Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don't get screwed by online casinos

I love casinos. Both real ones and the their equally flashy and noisy online equivalents. Since I have disposable income, I'm known to play them from time to time, though I'm anything but addicted.

One thing I always do before playing any game, real or virtual, is figure out the odds and the payout ratios. Turns out that some of the games have really lousy ratios, others have pretty decent ratios. The next thing I do is figuring out the rules. The ones you find on the casino web site more often than not leaves a lot in the open. One such crucial piece of information often missing is whether or not you are eligible for Jackpot if you don't play with a maximum bet. Other games claim that "the more you bet, the higher the chance of winning". While true, the difference is so small that it really doesn't matter most of the time. A ten-fold increase in your betting amount will have a minuscule impact on the probability of winning.

A bunch of people out there play certain online games for one reason only: they're hoping to bring home the big prize. The jackpot. The life-changer.

I'm not going to discuss the probability of actually winning these random drawings (they're insanely low), but I will tell you this: don't pay up until you know the rules. Online casinos are experts in luring you into playing more, and paying more. For instance, the best way to hunt the big price on Mega Fortune (which routinely pays out 3-4 million euros) is to use the minimum bet, but bet on all the lines. A maximum bet all the time will most likely ruin you rather quickly, with absolutely no impact on the probability of winning. Lowest bet, then put the "autoplay" feature to good use and hope for the best.

So in the example of Mega Fortune, some sites state that you have to employ a maximum bet, others says you don't. The game providers (NetEnt) says you don't, so don't...

Morale: if in doubt, send a mail to the game supplier - not the casino company.

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