My old blackjack-playing friend Bob has a son named Mike who is more or less a chip off the old block — so much so that he’s working on basic strategy for when to double down on soft hands.

MGM Resorts International last month introduced a Military & Veterans Program (MVP) — a year-round discount program honoring the service of active duty military, members of the National Guard and Reserve, retired military, prior service and spouses of eligible military personnel.

I don’t know when I last saw a live sic bo table outside Las Vegas or Atlantic City. It’s just not a common game in the U.S., even though it’s very popular in Asia and draws big play in Macau.

Whether we want to accept it or not, the reality is that August — the unofficial last month of summer — is the beginning of the end for summer style, as our thoughts turn toward back-to-school shopping and cool-weather staples such as sweaters, boots, jackets, cozier fabrics and layers.

Unless you’re a high roller who gets meals comped, casino restaurants can take a big bite out of your gambling budget. Here’s a less expensive alternative: players lounges. Depending on their card level, many gamblers can eat and drink or free, or for less than $13 per person.

When my wife Marcy and I went out to play one stormy July morning, I didn’t expect my focal point to be a nickel multi-hand video poker game, but there are times when a change of course is needed. This change, to Powerhouse Poker, saved my day.

If Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) interests you, but you think you can’t compete against “professional” players, FastPick.com may be the alternative you’re looking for.

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.