How to pick a game in a casino

Slots, such as the one with the Britney Spears theme, can be fun to play and produce a big payoff.
Slots, such as the one with the Britney Spears theme, can be fun to play and produce a big payoff.

There are various ways to invest your fortune — stocks, precious metals, real estate — and, similarly, there are plenty of choices when it comes to spending your casino dime.

Are you high-risk/high-reward? Or are you looking for a more conservative endeavor with less volatility? Here’s is a breakdown of the choices:

Blackjack is easily the best of the card games, providing you know when to hit and when to stick. (Experts call that “basic strategy.”) Racetrack casinos have electronic blackjack, starting at $5 per hand, and the Seminole casinos have live dealers and cards, with minimums often at $10 on weekdays and $15 and higher evenings and weekends. Figure to sit down with a bankroll enough to cover 20 hands, have a drink, make new friends and if you double your investment go enjoy a nice dinner. Other table games, such as Three-Card Poker and Casino War, have a larger house edge, and are referred to as “carnival games” in the casino industry. Live craps and roulette are not legal in Florida.

Slots are by far a casino’s most profitable endeavor, although the spinning wheels, flashing lights and new video screens make them highly entertaining. In recent years, patrons have veered toward “penny” machines, which you technically could play for 1 cent, but to receive any reward you have to bet the maximum — often 30 to 50 cents per spin. So pick a game with a title you like — Britney Spears, Ellen, Game of Thrones, etc. — and once or twice a year you might turn that $100 investment into $1,000, $10,000 or more.

Progressive slots display a growing jackpot atop a bank of machines, with truly life-changing money. Racetrack casinos have yielded scores over $200,000. The Seminole casinos, which can link up more games through a network extending beyond their casinos, have had $1 million-plus winners.

Video poker has the lowest volatility of the slot games, meaning you get enough small wins to keep you in the game. Like other games, you have to bet the maximum to have a shot at the big jackpot. I play a 25-cent machine at five credits per spin ($1.25 per push). If I ever hit a royal flush, I’d get 4,000 credits ($1,000).

Live poker for beginners can cost as little as $2 per bet, and I took my son for a session where we invested $60 just as he turned 18, the legal age. On my own, I usually invest $100 for no-limit Texas Hold ’em, and if I double up, I’m done. Many card rooms now offer high-hand bonuses, where the player with the best hand throughout the room during a 30-minute period wins $500.

Saturday lunch at Kuro

Kuro, the new-style Japanese restaurant at the Seminole Hard Rock, has added Saturday lunch (noon-3 p.m.) which creates possibilities for people — or groups — to experience the playful, creative offerings while floor-to-ceiling windows provide a pleasant view of the pool and patrons.

Saturday afternoons also give you a break on price because you’re not going to eat until you’re stuffed. The cocktails are $14, appetizers, salads and desserts $10-$15 and many main courses run under $20.

Go to OpenTable.com, call 954-327-7625 or email kuro@seminolehardrock.com for more information.

Mardi Gras poker

The Big Easy poker room at Mardi Gras Casino is adding some action to its cash games. The card room is now allowing the Mississippi Straddle — that is, raising from any position before any cards are dealt — in all no-limit hold ’em games. The card room also will allow two all-in players to “run it twice” in $1-$2 no-limit games, which increase the players’ odds of hitting the high hand.

This weekend

▪ Casino Miami has a UFC 200 viewing party at Club Rio Saturday. There’s also the $30,000 Summer Free Play Bash, given away from 3 p.m. to midnight Sunday and July 17 and 31.

▪ Thursday is guest appreciation day at Hialeah Park. Pink card holders receive $5, silver holders $10 free play and black card holders $20 free play after earning one point.

▪ Miccosukee Resort & Gaming continues its new slot player promotion. Those who enroll in the casino’s player’s club receive at least $30 in free slot play.

▪ A variety show comparable to those in Havana night clubs is set for 10 p.m. Saturday at Magic City Casino. Called “Esta Noche Si,” the show includes comedy, contortionist Lissy and Maritza Espin's Corps Of Ballet.

▪ The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has two tournaments that include the bonus of seats in the August Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. At 6 p.m. Monday is a $200 buy-in, $20,000 guaranteed event that awards a seat into the main event, worth $5,250. Thursday’s tournament also includes a seat, for a $150 buy-in, with a $15,000 guarantee.

Twitter @NickSortal