Learning Casino Games

March 25, 2013

Learn poker to play in live casinos

In New York and many other states allowing gambling, casino entertainment is a popular product. In order to push that product, casinos need to familiarize the public with the favorite games that take place in their halls. And that is why businesses such as School of Cards have come into being — to teach you how to play gambling games well enough so you’ll have fun at them.

The School of Cards, NYC

Gaming instruction is offered in several courses: Introduction to Poker, Profitable No Limit Hold Em, Strategic Blackjack, and Mixed Game Madness, which teaches you a basketful of variations of poker — variations which you’ll run across in most card rooms and tournaments. The courses help give people the tools they need to participate in Poker and Blackjack, the two most popular table games in any casino.

An interesting note is the course on Body Language for poker. You are taught to control the “tells,” signals and leaks that your movements and expression tend to give away to your poker opponents. For this class you are videoed from many angles, and with your teacher you’ll work to find and disguise your tells.

The School of Cards is located at 548 West 28th Street, New York, NY. Its phone number is: 212-542-0799. It has been gathering quite a few positive student reviews since its opening. Founder Blake Eastman became obsessed with poker at the beginning of the boom, around 1998, after seeing the film Rounders. He was hooked, he said; and although today he teaches psychology at the City University of New York, like with many another card player, poker never left his system.

Other instructors at the School of Cards include one working in the financial industry, another is in book publishing. All seem to hold poker as their favorite game.

What generally goes without saying is that card rooms exist outside any casino, in New York. NYC is famous for its illegal, underground poker rooms. The film Rounders portrayed a high-stakes card room of this type. Some adventurous citizens have sought the poker skills (and nerve) to play in them.

Gambling in Higher Education

Over a decade ago, community colleges even in non-gaming states began offering courses and certificates in casino employee positions such as card dealer. This may have also been due to the poker boom. And now, as we might expect, universities offer majors in casino and resort management. Even Mississippi, which has been very slow to move on this issue, is now considering allowing its state-related universities to offer similar college majors.

These latter courses are for the purpose of developing job skills; schools are merely recognizing and responding to the opportunities new casinos and expansion of existing ones offer. Although Las Vegas construction has met serious stagnation, other states than Nevada are still busy building.

For serious poker players, higher education is a good tool. Both Brown and MIT have offered classes in poker playing and on creating/programming poker bots. Writing a poker bot program requires the person to understand deep decision-making in the game of poker.

The Future of New York Casino Gaming

At present, casinos in New York are limited to the Native American casinos, which have table games and basically full casino gaming; and racinos, which are racetracks with associated gambling halls that are allowed to offer electronic slots/video games — but no live table games with dealers. Soon, that will probably change. Negotiations are beginning right now on where and whether full-fledged casinos will be licensed. Gov. Cuomo has stated he prefers casinos to stay out of the Big Apple. Upstate New York is being looked at as a possible locale for new casinos.

So it seems more table games are on the way. So the School of Cards and similar schools where people can learn or advance their skill at blackjack or poker, are likely to have plenty more people interested in the near future.

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