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When you see payback percentages listed for video poker games “with expert strategy,” players need to understand that betting maximum coins is part of expert play.

When readers relay tales of their gambling exploits, they’re almost always taking a victory lap. Everybody loves to relive their big wins.

The put bet in craps is not exactly one of the topics high on readers’ request list. Nevertheless, in one November week I received three emails requesting additional information.

From time to time, table games inventors ask if I’ll take a look at their games, whether just to add my input or for a little publicity. I can’t get to every game – if I did, this column would be strictly a new games report.

Way back in the 1990s, I met Brett at a seminar. He was a slot player — strictly three reels in those days — and he wanted to learn something about table games.

Casinos attract players from such a broad cross-section of the population that it would be surprising if they didn’t also bring a broad sample of quirks.

When my old blackjack-playing buddy Bob and I get together, the talk doesn't always center on the game of 21. We've known each other long enough that talking blackjack usually means rehashing oft-told tales.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way in May for states to legalize sports betting, New Jersey, Delaware and Mississippi have quickest off the mark.

Whenever I’m in a casino for the first time or the first time in a long while, I like to take a long walk around the casino floor to get the lay of the land.

Introducing a new table game to the public isn't as simple as hitting on a concept that's fun to play, gives the house a reasonable edge and convincing a casino to try it. There's a seemingly endless series of hoops a game developer must jump through.

Building a successful slot machine involves multiple elements. There needs to be an eye-catching theme and graphics to attract players, intriguing elements such as bonus events and jackpots and the right math to yield a mix of payout frequency and shot at a big payoff.

When I've relayed readers' stories of back-to-back jackpots, they've generally focused on big wins. A thousand dollars for a video poker royal flush qualifies; $2.50 for three bars on a three-reel slot or $1.25 that just covers your bet for a pair of Jacks, not so much.

Video poker players have long been told their chances of drawing a royal flush on any given hand are about 1 in 40,000.

In discussing Three Card Poker, I've often mentioned that the house edge on the most common Pair Plus pay table is 7.28 percent, while the original version had a 2.14 percent edge.

I never volunteer advice on strategy while playing in casinos, but the temptation was strong in early May when I found myself at a Mississippi Stud table where a new player — let's call him Bill — was being coached by a friend.

A long time ago, I attended a seminar in which Peter Griffin, the late mathematician and author of "The Theory of Blackjack," told the imaginary tale of Mr. Fourteen.

I’m not a superstitious sort. I don’t carry lucky icons, wear lucky clothing or perform good-luck rituals while I play. I’ve been known to egg on my brother Jay in his jackpot dance, probably to the amusement of surveillance rooms everywhere.

Independent inventors and small companies have left their mark on video poker, usually by licensing their creations to larger companies — mainly IGT.

Anybody who plays casino table games very often sees some odd things happen. I've heard from players who have told me of three of a kind on two and three hands in a row at Three Card Poker, a roulette player who accidentally wandered behind the table and was escorted away, and a blackjack pl…

Baccarat is more popular among big bettors than average players, and I don't hear from baccarat players as often as I do from those who play blackjack, video poker, slots, craps, Three Card Poker, roulette or Mississippi Stud.

In the last few weeks, while I was focused on new slot games, a number of blackjack questions piled up. Let's try to answer a few.

Anyone who’s spent much time playing video slots has encountered ancient Egyptian themes. When it comes to pyramids, the Sphinx, scarabs and asps, there seems to be a strong archaeologist strain among slot players.

Side bets at casino table games exist for a couple of reasons. For players, they open the possibility of larger jackpots than standard bets at their games of choice. For casinos, side bets enhance revenues with house edges that are higher than on standard games.

There have long been two basic approaches to player rewards programs. The first is to reveal how many dollars in play it takes to earn a point and how many points it takes to redeem for free play, meals or other comps.