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The problems with PvP and why planned 5th age probably won't solve them

I have been very into the PvP-style of this game starting from 2011, although I haven't been playing the game since 2014 until last month, but the execution has always been way off. There has been some progress and some tweaks here and there, but PvP will never be even remotely balanced or populated unless the following key points are addressed:

  1. Crowns-only equipment from packs
- It is unbelievable that this game has been able to continue with its marketing, especially to kids, with such blatant gambling elements for so long, while some other larger game companies (like EA) have finally been called out for their practices. Wizard101's casino lootboxes are literally the worst thing about the game, and it seems like they are just going more and more into that direction. And unlike many other game companies nowadays thanks to the new laws, Wizard101 doesn't even disclose the odds of receiving a certain item (I bet they are so small that people would be too de-incentivized from buying).
Anyway, if this all was just cosmetics and stuff it wouldn't be such an enormous issue, while still being blatant gambling. The problem really shows in PvP, as basically everyone who wants to do well, especially in the low end PvP, NEEDS to have the OP PvP-gear, at least if they haven't already previously got the warlord gear, which they will never get without the crowns gear.
The plans for the 5th age are to remove the OP PvP-gear which you can get from tickets, but in that case the crowns-only gear will just become even more dominant, only moving the problem and not solving it in the slightest.
Even if the crowns-only gear would be sold for a hefty price-point in the crowns shop it would be annoying, but still better than literally having no guaranteed way of ever getting it, as the lootboxes could just drain infinite amount of money without ever giving you what you want. Unless of course, there are some hidden "pity-timers" which guarantee certain loot after a certain amount of rolls, but that information is not disclosed to us. (of course it isn't..)
This point is made far worse by the additional RNG-added to the crowns-only equipment, like may-cast wands, which completely ruin any kind of semblance of a competitive experience the moment they go off. You cannot strategise against random attacks.
Solution possibilities:
Remove the crowns-only equipment, nerf it to be in par with the normally attainable gear, give everyone easier access to the crowns-gear, or just limit it to be non-PvP.
  1. Ranked PvP costs to attend (to non-subscribers)
- I have played hundreds, if not thousands of games during my short life, as I think games, video games especially, are one of the greatest man-made things ever created. I also have a Master's degree in game design, and I'm currently studying a PhD-related to the topic, and I have NEVER, I mean NEVER EVER, come across another game which would charge their players for attending the competitive scene, and not offer a permanent way of unlocking it somehow (this does not include games which are completely pay-to-play, with the paying including everything, as well as PvP, like World of Warcarft). It not only does not make any sense, as you really want to have people growing a PvP-community around any kind of online-game which wants to stay active when the main PvE content runs stale, which always happens between expansions in MMOs, but paywalling a game mode will cause even the players who do play to get a sub-bar experience due to lack of players, especially new players.
I completely understand that the point is and always have been to attract people to the subscription-method of paying. Well, I have to say that I personally hate subscription method as a customer, but I know that a lot of people think that's alright. To me it just feels like I have to rush and play as much as I can during a subscription, even when I don't really even want to, causing the time spent to be less enjoyable than if there was no fixed time. This is one of the main reasons WoW never attracted me, as I can't stand subscriptions.
Thankfully, wizard101 has another option, paying by area. The cost of the areas is so high, and there is more added after every world, that the game would not actually make any less money by attracting people more towards the area-buying option. It would also truly incentivize developers to create new worlds more often, as the payout would be more clear. For subscription-players, adding Karamelle did not really cause a reason to spend more, as they already had access to it, so creating worlds more frequently only serves to lure back players who have stopped playing completely after their memberships ended and they maxed out the content, as the game didn't offer enough to do as a "temporarily f2p-player".
This could be solved by letting everyone compete in the ranked PvP (and why not derby too) even when they are not members. This would give players a reason to login to the game when they are not subscribing, and to players who seek to mostly play PvP, it would provide more opponents. I mean seriously, what game which has this many players online for the PvE has such a ridiculously small PvP-community? Even back in 2011-2013 when the game was fairly young and I played in the UK server (had to migrate to the US this year as the server there is dead), it was basically impossible to find 3v3 or 4v4 ranked games, and even the practice games weren't that common. While I really enjoy 1v1, I think the strategic difference in other modes is something players cannot and have never been able to explore due to the lack of players. And that is a very sad thing for a game that is already 12 years old.
So basically, the ranked PvP needs to either be completely free, OR there needs to be a way to permanently unlock it (preferably with gold, or at least with a reasonable crowns fee). This way players who are not members, or who (like myself) don't want to be members can still participate and bring more players to the table. You can see this change already in the tournaments being free: during the time I played ages ago and tournaments came, I never got to play a single tournament despite trying many times, as there were never enough players willing to pay the crowns fee. Now, nearly all of the tournaments start, at least for some level players and that is great. I fear though, that KI has learned nothing and will switch the cost back up with the start of the 5th Age.
What some larger game companies for some reason don't understand, is that f2p-players are not worthless, they are the reason why most online-games stay online: they create the incentives for people to spend in the first place, and if you manage to keep the f2p-players happy, you will get a lot more paying players just through word-of-mouth, than if you only try to keep paying players. (We can see a terrible example of how not to do this already by how limited the new f2p experience is, still after 12 years.)
  1. Spellments and unobtainable spells
- I'm sure no one reading this was surprised about this next topic, but as well as basically unobtainable gear, unobtainable spells and spells which are stronger than the normal versions of those and can basically only be upgraded through packs also break the "harmony" of a competitive experience. There are currently some spells which cannot be learnt other than through packs, and while not all of them are game-breaking, they can still in certain circumstances offer an unfair advantage, or even if they would not now, they certainly will in the future with the direction we are going towards. The solution for this is simple, but KI won't do it, as they are too invested in milking children for that undisclosed chance of getting some of those spells. (I won't buy a single pack personally and I will attempt to estimate how much disadvantaged I will be now and in the future for as long as I remain interested.)
For the unobtainable, another part is the spells which can only be got through luck while farming. That sure is a lot better, as technically the farming doesn't cost anything as long as you have access to the area and you will get other useful rewards while doing that. The problem arises though, if those spells, especially the infamous Headless Horseman, are so strong, that you NEED to have them in the PvP to stay competitive. And to make matters worse, of course the intended way to get these spells as well is to buy packs instead of farming. (I have been testing the lorefarm, got one spell which isn't useful to me after around 100 tries. I think that's a bit much just to get prepared to be on even footing on PvP, talk about new player PvP experience.)
Now then, spellments, are another kind of monster added to the game. I naturally enjoy the concept of upgrading spells, and making low-level spells more useful in the late game is not a bad design choice, it's just that it revolves around the same problem that everything I've been talking about this far, lootboxes.
I know that there are some ways of farming spellments technically for free, but apart from a specific few, those are barred behind skeleton key doors, and there are no other ways to get those than farming, and.. yes you guessed it, randomly from packs! You see the theme here? And even though some of those only give minor damage enchants which won't matter too much on the average eye, the utility buffs (namely the myth's troll minion summon upgrade) are just blatant forms of p2w gambling.
Solution, make spellments available to everyone more easily, not just randomly to select few whales. If KI would actually do this, despite all odds, then their purpose would actually come to reality and they would enhance the game experience, letting people experiment with different kind of combinations in the late game. Also there needs to me many more paths, only two kinda makes the whole combination idea pretty pointless.
Alternatively, restrict spellments to PvE only.
SUMMARY JUDGEMENT:
I liked the changes to the crit system, restricting more previously necessary cards and enchanted TCs outside of PvP , and turn-based system, those are a good start, but won't make a difference if the above three points stand unchanged. The main problem in the monetization is the gambling in the form of lootboxes, which is like the worst kind of cheap mobile game experience. The game has beautiful world and animations and the basic idea behind the combat is simple, yet interesting, and it can lead to very interesting situations. Nerffing and buffing spells/items won't make a difference while the OP-items/spells from lootboxes remain as KI's main interest.
Also for anyone to be able to experience something other than 1v1 ranked PvP, the first step needs to be removing the barrier of entry, or creating an option for permanent unlocking at least.
I have very little hope for them suddenly changing their 12-year course and giving up lootbox-p2w from PvP, but this has been quite a year so I guess nothing is impossible. Here's for hoping.
Signing off.
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Calls for Crown to close “The only plausible explanation is, we know a lot of money goes to the Government and that Crown casino has a huge sway in politics, that’s why Daniel Andrews has been quiet on this subject. We’re not seeing the leadership we’re used to in this case.”

A petition to close Crown Casino has been circulating. Gatherings of 100 or more are banned and yet Crown stays open story
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DKNG - Fundamental DD Part II - DKNG

Not Financial Advice (NFA)
Warning: Wall of Text. If you hate reading just skim through the bolded/italicized
Ever since I publicized my findings on DKNG, the stock has underperformed & probably has fucked a lot of people here, especially given the overly bullish stance back in June. Unless you took my advice & got into Puts then, congrats, welcome to tendie town. For the ADHD retards, here’s what the next wall of text is going to summarize: I believe at the current price of ~$30, the stock is oversold.
A tech-focused, high-growth Company that has made sports betting easy to understand with an aesthetically pleasing interface similar to how Robinhood has neatly laid out stock market gimmicks so even high-schoolers can make sense of it I believe, is underpriced at these levels.
Let’s get into some details as to why the stock has underperformed:
First off, the news slate revolving sports with the rumored delay/cancellation of the MLB season & the NFL watching from the sidelines is in my view, just a part of why the stock has underperformed. We’ll revisit this later in this post, but I want to focus on the drivers of the stock’s recent underperformance, & why these factors are now in the rearview mirror.
Part I – The Past Has Passed – SPAC-related Equity Dilution
History lesson first: DKNG went public via a SPAC merger, which has exploded in popularity recently. Anyone serious about analyzing stocks going forward needs to do their homework on this, Google is your friend.
A feature of most SPAC merger to public listings that creates a headwind to near-term share prices are embedded equity dilution events, usually in the form of earn-outs (stock bonuses to execs, the SPAC sponsor) & conversion of Warrants.
On 5/24, the earn-outs were triggered, adding 6m shares to the share count.
On 6/26, 16.3m warrants converted to DKNG, netting them ~$188m of cash.
Stepping back a little, in addition to the above, on 6/18 DKNG launched a follow-on equity offering of 16M shares @ $40/Share [1], receiving $621M in proceeds.
The last part is tricky to understand from a dilution perspective. To simplify, historically it’s almost a coin toss whether a Company’s shares outperform on the onset of an equity offering. While issuing shares does dilute the existing shareholder base, it theoretically shouldn’t, if the proceeds from the offering are earmarked for investments/projects that yield outsized returns. This is the reality for the long term, theory for the short-term. For the short-term, the ‘reality’ isn’t that the proceeds will be used for investments/projects that yield outsized returns, it is more about how convincing management is to investors that the investments they intend to pursue with the proceeds will outweigh the dilutive effects of issuing incremental shares. That’s a mouthful, but hopefully you get what I’m trying to convey.
All of this stuff put together – the Company has increased its share count by ~39M, but now has a whopping ~$1.4Bn of cash [2]. More on this in the next section.
Part II – MLB News Should Not Fucking Matter & DKNG Is Positioned As the Leading Online/Mobile Sports Platform
DKNG should not be so tied to MLB news or any of this shit as the ongoing success of the NBA/NHL season + Soccer in Europe has effectively created a blueprint on how to regulate player behavior so that they maintain professionalism amidst the pandemic. I’m going out on a whim here, but I truly think the MLB threatening a cancellation of the season is pure posturing to get these fuckers to behave appropriately. Maybe a ‘bubble’ is what it takes to get these players to focus on their jobs instead of going out & contracting COVID, but I argue that isn’t necessarily required given Soccer in Europe. So there’s already a proven path here without the need for a bubble in Soccer, so MLB/NFL should be fine, and execs need to study how they got it done in Europe. Okay, back to some facts.
Anecdotally, I’ve kept in touch with a handful of sports bookies from California to New York & even internationally about what they’re seeing – all of them say that since the NBA season started on 7/30 & since Soccer (especially the Premier League) resumed in June, along with other leagues like La Liga & Serie A, they’ve seen massive increases in betting.
These numbers are also showing up in the official data [3]:
REMEMBER: This is for June only! No NBA, No NHL, No MLB, just Soccer, Golf, NASCAR & UFC.
The data clearly shows that there was a ton of pent-up sports betting demand, which leads one Wall St. analyst to think that betting on the NBA/NHL could ABSORB the MLB’s sports betting handle (handle = total $ size of sports bet) [5]. Remember, the MLB season is still ongoing, with games being played. The entire focus is on the Miami Marlins & St. Louis Cardinals. Fucking retards.
Additionally, I want to remind everyone that DraftKings.com is the #1 Fantasy sports website in the U.S. [6]. Also, since April 2020 site visitations are up +86% [7] & Google Search Trends for “Draft Kings” is up ~3x compared to PRE-COVID levels [8]. What does this mean? They are piquing more people’s curiosity than prior to COVID/ongoing slate of sports.
This is important because remember that ~$1.4Bn chest full of cash I mentioned DKNG had assembled earlier? Well, that money is being put to work & results are already coming in, which is exactly what DKNG intended to do with it.
Part III – Legalization of Sports Betting in the U.S.
I could write a fucking bible on this topic alone, but for now we’ll stick to some basics. Due to COVID, it’s easy to understand that each State’s financial situation is clearly in shit. Because of this, you better believe that these guys are going to start taking a hard look at how they can extract additional tax revenues, & what’s one of the easiest ways to do this? Legalization & taxation of gambling.
The big players: CA, TX, FL & NY. First, CA pushing its legislation out to 2023 was fucked up, but here’s a twist I want to add to this: Anything that has to do with gambling in CA you better believe is lobbied against by not just the Tribal casino owners in CA, but by the deep pockets of Las Vegas money. Similar thing can be said for FL, but let’s take a look at some actions by LV/nationwide gambling companies that are starting to align financial incentives with guys like DKNG.
So it’s safe to say going forward, nationwide legalization of sports betting will reap rewards for everyone involved, & no longer be something LV money is completely focused on safeguarding.
Let’s also not forget that DKNG didn’t become the Company they are today because of their fancy app, but because their management team has a HISTORY of navigating the U.S.’s legal framework to get what they want out of it.
These guys are at the cutting edge of creating legal frameworks to successfully launch their products & now with more of their ‘competitors’ financially aligned with them, combined with financial deterioration of State budgets, we should see an overweighting of good news vs. bad on the legal front.
Final Part – Share Price Targets
Under-fucking priced at anything below $42.50
Near-term catalysts:
8/14: DKNG files 2Q’20 results, might be shitty, but you can bet that the Earnings Call is going to contain rhetoric on how massive the uptick in sports betting has been since late June/July.
Sometime from now until November: NY releases ‘study’ by Spectrum Gaming on online/mobile sports betting.
8/20 – 9/7: PGA Championship for FedEx Cup Title
9/5 – KY Derby
9/10: NFL KickOff Game
9/17: PGA U.S. Open Start Date
Month of October: NBA/NHL Playoffs
10/1: Estimated launch of online sports betting in TN
11/1: Estimated launch of online sports betting in VA
[1] https://draftkings.gcs-web.com/news-releases/news-release-details/draftkings-announces-proposed-public-offering-class-common-stock
[2] Wall St. Research – DKNG on 6/29/20
[3] https://www.legalsportsreport.com/sports-betting/revenue/
[4] https://gaming.nv.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=16984; Note: Nevada did not break out April/May figures but from the Revenue difference of 3 month ended June 30 of 4,950 vs. month of June of 2,297 for a total difference of 2,653 spread evenly over April/May for a base case April estimate of 1,327.
[5] Wall St. Research - 7/27/20
[6] https://www.similarweb.com/top-websites/category/sports/fantasy-sports/
[7] https://www.similarweb.com/website/draftkings.com/#overview
[8] https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=US&q=draft%20kings Feb 23-29, 2020 vs. Current Aug 2 – Aug 8, 2020
[9] https://www.legalsportsreport.com/42314/draftkings-illinois-sports-betting-market-access/
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In order to make the best out of these bonuses, there are rules that you have to follow. To begin with, the wagering requirement tied to each bonus amounts to 35 times its value. Therefore, if you claim the full $500 of each offer, you will need to $17,500 before you can withdraw the bonus cash. Speaking of which, you can only cash in up to $5,000 as a result of each bonus. The casino does seem to impose a maximum bet amount for the purposes of the wagering requirement, however, certain games contribute more to it than others. For example, bets on slot titles are worth 100% of their value, whereas the same on video poker are only counted for 20%. The Jackpot Trigger progressive game cannot be played with bonus funds. You will have 90 days to complete the wagering requirements before the bonus money becomes void.
Every week on Wednesday, CryptoSlots Casino will provide you with a cashback worth 3% of your net losses for the previous seven days. Not only that, but the cashback funds are tied to a low wagering requirement of 1x, meaning that you only have to wager it once before they become real money. The maximum cashback that you may receive is $1,000 and you can play all the games, except Jackpot Trigger, to fulfil the wagering with respect to the wagering contributions.
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Cryptoslots Software Providers

CryptoSlots Casino does things differently than most other gambling websites and this is also true when it comes to acquiring the games. Traditionally, online casinos rely on third-party software providers to develop games and the two work out some agreement on how to offer them to the public. However, CryptoSlots has taken a different approach. All games featured at this online casino are developed in-house by Slotland Entertainment S.A., the company behind this casino brand. Slotland Entertainment has a practice of creating casino games and then opening online casinos to give the public a chance to play them. As it happens, this company does not offer its games outside of its own casino brands and this means that you will have the opportunity to play something exclusive. All games featured at CryptoSlots are fully modern and can be opened directly within the window of your browser, thanks to the instant-play interface. Moreover, Slotland Entertainment has also designed its titles to be mobile-compatible, but more on that later. Granted, developing all titles in-house is a slow process and CryptoSlots does not offer the largest number of games out there. However, we will go more into detail later on when we take a comprehensive look at the gaming library.

Cryptoslots Banking

Bankroll management process at CryptoSlots Casino is unlike that at most other gambling websites. For one, this online casino only accepts cryptocurrencies and does not deal with traditional methods of payment normally used in the online gambling industry, such as credit cards or eWallets. More specifically, CryptoSlots accepts payment in four highly popular currencies, namely, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Monero. Each of these gives you the opportunity to move money to and from your bankroll. The speed of the transactions is some of the best out there. Deposits will go through within 5 minutes, with some variance between the different services. Withdrawals are also just as quick, in terms of pure processing time.
Using cryptocurrencies exclusively is not common and it can take some getting used to. If you have never done so in the past, there are some factors that you have to be aware of. For starters, the fluctuating value of each currency is a big deal for some players. Cryptocurrencies are known to be quite volatile due to their lack of central authority and their value can swing drastically from day to day. When you make a payment to CryptoSlots, the casino will take the current value of your deposit in USD at the time of the transaction based on the exchange rate and add it to your balance. Your balance will be in USD for gaming purposes but all payments are handled in cryptocurrencies.
As far as transaction limits are concerned, the minimum deposit starts at the equivalent of $25 of the respective cryptocurrency. You can deposit up to $50,000 and exceeding that amount will see the difference returned to your crypto wallet. Withdrawals start at the equivalent of $100 in the respective cryptocurrency. It is important to note that any winnings will be cashed in with the same cryptocurrency used to make the deposit. All deposits have to be wagered once before they can be freely withdrawn. Failure to do so is considered money laundering by the Casino and a 30% processing fee will be applied. Additionally, any wins above $10,000 will be paid in multiple simultaneous installments to multiple wallets controlled by the player.
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Cryptoslots Mobile Casino

Mobile gaming is an important factor for most players out there. Being able to open up the casino from your smartphone or tablet is almost invaluable, especially in your moments of downtime when you have nothing to do. CryptoSlots understands this and is able to offer you a great mobile gaming experience. The casino website is compatible with just about every smartphone and tablet on the market, allowing you to access your favorite titles regardless of where you are.
Opening the mobile casino is not difficult by any measure. All you need to do is load the casino website within your browser and continue as you would on a desktop computer. The casino interface is made to scale with the size of the display, which means that you will not lose out on any functionality. The same is true for other features of the casino, as well. Mobile players will still have access to all promotions, banking methods, customer support and most importantly, the gaming library. The gambling experience that you have on your desktop computer is also available on mobile platforms. The instant-play interface is also featured on the mobile version, allowing you to directly load up any game directly within your browser window. Just like the general interface, the games have also been modified for better use on the smaller devices. All in all, mobile gaming is a joy at CryptoSlots and we are sure that you will have a great time.

Cryptoslots Casino Games

The gaming library of CryptoSlots is not the largest or most diverse out there. In fact, it only comes with a handful of games and features primarily slots and video poker. Granted, this is expected when an online casino uses the software of a single developer. But how does this all work out for the player? Below, we will cover the major game types found at CryptoSlots and give you some information about how the library stacks up against the industry’s standards.

Slots

The slots selection includes the largest number of titles from all available game types at CryptoSlots. The casino offers numerous different slot varieties, with a good diversity in terms of gameplay features and genres. Each game comes with its own unique theme and aesthetic, as well as, a specific number of paylines and betting limits. There is a number of games suitable for both high rollers and casual players. The ‘High-Limit’ slots are tailored after those with deep pockets and some allow for bets of up to $500 per spin. They are easily distinguished by the special mark found at the corner of the thumbnail. Of course, casual players will not miss out on all the fun, as these titles are also available with standard limits, as well.
As for the specific slots that you can play, they are different and no two games are the same. You will be able to try your luck on classic-theme titles, such as Fruitful 7s or Fruits and Bars. Additionally, you will also have at your disposal some mythology-themed slots, namely, Olympus and Pyramid Plunder. We should also not forget notable titles like Robot Escape and Trip to Japan.

Video Poker

The other major genre featured at CryptoSlots comes in the form of video poker. This game type has been popular for many years and it has seen a surge in popularity since it became available in the online casino scene. Video poker combines the inherent randomness of slots with the rules of poker and delivers a top-tier gaming experience. It is different from most other casino games in the sense that your decisions have a direct impact on the game and your overall success. It is not difficult to see why it became a fan favorite at CryptoSlots and why so many people enjoy it.
As for the video poker variations featured at CryptoSlots, you will have at your disposal some of the most popular variations in the casino scene. These include Jacks or Better, where you form winnings hands with a pair of Jacks or higher, and Joker Wild, in which the Joker card can stand in for any other in the deck. Other excellent options include Aces and Eights, a variation in which certain combinations of Eights and/or Aces offer great payouts, and Deuces and Joker Wild, a combination of two popular video poker variations. Indeed, CryptoSlots offers a good number of video poker games, some of which can even be played in the multi-hand format, allowing you to play with up to five hands at once.

Progressive Jackpot Games

When it comes to jackpot games at CryptoSlots, you will have a single one at your disposal. More specifically, we are talking about Jackpot Trigger, the crowning jewel of CryptoSlots Casino. This game is inspired by the classic 3-reel slots and comes with a theme to match. However, it includes 10 paylines and offers a massive payout of $1,000,000 to the lucky player who manages to form the right combination. Jackpot Trigger comes with impressive graphics and a beautiful color palette.
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Cryptoslots Licensing and Regulations

Where licensing is concerned, you want to be sure that the operator is completely above board and within the confines of the law. In the case of CryptoSlots, things are not as clear-cut as with other online casinos. For starters, the operator is based in Anjouan, an island in southeast Africa and also has a license from the local government. This is not a regular destination for a gambling operation and there is little information on how regulations are implemented.
However, this does not indicate that CryptoSlots is an inherently untrustworthy or fraudulent casino. In fact, CryptoSlots has done quite a lot to prove that the featured games are fair and provide genuinely random results. On the ‘Provably Fair’ page at the casino, you will find detailed explanations on how CryptoSlots produces game results. The casino goes into detail on the RNG systems and hashing algorithms used to produce outcomes. It is written in a way that even those who are not into technology can understand it and gain an idea of how it works. Moreover, there are in-depth descriptions of all the different game types at CryptoSlots, including slots, video poker, multi-hand video poker and more. Disclosing this type of information is uncommon in the online gambling industry and it shows the integrity of the operator.

Cryptoslots Customer Support

Customer support is a major factor to the online gambling experience and one that you should not overlook. To ensure that every player has a great time, CryptoSlots offers top-tier customer service to all customers. There are several ways that you can get into contact with the support team when the occasion calls for it. Your best bet is to use the live chat system. As its name implies, it allows you to communicate with a support agent in real-time and to discuss your issues at length. This method is quick and efficient, giving you the chance to quickly solve everything. The support agents will stay with you for as long as they are needed, ready to assist you with anything. Live chat support is available 24/7.
Alternatively, you may also describe your issues and send them via email to [email protected]. The casino will try to reach back to you as soon as possible, no later than 24 hours. Email support is also the communication means that you will use to verify your identity with the casino. While not as quick as live chat, it definitely serves a purpose and you can be sure that it will deliver the desired results. In any event, CrypotSlots offers great customer service and you can always rely on the support agents to resolve any and all issues.
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Conclusion

All in all, CryptoSlots certainly has some excellent features and some that are not as great. To begin with, the number of games featured at this online casino is quite small and is unlikely to satisfy most people. Moreover, certain popular game genres are missing, namely, table games and live dealer titles. The slots and video poker games that are included are great, but there are so few that you may find yourself done with them all too soon.
When it comes to payments, CryptoSlots offers you immense speed and security. Cryptocurrencies are great for this and you can have your winnings on the next business day. Moreover, the transaction limits are quite wide and the casino has certain excellent security policies in place.
Overall, CryptoSlots is a mixed bag and you should personally take a look to see if this online casino is up to your standards.
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Playluck Casino No Deposit Bonus
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Playluck Casino Review

Playluck Casino may have debuted in 2020, but its launch was explosive, and its rise has been meteoric. In such a short space of time, Playluck managed to put together a gaming library which features many thousands of titles from some of the more established and reputable providers of casino games online. It is also an online casino which is mobile-friendly, packs exciting promotions for new and already existing players alike, and is safe and secure.
Playluck Casino features twin licenses issued out of the United Kingdom and Malta. It is also a casino which is iTech Labs certified for fair gaming and is a member of both the BeGambleAware.org and Problem Gambling programs. Predominantly catering to players in Europe and the UK, this online casino can be played in English, German, Norwegian and Finnish.

Playluck Casino Bonuses and Promotions

New players are going to be eligible to snap up a welcome bonus, just as you might expect. In the case of Playluck Casino, this welcome bonus promises a match deposit cash bonus, as well as free spins on top slot games. After pocketing the welcome package, new players may wish to check out some of the other offers and deals which are available at Playluck.
The online casino is notable for monthly promotions. These change regularly, so you will want to keep tabs on the current offer. You can do this via the promotions page at the online casino. Prize draws, slot tournaments and competitions and developer-based slot deals are also part and parcel of this casino’s promotional package.
Loyalty bonuses can also be claimed at Playluck Casino. There is an exclusive VIP program in session at Playluck. Built over six-tiers (stretching from Bronze to Prestige levels) this VIP club can see players earn loyalty points when they bet on games, enjoy faster cashouts, and pocket free spins every Sunday. Other goodies can be snapped up, too, including deposit deals.
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Playluck Casino Games

From the casino’s lobby, you can opt to select between “casino” and “live casino” sections. Each section has its own dedicated games, as you might expect. These games come from the likes of 1×2 Gaming, BetSoft Gaming, Evolution Gaming, and Play ‘n Go. Microgaming, Net Entertainment, Blueprint Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming, iSoftBet, Pragmatic Play and ELK Studios are just a few of the thirty-odd providers dishing out games to players at Playluck Casino.
From the casino games lobby, you can opt to check out slot machine games and table games. While having just two genres of games doesn’t make it easy for you to find specific games, Playluck Casino has come up with another option. From the lobby, you can use the “search bar” to find slots and games.
Amongst the most popular slot games that you can play at Playluck Casino are Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, as well as Rich Wilde and the Tome of Madness, and Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead. Twin Spin, Reactoonz, Perfect Gems, Rise of Merlin, and Grand Crown are also popular casino slot machines you can play.
The “games” section features a variety of RNG (random number generator) table games. Jacks or Better is one of a handful of video poker games you can play, while basic baccarat, blackjack, poker and roulette games can also be played. For a more authentic and realistic gaming experience, though, you may wish to pay closer attention to Playluck’s live dealer section.
Evolution Gaming provides all the live dealer games at the casino. All the games in their collection are mobile-friendly, and they span baccarat, blackjack, roulette and a handful of table poker games, as well as money wheel-based games. If you prefer a vibrant atmosphere and the competition of other players, the live casino section could be for you.

Playluck Casino Banking

Playluck Casino supports deposits made using MasterCard, Maestro, Skrill, Neteller, EcoPayz, and MuchBetter. EntroPay, Sofort, online bank transfers, Trustly, Paysafecard, Euteller, Zimpler, Instadebit, wire transfers, PayPal (UK only) and a few other options are also available. Many of these banking options can also be used to process withdrawals at the casino.
It is worth noting that deposits land instantly in your account, and you can deposit money into your Playluck Casino account free from charges. Withdrawals can also be processed freely, but they take longer to clear. There is a 2-3 day pending period on withdrawals, followed by transaction processing times of 1-24 hours (with e-wallets) up to 3-7 business days (with bank transfers).
As part of its dedication to responsible gaming, players at Playluck Casino can set deposit and wagering limits themselves. They must go through a KYC (know your customer) process before withdrawals are permitted, though. This is done to protect against identity fraud and money laundering.
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Playluck Casino Customer Support

Before you rush off to contact customer support, it is worth examining the FAQ (frequently asked questions) page at Playluck. This FAQ guide contains answers to many straightforward questions. However, if you do not find what you are looking for, you do have other options open to you in terms of obtaining assistance.
Getting in touch with Playluck Casino via telephone (020787622) is one such option. At the same time, you can seek support via e-mail ([[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])), and live chat. Support at Playluck Casino is available seven days a week, from 6am to 11pm GMT.

Verdict

In a short space of time, Playluck Casino has equipped itself with top games from leading providers, set up an enticing promotional plan, and acquired a loyal following of fans. This is an online casino which is run by an operator (Aspire Global International, Ltd) with proven experience in the industry. All this amalgamated together leads us to believe that Playluck Casino is a trustworthy site and one which will be around for years to come. As such, Playluck comes highly recommended.
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Jackpot City Casino 50 free spins on Wild Scarabs (Exclusive)

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Jackpot City Casino Exclusive Bonus and Free Spins
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Jackpot City Casino Review

Jackpot City Casino is one of the top casinos you can choose for online gambling. The site is tailor-made for Canadian players. You can play in CAD, and their customer service team employs Canadians. Also, you can even get Canada-only bonuses from time to time. Bayton Ltd has an online gaming authority license under the Malta Gaming Authority. When you’re playing in Jackpot City Casino Canada, your money is always safe. Read the review and see if JackpotCity online casino brand suits for you.

Jackpot City Bonus

Jackpot City Bonus is a 100% match bonus up to $1600. Jackpot City pays you to match bonuses for your first four deposits plus 50 Free Spins on Wild Scarabs. Every time you make a deposit, you’ll receive a 100% match bonus up to 400. It’s a perfect option if you are looking for the biggest welcome bonus. Jackpot city welcome bonus is a hefty one for Canadian online players.

100% Matched Bonuses

Like most other casinos in Canada running Microgaming software, Jackpot City has divided its casino bonus into multiple parts. It’s a perfect option if you are looking for the biggest welcome bonus. JackpotCity bonuses are easy to acquire. The great thing is, there are no deposit codes you need to remember. Jackpot city welcome bonus is a hefty one for Canadian online players.
Here’s the matched Bonus Breakdown below:
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Top Microgaming Casino Promotion

All four parts of the $1600 bonus comes with a 50x wagering requirement.
However, unlike other 2020 casino bonuses in Canada, the requirement only applies to the 1600 bonus amount, and not to the original deposit. You can use credit cards and prepaid cards for your deposit. Before you use a prepaid debit card, you simply need to load money onto it from one of your bank accounts. Bank transfers and credit and debit cards are a bit more common way to deposit funds.
List of Wagering Percentages for various games:
  • 100%: Slots, keno, and scratch card games
  • 10%: All Online Blackjack Games (excluding Classic)
  • All Video Poker Games (excluding all Aces Poker)
  • 2%: Classic Blackjack, and All Aces Video Poker
  • 0%: Baccarat, Casino War, Craps, Red Dog, Online Roulette, Sic Bo, Table Poker
These numbers are typical for Microgaming casinos. In their top online casino software, it’s normal that slot and scratch and win real money games contribute 100% and everything else little to nothing. After you’ve met the wagering requirements, you can cash out your winnings at any time. The fastest way to clear the bonus wager is to play online slots.
Overall this promotion has the best match-up percentages available at any casino of Jackpot City’s quality. The only Microgaming casino to seriously challenge Jackpot City’s match bonus are Spin Casino and Ruby Fortune, two online casinos also owned by City View Group.

Popular Loyalty Program, Bonuses & Other Rewards

JackpotCity’s bonus is one of the biggest in the gambling sector for Canadian players. What’s best, your perks don’t stop there. Whether you are an online slots fanatic looking for spins bonus or a house game player, they’ve got the loyalty part covered. With a small min deposit, you can test the casino before committing with a bigger deposit.
Jackpot City Casino Canada also offers daily, weekly, and monthly reload bonuses based on your online gaming activity of the previous weeks. You’ll get email updates on your personalized bonuses. It is on top of the loyalty points, rewards and VIP program. We suggest you pay close attention to emails you get from Jackpot City Online Casino. You can get VIP bonuses based on your activity.
One of the most competitive VIP programs available, so when it comes to bonuses and loyalty rewards, they’ve got you covered.
The loyalty program is a tiered bonus offer system where you accumulate loyalty points that you can convert to free cashback when you hit the targets. This effectively means that you will receive cashback on your casino gaming activity. That results in receiving extra dollars on top of the deposit and other promotions. The more play, the more you gain extra dollars. Jackpot City top two levels are Diamond and Platinum play.
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Casino Games

Jackpot City is one of the biggest online casino operators in Canada. JackpotCity Gaming has a gaming selection of 650 casino games. You may notice it is in the middle range when comparing to other online casinos in the industry. However, 650 games are still quite a lot to choose from, especially given how well JackpotCity Casino has distributed the games.

Jackpot City Slots

With over 300 slot machines, including progressive slots, classic slots titles, and video slots games, scratch cards, there should be something for everyone. You’ll always get the best Microgaming slots available at Jackpot Casino.
List of Popular Online Slots you can play:
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  • Agent Jane Blonde
  • Agent Jane Blonde Returns
  • Avalon
  • Blood Suckers
  • Big Kahuna
  • Boom Pirates
  • Break da Bank Again
  • High 5
  • Immortal Romance
  • Mermaid Millions
  • Jack and The Beanstalk
  • JokerPro
  • Mega Moolah
  • The Osbournes
  • 9 Masks of Fire
The list of slots available includes some legendary slots like Mega Moolah, along with new exciting alternatives.
You might have your favorite, but most online players love Microgaming games like Mega Moolah. These progressive slots lure players with massive jackpots.
This slot machine needs no introductions, as it’s made tens of online millionaires. In 2017 alone, Mega Moolah crowned 12 new millionaires.

New Slots

The good news for Canadian gamers, new online slots, table games & video poker games keeps coming in the house. You can play your favourite games at this real money casino. All new online slots are reviewed by third-party authorities such as Malta Gaming Authority to the randomness of the games.
Here’s a list of popular new slots:
  • Thunderstruck II
  • The Invisible Man
  • Tomb Raider
  • The Yellow Emperor
  • Jungle Jim El Dorado
  • Burning Desire
  • Cashapillar
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  • Secret Romance
  • Stash of the Titans
New online games keep popping up into the casino house lobby.
If you’re looking for something new, Wild Casino Canada and Neon Vegas bonus are quality options.

Live Dealer Games

Even though Jackpot City Casino doesn’t advertise them on their Canadian website or have any live casino bonus in Canada. It has a live dealer gaming selection from Evolution Gaming and Ezugi, two of the top live casino game providers. Table games at JackpotCity consist of all the classics with some fun and exciting new options as well.
List of live casino games titles include:
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  • Live Roulette
  • Live Baccarat
  • Live Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Live 3 Card Poker
  • Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em
  • Lightning Roulette
  • Double Ball Roulette
  • Super Six Baccarat
  • Casino Hold’em
You can play online live dealer casino games at JackpotCity also from Android, iPhone & iPad casinos Canada. Having live chats with other players and dealer makes your online gaming experience better.
You can also play in Private live dealer tables. To get access to the private tables, you’ll need to verify yourself by sending proof of identification and proof that you live in Canada (e.g., scan a utility bill). It will allow you to play with high stakes in private tables.
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Jackpot City Casino Mobile Gaming

Microgaming has provided reliable software for JackpotCity Casino mobile gaming. Thanks to that, the mobile casino is always a fun gaming experience. You can play on the move via a Jackpot City mobile site or download an app that’s also available for Canadian players.
Based on our playing experience, we instead of using the downloadable version of Jackpot City. The Mobile version works just as well, and with all mobile devices.
So whether you’re on Android or iOS, you’re always covered at Jackpot City Casino. It isn’t King of Mobile Casino – Leovegas’ level or play ojo casino mobile, but it works with no issues.
The smartphone sure is convenient, though, for mobile gaming in Canadian-friendly casino sites. Playing mobile games on a go is ideal to get the best online casino experience.
You get to play anywhere with an Internet connection. Just make sure the Internet connection is good enough when playing online with a mobile phone or via iPad casino, so you won’t get disconnected during the casino entertainment session.

Payment Methods

Depositing and withdrawing is fast, safe and easy for Canadians at Jackpot City.
List of Trusted Depositing Methods below:
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  • Qiwi Wallet
Canadian casino players can withdraw with the same banking options or via cheque in Jackpot City Canada. Note that banking methods might have differences how much you can withdrawal. No matter what payment method you choose, you always get super-fast cashouts. If you have any trouble, contact customer support via email or live chat that has a fast answering time.
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Conclusion: Jackpot City Casino is an oldie but goodie

It is simply the best casino promotion available, mainly when you will deposit $400 or more. They also have weekly and monthly promotions that add extra value to your casino experience!
The casino bonuses at Jackpot City are by far the best for Microgaming Casino. At other Microgaming sites, like Royal Vegas, Ruby Fortune, Quatro Casino or Captain Cooks Casino, Platinum Play Casino, Karamba Casino, getting the same value for your deposits is not an option right now.
Along with the best Microgaming bonus in Canada, JackpotCity online casino promotions are one of the reasons that have made Jackpot City popular amongst online casino Canada players.
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Jewel Queen Slots Dream gaming is available in Joker123 Malaysia 2021

Jewel Queen video slot machine is created by Joker123 Casino Malaysia. This slots game depends on a supernatural subject which has a few dream components. Joker123 has been creating games for quite a while now, with a large number of them having a fantastical subject, for example, Treasures of Troy and Crowns of Egypt. The games made by them are by and large for both on the web and land-based gambling clubs and they have earned enormous accomplishment by making profoundly intuitive games. The Diamond Queen slots game can keep player drew in for quite a long time on account of its livelinesss, video designs and sound that support the general interactivity.

20 Paylines, Bonus Rounds and More on Diamond Queen Slots

The Joker123 Diamond Queen is a lot of like any customary video slots game, yet includes five reels rather than three, and accompany 20 paylines. This allows the player to land all the more winning mixes and therefore increment their odds of dominating the match also. The five reels involve the inside most aspect of the screen, while the paylines, divisions and turn catches are situated at the base of the screen, situated from left to right.
There are numerous highlights of this game which make it profoundly alluring. The primary thing players will see is the different images that are utilized on the reels. Aside from the ordinary Ace, King Queen, Jack and Ten images, there are additionally images of a Crown, a Wizard, a guide, the precious stone sovereign logo and the enchanted jewel, which is the reward image. There is additionally a wild image, which substitutes itself for another image so as to make a triumphant mix. Be that as it may, it can't substitute itself for the jewel reward image (disperse image).

Play Diamond Queen Slot Game Online for Free or Real Money

The primary contrast between the Diamond Queen slots game and a normal slots game is that the previous is on a virtual stage and has two additional reels. This specific game from Joker123 has both a free blaze variant and a paid form. The paid rendition can be gotten to through different online club. So as to play the game, a player must enlist with an online gambling club and store a specific measure of money into the gaming account. The monetary standards that can be utilized are the Ringgit Malaysia
When the player has added credits to the game, he/she can start playing the Diamond Queen Joker123 slots game. The essential reason of the game is to land coordinating images by pressing the turn button, which shows up at the base of the screen. The player should likewise wager on the paylines, and putting down a wager on different paylines builds his/her odds of winning. The base wager is one credit on one payline, while the greatest wager is 200 credits for every payline.
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The Australian casino was found to have violated the ban on admitting minors!

The Australian casino was found to have violated the ban on admitting minors!
The regulator fined the Australian casino 63.7 thousand Australian dollars for admitting three underage customers to the gambling hall and allowing them to play slot machines. Australia’s The Star casino came under sanctions by the national gambling regulator in New South Wales after surveillance cameras at the institution caught a 12-year-old girl playing video poker in a slot machine in one of three incidents involving minors. casino administration. By law, allow players to play from the age of 18 after checking the documents that confirm their identity.
The girl’s mother allowed her to enter the game room and held the entrance doors to the room so that the security service would not interfere with her play. The minor spent 17 minutes playing the game, during which she made 20 bets inonline poker. The security of the institution discovered a violation when the mother and the girl had left the hall. Another incident occurred with a 16-year-old girl who was led through a VIP entrance by a man with a club membership in the casino. The guards did not check the identity of the offender, and she unhindered entered the gambling hall. She was served alcoholic drinks at the bar, and at the entrance the club was asked to show the passport. The document was fake, and the photo did not match the reality.

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In the third precedent, the 17-year-old was in the gambling hall for more than three hours. Observation videos show that the teenager crossed paths with the casino staff at least 15 times, playing more than 40 rounds of roulette, over 20 poker hands and drinking a few alcoholic beverages. In 2019, 30 similar cases were recorded, each of which the casino reported to the regulator independently. The Star — the second largest casino in Australia. The first is called the Crown in Melbourne. The establishment is owned by Star Entertainment Group, a public Australian gaming company. The resort has been operating for over 25 years. It houses gambling zones, a hotel complex with 300 rooms, more than 15 bars and restaurants.
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Gambling Games In India

Gambling games and India:

Games of chance have always attracted passionate players and the appeal of Lady Luck never seemed to dwindle. They have thrived for thousands of years, even before written history and up to modern times when we can indulge in gambling on our electronic devices without even having to walk to the nearest casino establishment. Games have changed and flourished, but the passion for playing remained the same. India is a country that boasts a rich history when it comes to gambling and still nurtures a strong passion for it in various forms and guises. That said, it’s well worth taking a glance at the origins of casino games and how and where it all began.
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Gambling stories of ancient India
The Ramayana (one of two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India) cites certain forms of games of chance believed to date back as far as 7300 BC. It describes gambling boards, believed by some to be the game of chess, as well as gambling with dice. The popular saying ‘to lose one’s shirt’, meaning to lose money, originated in ancient India. The old Sanskrit texts compare trees that have been stripped of their fruit to defeated gamblers who lost their clothes and ornaments in a wager.
While the Ramayana casually mentions gambling and does not condone it in any sense of the word, the second epic (the Mahabharata) tells a different story. The main antagonist, Shakuni, arranges a dice game against king Yudhishthira whom he cheated out of all his wealth and kingdom. When another antagonist, Duryodhana, insisted that there was no place for two crown princes in the kingdom, another dice game was arranged which ended in the exile of the royal family.
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First Gambling Devices
Buddhist texts mention Indians gambling with nuts as dice as early as 300 BC. Apart from being fond of dice, Indians developed a taste for gambling on animals. At first, ram and cockfights were all the rage which was followed by the more sophisticated horse racing later. What is interesting is that while Europeans are generally given credit for developing certain games of chance, most of the earlier versions of gambling devices had Indian symbols on them.
Further Progress
The 15th century witnessed the rise of legal gambling houses all across India. They were heavily regulated to make sure the games were fair and square so that the players would willingly submit their dues to the king. This was the beginning of the first gambling tax.
When the British introduced cricket to India in the 18th century, Indians fell completely in love with the game. Cricket paved the way for sports betting which flourished in the country until the British took over and passed the Gambling Act in 1867 which outlawed all games of chance. Although they couldn’t abolish the games which still went on in secret, India never looked favorably on gambling again.
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Present-day Gambling
The perspective of the Indian government on gambling is that it is the temptation that lures players to bet beyond their means, ruining their lives and their families. India’s 29 states and seven Union territories have the authority to decide whether to legalize gambling or not. Each state has a different legislative council and even though most of them do not support it, they do allow some forms of it, such as betting on horse races and the lottery. Since gambling restrictions are still in effect to a large extent, many have turned to online options and can choose from some of the best online casinos for India to scratch that itch. Almost 40% of internet users in the country have admitted to spending some of their time playing online casino games with no particular intention of earning large sums of money, but just to have fun and pass the time.
The history of India, which is almost 4000 years long, is brimming with amusing anecdotes of gamblers winning and losing in their favorite games. However, the future might not have as much room for such stories, since the gambling ban is still in effect. The Indian government still doesn’t trust its people to use their own judgment and roll the dice deciding their own fate. If the rules should ever change, the casino industry will be able to boost the Indian economy to a great extent. The people will enjoy their games while the country reaps the benefits. Some would say, a win-win situation.

CASINO GAMES:

There are a number of different online casino sites open for Indians to play on in 2020. With enticing welcome bonuses, a huge library of games including live casino games, more players are signing up now than ever!
However, many online casinos go beyond just a website and offer dedicated mobile apps that allow you to enjoy all features of the online casinos on the go! Check out the best online casino websites for India in 2020!
#1 – LeoVegas’ App
LeoVegas is one of the biggest online casinos in the world and contains a huge number of casino games. You can play Blackjack, Roulette, Slots, live casino games, and more on the online casino.
The LeoVegas app allows you to access more than 1,000 casino games offered by the online casino. Both Android and iOS users are covered as there are dedicated apps for both the operating systems. The user interface is designed to provide a simple and enjoyable experience for all players.
#2 – Betway’s App
Betway is one of the biggest names in the world of online casinos and betting. The site not only offers a huge collection of games in its full-fledged online casino but also offers really great odds on sporting events around the world with a great welcome bonus for new players.
The Betway app allows you to stay in touch with your adventurous self on the go and gives you access to all the games provided on the online casino. Some of the features that make the app great are its small size and classification system that lets you seamlessly switch from its three modes – Betway Casino, Beway Vegas, and Betway Live Casino.
#3 – Casumo’s App
Casumo is a modern online casino with a focus on providing a clean and enjoyable user interface to its players. In terms of game selection, Casumo does pretty well too, and provides tons of different online casino games for you to enjoy.
In keeping up with the philosophy of offering its players one of the best online casino experiences, Casumo also has a dedicated app that can be used to play all the different games offered on the site. Some of the key features of the app include a personal dashboard, automatic notifications, and easy depositing and withdrawal functions right from the app itself!
#4 – Dafabet’s App
Dafabet is one of Asia’s largest online casino and sportsbook. With sponsorships with reputed teams like Celtic FC and Fulham FC, Dafabet is a legit operator that provides an excellent casino and betting experience to players all over Asia including India.
Along with offering an awesome website that is completely responsive, Dafabet also has dedicated apps for both Android and iOS users that allow you to stay in the middle of the action always. The apps have an extremely user-friendly interface and are updated regularly to ensure the app is always fresh and secure!
Online casino apps are changing the game!
Online casinos are rising in popularity in India and since they are regulated by worldwide licenses like MGA, they’re transparent, fair, and legal! A common misconception for online casinos and their bonuses is that they need to be claimed on the website. In almost all cases, it’s possible to download the app from App Store or Google Play, sign up, and grab the welcome bonus straight from the app.
Get in touch with the speculative side of your personality with these amazing online casino apps today!
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What is Tinycat99?

What is Tinycat99?
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Interview with playing card manipulator and magician Jeff McBride

Interview with playing card manipulator and magician Jeff McBride
WHO IS JEFF MCBRIDE?
Chances are you are reading this article because you already have some interest in playing cards. So maybe you've already heard of the name Jeff McBride. If you have, you'll already be familiar with his credentials, so you'll be itching to get straight the good stuff and read what he's got to say, because you know it's going to be worth reading.
But if you haven't heard of Jeff McBride before, let me tell you why this interview is a must-read: ● Are you into card magic? Jeff has been doing card magic his whole life, and is one of the very best in the world at card manipulation and sleight of hand. He has also been running his famous Magic & Mystery School for over 30 years. ● Are you into cardistry? Jeff's instructional Art of Card Manipulation videos were some of the foundational materials that shaped fathers of the cardistry movement like Dan and Dave Buck. Card manipulation is his speciality, and if there's anyone that we can learn a thing or two about card handling from, it's him. ● Are you into card collecting? Jeff's entire career has been built with a deck of cards in his hands, and he also collects some playing card memorabilia himself.
So if you are a playing card enthusiast in any way, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from one of the greatest living card men. We were delighted when Jeff agreed to do this interview with us, and couldn't wait to hear some of his thoughts about various topics relating to his own career with playing cards. We even got opportunity to visit him at his own place, and take some photos of his memorabilia and more, which we have permission to show our readers for the first time! But first let's share some of his credentials, so that we can appreciate what he has to say in the context of his own accomplishments and achievements.

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Jeff McBride the Performer
Jeff McBride has had a love for magic that goes back to his childhood in New York's Catskill mountains, where he grew up. As a young boy he stumbled across The Golden Book of Magic in a library, which quickly became his first magic Bible. He performed gigs locally, did street performances, and eventually moved to Las Vegas, where he successfully built a career in magic, and performs his award-winning stage magic and runs a magic school.
His performance style is highly praised for its unique blend of traditional magic with a form of Japanese theater called kabuki. Drawing on an unusual mix of skills that includes martial arts, philosophy, and more, Jeff's stage act combines an unorthodox blend of sleight of hand with masks and mime, to create a unique show like no other. Besides his "home" stage in Las Vegas, he's performed on stages and in theaters around the world, including touring with The Illusionists. A Jeff McBride show never fails to showcase his dynamic, innovative, and creative personality, from someone who has proven himself over time to be a master entertainer, showman, and sleight-of-hand artist.
Jeff McBride's list of awards is too lengthy to cover all of them. But to mention just a few, he's received recognition from exclusive and respected organizations, including "Magician of the Year" by The Magic Castle's The Academy of Magic Arts and "Magician of the Year" by the Society of American Magicians. In 2018 the International F?d?ration Internationale des Societes Magiques (FISM) gave him their "Theory & Philosophy Special Award", in tribute for his lifetime contribution to magic from a viewpoint that is analytical and academic. This illustrious award has previously been given only to Tommy Wonder, Juan Tamariz, Eugene Burger, and Roberto Giobbi. Most recently in January 2020 he was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame by the Society of American Magicians. He is part of a very small group of living magicians that are part of this exclusive club, which includes David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy. He's even the holder of three world records - don't worry, we'll be sure to ask him about that in our interview!
And of course he has appeared on television many times, already back in 1995 as part of the "World's Greatest Magic, and more recently on shows like Masters of Illusion, Criss Angel's Mindfreak, and Penn & Teller's Fool Us. But he's not just "another magician", as his selection as a judge for the 2008 reality celebrity-magic show Celebradabra confirms. Already more than ten years ago filmmakers produced a documentary about him, entitled Jeff McBride: A Magickal Life. This has been highly praised by magicians and viewers for how it shows his journey from a boy magician to a headline act in Las Vegas, and also his personal spiritual journey and development from a brash young man into a mature and caring magician who is keen to pass on the art of magic to the next generation. He really is one of the best.
Jeff McBride the Teacher
While the first part of his career was all about performing in his inimitable style, as the years have passed Jeff McBride has more and more mellowed into a highly respected teacher, with a keen interest in sharing his wisdom with others, and helping young magicians develop their skills in magic. Besides many written works, he's produced best-selling and highly influential instructional videos on the art of card manipulation, and on stage magic. His current passion is to serve as a sage that helps other magicians make their dreams as performers come true.
Perhaps his crowning achievement and lasting legacy is the McBride Magic & Mystery School, which he established in 1991. This is a world-renowned training ground for stage magic, and is generally regarded as the very best and most prestigious institution in the world for receiving magic instruction. There's simply no better place for aspiring magicians to go, in order to take seminars, classes, and workshops, to help raise their magic to a higher level, and to learn the true secrets of the craft.
Highly respected magician and lecturer Eugene Burger (pictured below with Jeff McBride) served as Dean of this school until his sad passing in 2017. It was from him that Jeff learned the importance of burning one end of your own candle in order to light someone else's candle. Many leading magicians have served on the faculty or as guest instructors, including big names like Lance Burton, Johnny Thompson, and Max Maven.
Jeff McBride is a wonderful entertainer himself, but his current passion is to be a mentor to others, and he will leave a lasting stamp in the lives of many magicians of the future. But now it's time for us to sit at his feet, and learn a thing or two from his life, and about his experiences with playing cards in particular.

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THE INTERVIEW
GENERAL BACKGROUND
For those who don't know anything about you, what can you tell us about yourself and your background?
I started my career with a pack of playing cards. Now I headline Las Vegas shows, and theaters and festivals all over the world. I also run a very successful magic school in Las Vegas, and I teach online.
I am one of the first magic teachers to create a video series, and my breakthrough videos on card manipulation taught the world how to perform flourishes and card manipulation, which happened to grow into a new cardistry movement. I was fortunate enough to train with great old-school masters and I put out The Art of Card Manipulation which caught on in Asia. The material contained within those DVDs - they were VHS videos at that time - did not need words to understand how to perform the magic, so they had international appeal. Many people like An Ha Lim and leading Asian manipulators found these, and my videos were their original training tools.
What would be some of the highlights in your career in magic?
Performing at Radio City Music Hall, the largest theater in the world with no screen support, no image magnification, and performing my card manipulation routine. The only other person that had that experience was Cardini. That was one of the highlights.
And of course, being inducted into the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame. Also winning the FISM Special Award for Theory and Philosophy was a highlight. That's an award I share with Tommy Wonder, Juan Tamariz, and Eugene Burger.
How would you describe the style of the amazing act that you are known for?
I call it "sorcerer" style, which is very fiery and dynamic. There are many types of card routines, and mine is very explosive and dynamic. In fact during my touring seasons with the hit show The Illusionists, the closing number of the show was my card routine, just before the snow storm sequence. So my card routine can fill a giant theater. At that time of The Illusionists we were working a 7,000 seat theater. So my motto was "pack small, play big."
What were your major influences for this style of performance?
My influences came from many directions. I realized early on that performing standard magic was not a path to success. It was a path to working weddings, bar mitzvahs and birthday parties. In order to break out, I had to become a much more dynamic performer and I added other skillsets I had studied, like classic pantomime theater, which I'd studied at the American Mime Theater. I combined martial arts and my passion for masks and quick change, and dance. And it was this fusion of all of these different theatrical elements that made a huge difference. It was much more than magic, it was a total theatrical experience.
Where can people go to see you perform today?
I teach magic on a platform called MagicFlix. There's performances and tutorials. It's the world's leading streaming platform for magic. So you can immediately see me there. If you want to trial it, all you have to do is go to MagicFlix's website, enter your information, and put in the code MCBRIDE, and you can get 30 days for free. You can see not only myself, but the great masters of magic, and some of the great card magicians in history, as well as learn my card manipulation sequences.
Also if you want to see my live shows, I perform in Las Vegas at Wonderground, which is the longest running independent variety magic show in the history of Las Vegas. It is not attached to a casino, so we can do some pretty wild stuff! That's been running 11 years, and has hosted more variety entertainers on its stage than any other stage in Las Vegas.
What should we know about the McBride Magic & Mystery School, which has now been running for around 30 years?
It's now over 30 years. The McBride Magic and Mystery School came out of a great desire to study with masters. The challenge I see these days is that most people are learning magic from their peers, from people in their own age group. And not necessarily looking up the ladder at masters that have achieved great amounts of success.
So what I did 30 years ago, is I decided to host a retreat for masters to come and teach hungry students, mostly professionals, that were willing to empty their cup and fill up on wisdom and on the experience of great masters. And over the years we've had Eugene Burger, Johnny Thompson, Max Maven and many, many other masters come to the school to help our students understand the path to mastery. So not just learning from your pals online or at magic class, but really top-down training from experts in the field.
What are some of your interests outside of magic?
I spend a lot of time going to other conferences learning more skills on how to facilitate life-transforming experiences. So I spend a lot of time still studying how to teach more effectively, both in person and online.

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PLAYING CARDS & CARD MANIPULATION
You have set several Guinness World Records. What can you tell us about these?
I have three Guinness World Records, two of them for coin rolling, and one of them for card spinning. My Guinness World Record certificate states that I was able to "single handedly spin or scale a record of 106 playing cards within 60 seconds." That was set in 2004 for speed, for card throwing.
You are known for your skill in card manipulation. How would you distinguish magic from cardistry?
When they're fused together, they're indistinguishable, because of the flow state. Here are some flourishes, here are some card tricks - I think it can be seamlessly blended together. When I watch young cardists out there, I'm just amazed by the things that I see them doing these days. I'm totally delighted, and it's magical for me. Magicians that call cardistry "juggling" are just not getting what it's about. It's about entering a flow state, mastering these series of moves, and then pushing the envelope, until you have many of these different flourishes that you can string together seamlessly. That's the elegance of it.
What is one piece of work you have released that you'd like to be remembered by, or which might be of interest to the playing card enthusiast?
Anybody that watches Jeff McBride The Art of Card Manipulation will see how I researched all of the old school material and the stuff that I'd learned in my generation, and put it all together in one place. Those are the videos that the Buck twins - Dave and Dan - saw. Many of the people that first started card manipulation and cardistry saw me on those World's Greatest Magic specials back in the '90s that were filmed at Caesar's Palace. This was one of the first modern versions of card manipulation on TV.
So I think my series on The Art of Card Manipulation imprinted a lot of young magicians, young card handlers, and then the cardistry movement. I was not singularly responsible for that, but The Art of Card Manipulation was definitely essential fuel for it, because it was the most comprehensive card manipulation series ever put out.

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What advice would you give to a young person just starting to learn card magic or card manipulation?
Learn from your pals, but study in person with a great master. It will shave years off your learning curve.
Do you have any thoughts about the current boom in cardistry, and how this has become immensely popular in recent years?
The deck of cards is a great equalizer, isn't it? Here you have 52 objects, and now all you have to do is add your creativity and countless hours of practice and commitment to perfection. It's not like you can buy it. Acquiring the next magic illusion is quite different than acquiring the next impossible flourish with cards. You just can't do it, it has to come from the heart and soul. That's why I think cardistry became such a phenomenon. It doesn't have any language barriers, cultural barriers, or status barriers. All that separates one from being average or great is the commitment to perfection, artistry, and beauty.
What brand/type playing cards did you first use when you started magic and card manipulation?
I used every card I could get my hands on. There were bridge-size decks for card fanning that would have four different colors or four different patterns, so you could get the different color fans out of them. Really good fanning decks are sorely lacking today; I very rarely see any of these new decks being good fanning decks. But I would collect every thin card I could possibly find at that time. Very few people at that time were making flesh colored cards. Sometimes you had to strip cards down, and then paint them flesh colored, and use lots of powder to make them fan again.
Early on I used Crusaders, because in my teens that's what Jeff Sheridan was using, so I used Crusaders that you could get at Woolworth's. Bee cards are okay, but when they reach a certain age they just crack. A lot of the `old school' used and swore by the old Denver Plaids and the old Steamboats. So when I was in my tens and early teens (11-15 years old), there was a lot of Steamboats, and in my later teens I used Crusaders.
What brand/type playing cards do you mostly use today?
I switched over to my own brand, when I had my own cards printed by Phoenix (my cards are available on my site here). Phoenix really pays attention to their cutting and I'm very fond of Phoenix brand cards published by Christian Schenk from Card-Shark.
What do you think are the essential qualities of a good deck of playing cards?
The ability to fan them out of the pack, and their ability to faro shuffle. Those are the two prime ingredients. That they don't need fanning powder. That they're not too slippery, so you don't have to work with them too long to get the finish off, and that they faro well. I'm mostly a stage performer, and I do close up as well. I love some of the decks that you have, with the very whimsical face designs. But for me it's the way the cards handle more than the way they look.
Has the quality of playing cards has improved over the years?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely the quality has improved over the years. The finishes these days and the deck designs are just incredible.

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What are your thoughts on the explosion of custom playing cards that we are seeing today?
For me personally, I don't see enough nice fanning decks. I would collect them, but they're not out there.
I think the next step for card collectors is: how do you store and display them? The serious person will start to make floor to ceiling displays for walls of cards with a giant ladder, like a library so you can have these decks on display. I've seen some people have little wall panels that will hold 20 decks or so, but how about something like a turning rack, like the racks for displaying CDs or a turning poster rack? If somebody could come up with some sort of system.
And now we have some place to display them and take them out, then the great question is: do I take them out of the box, or are they just sealed? Or do I always have to buy two decks - one to play with, one to keep sealed? I see people doing both.
However I have yet to see a really beautiful card collection display that goes beyond `decks in a drawer', or `decks on a wall', or `decks on a tabletop'. If you consider these cards art (and they are - the back designs and the front designs are art), how do you display this art? How do you put it in a frame, and how do you appreciate it? Do you put it in a shoebox and say "Here's my card collection"? Do you have it in a little wall display of 20 decks and say "Here are my 20 decks"?
What impact has crowdfunding like Kickstarter had on the custom playing card industry and collecting?
People feel part of the creation, and feel like they can be patrons of the art. It's like: "Oh, I can be part of this, I can be part of this creative process, I can be a co-collaborator." So that's a good thing that I'll say about it. People support what they help create, and people feel like they're helping create art. I think we need more people that are patrons of the arts. And playing cards is a very good way to share your wealth, and support other people's creative enterprises.
Do you recommend performing magicians get their own branded custom deck of playing cards?
Absolutely. But it depends on what impression you want to make. Some people like to use regular cards because they look very normal. I use my own cards because they're very special, and they have my name on them. If somebody looks at my cards, they'll say, "Wow, Jeff has his own brand of playing cards, he must be very good." You can drive a car, but you can design and manufacture your own car. Who do you deem more magical? Probably the person that's designed their own car.
And when I throw my cards into the audience, it's not the end of my show. It's the beginning of an adventure, because on the back the card it says: "Every card has a special meaning. To discover this card's secret, you have to go to my website." So now they have to go on this mysterious quest to find out the meaning of their card. It's a tarot information site. And when they get to my website after they catch one of my special cards, now they have an opportunity to pick an email address of a friend, and throw that card around the world to them. So I'm continuing the tradition that got me into magic; I'm throwing a card out and saying, "Here, pick this card." And they pick up that card in the audience, and hopefully it will take them on a magical adventure for the rest of their lives.
How many decks or cards have I gone through throughout the years? Tens of thousands. I go through at least two decks a show, for tens of thousands of shows.
Do you personally collect playing cards?
I'm not manic about it, but I collect good fanning decks. If a particular design of a more standard deck hits my radar, I'll pick it up. I like some of your decks, they're very beautiful.
Sometimes it's the box - it makes a statement. Sometimes the card box is the tuxedo for the cards. So the card box in my opinion has a lot to do with matching the performer's style and creating an aesthetic for the magical performance.
And it's even how you take the cards out of the box. If you read Roberto Giobbi's books, he's got very special ideas on how to remove the cards from the box, and how the box is put away. The Dean of the Mystery School teaches what he feels is the proper way to present a pack of cards out of your pocket, remove it from the deck gracefully, and place the box away. There are more refined ways to present a deck of cards to people than just tossing a box of cards on the table.
A deck of cards is a wonderful, mysterious, enchanting object. Fortunes are won and lost, and lives have come and gone on the turn of a single playing card. I live in Las Vegas, which is a town that was built on playing cards, divination systems, dice, and spinning wheels of fortune. Cards have an incredibly deep history and connection to mystery, and they're inherently very mysterious. So it's no wonder how people are attracted to their many different manifestations these days, whether it's a special box, or a back design, or a limited edition.

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Do you use playing cards for anything besides card magic and card manipulation?
I give very extensive workshops on the history of Tarot. We have an extraordinary collection of Tarot decks here, and also Tarot books. We also collected the greatest Tarot teachers from around the world to come and teach every year at the Las Vegas Tarot Summit.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I did an entire performance based on two cards. I did an off-Broadway show called Mask of the Mystic, and it was about two playing cards: the Magician card and the Fool card of the Tarot. I had originally designed an entire show around the Major Arcana of the Tarot cards back in the '80s, with a performance piece for each and every card. But the show was so dense with symbolism and meaning and complex, that I decided to keep it to just the first two cards. I played the Magician card, and a juggler named Michael Marlon played the Fool card, the innocent. There was a great dynamic between a trickster and an all too serious mage wizard character, and it was about the relationship between being blissfully ignorant, and being overly-fixated on the symbolism and meaning of magic.
That really sums up the experience with playing cards. Playing cards can be used for gambling. They can be used as a pastime to pass the time and play solitaire. They can be used for card magic. They can be used for cardistry. And for me, a deck of playing cards is a magic carpet that has taken me all over the world and has introduced me to incredible experiences, taken me to incredible places, and introduced me to all of the people I love most dearly in life.
So whether you're a fool just beginning your journey through the playing card story, or if you're at the end of your story as a wizard counting down your days, remember that there is a deck of playing cards - and perhaps a single playing card - that can change a person's life. So next time a person says "Pick a card," remember that this moment can change a life forever.

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CONCLUSION
It takes a lot for the Society of American Magicians to vote you into their Hall of Fame, especially when you're still active performing and teaching. Jeff McBride is one of the few in the world who can lay claim to being part of that select group.
Jeff is first and foremost a performer with a love for entertaining people, and the unique combination of elements that helps make his stage act stand out from other performers will always be a memorable trademark style that people associate with his name. But perhaps his lasting legacy will be the new role he has taken on as a sage and mentor to others. His Magic & Mystery School has been instrumental in producing new magicians who will continue to entertain us in years to come.
With this interview we've had a wonderful opportunity to have a glimpse of his thinking and learn about some of his experiences. Thank you Mr McBride for all that you've given to magic! May this inspire all of us to turn that pack of playing cards in our hands as a tool to develop our own skills, and to share our love for the arts with those around us!
Where to learn more? Check out Jeff McBride's resources here: - McBride Magic: Official site, promo video - Performance videos: Fool Us (2017), Masters of Illusion (2009), Masters of Illusion (2017) - Card manipulation: "Shaman Cards" performance, "King of Cards" performance - Magic & Mystery School: Official site, shop, Facebook - Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube - Teaching resources: MagicFlix (code: MCBRIDE), Art of Card Manipulation DVDs, Essential Card Manipulation video

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Author's note: I first published this article at PlayingCardDecks here.
submitted by EndersGame_Reviewer to playingcards [link] [comments]

Interview with card manipulator Jeff McBride

Interview with card manipulator Jeff McBride
WHO IS JEFF MCBRIDE?
Chances are you are reading this article because you already have some interest in playing cards. So maybe you've already heard of the name Jeff McBride. If you have, you'll already be familiar with his credentials, so you'll be itching to get straight the good stuff and read what he's got to say, because you know it's going to be worth reading.
But if you haven't heard of Jeff McBride before, let me tell you why this interview is a must-read: ● Are you into card magic? Jeff has been doing card magic his whole life, and is one of the very best in the world at card manipulation and sleight of hand. He has also been running his famous Magic & Mystery School for over 30 years. ● Are you into cardistry? Jeff's instructional Art of Card Manipulation videos were some of the foundational materials that shaped fathers of the cardistry movement like Dan and Dave Buck. Card manipulation is his speciality, and if there's anyone that we can learn a thing or two about card handling from, it's him. ● Are you into card collecting? Jeff's entire career has been built with a deck of cards in his hands, and he also collects some playing card memorabilia himself.
So if you are a playing card enthusiast in any way, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from one of the greatest living card men. We were delighted when Jeff agreed to do this interview with us, and couldn't wait to hear some of his thoughts about various topics relating to his own career with playing cards. We even got opportunity to visit him at his own place, and take some photos of his memorabilia and more, which we have permission to show our readers for the first time! But first let's share some of his credentials, so that we can appreciate what he has to say in the context of his own accomplishments and achievements.

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Jeff McBride the Performer
Jeff McBride has had a love for magic that goes back to his childhood in New York's Catskill mountains, where he grew up. As a young boy he stumbled across The Golden Book of Magic in a library, which quickly became his first magic Bible. He performed gigs locally, did street performances, and eventually moved to Las Vegas, where he successfully built a career in magic, and performs his award-winning stage magic and runs a magic school.
His performance style is highly praised for its unique blend of traditional magic with a form of Japanese theater called kabuki. Drawing on an unusual mix of skills that includes martial arts, philosophy, and more, Jeff's stage act combines an unorthodox blend of sleight of hand with masks and mime, to create a unique show like no other. Besides his "home" stage in Las Vegas, he's performed on stages and in theaters around the world, including touring with The Illusionists. A Jeff McBride show never fails to showcase his dynamic, innovative, and creative personality, from someone who has proven himself over time to be a master entertainer, showman, and sleight-of-hand artist.
Jeff McBride's list of awards is too lengthy to cover all of them. But to mention just a few, he's received recognition from exclusive and respected organizations, including "Magician of the Year" by The Magic Castle's The Academy of Magic Arts and "Magician of the Year" by the Society of American Magicians. In 2018 the International F?d?ration Internationale des Societes Magiques (FISM) gave him their "Theory & Philosophy Special Award", in tribute for his lifetime contribution to magic from a viewpoint that is analytical and academic. This illustrious award has previously been given only to Tommy Wonder, Juan Tamariz, Eugene Burger, and Roberto Giobbi. Most recently in January 2020 he was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame by the Society of American Magicians. He is part of a very small group of living magicians that are part of this exclusive club, which includes David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy. He's even the holder of three world records - don't worry, we'll be sure to ask him about that in our interview!
And of course he has appeared on television many times, already back in 1995 as part of the "World's Greatest Magic, and more recently on shows like Masters of Illusion, Criss Angel's Mindfreak, and Penn & Teller's Fool Us. But he's not just "another magician", as his selection as a judge for the 2008 reality celebrity-magic show Celebradabra confirms. Already more than ten years ago filmmakers produced a documentary about him, entitled Jeff McBride: A Magickal Life. This has been highly praised by magicians and viewers for how it shows his journey from a boy magician to a headline act in Las Vegas, and also his personal spiritual journey and development from a brash young man into a mature and caring magician who is keen to pass on the art of magic to the next generation. He really is one of the best.
Jeff McBride the Teacher
While the first part of his career was all about performing in his inimitable style, as the years have passed Jeff McBride has more and more mellowed into a highly respected teacher, with a keen interest in sharing his wisdom with others, and helping young magicians develop their skills in magic. Besides many written works, he's produced best-selling and highly influential instructional videos on the art of card manipulation, and on stage magic. His current passion is to serve as a sage that helps other magicians make their dreams as performers come true.
Perhaps his crowning achievement and lasting legacy is the McBride Magic & Mystery School, which he established in 1991. This is a world-renowned training ground for stage magic, and is generally regarded as the very best and most prestigious institution in the world for receiving magic instruction. There's simply no better place for aspiring magicians to go, in order to take seminars, classes, and workshops, to help raise their magic to a higher level, and to learn the true secrets of the craft.
Highly respected magician and lecturer Eugene Burger (pictured below with Jeff McBride) served as Dean of this school until his sad passing in 2017. It was from him that Jeff learned the importance of burning one end of your own candle in order to light someone else's candle. Many leading magicians have served on the faculty or as guest instructors, including big names like Lance Burton, Johnny Thompson, and Max Maven.
Jeff McBride is a wonderful entertainer himself, but his current passion is to be a mentor to others, and he will leave a lasting stamp in the lives of many magicians of the future. But now it's time for us to sit at his feet, and learn a thing or two from his life, and about his experiences with playing cards in particular.

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THE INTERVIEW
GENERAL BACKGROUND
For those who don't know anything about you, what can you tell us about yourself and your background?
I started my career with a pack of playing cards. Now I headline Las Vegas shows, and theaters and festivals all over the world. I also run a very successful magic school in Las Vegas, and I teach online.
I am one of the first magic teachers to create a video series, and my breakthrough videos on card manipulation taught the world how to perform flourishes and card manipulation, which happened to grow into a new cardistry movement. I was fortunate enough to train with great old-school masters and I put out The Art of Card Manipulation which caught on in Asia. The material contained within those DVDs - they were VHS videos at that time - did not need words to understand how to perform the magic, so they had international appeal. Many people like An Ha Lim and leading Asian manipulators found these, and my videos were their original training tools.
What would be some of the highlights in your career in magic?
Performing at Radio City Music Hall, the largest theater in the world with no screen support, no image magnification, and performing my card manipulation routine. The only other person that had that experience was Cardini. That was one of the highlights.
And of course, being inducted into the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame. Also winning the FISM Special Award for Theory and Philosophy was a highlight. That's an award I share with Tommy Wonder, Juan Tamariz, and Eugene Burger.
How would you describe the style of the amazing act that you are known for?
I call it "sorcerer" style, which is very fiery and dynamic. There are many types of card routines, and mine is very explosive and dynamic. In fact during my touring seasons with the hit show The Illusionists, the closing number of the show was my card routine, just before the snow storm sequence. So my card routine can fill a giant theater. At that time of The Illusionists we were working a 7,000 seat theater. So my motto was "pack small, play big."
What were your major influences for this style of performance?
My influences came from many directions. I realized early on that performing standard magic was not a path to success. It was a path to working weddings, bar mitzvahs and birthday parties. In order to break out, I had to become a much more dynamic performer and I added other skillsets I had studied, like classic pantomime theater, which I'd studied at the American Mime Theater. I combined martial arts and my passion for masks and quick change, and dance. And it was this fusion of all of these different theatrical elements that made a huge difference. It was much more than magic, it was a total theatrical experience.
Where can people go to see you perform today?
I teach magic on a platform called MagicFlix. There's performances and tutorials. It's the world's leading streaming platform for magic. So you can immediately see me there. If you want to trial it, all you have to do is go to MagicFlix's website, enter your information, and put in the code MCBRIDE, and you can get 30 days for free. You can see not only myself, but the great masters of magic, and some of the great card magicians in history, as well as learn my card manipulation sequences.
Also if you want to see my live shows, I perform in Las Vegas at Wonderground, which is the longest running independent variety magic show in the history of Las Vegas. It is not attached to a casino, so we can do some pretty wild stuff! That's been running 11 years, and has hosted more variety entertainers on its stage than any other stage in Las Vegas.
What should we know about the McBride Magic & Mystery School, which has now been running for around 30 years?
It's now over 30 years. The McBride Magic and Mystery School came out of a great desire to study with masters. The challenge I see these days is that most people are learning magic from their peers, from people in their own age group. And not necessarily looking up the ladder at masters that have achieved great amounts of success.
So what I did 30 years ago, is I decided to host a retreat for masters to come and teach hungry students, mostly professionals, that were willing to empty their cup and fill up on wisdom and on the experience of great masters. And over the years we've had Eugene Burger, Johnny Thompson, Max Maven and many, many other masters come to the school to help our students understand the path to mastery. So not just learning from your pals online or at magic class, but really top-down training from experts in the field.
What are some of your interests outside of magic?
I spend a lot of time going to other conferences learning more skills on how to facilitate life-transforming experiences. So I spend a lot of time still studying how to teach more effectively, both in person and online.

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PLAYING CARDS & CARD MANIPULATION
You have set several Guinness World Records. What can you tell us about these?
I have three Guinness World Records, two of them for coin rolling, and one of them for card spinning. My Guinness World Record certificate states that I was able to "single handedly spin or scale a record of 106 playing cards within 60 seconds." That was set in 2004 for speed, for card throwing.
You are known for your skill in card manipulation. How would you distinguish magic from cardistry?
When they're fused together, they're indistinguishable, because of the flow state. Here are some flourishes, here are some card tricks - I think it can be seamlessly blended together. When I watch young cardists out there, I'm just amazed by the things that I see them doing these days. I'm totally delighted, and it's magical for me. Magicians that call cardistry "juggling" are just not getting what it's about. It's about entering a flow state, mastering these series of moves, and then pushing the envelope, until you have many of these different flourishes that you can string together seamlessly. That's the elegance of it.
What is one piece of work you have released that you'd like to be remembered by, or which might be of interest to the playing card enthusiast?
Anybody that watches Jeff McBride The Art of Card Manipulation will see how I researched all of the old school material and the stuff that I'd learned in my generation, and put it all together in one place. Those are the videos that the Buck twins - Dave and Dan - saw. Many of the people that first started card manipulation and cardistry saw me on those World's Greatest Magic specials back in the '90s that were filmed at Caesar's Palace. This was one of the first modern versions of card manipulation on TV.
So I think my series on The Art of Card Manipulation imprinted a lot of young magicians, young card handlers, and then the cardistry movement. I was not singularly responsible for that, but The Art of Card Manipulation was definitely essential fuel for it, because it was the most comprehensive card manipulation series ever put out.

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What advice would you give to a young person just starting to learn card magic or card manipulation?
Learn from your pals, but study in person with a great master. It will shave years off your learning curve.
Do you have any thoughts about the current boom in cardistry, and how this has become immensely popular in recent years?
The deck of cards is a great equalizer, isn't it? Here you have 52 objects, and now all you have to do is add your creativity and countless hours of practice and commitment to perfection. It's not like you can buy it. Acquiring the next magic illusion is quite different than acquiring the next impossible flourish with cards. You just can't do it, it has to come from the heart and soul. That's why I think cardistry became such a phenomenon. It doesn't have any language barriers, cultural barriers, or status barriers. All that separates one from being average or great is the commitment to perfection, artistry, and beauty.
What brand/type playing cards did you first use when you started magic and card manipulation?
I used every card I could get my hands on. There were bridge-size decks for card fanning that would have four different colors or four different patterns, so you could get the different color fans out of them. Really good fanning decks are sorely lacking today; I very rarely see any of these new decks being good fanning decks. But I would collect every thin card I could possibly find at that time. Very few people at that time were making flesh colored cards. Sometimes you had to strip cards down, and then paint them flesh colored, and use lots of powder to make them fan again.
Early on I used Crusaders, because in my teens that's what Jeff Sheridan was using, so I used Crusaders that you could get at Woolworth's. Bee cards are okay, but when they reach a certain age they just crack. A lot of the `old school' used and swore by the old Denver Plaids and the old Steamboats. So when I was in my tens and early teens (11-15 years old), there was a lot of Steamboats, and in my later teens I used Crusaders.
What brand/type playing cards do you mostly use today?
I switched over to my own brand, when I had my own cards printed by Phoenix (my cards are available on my site here). Phoenix really pays attention to their cutting and I'm very fond of Phoenix brand cards published by Christian Schenk from Card-Shark.
What do you think are the essential qualities of a good deck of playing cards?
The ability to fan them out of the pack, and their ability to faro shuffle. Those are the two prime ingredients. That they don't need fanning powder. That they're not too slippery, so you don't have to work with them too long to get the finish off, and that they faro well. I'm mostly a stage performer, and I do close up as well. I love some of the decks that you have, with the very whimsical face designs. But for me it's the way the cards handle more than the way they look.
Has the quality of playing cards has improved over the years?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely the quality has improved over the years. The finishes these days and the deck designs are just incredible.

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What are your thoughts on the explosion of custom playing cards that we are seeing today?
For me personally, I don't see enough nice fanning decks. I would collect them, but they're not out there.
I think the next step for card collectors is: how do you store and display them? The serious person will start to make floor to ceiling displays for walls of cards with a giant ladder, like a library so you can have these decks on display. I've seen some people have little wall panels that will hold 20 decks or so, but how about something like a turning rack, like the racks for displaying CDs or a turning poster rack? If somebody could come up with some sort of system.
And now we have some place to display them and take them out, then the great question is: do I take them out of the box, or are they just sealed? Or do I always have to buy two decks - one to play with, one to keep sealed? I see people doing both.
However I have yet to see a really beautiful card collection display that goes beyond `decks in a drawer', or `decks on a wall', or `decks on a tabletop'. If you consider these cards art (and they are - the back designs and the front designs are art), how do you display this art? How do you put it in a frame, and how do you appreciate it? Do you put it in a shoebox and say "Here's my card collection"? Do you have it in a little wall display of 20 decks and say "Here are my 20 decks"?
What impact has crowdfunding like Kickstarter had on the custom playing card industry and collecting?
People feel part of the creation, and feel like they can be patrons of the art. It's like: "Oh, I can be part of this, I can be part of this creative process, I can be a co-collaborator." So that's a good thing that I'll say about it. People support what they help create, and people feel like they're helping create art. I think we need more people that are patrons of the arts. And playing cards is a very good way to share your wealth, and support other people's creative enterprises.
Do you recommend performing magicians get their own branded custom deck of playing cards?
Absolutely. But it depends on what impression you want to make. Some people like to use regular cards because they look very normal. I use my own cards because they're very special, and they have my name on them. If somebody looks at my cards, they'll say, "Wow, Jeff has his own brand of playing cards, he must be very good." You can drive a car, but you can design and manufacture your own car. Who do you deem more magical? Probably the person that's designed their own car.
And when I throw my cards into the audience, it's not the end of my show. It's the beginning of an adventure, because on the back the card it says: "Every card has a special meaning. To discover this card's secret, you have to go to my website." So now they have to go on this mysterious quest to find out the meaning of their card. It's a tarot information site. And when they get to my website after they catch one of my special cards, now they have an opportunity to pick an email address of a friend, and throw that card around the world to them. So I'm continuing the tradition that got me into magic; I'm throwing a card out and saying, "Here, pick this card." And they pick up that card in the audience, and hopefully it will take them on a magical adventure for the rest of their lives.
How many decks or cards have I gone through throughout the years? Tens of thousands. I go through at least two decks a show, for tens of thousands of shows.
Do you personally collect playing cards?
I'm not manic about it, but I collect good fanning decks. If a particular design of a more standard deck hits my radar, I'll pick it up. I like some of your decks, they're very beautiful.
Sometimes it's the box - it makes a statement. Sometimes the card box is the tuxedo for the cards. So the card box in my opinion has a lot to do with matching the performer's style and creating an aesthetic for the magical performance.
And it's even how you take the cards out of the box. If you read Roberto Giobbi's books, he's got very special ideas on how to remove the cards from the box, and how the box is put away. The Dean of the Mystery School teaches what he feels is the proper way to present a pack of cards out of your pocket, remove it from the deck gracefully, and place the box away. There are more refined ways to present a deck of cards to people than just tossing a box of cards on the table.
A deck of cards is a wonderful, mysterious, enchanting object. Fortunes are won and lost, and lives have come and gone on the turn of a single playing card. I live in Las Vegas, which is a town that was built on playing cards, divination systems, dice, and spinning wheels of fortune. Cards have an incredibly deep history and connection to mystery, and they're inherently very mysterious. So it's no wonder how people are attracted to their many different manifestations these days, whether it's a special box, or a back design, or a limited edition.

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Do you use playing cards for anything besides card magic and card manipulation?
I give very extensive workshops on the history of Tarot. We have an extraordinary collection of Tarot decks here, and also Tarot books. We also collected the greatest Tarot teachers from around the world to come and teach every year at the Las Vegas Tarot Summit.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I did an entire performance based on two cards. I did an off-Broadway show called Mask of the Mystic, and it was about two playing cards: the Magician card and the Fool card of the Tarot. I had originally designed an entire show around the Major Arcana of the Tarot cards back in the '80s, with a performance piece for each and every card. But the show was so dense with symbolism and meaning and complex, that I decided to keep it to just the first two cards. I played the Magician card, and a juggler named Michael Marlon played the Fool card, the innocent. There was a great dynamic between a trickster and an all too serious mage wizard character, and it was about the relationship between being blissfully ignorant, and being overly-fixated on the symbolism and meaning of magic.
That really sums up the experience with playing cards. Playing cards can be used for gambling. They can be used as a pastime to pass the time and play solitaire. They can be used for card magic. They can be used for cardistry. And for me, a deck of playing cards is a magic carpet that has taken me all over the world and has introduced me to incredible experiences, taken me to incredible places, and introduced me to all of the people I love most dearly in life.
So whether you're a fool just beginning your journey through the playing card story, or if you're at the end of your story as a wizard counting down your days, remember that there is a deck of playing cards - and perhaps a single playing card - that can change a person's life. So next time a person says "Pick a card," remember that this moment can change a life forever.

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CONCLUSION
It takes a lot for the Society of American Magicians to vote you into their Hall of Fame, especially when you're still active performing and teaching. Jeff McBride is one of the few in the world who can lay claim to being part of that select group.
Jeff is first and foremost a performer with a love for entertaining people, and the unique combination of elements that helps make his stage act stand out from other performers will always be a memorable trademark style that people associate with his name. But perhaps his lasting legacy will be the new role he has taken on as a sage and mentor to others. His Magic & Mystery School has been instrumental in producing new magicians who will continue to entertain us in years to come.
With this interview we've had a wonderful opportunity to have a glimpse of his thinking and learn about some of his experiences. Thank you Mr McBride for all that you've given to magic! May this inspire all of us to turn that pack of playing cards in our hands as a tool to develop our own skills, and to share our love for the arts with those around us!
Where to learn more? Check out Jeff McBride's resources here: - McBride Magic: Official site, promo video - Performance videos: Fool Us (2017), Masters of Illusion (2009), Masters of Illusion (2017) - Card manipulation: "Shaman Cards" performance, "King of Cards" performance - Magic & Mystery School: Official site, shop, Facebook - Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube - Teaching resources: MagicFlix (code: MCBRIDE), Art of Card Manipulation DVDs, Essential Card Manipulation video

https://preview.redd.it/sl52au4wl8751.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=be11a4655fe8e9f421594afdb3eed777a1e44fe7
Author's note: I first published this article at PlayingCardDecks here.
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Roulette at crown casino !!$8000 game

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