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Find articles, tips, tricks, and phrases to help you with your gambling needs.

Fri Mar 24th, 2006


Joke of the Day
The Tip

A blackjack dealer and a player with a thirteen count in his hand were arguing about whether or not it was appropriate to tip the dealer. The player said, "When I get bad cards, it's not the dealers fault. Accordingly, when I get good cards, the dealer obviously had nothing to do with it so why should I tip him?" The dealer said, "When you eat out do you tip the waiter?" "Yes." "Well then, he serves you food, I'm serving you cards so you should tip me." "OK, but, the waiter gives me what I ask for...I'll take an eight."

Thu Mar 23rd, 2006


Slot machines are often known as fruit machines and AWP (Amusement with Prizes) in Britain. Slot machines are commonly found in pubs, clubs, arcades, and some take-away food shops. These machines commonly have 3 or 6 reels with around 16 or 24 fruit symbols printed around them. These reels are spun, and if certain combinations of fruit appear, winnings are paid from the machine, or subgames are played. These are very similar to slot machines seen in casinos and elsewhere around the world, but the term "fruit machine" is usually applied to a type of machine more commonly found in pubs and arcades. These games have lots of extra features, trails and subgames with opportunities to win money, usually more than can be won from just the reels. However, the jackpots from these fruit machines are strictly limited with many machines paying no more than a maximum of £25 in any one win.

It is known for machines to payout multiple jackpots, one after the other, this is known as a streak but each jackpot requires a new game to be played (circumventing the maximum £25 pound per game rule). Private members clubs are allowed "club machines" which have higher jackpots.

These machines also operate in a different fashion to American slot machines; whereas slots are programmed to pay a percentage over the long-run, there is no reason why a jackpot cannot be paid straight after one has already been won - this is because over the long-run the percentage payout will be the same. However, in the UK, a fruit machine takes on an amount above its payout percentage before winning, so if a payout is 95%, a machine will make the player lose £10 before paying out £9.50. As such, it is sensible to watch for people playing these machines but not winning as the likelihood of a win increases. This, however, is called Sharking.

This type of fruit machine is popular across Europe (in the countries where they are legal), and very popular in countries such as the Czech Republic, Russia, and Ukraine.

The minimum payout percentage is 70% in Britain, with pubs often setting the payout at around 78%.

It has been alleged by the Fairplay campaign that UK fruit machines employ fraudulent techniques in which gambles and chances which appear to be random are in fact pre-determined and cannot be affected by player choices. 1

...at this point, you'll have gambled the win up to £25. However, the machine doesn't want you to gamble any further. If from the 5 you select "High", the machine will spin in a 3 and you'll lose. If, on the other hand, you select "Low", the machine will spin in a 9 and you'll lose...

The claims centre around the emulation of fruit machine hardware on computers, which allow for the machines RAM state to be saved at a particular point and replayed making a different choice. The fruit machine industry has hit back at the allegations. Currently the issue has supposedly been considered by the UK Gaming Board (now the Gambling Commission) and warning notices and possibly modifications are to be put in place, though it is unclear as to whether this has happened.

Glossary

Here are some gambling terms you can brush up on:

Sharp - Astute bettor.

Stiff (A Stiff Hand) - In blackjack, a hand that is not pat and that may bust if hit once. Stiffs include hard twelve through sixteen.

On tilt - Going 'on tilt' is a bad reaction to an unlucky hand resulting in uncontrolled wild play.

Surrender - In blackjack, to give up half your bet for the privilege of not playing out a hand. In roulette, you effectively lose only half on an even-money bet when the ball lands on 0.

Going All-In (Also known as "All-In") - In cardroom poker, to call with (to bet) all your chips. If another player bets more chips than you have in a No Limit game, you can go All-in and stake your total stack against an equivalent amount of your opponent's stack.