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Avery Cardoza's Casino

23 May 1997

If you're a student of gambling, you likely have heard of Avery Cardoza. He's built a solid reputation as a strategist and mathematical probabilities expert. Now, he's hit the computer age running with his CD-Rom, Avery Cardoza's Casino.

You can have fun playing and learn in a 3-D casino environment populated with the sites and sounds of casino tables and dealers.

You'll find six basic games with variations for each totaling 65 different gaming options. Keno, roulette, and craps are basic, but the blackjack table allows for one-, two-, four-, or six-deck play. Slots and video poker machines offer a wide range of choices. You'll find the glitz of Vegas with names like Aladdin's Lamp, Pirate's Plunder, and Cherry Slam. Video poker machines can accommodate bets ranging from $1 to $100. Several machines additionally offer progressives.

If you want the 15MB installation, the games load individually--and slowly (sometimes nearly a minute with a 4x CD-ROM drive). The full 330MB installation is your best option if you want to really play.

While Cardoza is shooting for realism, his graphics don't do his content justice. They seem extremely primitive and not up to the other qualities of the program. Dealers shuffle, deal, and talk to you. The blackjack dealer, for example, adds lively patter with an emphatic "Bust!" when you lose a hand, or "Hello?" when a player stalls too long.

Just like in the casino, keno, like runs continuously so you can pick your numbers, and begin playing in the casino or move from one game to another while you check back on the keno results later. For those who are analysis nuts, the casino tracks up to 100,000 hands played.

Push the Ask Expert button and it's like you've got Cardoza right at the table with you. Numbers junkies will appreciate the analysis of mathematical odds for any situation in any game.

Just in case you need a break from the screen, you can peruse the 165-page manual bundled with the software. It covers how to use the program, game rules and lots of strategy information.

Built for Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, it lists at $49.95 and can be found at www.cardozaent.com.

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