Casino Hand Gestures

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It can feel a little overwhelming going to the Casino for the first time and when it comes to remembering the intricate details of proper casino etiquette it can take a little getting used to. One of the more confusing aspects of attending a physical casino is remembering the proper hand signals when you want to convey something to the dealer or the dealer needs to relay something to the table. To that end, we’ve come up with this handy breakdown of some of the common gestures that you’re going to use in the casino!

The most common hand gestures you use are going to be in poker and blackjack, games where you see a lot of non-verbal communication when you’re informing the dealer and other players of your intentions. Blackjack is a little tricky as the conventions vary depending on what style of game you’re playing- if the cards are coming face up then the signals you use are different to the ones you use when they’re face down. For example, if you’re playing a game where the cards are face up then you tap the table to indicate you want to hit and wave your hand over the cards to show you wish to stand. If the cards are face down then you scrape a finger along the table to show you want to hit and slide your cards under your chips to show you want to stand. Quite different, right? The actual placing of bets is fairly similar for both, if you wish to double down you place an identical stack of chips next to the initial bet and hold up your index finger. If you want to split, you do the same gesture but hold up both your index and middle fingers.

It’s likely you already know what it looks like in a game of poker when the players use hand gestures, the visual of players crowded round a table and tossing chips into the middle is quite well known, but there are a few finer points that are definitely worth knowing if you’re planning to play for real. It’s fairly simple, if you’re the first to play you slide the initial stack of chips into the middle of the table for everyone to see. If you’re not first then it’s up to you to either slide an identical stack in to ‘check’ or to follow up with another stack to raise. When you’re all done, tap the table to show your sticking or, if the bet gets too high for your liking, you can slide your cards face down into the centre of the table to show your folding.
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To help you get a better idea what this looks like, we have this handy infographic that also has the common hand gestures for Craps and Roulette too!

The Best Female Poker Players in the World

Poker is a sport largely dominated by men, however there are a few truly talented female players who stand out above the rest.

The following are notably among the female stars of the sport in no specific order:

Vanessa Rousso

images23Vanessa Rousso is ranked 5th female in the world for cash earnings at tournaments.  The current total of her winnings stands at $3.5 million.  Her largest single cash win came in 2007, when she came second in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker main event, scooping up a prize of $700000.  Vanessa has become something of a sex symbol within the sport of professional poker, and has also further increased her popularity even outside of the world of poker by appearing in the television show Big Brother, in which she came third.

Annie Duke

Annie Duke is an American professional poker player, as well as an author of poker related books and her poker and casino insights have been much vaunted.  She won a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet in 2004, and at that stage held the title of being the woman to win the most cash at the poker table although that title has since gone to Vanessa Selbst.   She co-founded the non-profit organization, “Ante for Africa” which raises money for charities in Africa by playing in charity events.

Jackie Glazier

Jackie Glazier is an Australian player, and a relative newcomer to the sport of professional poker playing, going pro only 3 years ago.  She has since admitted that she went pro too early in her career, and that rookie errors in her early days at the table nearly cost her her career in poker, but she persevered and was rewarded for her determination.  She practiced a lot online and thanks to the abundance of NZD casino sites that offer this game, there is plenty of opportunity for players to do so. She has won approximately $1.2 million in cash at tournaments, been awarded a WSOP gold bracelet and has earned the prestigious title of being the last woman standing at WSOP 2013.

Liv Boeree

Liv Boeree hails from the England, and is ranked as the highest earning female player from the United Kingdom.  Her introduction to the world of professional poker came when she was selected to play in the reality TV show Ultimatepoker.com Showdown .  Here she received coaching from several star poker veterans including Annie Duke.  To date her largest single cash win was in 2010, when she won the European Poker Tour, taking home $1.7 million and becoming the third woman in history to win the European Poker Tour.

Vanessa Selbst 

Vanessa Selbst is currently number one on the top female money winners list, amassing herself a fortune of over $10 million in tournament winnings.  Her other notable achievements in the sport include three WSOP gold bracelets.  This is notable in itself as she is the only woman in history to achieve three WSOP bracelets in open fields.  She is also the only woman in history to reach the number one ranking on the Global Poker Index, and the only poker player to ever win the same North American Poker Tour Main Event twice in a row.

Maria Ho

Maria Ho is an American-Taiwanese professional poker player as well as a TV presenter and personality.  She is currently ranked female 10th in the world for cash earnings, and has amassed to date over $2 million in tournament winnings, and is perhaps best known for being the last woman standing at both the 2007 WSOP as well as the 2016 WSOP.

Kathy Liebert

Kathy Liebert began her career in professional poker as a prop player, which is a poker player who is paid hourly to start poker games, or to keep them active.  She then progressed to entering tournaments and won her first major one in 2002, the Party Poker Million.  Since then she has earned herself the number two spot on the top female money winners list, with her winnings currently sitting at $6 million, as well as a WSOP gold bracelet.  She is known for having the utmost respect from her peers in the sport, which is an achievement in itself given the male dominance of the game.

Jennifer Harman

Although Jennifer Harman may not have the most cash wins, she is considered to be the best all-round female player in the world despite various health issues, including a kidney transplant.    She one of the few female household names in the sport.  Her achievements include two WSOP gold bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles.

The History of Slot Machines

slot1The brightest, loudest and most commonly featured part of a Casino floor, the well-loved slot machine can be found in pubs, bars restaurants and hotels across the globe. Perfect for the casual player looking to kill a few spare minutes, or the professional gambler looking to win big. The slot machine has been evolving since its humble beginnings all the way back in the 1800’s.

The invention of the machine as we know it today is often credited to San Francisco based mechanic, Charles Fey. Fey was born August Fey in Bavaria in 1862, and worked in both France and London before setting his sights on America, landing in New Jersey where his uncle lived at the time. Having travelled across the US, Frey eventually settled in San Francisco where he began working for Electric Works, an electrical engineering and manufacturing company. In the 1880’s, slot machines were already popular, although vastly different from the ones we know and love today. Gustav Friedrich Wilhelm Schultze’sdeveloped the Horseshoe Slot Machine that featured the first automatic pay out system, which Fey modified to pay out coins, laying the groundwork for the industry we know today.

The credit for the first ever “gambling machine” goes to New York manufacturers Sittman and Pitt. However, instead of having reels, their original machine had five drums holding 50 playing cards each. The cards would spin in the drums when the player inserted their coin, and once the spinning stopped, five cards would line up to form a poker hand, resulting in either a win, or a loss.In 1898, Fey took this initial concept anddeveloped the now infamous Liberty Bell Slot Machine, with the player winning 50 cents every time three bell symbols were aligned. Jumping forward nearly seven decades, the biggest adjustment in the gambling machine world was the invention of the Money Honey in 1963. The first evercompletely electronic slot machine, Money Honey changed the industry completely, as players could now start their games simply by the press of a button instead of just pulling a lever.

In the 21st century, slot machines don’t need the fancy mechanics like the machines of old, as they can be pulled up on our phones, tablets and laptops, with cooler designs, brighter lights and more importantly bigger prizes easy to access at the touch of a button. This makes it easier for anyone to take part in the thrill of slots online, whether they’re tucked up at home, hitting the town or even just killing a few minutes on the train.