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Vegas Hotels Compared: Where should you stay this weekend?

Last minute Las Vegas trips are always fun, but where you stay can make the difference between having money to gamble and sitting in your room twiddling your thumbs. Today, we’re going to explore pricing for a last-minute getaway to Las Vegas. We’re looking at room rates for May 20th through 22nd, so if you’re reading this at a later date, they don’t necessarily apply.

In figuring out the best place to stay, we’ve taken a look at room rates, food costs, gambling prices, and even costs of traveling up and down the strip. There are lots of other hotels worth exploring, but these three should give you an idea of what you can look forward to.

Bellagio

Room—Hotels.com has this room for $351 per night. That doesn’t include a Resort Fee of $35.84, which you’ll pay upon checking in. For two nights, you’re looking at $785.23, before you pony up the $71.68.

Buffet—The regular dinner buffet runs $35.99 with the Gourmet Dinner option hitting $40.99. These prices do not include taxes and gratuity. For the sake of keeping things easy, we’ll round up to $50 per person, which you’ll easily hit with taxes and tip at the $35.99, especially if you have a drink.

Gambling—You’d be hard-pressed to find table games for anything lower than $25. And on a Friday and Saturday, you’re more likely to end up sitting down at a $50 minimum table if those $25 minimums are full. Forget about finding a table minimum with $10 or less. Bottom line? You need big money to make gambling at Bellagio work.

Elara

While lots of people opt for a hotel right on the strip, there are a series of hotels and time share resorts that sit off the strip. Many of them are actually connected to the strip or various strip hotels via underground walkways with lots of shopping and restaurants, so you don’t feel so isolated. Many people opt for these properties because they offer kitchens and they’ll usually priced well below strip hotels. Let’s take a look at how Elara stacks up.

Room—You’re looking at an average nightly price of $419, which at first seems higher than Bellagio. But the good news is that Elara doesn’t have any resort fees. So, at the end of the day, you might not end up paying more, right? Well, not in this case. With taxes, your room runs you $938.56. But that’s not the whole store.

Food—Elara doesn’t actually have any restaurants on the property. Instead, you can access the restaurants in the shops below Elara, or of course exit onto the strip. But the 1-bedroom suite (and pretty much all rooms) at Elara comes with a kitchen. So you could stock up on groceries at the local store and save money on breakfasts, lunches, and even dinners if that’s your thing.

Gambling—There’s no on-property casino at Elara. Sure, that might seem odd for a town built on the concept of gambling, but many off-strip hotels (and even some on-strip hotels) don’t have gambling. If you’re the type of player who isn’t a huge gambler but you find yourself tempted by the blaring lights and flashing sounds of slot machines, Elara can help you keep your money in your pocket.

Mandalay Bay

At the far end of the strip, pretty much a cab ride from anything remotely good, sits an oasis called Mandalay Bay. It’s a pretty posh hotel, complete with its own private beach. And while it’s a bit isolated from all the good stuff, it tends to run pretty high in the nightly rate department. But if you’re booking for this weekend, you’re in for a surprise.

Room—This weekend you’ll find an average nightly rate of $190. With a Friday to Sunday stay, you’re looking at $425.60, plus a resort fee of $67.20. So far, this is the best deal, bar none.

Food—You have a great selection of restaurants that run the full gamut of pricing. But if you do want to venture out onto the strip, you’ll definitely want to set aside money for cabs or Uber trips. Because Mandalay Bay is so isolated, you’ll definitely want to avoid walking. While people definitely walk the strip, it can seem like an eternity getting from Mandalay Bay to Planet Hollywood than from Planet Hollywood to Trump. While the latter trip is greater in distance, it doesn’t feel as long of a walk with so many hotels dotting the strip and lots of people about and about.

Gambling—Gambling is fairly decent here, with a healthy mix of low tables and high roller tables. Slots are available at all rates, but that’s pretty much standard wherever you plan on playing.

And the winner is…

Definitely Mandalay Bay. While Elara is enticing with all that money you’ll save on food, you’re in Vegas. Do you really want to cook? And do you really want to save money on peanut butter sandwiches.

Even with the small sense of isolation, you can’t beat the Mandalay Bay manmade beach. Plus, even if you do venture out onto the strip for dinners and entertainment, the amount of money you’d spend on Uber rides or cabs wouldn’t add up to that much, especially if you’re heading out with a group of people.

Here’s another tip. Every major casino has a taxi stand at the back of the property. Most people are heading out somewhere onto the strip, so ask around and see if anyone is going in your direction. If so, you can split a cab and save even more money.

Want to save money on gambling — wherever you stay?
Gambling live is fun, but if you want to get your fix in without having to play higher limits, give The Virtual Casino a try. With your free account, you can hit the tables for as little as $1 per hand. You can’t do that in Vegas, but you can if you bring your laptop, smartphone, or tablet with you. Sign up now and take an instant trip to Vegas, whenever you’re in the mood.


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These Renovations Sparked New Life for Famous Casinos

CoverrenovationsThe lifespan of casinos can be short. If you don’t believe us, all you’ll need to do is take a quick look at some of the enormous demolitions that have taken place over the past decade. In a world built on keeping a shiny and new image in order to attract guests from around the world, the sometimes extreme costs of destroying a dated casino in order to start fresh are often considered to be a good investment. In 2015, the Las Vegas Review-Journal gave readers insight into the scope of these demolition projects when it shined a light on the demolition of the Riviera hotel and casino. In this high profile building destruction, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority agreed to shuck out roughly $182.5 million to get the old casino out of the way.

In recent years, casino owners have come under fire for the wasteful and environmentally irresponsible practice of demolishing buildings in such spectacular fashion. While no amount of scrutiny is likely to change the casino industry’s take on keep things fresh, it has at least reminded industry leaders that there’s more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. Instead of spending millions to tear down casinos and start anew, some owners have opted to preserve the history of their establishments while maintaining a welcoming façade through the use of extensive renovation projects. Renovation work is a great alternative to demolition in some cases, and there have been a number of historical casinos that have been rejuvenated through the use of in-depth renovation plans.

Times change, as do preferences and the target audiences of casinos. When these changes happen, renovations inject new life into a casino. Whether the updates are as simple as refreshing guest rooms with new paint, carpet and wall coverings or something a bit more involved, Las Vegas real estate owners have proven themselves extremely well adept at meeting the demands of their target audiences. This fact was demonstrated in recent years when Luxor, the Egypt-themed casino resort on the south end of the Strip, made efforts to downplay its Egyptian theme in order to appeal to high rollers in seek of more upscale accommodations. Excalibur took a similar path when it chose to distance itself from its famous ‘Knights of the Round Table’ theme. With those examples in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few of the most notable casino renovations of recent years.

Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

You may not recognize the name of the Westgate, but don’t feel too badly about that. Originally opened in 1969 as The International, this property has undergone quite a few name changes and rebranding campaigns over the years. The property is worth preserving for its history alone. When constructed, it was officially recognized as the largest hotel and casino in the world. If that’s not enough, the Westgate was also the venue at which Elvis Presley performed 837 sold-out shows, attracting a total of 2.5 million fans to the resort located just off the Vegas Strip. Maintaining history is no excuse to fall behind the times, though, which is why the owners of the Westgate approved roughly $100 million in renovations, with work completed just last year. Everything from the guest rooms to the casino floor received a huge facelift, bringing this legendary Las Vegas casino into the modern era.

For an added wow factor, the newly-updated Westgate is also home to the world’s largest indoor 4k screen, measuring in at an astounding 240 feet long. The Superbook is designed to transform sports viewing and includes a 40 foot long bar, VIP club booths and its own dedicated parking garage. If you’re looking for a place to watch the big game while chowing down on Elvis’s favorite meal (peanut butter and banana sandwiches), the Westgate should definitely have a place on your itinerary.

The Linq

The former Imperial Palace received a $223 million renovation last year that removed all former marketing identities and ushered in a new era with millennial guests firmly in mind. The Linq renovations were a key part of Caesars’ efforts to transform the east side of the Strip into the social hub of Las Vegas. In line with its target audience, this resort is jam-packed with technological goodies that appeal to an ever-connected world. Guests have access to automated valet retrievals, automated check-in and touchscreen bookings for dining and entertainment. Additionally, an area of the property’s casino was transformed into O’Shea’s Casino, a historical play on a former stand-alone casino that was demolished to make way for an outdoor entertainment district. To remind everyone that they’re after the college crowd, O’Shea’s features several popular beer pong tables. It’s totally sweet, bro.

The Flamingo

The oldest surviving resort on the Vegas Strip, the Flamingo is set to get a $100 million makeover just in time to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2021. Obviously this renovation isn’t completed yet, but Vegas is all about the next big thing, right? Architects have already started work on the extensive project, and construction is set to begin this December. This remodel is also a great chance to look at the scale of modern Vegas, as compared to that of earlier eras. The first remodeling of the Flamingo, which was completed in 1953, cost just $1 million. Over the years, budgets have definitely moved higher, and there’s no ceiling in sight.

Despite its best efforts, the brick and mortar casino industry will always be a little bit slower to adapt to the latest trends in casino gaming. The emergence of the online casino industry, led by leading players such as The Virtual Casino, has opened up a new door for gamers looking to remain on the cutting edge of all the latest trends. The flexibility provided by a digital gaming space means that the latest and greatest in casino gaming is always available online first, and we aim to keep it that way for the foreseeable future!


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May is the official month of winning streaks at The Virtual Casino

coverwinning04052016You know that feeling you get when all the cards hit the felt in your favor? You know how the hairs on the back of your neck rise to attention when you line up the top-paying symbols and the coins begin to drop, almost uncontrollably and so quickly that you think the machine might be broken? Well, prepare to experience that feeling over and over and over again with The Virtual Casino Monthly Promotion.

This month, it’s all about starting your next big winning streak. And it begins with three big bonus codes that arm you with more to play with right off the bet. Whether you’re a regular player or one of our VIPS — whether you love slots, keno, Blackjack, video poker, or something else — we’ve got you covered.

Three big bonuses for all our players

For slots and keno fans, we’ve got one of our largest bonuses yet. It’s worth 560% and it comes with a very fair 30x playthrough requirement. If that sounds like a lot, keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have 30x your deposit in your bankroll. Remember, as you win, you’ll earn money, which you can then use to keep wagering. Sure, you might go through swings of wins and losses, but you’d be surprised how quickly you can reach that 30x requirement. The 560% bonus also comes with a 10x max cash-out limit, and it only takes $70 to take advantage of it.

We know we really made that playthrough requirement sound like no big deal. But we get it. Some people want to get down to business and grab that bonus without the requirement. That’s why we’re also offering a 350% bonus. This one also works on slots and keno games only, but there are no playthrough requirements or max cash-out limits to worry about. Plus, you can take advantage of the bonus with a simple deposit of $50 or more.

If slots and keno aren’t your go-to games, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a sweet 160% bonus. You can take advantage of it with a deposit of $30 or more and it works on all allowed games except for Blackjack. And the best part is there are no playthrough requirements or max cash-out limits.

Are you a VIP?

If you’re a member of The Virtual Casino VIP program, you can get more this month thanks to our VIP Specials.

If you’re a slots and keno fan, you’ve got two separate bonuses to take advantage of:

  1. A 630% bonus with a 30x playthrough requirement and a 10x max cash-out limit. You need just $70 or more to take advantage of this bonus.
  2. A 370% bonus with no playthrough or max cash-out limits. This one requires a small deposit of just $50 or more to take advantage of it.

Finally, for fans of other games, we’ve got a 230% VIP bonus that works on all allowed games except for Blackjack.

Become the Video Poker King with a special bonus

Are you a video poker fan? This month, we’re going all out—or should we say all in—with a 250% bonus. This one comes with a super-low playthrough requirement of just 20x. That’s easy to achieve, especially with many video poker games offering the double or nothing rounds that are designed to help you boost your bankroll. All it takes is a deposit of $30 or more to get started, so don’t miss out if you like Video Poker.

Redeem Winning Streak bonuses unlimited times
The best part about all of the Winning Streak bonuses is that you can redeem them unlimited times. That means once you’ve used a bonus code, it doesn’t expire. As long as it’s still May, you can redeem the bonus over and over again and build your bankroll faster and higher. Of course, standard bonus rules apply to each bonus, unless otherwise stated.

Get the bonus codes on our Monthly Promotion page
All of the bonuses listed here are good through to the end of the month. But there’s one tiny catch. The bonuses don’t magically appear. You need a special bonus code to take advantage of each one. But don’t worry. There are no hoops to jump through to find the bonus code. They’re all listed in black and white (actually, red ink) on our Monthly Promotion page.

You don’t even need an account to see the bonuses. You do, however, need an account to take advantage of the bonuses. It’s easy to set one up. All it takes is just a few minutes and few pieces of information to get started, so sign up now and start your lucky streak before you even play one hand of cards or spin one reel of the slots.


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Use these Bets to Maximize your Odds at the Tables

covebj19042016Table games are where experienced casino players go to make some money. Unlike slots and keno, table games can offer extremely slim house edges if you follow a solid strategy. In some games, such as poker, the strategy can change over time. However, the majority of table games offer the exact same odds with each passing round, making developing a solid strategy pretty simple. To get you on your way, we’re going to take a look at the best bets on each of the most common table games. We’ll let you know how much attention the game will require, as well as what kind of house edge you can expect to combat when following our simple strategy. All told, this post could be the most valuable five minutes of reading you ever come across, especially if you’re a casino newbie. Let’s get started!

Blackjack

Winning at blackjack isn’t tremendously difficult, but it will require a bit of homework. Memorizing basic strategy may take you a few hours, but it is definitely a worthy investment. Just surf the web to find a handy chart listing the many possible hands you may encounter, and head over to The Virtual Casino’s digital blackjack table to start studying. While brick and mortar casinos may frown on the use of a cheat sheet, you’re free to use such aids when playing online. Since this article is all about the best bets, let’s take a quick peak at a few general rules that can help you win. First, there’s the split. In blackjack, when you receive a hand featuring two of the same valued cards, you’ll have the option of splitting the hand and receiving two new cards with double the wager. Always split aces and eights. Never split fives and tens. Got it? Very good.

Now for the fun part: the odds. A typical blackjack player that goes with his or her gut to determine the best possible plays gives the house an advantage of about two percent. While this is already much better than most slot machines, which can feature edges of 15 percent or more, accurate use of basic strategy can drop the edge to about 0.5 percent. In general, the harder a game is to master, the better your odds could be. This is certainly the case with blackjack, so study up!

Craps

Craps is a simple game that can be intimidating because of the intricate design of the table. If you’ve never played before, don’t let all those boxes scare you away. At its core, this dice game offers winnable odds and an exciting, engaging play experience that’s difficult to match on the casino floor. The best bet in craps is the Odds. How good is this bet, you ask? It features no house edge. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, you should be asking more questions. Of course there’s a catch.

First, you’ll need to bet on the pass or come line. Both bets feature a modest house edge of just 1.41 percent, positioning them amongst the best on the casino floor. After the shooter establishes a point, you’ll have a chance to make a separate bet that compounds your original wager while offering true 50/50 odds. Depending on the rules at your choice of casino, the free odds bet will be capped out at a certain multiple of your pass or come bet. If, for example, you’re playing at a table with double odds (meaning that your odds bet can be twice as much as your pass or come bet), betting the max would effectively decrease the house edge on your original bet to just 0.6 percent, which is barely higher than blackjack with perfect strategy. You’ll still win and lose the same amount of times, but increasing your payouts on wins will keep your bankroll in good shape for longer, and that’s the whole point.

Roulette

Roulette is a simple game to play. There’s a big wheel with red and black numbered slots ranging from one to 36, as well as either one or two green slots with zero and double zero. Assuming you’re playing under American rules with two green slots, the house edge on most bets clocks in at 5.26 percent. Whether you wager on red, black, even, odd, 1 to 18, or 19 to 36, your odds are exactly the same. Other wagers, such as corners, streets, splits and individual numbers, feature the same house edge, but your probability of winning is much smaller. Because we all like to win, our suggestion is to choose one or two of the many near 50/50 bets on the table, and put your chips there. Mix it up from spin to spin if you like, or let it ride from game to game. It’s all the same from an odds perspective.

Baccarat

The game most synonymous with high rollers, baccarat is extremely simple to play. Basically, you’ll bet on one of two hands, then watch the cards being dealt. After placing a wager, players have no impact whatsoever on the outcome of the game. Despite how easy it is to play, baccarat, surprisingly, offers great odds for gamblers. The only two bets you’ll need to know are the Player and the Banker. The player bet features a house edge of 1.36 percent. On the other hand, the banker bet offers no real house edge, with wins coming at an average rate of 50.68 percent of all non-tie hands. Of course, casinos like to make money, so they’ve taken this advantage out of the equation by charging a five percent commission on all winning banker bets. The end result is a house edge of about 1.17 percent on banker bets, which is nothing to sniff at. The best option is to put your money on the banker bet repeatedly until you’re tired of playing. If you get bored, feel free to switch over to the player from time to time for giggles, but never ever take that dreaded tie bet (it features a house edge of 14.4 percent).

Now you know the best bets at all of the most popular table games. Put your skills to the test at The Virtual Casino before your next trip to your local gambling hall. Following these simple tips and with a smidge of luck, you’ll be walking out of the casino with a fat wallet and a big smile on your face!


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Unleash the best casino game for your Myers-Briggs profile

myerscover14042016If you’ve ever worked in Corporate America or have ever taken a basic psychology class in college, you’re probably familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. HR departments love to use them to assess their employees — not to figure out if they’ve hired crazies, but rather to understand everyone’s working style.

We all know that some people are extroverts while others are introverts. But that only scratches the surface. The Myers-Briggs test kicks things up a notch to figure out everyone’s learning and working style. When you understand your own personality type and that of your peers, you might find that it’s easier to work together.

But it’s not about just learning and working. It’s also about fun and games. Understanding your Myers-Briggs profile can help you choose the right casino game and, perhaps, do better in the long run.

There are 16 different Myers-Briggs types. A profile contains for letters and is made up of one letter from each of the four categories below. Rather than go through all 16 categories, we’re going to highlight which game types fits with each piece of the puzzle.

Category 1: Extroverts & Introverts

E – Extroverts
These are people who tend to be energized by other people. If you’re an extrovert, you enjoy a fast pace, relish in the opportunity to do a bunch of different tasks, and are generally great multitaskers, too.

The perfect casino game: Craps
Why: Craps is an incredibly social game where everyone mingles together and chats for hours on end. While Introverts are definitely welcome at the Craps table, Extraverts will have way more fun rolling the dice and making new friends.

I – Introverts

If you enjoy working alone or in a small group, you’re an Introvert. You like a slower pace and you prefer to focus on a single task at one time. It should be noted that introverts don’t necessarily shun taking the spotlight. You might be surprised that some big name actors are introverts.

The perfect casino game: Slots
Why: If you want to do your own thing wile you play casino games, slots are a safe bet. You can chill in a corner and ignore other players, all while staying focused on the machine. What’s more, online casino games in general are great for introverts because they allow you to enjoy games that extroverts enjoy without the crowds.

Category 2: Sensors & Intuitives

S – Sensors
If you find that you’re realistic in everything you do and prefer to focus on facts and details before coming up with practical solutions to problems, you’re a Sensor.

The perfect casino game: Blackjack

Why: Blackjack is all about mathematics. If you’re a number cruncher and good at figuring out how the deck is stacked, this is your best bet.

N – Intuitive
Are you all about possibilities and the big picture? Do you see patterns easily and look for creative solutions to problems? You’re likely an Intuitive.

The perfect casino game: Poker
Why: Texas Hold’em or other live poker tables are ideal for N-types. With the opportunity to recognize bluffing patters and the ability to creatively work your way out of a bad hand into a nice victory, poker is the perfect game for Intuitive types.

Category 3: Thinkers & Feelers

T – Thinkers
Logical decision makers fall under the Thinker category. They use analysis before making decisions, and they weigh the pros and cons of everything. Thinkers are all about honest, fairness, and overall consistency.

The perfect casino game: European Roulette
Why: You dig deep and look at the odds before playing a game. That’s why you choose games like European Roulette over their American counterpart. Your research has revealed that an absence of an extra zero means less of a house edge.

F – Feelers
If you’re the sensitive type and you make decisions based on your own values and based on how others might be affected, you’re definitely a Feeler.

The perfect casino game: Video slots
Why: You likely want some visual stimulation and today’s high-tech video slots definitely provide them.

Category 4: Judgers & Perceivers

J – Judgers
If organization and preparedness is your name of the game, if you make and stick to plans and follow most rules, you’re likely a Judger.

The perfect casino game: Casino War
Why: Casino War offers virtually no decision making. That’s not to say that Judgers aren’t great decision makers. They are. But a game like Casino War makes it easy to follow the rules and stick to plans, since the game tends to be light on them.

P – Perceivers
Is your middle name Spontaneous? Then you’re a Perceiver. You’re flexible with making plans and you like to keep things generally open.

The perfect casino game: Anything
Why: You’re so spontaneous, you’d rather not fit into a peg. On a night out at the casino, you prefer to jump from table to slot to table and back again. If your crew wants to play Blackjack, you can modify your Roulette plans and go with the flow.

Find your perfect game

Remember, every Myers-Briggs personality type has four letters—one from each of the four categories mentioned above. That means you’ll find lots of different casino game options that you’ll likely love.

The suggestions mentioned here aren’t a hard and fast rule. Many Introverts love Craps just as many Extroverts love playing slots all by themselves. However, if you’re new to casino gaming, this could help point you in the right direction and aid you in finding the perfect game.

After you’ve discovered your Myers-Briggs personality type, hop over to The Virtual Casino and create your free account, free of charge. As soon as you’re set up, you can play as many free casino games as you can handle.

The great thing about The Virtual Casino is that you don’t have to risk real money if you don’t want to. All games in our online casino suite are available to play for free, so feel free to take the time and explore.


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How players and dealers scam casinos

coverscam11052016I remember one of my first trips to Las Vegas at a casino that I won’t name but that rhymes with Mio. I sat down to play Blackjack and won a few hands. At this particular casino, the dealers sported nametags with their names (obviously) and their hometown.

This particular dealer was from Chicago, Illinois, which happened to be where I lived for about 7 years growing up. We started chatting about different neighborhoods, the Cubs, how anything but Chicago-style pizza is horrible, and so forth.

After a few hands, the dealer said, “this is a great time to go big, I can feel it”. So I did. I dropped down $200. I was dealt a 17 against the dealer’s 6. Naturally, I stayed. The dealer flipped over a 10, forcing himself to hit. He then received a 2 and had 18.

He beat me by one, but it seemed to be my lucky day. My frown was instantly turned upside down when he paid me $200 for that win, even though I technically lost. At that point, I took my winnings and left the table. I assumed that either he’d realize he made a mistake or the pit boss, watching the eye in the sky, would come looking for me. Neither happened and I made off with my $200 like a bandit.

I still look back on that day, wondering if the dealer hand hooked me up because of our shared relationship with Chicago or if it was just an honest mistake. I assumed it was the latter, but the more and more I read about casino dealers and players working together to scam the system, the more I think that maybe, just maybe, he was cheating and didn’t really give a damn.

Dealers and players working in cahoots to scam the system happens more often than you think. Today, we’ve got a few stories of scammers that have made headlines, plus a few that are only starting to surface.

Players and a dealer work together to scam Detroit casino

In an elaborate but incredibly simple scam, a former poker dealer and six different gamblers from across Detroit are facing criminal charges for bilking a casino out of big money. It happened back in 2014, but the fraudsters are only now facing charges after a lengthy investigation uncovered their scam.

In a nutshell, a poker dealer named Darryl Green is accused of paying out losing bets and not colleting losses on lost bets. It happened at MotorCity Casino in Detroit, presumably at the tables where players face off against the dealer, not communal poker where the house just takes a cut.

Here’s a look at the charges that each of the alleged fraudsters is facing:

  • One count of conspiracy to cheat at a gambling game (a five-year felony)
  • One count of gambling activities (a 10-year felony)
  • One count of conspiracy to commit larceny in a building (a four-year felony)
  • One count of larceny in a building (a four-year felony)

Players and a dealer work together to scam Detroit casino

Two gamblers who frequented Mohegan Sun Pocono Casino are facing charges along with a dealer for stealing $17,000 playing Pai Gow. The scam involved the dealer intentionally dealing himself out losing hands so that the players can win.

The cheating dealer must repay the $17,000, but it’s thought that there might be more scammers working at the casino. That’s because as part of the dealer’s plea bargain, he has agreed to work with the authorities to help uncover other cheaters.

When she wins, she wins big

One popular casino dealer scam involves paying players for losing bets. Unfortunately for the scammers (and fortunately for the casino) security has become wise to the con. So today, dealers are mixing things up a bit. Instead of paying players for losing bets, and losses are taken by the house as per usual. But when a player wins, oh does he or she win big.

At Mohegan Sun Casino, a table games dealer overpaid a Blackjack player more than $78,000. It wasn’t necessarily because he liked her. It was because they were working together and he was taking a slice of the action.

When the accused player won a hand, the dealer would sneak $100 chips into the $5 chip stacks. The two would then split the winnings and both made off like bandits—until authorities caught wind of the situation.

Defying statistics

The thing about casinos is that at the end of the day, it’s all about statistics and math. And when those statistics are blown out of the water, security takes notice. It happened at Bellagio between 2012 and 2014 when, by all mathematical accounts, a crew of players should have lost $712,029 based on their bets. But instead, they actually won $1,086,400.

The scam involved two dealers working together with a couple players to place phantom bets and pay them out regardless of the win. The scam would also involve paying out some players less for some wins, so that the money tossed out eventually balanced out.

When they say the house always wins, it was definitely true in this case. The two faced felony theft charges.

Win big without scamming

The thing about trying to scam the casino along with a dealer is that at the end of the day, the law will catch up to you. Sure, you can win $30,000 right now by working with casino dealer cheats, but casinos are constantly monitoring their wins and losses, on the lookout a for suspicious play.

If you want to win and feel like you’re cheating the system, all without actually doing anything wrong, try your luck at The Virtual Casino. You can practice your mad card counting skills, use betting strategies and do all kinds of things to optimize your play, completely legally. If you’re new to The Virtual Casino, you’ll even earn a bonus on your first deposit, so come play. We’d love to entertain you with the best casino games, whenever you’re in the mood.


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Let the Good Times Roll at The Virtual Casino

coverapril05042016It’s time to roll the dice and make yourself a winner at the one and only Virtual Casino. This month, Virtual is raising the stakes by offering some of the very best casino bonuses in the business. Whether you’re ready to let the good times roll at the craps table or you prefer to try your luck at a different game, we’ve got you covered with an absolute smorgasbord of tasty deposit deals that are sure to satisfy your appetite all April long. With the industry’s top customer support team, a comprehensive library of more than 100 of the best casino games online and a host of generous offers to boost your bankroll, there’s no need to go anywhere else for your online gaming experience. The Virtual Casino is as good as it gets, and we’re letting the good times roll for all of our loyal players.

The Introductory Course

Like we said before, we’re feeling CRAPSy this month, but we also understand that some players prefer other games. For that reason, we’re kicking things off with three huge bonus deals that open practically every game in the library for your pleasure. First, there’s the 560 percent bonus, which can be yours with any deposit of $70 or more. This promotion features a 30 times playthrough restriction and a 10 times max cash out limit, and it can be applied to all of your favorite slots and keno games. If you prefer slots and keno without the bonus rules, look no further than the 350 percent no-rules offer, which is available on any deposit of $50 or more. When you’re ready to venture outside of slots and keno, we’ve got you covered with a 160 percent no-rules bonus offer that’s available on nearly every game in the casino. Whichever offer catches your eye, you really can’t go wrong at Virtual this month.

Rolling the Dice

Newcomers often find craps a little intimidating because of the intricate design of the table, but those who take a few moments to study the game are pleasantly surprised with the approachability of this casino classic. Whether you’re a craps newbie or a seasoned pro, we’re breaking the ice with a lucrative 210 percent no-rules bonus offer that’s available exclusively for everyone’s favorite dice game. Just make a deposit of $30 or more, and take advantage of the freedom provided by a deposit bonus with no restrictions.

Upping the Ante

As always, the very best offers are reserved for Virtual Casino VIPs. As a member of this exclusive club, you’ll be treated to the gold standard of deposit bonuses each and every month. This April, we’re kicking things off with a 630 percent bonus on any deposit of $70 or more. With a 30 times playthrough restriction and a 10 times max cash out limit, this bonus is great for any slots game or keno. For you rebels out there, we’re also offering a 370 percent no-rules bonus for slots or keno. This offer is applicable on deposits of $50 or more. Finally, we’re appeasing our table gamers with a 230 percent no-rules offer that’s available on all allowed games. Just deposit $30 or more to cash in on this sweet deal.

The Virtual Casino has earned a reputation in the online casino industry for offering exceptional service and first class promotions, and this month just reaffirms the consensus. Our games library is constantly updated with the latest and greatest titles, and our customer support is truly second-to-none. If you’ve got questions about activating your bonuses or if you’d like to learn more about joining the ranks of Virtual VIPs, let our customer service team know by visiting the Contact Us page of this website.

There’s nothing quite like celebrating with the craps table as the shooter goes on an extended hot streak. It’s the quintessential highlight of casino gaming, and we’re giving you an unprecedented opportunity to bring the highlight reel into your home. Take your pick between this month’s bonus offers, or take advantage of them all! With so many ways to win, The Virtual Casino has practically guaranteed that the good times will continue to roll this April. The dice are in your hand. Are you ready to give them a throw?


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Follow these Tips to Avoid Losing Money at the Casino

coverlosemoney23032016When it comes to casinos, everyone has the same finish in mind. First, you walk in, dressed to the nines, of course, and people stand by in awe. Then, you step up to the tables, throw down a huge bet that the pit boss has to approve, then stand confidently as you await your winnings. Since it’s a fantasy, you win, every time, and you walk away with a huge win and the admiration of everyone else in the casino. What? That’s not your dream casino visit? Of course it is, don’t be silly! The unfortunate truth for the vast majority of casino-goers is that this fantasy is almost as unlikely as any other. That’s not to say that you can’t win at the casino, but you’ll need a little bit of strategy to go alongside your endless confidence. That’s where we can help!

Casinos operate on the assumption that the majority of players will lose their shirts, but their losses can be your gains. Anybody who’s ever seen a movie set in Las Vegas knows that emerging from the casino a champion who’s overcome the odds is a distinct possibility, right? Right! Let’s assume you’re a casino novice. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Take Advantage of Players Clubs

Brick and mortar casinos can’t offer the deposit bonuses and promotions you’ll find online, but that doesn’t mean they don’t reward loyal players. The first thing you should do when arriving at a new casino is head for the players club booth and register. Based on how much you decide to play, your players card could make you eligible for discounted or free food, hotel rooms or a number of other amenities. If you play slots, just insert the card into the machine. If you play a table game, show your card to the dealer. Don’t forget! You could be missing out on some awesome benefits.

Minimize the House Edge

As a general rule of thumb, games that are the easiest to play feature the highest house edge. Case in point, slot machines. Slots are by far the simplest and most popular game in casinos around the globe, and they’re also casinos’ number one money makers. Typically, slot machines account for upward of 70 percent of the money casinos rake in from gambling operations. If you’re really looking to win, as opposed to just having fun, then you’ll want to go for a game with a lower house edge. Blackjack is a great option if you’re familiar with basic strategy. Video poker is an unbeatable choice if you’ve made the effort to learn how to find and play a great machine. Baccarat and craps also offer good odds, and they’re both really simple once you get the hang of them.

Make a Budget

If you don’t want to lose your life’s savings, don’t take them into the casino. Before stepping foot on the gaming floor, take a moment to calculate how much you’re willing to lose during a night at the casino. Don’t forget to calculate other expenses, such as meals and outside entertainment. When you’ve got a nice round number in mind, count out that much cash, and leave the rest in the room. If you’re worried about losing control, it’s also a good idea to leave your debit and credit cards in the room. Those pesky casino floor ATMs are designed to entice you to ignore your better instincts. If you play at a reasonable rate and have a little luck, your budget will last through the night, and you’ll have accomplished your goal. In some cases, you may even win a little extra cash to take home. If that’s the case, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the next tip.

Don’t Give Back your Winnings

Winning in a casino is a case of short term results deviating from long term odds. At a certain point, it’s a mathematical certainty that this deviation will correct itself, taking money out of your pocket and giving it back to the casino. This is where many casino visitors slip up. If you’re lucky enough to hit a hot streak, don’t wait too long to walk away . Over the long run, the casino will always win. That’s just the way the games are structured, and there’s no way around it.

Watch the Clock

This tip is something of an oxymoron, because casinos almost never put clocks on their playing floors. This omission, when combined with the lack of windows and connections with the outside world, makes it seem like time stands still within the casino walls. This isn’t a mistake. Casinos want players to keep gambling long into the night and well into the morning. That’s how they make money. Avoid overdoing it by keeping track of the time throughout the night. It’s also a good idea to get up and walk around from time to time. Break the monotony and avoid getting hypnotized by the non-stop stimulation on offer in casinos.

Now that you’ve got a game plan, it’s time to put it to work on your way to a win at your local casino. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be in a good position to capitalize on any hot streaks that may occur during play. If Lady Luck isn’t in the building, you’ll also be okay, because you’ll only take the cash you can afford to lose. It’s important to remember that the primary benefit of casinos isn’t winning money, but entertainment. As a result, the players who enjoy themselves the most at casinos aren’t necessarily the ones who win the most, but the ones who approach a casino visit with reasonable expectations.

If you want to practice your casino strategy before hitting the local casino, The Virtual Casino offers all of your favorite games from the comforts of your own home. Don’t forget to check out our awesome deposit bonuses, which can supercharge your bankroll and maximize your gaming experience!


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Serious gamblers play at these giant Macau casinos

covermacau22032016Planning a trip to Vegas? Scratch Sin City off your lest and use your airline points to head to Macau. Sure, the flight might be a bit longer. But trust us. Once you see the ginormous gambling properties in Macau, you’ll wonder why you even bothered with Las Vegas.

That’s not to say that Macau is bigger than Las Vegas. Nor is it to say that Macau has more casinos than Sin City. It doesn’t. But there’s a reason why Macau generates more gambling revenue than Las Vegas does with fewer properties dotting its main boulevard.

Actually make that three big reasons. Today, we’re introducing you to three of Macau’s biggest casinos. There are even more worth talking about, but these three are the ones you should definitely put on your shortlist.

Studio City

Tripadvisor Rating: 3.5 Stars

Forget Universal Studios Florida. Studio City should be on your bucket list for places to visit with family. Yes, we said with family. While Las Vegas once tried to appeal to families (they even had a family-friendly marketing campaign), today it’s all about fulfilling your desire for sins. But in Macau, Studio City is changing the game. And if their brand ends up coming to Las Vegas, it could change everything.

Studio City offers a mammoth casino floor, with every type of game imaginable. But it’s what’s happening off the casino floor that’s way more impressive. Studio City is themed after all things Hollywood so you’re guaranteed to be entertained. There’s Batman Dark Flight, a 4-D adventure ride that you have to see to believe, House of Magic for fans of illusions, and a Warner Bros fun zone for the kid in everyone.

What winnings you don’t spend on entertainment you can easily blow at The Boulevard at Studio City, a movie-set themed shopping experience that has everything you can imagine.

While the property is heavily themed around the movies, make no mistake. This isn’t like being at Disney World. The accommodations are very upscale, so rather than feeling like you’re in a movie, you’ll feel more like a movie star being given the red carper treatment.

The Venetian

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5 Stars

When it comes to properties that really put Macau on the gambling map, The Venetian is the one. Modeled after the Las Vegas casino of the same name, The Venetian Macau is all about celebrating timeless Venice life. It looks and feels just like the Las Vegas Venetian, which looks and feels like Venice. And yes, the famous gondola rides are there too.

The casino itself is impressive. With over 800 tables and 3,400 slot machines, you’ll find every game you can imagine on the 546,000 sq ft of casino space. While massive, they’ve done a great job at making it feel less overwhelming than it sounds. That’s because they divided the gaming areas into four areas known as Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon, and Phoenix.

For premium guests, there’s a dedicated zone called Paiza Club. But this is no ordinary roped off high roller’s area. The Club comes with its own entrance, lobby, reception, and elevators to exclusive rooms. It really feels like its own casino.

And while you may be there to gamble, The Venetian Macau understands that you might want to bring your kids along for the ride. The property includes a 9,000 sq ft children’s playground, complete with a multi-climbing facility, slides, bridges, and more. For teenagers, there’s a zone for video games, air hockey, and internet access. No matter what ages the kids are, they’re covered.

Rio Hotel & Casino

Tripadvisor Rating: 4 Stars

Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has quickly become one of the most frequented casinos in Las Vegas. That’s not because it’s spectacular by any means. In fact, it’s fairly run of the mill and inconveniently located off the strip. But because it’s the site of the World Series of Poker, the Rio is a destination that people flock to every summer, regardless of whether they want to or not.

What’s more, Rio Las Vegas has a ridiculous number of convention spaces. That means when people aren’t anteing up the world’s richest poker event, they’re still on the massive property, enjoying the sites and sounds.

Rio Macau is not as massive as its Las Vegas counterpart. But it does have a lot going for it that people who have toured the Rio Las Vegas property will appreciate. For one, the rooms at the Macau property are way, way nicer. Las Vegas just feels dated.

The Macau property is also arguably more elegant from top to bottom. While the Las Vegas Rio feels like a bit of a circus, with bright colors, costumed characters, and more things reminiscent of a vibrant Brazilian parade, Rio Macau feels more like an upscale Italian palace.

The casino floor feels just as opulent, with gold-colored walls and ceilings, warm colors, and a theme that makes you feel as though you’re underdressed, even if you’re wearing a tuxedo.

Can’t afford a trip to Macau?
If you can’t afford to head to Macau or you’d rather not take that long of a plane ride, Vegas is always on option. So is Atlantic City if you’re on the east coast of the United States. But if you’d rather not shell out money for a hotel, there’s always online casinos.

At The Virtual Casino, you’ll find all the casino games you can find on the casino floor at any of the Macau properties we’ve reviewed. No need to pack your bags. No need to make the trek across the world. Just create your free account, fire up your favorite games, and get started. You can enjoy as many free games as you like without risking real money. Or load your account and turn your house into your very own Macau casino. It’s just like the real deal, minus the Tripadvisor ratings from people who have a bone to pick about the softness of the hand towels in your powder room.


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The top video poker games winners flock to over and over again

videovideo18032016Love video poker? Did you know you can play video poker online at The Virtual Casino? Before you start practicing your mad bluffing skills, there’s something we need to get out of the way. We don’t offer traditional online poker. In our version, you don’t play against the house. Instead, we offer a number of video poker games where you go head to head against yourself.

That’s right, in video poker, you’re playing against yourself. Your goal is to make sure you’ve got a hand that ranks on the payout table. But before you dust off your old hand ranking chart that you used to keep handy during your early home poker games, keep in mind that hand rankings vary from game to game. And there are many games to choose from.

At The Virtual Casino, we have one of the largest collections of video poker games available anywhere. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything, don’t sweat it. We’re going to walk you through all the best ones.

Jacks or Better

When it comes to video poker, Jacks or better is the absolute classic. The game is simple. You’re dealt five cards, all face up. Your goal is to make the board by holding a pair of Jacks or anything better. But the cards you’re dealt don’t add up to your final hand if you don’t want them to. That’s because you have the option to get rid of anywhere from one card to all five and replace them with new ones. You can opt to hold all your cards and not replace any of them. It’s absolutely your call. You can only replace your cards once, so choose wisely.

Jacks or Better follows the traditional poker hand ranking system that you might be used to in games like Texas Hold’em. The difference? Holding a high card won’t get you paid. There is no other hand to face off against. You’re simply trying to make the board and as long as you’ve got Jacks, you’re golden.

Double Double Bonus Poker

If one hand isn’t enough for you, you can opt to play even more hands at a time in Double Double Bonus Poker. If you’re playing on a small laptop, you might want to invest in a big monitor because with the option to play 100 hands at once, things can get pretty crowded on screen.

Double Double Bonus Poker pays out big based on what you’re holding, skewing off the beaten path of Texas Hold’em. A Royal Flush pays out the most, but you’ll also find top awards for four aces with 2-4 and four aces, completely separately.

Sevens Wild

If 7 is your lucky number, then Sevens Wild should be your video poker game of choice. The game takes all sevens in the deck and makes them wild. The result is so many opportunities to hit a Royal Flush. For that reason, you’ll see different payouts for a Royal Flush with four sevens and a Wild Royal with four sevens. Five a kind is also one of the potential payouts, but it ranks just above a straight flush, which means there’s a good chance you’ll hit one.

Deuces Wild

7,2 is known as the worst hand in poker, but you’re going to be craving deuces all night long if you play Deuces Wild. That’s because all twos are suddenly, meaning if you’re dealt a 7,2, you could technically have a pair of sevens, or any other card if it helps you build a winning hand. Deuces Wild offers you big payouts for Royal Flushes, four deuces, a Wild Royal with a two, and more.

Joker Poker

The thing about games like Sevens Wild is that four cards in the deck automatically become wild. While that’s not a bad thing, many video poker players prefer to keep all cards in the deck intact. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up wild cards entirely. In Joker Poker, both Jokers get added to the deck. Suddenly, you’ve got the potential to hit that hand you’re after and get paid out big for a Royal Flush. The basic hand in this one is Jacks or Better, following the traditional video poker variation in terms of lowest card needed to win.

Aces and Eights

Many people who play this video poker variation wrongly assume that Aces and Eights are wild cards. That’s not the case. Instead, Aces and Eights offers you higher payouts for select hands with aces, eights, or sevens. There are different payouts for four of a kind with Aces, four of a kind with eights, or four of kind with sevens.

All American Poker

If you want to feel like you’re at a 4th of July parade all year round, check out All American Poker, a video poker variation complete with fireworks that celebrates all things stars and stripes. Plus, in the spirit of American gambling, there’s also a nice double or nothing round. If you win a hand, you can choose to face off against the dealer in a one-card, winner take all hand of poker. You get a card. The dealer gets a card. If you win, you’ll double your last payout. If you lose, you’ll forfeit it.

Explore even more video poker games
That’s just the tip of the deck. There are lots of other video poker games worth exploring at The Virtual Casino. To play any one of them for free, simply create a free account and get started. You can enjoy as much video poker as you can handle without actually risking real money. We also offer real cash video poker, so when you are ready to play for real, you can use the same account credentials to get started. Plus, you get access to online slots and table games, too.

Whether you’re on a Mac, PC, smartphone, or tablet, your next all-in moment is just a few clicks or taps away, so come join the best video poker experience around.


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