Put Your Money Where Your Mouse Is
If you love to gamble but love keeping your money even more, Reel Deal Casino Gold Rush is for you. It has the perfect mix of slots, card games, horse racing and even a sports book. Part of a series of casino games by Phantom EFX that forms one mega-casino if you own them all, Gold Rush offers plenty to do, but the sports book is the real star.
When you play online, live odds on actual games stream on the big board, so if something happens to a star quarterback, the odds change instantly. Updated sports news scrolls across the bottom of the screen as well. When the Washington Redskins were a 16-point underdog against New England recently, I put $200 virtual dollars on the Skins. All they had to do was beat the spread. (They didn't, losing 52-7.) You can also bet on NCAA football, Major League Baseball, the NHL, WNBA and the Arena and Canadian football leagues.
Gold Rush also includes several table games, such as blackjack, baccarat and slots. My favorite slot game is Medieval Money; you can trigger a special mini-game that lets you shoot cannons at an enemy castle, earning coins for knocking down walls.
As you play, you earn experience levels. You can use your status and winnings to buy into tournaments, pay for a hotel suite for private games or buy fun gadgets in a virtual shopping mall. If you lose money, you can borrow from the house until you get back on your feet, though you will earn experience at half-speed while in debt.
You can play offline and never pay the monthly fee, but you won't get live odds or streaming sports news, or you can join the online community. (One night, as many as 500 players were online, chatting in the casino lounge or hosting tournaments.) The game's price beats just about any deal in the real Sin City.
-- John Breeden II
Reel Deal Casino Gold Rush Teen; PC Windows 2000/98/Me/NT/XP/Vista ($20 plus optional $10 per month for subscription after the first 30 days) Phantom EFX