Specific Sports Betting Rules | Betting Rules

Ultimate Gambling Guide for GTA Online - odds, probabilities, and optimal strategies

This is not mine, the creator of this is u/enderpiet

Since the Diamond Casino update, I have seen a large number of 12-year-olds posting Blackjack memes on this sub. As a parent, this has me very worried.
On top of that, I have seen some of the most trustworthy GTA Youtubers giving flawed gambling advice, which can have damaging impact on their gullible audiences.
So that's why I decided to write this up, to educate everyone on the subject, so there will be no more misunderstandings.
(2020 Update down at the bottom.)
If you're one of those Youtubers that wants to use this information in a video, feel free to do so. The more people (especially kids) that become educated about gambling, the better.
But then also please go back and review your own work, and delete or edit the videos that are giving out the wrong advice, like where you're saying you have "a good strategy for making money with roulette", or some other nonsense that I've heard this week. Delete that please.
Before I get into the individual games, I need to discuss a few concepts first, that will make understanding the rest a lot easier.
Expected return and variance
A game like Roulette or Slots has a fixed expected return on your bets. This is a percentage that you have no way of influencing. Say you are flipping a coin against a friend, and you both put up $1. The winner gets the pot. Since the odds are even at 50%, in the long run, you will expect to break even. Your expected return is 100% of your bet.
But imagine if you would play this coin flipping game in a casino against the house. On the "house rules" listed at the table they would probably say that you would only get 95 cents back for every win, while you are forfeiting a dollar on every loss. Would you still play?
Sounds stupid to do so, but still, everybody does it. Every bet they place on Roulette, every coin they put into a Slot machine, is based on the same concept.
Those few cents they take on every bet are their profit margin, and has paid for all the Vegas lights, the Mirage volcanoes, and the Bellagio fountains. Make no mistake - casino gambling games are not designed to make you lose, because sure, you can get lucky on a single night, but they are designed to make them win. That's the beauty of it. They can both exist at the same time.
Too many people that don't see how this works, are just destined for disaster. Just because you went on a lucky streak and won 8 games out of 10, does not mean that flipping coins is a profitable game, or that choosing tails is a winning strategy. Always be aware of the house edge, your true chances of winning, and just realize that you got lucky. There is no such thing as a strategy in flipping a coin that will give you a higher expected return, so it's just pure gambling, just like Slots and Roulette.
Most casino games are made in such a way, that your expected return is a little under 100%. This means that from every dollar bet at the tables, the casino expects to keep a few cents. For individual players, results may vary. Some will win, most will lose. But for the house, it doesn't matter. They take millions of bets each day, so for them, the expected average works out a lot sooner. In short: the house always wins.
When looking at the house edge, we're talking about the expected long-term result, based on the game's house rules. But for a player, it can take literally tens of thousands of hands or spins before you also reach this average number. Until that time, you can experience huge upswings and downswings, that are the result of nothing but short-term luck, which is called variance.
Some games and some bets have a much higher variance than others, which means your actual results will differ enormously from what you're expected to be at.
Take for example betting on red/black at the Roulette table. This is a low-variance proposition, because it has a high percentage chance of occurring, and a low payout.
Contrast this with betting single numbers in Roulette, which only win once every 38 spins on average. This bet has a much higher variance, meaning you can easily hit a dry spell, and not hit anything for 200 bets in a row, or you can see a single number hit three times in five consecutive spins. This is not a freak occurrence in high-variance bets.
Even though the expected return in both these bets is exactly the same, there's a huge difference in variance, causing massive differences in short-term results, which can go both ways. You need to be aware of this, before you decide what types of bets you are comfortable with placing.
Gamblers' Fallacy
Another thing to realize, is that each individual game, hand, or spin, is completely independent from the one(s) before it, and after it.
Gamblers tend to believe, that the chance of a certain outcome is increased, based on previous results.
The most famous example comes from the Casino de Monte Carlo, where the Roulette wheel managed to land on black 26 times in a row. Gamblers lost many millions during that streak, all frantically betting on red, believing that the odds were in favor of the wheel coming out on red, after producing so many blacks. This is not true. Each round is completely independent, and the odds are exactly the same.
You will hear people say things like a Blackjack table being "hot" or "cold", which is completely superstitious, and should be ignored. The exception was when Blackjack was being dealt from a shoe. It made card counting possible. But with the introduction of shuffle machines, and continuous shuffling like is being used in GTA, this no longer exists.
This is also why "chasing your losses" is a very bad idea. After being on a losing streak for some time, many gamblers believe that now it's their turn to start winning. So they will often increase their bet size, believing that when their predicted winning streak comes around, they will win back their losses, and more.
The reality of it, more often than not, is that people will indeed start playing higher and higher limits, until they are completely broke. Nobody is ever "due for a win". There is never a guarantee that you're about to start winning. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true. You are, after all, in a casino.
Betting systems
Some people like to think that they have a fool-proof betting system, like the Martingale system. Simply increase or even double your bet when you lose, and keep doing that until you win. In theory, this system will always win. So that's why table limits were introduced, and where the system fails.
If you start at the Roulette table, playing red/black, with a small 750 chip wager, and just double your bet every time you lose, you only have to lose 6 times in a row, before you will be betting the table limit of 48,000, just to get that 750 chip profit.
Sure, you can go on all evening without this happening, winning 750 chips each time, but this losing streak only has to happen once, and you're bust. Any betting system like this is ill-advised, because you are hugely increasing your so-called "risk of ruin", and that's what we were trying to avoid.
And even if your starting bet is only 100 chips, after only nine straight losses, and nine doubled bets, you are betting the table limit at 50,000 chips. If you lose that bet, you're 100,000 chips in the hole, with no way to recover that with your 100 chip base wager.
So don't believe anyone that says this is the perfect system to always win in the casino. Sooner or later they will understand why they were wrong, when they're asking you for a loan.
Set your limits BEFORE you start playing
One final point before we get into the games, a general tip for people that head out to play: money management.
Just like in real life, before you go to the casino, decide on a maximum amount that you are WILLING TO LOSE.
Bet small enough, so that amount can last you through the entire evening, and you will not be tempted to run to the ATM to continue playing.
Considering GTA money, some people will be comfortable losing 1% of their GTA bank balance, some people will be comfortable with gambling away 5% of their total GTA savings. It's up to you what you can handle. Decide for yourself where it will start to hurt, and don't cross that line.
But whatever number you decide on, as soon as you lost that amount, get up and walk away. Don't chase your losses, stick to your limits, and accept that this has not been your day. There is always another game tomorrow. Always agree with yourself on a simple stop-loss rule, how much you would want to lose at most, and simply stop playing when you get there.
Same goes for winning. You can decide on a number, how much profit you would like to take away from the casino. You can go on a hot streak and be up half a million in a short period of time, but if you would continue to play longer, looking for more, chances are that you're going to lose it all back.
Most people are happy with doubling their daily casino budget, for example. Others are looking for 10 bets profit in Blackjack. Whatever you choose, when you hit that number, you can stop playing and bank your profits, or you can continue playing if you're still enjoying the games, but then only just play minimum bet sizes. Then you're just playing for fun, not for money. You've already made your profit, so simply keep it in your pocket, and don't risk losing it again.
Either way, decide on what your money management strategy will be, and STICK TO IT.
Casino games in GTA Online
Now, I'm going to dive into the games that you can find at the Diamond casino, ordered from worst to best.
6) Slots
Generally the rule is this: the less strategy a game has, the worse it is for the player. And with slots, this is definitely the case.
The only influence you have, is choosing what type of machine you're going to play. Basically, there are two types of slot machines:
-high frequency, low payout slots
-low frequency, high payout slots
In the first type, there is no huge (progressive) jackpot on offer, just your average selection of prizes that don't go up to crazy amounts.
This will result in a player having many more spins resulting in a win. The amounts that you win on the bigger prizes, will be smaller, but they do come around more often. This type of slot machine has a lower variance, which means that your money should last you longer, winning many smaller prizes along the way to keep you going.
The second type of slot machine lures you in with the temptation of a huge jackpot prize. Even though the long-term expected return on these machines is the same as the previous type, the prize distribution is hugely different. The large jackpot prize weighs heavily on the scale of expected return, but the chance of it hitting is extremely small. This results in a much higher variance on this type of machine. Usually your money will go down very fast, because the smaller prizes are less rewarding than on the other type of machine.
At the Diamond, the info screen says the player return at slots is set at 98.7%. This means that, on average, for every maximum bet of 2,500 chips, you expect to lose 32.5 chips.
This might not seem like a lot, but the danger of slots is that the game is extremely fast. You can spin about once every 6 seconds, which would result in an expected LOSS of about 20,000 chips per hour of playing.
But again, in this long-term expected number, the large jackpot awards are also factored in, and as long as you don't hit those big prizes, you'll see your money go down a lot faster.
In any case, thank heavens the max bet is only set at 2,500, or else we would see more players go bankrupt at alarming rates.
Optimal strategy for slots:
There is none. Because after betting, you have no more influence over the outcome. The only choices you have, is what type of machine you want to play at, and how much money you are going to risk. And those are all personal preference. As long as you stick to your loss limits, as discussed above, there's no harm in having a go every once in a while, hoping to get a lucky hit. Just realize that you don't have a high chance of scoring a big win, so as soon as you do, get up and walk away.
5) Roulette
Roulette is also a game where you have no influence over the outcome. There is zero skill involved. You place your bet, and that's it.
In traditional French roulette, a table has only the single-zero, but of course, for American casinos that wasn't enough of a house edge, so they simply doubled their profits by adding a second zero. The house edge was increased from 1/37 to 1/19, which is huge.
This makes playing on a double-zero roulette table by definition a sucker's play.
The payouts scale evenly, which means that a bet on a single number, and a bet on half of the numbers, and everything in between, yields the same expected return. The only difference, again, being the variance that you are willing to subject yourself to.
The player return for double-zero Roulette for all bets is 94.74%.
Except for the 5-number bet, which can only be made by placing a bet on the two top rows that contain 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. The expected return on this bet is lower: 92.1%. This is because it only pays out 6-1. Why? Well, the number 36 isn't divisible by 5, so the greedy people that came up with double-zero Roulette had to round it off someway, and as expected, it wasn't going to be in the players' favor.Just remember that that 5-number bet is the worst bet at the table, and should be avoided. All other possible bets have the same expected return.
So it really doesn't matter how you spread your bets, if you bet only one chip, or if you litter the entire table with a bucketload of chips. Each chip you put out there, has the same expected return, so there is no strategy that will improve your long-term results.
Assuming that you're betting the maximum table amount of 50,000 chips, you will be looking at an expected loss of about 2,630 chips per spin. Considering that a round takes about 45 seconds to complete, your expected LOSS at the GTA Roulette tables will be around 200,000 chips per hour of playing.
Optimal strategy for double-zero roulette:
Stay away. Stay far away.
4) Three Card Poker
With Three Card Poker, we come across the first game where there is actually some strategy involved. You get to look at your cards, and then decide if you want to fold, and surrender your ante, or double your bet.
Additionally, you can choose to place a side bet on "Pair Plus", which offers progressive payouts.
There are some websites out there that ran all the numbers with computer simulations, and even though I would like to quote the source here, these websites are understandably littered to the max with online casino ads, so that's why I have decided against doing that.
Optimal strategy for Three Card Poker:
For this game you only have to remember one strategy rule: Always bet on any high card queen-six-four or better, and fold any high card queen-six-three or lower. That's it. Just don't forget to double check if you're not folding a straight or a flush, and you'll be fine.
This strategy will result in an expected return of 96.63%.
The Pair Plus sidebet, with the payout table that is used at the Diamond casino, gives you an expected return of 97.68%, which is actually a bit better than the main ante bet.
So by playing both wagers, you're reducing your expected losses per bet, but since you're betting more, you're also increasing your expected loss per hour.
My advice would obviously be to not play this game at all, but if you do, put as much of your bet as possible on the Pair Plus, while making our Ante bet as small as you can.
To be able to compare it to the other games at the Diamond, let's stay on that 50,000 maximum wager, meaning making your ante bet 35,000, and your pair plus bet 15,000, if the table would allow it.
This results in an expected loss of about 1,525 chips per hand, and with a round taking about 45 seconds, this adds up to an expected LOSS of around 120,000 chips per hour of playing. In comparison, if you would only play the ante bet for 50,000 per hand, you expect to lose 1,685 chips per hand, which means an expected LOSS of about 135,000 chips per hour. So the more out of that 50,000 wager you can put on the "Pair Plus" sidebet, the better.
Even though it may be fun to try out this game for a bit, since there's only one simple strategy rule to follow, you'll soon find yourself robotically grinding down your bankroll until it has vaporized. You're not missing out on anything if you skip these tables, there is no real challenge.
Just like with Roulette and Slots, if you want to try it out nonetheless, you can just bet the minimum amounts and only play for fun, so it won't matter if you win or lose.
3) Blackjack
Blackjack is the most complicated game by far. Simply because the player has to make a series of decisions, which will largely decide the outcome. Luckily, there is such a thing as an optimal strategy, which will be outlined below.
However, the strategy is also dependent on the house rules. These not only affect your expected return, but in some places also your decisions.
Here are the house rules at the Diamond casino:
-The game uses 4 standard decks, and a continuous shuffle.
-Blackjack pays 3 to 2, dealer checks for early blackjack.
-No insurance offered, no surrender.
-Dealer stands on soft 17.
-Double down on any two cards.
-Player can split only once, but doubling after split is allowed.
-Seven-Card Charlie.
Under these rules, and following the "basic strategy" chart, your expected return at Blackjack is a shade under 99.6%, which is extremely good for a casino game, that's why Blackjack should be your table game of choice.
But it comes at a price: you are going to have to memorize the relatively complicated strategy chart, or at least stick it to your monitor until you have it in your head. But in case you ever stumble into a real-life casino, you won't regret having this table memorized, so I would definitely advise you to work on that.
The strategy chart might look complicated at first, but you will be able to notice certain patterns. Your decisions are mainly based on the dealer's upcard, which is basically divided into a weak card (2 to 6), and a strong card (7 to ace).
When a dealer shows a strong card, you will be hitting more often with the risk of going bust, but when a dealer shows a weak card, you're not taking that risk, and you will be standing more, but also doubling and splitting more. You want to increase your bets when the odds are in your favor, and get out cheap when they're not.
But it also helps to take some time to think about why a certain advice is given. For example, why does it say that you always have to split two eights, even against an ace. Well, that's because two eights equals 16, which is the worst total you can have. It's better to split them up, and give yourself a chance of finding a 17, 18 or 19 with the next card. Once you see the logic in that, you'll have one less thing to memorize.
The playing advice in the basic strategy chart is a result of computer simulations that ran all possible outcomes against each other, and produced the most profitable decision for each situation. So you can't go wrong following it.
Optimal strategy for Blackjack with Seven-Card Charlie
The added house rule of Seven-Card Charlie, adds a small advantage for the player, and it does influence a few strategy decisions. For example, you might have a 14 with 6 cards, against the dealer's 5 upcard.
Normally this would be an automatic stand, but if you're only one card away from the Seven-Card Charlie, meaning an instant win for the player, regardless of the dealer's hand, it turns it into a hit.
Here's the most optimal strategy chart to follow for the Diamond Casino house rules:https://prnt.sc/olct6g
You'll see that two fives are missing from the chart, and that's because you never split them. You treat them as a regular 10. You also never split tens. Just stand on 20.
If you follow this strategy religiously, even with a maximum wager of 50,000 chips, you only expect to lose about 215 chips per hand, and with rounds taking about 30 seconds, that amounts to an expected LOSS of 26,000 chips per hour, which is only half a bet. A small price to pay for an hour of entertainment.
But since the expected return is so extremely close to 100%, you will see more positive short-term results than with other games. But obviously it can also swing the other way. Again, this is supposed to be the game where your money lasts you the longest, but always set your loss and win limits before you sit down. That rule simply always applies.
Still, even with optimal strategies applied, all these games are expected to lose you money in the long run. So betting any kind of large amounts is not advised. If you simply want to enjoy playing these games, there's nothing wrong with betting a minimal amount. Playing these games for a longer period of time will already cost you money anyway, since your daily property fees will still be charged while you're playing in the GTA casino. As long as you can play for fun, there's nothing wrong, but when you see yourself betting insane chunks of your entire bank balance to try to recoup some unfortunate losses, you're doing it wrong.
As the commercials in Britain all correctly say: when the fun stops, stop.
2) Virtual Horse Racing
Now onto the good stuff. I ran some numbers, and I believe Rockstar has made a mistake with the horse racing game. Because as it stands, and if I read the numbers correctly, this game is actually profitable for the player. You can actually make money with this, at least, until Rockstar figures out their mistake and patches it.
If anyone wants to jump into the math and double check this to make sure, please do so. I will add any corrections to this post. This is one of those "to good to be true" things, so I keep thinking that I might have overlooked something. So please verify it if you can.
The setup is this. There is a pool of 100 horses, each with their own attached payout. These are divided into 3 groups, ranked by their odds. From each group, 2 horses are randomly selected to provide a pool of six runners for you to bet on.
Now it's not an actual race you're looking at. You are looking at a raffle. This is important to realize.
Each horse gets awarded a certain number of raffle tickets. The favorites get awarded more tickets than the underdogs, and therefore, have a higher chance of winning.
If this distribution works like it does in the real-life casinos, then the raffle tickets are awarded according to the betting odds.
Example 1: imagine a race with 3 runners, all have 2/1 odds, representing a 33.3% chance of winning. (Because 2/1 means 2 AGAINST 1, so 3 total.) In this case, each horse gets one third of the raffle tickets, giving them an equal chance to win.
Example 2: imagine a race with 3 runners, one has 1/1 odds (or EVENS), representing a 50% chance of winning, and the other two horses are marked up as 3/1, with a 25% chance of winning. The favorite gets half the tickets, the other two get a quarter of the tickets each.
A ticket is drawn, and you'll have a winner.
It doesn't matter in this game which horse you bet on, because the expected return is always the same: 100% or break-even, for the above examples.
Now, what happens if the percentages don't exactly add up to 100%?
They must add up to 100%, because there will always be a winner. And only one winner.
So when this is the case, the actual winning chances of the horses are adjusted to meet the 100% requirement, using their payout odds to determine the scale.
So, if the represented percentages add up to more than 100%, the actual winning chances of the runners will be DECREASED, resulting in all bets becoming losing propositions for the players.
Example: In a 6-horse race, all runners are listed at 4/1, representing a 20% chance. Only with six runners that amounts to 120%. So all chances are scaled down by 1/6th, to end up at 100%.
This means your horse's chances are reduced from 20% to 16.67%, turning it into a losing bet: 5 times you will lose your bet, and 1 time you will win, but only get 4 bets back in this instance, instead of 5. A losing bet in the long run.
This is the type of odds that you find in regular casinos, with fields as large as 15 runners to bet on, where the assumed winning chances always add up to more than 100%, therefore are decreased for all runners, resulting in a house edge.
But in GTA Online's Inside Track, there are other scenarios, because of the small field, and the way that they are put together.
In some cases, the represented percentages when added up, are LESS than 100%, meaning that the actual winning chances of all runners, are INCREASED.
This creates profitable bets for the players, because in the long run, you're expecting to win more money than you lose. This is a gambler's dream, pure and simple.
So, according to the in-game information, the three groups of horses are divided as follows:
-Favorites: EVENS to 5-1
-Outsiders: 6-1 to 15-1
-Underdogs: 16-1 to 30-1
Let's take the two most extreme examples to show what's happening.
The worst possible field to bet on: two runners at EVENS, two runners at 6-1, and two runners at 16-1.
EVENS represents a 50% chance, 6-1 is 14.29%, and 16-1 is 5.88%. Add those up and you land on a total of 140.34%.
This means that the actual winning chances of the horses are decreased by 28.75% (to get that 140% down to 100%), which makes betting on this field extremely unwise.
A horse at EVENS will only come in as a winner 35.63% of the time, instead of 50%,
a horse at 6-1 will only win 10.18% of the time,
and an underdog at 16-1 will only win 4.19% of the time.
The expected return on a bet on any of the horses in this field is only 71.26%, so a maximum bet of 10,000 chips on any of these horses holds an expected LOSS of 2,875 chips.
These returns are the same, because the winning chances are scaled equally, according to the payout numbers. So it really doesn't matter which horse you bet on, in the long run, you expect the same results.
But as explained before, it does influence variance, and therefore your short-term result, which can swing both ways.
But now, the best possible field to bet on: two runners at 5-1, two runners at 15-1, and two runners at 30-1.
Odds at 5-1 represents a winning chance of 16.67%, 15-1 odds means 6.25% chance, and 30-1 odds means a 3.23% chance of winning. Add these six horses together, and you only get 52.285%.
This means that, to get from 52% to 100%, the actual winning chances of these horses will be almost doubled! Multiplied by 1.91 to be exact.
So the 5-1 favorites will now win 31.88% of the time, instead of 16.67%,
the 15-1 runners will win 11.95% of the time,
and the underdogs at 30-1 odds will still win 6.17% of the time.
When betting on this field, the expected return on your bet is 191.25%!
This means that a max bet of 10,000 chips will result in an expected PROFIT of 9,125 chips.
This is printing money, if there ever was such a thing.
Optimal strategy for Virtual Horse racing
So all you have to do, is only bet high on the games where you have an expected positive return, and bet the absolute minimum on the games where your expected return is negative. Or back out of the racing game to refresh the field.
If you don't have a way to quickly add up all the percentages, and until somebody shows up here with a neatly formatted table, just use a few general rules of thumb:
-Always bet the maximum on a race with favorites at 2/1 and 3/1 or higher in it.
-Simply skip all races with two favorites at EVENS in it, and at EVENS and 2/1. Or bet the minimum, if you can't skip or refresh the field.
-To decide if you should play races with other favorite combinations EVENS and 3/1, EVENS and 4/1, EVENS and 5/1, or two favorites at 2/1, the payouts on the other four runners determine whether or not it's profitable to play them. The results of betting on these fields vary from an expected 1,330 chip loss (worst-case) to an expected 1,680 chip win (best-case), with a max bet of 10,000 chips.
But if you're not looking for another strategy chart, you might just want to skip these borderline cases, and just cherry pick the best ones, which are easy to recognize, and with which you can never go wrong.
It's difficult to put a number on an expected win-rate, because it all depends on which fields you get presented with, but it's not unreasonable to state that you can maintain a steady win-rate of around 200,000 chips per hour, with about 50 seconds per race.
Remember, you're not trying to win every race. You're trying to win the most money per hour. So don't sweat it when you bet on a 4/1 favorite, and lose a couple of races in a row. It will still be more profitable in the long run. You have the math on your side.
To reduce negative variance, always bet on the favorite, when betting on profitable fields. We're not gambling anymore, we're grinding out a steady profit. We want to keep the swings to a minimum.
I contacted Rockstar support to verify if this is indeed how it works, but the only reply I got after 6 weeks is that they were "looking into it".
User u/Garsant made a useful Excel-worksheet, available for you to download, where you can quickly type in the payouts on the horses, to see if it produces a profitable bet or not. You can find it in his post here: https://www.reddit.com/gtaonline/comments/ekp8na/gta_online_inside_track_odd_calculato
1) Wheel of Fortune
The number one profitable casino game in GTA Online is obviously the Wheel of Fortune, because it costs you nothing to play.
Unfortunately, you only get one free spin per day, but it holds great value, so make sure you do it.
With a chance to win a super car, vehicle discounts, expensive mystery prizes (which also can be vehicles), and a lot of cash and chips, the expected return on a single spin is around $100,000 in value.
So don't forget your daily spin, it's definitely worth your time.
2020 Update:
As of the Diamond Casino Heist update, the Inside Track horse racing is confirmed to still be as profitable as outlined above.The only thing that seems to be changed, is that you can't refresh the field anymore by backing out of the screen. This does affect your hourly rate in a negative way, but does not change the fact that this game has a huge positive expected return, and should be your go-to when you're trying to take money from the house, without having Lester's nagging voice in your ear. That should also be worth something.
And with that, I conclude my 5,000 word essay on gambling in GTA. Questions, comments, feel free to add your input to this guide.
Cliffs:
-Gambling games should only be played for fun, not for big money. You should expect to lose in the long run. The house always wins.
-A casino game doesn't have a memory, and betting systems don't work.
-Set your limits before you start, how much you are willing to lose or win, and then walk away when you get there.
-Don't play slots, roulette, or three card poker.
-Only play blackjack following a basic strategy chart (https://prnt.sc/olct6g).
-Inside Track betting can be played profitably, if you only bet on fields WITHOUT a heavy favorite.
-Wheel of Fortune is always your best bet, because it's a free bet.
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Ultimate Gambling Guide for GTA Online - odds, probabilities, and optimal strategies

Since the Diamond Casino update, I have seen a large number of 12-year-olds posting Blackjack memes on this sub. As a parent, this has me very worried.
On top of that, I have seen some of the most trustworthy GTA Youtubers giving flawed gambling advice, which can have damaging impact on their gullible audiences.
So that's why I decided to write this up, to educate everyone on the subject, so there will be no more misunderstandings.
(2020 Update down at the bottom.)
If you're one of those Youtubers that wants to use this information in a video, feel free to do so. The more people (especially kids) that become educated about gambling, the better.
But then also please go back and review your own work, and delete or edit the videos that are giving out the wrong advice, like where you're saying you have "a good strategy for making money with roulette", or some other nonsense that I've heard this week. Delete that please.
Before I get into the individual games, I need to discuss a few concepts first, that will make understanding the rest a lot easier.

Expected return and variance
A game like Roulette or Slots has a fixed expected return on your bets. This is a percentage that you have no way of influencing. Say you are flipping a coin against a friend, and you both put up $1. The winner gets the pot. Since the odds are even at 50%, in the long run, you will expect to break even. Your expected return is 100% of your bet.
But imagine if you would play this coin flipping game in a casino against the house. On the "house rules" listed at the table they would probably say that you would only get 95 cents back for every win, while you are forfeiting a dollar on every loss. Would you still play?
Sounds stupid to do so, but still, everybody does it. Every bet they place on Roulette, every coin they put into a Slot machine, is based on the same concept.
Those few cents they take on every bet are their profit margin, and has paid for all the Vegas lights, the Mirage volcanoes, and the Bellagio fountains. Make no mistake - casino gambling games are not designed to make you lose, because sure, you can get lucky on a single night, but they are designed to make them win. That's the beauty of it. They can both exist at the same time.
Too many people that don't see how this works, are just destined for disaster. Just because you went on a lucky streak and won 8 games out of 10, does not mean that flipping coins is a profitable game, or that choosing tails is a winning strategy. Always be aware of the house edge, your true chances of winning, and just realize that you got lucky. There is no such thing as a strategy in flipping a coin that will give you a higher expected return, so it's just pure gambling, just like Slots and Roulette.
Most casino games are made in such a way, that your expected return is a little under 100%. This means that from every dollar bet at the tables, the casino expects to keep a few cents. For individual players, results may vary. Some will win, most will lose. But for the house, it doesn't matter. They take millions of bets each day, so for them, the expected average works out a lot sooner. In short: the house always wins.
When looking at the house edge, we're talking about the expected long-term result, based on the game's house rules. But for a player, it can take literally tens of thousands of hands or spins before you also reach this average number. Until that time, you can experience huge upswings and downswings, that are the result of nothing but short-term luck, which is called variance.
Some games and some bets have a much higher variance than others, which means your actual results will differ enormously from what you're expected to be at.
Take for example betting on red/black at the Roulette table. This is a low-variance proposition, because it has a high percentage chance of occurring, and a low payout.
Contrast this with betting single numbers in Roulette, which only win once every 38 spins on average. This bet has a much higher variance, meaning you can easily hit a dry spell, and not hit anything for 200 bets in a row, or you can see a single number hit three times in five consecutive spins. This is not a freak occurrence in high-variance bets.
Even though the expected return in both these bets is exactly the same, there's a huge difference in variance, causing massive differences in short-term results, which can go both ways. You need to be aware of this, before you decide what types of bets you are comfortable with placing.

Gamblers' Fallacy
Another thing to realize, is that each individual game, hand, or spin, is completely independent from the one(s) before it, and after it.
Gamblers tend to believe, that the chance of a certain outcome is increased, based on previous results.
The most famous example comes from the Casino de Monte Carlo, where the Roulette wheel managed to land on black 26 times in a row. Gamblers lost many millions during that streak, all frantically betting on red, believing that the odds were in favor of the wheel coming out on red, after producing so many blacks. This is not true. Each round is completely independent, and the odds are exactly the same.
You will hear people say things like a Blackjack table being "hot" or "cold", which is completely superstitious, and should be ignored. The exception was when Blackjack was being dealt from a shoe. It made card counting possible. But with the introduction of shuffle machines, and continuous shuffling like is being used in GTA, this no longer exists.
This is also why "chasing your losses" is a very bad idea. After being on a losing streak for some time, many gamblers believe that now it's their turn to start winning. So they will often increase their bet size, believing that when their predicted winning streak comes around, they will win back their losses, and more.
The reality of it, more often than not, is that people will indeed start playing higher and higher limits, until they are completely broke. Nobody is ever "due for a win". There is never a guarantee that you're about to start winning. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true. You are, after all, in a casino.

Betting systems
Some people like to think that they have a fool-proof betting system, like the Martingale system. Simply increase or even double your bet when you lose, and keep doing that until you win. In theory, this system will always win. So that's why table limits were introduced, and where the system fails.
If you start at the Roulette table, playing red/black, with a small 750 chip wager, and just double your bet every time you lose, you only have to lose 6 times in a row, before you will be betting the table limit of 48,000, just to get that 750 chip profit.
Sure, you can go on all evening without this happening, winning 750 chips each time, but this losing streak only has to happen once, and you're bust. Any betting system like this is ill-advised, because you are hugely increasing your so-called "risk of ruin", and that's what we were trying to avoid.
And even if your starting bet is only 100 chips, after only nine straight losses, and nine doubled bets, you are betting the table limit at 50,000 chips. If you lose that bet, you're 100,000 chips in the hole, with no way to recover that with your 100 chip base wager.
So don't believe anyone that says this is the perfect system to always win in the casino. Sooner or later they will understand why they were wrong, when they're asking you for a loan.

Set your limits BEFORE you start playing
One final point before we get into the games, a general tip for people that head out to play: money management.
Just like in real life, before you go to the casino, decide on a maximum amount that you are WILLING TO LOSE.
Bet small enough, so that amount can last you through the entire evening, and you will not be tempted to run to the ATM to continue playing.
Considering GTA money, some people will be comfortable losing 1% of their GTA bank balance, some people will be comfortable with gambling away 5% of their total GTA savings. It's up to you what you can handle. Decide for yourself where it will start to hurt, and don't cross that line.
But whatever number you decide on, as soon as you lost that amount, get up and walk away. Don't chase your losses, stick to your limits, and accept that this has not been your day. There is always another game tomorrow. Always agree with yourself on a simple stop-loss rule, how much you would want to lose at most, and simply stop playing when you get there.
Same goes for winning. You can decide on a number, how much profit you would like to take away from the casino. You can go on a hot streak and be up half a million in a short period of time, but if you would continue to play longer, looking for more, chances are that you're going to lose it all back.
Most people are happy with doubling their daily casino budget, for example. Others are looking for 10 bets profit in Blackjack. Whatever you choose, when you hit that number, you can stop playing and bank your profits, or you can continue playing if you're still enjoying the games, but then only just play minimum bet sizes. Then you're just playing for fun, not for money. You've already made your profit, so simply keep it in your pocket, and don't risk losing it again.
Either way, decide on what your money management strategy will be, and STICK TO IT.

Casino games in GTA Online
Now, I'm going to dive into the games that you can find at the Diamond casino, ordered from worst to best.

6) Slots
Generally the rule is this: the less strategy a game has, the worse it is for the player. And with slots, this is definitely the case.
The only influence you have, is choosing what type of machine you're going to play. Basically, there are two types of slot machines:
-high frequency, low payout slots
-low frequency, high payout slots
In the first type, there is no huge (progressive) jackpot on offer, just your average selection of prizes that don't go up to crazy amounts.
This will result in a player having many more spins resulting in a win. The amounts that you win on the bigger prizes, will be smaller, but they do come around more often. This type of slot machine has a lower variance, which means that your money should last you longer, winning many smaller prizes along the way to keep you going.
The second type of slot machine lures you in with the temptation of a huge jackpot prize. Even though the long-term expected return on these machines is the same as the previous type, the prize distribution is hugely different. The large jackpot prize weighs heavily on the scale of expected return, but the chance of it hitting is extremely small. This results in a much higher variance on this type of machine. Usually your money will go down very fast, because the smaller prizes are less rewarding than on the other type of machine.
At the Diamond, the info screen says the player return at slots is set at 98.7%. This means that, on average, for every maximum bet of 2,500 chips, you expect to lose 32.5 chips.
This might not seem like a lot, but the danger of slots is that the game is extremely fast. You can spin about once every 6 seconds, which would result in an expected LOSS of about 20,000 chips per hour of playing.
But again, in this long-term expected number, the large jackpot awards are also factored in, and as long as you don't hit those big prizes, you'll see your money go down a lot faster.
In any case, thank heavens the max bet is only set at 2,500, or else we would see more players go bankrupt at alarming rates.
Optimal strategy for slots:
There is none. Because after betting, you have no more influence over the outcome. The only choices you have, is what type of machine you want to play at, and how much money you are going to risk. And those are all personal preference. As long as you stick to your loss limits, as discussed above, there's no harm in having a go every once in a while, hoping to get a lucky hit. Just realize that you don't have a high chance of scoring a big win, so as soon as you do, get up and walk away.

5) Roulette
Roulette is also a game where you have no influence over the outcome. There is zero skill involved. You place your bet, and that's it.
In traditional French roulette, a table has only the single-zero, but of course, for American casinos that wasn't enough of a house edge, so they simply doubled their profits by adding a second zero. The house edge was increased from 1/37 to 1/19, which is huge.
This makes playing on a double-zero roulette table by definition a sucker's play.
The payouts scale evenly, which means that a bet on a single number, and a bet on half of the numbers, and everything in between, yields the same expected return. The only difference, again, being the variance that you are willing to subject yourself to.
The player return for double-zero Roulette for all bets is 94.74%.
Except for the 5-number bet, which can only be made by placing a bet on the two top rows that contain 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. The expected return on this bet is lower: 92.1%. This is because it only pays out 6-1. Why? Well, the number 36 isn't divisible by 5, so the greedy people that came up with double-zero Roulette had to round it off someway, and as expected, it wasn't going to be in the players' favor.Just remember that that 5-number bet is the worst bet at the table, and should be avoided. All other possible bets have the same expected return.
So it really doesn't matter how you spread your bets, if you bet only one chip, or if you litter the entire table with a bucketload of chips. Each chip you put out there, has the same expected return, so there is no strategy that will improve your long-term results.
Assuming that you're betting the maximum table amount of 50,000 chips, you will be looking at an expected loss of about 2,630 chips per spin. Considering that a round takes about 45 seconds to complete, your expected LOSS at the GTA Roulette tables will be around 200,000 chips per hour of playing.
Optimal strategy for double-zero roulette:
Stay away. Stay far away.

4) Three Card Poker
With Three Card Poker, we come across the first game where there is actually some strategy involved. You get to look at your cards, and then decide if you want to fold, and surrender your ante, or double your bet.
Additionally, you can choose to place a side bet on "Pair Plus", which offers progressive payouts.
There are some websites out there that ran all the numbers with computer simulations, and even though I would like to quote the source here, these websites are understandably littered to the max with online casino ads, so that's why I have decided against doing that.
Optimal strategy for Three Card Poker:
For this game you only have to remember one strategy rule: Always bet on any high card queen-six-four or better, and fold any high card queen-six-three or lower. That's it. Just don't forget to double check if you're not folding a straight or a flush, and you'll be fine.
This strategy will result in an expected return of 96.63%.
The Pair Plus sidebet, with the payout table that is used at the Diamond casino, gives you an expected return of 97.68%, which is actually a bit better than the main ante bet.
So by playing both wagers, you're reducing your expected losses per bet, but since you're betting more, you're also increasing your expected loss per hour.
My advice would obviously be to not play this game at all, but if you do, put as much of your bet as possible on the Pair Plus, while making our Ante bet as small as you can.
To be able to compare it to the other games at the Diamond, let's stay on that 50,000 maximum wager, meaning making your ante bet 35,000, and your pair plus bet 15,000, if the table would allow it.
This results in an expected loss of about 1,525 chips per hand, and with a round taking about 45 seconds, this adds up to an expected LOSS of around 120,000 chips per hour of playing. In comparison, if you would only play the ante bet for 50,000 per hand, you expect to lose 1,685 chips per hand, which means an expected LOSS of about 135,000 chips per hour. So the more out of that 50,000 wager you can put on the "Pair Plus" sidebet, the better.
Even though it may be fun to try out this game for a bit, since there's only one simple strategy rule to follow, you'll soon find yourself robotically grinding down your bankroll until it has vaporized. You're not missing out on anything if you skip these tables, there is no real challenge.
Just like with Roulette and Slots, if you want to try it out nonetheless, you can just bet the minimum amounts and only play for fun, so it won't matter if you win or lose.

3) Blackjack
Blackjack is the most complicated game by far. Simply because the player has to make a series of decisions, which will largely decide the outcome. Luckily, there is such a thing as an optimal strategy, which will be outlined below.
However, the strategy is also dependent on the house rules. These not only affect your expected return, but in some places also your decisions.
Here are the house rules at the Diamond casino:
-The game uses 4 standard decks, and a continuous shuffle.
-Blackjack pays 3 to 2, dealer checks for early blackjack.
-No insurance offered, no surrender.
-Dealer stands on soft 17.
-Double down on any two cards.
-Player can split only once, but doubling after split is allowed.
-Seven-Card Charlie.
Under these rules, and following the "basic strategy" chart, your expected return at Blackjack is a shade under 99.6%, which is extremely good for a casino game, that's why Blackjack should be your table game of choice.
But it comes at a price: you are going to have to memorize the relatively complicated strategy chart, or at least stick it to your monitor until you have it in your head. But in case you ever stumble into a real-life casino, you won't regret having this table memorized, so I would definitely advise you to work on that.
The strategy chart might look complicated at first, but you will be able to notice certain patterns. Your decisions are mainly based on the dealer's upcard, which is basically divided into a weak card (2 to 6), and a strong card (7 to ace).
When a dealer shows a strong card, you will be hitting more often with the risk of going bust, but when a dealer shows a weak card, you're not taking that risk, and you will be standing more, but also doubling and splitting more. You want to increase your bets when the odds are in your favor, and get out cheap when they're not.
But it also helps to take some time to think about why a certain advice is given. For example, why does it say that you always have to split two eights, even against an ace. Well, that's because two eights equals 16, which is the worst total you can have. It's better to split them up, and give yourself a chance of finding a 17, 18 or 19 with the next card. Once you see the logic in that, you'll have one less thing to memorize.
The playing advice in the basic strategy chart is a result of computer simulations that ran all possible outcomes against each other, and produced the most profitable decision for each situation. So you can't go wrong following it.
Optimal strategy for Blackjack with Seven-Card Charlie
The added house rule of Seven-Card Charlie, adds a small advantage for the player, and it does influence a few strategy decisions. For example, you might have a 14 with 6 cards, against the dealer's 5 upcard.
Normally this would be an automatic stand, but if you're only one card away from the Seven-Card Charlie, meaning an instant win for the player, regardless of the dealer's hand, it turns it into a hit.
Here's the most optimal strategy chart to follow for the Diamond Casino house rules: https://prnt.sc/olct6g
You'll see that two fives are missing from the chart, and that's because you never split them. You treat them as a regular 10. You also never split tens. Just stand on 20.
If you follow this strategy religiously, even with a maximum wager of 50,000 chips, you only expect to lose about 215 chips per hand, and with rounds taking about 30 seconds, that amounts to an expected LOSS of 26,000 chips per hour, which is only half a bet. A small price to pay for an hour of entertainment.
But since the expected return is so extremely close to 100%, you will see more positive short-term results than with other games. But obviously it can also swing the other way. Again, this is supposed to be the game where your money lasts you the longest, but always set your loss and win limits before you sit down. That rule simply always applies.

Still, even with optimal strategies applied, all these games are expected to lose you money in the long run. So betting any kind of large amounts is not advised. If you simply want to enjoy playing these games, there's nothing wrong with betting a minimal amount. Playing these games for a longer period of time will already cost you money anyway, since your daily property fees will still be charged while you're playing in the GTA casino. As long as you can play for fun, there's nothing wrong, but when you see yourself betting insane chunks of your entire bank balance to try to recoup some unfortunate losses, you're doing it wrong.
As the commercials in Britain all correctly say: when the fun stops, stop.

2) Virtual Horse Racing
Now onto the good stuff. I ran some numbers, and I believe Rockstar has made a mistake with the horse racing game. Because as it stands, and if I read the numbers correctly, this game is actually profitable for the player. You can actually make money with this, at least, until Rockstar figures out their mistake and patches it.
If anyone wants to jump into the math and double check this to make sure, please do so. I will add any corrections to this post. This is one of those "to good to be true" things, so I keep thinking that I might have overlooked something. So please verify it if you can.
The setup is this. There is a pool of 100 horses, each with their own attached payout. These are divided into 3 groups, ranked by their odds. From each group, 2 horses are randomly selected to provide a pool of six runners for you to bet on.
Now it's not an actual race you're looking at. You are looking at a raffle. This is important to realize.
Each horse gets awarded a certain number of raffle tickets. The favorites get awarded more tickets than the underdogs, and therefore, have a higher chance of winning.
If this distribution works like it does in the real-life casinos, then the raffle tickets are awarded according to the betting odds.
Example 1: imagine a race with 3 runners, all have 2/1 odds, representing a 33.3% chance of winning. (Because 2/1 means 2 AGAINST 1, so 3 total.) In this case, each horse gets one third of the raffle tickets, giving them an equal chance to win.
Example 2: imagine a race with 3 runners, one has 1/1 odds (or EVENS), representing a 50% chance of winning, and the other two horses are marked up as 3/1, with a 25% chance of winning. The favorite gets half the tickets, the other two get a quarter of the tickets each.
A ticket is drawn, and you'll have a winner.
It doesn't matter in this game which horse you bet on, because the expected return is always the same: 100% or break-even, for the above examples.
Now, what happens if the percentages don't exactly add up to 100%?
They must add up to 100%, because there will always be a winner. And only one winner.
So when this is the case, the actual winning chances of the horses are adjusted to meet the 100% requirement, using their payout odds to determine the scale.
So, if the represented percentages add up to more than 100%, the actual winning chances of the runners will be DECREASED, resulting in all bets becoming losing propositions for the players.
Example: In a 6-horse race, all runners are listed at 4/1, representing a 20% chance. Only with six runners that amounts to 120%. So all chances are scaled down by 1/6th, to end up at 100%.
This means your horse's chances are reduced from 20% to 16.67%, turning it into a losing bet: 5 times you will lose your bet, and 1 time you will win, but only get 4 bets back in this instance, instead of 5. A losing bet in the long run.
This is the type of odds that you find in regular casinos, with fields as large as 15 runners to bet on, where the assumed winning chances always add up to more than 100%, therefore are decreased for all runners, resulting in a house edge.

But in GTA Online's Inside Track, there are other scenarios, because of the small field, and the way that they are put together.
In some cases, the represented percentages when added up, are LESS than 100%, meaning that the actual winning chances of all runners, are INCREASED.
This creates profitable bets for the players, because in the long run, you're expecting to win more money than you lose. This is a gambler's dream, pure and simple.
So, according to the in-game information, the three groups of horses are divided as follows:
-Favorites: EVENS to 5-1
-Outsiders: 6-1 to 15-1
-Underdogs: 16-1 to 30-1

Let's take the two most extreme examples to show what's happening.
The worst possible field to bet on: two runners at EVENS, two runners at 6-1, and two runners at 16-1.
EVENS represents a 50% chance, 6-1 is 14.29%, and 16-1 is 5.88%. Add those up and you land on a total of 140.34%.
This means that the actual winning chances of the horses are decreased by 28.75% (to get that 140% down to 100%), which makes betting on this field extremely unwise.
A horse at EVENS will only come in as a winner 35.63% of the time, instead of 50%,
a horse at 6-1 will only win 10.18% of the time,
and an underdog at 16-1 will only win 4.19% of the time.

The expected return on a bet on any of the horses in this field is only 71.26%, so a maximum bet of 10,000 chips on any of these horses holds an expected LOSS of 2,875 chips.
These returns are the same, because the winning chances are scaled equally, according to the payout numbers. So it really doesn't matter which horse you bet on, in the long run, you expect the same results.
But as explained before, it does influence variance, and therefore your short-term result, which can swing both ways.

But now, the best possible field to bet on: two runners at 5-1, two runners at 15-1, and two runners at 30-1.
Odds at 5-1 represents a winning chance of 16.67%, 15-1 odds means 6.25% chance, and 30-1 odds means a 3.23% chance of winning. Add these six horses together, and you only get 52.285%.
This means that, to get from 52% to 100%, the actual winning chances of these horses will be almost doubled! Multiplied by 1.91 to be exact.
So the 5-1 favorites will now win 31.88% of the time, instead of 16.67%,
the 15-1 runners will win 11.95% of the time,
and the underdogs at 30-1 odds will still win 6.17% of the time.
When betting on this field, the expected return on your bet is 191.25%!
This means that a max bet of 10,000 chips will result in an expected PROFIT of 9,125 chips.
This is printing money, if there ever was such a thing.
Optimal strategy for Virtual Horse racing
So all you have to do, is only bet high on the games where you have an expected positive return, and bet the absolute minimum on the games where your expected return is negative. Or back out of the racing game to refresh the field.
If you don't have a way to quickly add up all the percentages, and until somebody shows up here with a neatly formatted table, just use a few general rules of thumb:
-Always bet the maximum on a race with favorites at 2/1 and 3/1 or higher in it.
-Simply skip all races with two favorites at EVENS in it, and at EVENS and 2/1. Or bet the minimum, if you can't skip or refresh the field.
-To decide if you should play races with other favorite combinations EVENS and 3/1, EVENS and 4/1, EVENS and 5/1, or two favorites at 2/1, the payouts on the other four runners determine whether or not it's profitable to play them. The results of betting on these fields vary from an expected 1,330 chip loss (worst-case) to an expected 1,680 chip win (best-case), with a max bet of 10,000 chips.
But if you're not looking for another strategy chart, you might just want to skip these borderline cases, and just cherry pick the best ones, which are easy to recognize, and with which you can never go wrong.
It's difficult to put a number on an expected win-rate, because it all depends on which fields you get presented with, but it's not unreasonable to state that you can maintain a steady win-rate of around 200,000 chips per hour, with about 50 seconds per race.
Remember, you're not trying to win every race. You're trying to win the most money per hour. So don't sweat it when you bet on a 4/1 favorite, and lose a couple of races in a row. It will still be more profitable in the long run. You have the math on your side.
To reduce negative variance, always bet on the favorite, when betting on profitable fields. We're not gambling anymore, we're grinding out a steady profit. We want to keep the swings to a minimum.
I contacted Rockstar support to verify if this is indeed how it works, but the only reply I got after 6 weeks is that they were "looking into it".
User u/Garsant made a useful Excel-worksheet, available for you to download, where you can quickly type in the payouts on the horses, to see if it produces a profitable bet or not. You can find it in his post here: https://www.reddit.com/gtaonline/comments/ekp8na/gta_online_inside_track_odd_calculato

1) Wheel of Fortune
The number one profitable casino game in GTA Online is obviously the Wheel of Fortune, because it costs you nothing to play.
Unfortunately, you only get one free spin per day, but it holds great value, so make sure you do it.
With a chance to win a super car, vehicle discounts, expensive mystery prizes (which also can be vehicles), and a lot of cash and chips, the expected return on a single spin is around $100,000 in value.
So don't forget your daily spin, it's definitely worth your time.

2020 Update:
As of the Diamond Casino Heist update, the Inside Track horse racing is confirmed to still be as profitable as outlined above.The only thing that seems to be changed, is that you can't refresh the field anymore by backing out of the screen. This does affect your hourly rate in a negative way, but does not change the fact that this game has a huge positive expected return, and should be your go-to when you're trying to take money from the house, without having Lester's nagging voice in your ear. That should also be worth something.

And with that, I conclude my 5,000 word essay on gambling in GTA. Questions, comments, feel free to add your input to this guide.

Cliffs:
-Gambling games should only be played for fun, not for big money. You should expect to lose in the long run. The house always wins.
-A casino game doesn't have a memory, and betting systems don't work.
-Set your limits before you start, how much you are willing to lose or win, and then walk away when you get there.
-Don't play slots, roulette, or three card poker.
-Only play blackjack following a basic strategy chart (https://prnt.sc/olct6g).
-Inside Track betting can be played profitably, if you only bet on fields WITHOUT a heavy favorite.
-Wheel of Fortune is always your best bet, because it's a free bet.
submitted by enderpiet to gtaonline [link] [comments]

[Translation] The Libero's murderer: how Arrigo Sacchi revolutionized tactics and built the best team of all times.

-"How was Italian football before Sacchi?" -"Like now."
Just two words are enough for Arrigo Sacchi to disarm your face-to-face strategy and leave you out of the game like a beginner. Three words that, however, do not strictly correspond to reality. They are only half true. Only by digging deep into his footballing imagination can one discover how the man who built one of the greatest teams of all time is able to disregard his legacy and blur it in the timeline of the evolution of the beautiful game in Italy. Despite his modesty, there is no doubt that Arrigo Sacchi and his Milan team mark a turning point for Italian football, although from the manager's point of view it is not a turning point but a mere parenthesis. Italian football changed during his time on the bench, but recovered its natural course as soon as he stepped off the pitch and into the offices. "Clearly there has been some change, but not like in the rest of Europe. The televisions have made us see that a different kind of football is being played. 'They've changed all over the world except in Italy,' Costacurta told me a few years ago when we were watching the Italian U-21s against Denmark," explains Sacchi. What are the reasons for this lack of evolution in Italian football? Sacchi is able to recite them with the confidence with which a surgeon points out the ills to be removed. "In Italy, you don't know what the merit is, you just want to win. The fans and the journalists don't ask for the show or the fun, they ask for the victory. -And then how do we seek this victory? -We seek it in the way we know best, through cunning or the art of achieving what we set out to do. Then, our football is a football that costs to be updated and to evolve". Like a wharf which, however much you stretch, returns to its original form, Italian football always tends towards its most primal concepts. And to find the origin of those concepts, you have to do some archaeological work until you get back to the embryonic stage of football in Italy.
World football is roughly divided into four schools. First we have the direct style which was born in England and is still representative of British teams nowadays. Then we have the cheerful, colourful and lighthearted way of life that the Brazilians have been able to bring to the pitch to the height of artistic movement. Thirdly, there is the Dutch philosophy. The so-called total football with which Rinus Michels overtook Herbert Chapman's WM team to surprise the world, generating an idea of play that still has imitators, as is the case of Barcelona in recent times. Finally, we find the Italian style, baptized under the term of Catenaccio, which means lock in Italian. A nomenclature, by the way, quite illustrative of the ideals of the game. In its most basic concepts, the Italian is a football mostly defensive and disciplined, where the result prevails over any commitment to aesthetics. In line with Niccolò Machiavelli's 'Prince' ("the end justifies the means"), Italian football has always assumed that anything is permissible as long as victory is achieved.
Ironically, Catenaccio has no Italian parents. It is not clear who invented this style, but none of those who claim paternity were born in Italy. According to the accomplished historian Brian Glanville, the Catenaccio was invented by the Austrian coach Karl Rappan during the first half of the 20th century. In the 1940s, Rappan developed a tactic that the press christened Riegel (lock, in German) and consisted of having one of the five men on the WM front line move in behind the three defenders. The job of this sweeper would be to keep an eye on the opposing forwards who were running away from their marker. Helenio Herrera, however, not only proclaimed himself the inventor of the Catenaccio but claimed to be the first player to play the role of a sweeper. "It occurred to me when I was playing in France," explains the Argentine coach, as Simon Kuper relates in Football Against the Enemy. "We were playing with the WM formation then," continues Mago Herrera, "and in a game where we were winning 1-0 with 15 minutes to go, I left my position to get behind the defense. I had these ideas in my time as a player and when I became a manager years later I remembered them." Glanville believes Rappan invented the Catenaccio, Nereo Rocco introduced it to Italy and Helenio Herrera perfected it. Whether it was one or the other who invented it, both versions agree that the key piece of this style is the figure of the Libero. Without it, there would be no Catenaccio.
The success of the ultra-defensive Inter Milan during the 1960s, which razed Europe to the ground with two consecutive European Cups (1964 and 1965), made the Catenaccio the book that rested on the bedside table of any self-respecting Italian coach. Anyone who wanted to win had to resort to defensive football. Nereo Rocco's triumphs with Milan in the late 1960s and Giovanni Trapattoni's triumphs with Juventus in the 1980s did not invite the idea of an alternative. That was the context in which a discreet footballer who had not managed to get out of the lower ranks of Italian football decided to hang up his boots to become a coach. At just 26, Arrigo Sacchi sat on the bench for the first time. At Baracca Lugo, a team in the neighbourhood where he worked as a shoemaker. "I was 26, my goalkeeper was 39 and my striker was 32. I had to win them" It was the start of a rise to the elite with stops at Bellaria and Rimini and the youth teams of Cesena and Fiorentina. But fate awaited him at Parma, with whom he would achieve promotion to Serie B in just one season and leave him three points behind the top flight of Italian football. During that season, a 1986-1987 Italian Cup play-off would change his life forever. He would beat AC Milan by the smallest of margins, playing a game that caught the eye of the Rossoneri's top executive. It was on that night that Silvio Berlusconi was enthralled by Arrigo Sacchi.

01. "The birth of Sacchi's Milan"

Silvio Berlusconi had recently became the owner of Milan. After a failed attempt to take over Inter Milan, he ended up buying the Rossoneri on 20 February 1986, ready to build the best team in the world. Although Milan did not seem to be the most suitable club to do so. The golden years when Europe was painted in red and black had already long survived only in the history books. In the early 1980s, Milan was going through its most traumatic period. Former president Felice Colombo, members of his board and some players were involved in the 'Caso Totonero' (blackjack), the illegal betting and match fixing scandal that rocked Italian football in the 1979-1980 season. As a result, Milan were administratively relegated to Serie B and began a dark period from which they could not escape. Despite the arrival of stars such as Paolo Rossi, top scorer in the 1982 World Cup in Spain, or the hiring of symbols such as Nils Liedholm to the bench, Milan did not get off the ground again. Berlusconi would become the end of Rossoneri's troubles. He took over from Giuseppe Farina in the presidency, brought optimism to the stands, millions to the coffers and, above all, a new philosophy for the team. He set himself the goal of becoming the best club in the world by always opting for attacking football that would be attractive to fans. To achieve this ambitious goal, he relied on the coach he had fallen in love with when he faced him in the Italian Cup. He trusted Arrigo Sacchi.
An unknown, with no past as a footballer, he was in charge of one of the most successful teams in Europe, making front-page coverage in the Italian press. The headslines that considered Berlusconi's gamble to be wrong were multiplying. They accused him of losing his mind. It was too shocking that someone who had not previously been a professional footballer should take over one of the giants of Italian football. That was the first obstacle Sacchi encountered in his promotion to the elite. It was a rare thing at the time. Ottavio Bianchi coached Napoli, Rino Marchesi coached Juventus, both of whom had a history with the Italian national team, and the illustrious Giovanni Trappatoni, who was a European champion in Rossoneri colours, sat on the Inter Milan bench. However, Milan's fate was in the hands of a rookie who was not known for his footballing skills. Replacing a myth like Liedholm didn't make things any easier either. Sacchi defended himself as his Milan would later, knocking out the critics with a simple phrase: "I didn't know that to become a jockey, you first have to be a horse".
Despite the doubts of the surroundings, there was total confidence in Arrigo Sacchi at the club. Silvio Berlusconi gave his new manager full powers to build a team to suit him. "My work at Milan is made possible by a great club. A club that was positively impressed by what I did at Parma, that believed in a few things and followed me completely. They even threw out some players who were undoubtedly valuable, but who were not functional and others who were not professionally as I wanted them to be," says the Italian coach. Sacchi does not give out any names so as not to reveal the identity of these non-functional or unprofessional players, but to draw your own conclusions you need only look at the list of players who left Milan that summer in 1987. Agostino Di Bartolomei set out for Cesena despite being the player who had played the most matches the previous season. Dario Bonetti, Ray Wilkins and Mark Hateley, among others, followed the same path.
But the key of that summer was not in the departures, but in the arrivals. Sacchi marked a clear line in the transfer policy. "I believed in ideas and work," says the Italian coach, "and to do this I needed to have reliable people, people who were enthusiastic, generous, a culture of professionalism, perfectionists, and we looked for these kinds of people. Then, that they were functional to the technical project we had in mind and that they were complementary to each other." It was within these parameters that Sacchi brought Walter Bianchi and Roberto Mussi with him from Parma, requested the signing of Carlo Ancelotti and was given two top stars by Silvio Berlusconi's checkbook: Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit. The former arrived from Ajax in exchange for 1.75 million euros. For the second, 13.5 million was paid to PSV Eindhoven. Both would become the totemic symbols of their Milan. "Van Basten was the best, but Gullit was the emblem. Without being the best he was the one who helped me the most", Sacchi confesses. Together, they formed the basis of the team along with promising youngsters such as Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi and Roberto Donadoni. Frank Rijkaard, the Holy Trinity's companion from the Rossoneri tulips, was not due to arrive in Milan until the following summer.
After a summer of avoiding criticism and disdain while transmitting to some heavyweights that they should make the suitcase, Sacchi managed to build his Milan and this had its first test in official match in the Coppa d'Italia against Bari. The business card could not have been better. The Rossoneri won 5-0 with goals from Donadoni, Virdis, Van Basten, Gullit and Massaro, and that 23 August 1987 has become a holy day in the history of Milan. It was the moment when the team that changed the destiny of the entity was born. Three days later it would beat Como, then Monza, and then make its Serie A debut with a win over Pisa. Milan had become a machine, from the beginning, that was very difficult to stop. Disappointments such as the early elimination from the UEFA Cup against Espanyol and some unexpected results injected doubts in Berlusconi, who even flirted with Johan Cruyff to give him the Rossoneri bench, but negotiations with the Dutchman did not bear fruit. Sacchi held on to his position and ended up building one of the best teams in history.

02. Milan's tactical analysis.

Sacchi's avant-garde ideas were the reconstruction of tactical values not only in Milan and Italian football, but also had a great impact on the world stage. His tactics marked a complete break with the style that was being imposed in Italy and, therefore, also in Europe. It was a tactical revolution and, as such, it required some sacrifice. Marat's death set fire to the French revolution and the assassination of Martin Luther King accelerated his 'dream'. For his own revolution, Arrigo Sacchi murdered the Libero. The Libero represented the icon of the Catenaccio, the figure with which the hitherto unquestionable WM formation was overthrown to create a new style in which defensive concepts were varied. "Italy has a defensive mentality in general, not just in football. For centuries everyone was invading us. When I arrived, most of the attention was on the defensive phase. We had a libero and a line of markers. The offensive phase was left to the intelligence and common sense of the only creative element in the team, the number 10," he says in 'Inverting The Pyramid'.
Sacchi changed everything. He abolished the law of the sweeper to form a very forward four-man defensive line that was perfectly synchronised to zonal marking and managing offside when necessary. Franco Baresi was in charge of the back line and marked the line over which the rest of the defence was to be deployed. Such a forward defensive line meant that spaces were reduced, providing a key safety net for the other two lines to push the opposition's ball out of their control. Thus, if an opposing player crossed a line, he immediately crashed into the next one. "We wanted to get the ball back as quickly as possible," says Sacchi, as if it were the simplest thing in the world. However, every move of that pressure was totally studied. To the extent that there was a false pressure, like the striker: "Sometimes we practised a false pressure. We pretended to put pressure, but in reality we used that time to recover our strength".
That kind of defensive work was the first necessary condition for a footballing bet that depended solely and exclusively on ruling the game through possession. Without the ball there was no plan. So it was necessary to get it back as soon as possible. In a way, it was a reinvention of Rinus Michels' total football. "We had the presumption, also the hope, of knowing how to do everything. We wanted to get the ball away from our opponents quickly and when we had it, we wanted to know when to have possession or when to play a vertical game. We defended by attacking, by running forward," explains Sacchi, "and when we had the ball we knew when we had to play upright or, on the contrary, when to pass backwards, change sides." As he talks about his tactical ideals, Sacchi seems to have moved into the dressing room for a moment. He looks down, forgets about the camera, the focus and even the journalist in front of him, and stands in front of an imaginary team he's coaching before a game or during a training session. He speaks without resting. Having a tactical conversation with Sacchi is the perfect metaphor for the game that Milan played on the field: he takes possession, monopolises the words and leaves hardly any space for the interlocutor to interact. He is the unequivocal master of the dialogue and one can only shut up, listen and learn. "We trained believing that pressure was important because it allowed us to grow our self-esteem and personality and impose on others a rhythm of play they were not used to. We also tried to condition them when they had the ball. But when we had the ball we had to know how to manage it and understand if it was time to play vertically or start again with the ball, change the game or change the zone. It was a team that I think knew everything and was played by excellent performers, with a great club behind them. We had the interpreters and they were all functional. For me, they were the best players in the world, all 18 of them. I knew that wasn't the case, but I wouldn't have swapped them for anyone else," he concludes, before taking a breath. By way of false pressure, we intuited.
Paradoxically, that Milan that needed the ball so much to represent their football ideas on the field, often worked out without it. The ball was not a usual assistant in Milanello, training center of the Milan team. Sometimes, Arrigo Sacchi designed purely theoretical work sessions in which the players did not even need to jump onto the field. At other times, he encouraged positional play and Sacchi forced his disciples to show him where they should be on the pitch depending on where an imaginary ball was. The coach would walk around the pitch and the players would have to correct their position with millimetric precision. His tactics revolutionised Italian football to the point where the foundations of the game were called into question. Italian teams were divided internally according to the characteristics of their players. Some had the responsibility to defend and others were in charge of attacking, being exempt from running backwards. With Sacchi, although this had already happened with Michels, both parties merged to reward the block. They all ran to get the ball back and they all represented basic pieces in the creation of attacking football. With Sacchi came the supremacy of the group over the individual in the Serie A.

03. Opera Prima

Sacchi's Milan reached its peak in the European Cup. During his time on the Rossoneri bench he gave Silvio Berlusconi a Scudetto, an Italian Super Cup, two European Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and, above all, two European Cups. But, above the titles, key moments are remembered, matches in which Milan was consecrated as one of the best teams of all times. Probably one of those matches was the one that pitted them against Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the 1988-1989 European Cup. Sacchi was facing his second season at the head of Milan. After winning Serie A, he had to export his success to Europe, where Berlusconi's most coveted ambition lay: the European Cup. After beating Bulgaria's Vitosha Sofia (2-7 on aggregate), Red Star on penalties and Werder Bremen with a solitary goal from Marco van Basten in the second leg, he would face Real Madrid in the semi-finals. Although the Merengue players barely remembered those European Cups that Di Stefano won in black-and-white television, they had brought together a generation that had been thrilling the stands: the Quinta del Buitre. The Butragueños, Michel and company were joining international stars like Hugo Sanchez to dream again with the trophy with big ears. There was plenty of talent in Madrid and it was, along with Milan, the fashionable team in Europe. It was unquestionable that the Spanish capital smelled of the Seventh, but the first leg generated doubts. After 90 minutes, the score was a 1-1 draw, but the feeling was very different. Sacchi remembers it clearly and confesses that even Butragueño recognized to him years later that he did not know how they had obtained that draw in the Bernabéu. "Butragueño told me when I was at Real Madrid - when he was vice-president and had been a great player since he was little and therefore knew everything about Real Madrid - that he had never seen in his life, having followed football and having played it, "a team that came to the Bernabeu to do what you did. We managed to recover a draw not knowing how. You looked like twenty and we looked like ten or eleven. You attacked even Buyo", recounts the Italian.
The key to Milan's dominance in Madrid was once again pressure, the hallmark of Sacchi's Milan. Such was the superiority shown by the visitors that, when adding up an insufficient result, the Milan players went into a state of depression. Sacchi had to work as a psychologist to lift the spirits of his team and show them the way to seal their qualification for the European Cup final. "I remember that in the following 15 days I was telling the players: 'Remember that at certain levels, when you have to win and you don't win, you lose nine times out of ten. So either we make a masterpiece or we lose here". That work of motivation was the first stone to build what later has been considered the Opera Prima of Milan. Milan has given three artistic jewels to the world: the Scala, the Duomo and the Manita to Real Madrid. Milan came back with a 5-0 win at the San Siro, although things did not start off well. So much that as soon as the match got underway, Sacchi considered removing his main star Marco van Basten from the field. "When they came here, Madrid started well, we didn't start so well; van Basten was static, so much so that I immediately got a striker warming up. I remember Ramaccioni saying to me: 'Arrigo, calm down a bit'," said Sacchi. Then came the stroke of genius. All it took was a tactical move and the game changed in favour of the Rossoneri. Carlo Ancelotti was the embodiment of the strategy. To find the origin, you have to go back a few days before the meeting. "Carlo unlocked everything," analyses Sacchi, "and that's how I see football. On Tuesday, Evani had been injured in a clash with Albertini; because we trained on Tuesday as if it was already the match, with that strength. I had many solutions to replace him: to put Donadoni as a winger, who although many journalists put him there, we didn't use as a winger. We used him as a midfielder, the fourth central player, because if he ended up on the right or left wing, he bothered the wings, which were Evani and Colombo. Or putting Virdis in attack with Van Basten and Gullit as a midfielder in Donadoni's place, but Gullit didn't guarantee me on a tactical level what Donadoni guaranteed me... In the end I played the player least likely to replace Evani, who was Ancelotti, but he was the most available and gave me his 100%."
The gamble proved to be perfect: "The prize was that the first goal was scored by Ancelotti. And then he played the final in that position too. What did the Steaua coach do? He put Hagi in that area, but he didn't know that we never had a marker, we had two or three, because our team was, in that way, compact, short in that period of time compared to the others, but we were always going to mark with two or three men. And this happened against Real Madrid, where we had a numerical superiority in the pressure on the ball." Sacchi believes that the basis of the victory over Real Madrid was, as it was throughout his career, the importance of the team over the individuals. "They had players with great technique, probably better than us, but we were a great team. They had a group, but less of a team than we did. And in football the collective achieves more than the individual. You have to know this," says the Italian. That victory marks the definitive explosion of Milan, who went on to become the dominant force in European football.
After that, they won the Intercontinental Cup against Nacional de Medellin and went on to reach the footballing heavens. However, that match also represented the change in the way teams faced Milan. The Colombians were the first daring ones who forced Arrigo's thoughts to change. "With Nacional of Medellin they were the ones who made things difficult for us because for the first time we were up against a team that attacked us a lot. Then, of hunters we became hunted. It took us tranquility, security. This requires patience, which is a virtue I have not always had, but at that time I had it. I remember that at half-time Van Basten said to me: 'We are not well, we are not in shape, we have to have patience'. It wasn't a pretty game, but I was amazed at how many people said it was bad. Those people never understood that Milan were playing great football. I have to say that it was a game similar to reading a Kafka book: heavy, difficult," says Sacchi for El Enganche about that 1-0 win for Evani in the last minute of extra time, which represented the club's second Intercontinental and the first one to be shown in his living room. Milan, however, were already a despotic side who had challenged the previously dominant footballing laws and turned them to their advantage.

04. Gullit vs Van Basten, angel vs demon.

Despite the successes achieved with his Milan, Arrigo Sacchi was not lacking detractors. His style was so far removed from Italian traditions that some were unable to digest the change. "Even now it is said that when Milan played well it was because they had good players and when they played badly it was because Sacchi was there," joked the Italian coach, seeking complicity. Gianni Brera, the legendary Italian sports journalist, was one of his fiercest critics. Brera, an exquisite connoisseur of football and tactics, professed admiration for a doctrine that was antithetical to that represented by Sacchi's Milan. His attacks on the ideas of the revolutionary coach were commonplace in the Gazzetta dello Sport. Although Arrigo was intelligent to take advantage of these criticisms and reverse them in his favour. Before the 1989 European Cup final against Steaua Bucharest, he used an article by Brera to motivate his players. "I remember before the final with Steaua, that the greatest Italian sports critic, the poor Brera, an excellent writer, very good indeed, but with footballing ideas very distant from ours, said: 'Milan will play against the champions of dancing football, against the champions of possession of the ball, they will have to wait for it, defend it and go on the counterattack'. On Tuesday before the match the best Italian sports journalist wrote this and I read it because I needed to know his convictions. You cannot say 'do it because I say so'. According to him, we had to use that strategy. Gullit stood up and said 'we'll attack them from the first second until we have the forces. Okay, everybody? And we did."
However, Sacchi's most surprising enemy was not Brera, but was hiding in his own dressing room: Marco van Basten. Known to all, the relationship between the two was not good. So much so that the Dutchman often questioned him in front of the group. Sometimes he found it hard to see the logic in his coach's approach, and so he let him know. "Van Basten asked me why the others were winning and why we had to win and convince them. He also told me that we worked too hard and didn't have any fun. I always told him: 'You're a clever boy and you have to have fun in a different way. We're here to make sure the audience has a good time. He never understood that you can't get a lot without giving a lot. Van Basten has been an extraordinary player for me, not easy to manage, but extraordinary," says Sacchi. Years after their paths diverged, Sacchi and van Basten crossed paths again and the Dutchman acknowledged his mistakes: "When World Soccer recognised not too long ago that Milan had been the best team of all time, from when football existed, I said to him: 'Did you understand why we had to win and convince? And he said: 'I understood. And I understood something else too. Now I am a coach and I understand how many problems I created for you". And I said to him: "If I can console you, I didn't solve many of them." Nevertheless, Sacchi admits that he wouldn't have swapped van Basten for any other player, either of the time or of the present. "When they tell me 'between Ronaldo and van Basten who would you have signed,' I have no doubt: van Basten. But not because van Basten was more talented than Ronaldo, but because he was more functional in terms of our style of football and was a professional who gave more guarantees than Ronaldo, who was an unimaginable talent."
While the estrangement with Marco van Basten was evident, Sacchi had a close relationship with another Dutchman in the team: Ruud Gullit. He was his main support in the dressing room and the player through whom he injected his philosophy to the rest of the players. "Gullit was considered the emblem, for me he was a phenomenal player and an extraordinary person; probably the one who helped me the most without being the best, because the best was van Basten, but he had personality while van Basten hid himself, he was discontinuous. Gullit helped me a lot in making Italian players who always ran backwards run forward. He was the most convinced of this," he says. Sacchi changed the philosophy of Italian football, but Gullit transformed the philosophy of the Milan dressing room. The combination of the two Italian players made Rinus Michels' total football a success, building a Milan that would go down in history.

05. Revolutionary without revolution

After winning everything with Milan, he took over the reins of the Italian national team with whom he was second in the 1994 World Cup. He then went through an erratic career with a brief return to Milan and a few stints with Atletico Madrid and Parma before making the jump to the offices. With the perspective of his entire career, it's time to ask the same question as at the start: what was Italian football like before Sacchi? How have things changed since his revolution? Sacchi himself answers: "There has clearly been some change, but it is not linked to globalisation. Capello said it: 'We've rediscovered the Libero'. Most teams play with a fixed sweeper in the back." With Sacchi, Italian football learned that everyone must defend and attack as one, as a whole, without the previous attack-defence division. But it has forgotten everything else, and that takes its toll in Europe: "More and more we are getting slapped around and then we say: 'Why don't we spend? Why don't we use more start-up money? Then it happens that Borussia Dortmund reach the final and spend less than most of the big Italian teams or that Atletico Madrid reach the final of Champions and spend less. Our clubs are full of foreigners, full of fear, full of an eminently defensive football, playing with a sweeper. Then the result when they play at international level, where they find themselves with one less player in midfield or in attack, with the rival having players of level and leaving the ball and the initiative to them... well, they put you in difficulties".
"Also because outside the country, in general, they're much better at attacking than defending. So, if you want to put them in trouble, you have to attack them, not stop their attack. But all this requires work, organization, time, planning, programming and less improvised teams, teams that make some sense. What does a sense mean? Putting each value in its place. Since we are talking about a team sport, let's start with what unites the team: the game. What is the game about? From ideas and work. And without ideas and work, you don't have the game. If you don't have the game you rely only on individuals, and no individuality will ever have the power of a team. In some teams, this tendency to improvise - which we call fantasy - causes total disorganisation, with the consequence of losing the team," he adds to close a precise X-ray of the ills that Italian football is suffering from. Three decades after the birth of Sacchi's Milan, Italy has forgotten everything it has learned. There is no trace of the game with high pressure, offside is just another resource and even the sweeper, whose assassination triggered everything, has come back to life. Sacchi is a revolutionary without revolution. No one has been able to pick up on his witness. Italy has forgotten him, but football hasn't. Football just cannot forget the creator of one of the best teams in its history.
by Massimo Callegari & Francisco Orti for El Enganche.es (2016).
submitted by LordVelaryon to soccer [link] [comments]

Popular Tips And Tricks For Blackjack - A Beginner’s Guide

Every professional Blackjack player started as a beginner. We all have been there at some point in our time. Before rushing to a nearby Blackjack table or a Live casino, our experts have devised some common methods for you that will help you to bend the house edge in your favour.kep on reading...
Memorizing the basic blackjack strategies
You must be well aware by now that blackjack is not a game of chance. According to blackjack expert, John Marchell - memorizing the basic ways to handle a split, double down. Stand and hit are essential for getting good in the game. By memorizing the basic strategies and rules, a player can practically reduce the house edge of blackjack from 1-2% to 0.5%! For example, when the dealer has 2-6 and you have a card ranging between 12-16, it’s time to stand. Similarly, if you have Aces and 8s, it's always better to split.
Avoid insurance
Unless and until you are good at counting cards, don't go for the insurance bet. If you apply for the insurance, the house basically has a 6 per cent advantage over you which is huge. If the dealer comes up with a blackjack, you won't be able to push. Nobody loses, nobody wins, so why take the risk?
Don't get drunk!
In most of the casinos, you will find attractive waiters offering free drinks. If not, there are bars which offer complimentary drinks. Why will they do that? Simply to dull your judgemental abilities. This will increase your chances of losing albeit to costly mistakes that you won't be able to recover from. To play an amazing game of Blackjack, concentration and focus is the key. So the next time, anyone offers you free drinks at the casino, be polite and refuse.
Don't slow down the game
If you are not experienced enough and playing the game for the first time at the table, you will see that the pit crews and dealers will understand your situation an play accordingly. But if you haven't done your homework, don't slow down the game. The pit bosses hate this as it decreases the number of hands played every hour. This is bad for the casino business. Not only will it generate unpleasant reactions from the dealer but also from skilled players as it decreases their profit margin every hour. If you are not sure about your skills, take the third-base seat of the table. His will give you some time to assess your next move or quickly check your strategy chart.
Counting card with an RNG game is futile
Learned counting cards after a whole deal of practice? Planning on trying it out on the next online Blackjack game? Don't! We hate to break it to you but it does not work that way. The RNGs used in online Blackjack game generates different outcomes in every round. Moreover, it changes the cards that are dealt with every round which makes it impossible to keep track of every card in the game. Every round is a fresh round. Instead of relying on card counting techniques, just use the basic Blackjack strategy chart to improve your winning chances.
Other honourable tips and tricks worth mentioning
Now that, you are aware of all the Blackjack tips and trick, head over to a table and try your luck. And as always, gamble responsibly.
submitted by john_michal to u/john_michal [link] [comments]

Inside Boston Underground Poker Part 5: Bubbles Goes Busto

Previous Post: https://www.reddit.com/pokecomments/bg7xox/inside_boston_underground_poker_part_4_bubbles_in/
So there I was, walking to the Wynn craps table with about $38k in cash in my pocket. I was up $30k for the day in poker, but as always, I had to push my luck.
There's a table off to the side with only one player at it, while the rest of the tables are pretty packed. I prefer a relatively empty table, so I head over there. The guy at the table has weirdly colored chips in front of him, and I realize he's some mega-whale with over a million in chips in his rail. I walk up to the table and he stays sitting, staring into his rail of chips. The table is $100 minimum which is why no one else was there, and I buy in for $10k.
The guy is just starting a new roll, so I put $600 each 6 and 8 and $250 on the 5 and 9, and he instantly 7s out. I'm down $1700 already in about 3 minutes, shit.
I throw $100 on the line, throw a 6 on the come out and put $600 on the 8, $250 each 5 and 9 again. The other guy started the roll with $12k each 6 and 8, $10k each 5 and 9 and $5k each 4 and 10, plus $1000 each on the hardways. I end up going on an insane roll. I'm throwing hard 6s and 8s like crazy, the guy has pressed up to $5k each on the hard ways and $30k each 6 and 8, and I just keep rolling them. I'm pressing my bets as well, and I'm up like $20k plus I have my bets up to $1000 each 5 and 9 and $3000 each 6 and 8, and I'm still going. At one point I bounce one of the dice off the table, and the other guy turns his bets off, and I roll back to back hard 6s, so he missed out on $160,000 from those rolls, it was pretty sick.
I think in total I made something like $35k off of my roll, and the other guy made over a million. The sickest part was that he barely even looked up from his chips, and he never said a word to me or tipped the dealers at all. He went to the bathroom at one point and I made a comment to the dealers, and they said he was still down overall on the day... What a sicko.
I played for a bit longer and ended up with $90k in my pocket, a profit of over $52k in a couple of hours of craps. I went into the Wynn with $8k in the morning and was leaving with $90k about 12 hours later. It was absolutely insane. I walked outside to wait for my car at the valet, and I had stuffed all 9 of the $10k "straps" into the pockets of my jeans. My jeans were busting with all of the cash, and these old people who were waiting at the valet noticed it and were staring so hard, it was hilarious.
Between my cash, bank accounts and investments, I had about $350k to my name at that moment, less than 3 years after moving to Boston with a roll of around $1500. As you can imagine, I felt absolutely on top of the world. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head. Should I go buy a Porsche in cash? Should I listen to my mom and go to school in Santa Barbara, and use my money on a down payment on a house there?
What was certain was the first thing I should have done was taken a bunch of that cash to the bank and gotten it out of my degenerate hands. Instead I drove to the Bellagio, got a room, got some room service, and went to bed. I woke up in the morning and had lost the $90k at the craps table before lunch.
Now you might be thinking that this was the start of my spiral down, that I went and cashed out my investments, got it all in cash, and blew it all at the Bellagio craps tables, but that would have been too simple. Instead I went back to grinding $10/20nl like nothing had happened. I had lost 2 buyins, oh well.
I took a few more shots at juicy $25/50nl games that summer, and like the lucky asshole I was, I never had a losing session in the 5 I played of that game. The other 4 were all at Bellagio, and usually only ran because a couple of specific businessmen wanted to play. They were bad, the games were great, I was still on top of the world in terms of poker.
One session in particular stood out. I sat down with $10k and was on a roll again, running it up to over $20k within a couple of hours. I had maybe $24k in front of me and was the big stack at the table, it was early and there hadn't been too many rebuys yet, and in walks Viffer (David Peat). Viffer was apparently down a few buyins in Bobby's Room and only had enough for our game, so he sat in with $50k. Being the biggest stack at the table besides him, as well as a 21 year old dressed like a complete douche, Viffer instantly focused on me. He was sitting all the way across the table from me (I was in seat 3, he was in seat 8), but as he sat down he called across the table to me, "hey kid, ever lost a $50,000 pot before?". "Not yet, but I look forward to it!", I retorted. Not my greatest comeback ever, but oh well.
I continue working up a stack without playing any big pots with him, and I'm at close to $30k and Viffer is still around $50k when a big pot happens. Since it was a $25/50nl game with $100 dead on the button, a typical raise was $300-350. In this hand, UTG raised to $350, Viffer called from the CO or HJ, the button called, the SB called, and I woke up with KK in the BB. There's over $1500 in the pot already, so I make it $1500 total and everyone calls. There's over $7500 in the pot preflop. The flop comes KTx rainbow, and I'm trying to figure out how long I should wait before checking, and if I should ham it up, when instead the SB open jams for around $8000. I have nearly $20k behind, and I wasn't sure what to do. UTG had about $12k, Viffer had me covered, and the button had under $10k, so raising vs flatting only really mattered significantly vs Viffer. I decided he didn't have much that could have hit this flop strongly, I wasn't getting paid unless he had KT or obviously TT or bottom set, and I didn't want to let him have pot odds with QJ, so I just jammed. UTG snap folded and Viffer stared me down for a minute before folding, and the button folded as well. We didn't flip our cards up, and the turn came an A and Viffer cursed to himself. He admitted later to having AT. River came a blank and the SB flipped up QJo to ship the pot with his straight. Bye bye $24k pot.
I shake it off, I still have around $20k in front of me, and I run it up a bit once again, sitting with around $25k when I get into a big pot once again. This time I raise to $300 with J9s from the CO and one of the donkey businessmen that the games run because of reraised from the blinds up to $900. I called the $600 more, he had around $13k in his stack to start. The flop comes QJ9 and I'm loving life again. He could have QQ, but JJ is unlikely since I have one, and I had only seen him 3 bet once in around 4 hours. Great chance he had an overpair. He instantly bet out $1500 into the $2000 or so pot, and I reraised to $4000, he went all in pretty quickly, and after a little bit of thought I made the call and he proudly flipped up KK. He had a decent number of outs with his gutshot, another K or a Q giving him the pot, but instead the board ran out 5, 5 to give him higher 2 pair in a different way. Bye bye $26k pot.
Those were 2 of the biggest pots I had ever played where it actually went to showdown and I hadn't gone all in with 100% to win. I had around 62% equity with the J9 and 74% with the KK, so it was a less than 10% chance for me to lose both. I ended up leaving the table up $7k, which was awesome after having lost my only 2 all ins for the night, but I was feeling negative, and of course went to the craps table. I lost my $7k profit and went home even for the day.
Another of the biggest pots I ever played was actually at $10/20nl at the Wynn vs another pro who liked to try to make huge bluffs sometimes and had a habit of overthinking stuff in my opinion. I was sitting with over $15k from $8k in buyins, and was having a pretty great session overall, and the other pro had around $10k. I don't remember the action nearly as well in this hand as the others, but I had KTss in a 3bet multiway pot to the flop, and it came KT7 with 2 hearts. Someone bet, the other pro raised, I 3bet, the original better flatted, the other pro 4bet for like 40% of his stack, I shoved, the original raiser folded after tanking, and the pro went into the tank hard. Now this was a guy whose game I respected. He was facing a bet of another $5500 to win a pot of about $23000. When he went into the tank, I figured he had a non-nut flush draw and was trying to figure out if I had some pair and higher flush draw combos or nut flush draws in my range where he'd be way behind. He tanked for nearly 5 minutes and eventually called, the board ran out A, 5 and he said "you've probably got me". I turned over my KT and he goes "oh holy shit I figured you had a set!" and turn over A5hh. I'm not sure why he tanked so long getting over 3:1 with a nut flush draw, even if he put me on only sets, he still had the odds to call, and I'm playing QJhh and 98hh the same way, hands he is ahead of. I didn't mind losing 2 pair vs flush draw as much as I minded that he had me convinced I was good with his tank, and then even more when he said "you've probably got me". I had to leave the game because I was close to tilt after that one.
The WSOP ended and the games dried up a bit. There were still $10/20nl games going at Bellagio usually, but with more grinders and fewer donks per table. Throughout the post- WSOP summer, many of my friends came out to party, and I spent a lot of time with Ashley, growing closer with her. At the end of the summer I decided not to stay in Vegas full time, moving to Berkeley, California, near my hometown and where several of my friends went to university. I played some of the juicy $5/10nl and $10/20nl games in the Bay Area with a medium amount of success, and partied a bunch with friends in frats at Cal. I made lots of trips out to Vegas, usually just for degenerate gambling and not a ton of poker. I had taken some losses in the market, but was still sitting with around $300k between cash, accounts and investments. When Bank of America dipped in November, I bought some for under $12. I still had Jetblue stock which wasn't doing great, and a handful of other stocks which were all struggling in the bear market, but I was convinced it would turn around.
My host at the Bellagio was always inviting me to special events, and 2 stood out. A $1 million freeroll heads up blackjack tournament was the first. It was 128 players, so nearly $10k in value. If you won your first 3 rounds, you were in the money and guaranteed $50k. After dominating my first 2 opponents who knew very little about blackjack tournament strategy, I was feeling confident. Blackjack tournament strategy is very different than normal blackjack strategy since your objective is to beat your opponent, not the dealer, and there are weird rules like blackjack paying 2 to 1. There are a set number of hands you play, and whomever has the most money after those hands wins. My first opponent went broke, so I automatically won that. My 2nd opponent just bet small every time, and didn't compensate when I took a lead, so on the final hand he didn't even give himself a chance to win with his bet.
My third opponent was semi competent, he at least knew basic blackjack strategy, but his betting was wrong and he still played as if he was trying to win chips from the dealer, not merely outplay me. I managed to make it so that on the 25th and final hand of our game, if both me and my opponent won the hand, I won, if both me and my opponent lost the hand, I won. Outside of making it impossible for them to win at all, which is very hard with correct strategy, this is about all you can ask of in a blackjack tournament. Me and my opponent both received face cards first, a great sign for me. For my 2nd card I received another face card, great news, until my opponent was dealt an A and got paid 2 to 1. My only chance was to split my face cards and try my luck to still end up on top, but it didn't work out and my opponent was the winner.
A few months later I was invited to a free $1 million poker tournament. This was it, my ultimate chance. It was 100 invited players only and based on pit and slot play, not anything to do with poker. It was going to be me vs a bunch of degens without any poker skill! The time for the big tournament came, and there was a twist. There were actually 110 players, 10 of whom were MGM executives and had cash bounties on their heads between $1000-$10k depending on their level at the company. They couldn't cash the tournament, they were just there to have fun and add a wrinkle to the game.
I easily navigated the field to start, although someone else at my table got the $2k bounty for knocking out our MGM employee. As the tournament progressed, it became clear the structure wasn't great, especially with so many inexperienced players taking a long time to make decisions. We were down to about 14 players including 2 executives left. Once only 10 real players were left, all of the executives remaining would be removed and their bounties would be put into the regular prize pool. Top 10 got paid, so there were essentially 12 left plus 2 fake players. I don't remember the action too well for this hand either, but I believe I was about 30 bbs deep to start the hand and raised with AJ from the button and got called by both blinds. The big blind was a $5000 bounty and she only had about 5bbs left after the call. The flop came KJ4 and they both checked, and I bet the 5bbs that the bounty had left. They both called. Turn came a T and after the other guy checked, and I thought I had him beat, so I went all in for the remaining 20 or so bbs. The SB tanked and was talking about how he really wanted the bounty. He ended up calling, he had about 1bb behind, and we all showed our hands. The SB had T9 with no flush draw, and the bounty had QJ, so I was 81% to scoop the hand, and only 11% to bust. River T and I'm done. The worst part was that the guy who stacked me with T9, having called with just a gutshot on the flop, managed to lose all of his chips on the bubble and go out in 11th place. He got his $5k cash bounty though...
The stock market continued to crash, and I went harder and harder in on the stocks I thought would bounce back, still investing on margin. Eventually I lost it all in February/March of 2009 when Bank of America stock dropped to $3. I had bought in more at $7, then even more at $5, and when the margin call came in I lost nearly $200k just on that one stock. My average buy price was a mere $6 since I had bought in huge at $5. If I had been able to pay the margin call and hang on, by August of 2009 my 50k+ shares would have netted me a profit of over half a million dollars. Instead I was completely broke. My losses in the market for 2008 and 2009 were nearly $400,000, and I later found out my casino pit game losses were nearly $200,000. If I had been patient, diversified, not on margin, and kept out of the pit, I would have been a 22 year old millionaire. Instead I was busto.
I continued on in poker for several years after that, but unfortunately my persona of trying to seem like a rich kid wasting daddy's money had left me without many poker friends, and without many people who respected my game enough to stake me. I ended up turning to online SNGs and being moderate successful, but still lazy and not putting in the hours I should have. Ashley and I tried to make it work, but she wanted me to move out to Vegas for good, and I was afraid being in Vegas would end in disaster for me as I'd continue to waste a huge amount of money on gambling, money I no longer had. My high school sweetheart came back into my life at that point as well, and I pushed Ashley aside for nostalgia, ignoring the reasons the high school gf and I had broken up several times in the past. In the end, I wanted to be more serious than she did, and I haven't spoken to the high school ex in 10 years. Ashley moved on quickly as she always did, and already had a serious boyfriend by the time I came around and realized I wanted to be with her. She ended up becoming a stripper in Vegas, and the last time I saw her she was a bit of a mess. She moved out of Las Vegas these days and I think she's doing better, but we don't keep in close touch.
By Black Friday I had joined a good staking group and was successful at online SNGs, making a nice hourly, coaching other players, and generally doing well at poker, although in my personal life I was a mess after losing both girls I loved in close succession. After Black Friday I made several stupid mistakes, alienating my backers and many in the poker community. I paid everyone back in the end, but I knew I needed to get out of poker. I went back to college, met my wife and we've been together for nearly 7 years now. I now work as a financial adviser.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed my crazy life journey! Some other crazy stuff happened along the way that I might throw together at some point, but those are more Vegas party stories than much to do with poker.
submitted by robswins to poker [link] [comments]

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An Introductory Guide to DotA IMBA (7.06b) (Warning: Long)

Prepare for one of the biggest TL;DRs of your life. It doesn't need to be said, but skip around to sections that you feel would help you the most.

Overview

Custom games in DotA 2 tend to be pretty daunting to pick up and try, as there tends to be a lot of specialized mechanics that throws most of your standard knowledge of the game out the window. While DotA IMBA tends to lean more towards the vanilla side of things in comparison to many of the other full blown custom mods (at least in terms of overall gameplay), there are still many unintuitive mechanics that can leave newer players feeling completely lost and overwhelmed. To make matters worse, basic information or resources on how to best adapt to the gameplay are nearly nonexistent. As I’ve had similar experiences trying to branch into other custom games without much success, being completely lost while those more familiar with the mode would effortlessly run over everyone else, I feel as if writing a general guide for this gamemode could help many people looking into perhaps getting more comfortable with the environment here.
This gamemode has been out for quite a while with a sizable community, being one of the more popular DotA custom games. It’s undergone a lot of changes in tandem with the standard patches, and while there’s definitely been sizable amounts of controversy over the direction of the gamemode, it’s undeniable that lots of work and dedication has been put into the project, and thousands of players drop by for many relaxing or hard fought games every day. With that said, DotA IMBA does have a lot to offer. For those that are unfamiliar with the gamemode, or perhaps even newer to DotA itself, I will attempt to shed some insight into the various intricacies of this fast paced MOBA derivative.

Table of Contents

  1. What is DotA IMBA?
  2. Differences between regular DotA and DotA IMBA
  3. Heroes
  4. Items
  5. Map Breakdown
  6. General Tips
  7. Conclusion

1. What is DotA IMBA?

To borrow from the creators themselves, the Steam workshop submission description for DotA IMBA is as such:
Dota IMBA is the answer to the question: what would happen if every hero received nothing but buffs for 100 patches straight?
Stupidly overpowered heroes? Speed-of-light DBZ-esque fights? Insane abilities which make no sense? IMBA has it all! Come check it out.
Essentially, DotA IMBA is a related derivative of the base game, using the standard map along with the usual objective of destroying the enemy’s ancient, but giving everything a rather sizable power boost, from the heroes, to the items, to the creeps, to the game itself!. As of this writing, the following game-modes are as follows:
  • Ranked 5v5
  • Ranked 10v10
  • Mutation 5v5
  • Mutation 10v10
  • Cavern (Underhollow)
Mutation 10v10 is the most popular mode by a sizable margin, and replaces Frantic mode in one of the more recent patches. For those that are familiar with mutation mode through the 2018 Battle Pass, the rules apply similarly here; instead of a major and two minor mutations, a positive, negative, and terrain based mutation from a currently small custom pool is implemented into your match, randomizing from game to game (rather than being static per day). There are some vanilla mutations, as well as some IMBA specific ones that can be the source of some extreme havoc. Map information will be expanded on in a later section.

2. Differences between regular DotA and DotA IMBA (List not All-Inclusive)

General

  • Gold/EXP rates are multiplied for even faster gameplay. Shorten that laning stage and get into teamfights and sieges more quickly!
  • Both teams start with a courier with massively boosted speed. Drastically cut down on wait time between deliveries!
  • Observer Wards are MUCH more accessible, costing 40 gold each, replenish one every 45 seconds, and the store can hold up to 6 at once. You can also plant wards at up to 800 range away, for safer and more strategic placements.
  • Mega creeps and buildings have been buffed to reflect the general increased power of all heroes, to prevent five minute deathballs (you can do eight minute deathballs though). Towers specifically have a host of additional buffs that fortify allied heroes around it and gives them more power to defend, such as burst heals, increased max health and regeneration, and tenacity (status resistance).

Heroes

  • Heroes have a max level of 42 rather than the standard 25; along with increased stat growth, heroes gain the War Veteran passive, which further boosts specific stats depending on their attribute:
    • Strength: Health regen/tenacity increased by 2/1 every level beyond 25.
    • Agility: Attack speed/move speed increased by 3/1 every level beyond 25.
    • Intelligence: Spell amp/magic resistance increased by 2 every level beyond 25.
  • Attack speed has a much higher cap than in regular DotA. On top of this, moonshards are infinitely stackable when consumed (at diminishing values), so with enough time and wealth, everyone can share the joys of rapid fire!

Roshan

  • Roshan is a lot more menacing, with increased stats, and a whole slew of exclusive abilities that can easily catch anyone off-guard with the amount of damage it does. Roshan’s arsenal includes the following:
    • Apocalypse: 3,000 damage Sun Strikes to every hero between 400 and 1,200 range of Roshan. CD 45 seconds.
    • Deafening Blast: 3,000 damage in an AoE after a 2 second wind-up. Roshan typically opens up with this move, so be sure to pop magic immunity or get out of the way! CD 30 seconds.
    • Breath Fire: High damage, arcing fire. CD 25 seconds.
    • Berserker’s Blood
    • Spell Block
    • True Sight (current iteration is global so all the jungle creeps will see you through invisibility too)
    • Unleashed Power: Stronger bashes with flying knockback. When Roshan is defeated, Aegis also has a 10 second delay before actually spawning, to allow for potential greater counterplay. Aegis also turns into a buff, and does not take any inventory slots. Successive Roshan kills will grant more cheese and more refresher shards.
Something that DotA IMBA DOES somewhat share in common with the standard game is that there is a Battlepass system implemented (at no cost), which allows you to unlock things like fountain, item, and even hero skins for certain heroes within IMBA. You can level up the Battlepass through a leveling and experience system, in which experience is granted upon staying until the completion of any match, win or lose. Note that there is a hefty experience loss for abandoning games.

3. Heroes

The core of the gamemode is upon what you choose as a playable character for that game, along with the synergy between your teammates versus your opponents. All heroes have received a massive buff with respect to their vanilla counterparts, and some heroes have completely different playstyles depending on such. Heroes are categorized into one of the three following traits: IMBA, Lazy, and Custom.

IMBA Heroes

These are the heroes that have been rewritten from the ground up, such that the developers would have the ability to add and alter mechanics and make a more mechanically interesting hero. While some IMBAfications accentuate the strengths of a hero even further, some changes can result in completely new ways to play the hero as compared to its vanilla counterpart.
I won’t go over every single IMBA hero here as I would very quickly both lose your interest, as well as exceed any character counts that Reddit imposes, but I’ll touch on two “IMBAfied” heroes as an example of what you can generally expect coming into the game: Kunkka (older) and Ember Spirit (newer).
Kunkka
The first thing you’re likely to notice if you have a look at IMBA Kunkka is the fact that he has a fifth, innate skill that looks like a coloured tidal wave. This is Kunkka’s Ebb and Flow, a toggling skill that cycles through many different coloured waves, granting different types of effects to his other skills on a cooldown. It’s unlikely you’ll be memorizing all six different wave interactions (although they are generally consistent throughout his skills), but at minimum, I would recommend you keep an eye on Wave Break (green tide), which allows for instantaneous torrents. Beyond that, typically you’ll want to be cycling through Ebb and Flow outside of fights until you reach Tsunami; this superpowered wave which adds all five wave interactions together for your next skill.
Beyond this overarching mechanic, his general skills have additional features as well: Torrent spawns secondary torrents around it for additional control, Tidebringer feeds into more flexible Ebb and Flow shifts, X Marks the Spot has a pseudo double-cast effect on enemies, keeping them in range for longer, and Ghostship has an additional powerful dragging effect, which can be used as a strong repositioning tool to pull unsuspecting enemies from the safety of their side of the map. Be mindful of things such as Strength War Veteran buffs or Tenacity Towers however, as enemies may be able to break out of full-duration drags early!
Ember Spirit
Ember Spirit’s IMBAfication introduces a massive power spike through the introduction of remnant spell relays, allowing any fire remnants on the field to copy whatever spells you cast around it. This most notably leads to the strategy of pumping multiple remnants into enemies from a distance and using Sleight of Fist, severely amplifying your damage with multiple attacks stacked onto any given area. To further assist with this strategy, remnants currently have no travel or retrieval time, allowing for instantaneous transportation, as well as a whooping 5 second recharge time without any talents (as opposed to “vanilla” DotA’s 38 second recharge time). With all of these additional upgrades, Ember Spirit is truly an explosive threat to whatever he lays his eyes, and remnants, on.
Some other, more interesting mechanics added to IMBAfied heroes include the following (not an all-inclusive list):
  • Abbadon gets access to the Overchannel toggle, which increases the strength of his Mist Coil and Aphotic Shield at the cost of some of his health. A Level 20 talent also makes his shield invincible for a second after being cast, absorbing all damage to be converted to shield health and damage for insane amounts of damage block and destruction. Shield explosions also purge enemies around him.
  • Clinkz has the option to mount allies with his Strafe active, gaining additional attack speed and range while being at the whim of your ally’s movements. No projectile dodging though.
  • Dazzle has a passive Shallow Grave which goes by Nothl’s Protection, and both of these skills keep track of how much damage is dealt to you past lethal and gives you back that health upon spell end. A Level 25 talent lets you share Nothl’s Protection with all your allies within a large range, albeit at a reduced duration.
  • Doom's Ultimate is a self-casting aura, dooming EVERYONE within his radius so long as he stays within range. All his other skills are currently just vanilla upgrades.
  • Enigma’s Black Hole works off a Singularity system, which increases pull and stun radius for each stack (which is gained by successfully catching enemy heroes within the Black Hole and finishing your channel without interruptions). A Level 10 talent lets the stacks reduce the cooldown of Black Hole by 6 seconds per stack (up to a “reasonable” minimum), allowing near base wide disables if left unchecked.
  • Magnus gets Shockwaves that split on heroes through his Polarity mechanic, doing massive damage to clumped up enemies.
  • Mirana’s Leap is point target, and, contrary to what the tooltip says, has global range.
  • Night Stalker has infinite scaling potential with his Stalker in the Night passive, adding a stack of Hunter in the Night every time darkness falls.
  • Phoenix gets access to The Burning Wings toggle, which allows him to heal off of his own spells if inflicting damage with them. A talent also gives him access to a passive Supernova that toggles on supposed death, giving even more ridiculous amounts of sustain.
  • Pudge gets access to Power Hook and Swift Hook stack toggles, which let him either add more damage or more range to his Meat Hooks on the fly. Hooked targets also get moved to Pudge rather than to the initial hooked location, allowing strategies reminiscent to the Chen teleportation fountain hooks.
  • Pugna's Nether Wards mirror most enemy skills cast within its vicinity, and he is able to move while casting Life Drain, including multiple non-channeling links with Aghanim's Scepter (still interrupted by silences or stuns).
  • Queen of Pain and Lina gets access to passives that reduce the cooldowns of their skills on successful usages, allowing for even more devastating spell spam.
  • Warlock’s Chaotic Offering golem gains additional benefits depending on Warlock’s stats, and with Aghanim’s Scepter, spawns the golem along with five Ascension Demons that give the golem 100% damage reduction (removed when all demons are killed).
  • Witch Doctor’s Death Ward carries all attack modifiers from items, and with certain talents, you can easily wipe out an entire enemy team within two seconds.
  • Wisp / Io generally has massive boosts all around, with Spirits being given the option to silence or disarm heroes on impact, Overcharge also boosting attack range, cast speed, and missile speed, and Relocate being the old-fashioned cast delay one with controllable ports back.

Lazy Heroes

These are heroes that largely only have number tweaks to their skills, to bring them more in-line with the IMBA atmosphere. This includes things such as higher ability damage numbers, lower cooldowns, or more potent talents. As their abilities have not been mechanically modified, these heroes generally stick to the core of the hero without any particularly confusing gimmicks, but can still present very fast-paced and devastating gameplay. Some of the more broken effective Lazy Heroes include:
  • Brewmaster (highly boosted Drunken Brawler values)
  • Spirit Breaker (GLOBAL range Nether Strike with Aghanim’s Scepter, along with much more accessible attack speed boosts)
  • Gyrocopter (Flak Cannon talent is still here! Plus instantaneously launching Homing Missiles when fully skilled)
  • Keeper of the Light (MASSIVELY boosted Illuminate damage and travel distance)
There is a rather long-term commitment to eventually change every lazy hero into an IMBA one, so the developers will have more control over creating wacky and overpowered abilities for everyone. In the meantime though, you’ll still be able to pick a familiar hero and jump right in.

Custom Heroes

IMBA also has a few unique heroes entirely separate from the original game, bolstering their own skills and playstyles. They are typically pretty easy to learn how to play so long as you read all the descriptions, and offer another layer of variety to gameplay. They have been fine-tuned to neatly fit within the general gameplay style of IMBA (including models and particles, so no suddenly jarring art differences for the most part), so it shouldn’t feel like there are any outstanding power differentials. The current custom heroes are as such (feel free to disagree with my descriptions as they are just rough outlines):
Ghost Revenant (Intelligence)
“Green Razor.” Typically plays like a rough mixture between Necrophos and Centaur Warrunner, in which you jump into the middle of fights, disable people with Blackjack orbs (Q), make yourself more difficult to hit with Wraith (W) turning yourself Ethereal with increased movement speed, chunking down large amounts of % HP with Miasma (E) and Ghost Immolation (Passive), and also halting escapes with massively movement slowing Exhaustion (R). A scepter upgrade also allows Exhaustion to purge buffs for even more doom and gloom.
Helion (Intelligence)
“Red Underlord.” Typically plays like a rough mixture between Bristleback and Batrider, in which you jump into the middle of fights, stack a bunch of damage amplifying curses through your Q (casting ground target on enemies) and your E (getting hit by enemy heroes), before using your Hellbolt (W) to deal massive damage to everyone in a large range around you and consuming the curses. Hurl Through Hell (R) functions much like a damage-less sceptered Sanity’s Eclipse (Outworld Devourer) that banishes goes through spell immunity, and inflicts random disables and curses upon return.
Sly King (Intelligence)
“Bluer Weaver.” Typically plays like a rough mixture between Sand King and Venomancer, in which you jump into the middle of fights, stun people with Burrowblast (Q; basically like Sand King’s Burrowstrike), and slow and freeze people with Frost Gale (W; basically like a more potent Venomancer’s Venomous Gale). Frozen Skin much works like Tiny’s old Craggy Exterior, mini-stunning and rooting people that attack you at a low chance, and Winterbringer (R) is a self-cast, AoE, screenshaking explosion of damage around you, pulling enemies in while being channeled. Sly King has one of the strongest early-games in the entire game mode through his Frost Gale, but isn’t as effective late-game, so typically you want to close out games fast and furious with him.
Scaldris (Intelligence)
“Dark (Headless) Invoker.” Typically plays like a rough mixture between Invoker and Lina, in which you jump near the middle of fights, spam through your arsenal of four ice and four fire spells, turning standard DoT damage that all his spells have, into massive burst by means of his passive Antipode when you swap between ice and fire. All of his non-ultimate spells are ground targeted, and can be thrown out extremely quickly if you cast them near your location (as some of his orbs spells are slow-moving). Both of his E spells allow for extreme amounts of mobility and escape, so it is best to get acquainted with them so you can effectively weave in and out of engagements. Probably one of the funnest heroes to play, and not very difficult to pick up despite having more spells than most other heroes.
Sohei (Strength)
“Indian Juggernaut.” My understand is that Sohei is a ported hero from Open Angel Arena, with some balancing adjustments to make him more suitable for the IMBA environment. Typically plays like a rough mixture between...nothing really? Sohei functions much somewhat like a hard-carry (in that he has a pretty terrible early-game), but has a unique concept of constantly pushing people around with his Momentum (E) attacks. His Dash (Q) works off a charge system and moves him a short distance forward, which also feeds into charging his Momentum, which deals critical damage (it is highly recommended for you to toggle and keep this on by right-clicking the skill). His Guard (W) can be activated through disables and works as a more potent Lotus Orb, also reflecting any projectiles for its duration. Finally his Flurry of Blows (R), after a pretty length cast time, banishes him within a channeling ring (similar to Riki’s Tricks of the Trade), constantly hitting a random enemy hero caught within it with Momentum and pushing them towards the center for more hits. Also a pretty fun hero to play, but you will have to be mindful of where you’re pushing enemies around when teamfighting.
...and more to come?

4. Items

Items have also received a general boost in power, with similarly upgraded attributes to those of heroes. Some have number tweaks, some have additional abilities associated with them (i.e. IMBAfied), and some are custom to the gamemode. Items tend to be one of the more confusing aspects of custom games due to the inclusion of many items not present in vanilla DotA, so I will try to go over some of the more important / useful ones here as go-tos.

”IMBA” Items

Some examples of additional abilities on items include the following:
  • Abyssal Blade
    • Grants additional attack range for melee heroes, and gives passive and active Break.
  • Aghanim’s Scepter
    • Upgradable into Aghanim’s Synth (with a rather hefty 8k cost recipe), so you can save an inventory slot without requiring on a friendly Alchemist gifting you one.
  • Eye of Skadi
    • Has an Active ability on a length cooldown, which instantly summons a cold field around you that damages, mini-stuns, and roots all enemies caught within it. Scales based on your stats, where strength increases range, agility increases damage, and intelligence increases root time.
  • Dagon
    • Upgradable to 10 levels instead of 5, in which the latter levels add bounce damage. If you're only using it for singular damage, leaving it at Level 5 is probably sufficient.
  • Divine Rapier
    • Has a magical equivalent in Arcane Rapier. Can be upgraded into Trinity RapieArchmage Rapier, which grants even more boosts at the cost of making yourself visible to the enemy team through fog of war. Trinity and Archmage can be combined to create Cursed Rapier, which grants slightly stronger effects of both along with strong damage reduction, at the cost of self, time-scaling HP drain.
  • Guardian Greaves
    • Automatically activates when your health drops below a certain threshold (and assuming that attack didn’t outright kill you), which can save you from lengthy disables.
  • Monkey King Bar
    • Grants additional attack range for melee heroes. Also bypasses enemy unit evasion much like the old version of this item.
  • Moonshard
    • As previously mentioned, Moonshards are infinitely stackable with diminishing returns, such that you can eventually get all heroes to extremely fast attack speeds given a long enough game.
  • Necronomicon
    • Upgradable to 5 levels instead of 3.
  • Shadow Blade / Silver Edge
    • The invisibility active lets you walk through terrain, allowing for easier escape and engagement. Attacking an enemy out of invisibility also greatly slows their turn rate for two seconds.

Custom Items

DotA IMBA also has a good host of custom items as well, much like most other games on the arcade. Instead of just being blatant upgrades and powerspikes of existing items ad infinitum though, these items provide unique effects that compliment with a large variety of situations, either giving your carries and nukes that additional IMBA edge, or to provide more flexible utility to the match. I won’t be listing off every single custom item, but here are some examples of the more prominent ones (sorted from least to most expensive):

Initiate’s Robe

  • Cost: 1000
  • Builds from:
    • Cloak (550)
    • Infused Raindrops (125)
    • Recipe (325)
  • Bonus:
    • +1 Mana Regeneration
    • 20% Magic Resistance
  • Passive: Equivalent Exchange
    • Converts 100% of any mana you spend or lose into a magic shield, which absorbs all incoming damage. The magic shield can only stack up to 250, but can be recharged infinitely. Each stack absorbs one point of damage.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Medusa
    • Queen of Pain
    • Witch Doctor

White Queen’s Cape (WQC)

  • Cost: 1385
  • Builds from:
    • Belt of Strength (450)
    • Blades of Attack (430)
    • Recipe (505)
  • Bonus:
    • +6 Strength
    • +9 Damage
  • Active: Lesser Avatar (CD 30 seconds)
    • Grants Spell Immunity and 100% Magic Damage Resistance for 2.5 seconds. Some Ultimate abilities are able to disable through White Queen Cape.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • EVERYONE! I personally buy this nearly every game, as you usually don’t need a full duration Black King Bar to either escape or dodge certain spells into safe initiation. Spot magic immunity at a lower cooldown in a fast paced game is invaluable.

Black Queen Cape (BQC)

  • Cost: 3810
  • Builds from:
    • White Queen’s Cape (1385)
    • Ring of Health (850)
    • Urn of Shadows (775)
    • Recipe (800)
  • Bonus:
    • +9 Strength
    • +3 Agility
    • +3 Intelligence
    • +3 Armor
    • +1.25 Mana Regeneration
    • +10 Damage
    • +8 HP Regeneration
  • Active: Decree of Protection (CD 22 seconds)
    • Targeted ally hero gains magic immunity for 3.5 seconds. Does not require charges. If there is at least one charge, it is spent, applying a healing effect (6 seconds duration for up to 800 health) on the ally. The healing effect is dispelled by any hero damage, unless the target is under the effect of Decree of Protection. Gains charges every time an enemy hero dies within 1400 units. Only the closest Black Queen Cape to the dying hero will gain a charge.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • EVERYONE! I personally buy this nearly every game, as you usually don’t need a full duration Black King Bar to either escape or dodge certain spells into safe initiation. Spot magic immunity at a lower cooldown in a fast paced game is invaluable. This is probably the ultimate support item at a very modest price, being able to give yourself or allies magic immunity and healing from a distance.

Spellfencer

  • Cost: 3900
  • Builds from:
    • Kaya (1750)
    • Oblivion Staff (1650)
    • Recipe (500)
  • Bonus:
    • +10% Manacost and Manaloss Reduction
    • +26 Intelligence
    • +10 Damage
    • +10 Attack Speed
    • +1 Mana Regeneration
    • +10% Spell Amplification
  • Toggle: Spellsword (CD 12 seconds)
    • While active, your attacks deal magical damage instead of physical, but your damage is reduced by 40%. Toggling Spellfencer on and off has a lengthy cooldown.
  • Passive: Soul Rend
    • Attacking enemies makes them more vulnerable to magic damage. Stacks up to 7 times.
  • Passive: Spirit Strike
    • 30% chance to silence your target for 1 second with each attack. Has a cooldown of 5 seconds.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Very situational item, so you'll want to consider this based on the enemy's composition. If they have extremely high amounts of armor through stuff like Doom's Ultimate, Lich's Frost Armor, or Sven's Warcry, having Spellfencer active may allow you to dish out more damage. Beware spell immunity though, as your right clicks will do 0 damage through them if Spellsword is active.

Haste Boots

  • Cost: 4020
  • Builds from:
    • Phase Boots (1360)
    • Occult Mask (2000)
    • Recipe (660)
  • Bonus:
    • +65 Movement Speed
    • +45 Damage
    • +8 Strength
  • Active: Demonic Haste
    • Grants the bearer phased movement, 30% movespeed bonus, and increases the move speed limit to 700. While phased, passing through units drains 120 health from them and grants it to the caster. Lasts 3 seconds.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Bloodseeker
    • Night Stalker
    • Phantom Assassin
    • Spirit Breaker

Blink Boots

  • Cost: 4100
  • Builds from:
    • Blink Dagger (2250)
    • Boots of Speed (500)
    • Recipe (1350)
  • Bonus:
    • +80 Movement Speed
  • Active: Blink (CD 8 seconds)
    • Instantly teleport to a target point up to 1200 units away. If hero-based damage is taken, Blink Boots cannot be used for 3 seconds. You can also blink up to 1500 range, but blinking beyond 1200 range adds an additional 5 seconds to the cooldown.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • (Almost) everyone, if you are a fan of mobility. If you only buy boots for the additional movement speed, and don’t really care for the additional abilities most other boots give, Blink Boots are your most space-effective bet. Just be careful not to blink too far if you want to keep manageable cooldowns.

Arcane Nexus

  • Cost: 4250
  • Builds from:
    • Nether Ward (1250)
    • Nether Ward (1250)
    • Kaya (1750)
  • Bonus:
    • +16 Intelligence
    • +16% Spell Amplification
    • +16% Manacost and Manaloss Reduction
    • +16% Cooldown Reduction (Does not stack with other sources)

Mega Treads

  • Cost: 4450
  • Builds from:
    • Power Treads (1450)
    • Staff of Wizardry (1000)
    • Blade of Alacrity (1000)
    • Ogre Axe (1000)
  • Bonus:
    • +60 Movement Speed
    • +30 Selected Attribute
    • +35 Attack Speed
  • Active: Switch Attribute
    • Changes the selected attribute between Strength, Agility and Intelligence.
  • Passive: Source Boost
    • Grants a specific bonus based on the currently selected attribute: Strength grants 20% Tenacity, Agility Grants 20% Evasion, and Intelligence grants 200 Cast Range. You can have more than one effect applied by getting a second Mega Treads, but not a duplicate of the same effect.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • (Almost) everyone, if you are a fan of bulking up on stats. The Source Boost effect also gives an additional edge for your choice; some examples include getting this on Centaur or Bristleback to shrug off debuffs extremely quickly, or Crystal Maiden or Witch Doctor for further range Ultimate casts.

Reverb Sabre

  • Cost: 5450
  • Builds from:
    • Echo Sabre (2650)
    • Claymore (1400)
    • Claymore (1400)
  • Bonus:
    • +18 Intelligence
    • +18 Strength
    • +18 Attack Speed
    • +80 Damage
    • +0.75 Mana Regeneration
  • Passive: Superb Reverb (CD 4 seconds)
    • When off-cooldown, causes your attacks to hit three times in quick succession. Tri-attacks apply a 0.7 second 100% movement and attack speed slow. Does not work on ranged heroes.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Essentially most melee strength heroes, as the triple attack gives them way more DPS outside of their usual slow normal attacks. Especially great on heroes like Brewmaster, Spirit Breaker, Sven, and Tiny. Note that unlike vanilla DotA, Echo Sabre and Reverb Sabre apply their extra attacks as soon as you start your attack, rather than when the first attack lands. This gives it much more potency in bursting at early levels when it would take a lot more time to get that initial swing out.

Stygian Desolator

  • Cost: 6700
  • Builds from:
    • Desolator (3500)
    • Demon Edge (2200)
    • Recipe (1000)
  • Bonus:
    • +100 Damage
  • Active: Reaping Desolation (CD 18 seconds)
    • Launches several slow moving orbs, each continually dealing minor physical damage (180) to enemies touching it and applies Desolation to them. Multiple orbs can damage the same enemy.
  • Passive: Desolation
    • Your attacks reduce the target's armor by 12 and vision range by 500 for 15 seconds.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Almost all right clicking heroes that don't have a pure damage modifier The active is great for quickly dispatching of lane creeps or jungle stacks, and can also make quick work of heroes if you get enough orbs to connect.

Angelic Alliance

  • Cost: 6725
  • Builds from:
    • Heaven's Halberd (3150)
    • Solar Crest (2575)
    • Recipe (1000)
  • Bonus:
    • +30 Strength
    • +15 Armor
    • +45% Evasion
    • +30 Damage
  • Active: Angelic Light
    • Lose the passive armor, evasion and disarm effect, transferring them to the target:
    • Enemies lose 15 armor, are slowed, disarmed, and revealed to your team.
    • Allies receive 15 armor, bonus movement speed, and 100% evasion, but are revealed to the enemy team.
    • This effect cannot be purged.
  • Passive: Divine Vengeance
    • Being attacked grants a 15% chance to disarm your target/attacker. This effect cannot trigger more than every 6 seconds.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • This item is typically situational on any hero, and can be great at halting rampaging right clickers. The extremely high passive evasion (and 100% evasion active) and armor forces certain item builds from your enemies as well, and also has a chance to stop things like perma-bashes through its passive disarm chance.

Siege Cuirass

  • Cost: 6985
  • Builds from:
    • Drums of Endurance (1185)
    • Assault Cuirass (4500)
    • Recipe (1300)
  • Bonus:
    • +7 All Attributes
    • +7 Damage
    • +30 Attack Speed
    • +0.75 Mana Regeneration
    • +10 Armor
  • Active: Hellish Siege (CD 30 seconds)
    • Grants every ally in range bonus attack and movement speed, based on the amount of nearby allies. Heroes grant stronger bonuses.
  • Passive: Siege Aura
    • Grants bonus armor, attack and movement speed to nearby allies, while decreasing armor, attack and movement speed of nearby enemies by the same amount.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Any hero that wants to siege towers through right clicking, as the additional active effect boosts sieging power of everyone around you even further. Tends to pair with Necronomicon (1st Edition).

Calaminh's Tutela Plate

  • Cost: 7500
  • Builds from:
    • Crimson Guard (3400)
    • Reaver (3000)
    • Recipe (1100)
  • Bonus:
    • +525 Health
    • +13 HP Regeneration
    • +2 All Attributes
    • +25 Strength
    • +8 Armor
  • Active: Bulwark (CD 45 seconds)
    • Temporarily grants nearby allies 5 bonus armor, 85 damage block, 10% damage reduction, and 20% tenacity. Does not stack with the passive bonuses.
  • Passive: Block
    • Blocks part of all incoming physical damage. Ranged heroes can only utilize 60% of the damage block
  • Passive: Greater Parry
    • Also reduces all incoming damage by 10% and grants 20% tenacity.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Pretty much the de facto tank hero item, being a direct upgrade to Crimson Guard.

Starfury

  • Cost: 8725
  • Builds from:
    • Rusty Old Shotgun (6000)
    • Demon Edge (2200)
    • Eaglesong (3200)
  • Bonus:
    • +75 Damage
    • +20 Attack Speed
    • +65 Agility
  • Passive: Lightspeed
    • Grants a 10% chance per attack to increase your agility by 30% for a short duration. Does not stack with itself, but can refresh itself when procced again.
  • Passive: Fury of the Stars (CD 1 second)
    • When Starfury is off cooldown, each attack launches shooting stars towards all enemies in 700 range of the original target. Each star deals 50% of your current agility to its target."
  • Passive: Divine Vengeance
    • Being attacked grants a 15% chance to disarm your target/attacker. This effect cannot trigger more than every 6 seconds.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Usually reserved for late-game agility right clickers due to its massive damage and agility boosts (along with even more agility boost through its passive), but some strength heroes may enjoy the greatly increased attack speed as well.

Hellblade

  • Cost: 8900
  • Builds from:
    • Curseblade (5150)
    • Reaver (3000)
    • Recipe (750)
  • Bonus:
    • +25 Agility
    • +10 Intelligence
    • +50 Strength
    • +14 Damage
  • Active: Hellish Curse (75 Mana, CD 25 seconds)
    • Curses an enemy, immediately transferring all dispellable debuffs on the wielder to it. While the curse is active, any debuffs on the wielder are transferred to the cursed target, while also slowing and draining its health and mana over time. Lasts 5 seconds. Debuffs are applied on the target with their full initial duration.
  • Passive: Hellcraft
    • Whenever you are attacked, grants a chance (20%) to automatically transfer a random dispellable debuff to the attacker. Debuffs transferred this way do not have their duration refreshed.
  • Passive: Doomed Spirits
    • Constantly deals magical damage to enemies in 500 radius around the wielder, sucking 40 health per second from each unforunate (sic) enemy and giving it to the caster."
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Typically purchased on tanky heroes that like to jump into a lot of enemies that attack you. If they focus heavily on a mixture of right clicking and dispellable disables, there is a very high chance you'll be able to throw them all back at the enemy, easily giving yourself the upper hand.

Jarnbjorn

  • Cost: 11550
  • Builds from:
    • Mjollnir (6000)
    • Battle Fury (4300)
    • Recipe (1250)
  • Bonus:
    • +90 Damage
    • +80 Attack Speed
    • +7 HP Regeneration
    • +2.25 Mana Regeneration
  • Active: Thunder Charge (125 Mana, CD 35 seconds)
    • Places a shield on the target ally which adds disarm immunity and has a 20% chance to activate (when attacked), launching a shocking bolt to all enemies in 900 range, damaging and briefly slowing them.
  • Passive: Chain Lightning
    • Grants a 25% chance to release a Chain Lightning on each attack, which bounces between enemies in up to 900 radius, dealing damage. Bounces until running out of targets.
  • Also has all the abilities of Battle Fury including tree cutting (not wards though...) and cleave.
  • Examples of heroes you may buy this on:
    • Any hero that generally benefits from Battlefury and/or Mjollnir. Note that due to its rather exorbitant cost, it's not really purchased as a farming item...however, it is by far the most potent item for dealing with mega creeps should that case arise, regardless of whether or not you're a melee hero.
In terms of actual item builds, I made a rough post of late-game skeleton builds in another thread. I recommend you try and experiment around with some items though, and look at other player's inventories and how they're performing to get an idea of what works well. Naturally, builds will very from hero to hero, as well as to counter specific enemies.
Continued in the below post cause I wrote way too much and Reddit has a 40,000 character limit.
submitted by Altivu to dotaimba [link] [comments]

Blackjack by the Wizard of Odds.. TIP: Only play at $5 – $15 tables (no one betting big money wants to play with someone who doesn’t play perfectly).Look for tables that pay the average 3:2 on blackjack (sometimes $1 tables pay less, and some tables with funky side-bets or rules might pay more). The house edge for blackjack is usually between 0.5% and 1% depending on the rules variations in place. The change in blackjack payouts adds 1.5% to the house edge. Instead of losing an average of $1 per every $100 you bet, you’ll lose $2.50 for every $100 you bet — on average, over time. Blackjack odds are percentage figures which represent your probability of losing or winning a hand. They can also represent the house edge or their profit margins as well. Usually probability odds don't mean much on the short term, but they clearly average out in the long term and this is why the casinos always win over the long term. • Winning margin - includes overtime. A market offered on a game to predict the winning team and the margin of victory. • Correct score - includes overtime. • Will there be a power play goal? Game must go at least 55 minutes for the following wagering markets to have action, unless a team has already scored at the time the game is suspended. Blackjack Rules and Blackjack Strategy; Blackjack Rules and Blackjack Strategy. Blackjack outnumbers other casino table games by a margin of about two to one. The tables at Las Vegas Casinos can often be seen with a crowd around them. The game is so immensely popular because, when played correctly, it offers better odds than any other game.

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