History of Playing Cards

Playing cards are one of the oldest forms of ‘toys’ created by man and can be used for a variety of different purposes. Gambling, magic and tarot reading are a few examples of the use of these cards. They can come in either special ply paper, thin cardboard, plastic and in some cases, thin metal.

A ‘deck’ or ‘pack’ of cards has 52 playing cards in it, with an additional 2 cards named ‘Jokers’. There are 4 suits or ‘types’ of cards in a deck. These are the Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds. Within each suit, there are 13 different cards, Consisting of the Ace, Numbers 2-10, the Jack, Queen and King (the ‘Court’ or ‘Picture’ cards). These values are printed on one side, while a consistent design is printed on the back.

Throughout time, many forms of games have been created. Some include Go Fish, Hearts, Solitaire, Big-2 and Poker. These are all interactive games that can be played by one person or a group of people. Gypsies and Fortune Tellers have also been known to use cards or ‘Tarot Cards’ as an extension to predict the future.

The main and most popular production company of playing cards is the United States Playing Card Company, formerly based in Cincinnati, Ohio but moved to Erlanger, Kentucky. They are known for their popular and internationally recognized brand ‘Bicycle’ and ‘Bee’ cards. Which is made of 3 ply paper coated with an ‘Air Cushion’ finish which makes them slick and glide beautifully without the cards being able to stick to one another.

Fun Facts

Did you know that the simple deck of cards lie hidden secrets and associations to human culture? For starters, the deck consists of 52 cards, exactly the number of weeks in a year. The 4 suits represent the 4 seasons of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. With the Court cards representing 11, 12 and 13 respectively to the Jack, Queen and King, All of the 52 cards in a deck add up to 365, the exact number of days in a year. The Ace of Spades typically represents death.

Blackjack Side Bets Are Bad Bets – Avoided Them While Playing

Most blackjack games in casinos today offer optional bonus or side bets. Once rare at a basic blackjack table they are becoming more and more widespread. The rational is simple because they carry a huge house edge. Anywhere from 3% to 20% or more compared to the 0.5% edge when playing straight up blackjack while using correct Basic Strategy. The bigger the edge, the more money the house makes.

The side bets do have an upside for the player in that all winning bonus wagers will pay out even if the player loses the original hand, and the large payouts are tempting. If you care to venture in, here are some of the most popular ones:

Twenty-One + 3

This side bet incorporates a little 3 Card Poker excitement into the mix in that your first two cards and the dealer’s up card are the determining factors. After you’ve made your BJ and optional Twenty One + 3 wagers, the combination of the three cards must equal a flush, straight flush, any straight, or three of a kind. The bet wins 9 to 1 on a six or eight deck game. The house edge is about 3%.

Royal Match 21

This one is based on your first two dealt cards:

Any two suited cards pay 2.5 to 1

A suited King & Queen (Royal Match) pays 25 to 1

A player Royal Match & dealer Royal Match in any suit pays 1000 to 1

The maximum bet allowed will vary between casinos. With the outcome based on your first two cards, the house edge is about 6%.

Bet the Set 21

This side bet focuses on your first two cards after you’ve made you’re blackjack wager and a Bet the Set wager. In some jurisdictions this bet is also known as Pair Square. If you are dealt any pair you are paid according to a pre-determined pay table based on the number of decks in play:

Single deck – pair pays 15 to 1

Double deck – pair pays 10 to 1, suited pair pays 25 to 1

Four, six or eight deck – pair pays 10 to 1, suited pair pays 15 to 1

Depending upon the number of decks in play and the pay table which varies between jurisdictions, the house edge varies between 5 & 6%.

Dealer Bust 21

Player wins if the dealer busts with various up cards showing. The winning payouts are paid according to the following table:

Bust with Ace up – Pays 10 to 1

Bust with 10 to K – Pays 4 to 1

Bust with 7 to 9 – Pays 2 to 1

Bust with 2 to 6 – Pays 1 to 1

The house edge is about 10% if the dealer stands on soft seventeen, about 8% if the dealer hits soft seventeen.

Over/Under 13

A player can wager on whether the total of his first two cards will be over, or under, 13. An exact 13 total always loses and Ace always counts as 1. The house edge for the Over 13 wager is 6.5 %, and for the Under 13, it’s 10 %. The side bet is usually offered on six- and eight- deck games.

Pair Square

A player wins if his or her first two cards are the same rank (such as a pair of 8’s). An unmatched pair (like an 8 of Clubs and an 8 of Hearts) pays 10 to 1. A matched pair (like a pair of 8’s of clubs) pays 15 to 1. The house edge is 10.6 %.

Super Sevens

In addition to your blackjack game bet, wager $1 that you will be dealt from one to three sevens resulting in the following payouts:

One seven pays 3 to 1

Two unsuited sevens pay 50 to 1

Two suited sevens pay 100 to 1

Three unsuited sevens pay 500 to 1

Three suited sevens pay 5000 to 1

The house edge is about 12% with no third card dealt and about 11% when a third card is dealt.

Lucky ladies

Here is a bet where any hand totaling 20 wins something. If you’re lucky enough to have a pair of Queens, you’ll win more, as the following pay table shows:

Pair of Queens with a dealer Blackjack – pays 250 to 1

Pair of Queens – Pays 25 to 1

Any suited 20 – pays 9 to 1

Any unsuited 20 – pays 4 to 1

The house edge is between 17 & 20 % depending on the jurisdictions pay table.

Always keep in mind that your bankroll is at a greater risk of a quicker depletion while playing blackjack games and making these tempting side bets.

Good Luck!

Baduci Poker – Rules and Strategy For Playing Baduci Poker

The origins of baduci poker are unknown and many people confuse this game with badugi poker because of how closely the spelling of the name is. Baduci is actually a card game that has a split pot and players are essentially playing two games at one time. The two sets of rules used in this game are a combination of those from badugi poker and deuce to seven (2-7) triple draw.

The strategy is actually simple to follow if you know how to play these two games. Players are competing for each half of the pot but the objective of the game is to win both pots or “scooping the pot”. In order to scoop the pot, a player must have the strongest badugi poker hand as well as the strongest triple draw hand both at the same time by making a strong combination using 5 cards dealt.

Badugi Poker Rules

First we’ll go through the rules of badugi poker and a basic run down of the concept needed to win one half of the pot. The objective of badugi poker is to form the lowest valued hand using 4 off-suited cards. The ace card is low so remember this fact because aces are very strategic in baduci. Normally in badugi, you are dealt only 4 cards and there are three rounds of betting. In between each round, a player may remove undesirable cards and draw new ones to try forming a better hand. If a player has any matching suits (hearts, clubs, diamonds or spades) on any cards, then one will not count. Also, if a player has a pair, three of a kind or four of a kind, some cards must be discounted.

When one card does not count, your 4 card hand reduces to a 3 card hand. The rules state that any four card hand beats out a three card hand and all three card hands beat out a two card hand and finally all two card hands beat out a one card hand. The higher the value of card, the weaker the hand. For example, a four of a kind kings is the worst possible hand you can get because this is a very high valued card and three of the kings must be discounted so you only have a one card hand.

The best hand in badugi poker is first started with an ace so: (A,2,3,4). This hand will also be off suit as well.

Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Rules

The other half of the pot is won using a strategy with deuce to seven rules. Using these rules, the ace is high and you are dealt 5 cards. The objective is to almost get a straight with the lowest valued cards. For example, the highest valued hand would be (2,3,4,5,7). Note that I said you almost want to get a straight. You may think that a (2,3,4,5,6) is more powerful but this would make a straight and the hand would not count.

Again, this game also has multiple rounds of betting and the ability to draw more cards after each round to produce a better hand.

Baduci Poker Strategy

You could easily win the badugi poker hand if you have an ace but you would almost surly lose the deuce to seven triple draw hand because the ace is high. The best strategy for deuce to seven is actually the best overall baduci strategy on average. So an off suited (2,3,4,5,7) would be the most powerful hand that would almost always win the triple draw hand and would have a high but not guaranteed probability of winning the badugi hand. So you would win actually win both halves of the baduci pot more often by not using the ace card.

Casino Games With a Skill Element – A New Genre for Millennials While Playing

The reasons for the influx of skill games in casinos today can be summed up in three little words: Millennials, Millennials, Millennials! We all know what happened when casinos noticed in the early 1980’s that more people were playing slots than table games. While the now oldest of the millennials were having their diapers changed, their baby boomer parents were bypassing the blackjack tables to play the one arm bandits, which now account for over 80% of gaming revenue.

Those that were born in the early 1980’s to the late 1990’s are Millennials that grew up playing video games, and the casinos also took notice that this generation didn’t care to sit in front of a machine that did all the work for them in order to win. They want to be involved to make it happen. This led to the introduction of games of skill at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

Two Companies, GameCo and Gamblit Gaming, introduced their wares at the expo and by all accounts, things look very promising for skill-based games. Other companies, Konami, Scientific Games, and Next Gaming are creating their own versions to attract the Gen Y’s.

Here’s a brief look at what could be coming soon to a casino near you:

GameCo Products

Danger Arena

Skill-based Video Game Gambling Machines (VGM), with patented game design, maintain the same return to player as traditional slot machines. Play as Baz or Thyme to conquer Danger Arena. Take out 6 or more Danger Bots and you’re in the money. Eliminate 10 bots for top payout!

Pharaoh’s Secret Temple

The adventure has begun and players must unlock the riches of the Pharaoh’s Secret Temple by matching gems to collect rare treasures before their time is up. Gamble playing this casual video game with awesome boosts, Power-Up Prizes, charms, and Egyptian-themed traps.

Nothin’ but Net – Basketball

Get ready to hit the courts with a new game. Players can choose from a male or female player and have 16 chances to win big. Your skills will be challenged as you test your range from down-low to downtown. Just don’t miss the money ball!

Gamblit Gaming Products

Cannonbeards Treasure

An adventure awaits in the deep blue as 2-4 players engage in a fast-paced game of cards, skill, and naval warfare! Build a hand by grabbing the cards you need and reach the objective first to win a chest of gold! Be careful not to bust lest your opponent’s take the booty! makes for an extremely social, interactive and satisfying experience that will keep players engaged as they lower the sails and take to the seas!

Gamblit Poker

Grab the best poker hand and win big! This game puts a fast paced, irresistibly fun, skill-based spin on the ubiquitous game of poker. This 2-4-person game makes for a highly social, head to head interactive table experience that can result in cash winnings up to 240x your bet! Each player starts with two cards which, as soon as the game begins, are followed by a single deck of cards shown in rapid succession in the middle of the table. Players have to quickly grab the cards they need in order to complete the best possible poker hand. The player with the best hand wins the pot!

Other games of skill that may soon occupy the gaming floors are Terminator 2, Mission Impossible, and Judgment Day

Keep in mind that these, like any other casino game, carry a House Edge.

Good Luck with skill!