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Best of John Grochowski
Web Sites with Advice and Fun for Gamblers4 July 2006
It's been a while since we've surfed the Web, so let's take a look at some of the sites and products that offer advice and fun for gamblers. In the past, I've directed readers to www.lasvegasadvisor.com, www.midwestgamingandtravel.com, www.cheapovegas.com and www.wizardofodds.com --- all still terrific sites.
These aren't Internet casinos, mind you. I'll not be recommending specific places to play online as long as the federal and state governments hold Internet gambling to be illegal. But there are plenty of places with tips to enhance your casino experience.
** www.vegas.com : Every so often, an e-mail pops into my box with handy little tips about Las Vegas. The latest was headlined "Explore Vegas: To Strip or Not to Strip," and it spotlights Las Vegas attractions away from the strip, including the spectacular new Red Rock casino resort, the Whiskey nightclub at Green Valley Ranch, the Elvis-O-Rama museum and VIP tours of Hoover Dam.
Another missive gave tips about Las Vegas etiquette. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable, even expected, for a jackpot winner to scream, jump and make a scene.
All of it is designed to promote the Vegas.com Web site, where you can book that Hoover Dam tour, as well as hotel rooms, show tickets and more.
Whether you buy anything through the site is up to you. If you play regularly while using player rewards cards, chances are you can get your own room cheaper than any Web site can book it for you. But there is a wealth of information here, including show schedules and reviews, descriptions of attractions and hints and tips for whatever interests you.
Click on Vegas Tips, and you'll get a menu of about 40 choices, sorted by lifestyle or occasion. Need tips for a Vegas bachelor party? Click on Bachelor Party, and away you go. Funds limited? Click on The Bargain Hunter, and you'll get a page of tips about how to see Las Vegas on the cheap.
Descriptions of attractions are detailed. I clicked on the Las Vegas Hilton's Star Trek: BORG Invasion 4D, and in addition to detailed ride facts, I got a five-paragraph review that started, "A far darker and edgier experience than Star Trek productions before it, BORG Invasion 4D uses sight, sound and touch to introduce visitors to a whole new dimension."
Very helpful, and a fun way to get psyched for any trip to Las Vegas.
** www.yourcasinovoice.com : Sometimes players with questions about gambling like to take it up with other players. That's what Yourcasinovoice.com is designed to do. It's a message board with categories for just about anything you'd like to discuss --- slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, online gaming or brick-and-mortar casinos. The site is just getting started, so the discussions are small at the moment. A video poker question of the month asks whether your casino has 9-6 Jacks or Better at the quarter level. As I viewed it in mid-June, there were five posts. As the site picks up interest, I could easily see such a topic rolling up a hundred posts or more.
This one could be fun. I'll be keeping an eye on it and contributing when I can, just as I occasionally contribute to the message forums at the Las Vegas Advisor site, www.lasvegasadvisor.com.
** www.ledgaming.com : I've mentioned before that you can play Multi-Strike Poker for free online at www.multistrikepoker.com. The game was devised by the Illinois firm Leading Edge Design, which now has many of its games up and running for free play.
There is no gambling on this site, but it's a great way to get a taste of the creative Leading Edge games that you see in the casinos. Multi-Strike is here, along with 5-Play Multi-Strike, Othello, Cash King Checkers, Big Split Poker, and Ace Invaders. Just up and running is Gems Wild-Tiles, a different type of slot game in which gem-themed tiles drop into a grid on the screen. Any three, four or five adjacent tiles win --- then they disappear, and tiles drop into the now-empty spaces, giving you another chance to win.
Coming soon will be Elvis Multi-Strike, which takes the Multi-Strike concept to a video slot format. Win on the first spin, and you get a second with the payoffs doubled. Win on the second spin, and you get a third that doubles the payoffs again, bringing them up to four times the level of the first spin.
I've spent hours on this site, getting a taste of the games --- with not a dime at risk.
UPDATE: I mentioned last week that I'd had Queen of Comps Jean Scott, author of The Frugal Gambler, on the air when my Chicago radio show on WCKG-FM (105.9) broadcast live from Las Vegas on June 10. She was on her way to an awards banquet for a slot tournament at Caesars Palace, and thought she was in contention for the top prize of half a million dollars.
Turns out she was better than in contention --- she won. Jean and husband Brad had split the risk with another couple, so each couple walked away with $250,000. Congrats to Jean --- glad the show could bring you some luck!
Listen to John Grochowski's "Beat the Odds" tips Saturdays at 6:20 a.m., 2:50 p.m. and 7:41 p.m. and Sundays at 8:20 a.m., 2:50 p.m. and 10:42 p.m. on WBBM-AM, News Radio 780 in Chicago, streaming online at www.wbbm780.com, and to his casino talk show from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday on WCKG-FM (105.9), streaming at http://1059freefm.com.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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