RSSCasino Scene By John Brokopp

Gaming and casino expert, John Brokopp has advice on beating the odds and how to play the game each week.

Penny slots dominate Illinois casino landscape

July 24, 2014 1:00 am  • 

The Illinois Gaming Board’s latest monthly report, covering May 2014 financial statistics at the state’s 10 riverboat locations, reveals penny slots are king in the Land of Lincoln.

Of the 10,962 “electronic gaming devices” (i.e. slots) aboard riverboat casinos in Illinois, more than half (5,300) are pennies. They accounted for approximately 39 percent of the adjusted gross slot revenues for May.

Gamblers wagered nearly $1.2 billion on slots during the month, of which $107,734,877 was retained by the casinos as “win”. That amounts to adjusted gross revenue PER DAY of $317.03 for each and every one of the machines.

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Quarter slots stand the test of time

July 17, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Before the penny slot revolution captured the imagination (not to mention bankrolls) of average recreational gaming enthusiasts, quarter slots were the games of choice for a majority of players.

According to statistics released by the Indiana Gaming Commission in its June report, 25-cent slots should still be at the top of their list.

Even though quarter games at casinos in Northwest Indiana have done a disappearing act in recent years, players stand to derive a bigger bang for their gambling buck by playing them rather than the pennies.

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Betting the 'Don't' at craps has its advantages

Betting the 'Don't' at craps has its advantages
July 10, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Have you ever seen a player smile when a blackjack dealer gets 21? I know that I never have.

When the dealer gets "blackjack" (a 2-card 21), there's no way to win. Only players who also have blackjack will "push" (tie). If the dealer draws to 21, the only way to win is to have a blackjack.

How about at the craps table? Have you ever seen a player smile when the stickman calls "seven out", the signal for the dealers to start raking in the chips from players who had wagered the dice would pass?

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Some Blackjack shopping tips

June 26, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Because blackjack is the only casino table game in which skill can play an important role, casinos have done everything they possibly can through the years to re-tool the game in an attempt to neutralize any edge studious players can acquire.

If you play the game with any degree of regularity and are serious about keeping the house advantage to a minimum, it is important to scrutinize the rules at individual properties to know exactly what you're up against.

Here are the primary categories for smart blackjack shoppers:

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Questions enquiring slot players want to know

June 12, 2014 2:00 am  • 

Is it possible for computer programs to control the speed of each reel on a slot machine?

Slot and video poker machines have many play characteristics and settings. Among them is the speed at which cards are dealt or the reels spin. On many video poker games, there is a touch screen function that allows guests to select the speed at which they feel comfortable playing. When such a function is unavailable, as it is on most slots, the properties are set internally.

Players will encounter traditional spinning reel slots on which decisions are reached faster than others. This characteristic has no impact whatsoever on the payback percentage of the game. The same outcome would occur had the reels spun slower.

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Belmont stakes puts 'horsepower' in gambling spotlight

Belmont stakes puts 'horsepower' in gambling spotlight
June 05, 2014 2:00 am  • 

The Belmont Stakes puts thoroughbred horse racing in the gambling spotlight once again this Saturday when California Chrome bids to become the first 3-year-old since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown.

The honor rolls of World Series, Super Bowl, and Stanley Cup winners through the years all boast teams of varying championship qualities. There's little doubt some were better than others. Some stand out as dynasties, others gather dust on the shelves of time. It's inevitable when there has to be a winner.

There doesn't have to be a Triple Crown thoroughbred champion, yet the opportunity exists to have a winner every year. The events that comprise the Triple Crown are held annually. Individually they are difficult to win; collectively they represent nearly insurmountable challenges.

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Classic win propels 'Fast Eddie' to Poker World Series

Classic win propels 'Fast Eddie' to Poker World Series
May 29, 2014 2:00 am  • 

Edward “Fast Eddie” Ochana, who proved early on that he has what it takes to be a star in the competitive world of professional poker, won’t have to worry about coming up with the $10,000 entry fee for a seat in the Main Event at this year’s World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

He was awarded a seat plus a prize of $217,810 for winning the Main Event at the sixth annual Chicago Poker Classic which was held earlier this month at Horseshoe Casino.

Ochana’s impressive victory, his second in a major tournament in Northwest Indiana in less than six months, gives him the momentum he needs to compete in the world’s most high-profile poker tournament which began on Tuesday (May 27) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. The 65-event competition will continue through July 14.

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Slot Players: Don't forget about the tables

May 22, 2014 2:00 am  • 

Visit any casino in Northwest Indiana or the Chicago-area and the evidence is clear: Slot machines, both the traditional reel variety and the new wave of multi-line video games, dominate the gaming inventory.

Slot machines are the "cash cows" of the casino industry. All of the marketing energy, direct mail solicitations, and product research and development revolve around them.

Since state-sanctioned casino gambling came to the Midwest, table games have dwindled noticeably while slot inventories continue to grow. It's a no-brainer for the casino owners and operators. People love the lure of chasing jackpots, even though the odds of catching a big one can be in the hundreds of thousands to one or higher against you.

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Proper etiquette applies if you play craps

May 15, 2014 2:00 am  • 

Craps, more than any other casino game, is filled with superstition. There are certain things you must do before you step up to the table to play to avoid having that beginner’s spotlight shining brightly upon you.

First of all, never, EVER, talk about the number "seven" or even cheer for it on the come out roll. It is a word that quite simply is not said or talked about. If craps players could read minds, it's also something that is never even thought about. That's why it is referred to as "big red" or "red" by anyone who wishes to play it as a proposition bet.

Keep your hands out of the pit when the stickman is ready to push the dice to the shooter. Dealers are often heard to admonish players with the warning "hands high." If the dice happen to hit your hand and seven out, you'll probably wish you were never born.

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The Poker Tournament Mania returns to Horseshoe

The Poker Tournament Mania returns to Horseshoe
May 08, 2014 12:00 am  • 


By John G. Brokopp

It seems as if there’s always something exciting happening for poker fans at Horseshoe

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