In this age of multitasking, I will admit to moments of multi-time wasting, checking out free online slots while watching baseball, football, basketball or hockey.

At most Three Card Poker tables, the highest payoff on the Pair Plus option is the 40-1 you get on any straight flush.

A few weeks ago I wrote about automated and semi-automated table games, zeroing in on the Shaq Jack blackjack game that recently made its Atlantic City debut.

Automated or semi-automated renditions of table games have been with us for a couple of decades, and have met with mixed success.

I see hundreds of new slot machines every year, and test at least a few dozen of them. Occasionally, there’s something that piques my curiosity beyond game play. So I look it up, and add to my collection of trivia:

Back in February, I relayed a couple of player stories about poker players who were tipping their hole cards.

For many years, casinos, marketing departments and gambling analysts agreed that to get the highest payback percentage, slot players should bet max coins. Trump Casinos even has a long-running character named “Max Coins” to drive home the point.

For many years, casinos, marketing departments and gambling analysts all agreed that to get the highest payback percentage, slot players should bet max coins. Trump Casinos even has a character named “Max Coins” to drive home the point.

The bulk of player interactions in casinos are of the mundane variety –- table players talking about where they’re from during a shuffle, or slot players asking if a machine is taken.

Ever since I saw Hot Roll video poker at the IGT booth at Global Gaming Expo in 2014, it had been in the back of the mind that I wanted to try to game in a casino for money instead of just in demo mode.

Blackjack is a game with many variations, and educated players know to look for the number of decks, whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17, whether blackjacks pay 3-2 or have the abominable 6-5 payoff, and other house rules.

Casino entertainment can take many different forms. There are the games, of course, where winning is the best entertainment. Losing, not so much. There are the showrooms, lounges, dealertainers at casinos that have party pits and much more to keep us amused.

For basic-strategy players in blackjack, there are a few absolutes when pairs are dealt: Always split Aces and 8s. Never split 5s or 10s.

It’s spring training time in major-league baseball, and for gamblers that brings talk of odds to win the World Series, who’s favored and what that actually means.

I don’t write a lot about live poker — the Texas Hold’em, seven-card stud and Omaha that you see in casino card rooms. Most of my poker playing has been done in home games, with rules that have little to do with anything you’ll find at casinos. Just try to find a seven-card stud, low hole ca…

On a gray January day, I found myself playing blackjack at a full seven-player table. There was nothing special about the house rules: six decks, dealer hits soft 17, blackjacks pay 3-2, double down allowed on any first two cards including after splits, pairs could be split up to three times…

Streaks are part of life at the gaming table, but there’s no tendency for a hot streak to stay hot. Still, the hot streaks are fun. Here are a few streaks readers have shared in the last few months:

Growing player acceptance has brought a whole new world of opportunity to providers of electronic table games, so much so that Rob Bone, president, North America, for Interblock, personifies the company as a 25-year startup.

A few weeks ago, I answered a reader’s question on tax thresholds on table games and how big winnings have to be in order for players to be required to sign a form W-2G before collecting. Table players get a tax form any time the payoff is $600 or more if the odds against winning are at leas…

I don’t do a lot of backtracking and explaining past columns. For the most part, they can stand on their own, and when readers email me to say they didn’t understand a point, I generally send explanations via email rather than readdressing the topic publically for all to see.

Each year when I go to the Global Gaming Expo, I spend six nights in Las Vegas. I always have some extra projects and meetings going on around expo time, and I play a lot less than you would think. It’s a busy, busy time.

Every year, hundreds of new games are introduced on slot machines. That’s all in keeping up with player demand for new, exciting ways to play. Peak popularity for any game lasts only a few months, and new games have to be continually cycled onto the floor.

One of the goals of slot machine designers is to get you involved in the game, to make the game entertaining so you’ll stay in your seat even when the wins aren’t coming. “Interactivity” has been a buzzword in the industry ever since the dawn of video bonusing slots, and getting you to be an…

A couple of days before the beginning of this fall’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, I was asked about a video poker game by Matt Bourie, son of American Casino Guide publisher Steve Bourie.

Blackjack has been the most popular casino table game for more than 50 years. So naturally, side bets and variations on blackjack are among the first places developers turn in creating new table games. Here are a few I sampled at the Global Gaming Expo earlier this fall that are available fo…

Usually, when I see a table game for the first time at the annual Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, I assume it’s going to be some time before I see it again. Table space is limited, it takes time for games to get a trial in casinos, and some games make a splash online before brick-and-mortar…

Blackjack Switch has proven to be one of the more durable variations on 21 on casino floors. There’s a lot to like about it, with the chance to turn weak hands into strong ones by switching cards between two hands, and the house edge of 0.58 percent in a six-deck game with standard rules is …

For my wife Marcy and me, playing slots together is just a fun day out, not to be taken too seriously. We wander the floor, trying new penny games wherever we can find two seats together. We play short sessions, then both cash out and look for something else that might be new and cool.

Usually, when I see a table game for the first time at the annual Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, I assume it’s going to be some time before I see it again. Table space is limited, it takes time for games to get a trial in casinos, and some games make a splash online before brick-and-mortar…

Most days in the casino are a mix of wins and losses. Maybe you’ve lost some money at the blackjack table, but have that one winning streak that pulls you back to even. Or maybe you’re playing video poker and draw four of a kind early to pad the bankroll, but then fade in a cold streak.

A couple of messages popped into my email box recently, both on the theme of “what you’re telling me just can’t be true.” I get these every now and then from players who want to argue odds and strategies.

It has seemed to me over the years that players have been getting better at blackjack strategy. This is strictly anecdotal in time spent at today’s common multideck games where the dealer this soft 17, but I don’t see players stand on soft 17 anywhere near as often as I once did. Most of the…

Some of my favorite slot machines in the video era were the tests of knowledge and skill that Mikohn Gaming rolled out in the early 2000s. They weren’t for everyone, but those who liked them REALLY liked them. There was Battleship, where you could use a strategy to zero in on ships in the bo…

Basic strategy helps take as much of the gamble out of blackjack as possible. It’s based on the mathematical probabilities for each possible hand against each dealer face-up card.