How to Play Badugi

How to play Badugi? What it is this Budagi you speak of and where did it come from? If these are questions you have asked in puzzlement then this article is for you.

The game of Badugi is a very fun and addictive game that has recently over the last few months become available on the biggest pokersite online, PokerStars.

Until approximately 2006, Badugi was a form of poker unknown outside of the likes of China and Korea. Today, this fascinating and fun poker variant is growing more and more popular each day; online as well as offline. Badugi is today played worldwide and many pokers enthusiasts love the combination of exciting poker elements and psychology.

It has previously been spread by a few online poker operators such as Doyles Room, Royal Card Room, Paddy Power and VC Poker, as well some live poker rooms in California and Las Vegas. I have heard that during the WSOP of 2008, Budagi was offered on Sunday nights at the Imperial Palace – Las Vegas, and also the Venetian will spread Badugi on demand.

There was a badugi article written online, where the writer heard former WSOP main event winner Greg Raymer make reference to playing $400-$800 BOT (Badugi, Omaha 8, Triple Draw), so the game is very much the rage and in demand in the high stakes mixed games in Vegas. But it is not a game that is just reserved for the live nosebleed stakes.

You could play as low as $0.05/$0.10 limit and as high as $100/$200 blinds in the online casinos mentioned above, but the game will very soon become much more widely available with the number one pokersite in the world, Pokerstars offering Budagi.

Badugi is a triple draw four card games where the low-hand wins. Don’t panic if you are not familiar with triple draw as badugi strategy is very straight forward and easy to learn. You can play Badugi as limit poker, pot limit poker or half pot limit poker. It is said that Pokerstars will be offering both limit and half-limit Budagi games initially.

So, to get back to the 1st sentance in this article, how to play badugi?

Some basic badugi poker strategy to begin with  – An A-2-3-4 rainbow is the best hand possible in badugi. Played with a button, a small blind, and a big blind, each player is dealt four down cards to start. There are four betting rounds, one after the deal, and one after each of the three draws. Like deuce-to-seven triple draw, badugi is a naturally shorthanded game due to all the discards- only six players maximum can be dealt in at any time.

I believe Budagi could be a very good game to get into as not a lot of people play it well. After Hold’em became a bit stale and the games got tougher after UEIGA and the Online Poker Regulations in the USA, all the mid-stakes grinders jumped on the Omaha bandwaggon and looked to make their money where the fish where still a plenty and the tables weren’t full of 4 or 5 regs. However, even Omaha is getting tougher now as people are getting more and more in tune with the fact that they can’t play Omaha like they do Hold’em!

Most players experimenting at low limit badugi frankly have no clue what they are doing, and this game can be a great money-maker for even reasonably skilled players with some good poker instincts. If you’re a fan of razz or triple draw, badugi is the logical next step for you. Keep your tilt-meter in check and give the games on Pokerstars a whirl.

Casino Gambling-The Games Gamblers Play

When most people think of Casino gambling, probably the first thing which comes to mind is Las Vegas, or Atlantic City. Imagine of bright lights, the sounds of hustle and bustle, and rows and rows of slot machines often come to mind. This is not all there is to casino gambling. The article will discuss casino gambling, as well as some of the games casino gamblers play.

By definition, an casino is basically a building that accommodated gambling. Patrons are often offered the opportunity to gamble by playing many games of chance, or some of skill also. Casino gambling games most often have mathematically calculated odds that ensures the casino retains at least a small advantage which is referred to as the “edge”.

Slot machines are a common gambling accommodation provided to patrons of most casinos. Slot machines are coin operated gambling apparatus, with three reels that spin when the lever is pulled. Most slot machines have a currency detector installed, that validates the coins inserted for play. Slot machines pay off based on how the three reels stop. Each will has a different pattern or symbol visible on the front, and pay offs are based on these patterns or symbols.

The game of poker is also popular in gambling casinos, and can be played in many different styles. Most commonly, the players in a poker game all have fully, as well as sometimes partially concealed, playing cards, and make bets into a pot based on their cards. The player or players which have the best poker combination of playing cards wins the pot in at the end of each hand.

Many patrons of casinos chose to play a dice game called craps. It is also a very popular game among casino gamblers. All the players in the game have the opportunity to bet money against the casino, gambling on the outcome of the roll or series of rolls. The rules of craps can vary from casino to casino, but there are some that will remain common. There are no strategies involved in betting on craps. Its a game of chance, all based on the outcome of the roll of two dice.

Of all casino gambling games, the roulette wheel is often considered the signature casino gambling game. In the game of roulette, the dealer will spin a roulette wheel. The wheel has 37-38 clearly marked numbered pockets where a ball will stop. The pockets are labeled from 1-36 and are alternated between black and red with number one starting with red. Also there is a green pocket, marked with the number zero. Most roulette wheels used in the USA have an addition green pocket marked 00. Roulette is a complete game of chance, as casino patrons bet on where they think the ball will land when the wheel stops spinning. get more info at [http://www.casinoandsportstalk.com/].

The Best Roulette Game in Las Vegas – Why and Where to Play Single Zero Roulette

We have all seen a roulette wheel. Some of us have even played it in a casino. While all roulette games look the same at first glance, small variations in the winning payouts and even the wheel itself can lead to sizable differences in the expected outcome for both the player and the casino. In this article, we will show you the three main roulette games available in American casinos. We will take a deeper look at the underlying mathematics of each game to determine which variant of roulette is best, and why. Finally, we will help you track down the best roulette game in Las Vegas!

If a roulette wheel had only 36 pockets (the little slots on the side of the wheel into which the ball eventually drops) the game would be truly fair. The 1-in-36 (2.78%) chance a player would have to win 35-to-1 would exactly offset the 35-in-36 (97.22%) chance he or she would have to lose.

Casinos, of course, are in the business to make a profit. The money to buy the liquor they serve for free, to build and maintain the dancing fountains, and to pay the wages of everyone from the bellhop to the pit boss to the celebrity headliner has to come from somewhere. A lot of it comes from the house edge, which is the mathematical advantage over the player that is built into every game the casino offers.

In most roulette games offered in American casinos, that advantage is provided by the green 0 and 00 pockets both on the wheel and at the top of the layout. Instead of 36 pockets, a typical American roulette wheel actually has 38: the numbers 1 through 36, 0, and 00. The presence of the 00 pocket leads to American roulette sometimes being called “double-zero roulette.” In double-zero roulette, the player now has only 1 chance in 38 (2.63%) of winning 35-to-1; the probability of losing has increased to 37 out of 38 (97.37%) Even the most math-averse reader can see that this setup is disadvantageous to the gambler. More specifically, the 2 extra pockets give the casino a house edge of 5.26%. Over the very long run, for every $10,000 the casino collects in losing wagers, it pays back only $9474 in winnings. It should be pointed out that all bets available on double-zero roulette–except one–have the same house edge. The comparative payouts and probabilities for straights, streets, corners, and splits, as well as the lower-paying bets on the outside of the layout, are all structured to have this same house edge of 5.26%. The one exception is the “basket,” which is a wager on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. This wager pays 6-to-1 and has a house edge of 7.89%.

Serious roulette players who want to minimize the house edge should track down and play single-zero roulette. In single-zero roulette, the green 00 pocket is missing; the wheel has only 37 pockets. This is as close to fair as the wheel can get. The player has a 1-in-37 chance (2.70%) of winning 35-to-1, and a 36-in-37 chance (97.30%) of losing. This is only a 7 one-hundredths of a percent increased probability of winning on any particular number, but it has a significant effect on the house edge. Single-zero roulette has a house edge of only 2.70%, compared to 5.26% for double-zero roulette. That works out to an extra $256 in winnings per $10,000 collected.

Some single-zero roulette games offer another variation on their payouts. If a player wagers on one of the even-money outside bets on the layout (even, odd, red, black, 1-to-18, or 19-to-36), and the ball lands in the 0 pocket, the casino collects only half of your losing wager. For example, if you wager $10 on black, and the ball lands on 0, the house only takes $5 of your wager.

In an even rarer variation, the dealer may give you the choice of either losing only half your bet, or putting your bet “in prison.” Here’s what happens when you go to roulette jail:

1) The dealer puts a marker over your bet (the full $10 bet from before) that says en prison. You can neither add nor take away from your wager for the next spin.

2) The dealer spins the roulette wheel again for the next round.

When the ball finally comes to rest, one of two things will happen. Again, let us assume we have a $10 en prison bet on black.

1) The ball lands on black. You do not win anything, but it is like a jailbreak for your wager. The en prison marker is removed and you are free to do what you wish with your $10. Effectively, you get your money back.

2) The ball lands anywhere else (red or 0). You lose.

The en prison or “half back on even money” option cuts the house edge on these bets to a meager 1.35%. All of the other bets on the layout remain at the usual single-zero house edge of 2.70%. As far as I know, no casino offers this option on double-zero roulette. If one did, the house edge on these even-money wagers would be 2.63%.

By this point, we have shown that single-zero roulette is the more advantageous variation to play. It is the standard roulette game across Europe and Australia; a double-zero roulette game in Monte Carlo would be practically unheard of. You will also find single-zero roulette in many casinos throughout the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim.

Single-zero roulette is significantly harder to find in the United States, but it is out there. Many of the larger, higher-end casinos on the Las Vegas Strip offer it in their high-limit gaming sections only. A few of the more “European-themed” hotels are rumored to even offer the en-prison option.

If you lack either the bankroll or the stomach to wager $25, $50, or even $100 per spin, head to Las Vegas and visit Caesar’s Palace, Mandalay Bay (on weekends only), The Mirage, Monte Carlo (Friday and Saturday nights only), Nevada Palace, Stratosphere, and The Venetian.

Note that at Caesar’s, The Venetian, and Mandalay Bay, while their regular roulette tables may not technically be “high-limit” tables by their standards, they may still have a $15 minimum bet.

Several Las Vegas casinos reportedly offer single-zero roulette in their high-limit areas only. Other casinos not listed here just might offer it if a known high-roller requests it. Las Vegas casinos that limit their single-zero roulette to their high-limit tables include Bellagio, Golden Nugget (at high roller request only), Las Vegas Hilton, Luxor (weekends only), MGM Grand, Paris (at high roller request only), Rio, and Wynn Las Vegas.

A few of these high-limit tables even offer the favorable en prison option. Gamblers have reported playing en prison at the high-limit tables of Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Rio, and Wynn Las Vegas.

Several casinos in Atlantic City offer single-zero roulette in their high-limit areas only. I have heard of none that offer en prison. You can play high-stakes single-zero roulette at Tropicana, Showboat, Harrah’s, Caesar’s, Trump Marina, and Trump Taj Mahal.

These lists of casinos will no doubt change as time goes on. Some games increase in popularity while other tables have no one but a lonely dealer at them at 10 o’clock on a Friday night. In the time between this article was written and is now being read, some casinos may have expanded their single-zero roulette games or gotten rid of them entirely. An attempt is being made to keep track of all active single-zero roulette games in the United States at the Single Zero Roulette Squidoo Lens at [http://www.squidoo.com/singlezeroroulette/].

We have shown that single-zero roulette offers substantially better odds for the gambler than does the more common double-zero American game. The gambler will ultimately lose money over the very long run at any roulette game. Because of the lower house edge, however, the gambler has a better chance of winning money in the short run at the single-zero tables, particularly if the game offers the en prison option. Any roulette enthusiasts who want to maximize their wins–or even just minimize their losses–would do well to find and play the more advantageous, single-zero roulette game.

Where I Play Blackjack in Las Vegas, NV and Why

Blackjack routinely offers the lowest house advantage over players as compared to all other casino games off the top. Players can enhance that inherent gambling advantage further by applying very accurate basic strategy play and insistence on playing only those games that offer player-favorable rules. There's a plethora of variation between game rule-sets and table conditions and these directly affect the mathematical player expected value (EV) which ultimately translates to enhanced winnings / minimized losses over time. Proper game selection can easily reduce house advantage to.5% or less for the conscientious player who employs accurate basic strategy decision plays for a specific game and set of rules. Blackjack also provides one of the best venues to accrue comps for gamblers interested in playing the comp game; wise use of certain comp accrual tactics can increase real dollar value expectation and provide a means to keep losses to a minimum when including the values ​​of potential awarded comps.

It's impossible to overemphasize the importance of learning basic strategy for those interested in enhancing the value of their blackjack experiences. It's the foundation of all efforts to beat the game for both novice and professional players. Basic strategy play is based on literally billions of computer simulated hands to arrive at proper hand play decisions regarding standing, hitting, doubling, and / or splitting pairs against a given dealer's upcard. Those players who might be interested in becoming serious students or professional blackjack players will learn that further advancement in learning advantage play methods (eg card counting) is pointless without a solidly grasped knowledge of basic strategy. Memorization of specific basic strategy play is not difficult, especially for those who are interested in increasing their expectation at the blackjack table. As a new player in the process of learning these systems, basic strategy charts (specific for specific games and rule-sets) are available in countless books and on the internet; These are also available at most casino gift shops and or player's clubs in Vegas. Using these at a live Vegas blackjack table is perfectly acceptable and common and is encouraged for novice players. With minimal time and effort at using and memorizing these basic strategy hand decision play charts, proper play will become second nature. Remember that there are some variations in given basic strategy play depending on the number of decks in play and the specific rules in force at a given table. There's also a "generic" basic strategy chart that is utilized to cover all games and rules; this version is not as accurate as specific charts for specific games and conditions but is far superior to those proverbial "gut" play decisions. Keep in mind that use of perfect basic strategy play will not put players in a position to have an advantage over the house; the casinos will still have an edge over players in virtually all games except a few 3: 2 payoff single deck games (which are beyond scarce in Vegas these days).

What are the blackjack rule sets / table conditions that enhance player expectation? I routinely play 6-deck (6D) shoe games that don't use continuous shuffle machines (CSM's) with $ 5 – $ 25 dollar minimum bet conditions. Keep in mind that games with higher minimums ($ 25 and up) MIGHT have comparatively better rule sets for players than lower minimum tables; Players should scope the better games out at all denomination minimums. The minimum rule sets / conditions (ultimately rendering a house edge between.25 and.42% off the top in 6D games and involving accurate basic strategy play) that I seek out in Vegas include ..

Base games = 6D shoe games, $ 5 – $ 25 minimums, 1 – 12 bet spread variation (x minimums), 75% penetration, no CSM's; 2D pitch games, $ 5 – $ 25 minimums, 1 – 6 bet spread, 60 – 65% penetration.

Rules Lowering House Advantage / Increasing Player Expectation (EV):

– Insist on 3: 2 payoffs on naturals (blackjacks); adds + 2.5% EV; Players cripple their blackjack expectation off the bat if they play tables with either 6: 5 (there are tons of these in Vegas now, particularly 1D games) or even money payouts on naturals. One of the single biggest errors unknowing, average players make is electing to play these games if they're concerned about value.

– DAS (doubling bets allowed after pair splits); adds + 0.14% to player expectation. There are plenty of games offering this rule in Las Vegas.

– S17 (dealer stands on all soft seventeen hands, eg A, 6 etc.); adds + 0.20% EV vs H17 games (dealer hits all soft seventeens); There are a few Vegas casinos who offer this rule, though most games are H17.

– LS (late surrender offered; allows player to surrender hand and half their original bet with certain 2-card totals against specific dealer upcards AFTER dealer checks for blackjack); adds + 0.075% EV. There are a very limited number of games in Vegas that offer this rule, but they're locatable. Often this particular rule is not posted at tables so ask when you approach for play.

I don't play 6D blackjack games in Las Vegas unless it offers all the above rules unless there is a specific set of other rules or promotions that drives the house edge down. Obviously, the above games are few and far between and you may consider this an anal approach … I just adhere to this axiom (you don't have to). I agree that blackjack should be an enjoyable, "fun" experience; It's simply neither of those for me if the house advantage off the top is insurmountable over time. I have found the above 6D rules / games with some consistency at the following Vegas casinos (keep in mind that you may have to play $ 15 – $ 25 dollar minimums to collectively locate the above rules at a given table; additionally some of the properties may require these minimum bet levels for players to even get rated for table game comps, which can potentially add significant real dollar value to player expectation / EV):

– MANDALAY BAY (Strip)

– MGM GRAND (Strip)

– MONTE CARLO (Strip)

– TREASURE ISLAND (Strip)

– TROPICANA (Strip)

– RED ROCK (Off-strip)

Notice there are no Harrah's properties on the above list. Be aware that there are changes to blackjack game rules with some regularity which requires players to seek out current info just prior to a trip and then scout and confirm derived information upon arrival. Excellent sources (modest subscription fee required) for blackjack game conditions in Vegas (and elsewhere) is Current Blackjack News (CBJN) or Trackjack. Be advised that the above 6D games are typically easier to find and play during the day on weekdays than on more crowded weekends. When conditions are more crowded for any reason, the better games are more difficult to find and obviously more difficult to find a seat at. Further, the casinos traditionally increase table minimum bet levels as demand increases and on evening shifts.

There are other additive rules (in addition to and including S17, DAS, and LS rules) that some casinos offer that reduces their advantage and increases EV;

-RSA (resplitting of aces after initial split); adds + 0.06% EV; variations are RSA3 (resplit only once to make three hands) and / or RSA4 (split twice to make 4 hands total). The designation UR refers to unlimited resplits.

-D3 (player allowed to double down on first three cards); adds + 0.23% EV.

Casinos that have recently offered S17, DAS, RSA, and LS (all at $ 25 dollar minimums or less) and house edge of.26% include;

– MANDALAY BAY (Strip)

– MGM GRAND (Strip)

– MIRAGE (Strip)

– MONTE CARLO (Strip)

– RED ROCK (Off-strip)

– TREASURE ISLAND (Strip)

– WYNN (Strip)

Two "sister" off-strip casinos that offer H17, DAS, D3, LS, RSA3, and UR with initial house edges of.25% are;

-BIGHORN *

-LONGHORN *

* Note that the current rules at the above two locales involve H17 (dealer hits soft seventeen); the cumulative advantage gained by including RSA3, D3, and UR more than offsets the H17 disadvantage (vs S17) to arrive at a playable house edge with accurate basic strategy play. It should be noted that the above two off – strip casinos offer exceedingly minimal glitz and glamor (like..zero) but they do offer decent blackjack rules and very low minimums. I like them both even though I realize Bruce Willis or Britney Spears won't be there.

Other rules that can enhance player expectation but are seldom (if ever) found in Vegas casinos are;

– DSA (doubling after ace splits); adds + 0.10% EV

– 21S (suited blackjack pays 2: 1); adds + 0.56% EV

– BJ2: 1 (all naturals pay 2: 1); adds + 2.28% EV

– 6 (player's unbusted 6-card hand; automatic winner even against dealer blackjack); adds + 0.10%

– ES (early surrender allowed; allows player to surrender hand and half of original bet BEFORE dealer checks for their potential blackjack); adds + 0.63% EV; this rule hasn't been offered for several years, beyond rare.

As mentioned earlier, more decks in play results in increased house advantage over players. Single – deck (1D) games in Vegas with reasonable rules and 3: 2 payoffs are extremely rare these days and essentially nonexistent on the strip. In times past, a player could play even or have a slight edge over the house in 1D games with 3: 2 payoffs, reasonable rules, and application of basic strategy. In Las Vegas presently, most 1D games offer 6: 5 payouts on naturals; You might as well ride up the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel and toss cash off the observation deck. My most current info indicates there are 4 downtown (on Fremont street) casinos that offer single deck games with 3: 2 payoffs;

– EL CORTEZ

– BINION'S

– FOUR QUEENS

– Western

The 1D games at the above downtown locations are all H17 but due to use of single decks (though they usually only deal out about a half deck before reshuffling) the house edge for all these games is 0.18% and thus playable for a basic strategy player . As a sidenote, if any players employ any type of advantage play techniques (eg card counting, etc.) the pit and eye-in-the-sky surveillance crews may ask them to leave at these games (or any game, anywhere if they 're not adept at camouflage / disguising play). Just be aware. The El Cortez has been referred to as the Sweaty Spaniard for years and there's a reason why.

There are some playable two-deck (2D) games in Vegas; simply playing a 2D game vs 6D adds.25% EV off the top. Theoretically a player can sacrifice some other rules as a tradeoff to arrive at a reasonable / playable house advantage range. A 2D game with base rules of S17 and DAS only provides a house edge of.19%; two strip locales where these games have been offered recently are;

-MIRAGE *

-LUXOR *

* both have $ 25 minimums

Recently the following off-strip casinos offer 2D, H17, DAS, and RSA games for $ 2 – $ 10 minimums and a house edge of.35%;

– ARIZONA CHARLIE'S BOULDER

– STATION CASINOS (BOULDER, TEXAS, SANTA FE, PALACE, AND SUNSET STATIONS)

– GREEN VALLEY RANCH

– RED ROCK

– SILVER NUGGET

– WILD, WILD WEST

Player expectation from blackjack play can be enhanced by taking advantage of short-term promotional games / buy-in incentives, blackjack matchplay or free ace coupon plays, and by employing comp accrual tactics. Info regarding blackjack promotions may be found in casino newsletters / mailers for players club members or on Las Vegas gambling info websites. Some occasional short-term blackjack promotions include 2: 1 payoffs for naturals, payoffs on tied blackjacks (vs dealers; normally a push), increased payoffs for suited blackjacks (usually 2: 1 or 3: 1 payoffs) or specific card combinations for player 21's (eg 7-7-7 or 6-7-8). Blackjack matchplay coupons (usually 5,10, or 25 $ denominations) are historically worthwhile to low-midlevel gamblers and usually valued at approximately 50% of face value for basic strategy players. Free ace coupons are also a valuable coupon to collect and use; player's club 'funbooks' are available at many casinos and can reduce expenses (and thus add to EV) if players put these to use. These coupon and funbook sources can significantly enhance EV particularly for low-medium level gamblers. Contact me for some info regarding coupon / funbook sources if interested. Additionally, accruing comps at blackjack can at times mean the difference between winning vs losing sessions or trips depending on bankroll and wager levels. Signing up for player's clubs and casino e-mail website subscriptions is a must for being able to obtain awarded comps. Specific tactics to employ at the tables include enhanced initial buy-ins (buying in for more than you intend to lose or gamble with), increased wagers when pit crews or floor people are watching / recording your gambling levels during actual play, and any number of methods that slow down the speed of the game and thus the number of hands / wagers per hour. Additionally, it's suggested that players develop a relationship with a specific table host at specific casinos where they choose to play; often it's good to select a host of the opposite gender in my opinion. At some casinos (usually not at Harrah's properties), floor reps and pit bosses can award meal comps for table play. Developing a friendly, "ask-for" relationship with blackjack pit personnel and previously mentioned hosts can go a long way toward enhancing real-dollar value of player expectation when playing. Some of these casino staff members are people, too.

Any discussion of blackjack should at least address bankroll management elements. Play with money that won't affect your daily life if you lose it. Staying too long at any table to recoup losses is both common and foolhardy. I seldom stay at a given table beyond 1 hour for several reasons; this time is extended only when experiencing a particularly good winning session or other important factors. There is a plethora of info regarding what's known as Risk of Ruin (ROR) charts which outline betting ramps and bet levels with a defined starting bankroll. Some of these aspects are quite detailed and are usually restricted to use by serious, professional players. If players are interested in becoming a serious student of the game, there's a massive amount of pertinent info on the web and within the pages of many books. Avail yourself of this info and over time you will be able to discern the credible info sources (there's some misleading and inaccurate info out there, of course). For those interested, contact me and I'll provide a decent info starter list.

The present economic downturn Las Vegas is enduring has resulted in a general trend of lower table minimums to a noticeable degree in several casinos. We could speculate that, in order to attract more patronage, the gaming entities might offer more short-term promotional games with player – favorable rule sets in addition to these observed lower table minimums. We'll see.

Cheers ..

Charles Higgins