Introduction to Baccarat

For many years Baccarat was the game that was played only by the “whales” or the gaming elite as most casinos only offered baccarat at high stakes. Now virtually anyone can sit down at a table and play for as little as five dollars a bet.

A baccarat table can hold as many as 14 players at one time and is played in a similar fashion to blackjack. Betting in baccarat is as simple as it gets: you can bet on the hand of the banker (the house), the hand of the player, or a tie. Think of a coin toss; heads or tails, player or banker. Because the banker has a slight edge in betting most casinos take a 5% commission when paying out winning wagers and player and banker bets pay a ratio of 1:1. Ties are uncommon and though they pay 8:1, odds are generally not a good place to put your money.

Choosing which side to bet on is as easy as looking at the table and putting your chips down. Two cards are dealt to both sides and the hand begins. To understand how the game is played from here it is important to know how a hand is calculated: cards from 2-9 are worth their face value, 10-King are worth zero, and Aces are worth one. In addition, any hand with a point value exceeding 10 simply drops the first digit. For example, a hand that totals to 12 is only worth two points.

If an 8 or a 9 is dealt this is called a “natural” and is treated just like blackjack. If the point value of the hands are lower than this then a third card is usually dealt to decide who the winner is. The rules for the dealing of the third card are complicated but not necessary to know as they are always handled by the dealer.

Playing baccarat is easier than playing blackjack in many ways as there is only one decision for you to make: where to bet. After that if you know the basic rules you can play for as long as your money, or your luck, lasts at the table.

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Microgaming Does it Again, Just in Time for Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and Microgaming is doing their part to boost Christmas spirit all around. Set to release in December, their new Secret Santa video slot is the perfect festive game for all levels of players and all budgets. After a busy day of work and Christmas shopping for loved ones, don’t forget to kick back and treat yourself – you deserve it. Secret Santa is the perfect way to give yourself a holiday gift that will give your holiday cheer a boost that will last for weeks.

The Secret Santa video slot is chock-full of exciting features for you to enjoy, such as 1,024 Ways to Win, that offer more chances than ever to win big. Bonus features like Rolling Reels makes rows of winning symbols explode, making room for more symbols to fall down – which means more chances for additional winning combinations. Mystery Multiplier multiplies all wins by x5 or x10, and four Dashing Wilds can land in random positions. Wild Reels can turn up to five reels wild, while a Wild Boost will turn a random symbol wild.

Video slot games are highly popular casino classics, and Secret Santa promises to delight beginners and seasoned experts alike. With its numerous bonus features and top of the line 3D graphics, Secret Santa is sure to be your favourite holiday treat. Whether you are a first-time slot player or a long-time expert, this is a fun, exciting game you are sure to love. It is easy to play, full of holiday spirit, and perfect for any budget with a betting range from .50 to 25.00. The Secret Santa video slot is a winter wonderland full of ways to increase your winnings. There’s no better way to feel merry this Christmas season.

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Racing for Pinks – the speediest of online casino games coming this November!

One of the best things about online casino games, and online slots in particular, is that there is always a wide range of themed games available to play. Motor racing is always a good fit with slots, given the speedy nature of the gameplay and this November, a brand new Microgaming slot will be released in the best online casinos.

The game is Racing for Pinks and as the name suggests, is themed on American muscle car racing and the name is based on the practice of young drivers facing off against each other in their souped-up vehicles, to race for the pink ownership papers. The winner taking not only the bragging rights, but the ownership of the losers vehicle.

This 5-reel 243-payline slot offers action from just 0.30 credits up to 90 credits per spin and as such is an ideal choice for the beginner or low stages player, or the more experienced higher stakes players.

Part of that attraction is the game play. The sheer number of wilds, scatters, multipliers and other bonus symbols mean that there is always a chance of hitting something on every spin.

While the base game is brought to life by plentiful winning combinations, especially when used with the Wild, it is the two additional features which really catch the eye.

The Free Spins Girl appearing on reels one and five triggers a 5x multiplier on any winnings over 30 free spins. While landing the Bonus Race symbol on those same reels gives you a chance of winning the Grand Prize!

Simply select the winner of each of five races and progress through the levels. Correctly predict all five and you win the Grand Prize plus a multiplier which can be as much as 175x the original amount!

Racing for Pinks roars into online casinos from November 6th, so why not see if this fabulous new Microgaming slot can rev your engine?

Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Hands

Texas Hold ‘Em is a variation of classic Poker gameplay, meaning that, while the mechanics of the game may differ from more traditional variants like Five Card Draw or Seven Card Stud, the strategies of the game remain largely unchanged.

In the simplest terms, the goal of Texas Hold ‘Em is to repeatedly assemble the best five-card hand at the table. Texas Hold ‘Em Hands, therefore, are judged and ranked in traditional Poker fashion. The best hand a player can compile is a Royal Flush, or a hand of 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, all in the same suit. From there, hands rank as follows (from best to worst): Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair and High Card.

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A ‘flush’ refers to a hand that contains five different cards of the same suit. If two players bet until the end of a hand and both reveal a flush, they will always split the pot. No suit is considered ‘better’ than another and no flush can beat a similar hand unless it is also a straight. In a straight, the cards count up in a five-number series with no breaks (e.g., 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7). The cards can be compiled from any suit, and the highest straight (the one that begins or ends on the highest card) wins.

Four, three and two of a kind hands are self-explanatory: they are hands that include more than one of the same number card, so four aces, three tens, or two kings are examples of each. A full house combines a three of a kind with a two of a kind for a superior hand, and is identified in a very specific manner. For example, if the hand includes three kings and two nines, the full house will be referred to as ‘nines full of kings.’ If two or more players present full houses at the end of a hand, the one with the highest three of a kind wins, regardless of the two cards surrounding it.

Finally, a high card hand will only be victorious if no players can present any of the above hands. In high card situations, a 2 is considered low and an ace is considered high.


The Best Online Blackjack Games

With many online Blackjack variations available, sometimes it can be difficult to decide which one to play. Wondering what are the best Blackjack games out there? Here are our picks!


Atlantic City Blackjack

A variation that is played with 8 decks and is very similar to standard Blackjack, this is a Blackjack game with the lowest house advantage – about 0.35%.

Apart from the low house advantage, another great thing about this game is the fact that here, the dealer must stand on both hard and soft 17.

Typically, in Atlantic City Blackjack players can double down and re-split up to three times in a hand, but this rule is not necessarily applied in every online casino.

Lastly, Atlantic City Blackjack allows late Surrender – another great rule that helps players minimise their losses.


Blackjack Switch

This is an online Blackjack variant that lets players exercise their strategic skills to incredibly high levels. In Blackjack Switch the player is dealt two hands and can actually choose to swap the second cards between the hands.

To compensate for this player advantage, some other rules are altered: the Blackjack payout is 1:1 instead of 3:2 and the dealer doesn’t bust at 22 (it’s a tie). On the other hand, the house advantage is still pretty low – about 0.5% – so when it’s all summed up, Blackjack Switch is a great game for experienced players.


Double Exposure Blackjack

Instead of seeing just one card in the dealer’s hand, in Double Exposure you can see both of them! This gives the player a big strategic advantage, for which the game compensates with other drawbacks: the dealer wins all ties (except for Blackjacks), and the Blackjack pays only 1:1. Still, this game is one of the best when it comes to the player’s strategic options!