Betting on College Basketball’s Final Four

One of the most exciting times of the year culminates this weekend as the men’s basketball Final Four takes place at the AT&T Stadium in North Texas. In terms of betting excitement, and action, the NCAA tournament rivals the Super Bowl for top billing at sports books in Las Vegas and around the world.

I have been in Las Vegas for the past 15 years and have seen the frenzy that the tournament brings to the sports betting world. This year’s Final Four promises to bring many big names to the table.

There are currently at least 20 teams that have a legitimate shot to win the NCAA Championship this year. This doesn’t even include the dark horse candidates that have made it to the Final 4 in the past few years. This points to the overall parity in college basketball this year.

When I think of Syracuse this year, it brings to mind the great run that UNLV had back in the early 90’s. UNLV stormed through the tourney in 1990 and routed Duke for the championship. The next year the Rebels had one of the best teams ever but somehow lost to the Blue Devils in the semifinals. Many people in Las Vegas have never forgotten that loss, and to this day still remember the pain. While Syracuse’s first loss at the hands of Duke doesn’t compare, the controversial ending will still sting.

I think back on my many years here in Las Vegas and remember how betting on the Final Four has changed. Las Vegas has grown from a gambling mecca into a resort dominated city with much more than gambling. It used to be that when you made a bet you had to go into a sportsbook. Those days are long behind us.

The internet has brought a boom to sports betting and Las Vegas has changed with the times. You now see high tech scoreboards, betting stations, individual TV’s at the seats, etc. And that is just at the sportsbooks.

Online you have the convenience of betting by clicking a few keys on your computer or by picking up the phone. It used to be that I would go into a sportsbook, make my bet, and talk with all the regulars that frequent the place. Now I am more likely to turn on the computer to do all that.

I have seen the action from both sides of the table. I remember the days of runners calling in numbers to the syndicates or betting services. That does not happen as much anymore with the advent of offshore betting and the computer age but it does bring back memories.

My many years in Las Vegas have given me an insight into the various areas of sports betting and I hope to share some of that experience with you.

This year’s Final Four is expected to have a betting increase from last year and the books expect good interest. This will especially be true if there are some marquee matchups.

Favorites to Win it All

So who wins the championship? While it is way too early to say, there are a couple of favorites. Syracuse has been a powerhouse in the ACC in their first season; they were beaten by Duke, which is always around this time of year. Wichita State is the final unbeaten team in division I basketball, a year after making the Final 4; they and San Diego State are going to try to prove that the mid-majors can win it all. Arizona and Florida are major players from power conferences that aren’t having the greatest season overall.

The strongest conferences this season are the new Big East and the Big 12. There are several teams that are going to be major players from each of these conference. This includes Creighton, Villanova, Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas. The American Athletic Conference broke off from the Big East, and they also have good teams including last year’s champion, Louisville. The Big Ten is one of the most balanced conferences from top to bottom; but they haven’t had a truly consistent team this season. You can check out the current odds during March Madness for this season here.

My current prediction is that Arizona is going to win the NCAA Championship this season. That opinion and a quarter still won’t buy you a newspaper in Las Vegas. It does, however, give you something to think about, and that is never a bad thing.

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Guide to Playing Slots Online


Online Slots Lobby (album) (Photo credit:

The most popular games at the casino are the slot machines. This is the reason why 80% of the casino floor space is dedicated to slots. Not blackjack, not roulette … Slots.

With that being said, the majority of these slots players do not play online slots. There are a couple of reasons for this. The US federal and state governments have enacted laws to prohibit casinos from operating online websites within the United States. Many players believe that it is illegal for them to play slots online for real money. The fact of the matter is that there is no current federal law that will prohibit players from gambling for real money online.

Many people point to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) as proof that gambling online in the United States is illegal. This law only made it illegal for online casino operators to accept bets from Americans. This is why the only online casinos are ones that are currently located outside of the US. There are several states that have current laws that prohibit their citizens from placing real money wagers online, but there is no federal law.

If you live in a state that doesn’t specifically have a law prohibiting online betting, you can play online slots at one of these websites. What is the difference between slots and online horse racing or fantasy sports? Both of these betting activities are completely legal (because of lobbyist in Washington DC). It’s your money; you can play slots online if you want to! Read the rest of this entry

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Beginner’s Guide to Playing Roulette


American Roulette (album) (Photo credit: Bovada)

Roulette has long been one of the more popular games at the casino. But, the popularity does not translate over to playing the game at online casinos most of the time. The problem with the game is that there is not the same type of interaction that you will find at the casino. Some people think that the computerized roulette game goes too fast and it simply doesn’t appeal to those who have played the games for years.

However, the Online Casino version of roulette does give beginners a very easy way to learn the basics of the game. To begin, you need to understand that there are two main versions of roulette: American Roulette and European Roulette. The main difference between these two games is that American roulette has a 0 and 00 space while the European roulette only a the 0. We will be using the American roulette game for the purposes of this article.

First, you will need to pick at least one number between 1 and 36 (or the 0 or 00 as well). You will place a chip on this number on the betting board. If you are finished betting, you can press the spin button and the ball will be release on the wheel. When the ball lands on a number, it is compared to the bets placed on the board and winning bets are paid accordingly. This is easy enough. Read the rest of this entry

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Deuces Wild (album)

Deuces Wild (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mississippi Stud poker is yet another variation of the classic card game which is now played not only in casinos but also online.  Online Mississippi Stud poker strategies have some significant differences in relation to the more popular and traditional poker games available, however, and these differences actually make the game easier to win which is an attractive characteristic to many poker players.  The following is a  basic outline of how to play the game of Mississippi Stud poker, whether you join a tournament at the casino or online.

What Is Mississippi Stud Poker?

Mississippi Stud poker is simply a variation on a more traditional poker game known as Seven Card Stud.  While today’s world of gambling and poker includes a plethora of variations on traditional games, Mississippi Stud poker actually sticks pretty close to the original as far as rules and strategies are concerned.  This means that a solid knowledge of Seven Card Stud rules and strategies can serve a player very well, as long as the nuances of the variation are also understood.

Where to Join a Game of Mississippi Stud Poker? Read the rest of this entry

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Deuces Wild Video Poker for Beginners

Film poster for Deuces Wild - Copyright 1985, MGM

Film poster for Deuces Wild – Copyright 1985, MGM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As online gambling gains in popularity as well as U.S. access, more and more people are getting in on the game.  Deuces wild video poker is one very common game that’s not only a lot of fun, but also potentially profitable once you gain a thorough understanding of the basic rules and strategies.  Sure, there are other poker games that probably receive more attention these days, such as Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha High, but for beginners, its best to start with the basic, more traditional forms of the game.  On that note, here’s a little info to get you started in the exciting world of Deuces Wild video poker. Read the rest of this entry

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