Every so often I check out an online casino I haven't visited before. I don't just pick any online gambling spot; it's always one that comes recommended by a source I believe to be honest, either a reputable web site or a trusted friend.
My newest discovery is Captain Cooks Casino. Captain Cooks was one of the first online casinos to go big time on the Net. This is a successful operation, well respected for its integrity. After you download the software, which is a breeze, you're given the choice of playing as a "guest" for free, or register a "real" account and play for money.
Captain Cooks offers a great range of games. The use the best software around (microgaming) and have a record that other online casinos will envy!
I started out as a guest at Captain Cooks Casino. They give you fun credits that you can use to try out the various games. It's a great way to get a feel for Blackjack, Roulette, Craps and all the other table games. You familiarize yourself with the table layout and betting procedure before you risk your money. When playing for fun, you can be a high roller. Play $5 slots or bet $100 a hand at blackjack. If you exhaust your fun credits, simply go to 'Cashier' and get more.
I play mainly video poker, slots and roulette, in that order. Those are the games I investigated most closely. There are a wide variety of slots games, from simple three reelers to nine-liners to super progressives with mega jackpots. I'll tell you about the machine I consider best in a moment.
Captain Cook's video poker payout schedules are pretty decent. They have one really good video poker game though and that is 9/6 Jacks or Better, which is rated at 99.56% return when played properly. This casino's Deuces Wild game returns 96.76% and Jokers Wild pays $98.08% with perfect play.
A happy discovery was that Captains Cooks offers European (single-zero) roulette that can be played for as low as $1 a spin. The American (double-zero) game is also available, but why would you choose the double zero wheel with a 5.26% hold, when you can play the single zero game with only 2.7% point against you?
Even in Las Vegas, single-zero roulette can only be found in a few of the big, posh casinos, and then usually only in the high limit area. At Captain Cooks you can be a low budget player and still take advantage of the same low house edge that only the high stakes gamblers in Las Vegas enjoy.
After 'fooling around' for a couple of hours with my fun money, I decided it's time to get serious and register a real money account. Captain Cooks accepts credit cards, Neteller and other forms of payment. You will be assigned an account number. Write it down, you'll need it when you go to claim your bonus money.
If you deposit $50 you receive $50. Some restrictions apply. You can not play certain games with your bonus money. Before you make a deposit, click on "Menu" in the upper left hand corner of your screen. From the drop-down menu select "promotions", then "available promotions". A new window comes up where it tells you your options, how to collect your bonus money and what the conditions are. Follow the instructions and the bonus money will be in you account as promised.
I deposited $50and got $50 free. First I went for the slots, specifically to a machine I selected earlier when I played for fun.. In my opinion the best machines to play are the classic three-reel slots with one pay line, accepting two coins maximum. Next I look closely at the pay table. A jackpots may happen, but until is does, I try to make a profit by concentrating on machines with decent size middle-of-the-board payouts, which are not quite so hard to line up.
With that in mind, I chose a game called "Spectacular". This slot features a respectable jackpot and there are two "wild" symbols. The payout amount is doubled if one wild symbol appears on a winning pay line and quadrupled if both symbols show up. The game can be played at five different coin levels, 0.25, 0.50, $1.00, $2.00 and $5.00. This is the pay table:
Those mid-range numbers don't look overly exciting, but factor in the wild symbols and those middle numbers become 200, 120, 60, 40 and 20 with one wild symbol, or 400, 240, 120, 80 and 40 with two wild symbols.
So how did I do? I decided to play at the $1 level, two coins at a time, risking half of my $100. This allowed for 25 spins at $2 per spin. I wanted to play $50 through once and then go on to something else. So I counted my spins and after the 25th I quit. I never hit anything better than a 10-coin payout, but I finished on the plus side. I made $2!
Then I switched my $102 to Jacks or Better Video Poker. There is the standard single-hand game or the multi-hand game, where you play four hands at a time. Both games can be played at the quarter, half dollar, $1, $2 or $5 level. I chose to play the standard single game at the $1.00 level, which really means $5 a hand, when playing maximum coins.
Before long I lined up four Kings for a $125 payout! Suddenly my bankroll swelled to about $230. I know better, but threw caution to the wind, and switched to the multi-hand machine, where it costs $20 per round. As you might expect, my money soon dwindled. To have any hope of avoiding bankruptcy, I should have played single-hand video poker at the quarter level. So, with my kitty down to $107, I went to the European roulette table.
Like most roulette players, I am always trying to find ways to beat the wheel. My latest scheme is to bet on repeating numbers. At Captain Cooks this is easy to do because you don't have to renew your bets after every spin. Bets stay on the table, until you hit the "clear" button. And there is no dealer to rush you; you click "spin" when you're ready.
My "repeat the number" method" works like this: I start by betting any one number for the first spin, and then I bet on every number that comes up, for a total of 8 spins. That way I bet only one unit the first round and 8 units the last round, for a total of 36 units. If any of the first 7 numbers repeats I make a profit. If the last number repeats, I break even. I had tested this earlier, when playing with "fun" money, and was surprised at how often the same number comes up twice within just a few spins.
The long and short of it is, with an eye on my credit balance, I played with $1 units, ten 8-spin sessions. There were ups and downs. At one point I had more than doubled my money, that was when the number 11 appeared an incredible three times in 8 spins! The end result? I finished at $117, made $10, a dollar a session.
Overall, my introduction to Captain Cooks Casino was an enjoyable experience. I still have a $117 credit, which is $67 more than what I put up. Maybe I'll hit bigger payouts next time.
If you're a slots player, look for the "Spectacular" game in the "3-Reel Slots" section. Jacks or Better video poker comes in two versions, single hand or 4-hand multi play. Both games feature the excellent 9/6 pay table. And if roulette's your game, make sure you choose "European Roulette", not "American". On the American game the odds against you are almost twice as high. Start your Captain Cooks adventure by clicking here.