The Difference Between Online Gambling and Online Gaming

Do you know the difference between online gaming and online gambling? Many people use the two words interchangeably but they really are two completely different things. I’m going to go over some of the specific details that set these two activities apart.

Online Gaming is defined as playing a game online without making a wager. While Online Gambling is defined as playing a game online with wagers, whether it is with real money or funny money. So when you are playing that flash trial version of blackjack online you are actually participating in Online Gambling.

Online Gaming can be mulit-player, single-player or role-playing and involves some sort of internet connection. There are several Online Gaming communities that have grown quite large over the years such as World of War craft and Dungeons and Dragons. These games are fun because people can play with each other from all over the world.

Online Gambling can also be multi-player but you are not necessarily playing against the other players, unless it is Poker that you are playing. For instance, there could be several others at the blackjack table but you are all only competing against the house.

Gaming usually charges a fee to participate in the game while Gambling requires a deposit that you could potentially win more money from.

Online gambling and participating in an online game do have a couple similarities. Both use flash and media to keep the player visually stimulated. The two might even merge in the coming years. Slot machines being developed these days are much more interactive and game-like.

When to Double Down

I have always been a fan of the Double Down ever since I started playing blackjack. Did you know it is actually incorporated into the blackjack odds, and by not utilizing it, it actually increases the house edge. It’s true. You are supposed to double down, whenever you can, of course.

I received most of my information from Google when I first started playing, and wanted to know all of the nitty gritty details.

Doubling down is actually defined as doubling your bet after yo9u have received your first two cards.

This move affects the house edge in a variety of different ways. When doubling down during a normal shoe game (8 decks) the house edge will be .55%. Doubling down after a split reduces the house edge by .13%.

Now comes the fun part: determining when to double down. Double down always works best when the dealer is at his weakest. He is in this vulnerable state when he has the cards: 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6; these cards greatly increase his likelihood of busting.

One of my favorite moves, although one of the riskiest, is doubling down with a ten when the dealer has a nine, or with an eleven, when the dealer has a ten.

The best advice I can give is not to hesitate. Like I said before doubling down is computed into the house edge. Always make your move when the time is right. I’ve scratched the surface of this stellar move, now it’s up to you to go try it out.

Blackjack Cards are Picked with Random Number Generation

Playing blackjack online carries the same amount of odds as playing blackjack in a real casino. If you disagree with this fact, there is something you should know about: Random Number Generation.

While researching the odds of blackjack online I came across something a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_Number_Generation that gave me much need insight into the world of online gambling.

Random Number Generation or RNG is used for many things other than gambling games. It also comes in handy when developing statistical sampling, randomized design, cryptography, and computer simulation. There are also a couple different forms that RNG can take.

The first is the computational method, which is used in online casino games. This method uses complex formulas and algorithms. It is much more complicated than the physical method, which is seen in the form of a simple coin flip, dice roll, or wheel spin, to name a few.

The last and least common method is the human method. This is the least favorite because research has shown that no matter how random humans think they are, there is always a subconscious pattern that goes with your alleged randomization.

All Online Casinos use this method. Every single one is equipped with this software.  So when you hear someone say that computers “cheat” at gambling games you can chuckle to yourself, and then explain to them what RNG is.

Playing blackjack online is always a good tool to perfect your game, especially with the “funny” money that almost all reputable casinos give you. You can see for yourself that the cards drawn are random, try it out on a one or two deck blackjack table if you really want to test the theory.

Online Blackjack Variation to Avoid: 5 Diamond Blackjack

Recently I came across an online blackjack variation that I had not looked into before. I wish I had so that I could have passed onto players that this is not a good blackjack variation to play. But really there is no variation of online blackjack that is good to play.

The variation I found is called 5 Diamond Blackjack.

A round begins with the player placing a wager of $1, $2, $5 or $10. It is always in increments like that or similar to that since this is an online game. The player then clicks Play. Five two card hands and one dealer hand appear on the screen. The player can then click on a hand one at a time or click Scratch All to reveal the total of each hand.

The objective of this game is to beat the dealer with one of those five hands without going over 21. Without doing anything more than ‘scratching’ each hand to reveal its total.

That is it. There is no hitting or standing or any other play for that matter.

Players will win if one hand beats the dealer’s total. Revealing a blackjack causes the prize to be doubled.

This is not a true blackjack game. This is actually a scratch card online game and is a game of chance since the player has no control over the outcome of the game.

A true game of blackjack or online blackjack allows a player to hit, stand or make other plays. It allows the player to have some degree of control over the outcome of the round.

But this scratch card game masquerading as an online blackjack variation does not allow players to make any playing decisions. Because of that fact this is one so-called online blackjack variation that should be avoided.

While I do not recommend any variations with side bets or the like, at least those other variations allow players to choose how to play out their hands.

Online Blackjack News: Player Jailed in Ireland

How far will you go to play online blackjack? Seems some blackjack players will go to great lengths, but a lot of people cease calling them players and call them addicts.

Such is the case with Eamonn McGirr that I saw in my online blackjack news this morning. McGirr has been ordered to serve twenty months in prison and another twelve months on probation for his online blackjack and online gambling addiction.

Why prison? Are they that harsh about gambling in Ireland?

No, they are not as long as you are playing and gambling responsibly. That means not embezzling your employer for the U.S. equivalent of $500,000 over two years.

But the embezzled $500,000 is not all that McGirr has stacked up, although the embezzled money is his only illegal action. Everything else is just pure debt—and I do mean debt: overdrafts on his two bank accounts, a loan for the U.S, equivalent of $6,400 from a credit union, and finally maxing out five credit cards. All on gambling.

I have two responses to this: one about something the judge said and another on online gambling in general.

The judge of the McGirr case was concerned about how a person could gamble away such enormous amounts of money without being checked, and that online gambling companies should take a “look at how they did business.”

First off, it is not the online casinos’ fault that the man got himself jailed. They are a business. They are there to make money. If this judge is saying that online casinos should be called to task because players gamble away too much, then what about all of the designer fashions and expensive electronics and cars that people will put themselves into debt for?

If the judge’s concern is people being wooed into spending more than they reasonably should because of how a company advertises and does business, then all the companies that lure people into racking up debt on credit cards should be put out of business. Shame on them for offering products that cost more than what we are paid. Let’s go back to farming and trading chickens and wearing loincloths—perhaps that is living within our means.

Then there is my response to online gambling. Obviously not every single player puts themselves into debt to play online blackjack and other online casino games.

But there are players who do become addicted to online gambling, and it can be a very serious problem. As McGirr showed us it is possible to hide the problem until someone else catches on that a friend or loved one is addicted. Sometimes the player him or herself knows they are addicted.

This afternoon I will talk about addiction to online gambling.

Microgaming Creates New Online Blackjack Tournaments

Microgaming is known as one of the industry leaders when it comes to online gaming software. They are constantly creating new games and revamping their older games to improve them.

To be honest there is not a lot that can be done to online blackjack games. The game itself does not change. It is not like a slots game that allows for the same type of game to be repackaged in a new colorful package. Online blackjack is online blackjack.

But that does not stop Microgaming from working with this game to give it something new to entire old and new players alike. This time Microgaming has revamped their online blackjack tournaments. There are now four types of online blackjack tournaments for players to play in at Microgaming powered online casinos:

One-Shot:
The name says it all on this one. Players must play their best as they have only one chance to get the highest score. There are no add-ons or rebuys for this tournament either. It is literally a one shot chance to get the highest score and win.

Extender:
This type of online blackjack tournament will allow players add-ons and rebuys as the point is to play again and again to build their scores. As always, the highest score wins. These tournaments will have long time periods to play out to encourage players to play more and more.

Reloader:
This one is a sort of combination of one-shot and extender. Players have one shot to get as high a score as they can, and there are no add-ons or rebuys. But if a player is not satisfied with their score they can play again starting their score over at 0 to try for a higher score.

Survivor:
This is an elimination type of tournament. At the end of each round a number of the players are eliminated from the tournament. This happens at the end of each round until the last round in which the player with the highest score ends.

When Microgaming makes changes to their games, be it new games or revamping an older game, they usually hit their mark and delight players at Microgaming powered online casinos. The new online blackjack tournaments are sure to be a hit.

Good and Bad Blackjack Tips: Card Counting Online

When looking at online casinos many of them have little sections on their sites with information about their casino games and casino games in general. Not always, but fairly often casinos will actually give players tips on how to play, say, blackjack and tips for blackjack strategy.

Now what is funny to me is that there are some players out there who blindly follow those tips on how to play blackjack and for blackjack strategy. Stop and think about that. You want to follow the tips on how to play better—as in win money—from the online casino—which wants to take your money? Yeah, that is what I thought too.

So I went out to see what some of these tips are. Some of it was as I expected and other times I was surprised. There are actually online casinos out there that will offer genuinely good blackjack playing tips.

Here is some of what I found and some blackjack tips about what I what I found.

I did find online casinos that encouraged players to use card counting. This is very dubious to me. Card counting is very much frowned upon in brick and mortar casinos. So first off why would an online casino encourage players to use it in online blackjack?

The answer is simple. Because card counting is ineffective in online blackjack. Because of the game’s RNG no card is ever discarded and all are still in the deck, so to speak since we are talking about a virtual game. On top of that, again because of the RNG, it is like all of the cards are shuffled before each round because the RNG randomly pulls a combination for the beginning of each round.

So online casinos will encourage card counting for online blackjack because it will not actually work and it actually can hurt a player’s online blackjack odds by trying to use it. Players could increase their wagers, thinking that they are getting the jump on the house and a run of high cards, when there are not any discards to back up that run.

Really all this so called blackjack tip is doing is encouraging players to use a blackjack strategy that does not work online in order to create erratic betting, which causes a gain in money for the online casino. So understand card counting does not work online, even if the online casino’s tips say it does.

Oh, and think twice about an online casino that is encouraging you to use card counting when playing online blackjack.

Silver Dollar Blackjack Tournament

There is nothing that boosts the excitement of online blackjack more than playing in a blackjack tournament. Well, winning with a natural off of a good sized wager is great high too. But it is not the same as the unknown thrill of tournament play—will you win or lose?

Thankfully there are some fun online blackjack tournaments to play in. And while I do enjoy the little $0.99 tournaments that Go Casino hosts, it is not the same as a full-fledged big money blackjack tournament. The $0.99 tournaments are good as practice for the experienced player, and good for the novice tournament player to begin getting their feet wet with.

But sometimes experienced online blackjack players want more.

And Silver Dollar is certainly offering more.

Every Friday Silver Dollar hosts their Weekend Blackjack Classic. As you can well guess, this online blackjack tournament spans the course of a whole weekend, starting on a Friday and ending on a Sunday.

Now when I was talking about a full-fledged big money online blackjack tournament I was referring to tournaments that do not offer the winning player a portion of the pot, but a cash prize instead. And that is exactly what Silver Dollar is offering their players.

The Weekend Blackjack Classic has a prize pool of $5,000. Yes, the winning player will get the biggest chunk of that $5,000 cash prize. And that is a lot more than what a player could win from a low-key Play for the Pot type of online blackjack tournament.

Silver Dollar is using the US Blackjack created by Vegas Technology variation of the game for these tournaments. This means that there are no side bets—other than insurance—and that the dealer does not check for blackjack at the beginning of the round.

For players who are interested the entry fee for the Weekend Blackjack Classic tournament at Silver Dollar is only $10. Think about it–$10 for a chance to win a piece of that $5,000 prize pool.

Microgaming Online Blackjack Upgraded and Improved

Like any good online game, every now and then an upgrade is needed. Even a game such as online blackjack needs to be updated once in awhile to tweak this or mildly enhance that.

But considering that online blackjack is always the same game with the same rules, its upgrades are more of the tweaking variety. Unlike World of Warcraft, which is changing a great deal in its upcoming expansion. Or so I hear.

So one would not expect that online blackjack could be truly upgraded. But then along comes Microgaming, who likes to show that they are the best in online game development, and gives their blackjack games quite the upgrade.

Microgaming has available a type of online blackjack that features a dealer. It is similar to having a live dealer. Except that there is no pretty dealer on the other end of the Internet connection. Players just have to be content with the pretty computer generated dealer who is not real.

These online blackjack games from Microgaming had a slightly awkward interface. There was the table on which players could play multiple hands if they so desired. And then there was a box where the dealer was supposed to be which featured a picture of a dealer. But the look and the angle of the table to the dealer box to the dealer image itself was on the awkward side. The lines and angles did not line up.

But Microgaming has come along and fixed it. All a player need to do now when they want to see the dealer is change their casino view. Once they do that players will have the appearance of sitting at a blackjack table with a dealer.

No awkward angles. No dealer boxes. But there is still a pretty dealer, boys.

It just goes to show that Microgaming is constantly up to ways to create new games and to improve their existing ones—even ones as unchanging as online blackjack.

Blackjack and Insurance—How Does it Work Again?

I am going to call the basic rules and plays of blackjack Blackjack 101. This includes the objective, hitting and standing. Double downs and splitting pairs goes into Blackjack 102. Then there is the leap into Blackjack 103, better known as ‘first discovering basic strategy.’

But once a new player gets Blackjack 103 under their belts they begin to move into the murkier waters. Bring on Blackjack 104: Casino Tricks and Insurance.

When a novice blackjack player first encounters insurance they are usually a bit confused. Here they are trying to bet the house and the house is offering them a way to save their bet in case the dealer has a natural blackjack. Is that not oh so considerate of them?

But even then the little warning bells go off in the player’s mind: Why is the house trying to help me when they want me to lose?

The truth is quite simple. The house is helping you. They are helping you to turn your money over to them faster.

And really that is all it is. Think first about what insurance is. The dealer has an Ace showing, the less common of the two cards necessary for a natural blackjack. He then offers you insurance just in case he does have a natural blackjack, which means that hole card needs to be a 10. In all reality you are placing a side wager on whether that hole card is a 10 or not.

Insurance is a side bet made for half the amount of your original wager. If you have bet $10 on the round, insurance would be $5 for you. You are wagering more money on a round than is ordinary.

So rather than standing to lose $10 in a round, you could lose $15. And it is possible to lose both bets. Let’s say that you have a hard 19 and the dealer has an Ace. You take insurance and the hole card is a 9, giving the dealer a soft 20 that he can stand on. His 20 beats your 19, and since the hole card was not a 10, you lose the insurance bet too.

What novice blackjack players have to understand is that insurance does not offer them any true benefits, and that it is best not to take insurance when playing blackjack.