Walking Macau: Sao Paulo Ruins to Senado Square

Alright. So, let’s get sidetracked! What I’m going to do today, is walk through this crowd of people. If you like my channel, just support it. Just hit subscribe.

I’m looking for people to show interest in what I’m doing. Sao Paulo ruins is right there. This guy was a scholar. He studied Chinese and was a Jesuit.

A very interesting looking guy. I’m imagining what he might have looked like back then. From a distance, he looks more Chinese.

[He’s Italian]. Okay, we’re going to walk down here into Sao Paulo Ruins. This is what it looks like in the daytime when all of the tourists are here. What I’m going to do today, is walk through this crowd of people. You can see how crazy and crowded it is everyday here. Everybody is taking photos.

There’s the Ruins there. I’m going to walk across this way. Basically today, we’re going to walk through that crowd. You’ll be amazed at how crowded this is. So all of this leads up to Sao Paulo Ruins. You have all of this.

Yellow Buildings. The Fortress de Monte. Sao Paulo Ruins. These are apartments.

Residential apartments. Okay, let’s keep walking. There are people pretty much everywhere. I might flip the camera around and you can see me try to navigate this crowd. It’s always quite busy.

This guy is waiting for his wife…probably? A lot of people enjoy all of the different casino games, juices and drinks, and snacks. Okay, so we’re going to try to navigate this crowd. Let’s see.

Sometimes there are cars that will come down from where that museum is at. That way. All of the Ruins. Everybody has their cameras out. I’m just going to walk down this busy street.

Today is Saturday. Saturday evening. So you can get a sense of how crowded it is, at this time. I’m just going to get a sample. That’s really good! Wow!

Spicy. Really spicy. Wow. You see that big mass of crowded people? We’re going to be walking through that in a minute.

A lot of people carry their suitcases too. Their shopping. Looks like they are selling something here. I’m going to try another one of these. I could eat these all the way down.

I’m going to show you this balloon. Hello! How are you?

I’m going to try one of these. Hello. Only one? I’m just taking a look.

They have corn and hot dogs. Only one? That was squid.

We’re going to keep on walking down. Lush. A lot of commercial things here.

Nature Republic. We’re outside, of course. But it feels like… Some of these shops are shopping mall stuff.

We’re going to walk past St. Dominic’s Church. It’s on the right. We’re going to be walking to Senado Square. We were up by Sao Paulo Ruins.

Usually people walk up. But we’re actually walking down. Well, they walk up, and they walk back down. Actually, I came from a different way today.

From the back side [of the Ruins]. St. Dominic’s Church right there. I remember reading a book about Macau, based on a long time ago. They were basically saying… This is from….ah…the author’s name is… Let’s go this way.

Way back in colonial days. When Portugal… When this was Portuguese. Way way way back when.

It wasn’t that long ago when this was Portuguese. But… Way back when, they would say that Macau is nothing but… Churches and…

Churches and something else. But churches was always one of the references. There are quite a few churches still around today. They are more symbolic and historical than anything else. We’re just going to walk all way down to the….

The main Senado Square down here. Than I will turn off the camera. This is basically Senado Square. I came down here the other day. So you can see the other one on YouTube as well.

I’m going to keep creating content about Macau, and see if there is some interest in it. So you can see what it’s like. This is one of the bigger tourist areas. I always see people sitting here.

Shopping bags of stuff. This one is an alley. Oops. This way.

Trash can. This is the San Malo area. We can walk up here. We’re going to try to get some Pandesal Bread.

Okay, this is interesting. Rua dos Cules (Street of Coolies) Rua dos Cules is…. A street of… Rua dos Cules is a street of slaves. This is a street where…they used to… Hold slaves before they want to… to the Americas and different places like that. Ahm.

Yeah. This is that one, and this is the other one. Yeah, basically, years ago… Portugal was a pretty big slave-trading nation. They would trade people.

All over the world. Often to the Americas. So they would…

They would take some here…and they’d be… They’d be slaves. All of the ones you can imagine. But also the Chinese too.

The Chinese went out. Different people came in, and Chinese went out. So the Chinese would sometimes be captured and sent out. And sent abroad. Or they would be… They could also be… Indentured.

I’m going to keep walking. There are a lot of Filipinos in this area. I’m going to try to get up here and get some Pandesal. Filipino cuisine. I’m going to walk down this street some other time.

This is called… Rua da Felicidade. This is definitely in the book. But I’ll get into that another time.

Right now we’re just going to try to get some Pandesal. It’s right up here. Actually, this place is in the book too. It’s Philippine bread. So we’re just going to capture this right here. Hello.

I’m going to get some Pandesal bread. I’m just going to get….six piece. This is the Pandesal place right here. Here’s the money. Thank you.

So this is only 5 MOP. Thank you. Alright, we’re going to keep walking. So you can get Pandesal bread there. We’re going to go up this way. Let’s see.

This is actually called Pandesal bread. And this one is like that. I’m going to keep walking up here.

There’s another place I want to show up here, too. This is where we just came from, down there. And up here is a police station.

So, if you read “Moon over Macau”… They come up to this police station… I don’t know if I can film it, but…. The police cars are right over there. I’ll just walk by it anyway. I’ll turn off the camera since I don’t know [if its legal to film a police station].

Okay, so I just want to explain that situation. When I turned off the camera. There was a…. The police station was there…so…

I don’t know if I can film in front of a police station. So I turned it off. And there was a guy who was going through the trash.

If you do read “Moon over Macau”… There’s a guy, a character, who tries to help… He tries to help out people like that. But he usually looks for people who need it. So that particular guy needed it.

So… He was a guy who really… So, I said, “Hey, do you…” “Do you need anything?”

I asked him, “Do you need bread?” He said, “No.” So I asked him if he needed bread instead? He said, “No.” He didnt need that either. But I actually gave him 10 MOP.

And he was very appreciative. So I was on my way. But….. I turned the camera back on, and that other guy… He said “MONEY!” So, I went to him.

He basically said… I guess he saw me do that…so… Those are the contrasts of the two characters. The main character of “Moon over Macau.” His name is Cien O’Mears. He’s kind of…he tries to…

He tries to differentiate between the two. Who needs it, and…. And who doesn’t. He’s always looking for people who do need it.

So basically, some different things happen in the book. So it was kind of interesting that I saw two of them right there. Anyway, I just wanted to clear it up real quick. So the second guy said, “MONEY,” and I went over there. I went directly at him.

I went into his world. I said, “Hey, do you want some bread?” He said, “Oh, okay, just one.”

So he took his bread, and he shoo’d me away. “Okay, that’s enough” I don’t know. It was kind of funny. Anyway.

I kept continuing on. But I just wanted to…. I just wanted to explain that a little bit. Okay. I hope you subscribe to the channel. If you are interested in Macau, and interested in seeing more…. Let me know.

I will put up some other videos. So, okay. Alright.

So, let’s ‘Get Sidetracked.’

Slots Casino Online Progressive Jackpots

If they turn loose, they can still try again to get a stake to win. They would do this again and again until they win and get the rewards. At the end, they would end up either unqualifiedly lost with take or have earned extraordinary amounts because of wins.

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Slots are fun and exciting, but can you develop a slots strategy? The answer is yes! The multitude of slot varieties and paytables can look confusing, so let’s break it down. Read the old-fashioned slots strategies and you will see one thing repeated over and over again: always play the maximum coins. However, this is not always the best strategy.

Slot machines are known by many names throughout the world and their extreme popularity makes slots the cornerstone gambling device of land and online casinos all over the world. Americans specifically use the term slot machine while the game is known as fruit machines throughout the UK and poker machines in Australia. The machines, as mentioned, are fully automated right now and while in years past the machines operated with a pull of the lever, many modern PayPal casinos forgo the arm and even the use of real cash and instead use a push button and paper tickets worth a player’s winnings.

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PayPal casino is a great resource for learning about online casinos and where to play free casino lot games.


Las Vegas Acommodation Options part I

Las Vegas is one of America’s most popular travel destinations and remains a strong favourite even in the face of the ongoing recession. Nearly everything in this city revolves around tourism and customer service, so visitors don’t need to work hard to arrange all the details of a fun getaway to Sin City.

With more than 130,000 rooms in Las Vegas, it’s rare to have trouble booking a room in the hotel of your choice. The Strip certainly fills up during big holidays like Memorial Day and New Year’s Eve or whenever a major prize fight or business convention comes to town. But the rest of the time, it’s a buyer’s market, especially as overall visitor numbers continue to slump.

The recent trend in the Vegas lodging sector over the past couple of years is low rate package deals and freebies. To try and keep their thousands of rooms occupied, the major hotel resorts go out of their way to woo tourists with complimentary show tickets, meal coupons and credit in their casinos. There are good savings available on multiple-night stays as well, so be sure to ask what special offers are available when making a booking.

Las Vegas accommodation is one of the biggest components of any visit to Sin City. The terms resortand hotel are used interchangeably among the big names on the Strip, but all of them boast some entertaining attractions and plenty of fun. As a general rule, a resort is a luxury, all-inclusive environment while a hotel primarily offers rooms along with basic amenities like restaurants, shows and gambling.

Choosing the best casino in Las Vegas and the right place to stay is something to carefully consider when planning a trip here. Location, budget, amenities and proximity to specific entertainment venues should dictate your choice. The majority of the world’s top 10 largest hotels are located on the Strip, which is undeniably the most entertaining and convenient part of Las Vegas to stay at. First-time Vegas visitors should not consider staying any place else.

At the top end of the budget scale are resorts like Wynn Las Vegas, Wynn Encore, Aria at City Centerand the Bellagio. Even standard rooms at these immaculate properties go for hundreds of dollars a night. But they’re well worth it considering the level of luxury, attention to service and world-class amenities. You will find incredible spa facilities, fitness centres, restaurants and nightclubs in these resorts, all of which thankfully are open to anyone willing to pay for the privilege.


Craps vs Poker

Craps – One Roll Wagers

If you play craps at online casinos, you are most likely aware that there are several different wagers that you can make. Don’t get caught up thinking that all of these wagers are something to try. Some are safer than others and some are just bad ideas altogether. Internet craps games are not necessarily difficult to navigate, but we want to point out something for you quickly here. One Roll wagers are there for those you who can’t wait for roll after roll of the dice to determine whether you win or lose. Online gaming sites just love impatient players in this respect. Don’t be one of them. Think of one roll bets as a way for you to lose your money faster. As a general rule stay clear of these bets unless you are a very seasoned player that feels this is what they must do. Here are a couple of wager examples of one roll wagers: Field wagers, Any Seven, Any Craps, Two, Twelve, Three Eleven, Craps – Eleven (Horn Bet) et. Not all of your favorite online gambling casinos provide this game and it is a great game of chance. It can be very exciting.

Turning a losing poker game into a winning one

When playing poker at the best canada online casinos, there are many things to consider in order o bring your game to a winning one. If you are losing and want to try turning your game around here are a couple of great tips for you to consider implementing into your game. First and foremost – never stay in a game when you are down too far. If you have played out your entire budget, do not stay in the game by betting additional cash you can’t afford to be playing with. Never try to win your lost money back by betting more! Instead, if you are down, but not out, try tightening up your game. Play fewer hands – look for reasons to fold instead of reasons to stay in the game. Stop playing 2nd best starting hands. You don’t win with anything but the best hand or if everyone folds. Many online players play too many hands for too long. Don’t stay in a game that you can’t win. Never try to protect the chips you have already tossed in the pot. If you are beat fold. Unless you have a sure thing, don’t keep the others in the game by slow playing, you may be beaten and lose more money. Online gambling should be entertaining but lucrative whenever possible. Change your losing game into a winning one by playing it smart.

Melt & Pour Domino Soap Tutorial

Hi, I’m Alina Tytarenko from Dobre mylo. Thanks for joining me on today’s episode. I’m going to show you how to make these adorable domino soaps using melt and pour soap.

[music] These adorable soaps are scented with a very masculine, clean fragrance called Tobacco and Bay Leaf from BrambleBerry.com. For our base, I’m going to use a combination of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour and Honey Melt and Pour. Boiling these two bases together gives me the beautiful, natural color of ivory that dominoes used to be made out of. [music] We won’t need to add any color because the combination of the Goat’s Milk and the Honey Melt and Pour produce a beautiful color on their own. But to create our black dots, I’m going to use Black Oxide.

First, disperse your Black Oxide, use 1/8th teaspoon by volume, and 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. Mix this in well, using either a spoon, or if you really want to get it super mixed in with no clumps, use a mini mixer. This will give us the perfect black.

Set your colorant to the side and now chop up 5 ounces of Honey Melt and Pour and 5 ounces of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour. Add your 5 ounces of Honey Melt and Pour and your 5 ounces of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour into a heat-safe container and melt it in the microwave on 20 or 30 second bursts. Check every 20 or 30 seconds and stir in between bursts until your soap is fully melted.

Add .1 ounce, so 1/10th ounce, of the Tobacco and Bay Leaf Fragrance Oil and give it a good stir. You want to make sure all of that fragrance oil is fully incorporated in. If it’s not, it can pit and pock mark your mold, ruining it.

Pour your melted soap base into the bottom of a Guest Square Tray Mold. Finish it off with a few bursts of rubbing alcohol to get rid of any excess bubbles that have formed. Let your soap harden up for at least 1 to 3 hours until it’s fully solid.

Take a straw, notice I’m using a slightly larger straw than your typical straw. This is about 1/2 centimeter in diameter, but you could use a traditional straw. Just push it down into your soap base and then kind of turn it while pushing it down. Pull the straw directly out. Notice a little bit of the soap comes with it.

That’s okay. And there’s a good looking cut out there. Repeat that again and again in a domino pattern. Remember that two squares make one domino, so be thinking of your pattern while you’re making your holes. This one didn’t really come out all that well. I’m just going to use this Clean Up Tool, you can get these from BrambleBerry.com, to make that a little more circular.

That looks better. Now that all the dots are made, it’s time to start pouring. Now I learned by trial and error and figured out that if I just pour the black soap now, the black soap just sort of seeps underneath that ivory layer. So, we’re going to create a seal. Melt 1 ounce of the Honey Melt and Pour Soap in the microwave. This does not take long to melt, just about 20 to 30 seconds.

Be careful, you could easily boil that soap in the microwave. Spray rubbing alcohol liberally all over your first layer. There we go and then use a dropper to just from a seal, a very small seal, in each of the dots. You’ll have most of your 1 ounce of melted melt and pour left after this. There we go, all filled up.

Now we’re ready to make our black soap. For the dots, melt 6 ounces of Honey Melt and Pour Soap in the microwave. Remember cut those up into small little bits before you melt them. Melt on 20 to 30 second bursts.

Once your soap is fully melted add 1/2 teaspoon of the dispersed Black Oxide. You can see if it’s dark enough by putting a little bit of something that’s white colored in there. Is that opaque enough?

If not you can add up to 1/4 teaspoon more of your dispersed Black Oxide. Don’t add much more than this because if you add too much of the Black Oxide, it will lather black or gray in the shower. Temperature is important. Monitor your temperature and make sure it’s around 125F to maximum 130F degrees.

If it’s much warmer than that, it will melt your first layer. Once your soap is at the right temperature, add fragrance. add .2 ounces of fragrance oil to your black soap. Spray alcohol on that layer. Spray it liberally, allow that second layer to harden.

Now melt 6 ounces of Honey Melt and Pour and 6 ounces of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour in the microwave on 20 to 30 second bursts. Stir in between bursts to make sure that the soap is melting evenly. Just like with the second layer, make sure that your temperature for this third layer is between 125F and 130F. You don’t want to accidentally melt that second layer.

Add the rest of the fragrance to this layer. Stir, stir, stir. Remember we don’t want any fragrance oil that’s not fully incorporated in. Spray alcohol on that second layer.

Spray it liberally. It will help those layers stick together. Now gently pour down the sides of the mold. For your final finishing touch, spay with alcohol and allow the soap to harden for 2 to 3 hours before you attempt to pop it out. Finishing and cutting the soap is easy. Pull gently away from the sides of the mold.

Notice the airlock is breaking. Don’t force your soap. If it’s not ready to come out, wait for another half an hour to 45 minutes.

Gently push down on the top, and there we go. Take a non-serrated knife and gently and firmly just start cutting in the areas where there are cut lines. That’s the nice thing about this mold, you don’t have to freehand anything.

Remember the dominoes are one-two squares so be thinking of your design while you’re cutting. This mold yields eight total dominoes. Once you’ve got it all cut up, your eight bars of domino soap are ready to be wrapped.

Wrap in shrink wrap or saran wrap and they’re ready to use right away or give away or sell. Until next time, thanks for joining me here. Happy soaping.

Nintendo Switch Pro Grip Elite Bundle

Today we’re finally reviewing the Pro Gaming Grip Elite Bundle by Satisfye. (techo music) Welcome to It Came From A Box this is Sergio A.M. and awhile back Satisffye sent us prototype of this grip which we checked out right before they launched on Kickstarter. Fast forward to today 18 hundred people raised over 67 thousand dollars to help make the Pro Grip a reality. The final production version is now rolling out to backers and Satisfye sent over their elite bundle for us to review which includes a custom new case specifically made for the Pro Grip. But that’s not all because we’re also giving away three of them, more on that in the end but first let’s take a look at everything inside. Lets start with the grip which you can tell is big , but works well with different hand sizes.

I have huge hands and I love it. My wife’s hands are about half the size of mine and she can still use it, but my six year old can’t really reach the buttons so it may not be kid friendly. Right away you can see and feel that it’s well constructed.

it’s very tough and rigid, not at all flimsy, and its made of a hard TPU except for the back of the grips, which are made of a non-slip rubberized TPU. Now looks can definitely be deceiving because this large grip weighs in right under five ounces, so it’s actually very light. Now attaching the switch is easy, it’s designed to perfectly fit so all you have to do is just slide it in and vice versa to remove. Inside each grip you’ll noticed a small rubber piece right in the middle and that creates a bit of friction to keep the console from wiggling around so it stays nice and secure within.

Then over to the bottom we have these hooks which hold the switch in place but can also be used as a stand so you can display your switch in this kinda cool unique way. For those wondering, no you cannot remove the joy cons to play in table-top mode because the grip is designed exclusively for hand held mode. Alright so in hand it feels very comfortable. Way better than the joycons because it keeps your hands, your wrists in a natural 35 degree angle and the rubber TPU in the back truly gives you a non-slip secure grip. And unlike other grips out there this one is A symmetrical and designed to combat the cramped position of the right joy cons analog stick. SO instead of using it with your thumb in these weird positions that hurt over time, the Pro Grip adds additional space so your thumb can land in a natural position.

This enhances the ergonomics so you can play longer and help reduce fatigue. Overall I think this grip nails everything that I’ve ever wanted in a grip. It feel amazing in hand and it gives you the ability to play longer.

So due to its large size the Pro Gaming Grip obviously won’t fit in most carrying cases, so if you plan on taking it on-the-go this is why you’ll want the elite bundle that includes the Pro Case that’s custom made to fit the grip. Before the grip Satisfye made the switch case. Very well designed, constructed, they know what they’re doing so you can trust them with this one. Similar to that case, the exterior is made of a soft textured leather that feels great in hand. We have a long and easy-to-hold rubber grip at the top and getting inside is a breeze with these smooth action zippers.

Inside right down the middle we have two flaps. Each has 10 game pockets so in total they can hold 20 games. On the back of the top flap we have a zipper compartment which is great for all those store specific cards you always forget to use, as well as secrets or other paper-like things. And the bottom flap is lined with soft microfiber to protect the console’s screen. Then at the top we have a zippered compartment that can hold all types of accessories such as: cables, adapters, or extra joy cons.

But it’s not roomy enough for something like a joy con grip or pro controller. Finally at the bottom we have a custom molded slot to fit the grips A symmetrical design along with a Velcro strap to keep it in place. But there’s more, under that we have a large slot for a battery bank.

We’re using the one by GuliKit but you can use small or larger ones as well and this elastic strap will keep it securely in place. Now included with the elite bundle is a very nice, low profile, braided, 2.4 amp, USBA to USBC cable. And unlike the official cable this one works specifically with the height of the grip , either standing or in the case so you can charge on-the-go.

Very awesome feature. Overall a fantastic case, well designed with great materials that suits this grip perfectly. Now the last thing are these tiny things and these are thumb pads. We mentioned thumb pads before, they come in all shapes, sizes and materials. And personally we do find that they can enhance the use of the analog sticks.

You get four. They’re con caved with the Satisfye logo in the middle and they have these little ridges on the sides which helps keep your finger in place. So a nice little addition that can help improve the analog sticks while also protecting them. So if you’re someone who’s experienced any fatigue while playing the switch like we have, or if your looking to enhance the ergonomics to get a better grip on the console, you owe it to yourself to check out the Satisfye Pro Gaming Grip. We love it here which is why we spoke with them and they agreed to send out three elite bundles for a giveaway.

To enter, first subscribe, it helps us grow so we can continue to make videos like these and hopefully one day do this full time. Second, comment below and let us know why you need the Pro Gaming Grip with the hashtag Satisfye. Three weeks later, we’ll choose and announce the winners on Twitter but there’s a catch.

Winners will receive the elite bundles around mid October, after Satisfye completes all of their Kickstarter orders because it’s only fair. Alright so you heard why we love it, let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, now that we have our hands on some of the most popular Nntendo switch grips out there, we’ll be doing a massive comparison of all of them.

So subscribe and ding the bell to stay notified. Once again this is Sergio A.M. and I’ll see you for the next box. Thank you so much for watching. If you like this video and wanna help us out, you can do so by clicking that thumbs up button and while you’re at why not subscribe for more content. It’s free! We also love to hear you out so please leave a comment down below or talk with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

I’m Sergio A.M. and I’ll see you for the next box.

Next-Gen Gaming

More than anything else, gameplay graphics that approach real-world, life-like fidelity elicits a huge “wow” expression from the gamer, so realism is the first criterion. Next, since there are more ways to create impressive graphics than with photorealism, art direction and aesthetics will be taken into consideration. Finally, to appreciate what goes on behind the scenes, graphical technology will play a factor in game ranking. There were a lot of hard decisions, especially near the top of the countdown.

Oftentimes, however, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so there is room for discussion and debate of the rankings. After watching this video, let me know your thoughts about what games were too high on the countdown, what games were too low, and what games weren’t included but should have been. Now, let’s shift gears, and speed into game number 10. Racing games aren’t generally known for their graphics, as the genre isn’t as popular as more mainstream genres like shooters and action games. Nonetheless, Grid: Autosport, a PC exclusive title, delivers the best graphics out of any racing title. The game released with a free high resolution texture pack download, bringing your car textures to 4k resolution.

There are advanced lighting, shadowing, and reflection graphical effects such as global illumination and ambient occlusion, that apply not only to cars and the racing circuit, but also to the backdrop scenery. You will probably crash a few times because you were looking at the scenery instead of focusing on the race. Car damage is realistic and highly detailed, and how smoke billows from burning rubber and dirt kicks up as you skid across grass is well executed.

Other racing games have crowds and foliage that look like cardboard cutouts. Grid, on the other hand, has crowd models that could pass for NPC characters in console versions of Watch Dogs. The biggest criticism I have for Grid’s graphics are the car interiors are very plain and less pleasing to look at than other parts of the game. Racing purists might find Grid’s gameplay subpar, but visually, Grid is an excellent choice for a sim setup.

Gamers with multimonitor setups should definitely give Grid a try in Nvidia Surround or AMD Eyefinity. Project CARS, releasing later in 2014, will attempt to dethrone Grid for best graphics in a racing game, but for now, Grid:Autosport, accelerates into 10th place on the countdown. While Rome 2 Total War, may not look as good as many other games when compared on a pixel-to-pixel level, the scale of what the game accomplishes visually is nothing short of astounding. The game renders literally thousands of units on the battlefield, all of which are individually detailed and have their individual physics. The battles are massive with a cinematic scale, and you can zoom in to focus on unit-to-unit warfare. The game launched with a lot of technical problems, including lack of multi-gpu support, but many patches have allowed the game to run a lot more smoothly.

Real-time strategy is a genre that has diminished relative to MOBA-style strategy, but Rome 2: Total War shows that the genre has unfathomable limits in what it can accomplish technically. Rome 2: Total War, commands 9th place on the countdown. When I released my best graphics countdown in 2013, there was, putting it mildly, an uproar from the Playstation community when I didn’t include “The Last of Us.” In all honesty, there was no justifiable reason to include a title that ran at 720p and 30 frames per second in the same countdown as games like Battlefield 3. Developers face an uphill battle when designing games for consoles due to hardware limitations. Naughty Dog is one of the better console exclusive developers, because of their dedication to optimizing their game engine for PlayStation hardware. With the improved hardware of the PlayStation 4, Naughty Dog finally gets the opportunity to release the game the way it should be played.

“The Last of Us: Remastered” for the PlayStation 4 runs at a rock-solid 1080p, 60 frames per second. Taking place after the world is ravaged by a rapidly spreading infection from the cordyceps fungus, the game follows Joel and Ellie as they travel across the remains of the United States, trying to survive and hold on to the last remnants of humanity as they know it. The narrative is compelling, and the accompanying gameplay is just as enticing.

There are brutally violent moments, but the violence in “The Last of Us” is fitting and representative of the undertone. Post-apocalyptic America is hauntingly portrayed. The destroyed environments evoke empathy for the characters and their situation.

Naughty’s Dog’s artists outdid themselves in designing the environment. Realism in graphics is achieved by meticulous attention to detail. Character movements and animations are created through motion capture technology. Even with lower quality textures and less advanced graphical technology than PC games, “The Last of Us” manages to let the gamer suspend disbelief and truly immerse themselves in the world through convincing character movements and unimaginably detailed environmental design. “The Last of Us: Remastered”, stabs its way into 8th place on the countdown.

Another console exclusive game, “Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes”, is less of a game, and more of a tech demo for Konami Fox Engine, but that doesn’t mitigate the impressiveness of the game’s visuals. The game runs at 1080p, 60 frames per second. As a PC gamer, the game’s graphics surpassed my expectations of what the PS4 could accomplish. The game takes place during the height of the Cold War, and as Big Boss, you infiltrate an American black site in Cuba to rescue two prisoners. One of my favorite actors, Kiefer Sutherland, who many of you know as Jack Bauer, plays Big Boss, and does the voice acting and motion capture. The animations have an extra layer of convincingness due to the utility of motion capture technology.

The texture quality is nothing to scoff at and the graphics have excellent high performance antialiasing. The game’s director, Hideo Kojima, has quite the ego, but he also has a perfectionist drive to match. For Metal Gear Solid 5, he will oversee every possible detail of the gameplay and graphics until it meets the lofty standards he set. If you are an aficionado of high quality gaming graphics, Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes is definitely a game to tide you over until Metal Gear Solid 5 releases with the Fox Engine running in full gear.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes infiltrates into 7th place on the countdown. Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel game to the much venerated Arkham series of Batman games. Unlike many of the other action heroes on this countdown, Batman has no need for weapons as crude and uncouth as guns, and dispatches enemies his fists and sophisticated gadgetry. The gameplay is classic Batman: strike from the shadows.

The fighting controls are tight, combos are satisfying to execute, and the combat flows like choreography. Arkham Origins gives you an open world to explore as you exact vigilante justice on common thugs and supervillains such as the Penguin. Arkham Origins’ visuals are not as realism inspired as many other games on this countdown.

Instead, the art design is modeled after comic books. The game does look like a comic book coming to life, which gives it a uniqueness advantage over almost all mainstream titles. The PC version of the game is rife with advanced graphical technology. Nvidia’s gpu accelerated PhysX allows for dynamic smoke and Batman’s cape physics.

Nvidia’s TXAA technology allows for efficient, high quality anti-aliasing, and realistic shadows are rendered via advanced horizon based ambient occlusion. Although many critics panned the gameplay for being too similar to previous games in the series, Arkham Origins is still a very welcome breath of fresh air compared to the oversaturation of the triple A gaming market with shooter after shooter. Batman: Arkham Origins dive-bombs into 6th place on the countdown.

Sam Fisher appears to be pulling a Benjamin Button, becoming more agile and physically capable as he ages. The first of many UbiSoft games on this year’s countdown, Splinter Cell: Blacklist is the latest game that follows Fisher and the Fourth Echelon Team, now independent of all government ties save for the President. Much like Batman, Sam Fisher operates from shadow to shadow, his presence little more than that of a ghost.

Blacklist allows the gamer to play with conventional stealth tactics, or run and gun. Returning from Splinter Cell Conviction is the mark and execute feature, which allows for quick dispatching of multiple targets. In a game where shadow and light are life and death, respectively, it is fitting that the shadowing and lighting effects are some of the best in gaming. Although Blacklist was developed from a rather old engine, Unreal Engine 3, modern Nvidia technology has allowed the graphics, much like Sam Fisher, to look a generation younger.

Nvidia’s advanced horizon based ambient occlusion creates realistic environments, and TXAA polishes jagged edges around geometry. Like the 2nd best game on last year’s countdown, Metro: Last Light, Blacklist includes a very underappreciated gameplay feature that has been present since the first Splinter Cell: You have the ability to shoot out lights to create your own shadows and paths around enemies. Motion capture based animations add to the realism of character movements, and stealth takedowns are more satisfying ever. Splinter Cell: Blacklist strangles its way into 5th place on the countdown. For the second Ubisoft game on the countdown, the Assassins take to the high seas as pirates in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. You play as Edward Kenway, grandfather of Connor Kenway, the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed 3.

The waters of the Caribbean Islands are open for you to pillage and plunder as you see fit. If you were to break down the graphical analysis at a microscopic level, the game may not overwhelm, but as a whole, the visuals are stunning. You have large cityscapes to traverse, and the series’ sheer verticality is unmatched.

The game is rife with Nvidia graphical technologies. Advanced Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion and Global Illumination contribute to realism in scenery lighting, and TXAA returns as an efficient form of antialiasing. GPU accelerated PhysX makes for dynamic particle and smoke effects, increasing the intensity and immersion of gunfights with black powder weaponry. Naval battles are epic engagements, especially when multiple factions are involved. The game provides near-endless secrets to discover, treasures to uncover, vistas to observe.

Visiting Nassau in the game is the next best thing to visiting Nassau in real life. A strong entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise of games, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag does a leap of faith into 4th place on the countdown. As the third consecutive Ubisoft game on the countdown, Watch_Dogs received a lot of prerelase controversy because the final release graphics on consoles did not remotely resemble the graphics of the game build Ubisoft had shown at gaming press conferences.

Nonetheless, the PC version of the game does have easily accessible game files that recreates the splendored graphics in the demo build. The game takes place in a near future imagining of Chicago, where all electronics are connected via a central operating system, or ctOS. You play as Aiden Pearce, a skilled hacker who takes advantage of the communications hyperconnectivity to complete objectives. WIth control of the city’s infrastructure, you can manipulate traffic lights to cause accidents, rupture pipelines, control bridges, and even cause blackouts.

Watch_Dogs features best the implementation of Nvidia’s graphical lightning technologies of any game, and this allows for creating high fidelity scenes of nighttime Chicago. The game looks even more realistic during rainy weather scenes, as the reflections are extremely high quality and add to the visual realism. The geometry shaders are first-rate, the long draw distances are impressive, and the depth of field gives additional substance to each scene. The reason Watch_Dogs did not make the finals of this countdown are that smaller details, such as weapon and npc character models, do not have the same level of polish as the rest of the world. Regardless, Watch_Dogs is an immersive graphical experience.

There are hours of gameplay to be found just walking around, ignoring missions to look at the expertly crafted virtual landscape. Watch_Dogs hacks into 3rd place on the countdown. The runner up in this year’s best graphics countdown, ArmA 3 is a game that prides itself on being the most true-to-life combat experience that you can have sitting behind a monitor in an air-conditioned bedroom. Everything about the game tries to be as realistic as possible, and realistic visuals definitely help in the immersion.

Sandbox mode allows you to play on the island of Altis, with an area of 270 square kilometers in which to roam around. All the character models, weapon models, structures, vehicles, and vegetations are meticulously designed. The ArmA 3 engine, Virtual Reality by Bohemia Interactive, is a technological marvel, allowing for sophisticated graphical effects and some of the longest draw distances in all of gaming. The game engine was created with modder resources in mind, so some of the weaker textures can be further improved upon.

ArmA 3 was not optimized, meaning poor framerate performance with low system resource usage, so it takes a strong PC to be able to run the game at its high graphical settings. Even then, the game was designed with longevity in mind, and the graphics will continue to impress well into the future as technology evolves and gamers are better able to run the game with playable framerates. ArmA 3 scotches to 2nd place on the countdown.

Winning the top spot on this year’s countdown, Battlefield 4 is the benchmark by which all other games’ graphics are compared. Every gameplay moment plays out like a set-piece in a Michael Bay movie. The Frostbite 3 engine enables unparalleled environment destructibility, even allowing for an entire skyscraper to collapse.

Destruction is not just eye candy: you can destroy or create cover to generate choke points for a tactical advantage. Battles take place on very diverse settings, from snowy mountains to urban jungles, and from islands to deserts. No two battles play out in the same way, because of how many unique ways you can destroy the environment. The textures are polished and models are detailed. Ambient occlusion technology allows for realistically lighted scenes. The maps are large, with long draw distances that make extreme range sniping very satisfying.

With high-speed low-drag gameplay that matches the graphical intensity, Battlefield 4 jihads into 1st place on the countdown. This concludes my 2014 countdown of the best graphics in video games. You could have been watching any of the millions of other gaming videos on YouTube, but instead you’re here, listening to my semi-coherent droning. I really appreciate your time on my videos. Be sure to leave a comment on your choices for what games on the countdown were too high or too low, and what games you would have included instead, and be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss next year’s countdown.

My name’s David, and I’ll see you next video.

Why Fighting Games Are Hard

One thing you hear constantly about fighting games, is that they’re hard which is often cited as the reason for why there aren’t more people playing them. But I don’t think the problem is that newcomers can’t win I mean, this is my cousin playing Ultra Street Fighter 4 for the first time on the hardest setting with two minutes of coaching. He beat the game in ten minutes on his first try getting multiple “perfects” on the way, and thought it was really easy Okay, obviously the enjoyment he’s going to get out of the game using the lariat trick is going to be very limited and beating the CPU is about as gratifying as cooking instant Ramen. He needs a human opponent, because in fighting games, it takes two to tango, right? So I coached my girlfriend for two minutes, and had her play him.

He won again… but still no satisfaction. This all probably seems really silly, but the point I want to make is that when people say fighting games are hard, they mean it’s hard to get to a high enough level to enjoy the game, not necessarily hard to win. But what’s making it hard to get to that level, and what can be done about it?

The first thing people mention is the execution. And it’s true; execution can be very difficult, whether it’s a special move, or a combo. In fighting games that run at 60 frames per second (FPS) there are often what’s known as one-frame links, which means you have a 60th of a second window to time a hit. Not even the best players in the world are able to land these all the time, and missing them can cost you the game.

But because these one-frame links are so hard, newer games like Street Fighter Five (SFV) are widening the window to a minimum of three-frame links, which is around a 32nd note at 150 bpm for you musicians out there \m/ This is much more doable, and without too much practice, most people should be able to nail this most of the time. Great, right? Personally, I think we can keep the one-frame links, as long as they’re not mandatory to get great at the game.

In basketball, 3-pointers are hard to nail, but Shaquille O’Neal is still a legend, while having one of the worst 3-point records in NBA history. If we remove the 3-point line entirely, because people thought it was too hard, then we wouldn’t have moments like these. I don’t think difficult execution is a problem, as long as it’s not required to be good at the game.

Take Ryu’s Solar Plexus move, for example. The easiest thing to do is mash into Dragon Punch, which has a large input window. But if you want that extra damage, you can add an extra hit with a one-frame link. The key here is that you can choose between the easy… …and the hard combo.

Daigo Umehara mostly goes for the harder combo, and Alex Valle, not as much. But both are great players. I hate doing one-frame links as much as the next guy, but I like them there as an option. But what about the fundamental aspects of the game, that define the difficulty of the entry barrier? I’m talking about special moves, blocking, throwing, and things that most fighters share. Well, there seems to be two approaches to this. The first is to go here: https://casinoslots-ie.com/

One, is to simplify the moves. The free-to-play PC game Rising Thunder (RIP), has made all special moves available at the touch of a button, but my favorite idea that helps newcomers in this game, is the ability to choose between an advanced attack-canceling system known as Kinetic Advance, and a simpler option of Kinetic Deflect, which gets you out of a combo by pressing two buttons at once, which is easy to do and gets newbies out of the frustrating situation of watching their character get their ass beaten for ten seconds straight. These measures have definitely gotten some of my friends into the game, who otherwise wouldn’t have.

But I noticed a lot of people were still getting frustrated by classic shenanigans, like tick throws and spamming fireballs. So while simplification is one method of drawing people in, Education, is the other. But this is another huge topic, that has many approaches. Personally, I think a well-made video with clear explanations can help a lot. Thankfully, there are more great resources out there than ever before, and most I’ve seen are made by fans of the game. As great as all this user-made content is, I’d also love to see game companies make some official videos that are linked to the game’s tutorial modes.

Speaking of tutorial modes, the show Extra Credits has suggested improving tutorial systems, and had some interesting ideas on using the single-player mode to do so: Dan: You could do things to make players more aware of how to use these concepts, things like, having the game go into slow motion with a big, “REVERSAL OPPORTUNITY” flashing on the screen when this concept is introduced. Gerald: but more than anything, I think they inadvertently illustrated the biggest reason why fighting games are so hard to enjoy for new people. Dan: The thing to recognize, is that fighting games will never reach the audience they could until they do more to help people get to the level where they can experience real, fighting game, play.

Gerald: This mentality of “you game companies better help us get good or you won’t get as many sales,” fails to understand that getting to high-level play is up to the player, NOT the game companies. I mean, Capcom made an inflation-adjusted amount of 3.5 billion dollars on Street Fighter II, without any tutorial mode, or even a training mode. Dan: Fighting games need to move past being an informational brick wall, and instead, graduate their new players from the “button masher” to the type of player who can think through the problems that a fighting game presents. I propose that single-player is the best place to do this, it being the safest space in the game outside the pressures of competition or other people. Gerald: I’m all for better teaching tools within the game, but you’re not getting to high-level play by doing multiple-choice quizzes in single-player mode, and that’s BECAUSE it’s the safest place in the game. The reason why I think it’s so hard to get to that satisfying, high level of play in fighting games, is because you have to get out of your comfort zone, and get bodied by real people over and over again.

I mean, you’re playing a one-on-one game, where you’re represented by a character on the screen, who screams in agony when you fail to block, and no one is there to help you. There’s no save-and-reload feature, there are no teammates to share the blame, and when you lose, the game will write a personal message for you in huge letters, and an announcer will read it out loud. As a bonus, in Mortal Kombat, you get to watch your character die a horrible death, which happened because YOU failed to defend yourself. Then, in order to improve, you have to watch yourself losing all over again in a replay, to find out what you did wrong. And on the journey to getting good at the game, real people will insult you for losing, hate you for winning, tell you to quit, and sooner or later, you’re going to get taunted and “perfected” by a young kid, and when you have an emotional reaction to that, you’ll be told to man up by an old-school veteran, who has knife wounds from winning too much in SFII in the 90’s at his local liquor store. Okay, now I’m exaggerating.

But the point is, no amount of simplifying gameplay and tutorials are going to prevent these kind of things from happening, and in this light, it’s understandable why it’s so hard to get into fighting games. Being salty is not a great feeling, but you can’t avoid it any more than you can avoid falling when learning how to skateboard. Now, I’ve painted a pretty grim picture of fighting games, so I want to say that the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and that winning the right game can vindicate all the frustration you’ve been feeling up to that point, and it’s something you can be proud of. When you “level up” in a fighting game, the attributes that improve your play are stored in your own brain, not on some server run by a giant game publisher. There’s a unique satisfaction you get from beating an opponent you couldn’t beat before, or beating someone you were expected to lose to.

As a matter of fact, beating the right person at the right time can start your fighting game career, or at least make you famous as the guy who beat so-and-so. Because matches can be over so quickly in fighting games, the potential for blow-ups and upsets are high, and when they happen, it gets hype as hell. [speakers disintegrating] But there’s a trade-off: Whenever there’s a hype moment, there’s going to be a very salty player at the receiving end, which, to be philosophical, completes the Yin and Yang.

So even though learning to get good can be discouraging at times, it’s part of the journey, and the vast majority of the people I’ve met, online or in-person, have been really supportive, and sometimes, you’ll even have players fighting to teach newcomers how to play the game, which is pretty fitting for this ridiculously competitive community. Let me know what you think is the hardest thing about fighting games in the comments, and subscribe for more videos like this. Thanks for watching, and seriously, thanks for helping me get to 10,000 subs. See you guys after SFV comes out.

The Glamorous Life of a Pro Gambler

Just imagine living in this 15 million dollar home. You’re paid a steady salary, supported by a whole team of staff whose sole purpose is to get you to play at your best. Alright fellas, let’s go. And if you don’t perform, you’re cut from the team.

Here we go, round three, round three. Keep it going, no breaks. If you think this sounds like the life of a pro athlete, you’d be right, kind of. Stop your bitchin’. It’s the life of the sports player of the future, lived by the lucky few today. As technology replaces old jobs, it’s also creating new ones.

I’m Aki Ito, and I’m here to show you the jobs of the future. My name is Michael Schmale, I’m a professional gamer at this website http://casino-games.my/list-of-online-casino-games/. For someone who’s uneducated in the e-sports scene and doesn’t understand how it works, the way I would describe it is, it’s kind of similar to a professional athlete. It’s a lot of preparation, hard work, and team effort. I think one guy’s above me. Nah, trust me, he’s not.

Ghost Gaming pays players like Mike to compete in video game battles. And yes, that is a real job now. More people watch video games than Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, and HBO put together. And e-sports is already a billion dollar industry. (upbeat, energetic music) That’s how Ghost can afford to shower players with all kinds of perks, like this team house. It’s a ten bed, 16 bath mansion overlooking Hollywood.

And it houses 10 players at a time, all in their late teens and early 20s. So when most people just take a quick look at the house we’re living in, it’s a bunch of teenagers, and it’s a lot of us, so you would think it’s rowdy, we’re just reckless, but we’re professional e-sports players. Here’s the day of a professional gamer.

I wake up nine, 9:30, breakfast. Chest up, chest up, let’s go. 11 a.m., we have workouts. That lasts for an hour to an hour and a half. There you go Mike, push it straight into the ground. Eight, nine and ten.

After we do that, we hit the film session, and we watch film on other teams to see what they do. Just taking his time, make sure you guys take your time, you don’t need to be fancy with it, just need to make sure to hit the shots you need to hit. Oh man, after lunch, we play from 1:30 to 7:30.

One’s gonna be, ladder, ladder, ladder, problem. Bomb is really one shot. Oh my god, push that, one got pushed up.

And that’s just a long grind of playing against other talented teams. (gasping) Good job. We play from lunch to dinner. We have a wild lobster with chive butter.

I put it on Twitter. How you doin’, Mike? It’s amazing.

Mike’s been playing video games since he was five, but when his parents got divorced, that’s when he really buckled down on gaming. I would just get in my desk, turn my game on. It’s like I would disappear and go into another world and forget about all that. When he was 13, Mike qualified in the pro-league of the popular video game, Call of Duty. He became the youngest professional player in the game. When I first walked into the event, I was just amazed and just fell in love with it.

That’s when I knew this is what I wanted to do. That conversation with his parents, telling them he was pursuing a career as a professional video gamer, well, imagine your kid telling you that. There was a lot of arguments and late nights.

But Mike promised to put school first, and his parents eventually came around. Well, as a single parent, it wasn’t easy. In my mind, I really couldn’t foresee it as a career, but we were at the mall and some young boy came up to Mike and he said, “Excuse me, are you SpaceLy?” And Mike said, “Yeah,” he goes, “Can I have your autograph?”

And I started to cry, and I’m like, “This is crazy.” I’m like, “He recognized you, Mike?” And that was instrumental for me, as well, realizing how this has taken off. I started earning money at these tournaments after my third local event.

That was like one of the best feelings ever, being able to go home and like, “Look, Mom, look, Dad. “Today I got paid for playing.” I wasn’t just wasting my time, and I wasn’t just making up stories and fairytales just so I could play video games more. Mike didn’t wanna discuss his contract, but when he joined Ghost, it was reported that he and his teammates shared a 50,000 dollar signing bonus and were each offered a 4,000 dollar months’ salary. On top of all that, Mike also earns money on the side. Fans pay to watch him play on the popular streaming site, Twitch, and he also sells his own line of apparel.

That all makes for a pretty good living by the standards of any 20 year old, but it’s even better when you consider that almost all of his expenses, from his rent to his food to his training to his gaming related travel, is all paid for, which leaves a lot of room for shopping. Can I take them off? Sure.

Alright, we got the Yeezys, moon rocks. I’ve been a fan of shoes forever, so there’s a lot of times where I spend an insane amount of money on shoes. But like professional sports, gaming is not a life long career, and there’s a ton of turnover too. Three months after I met Mike, Ghost dropped him from the team, and he’s now back home in New Jersey. This sounds very tragic and could nearly end a player’s career, but this is a very common thing in the scene. And players get released and switched around all the time.

My advice to young gamers that wanna play professionally, you gotta stay patient, you gotta stay dedicated and understand that it’s gonna take sacrifice because there’s always another person out there trying to take that spot. But I don’t have any plans to give up the gaming career. I’m gonna bounce back from this and make my mom and dad proud.

FunFair co-founder Jez San explains what is Funfair and how it’s helping online casinos🎲

I’m Jezz San I’m one of the founders of FunFair, which is a gaming technology. Company based in London, FunFair, has created technology that empowers casino operators to offer a fair game. So it’s powered by the blockchain and smart contracts and it’s the first time that we’ve been able to build a casino gaming system, a platform that literally runs on the blockchain and doesn’t require any servers. One of the problems we’re solving is the trust problem that many players don’t want to trust, leaving money in a casino or believe that they’re going to be cheated and even though the cases of people actually being cheated is very low, because there is a trust issue.

The market is limited in its size by the number of people willing to participate in it, so we believe by creating technology that guarantees a fair game and also does it very efficiently, so that casino operators have good margins. We believe that we can have an expanded market. We believe we can offer the player benefits the operator benefits, even the regulators and affiliates get something out of it, And how does your technology do that?

So it does that. Firstly, we’ve built the games to run in smart contracts on the blockchain, and then we’ve also built a scaling technology that we call fate channels and that allows transactions to run really fast, which allows players to play games at the speed. That is fun because, right now the blockchain is quite slow and can be overloaded at times and that wouldn’t be a fun experience for players. If, if the games they played were slowed down by the blockchain, so we have technology that takes the games off chain lets them run really fast and then goes back to the chain to do settlement.

So what is your transaction rate? We can do thousands of transactions? A second and it could scale much faster than that, and it does that by opening the transaction on the blockchain and putting bringing deposits onto the blockchain, and then it can play as many games as it wants off chain. And then it goes back to the blockchain. To settle so there’s really no limit to the number of transactions per second, and this is all running on today’s Ethereum we’re not waiting for a future version.

Las Vegas Acommodation Options part II

Few people can realistically afford five nights at the Wynn Las Vegas, but it’s definitely worth setting some extra cash aside for a meal or a couple of drinks in one of the restaurants or bars of one of the posh resorts. The casinos in the top-end resorts are light years ahead of the gambling dens of the cheaper hotel, but the tables have pretty high minimum bets. If nothing else, plan to spend some time exploring the luxury resorts on the Strip to admire the beauty and style.

Most of the leading hotels and resorts on the Strip are clustered towards the southern end of the four-mile street. Every one has a theme, from the urban setting of New York New York to the Roman chic at Caesar’s Palace. The majority of mid-range accommodation on the Strip is upwards of US$100 a night. It’s good value considering the central location, which offers easy walking access to most of the attractions. Budget rooms are best found at hotels like Circus Circus, but you’ll have to settle for a location at the very end of the Strip, far from the action.

If staying right on the Strip isn’t a priority, there are plenty of off-Strip hotels just a block or two back that offer excellent value. Massive casino hotels such as the Hard Rock, the Rio and the Palms are great properties that offer a full range of amenities with slightly less crowds and at slightly lower prices. Many repeat visitors to Vegas choose to stay off the Strip.

Downtown Las Vegas offers another cluster of accommodation with a completely different atmosphere. This is the original gambling centre of Vegas, so its hotels are noticeably older and far less flashy. That’s not to say they are bad, dirty or dangerous. In fact, a lot of frequent visitors to Vegas prefer the Downtown district because it has a more authentic local feel and not nearly as much fluffy overt tourism as the Strip. Room rates here are significantly lower than on the Strip, yet it’s still a breeze to get back to the Strip in minutes using the public buses or taxis.

Adventurous travellers or culture junkies may be interested in the last bastion of small motels that hides away between the behemoth resorts along side streets between the Strip and Downtown. Cheap and usually a bit shabby around the edges, these old-school motels are where the real characters hang out. These neighbourhoods are a bit seedy and even potentially dangerous after dark, so caution is advised.

Las Vegas Entertainment part II

One of the positive changes in Vegas’ attitude towards shows is a substantial increase in live music and bands, especially rock and indie. Nearly every band and singer on tour in the US will make a stop at Sin City, playing at the Sam Boyd Stadium, the House of Blues or one of the larger resort theatres. While headliners still sign on for two-year engagements, it’s now common to find bands rolling through for a couple of nights.

In fact, many shows in Vegas are overtly sexual and not really suitable for kids. Be sure to check into this before bringing your 10 year old to Treasure Island’s Pirate performance. Sexy shows aren’t limited to male audiences in affirmative action Las Vegas. Adonis-like men and their ripped abs remind us what we’ll never have in shows like Thunder Down Under from Australia.

The Cirque du Soleil shows, although expensive, are worth every penny. The Bellagio’s O and MGM Grand’s KA are both absolutely stunning productions featuring impossible acrobatics and surreal musical themes. There are five other Cirque shows with a focus on music, sexuality and circus acts.

Magicians and comedians are another mainstay of the Las Vegas show circuit and performing here is something of a right of passage for any self-respecting entertainer. Illusionists like David Copperfield are still regular features, though Criss Angel’s Believe at the Luxor is impressive. For a more classic magic show, you can’t beat Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo.

The jokes roll out every night around the Strip, from the intelligent comedy of Penn and Teller at Rio to the magical leanings of Mac King at Harrah’s. You’d almost expect to see superstars like Cher and Bette Midler playing Vegas, and indeed these two divas are in long engagements at Caesar’s Palace.

At the fringe of Vegas showmanship are unique performances like the Blue Man Group, currently at the Venetian, and Broadway-style shows like the Lion King at Mandalay Bay. Jersey Boys and Phantom are two other long-lived popular musicals still running at the Venetian.

There are a handful of afternoon shows, mainly showcasing magic and comedy with a youthful and elderly audience in mind. These early shows are cheaper than evening performances but are just as good. Check out the magic of Dirk Arthur at the Tropicana or the illusions of Nathan Burton at the Flamingo.

Las Vegas Entertainment part I

It’s never a problem finding a show in Las Vegas. The only concerns are whether it’s already sold out and whether you can afford a ticket. This is a city that literally plugs itself in after dark and doesn’t even shift into third gear until after midnight. If you’re not a night owl, you had better take a nap in the afternoon so that you can really experience the fun side of Vegas.

Taking in a show is a fundamental component to any Las Vegas holiday. There are dozens to choose from all along the Strip and around town, ranging from major headliners to struggling lounge acts. Entertainment is the fuel that keeps Vegas running, so you’ll never have to worry about boredom after dark.

Every hotel in town has at least one dedicated lounge that usually hosts live music of some kind. But the free-wheeling days of Sinatra and Sammy are long gone, and the hotel lounge has been largely relegated to the bottom drawer. Occasionally you’ll stumble across a decent singer or act but for the most part, this is free entertainment. Hunting for the worst lounge act can be a fun adventure in itself, as kitsch is still king in Vegas.

The current trend of Las Vegas shows is away from home-grown talent and towards major stars and big-time productions. Any show worth seeing is going to have a recognisable headliner and a production like something from Broadway or the movie lot. Unfortunately, this means ticket prices are accordingly expensive. While it’s still possible to catch a decent show for a reasonable price, the cheap shows pale in comparison to the surreal magic of the likes of Cirque du Soleil.

The shows in Las Vegas offer assigned seating or have a maitre d’. It’s highly suggested to make reservations or purchase tickets well in advance of any show, especially if it is a weekend night or one of the more popular productions. A tip for the maitre d’ is the best (and perhaps only) way to get a really good seat if not pre-arranged. You can easily find the details of every show in town online.


The Direction You Take

With knowledge of the Game, there are many instances where theory becomes a big part of a decision, especially with hands that can be affected by the richness or poorness of a deck.

For instance, two strong Blackjack players can have different theories about doubling down with a 5-3 (8) against the dealer’s up card of 5. The percentage difference between doubling and not doubling and not doubling is very close, and changes after the completion of each hand. So, valid theories among experienced players can vary.

Not so with Money Management. Your bankroll determines the amount you bet. And you must decide beforehand a win and loss percentage to tell you exactly when to leave a table.

If you can’t manage your money, and refuse to learn how, you’ll have absolutely no direction in a casino. You’ll have no goal set for yourself; no idea of when to quit a table or even when to leave the casino for the day.

I won’t say one part of the BIG 4 is more important than the others. They’re all too important and none can be ignored if you are to be a consistent winner. But I do know that more people lack Money Management than lack knowledge of the Game.

People I speak with are widespread in their skill levels when it comes to playing Blackjack. Some are very good, some good, most poor. But there is a respectable percentage that has a fair knowledge of the game.

Money Management is a much different story. It’s quite rare that I meet someone with a bona fide, dynamite method. Almost no one has a permanent system to follow.

All signals to the dealer regarding hitting, staying, or splitting and doubling down, are done with movements of your hand or by placing additional chips in front of your cards. Also, don’t touch your bet once it has been made!

If you touch your cards or bet, the dealer will give you a polite warning. Perhaps he’ll give you two polite warnings. Beyond that, you’re exceeding your quota. Don’t force the dealer to scold you a third time; you’ll make him angry.

Nobody likes an angry dealer.

If you are a smoker, show consideration for the people next to you by asking their permission to smoke. If they object, don’t smoke or go where you can. Some casinos now have smoking and no smoking tables, so take note of which one you’re at.

Don’t carry on unnecessary conversations. It’s distracting to other players. Besides, it’s extremely difficult to chatter and concentrate on your cards at the same time. What do you want to be? A socializer or a smart player?

Don’t be a cry baby.

Don’t ask for the waitress every two or three minutes.

In general, don’t be a nuisance. Acquire the conduct and class that will make you welcome in the casinos.