New England Casinos on a $250 Bankroll

New England States

New England Casinos on a $250 Bankroll  “If you had a limited budget/bankroll of $250, which New England casino would you choose and what games would you play and why?”
Someone asked me this question a few months ago and I keep revisiting it in my mind. But I couldn’t take that question for face value….. oh, noooooh……I needed more info, some criteria to base my opinion on.

Criteria – 2 Players, $250 Bankroll

So, I came up with two different players, both variations of myself: 
  1. Player 1 (we’ll call him Rob) is inexperienced, has no particular affiliation to any New England Casino, but has a players card from all of them.
  2. Player 2 (we’ll call him Bin) favors a few, has been playing for years and also has played at the all with a players card from them all, but favors two.
  3. Both players, amazingly, know how to play table games, video poker and like playing slots in the same way.  Favorite table games include Pai Gow Poker, Craps & Blackjack in that order.
  4. Both players are looking to play in New England Casinos on a $250 Bankroll
Here are a few personal notes about Rob & Bin:
  • They like to play for long periods of time.
  • They also enjoy short daily bursts (which is not good for their Average  Daily Theoretical ).
  • Both enjoy relaxing individual play, but at times  prefer the camaraderie Craps & Pai Gow Poker.
  • The goal is to play as long as possible on a bankroll of $250
  • Finally, the most important criteria is kinda right out of the Sci-Fi channel. Each one owns a worm hole to transport themselves to any of the eight casinos instantly. (Pretty cool, huh?)
So let’s begin.

Rob (Player 1)

Rob doesn’t favor one New England Casino over another. Rob believes each has its advantages and disadvantages. But where to play…….hmmmmmm…..

With no loyalty to any casino Rewards Clubs playing long and a chance of winning big is the priority. Food options or playing for comps is secondary. Rob prefers to play at:

#1 (preferred) – Foxwoods.

The wonder of it all

The wonder of it all

“The Wonder of It All” –  Rob enjoys starting in the Asian Gaming area in the Rainmaker Casino for $15 Pai Gow Poker. Another great option is $5 craps in the Cedars Casino (beware, odds bets now have a 5X limit instead of 10X).  If that didn’t work out, two possible plans with what was left – play bar top machines with Double Super Times Pay with decent pay tables at $.05 for Triple-Play & Five-play at Play Bar in the Cedars Casino or the Racebook with a good bar with great service.  Cedars Casino also has stadium gaming.
When a break was needed, the dining options at Foxwoods run the gamut from casual to classy.

#2 (Runner-up) MGM Springfield

MGM Springfield from I-91

MGM Springfield from I-91

This property can be  a lot of fun. The slots are new and plentiful. Rob prefers to visit the craps table first.  Midweek, you can find $10 craps tables, not the best for a $250 bankroll, but playable. Also, MGM Springfield offers the “The Morning Deal”. Every Monday-Friday from 6am – 9am $5 minimums are available on Black Jack, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, Let it Ride Poker.
Plan B would be slots, slots, and more slots. Rob would not bother with video poker, unless it was at the bar for socializing and free drinks. The video poker pay tables are terrible. The fact that all Massachusetts casinos are non-smoking is a plus. In addition, the fact that the rewards club, MLife, is connected to many other properties across the country is a perk Rob enjoys as one of his casino players cards.

Bin (Player 2)

Only one choice for Bin –

Mohegan Sun. 

Mohegan Sun Resort Casino

Mohegan Sun, CT

Why?
A. Best gambling odds.
Full-Pay JOB Video Poker, with 9/6 Double Double Bonus available also.
$15 Pai Gow Poker tables
$5 Craps tables
One of the largest assortment of slots in the East Coast.
B.Amenities
Best New England Player lounges.
Great Spas
Point Promotions – 2X (Momentum & Status), 3X (Status), Status Mayhem of 2X-5X
Special parking for upper tier status levels, starting at Leap, 3rd level out of 5)
Entertainment options and offers are beyond special and plentiful, with new entertainment venues opening all the time.  Comix Roadhouse, Nouvelle, and Game On! are examples of special entertainment options.  The Mohegan Sun Arena has been voted best concert venue 5 out of the last 8 years.
C. Dining options – especially best at the low to mid dining cost.
D. Mohegan Sun Players Rewards – while the Rewards Club  is not easy to work with for low and mid rollers, Mohegan Sun is connected to other casinos such as Mohegan Sun Poconos,  Resorts in Atlantic City and soon the new Virgin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. (Formerly the Hard Rock.)
E. The Property – Mohegan Sun’s two casinos’ design incorporates tribal decor with an enjoyable spaciousness.  It’s comfy, besides beautiful, unique, and awesome.
So, those are the New England Casinos that Bin & Rob would visit with a bankroll of  a $250.  It might be different if the bankrolls were $100 or $1000.  But, that’s for another post.
Remember, when gambling,” Embrace the Math, Not the Myth.”
Binbin, Bin, & Rob

Four Formats For Playing Blackjack – Which is Best For You?

Blackjack Table

Blackjack Table

There are Four Formats For Playing Blackjack. Table, cards and chips – real or virtual – are the basic elements for blackjack. Blackjack has come a long way from the days when it first appeared in America as the game we know today. The name for the game however was Twenty-One which has been used in New Orleans since 1823. The game became hugely popular in France after casino owners offered amazing bonuses (for a hand of Jack and Ace of Spades the player got a 10 to 1 payout) which brings us to the origin of the name of Blackjack.

Related Post – Roll The Bones By Dr. Schwartz

Let’s take a look at the modern day formats.

THERE ARE FOUR PHYSICAL FORMATS FOR PLAYING BLACKJACK IN CASINOS:

  1. the traditional live table game with live dealer
  2. stadium game play, with a live dealer, but played with community cards by many players
  3. electronic blackjack, played by up to six players around a blackjack table with a video dealer
  4. video blackjack on a solitary machine, usually the same terminal with video poker, keno, and a few slots.

IGT video blackjack

Is it better to play video blackjack at a video poker terminal or to shimmy up to the table and play the game the way it was meant to be played? (at least before 6/5 BJ and all the enhanced house edge rules.)

It really depends on what you are looking for in your blackjack experience. There are some players out there that refuse to play a video blackjack game. (To be honest, I’d rather play keno than video blackjack.) Some players feel video blackjack can’t be trusted. But, there ARE reasons to play video blackjack?  Let’s compare:

ADVANTAGES TO PLAYING VIDEO BLACKJACK

LOWER MINIMUMS – Video blackjack machines often have a lower minimum bet as little as $1. Compared to traditional tables, even $5 seems low, especially on weekends where limits can start as high as $15 – $25.

BETTER RULES – Video blackjack games can have better rules than any live blackjack game that can be found in the same casino. Check the rules and you may find standing on all 17’s, offering surrender, doubling after the split and split up to 3 hands, better rules than many traditional games offered in several casinos.

BETTER COMPS – Comps, the free perks casinos give to players, are calculated higher for machine players. Some casinos won’t even rate you if you play under $25, and those that will rate you will give you very little in the way of comps, and making some promotions available to you that only apply to slot machines since your play on video blackjack machines will count as a slot machine.

NOT A SOCIAL PLAYER? – Many of us have played at those serious tables of NFB (No Fun Blackjack).  The dealer might be grumpy, the players may be serious strategy or card counters, and heaven help you if play the wrong way (according to basic strategy).  Some players can be very intimidating, if not down-right nasty.  It is a belief that the wrong play will effect the other players’ hands.  Over time, this has been proven not to be true.  Your next mistake may actually help them win – but you’ll never hear a thank you for that.

Stadium Gaming Blackjack

This a hybrid that that crosses all lines  First, for solitary players, being social at the table isn’t necessary. You still have a live dealer, so it’s slower than video BJ, but still faster due to automatic payouts  Having other games immediately available gives more variety and not having the pressure to play every hand. Skipping hands, or socializing with friends around you it a less-stress situation and more fun. Stadium gaming can be lots of fun with friends, something a live table game can provide also. Besides blackjack, bacarrat and roulette are also usually provided. New England casinos that offer Stadium Gaming include Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods, Twin River Casino & Hotel, Tiverton Casino and Hotel. Plainridge has table game terminals, but is not allowed live dealers as a slots-only facility.

RULEs and Rewards

Points accrued at a standard table game is basically earned according to the the following:

  • Amount of Wager per hand
  • Time spent at the table
  • Table game house edge being played
  • Average hands played per hour.

But any video format, including stadium gaming, is more like slots and video poker, where your play and your points are decided by the casino software.

Four Formats For Playing Blackjack – DISADVANTAGES TO PLAYING VIDEO BLACKJACK – 

NOW A WORD OF CAUTION FROM OUR FRIEND, THE CASINO ANSWER MAN JOHN GROCHOWSKI:

CHECK THE PAYOFFS –  “Given basic strategy for a single-deck game, the house edge is about 2.5 percent. If you got the full 3-2 payoff on blackjacks, it would be a 0.24 percent game, but even-money pays on two-card 21s add 2.27 percent to the house edge. That’s equivalent to a slot payback percentage of 97.5 percent, so yes it’s a higher payback than on penny slots. Returns vary from game to game, casino to casino and jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but penny slot paybacks almost always are less than 90 percent.

FASTER PLAY – A word of caution: video blackjack plays a lot faster than table blackjack. The video game doesn’t need time for dealing cards to other players, settling bets, stacking chips in trays, buy-ins and cash outs of multiple players, shuffles or cuts. As a video player, you can play just as fast as you can make decisions and hit the buttons. At a full table, you might play only 50 to 60 hands per hour. If you’re betting $10 a hand, you’re risking $500 to $600. At your video blackjack game, it’s easy to get in 500 hands per hour. Even with $1 bets, you’re betting $500 per hour.

Your hourly wager total is right up there with the $10 table players, and you’re playing against a house edge that probably is much higher than the table edge. On a six-deck game where the dealer hit soft 17, you may double on any first two cards including after splits, may split any pair up to three times and blackjacks pay 3-2, the house edge against a basic strategy player is 0.62 percent. If your budget extends only to $1 bets and you’re going to set a low loss limit, then you can have some fun at the blackjack machines. But for extended play, the table usually is the better play.

ADVANTAGES TO PLAYING LIVE BLACKJACK

A fun time was had by all!

WHILE VIDEO BLACKJACK HAS MORE OF A BEGINNER FOLLOWING, THERE ARE CERTAINLY ADVANTAGES TO A LIVE DEALER AND LIVE ACTION.

DRINK SERVICE – If you would like good drink service, you will get served more drinks in the table games pit than you will in the slot area where video blackjack games usually are located.

BETTER COMPS FOR HIGHER ROLLERS – If you are going to average $25 or more a bet then you will get noticed in the pit and you are likely to get better comps.

COUNTING CARDS – If you are going to count cards it will be much easier to do so at the table games. It is impossible to count cards on some blackjack machines. A full table game of blackjack will likely be faster than a video blackjack game because novice players are more likely to be on the machines.

SMOKE FREE TABLES – If smoke bothers you then table games might be best for you too. Casinos will often make a table smoke free upon request. That cannot be done in the slot area.

SOCIAL – Table blackjack games also tend to be more social than video blackjack machines. No, it’s not the fun commeradeie of the craps table, but with the right people, it can bring a bit of “the players vs. the casino” excitement.

Related Post – Blackjack Not a Team Game

BAD VIDEO BLACKJACK MACHINES – BEWARE

The machines that can be played advantageously are multi seat machines where blackjack pays 3 to 2. Some video poker machines such as Game Kings and Game Makers have a heads up blackjack game on them. These are terrible blackjack games. These games typically pay even money on blackjack. They typically do not allow doubling after the split either. Some of these machines do not allow doubling at all. It is best to avoid these games. Some multi seat games are single deck games that pay 6 to 5 on blackjack. Avoid these single deck machines as well.  Believe it or not, some video blackjack terminals include even money in blackjack.

One more word of caution concerns multigame machines.  Usually, the rate of  comps depends on the game of with the tightest house edge, and that includes the rest of the games on that machine-including the rest of VP, Keno, Slots and yes, Blackjack. Find video blackjack on machines with poorer VP pay tables to ensure the highest amount of earning comps.

CONCLUSION

There are advantages to playing both live and video blackjack. Each player has their own goal as to what they would like to get out of a blackjack game. Blackjack can be fun whether it is a video blackjack game or a live blackjack game; it is up to the player to decide which they enjoy more.er hour. Even with $1 bets, you’re betting $500 per hour.

Binbin

 

Casino Comps and “Average Daily Theoretical”

Ever wonder how the casino you visit decides on what comps to give you?  It all comes down to the relationship that casino comps and Average Daily Theoretical have.

When I first started gambling, my bankroll was small and I played often. I thought that if I went to the local casino and played a little more often, the casino would see me as a loyal customer and raise the quality of my comps, such as free play. I would say to myself, “How could they depend on that player that appears once a year instead of me?  After all, – they have me for life if they played their cards right.” Alas, my comps continued to be menial – I call them “minion’s comps.”

Casino Rewards and Average Daily Theoretical

My thoughts of how casino rewards players with comps was wrong. Further research led me to understanding Average Daily Theoretical. Average Daily Theoretical, or ADT, is the average amount that a gambler losses per day for gambling activity. It is  usually expressed in absolute terms, such as dollars. It’s your value to the casino, based on your average daily play – NOT the number of appearances at the casino.

Your players card is how the casino tracks your play.

Your Average Daily Theoretical is the amount a casino assumes your play is worth to them. A positive Theoretical is an assumed loss to the the player. A casino typically comps players based on their actual worth and the actual worth the game is to the casino.

An “ADT” Example

A casino assigns each game a theoretical house advantage. Let’s say you play a certain game with a Theoretical of 5%. Assuming a player’s coin-in is $10,000, a casino would then limit total comps to some fraction (less than one) of the theoretical $500 the player is assumed to lose. If the player had the same coin-in on a game with 1% Theoretical, the comps would have been limited to some fraction of $100.

To make it simple, basically it’s based on your play in one day. A long play in a casino’s day raises your “comp-ability” and playing a little lowers it. Play your bankroll over fewer visits and see better mailers – spread out the same amount of money over more visits, less time each visit, the offers decrease.

Related Posts below by Coach Kitty from TravelZork provide an interesting way of raising your ADT: Casino Comps | The Big Play Casino Gambling Day – Part 1;    Casino Comps | The Big Play Casino Gambling Day – Part 2

 Casino Days, Casino Visits

It’s not just about time. Lowering your play per hand to play longer won’t increase comps. The casino wants two things from your play – time & money.  Raise one or both (preferably) will raise your value to the casino, thus raising your worth to the casino.

One very important part to know is the “casino day” which may not be what you consider a day, or may differ from casino to casino. Some casino day’s start at 12:01AM, while others start at 6:00AM. Make sure you know which day your play falls on at, for example, 1:00AM.

Great Podcast for craps, home poker games, and all sorts of gambling advice.

The guys from “You Can Bet on That” give a good example. Let’s say you are staying at a casino for two nights with $400 as your bankroll. If you play the $400 through on the first day, your ADT is better than if you split your bankroll over two days. And what if you get up to check out and put in one more $20 before you leave? Well, your ADT is now figured over three casino days, thus lowering your ADT.

So, if you visit often and put through $50 each time, don’t expect great offers. Make fewer visits putting though the same amount in a month and you will find your offers increase.

No Rewards Card, Casino Comps and Average Theoretical

Cleo Keno, a NETG favorite.

There are times that not using your card is a good idea. The morning of your departure may call you to play just a little bit more.  But a small play before you leave will lower you visit’s ADT. In the same vein, stopping by for a little VP or Video Keno and a drink on your way home may not need your card in play, especially since VP & VK has a low casino theo and takes more money in to earn points. Weigh the options available to you.

A Word of Caution

But please remember – play for fun and play for recreation with the bankroll you can spend. DO NOT PLAY MORE THAN YOU CAN SPEND JUST TO GET BETTER COMPS. Always spend up to your allowable bankroll.

Related Post: 5 Considerations For Casino Play and “Casino Freebies”