresponds to a specific symbol on the display. With slots, the outcome is determined by a computer program called a random number generator, or RNG. The process is simple: Push a button; win or lose; repeat. It’s all pure luck, as opposed to skill games such as blackjack and poker. Sure, some players will win big. This was a friendly table, he said, and he or the other players would be happy to help a novice. That’s not right. Over the long run, the casino will win because of how the games are structured.

When you plan a casino trip, figure out how much you’re willing to spend for that night’s entertainment. Although each credit is worth only one cent, players can wager as much as $3 a spin by playing multiple pay lines and more than one credit per line.

Before you put money into a slot, check the machine’s display to see how much one credit is worth. Some casinos offer games that pay 6-to-5 for a blackjack. Take what you are comfortable spending. Her blackjack fling started with a victory.

Games with a low house edge include:        

One question all casino visitors ask themselves is how much money to take. So if the dealer’s up-card is weak — especially a Four, Five or Six — it’s better for a player to stand on a “stiff” hand of 12 through 16 than trying to hit and get closer to 21.

Finding yourself amid the thousands of games, dealing with the noise, lights and other casino distractions, and ogling the vast amounts of money and chips can intimidate anyone.

The house advantage on slots can vary by casino, but typically it’s about 10 percent. That can range from a penny to several hundred dollars. Since blackjacks will come at the same rate at each type of game — once in about every 21 hands — playing at 6-to-5 table costs you about $6 an hour.

READ: Tips and Tricks for Traveling to Las Vegas

The challenge for bettors is to find a game that they enjoy and that has a house edge they’re comfortable with. The card makes you eligible for offers of discounted or free food, hotel rooms or other amenities based on the amount of your play. About 27 percent of Americans visit a casino at least once a year, according to the American Gaming Association, and that number grows as legalized gambling continues to expand beyond the traditional centers of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Slot manufacturers spend millions of dollars to make machines that entice people play longer. If you “bust” by going over 21, you lose even when the dealer also busts, because the dealer is the last to act


Reports: Donald Trump lied about gaming and Florida casinos

Joshua P. Igo

Joshua P. Igo

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Trump did push for it.

“It was pretty clear Jeb Bush wasn’t interested in casino gambling,” Thrasher said.

Bush said during the debate that he can’t be bought by donors and used Trump as an example.

“The bottom line is Donald Trump was interested in casino gambling in Florida, I can tell you that for a fact,” said former Florida House Speaker John Thrasher, who, according to AP, said he met with Trump twice and talked about the issue, once in New York and once in Trump’s Palm Beach Mar-A-Lago resort. The Seminole Tribe did open the Hard Rock Casino in 2004, but it did so with poker rooms, bingo and machines that looked like slot machines but were based on bingo. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, United States, September 16, 2015.

Former Florida State Sen. “It’s not even a secret.”

The casino dispute comes amid signs that Trump’s appeal may be lagging.

Republican U.S. The tribe wanted real slot machines and card games, such as blackjack and tried negotiating a compact with Bush.

“If I represented him then, I would have said, ‘Save your money. “Taxes would be able to be reduced substantially and Miami is the only place that Las Vegas is really concerned about–in the United States.”

Bush never did agree to expand the games. “If Miami doesn’t do casinos, that would be a terrible mistake,” Trump told The Miami Herald in 2013. That deal eventually fell through, but not before Trump pushed Florida leaders to come to an agreement. They didn’t and Trump’s plans fell through.

At the time, early in Bush’s first term, Trump was working with the tribe on a deal to manage what’s now the Hard Rock Casino. Citing Predictwise, Politico reports Trump’s likelihood of winning the nomination has also dipped.

According to Politico, mentions of Trump on both television and radio have been trending downward, as well Twitter conversation relative to other candidates.

Lobbyist Brian Ballard, who backs Bush and who represents Trump’s business interests in Florida, agreed that if Trump had asked Bush to support casinos, Bush would have said no.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Jones said Trump also said he wanted to be a player if Florida ever approved destination casino resorts, which Trump is still interested in.

“I kind of smiled a little bit when Trump was saying it, that if he wanted it, he would have gotten it. Bush replied, “No way, man.”

When it was pointed out to the Trump campaign that he actually was interested in casinos during the Bush administration, spokeswoman Holly Hicks said by email, “Mr. Dennis Jones was at Thrasher’s second meeting with Trump, along with another state senator, Jim King, and he confirmed Trump wanted to talk about casinos. “I knew that Jeb had no interest in introducing casino gambling in Florida and I politely told Fred that I could not and would not arrange a meeting with Jeb.”


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Trump in the past has boasted that he’s influenced elected officials by giving them political donations, and Bush raised the casino issue to make the case that Trump couldn’t buy his allegiance.

But “personally” is a technicality. Trump never asked Jeb Bush personally to approve casino gambling.”

Trump’s on-again-off-again consultant, Roger Stone, told Politico Wednesday night that Trump technically withdrew from his deal with the Seminoles before Bush became governor.

News articles across Florida have documented Trump’s interest in getting a piece of Florida’s gaming industry – from hiring lobbyists to taking a former business partner to court, according to Politico.

Bush, who served as Florida governor from 1999 to 2007, staunchly opposed casino gambling. It doesn’t work that way in Florida,” Jones said. Donald Trump retorted, “I did not.”

Before Bush took office, Trump was making plans for a Miami Beach casino if Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment. Now Trump wants to bring a resort casino to his Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami if lawmakers decide to expand gambling — an issue that comes up every year in Florida, but which the Republican-dominated Legislature continually rejects.

Politico is also reporting that Trump fever may be dying down. The two have hired the same high-powered lobbyist to bring full-scale casino gambling to the state.” Trump had hired former Florida statehouse speaker Mallory Horne to lobby on gambling issues for him.

As it turns out, Trump wanted casino gambling in Florida and failed to get it under Jeb Bush’s administration, despite donating money to the state Republican party and to Bush, the Associated Press (AP) and Politico report.

After Bush was elected and before he was sworn in, lobbyist Fred Baggett repeatedly tried getting a meeting with Bush to push the compact.

“He wanted to meet Jeb directly to discuss casino gambling,” said Bobby Martinez, who was the lead lawyer on Bush’s transition team. The business magnate contributed $50,000 to Bush and also held a $500-a-person fundraiser for him.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

. His successor, then-Gov. presidential candidates businessman Donald Trump (L) and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush talk simultaneously during the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. Thrasher, now president of Florida State University, said during both meetings Trump pushed for Florida to sign a compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to allow casino gambling.

“The one guy that had some special interests that I know of that tried to get me to change my views on something that was generous and gave me money was Donald Trump. The stumbling block? Bush.

The St. “I don’t think Jeb would have allowed it and I don’t think the Legislature would have passed it.”

While Bush was in office The Seminole Tribe wanted to open the Hard Rock Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa and Trump wanted to manage them. Petersburg Times writes, “Trump has teamed up with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Petersburg Times, published an article on June 18, 1998, with the headline, “Trump supports Indian casinos.” In the article, the St. Jeb Bush is not going to be for destination resorts,” Ballard said.

“Donald Trump has tried almost every year to have a casino, even before Jeb was governor,” said Danny Adkins, president of Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach to Politico. — Jeb Bush said during Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate that Donald Trump wanted casino gambling in Florida. He wanted casino gambling in Florida,” Bush said.

As CNN recently reported, Trump donated to Bush’s 1998 gubernatorial campaign while he was actively lobbying to change gambling laws in Florida. Charlie Crist, did sign a compact allowing card games and slot machines, and the casino has become extremely successful.

“I promise, if I wanted it, I would have gotten it,” Trump claimed, during the exchange


The Negative Influences of Media on Society You Never Thought About

Joshua P. Igo

Joshua P. Igo

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Newspapers, television and the Internet are used to convey social messages. Advertisements carry subliminal messages influencing buyers’ psychology, or carry direct messages that bear a negative influence. News sources often bombard you with the same negative stories over and over again, in order to increase the impact. Thus, all the time, you are glued to some form of media. The media does play a role in portraying thin as beautiful and fat as ugly. When this thought grips the minds of youngsters, they take to fad diets or turn to cosmetic surgeries to get that so-called perfect body. An inferiority complex and lowered confidence in people with not-so-perfect bodies can lead to eating disorders. An early exposure to bold or violent films, books publishing adult content and news portraying ugly social practices has a deep impact on young minds. This is leading teenagers to adopt unhealthy eating habits. But there are advertisements of expensive exercise equipment, and weight and fat loss programs. No one’s propagating the importance of exercising to keep fit. Aren’t there ghost and vampire stories that media claims as real? These characters enter our world through books and movies. Media is exposing the masses to fast food products, canned food, fad diets, and energy drinks. This leads to a notion that thin is sexy and fat is not. The impact of media is such that the wrong, the controversial, and the bad is more talked about. And that’s how impactive media is.

You want to imitate an action sequence just because your favorite action hero looked ‘cool’ doing it. Instead, watch good programs that carry healthy content, engage in positive activities, and encourage others to do the same. Haven’t you had experiences of a bad dream after watching a violent movie? Or of imagining something scary happening to you after watching a horror film? Or a sudden fear gripping your mind after reading about a murder in your city? The reality should be depicted but not so gaudily that it’ll have a lasting impact on people’s minds.

Health Problems

Your role models are people that the media exposes you to. With the intent of stressing their point or for grabbing greater attention from the masses, media hypes or exaggerates things to a certain degree. Media is everywhere, affecting every aspect of life.

Wrong Message

Changed Outlook

Information Overload

Media has negative effects on the physical and psychological well-being of society. It has led to a general opinion that size-zero is the in thing and fat and chubby are out. Adults may have the maturity to distinguish between the good and the bad, but bombarding only the bad can affect anyone at least at the subconscious level. They will only make the negative influence of media more obvious.

The negatives in society are highlighted with the purpose of awakening people about them. Sometimes, little things are blown out of proportion thus changing the way they are perceived by the audience. You want to wear the shade of nail polish Lady Gaga wears for that frantic gaga look. Depiction of the bad has a negative impact on kids not mature enough to interpret what they are being shown. The masses fall for this being-in-the-news and end up imitating celebrities without much thought. You want to do everything that people from the glamor world do, you want to be like your favorite celebrity. Any publicity is good publicity, you begin to feel.

Right-or-Wrong Dilemma

The media has, in its own way, changed people’s outlook towards life. And there are so many things you see around you, without choosing to watch them. Media influences them negatively. With a ‘world’ of information and entertainment waiting on the other side of a computer or TV screen, it’s not unnatural for anyone to spend hours exploring it; it’s addictive. Those at a vulnerable age, especially children and teenagers, are highly influenced by anything that is put before them in a jazzy way. It is bombarding you with content, news, information, gossip, rumors – it is exposing you to everything it has, some things necessary, some not; some things important, some not, some things you want to ignore, some things you cannot. As a responsible adult (parent or teacher), exercise control on the media exposure that kids and teenagers get. Media influences public opinion and impacts the choices that people make. The bad is overinflated and the good goes unnoticed. You want to be someone, but not yourself! And now you say media does not influence you! Oh come on, it surely does! Mass media does affect the way in which masses think and act. But the negative effects are not conducive to a healthy society. What is shown with an intent to ‘spread a message’ ends up becoming a bombardment of the bad, the ugly. Parents and teachers have a big role to play in selecting what the young should see and what they should not.

When you try to imitate your role models from the glamor industry, do you give a thought to whether you are doing right or wrong? It is often seen that young girls and boys imitate celebrities blindly. There’s no one advertising the benefits of eating fresh fruit everyday, no one’s promoting drinking 8 glasses of water daily. You want to wear the LBD just because you are a fan of Coco Chanel. It influences their behavior both positively and negatively.

Media portrayals give rise to stereotypes, affecting your mindset. The negative effects of media on children are manifested in terms of their changing mental setup and the declining quality of their lifestyle. Children should invest more time reading good books, studying, playing outdoors and exercising. Just like them, even you want to be in the news. You ask me why? Well, because there are these junk food advertisements everywhere. Use your judgment before following or falling for anything. The craze for models or actors and actresses, makes teenagers want bodies and facial features like theirs. Put things in perspective, and don’t let the media influence you to do the wrong things.

Media Addiction. Media sources are so many in number and all of them so convincingly make their point, that it is hard to distinguish between right and wrong. At that age, they are attracted to anything that’s flashy and anything that can make news.

Fact-Fantasy Confusion

The media in itself is so addictive that once glued to it, you tend to forget everything else. In a survey done on fifth graders by the National Institute on Media and the Family, it was found that kids had become dissatisfied with their bodies after watching a video of a certain very popular artiste and a certain scene from a popular TV show (names omitted on purpose).

The media is so overwhelming that the masses end up believing everything it says/shows. Media claims to depict the ‘today’, but not all types of media show only the truth. This affects kids and teenagers the most, as they are exposed to things they might interpret wrongly or may not even understand at that age.


Unhealthy Lifestyle

Blind Imitation

To some extent, media is responsible for generating negative feelings among those exposed to it. To get rid of a big nose or to get those big pouty lips, teenagers are ready to go under the knife.

While a certain amount of exposure to media is essential for introducing ourselves to the world outside, excessive exposure, uncontrolled access and belief without thought won’t lead us anywhere. But unfortunately sometimes, the message is misconstrued. Here, we will try to understand how media influences us negatively.


Media is held responsible for the change in eating habits of teenagers and the unhealthy lifestyle they are adopting. The positive effects are surely celebrated by one and all. Due to the oh-so-alluring media, most of their time is spent glued to the television, reading celebrity gossip, listening to something sensational or wandering aimlessly on the Internet. This can, and has led to increasing cases of anorexia. For example, the negative effects of addiction are portrayed through advertisements. When you are not watching TV, you are surfing the Internet, when you are not on the web, you are reading newspapers, when you are not reading anything, you are listening to something. How far do we go to check its authenticity? How deep do we dig to get to the root of something that’s making news? How critically do we judge the reality of reality shows and the truth behind true stories? We don’t think, we believe. It’s not just media to be blamed in this case. Sometimes, small incidents or events in the lives of celebrities and politicians are hyped, in order to make them more sensational. It’s not possible to insulate yourself completely from the effects of media, even if you limit the exposure. You want to sport your favorite actors’ hairstyles and you want to walk like those ramp models do. But isn’t it too much to blindly believe that they exist? Fiction is amusing only till the distinction between fact and fiction is clear. People spending hours in front of a television or surfing the Internet experience eye problems. Lack of physical activity leads to obesity problems. Not everyone is able to filter that element. But media did play a role in propagating these characters and making them seem real. The benefits of following a balanced diet are not being hyped anywhere. When the two worlds mix, life becomes difficult.

The Solution

The solution to avoiding the negative influence of media lies in limiting media exposure and choosing what to watch. The media is constantly bombarding us with information. There is no denying their amusement value or entertainment quotient. This makes the overweight feel out of place. The reel entertains only till its difference from the real is understood. They are ready to starve themselves to lose weight. If children are bombarded with fight sequences, stunt work, sex and rape scenes, suicides and murders through books or movies, they are bound to leave a scar on these impressionable minds. So there is a section positively influenced by the media while there are others who take the wrong message from it. We don’t judge, we get influenced. And not just children, the unpleasant can impact even an adult’s mind. The only way to shield yourself from them, is to not allow them to influence you. Most believe everything to be real, especially kids and teenagers.

Vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts – where did they come from? Fairies, superheroes, angels – where did they come from? It’s not only media to be blamed, as these characters belong to folklore. Watching TV or browsing the web late night is spoiling the sleeping habits of many.

Women with petite bodies and girls with a barbie figure are always shown to be more popular or attractive while the overweight are portrayed as less popular, having less friends and being bullied. Media highlights controversies and scandals in the lives of celebrities. Don’t believe in them without thinking. Media is the interface through which millions look at the world outside. The ‘awakening’ does not reach everyone or it reaches the masses in the wrong way. Don’t take media portrayals by their word. Refrain from watching such programs or news