Embrace the Math, Not the Myth – Accept the House Edge

Recreational Gambling with Acceptance is the key to your gambling woes. As we say at NETimeGambling, “Embrace the math, not the myth.”

Many recreational gamblers use exaggerated statements or claims that are meant to be taken literally by the listener.  Nonsensical myths and mathematically proven superstitions permeate the gambler-sphere. Three sayings are heard ad nauseum –I always win,” “I always lose,” and “the casino is/isn’t paying out today.”  Let’s take a look at the truth behind these three sayings.

Let’s first look at all those casino payouts.  I swear that I have no idea how these properties stay afloat. Signs exclaiming “millions of dollars paid out!” want you to think it’s the winningest casino ever. The numbers of the daily payout keep scrolling higher and higher. Just once, I’d like to see another running total next to it showing the money being made by the casino in real time. One New England casino is always announcing “another jackpot winner” It happens so often I just can’t believe it. (BTW, it rhymes with Attila the Hun.)

House edge. Embrace the math, not the myth

The math insists the casino is the big winner. Al Moe, in his article How Casinos Make Money: The Handle, House Edge & More, explains that “Casinos make a profit by offering games of chance where the average payouts are lower than the income produced by the overall wagers.”  With so many bells, whistles & lights showing other guest wins on your walk around the casino floor, it makes sense that you can win if they can. And everybody knows you can’t win if you don’t play, right?

The winners

Embrace the math – and the math says the Casino Industry is in the business of making money. You should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less. What about the luckiest people on the planet? You know, those people who say they win all the time?. LOL!

Fun Gambling

I hear that so much that I’m surprised casinos are still in business.  Usually I hear it from a third party – “My wife never loses at slots – it’s uncanny.” Or  “My brother-in-law told me his cousin’s sister’s mom always wins at blackjack.”

The math tells me to not believe it.  Sure, there are lucky sessions, and lucky people, but even playing a $5 slot machine at an approximate house advantage of 95% is going to end up biting you in the butt in the long run. The fact is it is getting more difficult to win – lower VP pay tables, confusing bonus slots with higher volatility, and new table games without knowledge of correct strategies all lead to the road to ruin.  So how can there be so many winners?

And then there are the whiners – those recreational gamblers who are so annoyed that they never win.  What they don’t realize that when they might get ahead, they continue playing without a win limit. By continuing to play, eventually losing forces themselves to live their self-fulfilled prophecy. Much revolves around how many gamblers love to whine and complain. But gambling addiction is a huge concern if the whining turns into more playing beyond one’s means and bankroll. Gambling

RELATED POSTS – Casino Industry Myths Disproved – Guest Post By Vital Vegas’s Scott Roeben, Part 1Casino Industry Myths Disproved – Guest Post By Vital Vegas’s Scott Roeben, Part 2

What The Research Suggests

Mark Maremont and Alexandra Berzon at the Wall Street Journal analyzed new data that shows that on any given day, the chances of emerging a winner aren’t too bad—the gamblers won money on 30% of the days they wagered. But continuing to gamble is a bad bet. Just 11% of players ended up in the black over the full period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.

This particular study, they said, used 4,222 casino customers of different levels of play. It showed that just 2.8%—or 119 big losers—provided half of the casino’s take, and 10.7% provided 80% of the take. Such revenue concentration long has been quietly acknowledged in the casino industry because it does show that the casino industry takes advantage of high-end addictive gamblers. But that’s a topic for another time.

The fact is, if you want to leave a winner, you need to leave after you win. Sounds obvious? Yes! But, although gamblers know the house has an edge, the average person doesn’t understand that casino games are nibbling machines, and the more nibbles you have, the bigger your losses. The recreational gambler should accept the following:

1) The Casino Industry is in the business of making money. I should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less.

2) Bankroll should be determined before a casino visit. Only take what you can afford.  The money you win is not “house money” – it’s YOUR money. try leaving when ahead.

3) Don’t believe in absolutes. No one always wins or always loses.  But everyone can enjoy gambling on their own terms.

4) Gambling is recreation. Recreation should bring joy, but only if you accept the basic realities of the casino’s take. If Gambling doesn’t make you happy – find another recreational activity.  Life’s too short – and gambling can be TOO expensive!

That’s all for now. But remember, “Embrace the math, not the myth.”

Binbin

Zen and Casino Gambling

 I can't recommend this book more highly. Not only is it well-written, but it is truly a pleasure to read, and it's one of my favorite how-to books

I can’t recommend this book more highly. Not only is it well-written, but it is truly a pleasure to read, and it’s one of my favorite how-to books

One of my favorite books I read cover to cover was”Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Years later, “Zen and the Art of Casino Gambling” by Miron Stabinsky & Jeremy Silman was one of the first gambling books I read cover to cover.  It was different than the usual “how to” gambling book, it was informative and amusing.  It was meant to “provide valuable insight into the vital but little understood aspect of maintaining the proper psychological and emotional balance needed ” to be more successful, or at least happier in the process. Check out the coonection of Zen and Casino Gambling.

Important Topics

Topics included in the book are:

  • Basic Rules & Strategies for Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Slots, & Video Poker
  • Psychology of the Successful Player
  • Realizing what you Control
  • Money Management
  • Determining you credit/budget line

But the best parts are interesting and entertaining quotes and anecdotes. Today’s post gives you a few – some of my favorite quotes.  I hope your enjoy.

keep-calm-and-be-zen-37

Concerning Money Management, “He who remains in his center endures.”  In others words, stop when your session is done and either you’ve won enough, or you have lost your daily bankroll.

Concerning Player Psychology, Oscar Wilde once said “I can resist everything except temptation.”

Can resist the temptation?

Can you resist the temptation?

Concerning Player Psychology, “Disgrace is a fantasy that should be embraced. Misfortune is part of the human condition.” In others words, “Don’t let your ego make you play beyond your means.  When you resume play another visit you will realize how unimportant your previous anger in losing really was.

I like this one – “An optimist is a man who has never had much experience.”  In other words, If you have advice to give, do so only if asked. Besides,  you most likely need more practice and more experience anyway.  Then and only then will you realize offering without being asked is just a bad idea.

Final Thought

“I do not emulate the sages; I do not take pride in my own spirit.” – Ancient Zen Koan.  Gambler’s translation – Anyone can learn the basics of gaming strategy. Being egotistical about something you have no control over is the height of foolishness.

Don’t be foolish.  Make this book a staple in your gambling library.

Related Post – Gambling Books – Must Read Recommendations

Binbin

Gambling Books – Must Read Recommendations

Nine years ago I made a list of Great Gambling Books. It was a short list of books I  enjoyed and have in my personal gambling library. Since then, good gambling resources are everywhere. On-line, audio-books, and yes, the old paper books are available to give your gambling experience a boost. Here is a keeper – Gambling Books – Must Read Recommendations

Atlantic City Communities and the Author of this list

While we don’t tend to cover news in Atlantic City, NETimeGambling.com does like to visit.  All three of us, Bin, Bert & Miguel love Borgata and the “Fly Borgata Experience.”  I fondly remember  the old days in Atlantic City – The Sands, The Claridge, and the AC Hilton.  Fun times at Bally’s Wild Wild West, and even up to the opening of Revel.

Times have changed radically from the years of being the East Coast answer to Las Vegas. To keep up with the latest news in AC, I also follow a website/podcast called “Due For A Win.”    I strongly recommend its Facebook Community and one other AC Facebook community,  Everything Atlantic City.  A well known East Coast gambling expert posted the following recommended list.  With his permission (he only wants to be known as @Scan720), here they are.

CRAPS

  • THE BASICS OF WINNING CRAPS by J. Edward Allen – This is a short no nonsense, no filler, book that teaches you what you need to Know to play the game
  • FOREVER CRAPS or CASINO CRAPS SHOOT TO WIN by Frank Scoblete
    Mr. Scoblete has numerous gambling books especially craps related. These two give you a nice overview of the game

BLACKJACK

  • BLACKJACK TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN BY Henry Tamburin
  • THE BIG BOOK OF BLACKJACK by Arnold Snyder
Blackjack

Blackjack

CARD COUNTING (BJ)

  • BLACKJACK BLUEBOOK II by Fred Renzey Proven method to beat the game in an easy to understand format.
  • GOLDEN TOUCH BLACKJACK REVOLUTION by Frank Scoblete.  A radically different method to counting that can be learned in a day.

ROULETTE

  • JOHN PATRICK’S ROULETTE: A Pro’s GUIDE TO MANAGING YOUR MONEY AND BEATING THE WHEEL.
    The wheel cannot be beat, but Mr. Patrick’s “Big Four and Little three” are valuable in any casino game.

COMPS

  • WHALE HUNT IN THE DESERT: SECRETS OF A LAS VEGAS SUPER HOST by Steve Cyr
    A reminder that your host is NOT your friend. (Get the newer edition.)
  • COMP CITY by May Rubin Somewhat dated by interesting stories/info
  • HOW TO BE TREATED LIKE A HIGH ROLLER ..EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE NOT by Robert Renneisen
    Somewhat dated by interesting stories/info written by a former AC casino manager

GENERAL GAMBLING BOOKS

  • CASINO GAMBLING FOR DUMMIES by Kevin Blackwood
  • GAMBLING101 by Michael Shackelford

NOVELS

  • THE BOARD WALKERS by Fredrick Schofield. An Atlantic City Based Novel
  • MEGA CASINO THE 13th CASINO by Fredrick Schofield Atlantic City Based. Some characters form the authors previous book reemerge.
  • GOD DOSENT SHOOT CRAPS – A DIVINE COMEDY by Richard Armstrong
  • DICE ANGEL by Brian Rouff
  • FOOLS DIE by Mario Puzo

NON FICTION

  • 24/7: LIVING IT UP AND DOUBLING DOWN IN LAS VEGAS by Andres Martinez
    The author used his book advance on a Las Vegas Gambling spree
  • SUPER CASINO:INSIDE THE “NEW” LAS VEGAS by Pete Earley
    Published in 2001, details the changes form early Las Vegas to the 2000

What are your suggestions?  Let us know.

Gambling destinations?  Travel suggestions?  Video Poker and Poker?  Baccarat?  What would your list look like. What are your suggestions?  Let us know. Send it to us and we’ll publish it for you!

Don’t forget to check out “Due for a Win.”

Bin