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Best of John Grochowski

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The biggest changes

7 November 2019

Asked the biggest change I’ve seen in my 30-plus years on the casino scene, I recently told a reader that the expansion of legal gambling beyond its Nevada and New Jersey homes has to be No. 1.

But there’s been a revolution in the games we play, too. If I were to answer the question and confine myself to gaming, the rise of video slots and their dominant position as the most-played games and biggest revenue generators has been stunning.

Much more has changed in the game mix. Three Card Poker didn’t exist when I started playing. Neither did Mississippi Stud or multiple-hand video poker games such as Triple Play.

What do other players think have been the biggest changes? I asked several long-time readers for opinions.

Paul: Video poker pay tables aren’t what they once were. I’d take a trip and see full-pay Deuces Wild, 10/7/5 Double Bonus Poker and the 100%-plus pays on Loose Deuces in the great video poker casinos and 9/6 Jacks or Better and 8/5 Bonus Poker everywhere. Now all those pay tables have been taken down a couple of notches. I don’t play as much anymore.

Amy: Definitely, it’s the video slots, and I find that really exciting. I love all those bonuses and free spins and multi-progressives. I have more fun now than I ever did.

Carl: Craps is much better than when I started in the ’90s. The casinos near home all used to have single odds. Now most have 3x, 4x, 5x odds, and I’ve even seen 20x and 100x odds. OK, I can’t really afford 100x odds, but having the 3x, 4x, 5x makes craps so much better.

Lee: Oh my goodness, how blackjack has changed. I used to avoid the casinos were the dealer hit soft 17, but now they all do. Even on six-deck games, dealers hit soft 17. I guess they think the market will bear that, but I keep seeing emptier and emptier tables, and tables keep disappearing for more slots.

Other rules keep getting tougher, too. I take a hard line at blackjacks paying 6:5 instead of 3:2. I will not play a 6:5 game, and I won’t play other games in casinos that have 6:5, either. The minute I see a 6:5 game, I’m out the door. My wife understands and agrees, even though she plays slots. We go do something else.

Marian: I used to be the only woman at a blackjack table. Now there are more, but it’s getting more difficult to find a table. There are fewer tables overall than there used to be, and more and more of them are for Three Card Poker, Mississippi Stud and games like that. You know, poker-style games.

The price to play keeps going up, too. There aren’t any $5 tables anymore, and if I go on a weekend, I have to be prepared for $25 minimums. I suppose that’s a supply and demand thing, with there being fewer blackjack tables, but I can’t always swing that.

Al: I’m actually a big fan of the new games. Mississippi Stud is my favorite. They’re easy to learn and play, and don’t seem to take as much focus as blackjack. I can relax and have fun playing. To me, that’s the big change, the increase in games where I’m not on edge when I play.

Karen: You call it rise of video slots, I call it decline of three-reel slots. The three-reel games are the ones I love, and it’s harder all the time for me to find games to play.

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski