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Rick and Ellen are slot players who are friends of friends. I see them two or three times a year at group outings, but they’re always ready to talk slots.

Embroidery first emerged last year as a major fashion trend, popping up on dresses, bags, belts, denim and everywhere in between. The often bold and colorful needlework details add bohemian flare, with just the right bit of edge, to almost any outfit.

Q. I’ve been looking at tables of house edges on craps bets, and for some I see different house edges per roll and per decision. The edge on a place bet on 6 or 8 is 1.52 percent per decision, or 0.46 percent per roll.

Among all the casino players I’ve met, Ray is unique. He plays about twice a month, mainly at blackjack, but says he hates to gamble.

With summer in full-swing and the 4th of July holiday fast approaching, it’s officially white jeans season. While we don’t intend to throw away our heavy, dark jeans anytime soon, ‘tis the season for white and light-hued denim.

Casino games include a number of bets that should never be made. The house edge is so much higher than other bet on the same game that these are bets to avoid.

Q. In cautioning to check for unusual pay tables you said you saw a Bonus Poker game that paid 2-for-1 on two pairs instead of the usual 3-for-1. Isn’t 2-for-1 the usual? I’ve never seen 3-for-1.

Casino games include a number of bets that should never be made. The house edge is so much higher than other bets on the same game that these are bets to avoid.

Q. In cautioning to check for unusual pay tables you said you saw a Bonus Poker game that paid 2-for-1 on two pairs instead of the usual 3-or-1. Isn’t 2-for-1 the usual? I’ve never seen 3-for-1.

Ryan: Last year I headed out to do a dining review at the Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club’s seasonal seafood buffet. I had no idea what I was walking into, but it turned out to be an incredible dining experience, one of the best, if not THE best I had all year.

Q. You write about so many games, but I can’t help wondering about the games you don’t write about. You rarely write about keno, and you never write about bingo or Texas Hold’em. Why can’t you work them into your mix?

Video poker odds are not always intuitive, with relative frequencies vs. payoffs of full houses, flushes and straights being prime examples.

Q. Once it became common knowledge to only play Jacks or Better video poker machines with a 9-6 pay table, Las Vegas casinos promptly responded by removing Jacks or Better games from their casinos. What is the next best game we should all look out for?

Every veteran blackjack player has seen odd things happen at the tables. Other players’ quirks, our own mistakes and interactions with players, dealers, pit supervisors and others lodge in our memories.

Over the last several years, there’s been a return to ’80s glam fashion on the runways, and this season more than ever before, ruffles and frills have re-emerged onto the fashion scene, making a comeback in a major way.

Q. Have you heard about the Russian slot hack where they could predict the next spin? They won money at casinos around the world. If random number generators are truly random, how is that even possible? You can’t predict random.

Online gambling is by no means an American mainstay at this point. Only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have legalized playing casino games online for money.

I have nothing against don’t pass/don’t come players. I’ve been known to visit the dark side during sessions at the craps table, though I really prefer the win-together feel of betting with the shooter.

A couple of months ago, I shared a few stories from readers about player vs. player tension at the tables. That brought several responses, with the most unusual coming from Elaine, who describes herself as a longtime low-budget player.

Q. OK, I’ll admit it. I sometimes make the craps bets you and others think are nuts. I only do it when I’m winning and the shooter is on a roll. Then I try to spice up a nice session with some long shots. Hit a couple of 12s and a nice win becomes a big one.

A few weeks ago, I was called upon to speak with a park district group before they took a bus trip to a nearby casino. Most of them had played slots before and some had played other games, but I was asked to give a few basics for those who wanted to branch out.

Casino players know well the ups and downs of wagering, with more downs than ups for most of us. But it’s the ups that are most memorable, like those relayed via email by readers Betty and Pearl.


Like most Fat Boys, we at the Fat Boy Munch Club enjoy a variety of food. That’s why oftentimes intense and heated debates can break out over something as simple as where to eat lunch on a particular day. Ultimately one side wins, as there are few restaurants serving tacos, sushi and ravioli…

Not wanting to carry lots of cash when they travel to Atlantic City, many gamblers used to depend on their banks’ ATMs in their favorite casino. They could check their balance and withdraw small amounts of cash several times during a trip at no charge.

Just about a year ago, I answered a reader’s question about strategy adjustments for cruise-ship blackjack in which the dealer takes no hole card, waits until all player decisions to take a second card and more.

I received an email recently from Mark, a video poker player who just found this column recently, but who said he’s been skimming an online archive to see what he’d missed.

Caesars Atlantic City is betting that spectators will pay to see professional and amateur Gears of War 4 video game players face off in the inaugural Gears Pro Circuit Atlantic City Open Friday to Sunday, March 31 to April 2.

Though this column usually focuses on the latest slot machines, casino promotions and other benefits players enjoy, occasionally it’s good to step back and take a look at the other side of gambling.