Posts Tagged ‘gambling’

A Word on Free Blackjack

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

There is one thing offered by online casinos that many beginners take for granted and that’s the free blackjack games. Many people don’t give it a second thought, but the free games are one of the biggest advantages of playing online. It would be foolish for a new player to not take advantage of those deals.

If you’re new to blackjack, you probably don’t know a whole lot about the game. Maybe that’s why you’re here on (and thanks for that). Even if you read everything I have written on the subject (and if so, thanks a lot), there is no substitute for experience.

Memorizing the blackjack basic strategy chart is a great idea and something I encourage. It’s wise to read up on strategy so you will know not only what to do in a situation, but also why you should do that. For one thing, strategy is easier to remember if you know the reasons behind it. However, remembering what to do is more difficult in the middle of a game. That is why practice and game experience are so important. Blackjack is a skill and like any skill, you get better at it the more you practice.

So it’s easy: The more you play blackjack, the better you will get at it. The problem is, if you are a bad player in the beginning, that could cost you a lot of money in the casino. That is why the free blackjack games are so important. Even if you plan to do all of your gambling in brick and mortar casinos rather than online, playing free online blackjack is a good way to practice the game and get used to playing using the proper strategy without having to worry about losing money. In fact, even though I know blackjack strategy inside and out, I often play the free online games because I want to play even at times when I don’t feel like gambling.

The casinos, of course, don’t offer free blackjack games solely out of the kindness of their hearts (though I would like to think that’s part of it). They are hoping that you will enjoy playing it for free so much that you will then play at their casino for real money. Often this is the case. The fact remains that free blackjack games are an incredibly helpful tool and the best way to iron down your strategy before you put any real money on the line.

Synagogue Holds Casino Fundraiser

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Some people think that gambling is evil. They think that it is immoral in that it is a waste of money, promotes gluttony and excess and that it leads to addiction. Some even think it’s a sin. I’m not going to tell anyone what to believe, especially when it comes to religion. Some secular gamblers are quick to stereotype the religious as being closed-minded and against gambling. In many cases, though, religious groups are fine with gambling and in some cases, they even support it.

Last year, Reverend Andrew Trapp made news by appearing in a televised national poker tournament. The Catholic junior priest entered the free tournament and played in an attempt to raise funds for a new sister church that his church is planting. Though he didn’t win the tournament, he still took back $100,000, bringing his church much closer to their goal. It seems that gambling can be done for a good cause.

When asked about a priest engaging in gambling, Rev. Trapp said that gambling, like drinking, is okay if it’s “done in moderation. The key is to be smart and not overdo it.” Comparing it to drinking is a good analogy. Most people would say that it’s okay to have a glass of wine with dinner, but it’s completely different to binge drink, get behind the wheel of a car, and then drive home and beat your wife in a drunken rage. Just because abusing alcohol is bad doesn’t mean drinking it is. The same can be said for gambling. Of course gambling away your college fund or life savings or ending up in debt is a bad thing to do, but enjoying a nice game of blackjack every now and then is fine if you do it responsibly.

The Bible from which Rev. Trapp preaches says the same thing about finances that I always say – that you should be wise with your spending, not be extravagant, and try to use the money you are trusted with for good. Playing blackjack responsibly does not go against any of that.

Now there is another example of a religious group using gambling for the greater good. On Saturday, the East Brunswick Jewish Center held its annual Casino Night fundraiser. Despite heavy snowfall, there was a big turnout for the fundraiser to benefit the New Jersey synagogue. Like any place of worship, the synagogue relies on donations to pay for their expenses. The annual Casino Night fundraiser pays for a big part of their budget.

Over 200 locals braved the blizzard conditions to enjoy some blackjack, roulette, poker and other casino games, all in the name of a good cause. The East Brunswick Jewish Center is an important part of their community, but their efforts in the community and their ability to hold services require money. It is estimated that the Casino Night raised over $23,000 for the synagogue.

Everyone needs to make up their own mind about gambling and about what behavior they think is acceptable and what is not. You know my opinion, as well as that of Rev. Trapp and the East Brunswick Jewish Center. Now it’s time to form your own.

Mr. President, there’s nothing wrong with visiting Vegas

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

For the second time, President Barack Obama has criticized the city of Las Vegas and people who want to visit the city and contribute to its economy. This time, the president said that people saving money for college shouldn’t blow their money on gambling in Vegas. After a firestorm from local politicians and businesses, Obama sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who represents Nevada, saying that his comment was taken out of context.

This wasn’t the first time that the president has accused people of wasting their money by going to Sin City. Last February, he chastised companies who took bail-out money for taking trips to Vegas. Not being a businessman, of course, Obama doesn’t seem to realize that companies need to spend money to make money and that expensive junkets and other business trips are necessary for getting new clients and keeping old ones. He also doesn’t seem to grasp that in a struggling economy, you should never tell people not to spend money. Telling people to basically put their money under their mattress is bad for the country’s economy and especially for the economy of Las Vegas.

While the country-wide unemployment rate is 10% (which is a kind estimate that doesn’t count those with part-time jobs or those who have given up looking for work), the rate in Nevada is 13%. Las Vegas’ tourism industry is hurting because people are saving their money and not going on vacations to Sin City. Now the President of the United States is flat-out telling people not to spend their money there.

Here’s my take on visiting Vegas. It’s not for everyone. It never has been. You need a certain amount of disposable income to hit the casinos and play at the blackjack tables. I always tell people that when it comes to gambling, you should never wager money that you can’t afford to lose. Therefore, if losing an amount of money in Vegas would cause a hardship for you, don’t bet that money, because if you do, you might lose it.

However, if you have enough disposable income to do so, there is nothing wrong with going to the casinos and spending your money. Not only that, but it’s a good thing for the economy – not only Nevada’s economy, but the whole country. Consumers spending money (wisely) is an important part of capitalism. Of course you shouldn’t gamble money that you set aside for college. However, if you can afford to go on vacation and spend a little money, why not do it at Vegas? Doing so is not only fun, but it helps a state that is in dire straits.