7 Things to Do and Learn on Your Palm Springs Vacation

1 Hike the canyons of Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a hiker’s paradise, which is evident by the many hiking trails mapped out in and around its numerous scenic canyons and gorges. Here the diversity of wildlife is as contrasting as the breathtaking landscape. From catching a glimpse of the rare and endangered Bighorn Sheep to watching the clever antics of the smallest desert creatures, the canyons of Palm Springs are a must see for any visitor to the area.

Tahquitz Canyon is situated on the Agua Caliente Reservation and is one of the most beautiful desert attractions to be found in Palm Springs. Boasting of a spectacular 60-foot waterfall, rock art, ancient irrigation systems, abundant native wildlife and plants, a hike through this unique and diverse canyon will not be forgotten any time soon. Palm Canyon features fifteen miles of mapped trails that gives hikers an intimate glimpse of the area’s indigenous flora and fauna situated against a contrasting, rugged landscape of rocky red and gold gorges and the barren desert lands in the distance. Here you can hike, explore, picnic and horseback ride against the breathtaking canyon backdrop.

2 Tour the oases of Palm Springs

A beautiful contrast to the barren desert landscape are the many lush oases of Palm Springs. Consisting mainly of tall Fan Palms, the oases offer more than just respite from the extreme desert temperatures, which descend upon the area daily. The oases of Palm Springs are intricate ecosystems boasting of numerous different kinds of plant and animal life including snakes, rodents, lizards and spiders.

Thousand Palms Oasis is situated on the Coachella Valley Preserve and straddles the San Andreas Fault line. Consisting of emerald green undergrowth, soaring Fan Palms and the endangered Valley Fringe-toed Lizard, the Thousand Palms Oasis is the perfect place to start your tour of the Oases of Palm Springs. The Oasis of Mara, formerly known as Twentynine Palms Oasis, is located in the Joshua Tree National Park. Once revered as an “Oasis of Fertility” by the natives, this oasis is indeed a fertile ground for many types of flora, fauna and wildlife.

3 Entertain your whole family in Palm Springs

What once has been known as a Mecca for the retired, the rich and golf enthusiasts, Palm Springs is beginning to show its inner child. From museums and amusement parks to miniature golf and arcades, there is no end to the family-friendly attractions to be found in Palm Springs.

Located on East Palm Canyon, Camelot Park boasts of activities and entertainment to keep the whole family occupied for hours. At the center of this whimsical attraction is a fantastical castle surrounded by video games, miniature golf, go-carts, bumper boats and much, much more. The Living Desert Wildlife and Botanical Park is located on Portola Avenue, and is full of amazing wildlife and creatures that will be sure to amuse the adults and children alike. Featuring species such as coyotes, the endangered bighorn sheep, cheetahs and meerkats, the Living Desert is a must-see attraction in the Palm Springs area. The park also boats of a discovery center where children can watch demonstrations and have hands-on interactions with small creatures such as snakes, turtles and tarantulas.

4 Tour Palm Springs by bike

There is no better way to get up close and personal with an exotic destination like Palm Springs than by leisurely strolling through the many lush oases and barren landscapes typical of this desert paradise. But hoofing it through the miles and miles of desert attractions in and around Palm Springs can take a great deal of time and energy. That is why it has become very popular to tour Palm Springs by bike, and there are several mapped bike tours and guides dedicated to this popular activity.

One of the most popular bike tour agencies in Palm Springs is Big Wheel Bike Tours. They offer several different courses which range in difficulty from beginner to Advanced and can vary in length from a couple of hours to a full day. Many of the courses meander through breathtaking landscapes and popular tourist attractions.

5 Palm Springs Casinos

Boasting a handful of casinos all featuring low and high-stakes gambling, fine dining and other luxurious attractions, Palm Springs is prepared to take care of all of your gambling wants and needs. In fact, the only hindrance that you may find when it comes to Palm Springs casinos is deciding exactly in which casino you want to place your bets.

No matter what your gaming preference or budget, there is a gaming facility in Palm Springs to meet your every need. From high-stakes Poker and slot machines to Bingo and Blackjack among others, you will find plenty to keep your gambling hand occupied during your stay in Palm Springs. Some of the many casinos in the area include the Palm Springs Spa Resort Casino, the Agua Caliente Casino, the Fantasy Springs Casino and the Trump 29 Spotlight Casino.

6 The Native Americans of Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a desert paradise with sparkling waters, tree-lined canyons and bubbling hot springs. This rich, desert oasis has been the site of civilization for thousands of years beginning with the native inhabitants of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. For centuries, this band of Native Americans lived off of the bounty to be had in this unique desert, ecosystem.

The region was ideal for habitation, and the Agua Caliente took advantage of the resources in the area and survived by living off of the land. They used multitudes of desert plants for food, clothes, medicine and hunted game such as deer, bighorn sheep, rabbits and other small animals. They also used an elaborate irrigation system to aid in the production of crops that were brought by the Spanish including corn, squash, beans and melons.

Sadly, in 1862 a small pox epidemic brought about by the influx of whites into the area almost completely wiped out the Agua Caliente altogether. In 1925, only 50 Agua Caliente remained. Today, there are 240. They still hold the majority of the land in the Palm Springs area and run successful casinos and other tourist attractions in the area.

7 How Palm Springs was named

The first non-Native American to settle in the Palm Springs area was Judge John Guthrie McCallum. Arriving in Palm Springs in 1884 from San Francisco with family in tow, McCallum worked alongside the Native Americans to build a 19 mile stone-lined ditch from the Whitewater River Springs to irrigate the dryer parts of the area.

Continuing throughout the 19th century, numerous explorers, colonizers and soldiers came through the desert and remarked on the lush oasis to be found in the Coachella Valley, but no formal name had been given to the site. Often referred to as Palm Springs, Agua Caliente or Palm Valley, it wasn’t until 1890 when Harry McCallum wrote his address as Palm Springs that the region came to be known under those terms.

Learn How to Play Poker: Free Online Rules Guide

If you are planning a trip to the casinos sometime soon, or are planning a night with friends and want to find a new game to play, it may be time to learn how to play poker. This traditional card game is a favorite at just about any casual get-together–if you’ve got a little time and even more cash. Here are some instructions and suggestions for how to play, as well as some sites where you will find more information on about learning how to play poker.

Before you actually start playing a real game, you need to learn how to play poker, thoroughly. There are several different forms of poker, but the basic rules are the same–each player contributes to the ‘pot’ which contains chips that represent real money, players are dealt a hand, and the cards are concealed or hidden from the other players and wagers or bets are made on the cards depending on their ‘strength’. After all of the betting rounds are over, the player with the most cards after everyone else has folded, or the player with the strongest cards at the end of the game wins.

In order to know how to bet properly and create a strategy to win, you have to know which cards hold the most weight in a poker game. First, you should know the four suits, which are spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. All these suits are of equal value. Then, there are the Ace, Queen, King, Jack, and Deuce. There are thirteen ranks using each of the four suites– the Ace is the highest, and the Deuce is the lowest.

The type of hand you have in poker is also the same no matter what type of poker you are playing. For instance, a royal flush occurs when all of the cards are in the same suite, and contain an Ace, Queen, King Jack and Deuce. A straight flush occurs when all the cards are in the same suite, but do not include the royal cards. You can also have four of a kind, or quads, where the cards are of equal rank and are four of a kind. A full house or full boat contains three cards of one rank and one card of another rank.

In order to place your bets for the poker game, the two players seated left of the dealer place blind bets before the game starts. The bets are considered ‘blind’ because none of the players has seen the cards yet. These bets insure that there will be some money in the pot to play with before the start of every game. After this, each player starts to place bets, and can call the bet (matching the amount in the pot), raise the amount in the bet, or fold by surrendering the cards and stake in the game.

If you want to know more about betting, how much to bet for each game, or the different varieties of poker; there are a number of online sites you can check out for a glossary and tips on how to be a better poker player. If you learn how to play poker before you start playing it live or online, then there will be less chances for you to lose. You will come to know the basic rules and all the necessary tricks to win when learn how to play poker.

Learn Casino Craps – What Are the Pieces of a Craps Table?

If you’ve ever walked through a casino, you’ve probably seen a craps table, but have you ever wondered what a craps table actually is?  What does it comprise, what are its components?

The biggest and most obvious part of the table is the bed.  Casino craps tables are generally available in 8-foot, 10-foot, or 12-foot lengths.  Along the top edge of the bed is a continuous Padded Rail on which the players can lean.  Standing at a craps table for long periods of time can become tiresome for the player, so the padded rail allows the players to rest or change body positions to ease the stress.  After all, the casino doesn’t want players to walk away simply because their feet and knees hurt.  Obviously, the casino wants players at the table as long as possible.

Adjacent to the padded rail is the wooden Chip Rack, which is usually two-racks deep with dividers about every 12-to-16 inches.  The dividers separate the chip rack into individual sections for the players.

Along the outer perimeter is a little shelf called a Drink Rail.  As the name implies, this is where players place their drinks.  Drink glasses and bottles are not allowed on the Padded Rail because of the risk of spillage onto the layout.  Not only do spills make a big mess on the layout (which the casino has to pay to get cleaned), spills delay the game which digs into the casino’s profits.  Cigarette ashtrays are also placed on the Drink Rail.

Inside the bed is the Table Layout with all the numbers and boxes onto which the players’ chips are placed.  The felt can be any color depending on the casino’s specifications.  Common colors are green, blue, and sometimes red.  Special designs and patterns can be incorporated into the layout to match the casino’s theme.  The area on the outer edge of the layout is called the Apron.

Rubber material lines the inside wall of the bed and is called Rail Rubber.  Below the rail rubber on each inside end of the table is a 6-to-8-inch wide piece of Pyramid Rubber.  This is the part of the table with all the little pyramids or spikes that are specially designed to randomly deflect the dice.  Casinos have a rule that a player must “hit the back wall” when tossing the dice.  This rule ensures the dice hit the pyramid rubber, thereby, preventing anyone from controlling the outcome of a dice roll.  Regardless of what you hear, read, or see at a live craps table, no one (NO ONE!) can consistently control the outcome of a craps roll when the dice hit the pyramid rubber.  They just can’t.  (Please read my other articles about the silly notion of “dice control” or “dice setting.”)

On the inner side of the bed across from the dealers and boxman is a mirror about 8 inches wide that runs the length of the table.  The mirror allows the dealers and boxman to see the palm side of the player’s tossing hand.  The boxman can easily see if a player is cheating by “palming” the dice, trying to introduce a crooked pair into the game.

Cut into the table layout in front of the boxman is a Money Slot for the Money Drop Box.  The money slot is about 3/8-inch wide and about 3 inches long, which is just the right size for pushing bills down into the drop box.  The boxman uses a Paddle to push the money through the slot into the money box that’s attached to the underside of the bed.  (That’s where the term “boxman” came from.)

The stickman controls a small bowl that rests on the tabletop against the wall directly in front of the stickman.  This Dice Bowl (or Dice Boat) simply holds the extra dice that are not in play.  When a new game starts, the stickman dumps the unused dice onto the table and uses his stick (or whip) to push them all (usually 6 or 8) to the next shooter.  The shooter then selects two that she thinks are lucky, and then the stickman pulls the remaining dice back and puts them in bowl.  The bowl is usually made of clear acrylic or wood.

Also considered part of a craps table are the Puck and Buttons.  The ON/OFF puck (white for the ON side, black for the OFF side) is used simply to indicate whether a new game is in progress.  If a new game is about to start, the puck is turned to the OFF side.  If a game is in progress, the puck is turned on its ON side and placed in the appropriate number box on the layout to indicate the “point” for the current game.  Small buttons about the size of a quarter are used to indicate whether a player’s bets are off or on, or whether a certain type of bet is a “buy” or “lay.”  Each button has one word engraved in it, either OFF, ON, BUY, or LAY.  Buttons help the dealer, boxman, and the eye-in-the-sky keep track of players’ bets.

Now you know all the components of a craps table!  The more you know, the more confident you’ll be when you walk up to a table.  The more confident you are, the less likely the dealers will steer you down the wrong path by enticing you to make bets with high house advantages.

Learn To Be A Texas Holdem Poker Pro

If you want to be a texas holdem poker pro, or just

impress people, you have to know the language of texas

holdem. The last thing you want to do is sit at a

texas holdem game and feel like the other players are

speaking a foreign language. If you don’t know what

they are talking about, chance are you’re about to lose

all your money. And lost it fast. Let’s make sure this

doesn’t happen to you.

Let’s take a look at some of the more common words and

phrases used in texas holdem.

All-in: I think even the casual observer or player knows

this one but just in case you don’t, going “all-in” is

when you put all of your playable chips into the pot.

You’re either going to win, or you’re going to go home

broke.

Bad Beat: This happens in texas holdem when you lose

a hand in which you had better odds than the winning

player earlier in the hand. In other words, bad luck.

For example, you may go in with pocket aces and you’re

opponent only had pocket fives but flops a set and

wins the hand.

Blind: A required bet made before the cards are dealt.

Boat: A full house

Bottom Pair: Making a pair with the lowest card showing

on the flop

Early Position: In texas holdem, this is the position where

a player must act before most of the other players at the table,

putting him at a disadvantage for that hand.

Flop: The first three community cards that are dealt at the

same time, face-up.

These are just some of the terms you’ll need to know if you

want to sound like a texas holdem pro. It may seem silly to

have to know these terms if you know how the game is played.

But showing your ignorance at the table could make you a mark.

at a table