Recently the pace of quantitative growth of online casinos is slowing down, which is due to the satiety of the market and new anti-gaming laws. At the moment casinos try to attract clients by improving service and increasing the amount and quality of games. For instance, online casinos software company “Microgaming” has been adding four games every month for the GCLUB last two years. The company “CryptoLogic” develops service packs with about ten games every several months. New games appear in PlayTech and RTG casinos. Certainly, the leadership among new games belongs to various slots, mainly video-slots with a great number of lines, bonuses or simply with new graphics. However, ordinary table games (card games against the dealer) are being developed as well. Let’s look closer at the latest innovations in the online casinos.
Let’s start with the solitaire. Yeah, it is old good “Klondike” that firmly occupies its place in the standard set of Windows games. Now the CryptoLogic casino also has this game, but it is called “Solitaire”. I will not retell the rules of the game – if you do not know them, launch the game and see by yourself. If you want to train in the very casino version, install parameters “deal cards one by one” and “account for money” and you will receive a clear idea of what you will encounter in the casino. In the beginning of the game, you stake from 1,04 to 52 USD (52 USD are embedded also in Windows Solitaire) and you will receive from 10 cents to 5 USD for each card, put in its proper place. So if Solitaire is completed, you win five times more than the initial stake. But even if Solitaire is not being completed, you receive some money back. As you see, if you place 11 cards, you will be in pocket. Unfortunately, the analysis of the game is too complicated and information about expectation is not available yet.
The fantastic popularity of the online poker club preconditioned the appearance of following games in the casino. First, the game Casino Holdem was developed, which is now available in casinos RTG, PlayTech and CryptoLogic; a little later there appeared Tequila Poker (PlayTech).
So, the Casino Holdem is the game that really resembles the holdem-poker. At first players must stake the ante, then the player and the dealer take two hole cards and at once the flop is dealt. The flop means three open board cards (one pack with 52 cards is used). Looking at five cards (hole and flop), players must make the decision whether they will continue the game or not. If the game continues, the player stakes the blind in amount of two ante, otherwise he discards and loses the ante. If the game continues, the dealer deals two cards more – turn and river – and showdowns. The combinations of the player and dealer are compared according to rules of the Texas Holdem – the higher poker combination, formed by five cards, wins (it is possible to use from 0 up to 2 hole cards and from 3 up to 5 board cards). Like in the Oasis-Poker, the dealer can have “no game”. If the dealer has less that pair of fours, the player receives winning in the amount of ante, but not only one ante, but in accordance with the winning table, where winning varies from 1 ante for straight and lower up to 100 ante for royal-flesh (the main blind returns to the player). If the dealer has the game and his combination is higher, all blinds of the player are lost. If combinations are equal, the winner is determined by the seniority of cards remaining. If the dealer has the game and his combination is lower, the player receives payments on ante in accordance with table and on the main stake as 1 to 1.
Depending on table of payments, the advantage of casino in the game makes up near 2%. Taking into account the variety of possible combinations, it is practically impossible to develop the optimal strategy. However, one can roughly say that the player must play about 82% of dealings. The player should discard, if he has two small unpaired cards, does not comply with the flop and he can’t hope on the straight/flash.
In addition to the main blind, the player can make an additional bet on the field marked as “AA”. The player wins the additional stake, if his 5-card combination on the flop is formed by pair of aces or higher. In this case, the player will receive payments in accordance with table from seven up to 100 times of the stake amount. The advantage of casino by the additional stake makes up little more than 6%.
Tequila Poker is far from the club poker, but it has some features that make it closer to Blackjack or even Baccarat. So, the game needs the pack with 52 cards, before dealing the player stakes the ante. After this four whole cards are put on the table. Here the player has to make his choice, he can refuse to continue the game, losing the ante, or he can continue the game Tequila Poker or continue the game Tequila High, making the main stake at the amount of the ante. If the game continues, two hole cards are dealt more and five cards are chosen from them to form the best combination. If the player has chosen the game Tequila Poker, the combination is formed according to the standard poker rule. The hand with pair of aces and higher is considered to be a winner. If the combination is lower, the player loses all stakes, if it is higher, the ante is paid as 1 to 1 and the main stake multiplies in accordance with table of payments that is generally looks like the Video Poker one. If the player has chosen the game Tequila High, points of his five higher cards are summed. Points are accounted as in Blackjack (cards from two up to ten according to nominal value, pictures are valued as 10 points, aces – 11 points). The player is to receive minimum 46 points for winning. If he receives more than 45 points, the ante is paid as 1 to 1 and payments on the main stake are made in accordance with table (maximum 54 points with payments 200 to 1).
As you understand, here the optimal strategy is also very complicated. I will only say that the player is to play Tequila High in 30% of dealings, Tequila Poker in 32% and he is to discard the remained 38% of dealings. You should play Tequila Poker if you have any pair or four cards for straight/flash (including an inside straight). You should play Tequila High if you your three higher cards give 28 or more points. The advantage of casino at the play with the optimal strategy will make up 4,2%.