Deal ‘Em! (A History of Satan’s Playthings)

. Griffith that made this liberated woman a social outcast, though.  It was the town’s boys.  For years, she let the local teens and young adult men use a back room of her candy store.  In this back room – gasp! – these renegades and rebels, these outcasts of society, these hard-cases, this group of disaffected youth . never!  How is gambling theft if all parties involved in a gambling transaction agree to a pay-out to a winner (who clearly did not steal the winnings)?  For that matter, how is gambling lying to another?]


The deck was standardized before the 16th Century.  The use of several plies of paper made for a more durable card.  Wood engraving lent itself to printing them in uniform quantities in one of the earliest forms of publishing.  And the design on the back was inaugurated as a means of foiling card cheats. 

Bridge, Rummy (and its dozens of variants), Canasta, Pinochle (which uses a special, non-standard deck), Hearts, Tonk, Euchre and hundreds of other games are still enjoyed.  It’s a good way for families to turn off the ever-lovin’ TV and the brain-damaging video-game station and settle in for some “sinfully” good fun.  It’s also a good way for families to reconnect as a unit.  And with today’s ridiculously high costs of entertainment, it’s free – yet another bonus of card playing. 

Whether intentional or not, there is a curious correlation between a deck of cards and some natural phenomena.  The 52 cards in a pack correspond to the 52 weeks of the year.  The four suits mirror the four seasons.  The 13 cards in

a suit equate to the 13 lunar months.  Finally, the 12 face cards are symbolic of the 12 signs of the zodiac. 

At the time she ran her sweets shop, particularly during the years of World War II, the locals (of whom she was not one) were very suspicious of her.  She was a single woman in an era when most women were married.  She was attractive.  She smoked cigarettes. .  Other methods involved removing the entrails of certain animals, usually birds, and “reading” them.  [This is why Christianity loathes Voodoo; it isn’t the senseless slaughter of a chicken that bothers them, it is the practice of reading the animal’s innards for signs of things to come, and that’s pagan!]

This game had roots in three earlier games (triumph, ruff, and honors) that the lower-class rabble played earlier in the century.  Because of its genteel setting, gamesmen were very serious about maintaining decorum: the word “whist” comes from the hissing sound made to shush noisy onlookers while play was in progress.  [Another theory holds that the game was named for the onomatopoeia of “whisking” up the cards from the table.]

Concurrent with a general distrust and hatred of dancing, fundamentalists also eschewed games of chance, gambling, and other frivolities.  Gambling is a pastime indulged in by humanity since antiquity.  Hard-core Christians love to condemn the practice, though there is no basis for this condemnation in their accepted sacred writings.  

Using playing cards for both divination and games seems to have happened concurrently, meaning cards were used for both purposes almost from inception.  [Many inventions achieved dual purposes early on.  This is true of the invention of motion pictures.  Almost as soon as hand-cranked film cameras were reliably available, porn – in addition to “regular” films – was produced.]  Like early baseballs, bats, and baseball gloves, the ancient players of card games often made their own recreational materials.  

Most children learn to play games such as Go Fish or Old Maid by the age of 5 or 6.  Slap Jack is a very simple card game that can be taught to a two- or three-year old, and they enjoy the action of the game play.  [Slap Jack is a game more about reflexes.  Any number can play.  The entire deck is held by a “dealer” who places them face up in a discard pile one at a time.  When a Jack is thrown down, the first person to slap his or her hand down on it gets the discard pile.  The person with the most cards in hand when the deck runs out is the winner.]

Shake a Leg

The Shakers, a sect that flourished briefly for nearly two centuries, was established in 1747 by two British zealots.  The true name of the group is the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing. 

In the late 17th Century, the upper classes of Britain played Whist. 

A woman had owned and operated a small-town candy store in the late 1930s to mid 1940s.  She was 90 at the time of meeting 25 years ago, she chain-smoked Carleton 100’s, and she was every bit as crusty and cantankerous as legendary screen actress Bette Davis was in her later years.  

Minor changes included the addition of numerals and letters in the corners and symbols to help players easily recognize the value of the cards held.  And, in the last significant design change (sometime after 1500) it was the French who standardized the deck to 52 cards and who created the two-headed face cards so these could never be dealt “upside down” (always properly oriented on the deal). 

Jezebel!  She-Devil!

But it isn’t the monetary gains or losses that the conservative Christian worries about or finds “sinful”.  It isn’t the gambling away of the family home that twists their collective panties into Gordian knots.  It is the accoutrements of gambling–wheels of chance, cards, what have you–that offend tender Christian sensibilities. 

Playing cards date to antiquity in one form or another.  The origins of them are obscure.  Some believe playing cards are of Asian origin.  Some authorities claim more specifically they developed in China in the 12th Century, became known to the Moors, and were then later introduced by them into Europe.  The earliest reference to playing cards in Europe occurs in Italy in 1299. .  

The Believers (as they styled themselves) lived communally under harsh fundamental doctrines.  However, there was no mixing of the sexes.  While members might work together on assigned tasks in the group, there was strictly enforced segregation.  Men and women lived in separate dormitories, only seeing each other at worship, meals, or working in the commune.  Pre-existing marriages were annulled upon joining the sect, and members could not marry.  Nor was there any sexual intercourse within the ranks (at least, no doctrinally approved sexual intercourse–clandestine liaisons were not uncommon in such circumstances). 

52 Card Pick-Up

One of the many forms of ceremonial celebration of pagan ritualism was dancing.  Ceremonial dancing is known to all cultures throughout history, carrying over into modern times as a form of entertainment and socializing in group settings. 

Oh, the imagined sins of others pointed up by fundamentalist Christians. 

Though tobacco was not known to the myriad writers of the Old and New Testaments, Christians can point up the “body-is-a-temple” idea espoused – the human body is not to be defiled whether or not one’s actions harm only oneself.  Therefore, smoking tobacco is a “sin” because it is bad for one’s health.

It wasn’t D.W.  Certainly, gambling itself is harmless, except for those who are idiots and gamble away their homes, wives, dogs, or children’s college funds.  And presuming Christians’ professed love for all their fellow humans, it would be an admirable sentiment if the prohibition was truly about watching out for another’s best interests, keeping a person from genuine harm (in the case of gambling, financial harm).     

by the author

In the world’s history, such priggish self-righteousness has led to castigation of many people and even entire cultures.  These sticks-in-the-mud at various times declared many things as “sinful”: dancing, dice, alcohol (even though the Christians’ founder, Jesus, drank wine and beer), smoking (not known to Jesus; Christians learned to condemn that once tobacco was discovered and cultivated), women wearing pants, and even the use of the table fork.

Perhaps one of history’s most frequently rebuked items, though, was a tool of gaming, a simple piece of thick paper stock with coloring and pictures on it. 

“Shut Your Bloody Pie Hole!”

Many pastimes enjoyed without any other goal but to make a person happy – for no good “Christian” reason, in other words – are evil, the works of Satan in his ongoing efforts to steal souls.  She was independent.  Sometimes, she even wore pants.

In addition to those two citations, another tasty excerpt tossed out as “proof” that gambling is a sin is from the New Testament, Romans 12:17.  This text only speaks of not repaying an injury with an injury and keeping one’s appearance honorable.  Again, this has nothing to do with gambling–one can be an “honorable” gambler (as long as he or she isn’t a welsher). . . That would give the origins of playing cards a fairly recent history. 

Modern times did not change the image of card-playing idlers in the minds of “good” Christians.  Anyone indulging in cards (most notably Poker) was deemed a miscreant or no good; engaging in any games with a deck of cards was “sinful”.  Professional Old West gambler and gunslinger Doc Holliday (though his game of choice was Faro) and others of his ilk did little to change that image. 

All things not in keeping with their buttoned-up, sphincter-tightened (and slammed shut for good measure) world of strait-laced behaviors and sniffing smugness is cause for condemnation. 

Card games still remain very popular.  Poker is now a spectator sport, with championships broadcast on television with jackpots in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.  These tournaments sometimes feature celebrities who took it up (actor Gabe Kaplan of the mid 1970’s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter springs to mind).  Card playing is one of the few enjoyable ways to pass the time in jail.  And if you are a man, there’s not much better in this world than playing Strip Poker with women (as long as it is only women – if there are other men playing the game or even in the room, then that’s just gay). 

This is Satan’s tool of soul possession and eternal damnation: the deck of playing cards.

There is no specific Biblical prohibition to gambling per se.  Christians force a taboo where there is none by “interpreting” the Old Testament’s Exodus 20:15 and Leviticus 19:11 as one basis for proclaiming gambling a sin. 

Benjamin Franklin, on a trip to England, became familiar with Whist.  He introduced it in Philadelphia, and it became very popular in the Colonies before the American Revolution.  And many of today’s modern games derive from Whist. 

Grab a Deck.

Christianity is firmly rooted in the suppression of paganism and all things perceived as pagan.  In fact, the very word “pagan” was invented by later Christians as a disparaging term applied to polytheists or others who didn’t believe in their god, Yahweh.  The Romans occupying Israel during the time of Jesus had never heard the word, nor had the Greeks or Egyptians.  [Christian fundamentalists, in their ignorance about all things related to Islam, will often call Muslims “heathens” or pagans, not knowing that the Islamic god, al-Lah, is the exact same god they worship.] 

And it is the use of face cards as symbols of astrological signs with which early fortune-tellers concerned themselves in card readings and in casting horoscopes.  [The standard pack of fortune-telling Tarot cards developed from playing cards, not the other way around.  They came from late-14th Century Italy and France.  Though in use slightly earlier, the oldest known extant pack dates to the reign of French King Charles VI (“Charles the Silly”, 1368-1422).  Tarot cards were also first used as playing cards before they came into vogue as a divination tool.  It was only in 18th Century England that Tarot cards became imbued with certain esoteric associations.]

A deck did not always contain its current configuration of 52 cards in four suits of 13 cards each.  The suits (hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs) have rarely shifted from the number seen today.  At different times, though, these were represented by acorns, batons, bells, cups, leaves, money, and swords.  The forerunners of face cards, or “court cards” (also known in the past as “trumps” or “stouts”), also varied in number before settling into the three familiar ones of today, the King, Queen, and Jack (or Knave).  The Jokers (usually two in a deck, there as replacements in case other cards are lost or damaged) were added much later; these portray medieval court jesters.   

Dancing, in its way, was part of the Believers’ worship.  Members met in a communal hall and separated into men on one side of the room and women on the other.  Scriptural readings, sermons, and hymns filled the congregation’s time.  During their religious fervor, members twitched, jerked, and flailed: these spasmodic movements led to their common name of “Shakers”. 

The ancient fortune-teller, using animal entrails or other devices of prognostication (scrying, dowsing, et al), was also persecuted for the perceived practice of paganism, though other excuses for such persecution were always contrived. 

Mostly, the incensed religious person sniffed and believed the morals of the world’s children were somehow corrupted or compromised by handling these ancient tools of the Devil.  And for an example of stuffy-fundamentalism-gone-amok over nothing, a personal anecdote will suffice.

It’s in the Cards[Warning! Will annoy fundamentalist Christians]

The Englishman, Edmund Hoyle (1672-1769), was a rabid player and also taught the game.  In 1742, he published a definitive guide called A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist.  This was used as the game’s bible until the 1860s.  He later wrote similar tracts on other card games and popular board games.  Over time, he was considered the last word in rules of such diversions, and the phrase “according to Hoyle” passed into the vernacular to mean something was authoritative.

One of the more mistrusted, and hated, fortune-teller’s tools of the trade was a pack of painted cards.  And it is with this ancient usage that fundamental Christians developed the idea that playing cards were Satan’s playthings.

However, there is sufficient evidence to support the contention that decks of cards were devised by the ancient Egyptians (most likely), the Persians, and Hindus as well.  This would place them as much older as a gaming device.  Because of cross-cultural contacts and trade, it is possible playing cards were very nearly spread, seemingly all at once, throughout the known world.

The Exodus “verse” merely consists of the line “Thou shalt not steal”; the Leviticus verse uses the same line and adds another about not speaking falsely to other people.  [Since when is gambling “stealing”?  Since, uh .

This celibate cult was brought to the US in 1774, and caught on in the Northeast.  However, considering sex was not allowed, the only way to gain new members was through conversion or by adopting orphaned children into the faith.  From a peak of 5,000 members in the US in 1840, membership dropped to 140 by 1930.  By the 1960s there were only 50 Believers left.  In recent years there remained a handful of elderly women living as the Shakers did on a Maine commune. Griffith (1875-1948) – who had been born and raised in a nearby town – frequented her store on those occasions when he was in from Hollywood visiting family in the few years before his death.  He bought candy in quantity at her shop, loitered and gossiped, and shared his stash with whoever came through the door. 

It wasn’t that the “Gypsy” was doing anything truly wrong or “sinful”: it was the audacity of the act, proclaiming he or she could predict fate, such utterings having nothing to do with asking for guidance of, or intervention by, the Judeo-Christian god Yahweh.  [And true Bible thumpers will put up a fuss about witchery, quoting a mistranslated phrase they read as “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”.  Scholars have interpreted that phrase, from its oldest sources, as properly reading more along the lines of not suffering a “fortune-teller to live”, not a witch.  And, again, the prohibition against fortune-telling had nothing to do with evil, only the soothsayer’s presumption of having powers of divination the zealot believes are only rightfully in the hands of their god.]


One would like to believe that it is the gambling for money or other goods that Christians hate (“ill-gotten”–though legitimately won–gains and all).

Christian beefs with many things can be randomly justified if anyone looks long enough and hard enough in their handbook for oppression, The Holy Bible. 

Go ahead.  Tell your fundamentalist Christian neighbors to go pound sand.  Grab a deck of what once was (and in some tiny minds, still is) a tool of paganism and evil and sin, just a hoot-and-a-holler from the Eternal Fires of Hell’s Everlasting Torments, Satan’s playthings.  Settle in for a few hands of anything you like. 

Fun is wrong.  And because so many fundamentalists are abjectly miserable (leading their pious lives of judging others) they want to insure the rest of the world is miserable, too: “So, it looks as if you’re having fun with that–here, let me take it away!”

But her biggest social crime had to do with her candy store and its clientele.  Pioneer film-maker D.W. they smoked cigarettes and – Oh, the horror! Oh, the humanity! – played cards!  [They were also probably swearing–also bad in Christian minds–while they played, probably saying things like, “There’s my gol-danged trey” or “Shecky-dern, you got my ace, you so-and-so”.]  The town’s bible-thumpers were fit to be tied: she was aiding and abetting the corruption of the local youth.  But because this woman cared little for their opinions, she continued to let the boys use her place as she saw fit.  For this she was made a pariah. 

Sometimes, if the “fever” was high, women and men boldly approached each other’s sides of the common room.  Crossing of the imaginary gender line was called “The Promiscuous Dance”.  The men and women never touched, though; each merely did his or her own shaking in the other’s assigned floor space. .

What their Christian “race memory” holds for them is the simple fact that many tools of the gambling trade, such as dice, also once served as divination devices for pagan cultures.  Casting of bones–and the earliest dice were made from knuckle bones of pigs–were a means of answering the unanswerable, predicting the future in addition to being gaming pieces.  [And “craps”, the word for the popular gambling game of dice, has nothing to do with fecal matter.  It is a bastardization of the Louisiana French word, crabs, which means “losing throw”.]

 I See Your Future

Fundamentalists hate dancing, not because of the presumed (albeit wrongheaded and incorrect) assumption that lascivious shaking around leads to promiscuous sex but because they carry the indoctrination of centuries: dancing equals pagan celebrations.  Therefore, it is a “sin”.

Divination was found in the casting of rune stones (of Occult Egyptian origin) and in the Chinese practice of tossing sticks, the I Ching.  

You know you want to (heh, heh, heh)

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Negative Effects of Gambling

On giving a serious consideration to the negative effects of gambling, we realize that it is best avoided.

? Problem gamblers and addicts tend to abuse their family members. They tend to stay away from their near ones, resulting in distrust between them and their loved ones.

? Additionally, rehabilitation and public assistance systems are taxed.

? As gambling leads to increased criminal activities, in a way, gamblers add to the burden on prisons and the legal system.

? Gambling has proven to be addictive. The effect is similar to that of having a drug or a drink, which is why gambling changes one’s mental state and mood.

You could be at gunpoint or holding the gun. Betting is a mentally taxing activity, and as one goes on risking more and more money, anxiety starts building.

? An Austrian study said that around 1 in 5 suicidal patients had a gambling problem.

Games offered in casinos, table games like poker, Red Dog, and Blackjack, as also electronic games like Slot Machine and Video Poker are some of the common types of gambling. The decision to gamble money is based on three parameters namely; how much to bet, the predictability of the event, and the conditions agreed upon, between the gamblers. To add to the so-called merry atmosphere, gamblers often smoke or drink while playing.

Initially, one looks at gambling as a way to run away from life’s problems, or from stress, anger, and loneliness. Their debt keeps building and it may reach an amount that exceeds their capacity to repay.

? People continue gambling with the greed of winning money. The two go hand in hand. In spite of the losses incurred, they continue betting. According to the National Research Council, 10 to 17% of the children of problem gamblers have been abused and so have 25 to 50% of the partners of problems gamblers.

? Gambling can lead to criminal activities. The addiction leads people to continue with gambling irrespective of whether they earn or lose in the deal. In the following sections of this Buzzle article, we discuss the negative effects of gambling on the individual and society.

? Studies show that children with a sibling or parent addicted to gambling, are more likely to take to substance abuse.

Gambling refers to the betting of money on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the intent of winning additional wealth. It causes a decline in his/her work performance, thus hampering his career.

? The addiction to gambling can leave one in bankruptcy. Six to eight million people in America are estimated to have a gambling problem.

? Research has shown that gambling can lead to harmful behavior in people. The addiction gets on to the gamblers to such an extent that they fail to think wisely before acting. Some go that way to forget the sorrow of losing big sums when gambling.

? A majority of those addicted to gambling have substance abuse disorders.

? Children of parents who are problem gamblers or gambling addicts tend to feel abandoned and angry, further increasing stress and leading to strained family relations.

Gambling = Thoughtless Expenditure + Waste of Time

? Gamblers often exhibit mood swings and a strangely secretive behavior. Thus, gambling can have a grave economic impact which is difficult to reverse.

? According to the University of New York, in people with alcohol use disorders, the chances of developing an addiction to gambling are 23 times higher.

? People who fall prey to gambling tend to remain away from their families and waste money on other bad practices. The skill of a gambler lies in weighing the three parameters and making a decision about what amount should be staked and how much should be expected in return.. Their mental state can even lead to suicidal tendencies.

? Addiction to gambling has been linked with substance abuse. Forget satisfaction or peace, it is not even refreshing in the real sense. Card games, coin tossing, and dice-based games are some non-casino based forms of gambling. When they lose the money they had risked, they further gamble to recover the lost amount and it becomes a vicious circle even they can’t escape from.

? Over time, the practice of gambling starts becoming a habit and begins to have damaging effects at psychological, physical, and social levels. Thus, gambling practices cause a huge financial burden on the families of the affected and on the society at large.

? The stress from gambling may lead to health issues like ulcers, stomach problems, muscle pains, headaches, and problems with sleep.

? According to a research by NCPG, 76 percent of problem gamblers are likely to have a major depressive disorder.

? Gambling at the cost of one’s job results in a decline in the quality of his professional life. The addiction has negative effects on one’s physical and mental health and it proves to be detrimental to one’s social, personal, and professional life. A recreational activity is supposed to be refreshing and relaxing, but something like gambling is contrary to the very purpose of recreation. Because of this, they land in worse situations and take the wrong decisions in life.

? The costs of treating compulsive gamblers are huge. The National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG) describes this type of gambling behavior as problem gambling.

? Apart from absence at work and drop in efficiency, a common observation is that gamblers tend to steal money and engage in fraudulent behavior to recover from financial losses incurred when gambling, or to get more money to bet.

Mental and physical health problems, financial issues, and conflicts in the family are among the common negative effects of gambling. It only leads to a thoughtless expenditure of money and valuables.

Compulsive gambling leads to bankruptcy

? Gambling is practiced as a means of recreation. They engage in gambling activities at the cost of their time with family and friends. The greed never ends and they keep betting more and more. The addiction robs a gambler of all the productive time and leads to loss of efficiency at work. ? Similar to how an individual keeps consuming substances like drugs or alcohol to experience an altered mental state, he continues to gamble. It soon becomes a habit that can’t be broken.

? According to a study by the George State University, 50% of the problem gamblers commit crime. Over time, it becomes a habit, and eventually an obsession that can’t be overcome. It can drag you into crime, gambling isn’t fun.

? Substances of abuse are served at casinos and in pubs and clubs, thus increasing the likelihood of gamblers consuming them. Addiction to gambling, coupled with substance abuse can make the gamblers physically abusive towards their family. A study by the same university suggested that 73% of the individuals who are imprisoned are found to be problem gamblers.

? They start borrowing money and take secret loans. This proves to be detrimental to their social and family life. Due to lost mental peace, they may ill-treat their spouse and children. Some take to substance abuse to supplement the high they get from winning huge sums while gambling. Sports betting and arbitrage betting are the other types. Rehabilitating the gambling addicts needs money and time, and the process is not very easy. The stress of risking huge amounts of money or the frustration after losing it can increase the tendency of abuse in gamblers

How the Sports Betting Line is Made by RJ Bell

Reasons for such adjustments include:

How the Opening Line Is Made

“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said. A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”

Why the Line Changes

Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public.

For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays. Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line.

Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather.

“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said.

The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action. .

Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations.

Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game

There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process. Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor). Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’).

Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time. By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error. For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC.

Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it. Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team.

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks. Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf).

“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action.

The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”

Contributed by:

Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision.

Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10).

Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”

RJ Bell

© 2006


Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC)

Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game. Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades. If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias. By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines

Video Poker – free article courtesy of

His numerous articles found on virtual casino web, provide useful and factual gambling information and insight.

About The Author

<< Back to “Recreation And Sports” Index

After the replacement cards are dealt the winnings are calculated based on the 5-card poker hand. The payout depends on the particular type of game begin played.

Video Poker

 by: Chen Ching-feng

. The player then has one opportunity to hold or discard any number of unwanted cards, and is dealt an equal number of replacement cards from the deck.

Chen Ching-feng is a successful writer and online gambling expert providing valuable tips and advice for those interested in gambling and online gambling strategies. Combining elements of poker and slots, this form poker is one of the few games in the casino where you can actually have a realistic expectation of winning, as opposed to depending on the pure luck of slot machine games or roulette.

This article was posted on March 08, 2005

There are a number of video poker variants, including: Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker…

Keyword Search

Video poker is usually played against a machine, which displays the player’s cards on a screen.

The player places a bet and the video poker machine deals five cards from a standard 52-card pack

Casino-Gaming :: What Percentage Of Races Does The Favorite Horse Win?

Thus, place your bet around 20 minutes to race time.

As a general rule, the favorite will win about 1/3 of the time, but what is amazing is how often the favorite will place, especially when less than half of the field is 5-1 or lower. However, let us say that the race has just six runners, then you have a 1 in 6 chance of winning. Thus, you can see that the fewer the runners there are, the better your chances of winning. In a race with 20 runners you have a 1 in 20 chance of picking the winner. Of course, if you placed a win bet and the horse does win, then you will come away with lots of money. Remember, when you use this system, you are making your predictions on the odds. Often the odds on the horse most likely to win is poor. And do not forget, the horse still has a chance of winning too. If the odds are less than 4/1, then I suggest passing such a horse race. For this reason, I do not always place my money on the horse that is predicted to win. However, bookmakers/tracks usually only offer poor odds if you bet place or show on such a horse. Of course, this is providing that you placed a place or show bet. Remember, that your horse only has to come in the first three in a six or nine horse race for you to come away with a profit. Therefore, it is statistically speaking, a bad race to bet on. In 2 out of 3 races some other horse wins.

If the horses just below the favorite have better odds, such as 4/1, 5/1 or better; then place your bet on those horses. Thus, I suggest that you limit yourself to horse races with either 6 or 9 horses running to have the best chance of winning.

Why does the horse predicted to place actually wins so many races? Maybe because the favorite usually only wins 1 in 3 races. Look at the odds being offered and if they are better on the second or third horse, then go for it.

As one can see, it often is better to bet on a horse you think is going to place. I suggest that you choose horse races with nine runners and 1/4 odds on the first three, or six runners with 1/4 odds on the first two. The key point: is stay away from horse races where there are lots of runners!

In a race with only six horses running, you have a 1 in 6 chance of picking a winner. In order to win a horse race, you might want to predict the winner by using statistical calculations instead. The reason being that the odds are often better than the favorite winning the race.

Thus, the question asked is if you should bet on the horse most likely to win? Sometimes the answer to this is “no”.

In my opinion, the secret of winning on the horses is to look at the statistics. You really need odds of at least 4/1 to win anything if the horse that you bet on places second or third. In this case a favorite will place almost 100% of the time.

Casino-Gaming :: Sports Betting Using Offshore Sportsbooks

Nothing beats the thrill of betting in a Las Vegas sportsbook, but offshore betting is an easy

alternative for many Americans that like to wager but don’t necessarily have the resources to

travel to Nevada every weekend. I do know that on my website, I offer a sportsbooks section which lists some of the

superior offshore sports betting books that I personally bet at daily.

Most of the offshore betting parlors offer 1 free payout a month. If you don’t know which sportsbooks are quality, well run businesses, visit a few gambling

websites. I suggest that the offshore betting online portal only promotes 3 or 4 of

the best and most secure offshore sportsbooks that accept US players. The offshore sportsbooks make the wagering experience

more convenient and pleasurable because of the instant access along with a much larger

betting menu and high wagering limits.

Leave it to good old-fashioned competition to improve the betting industry. Instead of piling the

kids into the minivan for a road trip to Las Vegas, consider the offshore sportsbooks for

convenient, hassle-free betting from the comfort of your home computer. I personally bet at

only 2 sportsbooks daily since I find the odds given are very competitive. However, make sure that the offshore sportsbook does accept US players. The positives of offshore betting are hard to

ignore, whether via Internet or telephone. You will find that offshore betting is an easy alternative

for Americans that like to wager but do not necessarily have the resources to travel to Nevada

every weekend. With more

offshore betting sites being established, customers are winning with nice bonuses and freebies

as companies duke it out to win new business. Bet offshore and make

a wider variety of picks at anytime of day from the comforts of your La-Z-Boy.

Every year, more and more serious bettors flock to Internet sportsbooks like 5Dimes Sportsbook,

BetUS, and BookMaker Sportsbook. In addition, make

sure that it is a quality sportsbook that is secure.

Betting offshore from home also allows the sports bettor to shop around for the best lines,

which encourages bettors to have accounts at different sportsbooks. In addition, the 2

sportsbooks that I use offer fast payouts and have great customer service. Offshore betting

is proving to be a safe, secure, customer-friendly, billion-dollar industry, complete with

sportsbooks and online casinos. If you don’t know which books are quality,

well run businesses, locate a gambling website which lists some of the superior offshore

sports betting books. In addition, I recommend to record all your offshore

betting transactions in a log to track performance, betting trends, and any information you may

need to look back on someday.. And offshore sportsbooks offer the sports

bettor a complete playing and entertainment experience.

After you have found the book that suits your betting needs, you are going to need to sign up

for an account. Still, the customer is still king, and successful offshore

betting sites recognize this. With more

offshore betting sites being established, customers are winning with nice bonuses and

freebies as companies duke it out to win new business. Betting offshore from home also allows the bettor to shop

around for the best lines, which encourages bettors to have accounts at different sportsbooks.

Bonuses as well as seasonal promotions and a variety of wager limits are all advantages

to playing with an offshore sportsbook rather than a land-based sportsbook. In addition, the fact that you

can wager, 24/7, from anywhere in the world online or over the phone gives the offshore

sportsbooks a big advantage over the walk in environment. The offshore sportsbooks make

the wagering experience more convenient and pleasurable because of the instant access

along with a much larger betting menu and high wagering limits. Remember,

the point of gambling on sports is to have fun. After you have registered for an account, you are going to need to deposit

funds into the offshore betting account. Fortunately there is a lot of easy information to be found on just about

every sportsbook on the Internet

Best Businesses to Start in 2014

This will give you hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge about the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of that particular business.

Going independent or starting your own venture or company has many upsides, a few among them is not having to worry about work timings or taking orders from superiors. Hence, there is a good demand for this type of service. They are ready to spend a good amount for providing quality care.

Viability and Growth

? Economic recession and downturn render many people unemployed, and without confidence to achieve their personal and professional goals. Consistent efforts and hard work on your part as an owner will eventually see your business through its gestation period and become profitable consistently.

But this isn’t as easy as it looks on paper.

Interesting Fact

According to a market research report on Elderly (& Disabled) Services

in the US by IBISWorld, the revenue generated by this industry was around USD 38 billion. Your business idea or venture may not see the day of light if it is isn’t thought out and executed properly. As per the Wall Street Journal, an average U.S. As a social media consultant, you are expected to know the current trends in social media and implement them for the vantage of the company. This is exactly why the demand for this business has increased. Do check with your local, state, and federal authorities regarding the same.

This is a very interesting business, where you provide your services and expertise to enable your client complete his tasks. There are many other business options that can generate good revenue. A major prerequisite for starting this venture is to acquire or possess the necessary skill or knowledge about mobile app technology.

Interesting Fact

According to a report by CNNMoney/PayScale’s giving top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work; application engineer bags 22nd position on the list.

? As the work of a green living adviser includes guiding people to take the right “green” actions to reduce their carbon footprint, energy consumption, etc., it is a business that will always be in demand. For starting any kind of business, make sure you consider the licensing requirements in your city or state.

Viability and Growth

? This is touted to be one of the fastest growing businesses in 2014.

? However, remember that you will have to keep abreast with the latest environmental rules and regulations.

Viability and Growth

? Many businesses have become aware of social media as an important communication tool for both inbound and outbound marketing.

An IT consultant’s work involves studying the technological needs of the company and suggesting appropriate solutions for the same.

A green living adviser is expected to teach businesses and individuals about the various ways of implementing ‘sustainable living’ at work and home. These tasks may involve a range of activities from shopping to scheduling their appointments to welcoming guests, etc.

Interesting Fact

According to IBISWorld, this industry has booked a revenue of around USD 220 million, with an average annual growth of 0.3% between the years 2007-12.

Viability and Growth

? As the need for various mobile, computer, and tablet apps will only multiply and modify over a period of time, this is one business which is here to stay.

? There has been a tremendous increase in such type of services as social media has become indispensable, and social media consultants are the only professionals to have the right kind of expertise for the job.

? Initially, you can try to tap the local markets for business. Also, as the Baby Boomers indulge in post-retirement traveling, relocation, investments etc., this industry has been fast to catch up with increased demand. Please note that content on this list has been sourced from empoweredezine.

A professional organizer will not only help individuals and organizations to de-clutter but also teach them innovative methods of organizing their possessions effectively. This has lead to many companies hiring application engineers or firms. Initially, you can start this venture by providing services to the elders in your locality as they will know you personally and will trust you. Starting a business involves selling a product or service, and initially, this needs a certain amount of investment or capital. There are a few things to consider before you begin planning to set up a business; like making a comprehensive business plan, arranging for appropriate finances, hiring related resources, and setting up the other required necessities.

This business involves offering various services to senior citizens or the elderly. Viability and Growth

? Two reasons have primarily contributed to the increase in this service or venture: One, the rise in the consumer’s discretionary income, and second, increased awareness about health and the benefits of organic or natural foods.

? Also, these busy individuals have realized the benefit of utilizing proper organizing processes for searching material at a later point in time. As a service provider, you will be guiding the elderly in any one of the above-mentioned fields or areas. Census Bureau, in the year 2006, there were about 78 million Baby Boomers, which comprised of nearly 26.1% of the general population. If you tap on the latest trend of allergen-free and gluten-free food, it can prove highly beneficial for your venture.

? As a professional organizer, you will require a search engine optimized website and other advertising initiatives to aggressively reach out to your intended market. Formal education in this field will lend credibility to your business and will help you get clients.

Interesting Fact

As reported by the EPA, gas mowers contribute towards 5% of air pollution in the US. He/She trains as well as designs special processes and tools to save time and effort of busy individuals. In spite of facing a recent downturn, this business seems to have performed well for the last 5 years. They no longer prefer to take social media actions based on the guidelines of the amateur marketing department personnel.

Interesting Fact

According to popular recruiting website indeed, as of 20th January, 2014, a social media consultant could get an average annual remuneration of around USD 40,000. However, note that the demand for this business may not increase as the economy recovers and consumers gain their lost confidence.

? Also, the lack of income that such conditions impose prompt many people to seek advice of a personal coach to take timely corrective actions.

? This is a labor-intensive industry, and you will have to invest heavily in overheads like experienced and skilled labor, and marketing.

These are just some of the best businesses to start in 2014.

? Though this business idea faces stiff competition from assisted living and nursing, this type of elder services will continue to generate employment and business opportunity owing to increased disposable income, government policies, insurance coverage for long-term care, etc., of the elderly.

? However, this business may be subjected to stringent rules and regulations, so do not forget to understand them thoroughly before you initiate this venture.

Viability and Growth

? The rise in the population of Baby Boomers has resulted in tremendous growth for this business. The type of services may range from handling their investments to travel to relocation, etc.

Interesting Fact

This industry certainly seems to be booming fast, and according to statistics sourced from the National Association of Professional Organizers, it is said that 23% adults pay their bills late and incur late fees as they keep losing the bills.

A social media consultant is often hired by companies to maximize their presence on social media platforms and thereby increase consumer base and market. The average growth rate was a whopping 9.3% from the years 2008-2013. However, remember that you may face a tough competition from established supermarket chains and grocery stores who will be vying with you for customer attention. You will also have to update your knowledge to implement innovate green strategies for individuals as well as businesses.

? However, to provide home care or healthcare to the elderly, you will require certain licenses and permits.

This type of business provides services like companionship, adult babysitting, running errands, housekeeping, providing home care, etc., to the elderly. Here is a list of best businesses to start in 2014. An average gas mower during its lifetime produces emissions equivalent to 43 new cars if each was driven for 12,000 miles.

? It is estimated that the recovery of the economy will further lead to companies extending their IT budgets, thus providing greater scope for IT consultants.

Viability and Growth

? Once upon a time, this business catered only to celebrities, the super-rich and influential people. It can turn out to be a very lucrative venture provided you get the right clients. This business is extremely viable and promises to grow substantially in the year 2014.

The work of an application engineer involves designing, creating, and testing new applications for mobiles, tablets, and computers. It also includes incorporating the latest technology for the success of the business.

? Please remember that this is a very dynamic field and constant innovation is a must for competitive survival.

This is another lucrative business where you can offer organic and natural foods to consumers through stores.

Interesting Fact

According to statistics from IBISWorld, in the US, this particular sector generated a revenue of around USD 8 billion, and grew at the average rate of 0.1% from 2008-13, and had about 45,722 operational businesses. It registered an average annual growth of 4.7% between the years 2008 to 2013, and around 74,300 elder service provider businesses existed in the US.

A personal coach helps others meet their life goals by guiding them to take the right decisions in their personal and professional life. However, as the disposable income of many corporate employees increased, they began to hire such services for carrying out tasks in their absence. There were about 18,078 businesses in this field.


Before you start your desired venture or business, it is always beneficial to initially work for someone else in the same field for a few months.

? People often outgrow applications soon, and want to try out something new every now and then. It is a relatively new domain, and had about 658 businesses in 2012.

Interesting Fact

According to the market research report on IT consulting in the US by IBISWorld, this industry has generated a revenue of around USD 337 billion, registered an average annual growth of 2.2% between the years 2008-13 and have about 431,755 businesses active in this domain.

Viability and Growth

? As the awareness for sustainable living will keep on increasing, this business will always enjoy good prospects. You can also sell them online.

? They hire the services of a professional social media consultant who understands their requirement, target market, product, vision, marketing, etc., and frames professional strategies for them. executive ends up wasting six weeks on an annual basis in search of important documents which are lost in clutter.

? To start a business as a service provider, it is advisable that you take up any one service among the various requirements, and develop expertise and flourish your business before diversifying further.

? Also, digitization, need for new IT breakthroughs, technological innovations, mergers and acquisitions, cloud computing, information security, etc., have created the right environment for aspiring entrepreneurs to enter this field.

? However, please remember that this business can be extremely sensitive to recession where people generally guard their expenses and are not willing to spend on such luxurious services.

Viability and Growth

? Again due to the increasing baby boomer population, this industry is expected to post strong growth figures.

? You will have to come up with some smart and innovative business strategies to withstand such tough competition.. Many people are on the lookout for reliable individuals who will provide care to their elderly parents. Getting a certification in personal coaching from a reputed institute will lend credibility to your business.

Interesting Fact

According to a market research report on life/personal coaches in the US by IBISWorld, this business/career opportunity generated a revenue of around USD 1 billion.

Interesting Fact

According to data collected from the U.S.

Viability and Growth

? As people are increasingly getting busier with their daily schedule, they hardly find time to undertake household and commercial organizing, and that’s why the popularity of professional organizers has increased over a period of time.

? As most super-rich or influential people spend their entire time at work, they feel the need hire such services

Great Britain’s Indigenous Horse Breeds – The Thoroughbred

The hooves are tough. The 2nd Earl of Godophin acquired the stallion. One of his progeny was Matchem, a race-horse par excellence. Eclipse was another to have Darley Arabian blooc. Others are laid back and lovable. Eclipse was never beaten in a race and 90% of all registered thirst really great race-horse. When crossed with native British horses and ponies, the progeny were larger with a longer stride, more scope and more speed.

The main period of expansion was probably when the 1800s when the thoroughbred found its way to Australia, Europe, Japan and South America. These adoption agencies endeavour to match a horse with a new owner. The stallion was shipped to England and bred to native mares. Thoroughbreds need more protection from the elements than ‘native’ or cross breeds and they usually require supplementary feeding year round.. The racing industry is huge in America. He has been trained to gallop at top speed virtually every time he is saddled and to pass all others if he can. Most warmblood breeds such as the Swiss and Dutch Warmbloods have a large percentage of Thoroughbred blood.

The head is straight, lean and elegant with large eyes and finely chiseled ears. It seems generally agreed that, of these three, only the Darley Arabian was a true Arab, The Byerley was almost certainly a Turkmene type and the Godolphin a Barb.

The ribcage is deep and rounded and the chest wide with plenty of room for heart and lungs. Some strains are particularly nervy and highly strung but have been kept on because of their speed. Eclipse was another to have Darley Arabian blood. Although they were once bred not for their looks but purely and simply for their speed, good conformation has an impact on speed and hardiness. It was gifted to the French king and later was taken to England. InKentucky, the Thoroughbred was designated the ‘Official State Horse’ in 1996. The nostrils are open and capable of flaring allowing maximum airflow when racing at speed.

The Darley Arabian is considered the most important of the three. There is good length from the hip to the stifle. Animals with suspect conformation are more likely to ‘break down’ if their action is faulty or their legs insubstantial.

Today, all thoroughbreds in the General Stud Book, which was established in 1791, trace back to these three foundation sires.

The oriental influence is seen, not only in the refinement and speed of the breed, but also in the fine coat which thickens and lengthens only slightly in the winter. In the extremes of horse disciplines such as eventing, hunting and show-jumping, professional riders look for at least some thoroughbred blood to provide courage and speed. Some are only suitable as companion animals.

The Thoroughbred

The term ‘Thoroughbred’ has several different meanings. In 2003, Maryland also appointed the Thoroughbred its State Horse.

Other oriental horses, especially Arabs, figured in the early development.

The breed had its origins in England back in the early 1700s and selective breeding is still going on, resulting in faster and faster times on the race-track.

Once past racing, a thoroughbred can face an uncertain future. He will often need supplementary feeding and rugging through cold weather. They are typically more highly strung and temperamental than most other breeds. They are highly intelligent, quick and eager to please. To excel at another discipline, he needs re-training and re-educating so although they may be quite cheap to acquire, an ex-racehorse is not the best mount for an inexperienced rider.

The Byerley Turk gets his name from Captain Robert Byerley who captured the stallion from the Turks. Matchem was also noted for his impeccable temperament, a vast improvement on the highly strung, nervous individuals of the day.

Thoroughbreds average around 16 hands. Some thoroughbreds are produced purely for disciplines other than racing while some find their way to show-jumping or eventing careers when their racing careers are over. Some thoroughbreds have suspect feet with poor horn, low heels and flat soles.

There are now a number of rescue organizations that take in ex-racehorses and try to find good homes for them. He was purchased by Thomas Darley in Aleppo, Syria in 1704, shipped to Yorkshire, England and bred to selected racing mares. However the thoroughbred is also a distinct breed in its own right. Thoroughbreds are most often associated with the horse-racing industry although they are also used in many other equestrian disciplines.

The thoroughbred has a quality and athleticism that has become the benchmark for a perfect equine.

The thoroughbred has been used to ‘improve’ many breeds.Breeds such as the Hanoverian, Trakenher, Holsteiner and Irish Draught  have at least some Thoroughbred blood, thus providing speed, courage and beauty. Three of these are recognized as being the foundation sires of the thoroughbred world. One of his get was Flying Childers, arguably the first really great race-horse. Initially horse-racing was the pastime of the aristocracy and gentry but its popularity, and the lure of gambling, has seen racing and breeding of the thoroughbred spread to every corner of the globe.

The overall impression is one of elegance, toughness and quality. There are strict criteria to be met and often an adoption fee is required.

Thoroughbreds were imported into the United States from the 1730s. If someone says of his dog ‘It’s a thoroughbred’ he is saying that it is a purebred saluki or whippet or whatever. The three are the Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian. Those that are too small for the race-track find a home on the polo field providing their temperament is not too fiery.

Young thoroughbreds are raced at an early age before their bones have fully developed and leg problems and injuries often arise. There are now literally millions of thoroughbreds and they are spread all over the globe.

The most rapid development in improvement of performance took place during the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. The thoroughbred has a streamlined body with long, slender legs and strong, muscular hindquarters. The shoulder is big and muscular and the withers tend to be high.

Thoroughbreds generally need more sensitive, skilled handling. In the horse world, it is also used by people to describe a purebred of a breed. Eclipse was never beaten in a race and 90% of all registered thoroughbreds trace back to him.

The Godolphin Arabian was foaled in Yemen before going to Syrian then Tunis. One of his most illustrious sons was Herod, who became an important name in the pedigrees of many of the early thoroughbreds.

Between 1660 and 1750, around 200 horses were imported into England from the Orient

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