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Being an American gambler, my choices for online gambling are becoming more and more limited with each day that passes. With that being said, I recently began using a website to handle my sports bets and became aware of the online casino portion of that site. I decided the other night to give the blackjack game on the site a spin and had an interesting experience.
First off, the graphics and overall "experience" were nothing compared to any straight casino I have played at. The animations were sub par and the sounds really left something to be desired. Second, the speed of the game was wicked. Hands were literally being dealt out so quickly that I was having a hard time following what was going on, and had to really try to restrain myself from playing too many hands too quickly. It was the third thing though that would get me agitated; agitated to the point where I thought the game was cheating.
I noticed that one more than one occasion, the dealer would flop up an Ace. Technically, the game was supposed to offer insurance, but this never happened. To make sure I wasn't nuts I checked the rules; insurance bets were supposed to be in there. I found this to be funny, but figured maybe I missed something and kept playing...a bit more suspicious than when I began the session.
Later, I noticed that the game would get some ridiculous hands. I was dealt 8's versus the dealer's Ace. Once again, I didn't get the insurance option, so I split 8's. I ended up with two face cards, a total of 18 on both hands. The dealer then flopped out two additional Aces, a 2, 9, and 7: total score of 21. With my previous experience I was more concerned, but figured it wasn't enough to go on...
That is until I went onto a eight hand losing streak, with some bad, bad beats in there by the casino. At this point I was really upset, and considered making a forum post to point out how shady this all was. However, I took the night to cool off and went back and analyzed my hand history at the site.
Upon further review I still maintain that the site's game interface sucks, the insurance thing really should be looked at because I maintain that it was not offered and think I can show this with my hand history (but it could also be something that I am not seeing), but do I think the game was necessarily cheating with hands? Not really.
My reasoning falls something like this: I played a fraction of hands, not enough to really be considered an accurate sampling. I had a bad couple of losing streaks, even with basic strategy, and although it is unlikely some of the stuff would happen (see my pic below of one hand), it IS possible. I guess my point here is not to jump to conclusions so quickly and take time to think it over before you decide to possibly complain and rant about something.
I almost did that and now think it was pretty foolish.
Here is a pic of the ridiculous hand the dealer got. I maintain there was no insurance offered, but I can see how this hand is possible (even though it pissed me off when I saw it)
Take it from someone who used to use tracking software to record my hand histories .. an 8 hand losing streak is not unusual. The worst I have seen is 17 from memory.
The software sounds crappy though, although not being able to use insurance is doing you a favour as you should never take it anyway. It sounds like casino is not their bread and butter and its more of an afterthought tacked on to the sports site, and that can be a common problem with such sites.
If it is who I think it is based on your post the other day I just saw, I can say they have a good reputation as a sports book as far as I am aware so its very unlikely that they would be cheating you on the casino side of things.
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I totally agree on the insurance side bet sham, Ed. I just would prefer to see it offered on each hand, and I would have used it to slow my roll down a bit as the speed of the game was blazing. Don't get me wrong either; I love the site for its sports betting, but the casino software does indeed suck.
I've been strictly warned by ED not to use insurance bet anytime 🙂
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