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Friday, October 29, 2010

Ladbrokes Casino bonus increase

Ladbrokes casino has upped the signup bonus from £100 to £200.

For full details, see the Ladbrokes section of the online casino bonuses page.

Ladbrokes Casino

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Absolute Poker tricks the US banking system

The Internet gambling regulation, consumer protection and enforcement act, authored by congressman Barney Frank, received its markup session on 27th July this year, and passed with a number of amendments.

One such, the "bad actors" amendement proposed by congressman Brad Sherman, includes the clause below, which I'm adding to the text of the act for context:

UNSUITABLE FOR LICENSING. An applicant or any other person may not be determined to be suitable for licensing within the meaning of this subchapter if the applicant or such person...

(E) fails to certify in writing, under penalty of perjury, that the applicant or other such person, and all affiliated business entities, has through its entire history...used due diligence to prevent any U.S. person from placing a bet on an internet site in violation of Federal or State gambling laws.

You can find this in the standards section of the original bill.

As such, notwithstanding the potential legal minefield of the phrase "...in violation of Federal or State gambling laws" (internet gambling is not technically illegal), the purpose of this clause is plainly to prohibit those operators who currently accept US customers from ever gaining a license.

Absolute Poker currently accepts US customers. Not only that, they are quite brazen about avoiding detection by the US authorities - see the Absolute Poker Sales Rep video on Youtube, the text of which I've condensed here:

Depositing to evade detection by the US admin:

Customer: How do I get money there if I can't do it legally? I don't understand?

Rep: Well, if your credit card does get blocked by your bank, we usually recommend that you go to any convenience store and get those pre-paid international credit cards, and those have a pretty much 100% success rate.


Rep: The cheque wouldn't come from an online poker company, so it just looks like a "services rendered" cheque for your bank.

Customer: So the cheque is labelled in such a way as the bank won't recognise it as coming from a poker site? 'Cos they know, if it says "Absolute Poker" they're not going to deposit it, right?

Rep: We try to avoid that at all costs.

Customer: You've got to try and trick the US banks?

Rep: We get around the rules, you know, somehow...we just actually had a bill passed to go to congress; steps are being made in the right direction.

When the time comes, a combination of Absolute Poker's currrent relationship with US citizens and its brazen attitude towards circumventing US legislation may well result in a failure to ever get a legal toehold in the US.

Considering their history of disreputable behaviour, I would not see this as anything other than the right outcome.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Absolute Poker rigged casino software

Absolute Poker has a long and chequered history of cheating, so it comes as no great surprise that another issue has emerged. This time, rather than cheating its own poker players as in the "superuser" scandal (see below for details), it has now rather bizarrely emerged that the software operating the casino keno game is functioning in non-random fashion.

As reported in the Absolute Poker keno is rigged thread at 2+2 Poker, numbers in the keno game were hitting based on previous hits, whereby a winning number was followed by a number five times higher 86 percent of the time.

The player who publicised the matter also put a demonstration on Youtube - see his Absolute Poker keno rigged video.

A couple of days after the matter was aired, the non-random element appeared to have been rectified - subsequent tests showed no anomolies.

Absolute Poker issued no statement. The exact nature of the non-random element in the game was never explained, nor the steps taken to rectify it.

Of course, by Absolute Poker standards, non-random software is small potatoes.

In 2007, the "superuser" scandal broke at 2+2 Poker and was also reported at Casinomeister and many other poker fora. In this first case of the Absolute group's proven cheating, special accounts were used by company employees to enable the viewing of opponents' hole cards, resulting in an insurmountable advantage.

A few months later, an almost identical scandal was exposed at Ultimate Bet, the sister room to Absolute Poker. The matter broke again at 2+2 Poker, and was covered at Casinomeister.

The matter was so big it was even reported on national television - see the YouTube 60 Minutes 1 and 60 Minutes 2 programmes.

Earlier this year, it was demonstrated that the software supplier to these two poker rooms, Cereus, used a weak encryption platform that allowed user hole cards to be viewed - I covered the matter in my More cheating at AP and UB article.

In explaining how to access the Absolute Poker keno game in his video, poster "NoahSD" had this to say:

You'll need an Absolute Poker login to do that...which I suggest that you don't have...

Good advice. Absolute Poker hacked its players' accounts to commit grand larceny on a breathtaking scale and employed a weak, industry sub-standard encryption platform which again put player hole card information at risk. Now the software operating one of its casino games has been shown to be non-random.

Are there any ways left for Absolute Poker to cheat its customers?

3 Previous Comments

How unsurprising.

I thought the word on the street from the industryites is the game is not rigged becvause they make enough money from a fair game, so why would they rig it?

Ecogra certified no less. Reams and teams of professional suits and accountants protecting the operators interests, but can't catch what some punter @ 2+2 can.


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Monday, October 04, 2010

Blackjack: player in last position makes no difference

A few weeks ago I was playing blackjack in a bricks & mortar casino on the south coast of the UK. I was to the left of the only other player at the table, and therefore the person to play directly before the dealer played out his hand, otherwise known as last position, or "third base".

Players typically blame the third baseman for their losses, based on the belief that the play of that hand determines the dealer outcome. This is wrong. In the first place, the decisions of all the players at the table, not just the third baseman, have the same bearing on the dealer outcome. In the second place, and more importantly, everything evens out in the long run: if today my drawing a card helps the dealer to make a good hand, tomorrow it will result in a dealer bust.

My fellow player didn't know this - he started lecturing me on how you should play "differently" at third base so as not to help the dealer. I offered to change places with him so that he could play at third base. He refused, saying he didn't like playing there.

To illustrate the fallacy of the thinking that the player in last position can be detrimental to the other players, I offer the following couple of scenarios, in which the player at last base has 16, the dealer's upcard is a 10, and the other live hands are all below 20.

In the first example, the next three cards to be dealt from the shoe are 5, 10 and another 10.

The player hits his 16 with the 5 and makes 21. The dealer draws the 10 to his 10 upcard and makes 20. All other players lose, but last base wins with the 21.

In the second example, the order of the next three cards in the shoe is 10, 5 and 10 - the first two cards in the above example have been reversed

The player hits his 16 with the 10 and busts. The dealer draws the 5 followed by the 10, and busts also. All other live hands win.

The only difference is the order of the first two cards to be dealt from the shoe, but the results of the two examples are the precise opposite of each other - in the first, last base beats the dealer, who in his turn beats all the other players, and in the second, last base loses to the dealer, who then loses to all the other players.

For every occasion in which a 5 and a 10 are waiting to be dealt, there will be a 10 and a 5 waiting with equal probablity - the chances of both are about one in 41.

In other words, both above scenarios have exactly equal probability of occuring. For every time that the decision of the player in last position hurts the other players, there will be the same number of times when that same decision helps them.

What happens if, rather than following correct basic strategy and hitting the 16, the player stands?

In the first example, the dealer busts and all players win.

In the second, the dealer makes 20 and all players lose.

So again, it all evens out in the long run. Different play strategy, different card order...it all evens out.

The only thing that affects outcomes is the way you play your own hand, which affects your monetary return. Play optimally and you will lose less in the long run; play sub-optimally and you'll lose more. So whether you're in first position or last at the blackjack table, play your hands correctly and don't worry about what the dealer might or might not draw.

The last hand I played that night in the company of my table companion was a soft 18 against dealer 10. I took a card, the correct play but unusual for a casual gambler. The dealer took a 5 followed by a 10, and busted. If I'd stood pat, the dealer would have made 20 and we'd have both lost.

The player thanked me profusely, and left.

I suspect he didn't see the irony.

1 Previous Comments

You should have pointed him to this url and told him to have a bit of a read up.

By Blogger Sandracer, at 12:58 pm  

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