At a loose end!

At a loose end!  Of course approaches differ by country but I’m sure at some point over the past 12 months we’ve all been in a situation where the world is on pause. It’s a strange new reality where ideas of having a drink or bite to eat with friends simply aren’t possible and past occasions when they were now almost feel like a dream!  Life can become a bit monotonous in such circumstances and I’m sure we’re all crossing our fingers that in a few months time (or 2022 at the latest!) normality starts to return to our day to day lives.

One plus side, (if we want to call it that) of life in the slow late is that we can all pick up hobbies and interests that we simply didn’t have as much free time for previously. Learning a language, a musical instrument, reading that book they’ve been putting off. There are a number of work arounds too. I love nothing more than heading to the casino, but right now that isn’t possible in many countries. Online options aplenty are still available though, and many faithfully replicate their bricks and mortar equivalent. And as the internet is of course worldwide, there are online casinos and offers for Finnish players and others too all around the world.

By mention of offers and incentives I mean to say that, if anything, online casinos are more generous than offline. This is because it’s such a competitive environment and so impressive sign up bonuses, free spins and the like are often on offer. By making the right choices you can ensure that you get the most ‘bang for your buck’. Some sites even have ongoing incentives for players such as cash back, or free poker tournaments and the like to join.

And what of the games themselves? Well in a real world casino granted there is the atmosphere to enjoy, but at the same time, you’ll struggle to find such as impressive range of new and exciting slots options, whereas online new games frequently appear overnight. In fact, if you can think of a slots game theme it likely exists online and so the world is your oyster. There is the convenience factor too. Sometimes I just want to few quick spins of the roulette wheel for instance. Online I can do that immediately and in the convenience of my own home. Offline, it’s not quite so simple (especially now)!

And so despite the troubling times we’re living in, maybe having a little more time on our hands combined with the convenience of online life (and those conversations with loved ones over Zoom!) does have something going for it. Until life returns to normal, it at least provides us with options at our fingertips and adds a bit of excitement to our days!


Casino VIP: Exclusive to High Rollers?

Casino VIP: Exclusive to High Rollers?  Whatever your gambling preferences may be, it makes sense to choose an online casino that caters to them accordingly. For high rollers with abundant bankrolls to burn through, high roller casinos are the way to go. For more casual gamers more interested in sticking to a budget, casinos packed with penny slots and freeroll tournaments are more suitable.

But what remains constant in all instances is the importance of ensuring you get maximum bang for your buck. Irrespective of how much you spend, you deserve at least something in return from the casino.

This is where VIP casino programs come into the mix, which the vast majority of top-rated brands are now running. Making the most of VIP schemes where available comes highly recommended, but it is important to ensure it is the right VIP scheme for you.

How do VIP Programs Work?

To be frank, most online casino VIP schemes aren’t worth a great deal to the average player. High rollers get all kinds of stuff thrown at them to keep them sweet, but more casual players really need to shop around – which is where our independent listings can help.”

Make no mistake about it – all VIP schemes are not the same. Not only do different schemes work in completely different ways, but the amount of money you have to spend to get anything in return varies wildly from one program to the next.

As for the mechanics of VIP schemes, there are several common approaches to rewards and incentives used by most online casinos. Detailed below are some of the things you can expect to be offered – particularly if you are a regular player or a high roller at a certain casino:

  1. Cashback incentives are widely available these days, offered in the form of anything from 1% to 5% of the total amount you spend each month. Cashback is also sometimes calculated exclusively on the basis of losses.

  2. Bonus funds are also offered by the vast majority of casinos, wherein a percentage of the amount of money you credit into your account is added as a bonus – anything from a 50% to 500%. Though these funds are almost always accompanied by a relatively steep wagering requirement.

  3. VIP points may be handed out by an online casino – typically 1 point for every $10 wagered. As these points accumulate, they can be exchanged for perks and privileges in some kind of VIP ‘store’, or for cash to withdraw at a rate of say $10 for every 100 points.

  4. Expedited withdrawals are a common incentive available for high rollers, which may be processed within the same day or even within the hour. There may also be much higher limitations how much can be withdrawn each week or month, for those who spend the most.

  5. Personal account management is a popular perk among big spenders in particular, who may be assigned a dedicated VIP assistant of some kind to oversee their gambling activities.

  6. Free spins work in a similar way to bonus credit, in that they are routinely handed out but in most instances are governed by terms, conditions and wagering requirements. Though some free spins are wager-free, meaning you get to keep anything you with.

  7. Birthday gifts and random gifts at equally random times throughout the year they also be handed out, but these are the types of perks usually reserved for high rollers only.

  8. Invitations to tournaments and other exclusive events or competitions are another popular type of VIP incentive. As with all of the rewards outlined above, the more you spend at any given online casino, the more likely you are to be invited to take part.

  9. Dedicated customer support may also be offered, which basically means a different telephone number, e-mail address and live chat service for instant 24/7 support, when and where required. Where this is available, it could be particularly useful in time-critical situations.

  10. Access to exclusive games may also be granted – particularly in the live-dealer section of a casino, where there are often live action variants of roulette, blackjack and baccarat available exclusively for high rollers.

In all of the above cases, the only VIP casino programs worth getting into are those you can expect to get something back from in return. Using customer reviews and independent recommendations sites like Top Dog Casino can help, but it is always important to check the terms and conditions in full, before getting started.

Gregg Fisher – $1 Casino Chip Guinness World Record Holder

Earlier this week $1 Casino Chip World Record Holder Gregg Fisher reached out to us, in order to update an old post. Since then he has even been kind enough to make HotChip part of his collection display! Always looking to extent his Guinness world record, Gregg has sent us an update regarding his love of collecting and casinos, and why others might want to join him in this worthwhile pursuit.

Gregg Fisher - $1 Casino Chip Guinness World Record Holder

“I’ve always been drawn to casinos, from when I was a boy watching westerns on tv. They were always playing poker, roulette, drinking and fighting.

I lived in Las Vegas in the 70’s, again in the 80’s and now again from 2012. I have over 5,200 chips and tokens in my collection.
The Guinness world records is for unique chips/tokens from different casinos. I like many collectors have multiple versions of chips and tokens from the same casino.

To be clear, the Guinness world records for largest collection of $1 casino and tokens , requires only one chip or token from each casino. Guinness world records requires photos, videos, spreadsheets, experts, public viewing, witness statements and cover letter. I would like to encourage others to start their collection or continue collecting. It’s a fascinating way to learn about the gaming industry around the world.

My Guinness world records is for $1 chips/ tokens in the United States only. On my next attempt I will use $1 chips/tokens form around the world. I have chips/tokens from over 20 countries and cruise ships.”

Gregg Fisher - $1 Casino Chip Guinness World Record Holder

“I pick up a chip and token in every casino I enter and have relationships with a couple fellow collectors who buy and sell chips and tokens. I buy lots on eBay, even a couple of small collections. There’s a new casino opening March 25th here in Vegas. I’m going to go and get some chips.”

Gregg’s Guinness world record casino chip collection is on display with the museum of gaming history.We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop as to where and when Mr Fisher breaks his own World Record. Stay tuned!

Live dealer games on the rise

Live dealer games on the rise

Gambling is one of Britain’s favourite pastimes, and the industry is increasing year after year. According to statistics published by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), the total gambling market was worth £14.3 billion between October 2018 and September 2019, with online gambling holding the largest share of the market, accounting for 38% of the industry’s revenue and reaching more than £5 million, the majority of which coming from England. Known for enforcing strict rules and high standards of transparency and gambling awareness, the Gambling Commision makes the UK online casino markets one of the most highly regulated in the world.

Statistics reported by Satista indicated that 21% of the UK adult population had engaged in some form of online gambling over the previous month. The most popular form of gambling in the United Kingdom, online casino games such as roulette and other table games amount to a large part of the Gross Gambling Yield (GGY. Between October 2018 and September 2019, the study by the UKGC shows that online slots comprised 69% of the total GGY, while roulette was the second most played game with 13% of the total revenue.

As the COVID-10 pandemic started in 2020, many countries around the world issued lockdowns and social distancing measures to prevent the spreading of the virus. With these restrictions, traditional land-based casinos were forced to shut down, which led to an increase in the number of players in online casinos. In the United Kingdom, casinos and other gambling venues were closed for the third time in December 2020, and haven’t returned to operations since.

With this rise in the number of users, online casinos also experienced a boost in the demand for live dealer games. Players tired of the same old slot machines started turning their attention to these live games, seeking an authentic casino experience with real-time results, and the same fairness and unpredictability as brick-and-mortar venues.

What are live dealer casino games?

Live dealer games on the rise

Nowadays, every reputable online casino offers classic games live which players can enjoy in real time on multiple platforms. Unlike most online casino games that rely on random numbers generators to provide results, live games are hosted by professional croupiers who operate the game at the moment of playing. Featuring live video streaming allows players to see the actions of the dealers and the whole gameplay as if they were in a traditional brick-and-mortar casino.

One of the biggest advantages of live dealer games is that players are able to witness the whole gaming process as it happens, without the necessity of software generated results, as professional croupiers can provide a more trustworthy feel. Apart from that, players can communicate and interact with the dealers through the live chat feature present in almost every online casino, granting an authentic casino experience.

To ensure the most accurate feel to bettors playing from their homes and enduring severe lockdowns, online casinos stream these games from luxurious casinos and broadcast studios, using some of the best streaming technology available, providing high-quality video and clear audio.

Partnering with leading software suppliers like Evolution Gaming and Microgaming, online casinos are able to offer a large selection of live games with special features and bonuses, and make them available in multiple platforms, including mobile devices. Most reputable online casinos also offer features that help ensure responsible gambling and are part of GamStop, a free self-exclusion scheme that helps players restrict online gambling activities.

Most popular live dealer games

Live dealer games on the rise

Currently, almost every online casino provides players with the opportunity to experience many casino classics with live dealers and in real time. Bettors can find a number of game variations and tables with different betting limits and ambiance.

Roulette is one of the most popular live games in online casinos, and is usually offered in its classic and French variations. The rules applied in online casinos are the same as land-based venues, with a few additional features like favourite bets and bet history.

A favourite in traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, Blackjack is also available in these websites, with several rules and limits, including unlimited and progressive blackjack. One interesting innovation in live blackjack games is the optional bet “Bet Behind”, which can be placed on another participant in the game.

Baccarat is also very favoured in live casino because, unlike blackjack, it doesn’t require any particular skills or strategy and offers lower house advantage. Most websites provide several additional side bets that can greatly increase payouts.