Don’t Let Casino Trickery Turn You Into An Irresponsible Player

Oh, those who think that casinos should run their business and still let everyone win – and still pay the bills! Human beings are becoming so entitled. If you ask casino patrons on a bad streak, they will say the casino is up to something – they aren’t winning – and it’s the casino’s fault.

Listen, casino gambling is a recreational activity, with the vast majority of games offered having a skewed advantage to the house – we all know it, we just sit at that slot machine, riding that trip down the river of denial.

An article by Dr. Harrigan, the lead researcher and contact person for the University of Waterloo Problem Gambling Research Team. His primary research interest is in gambling addictions with a focus on why so many slot machine gamblers become addicted. In his article, he deals with many factors that the “Casino Industry” is basically trying to make addicts out of all of us – real, concerning, and a serious topic for potentially addictive gamblers.

So, how do casinos entice the individual gambler into gambling more? One way, to reference Dr. Harrigan’s article, is that the casino is not truthful about how much the slot machine pays. I’ve got news for you – hold on to your hat – that’s why it’s called “gambling!”

Big Win – Everytime?

Dr. Harrigan’s article says “…..on modern slot machines, half of ‘wins’ are actually net losses. An example would be a $1 bet with a 30¢ payoff. This is a loss of 70¢, but the machine shows bright graphics and makes sounds announcing a win. Researchers call these events Losses Disguised as Wins (LDWs) and have clearly shown that players experience these as actual wins, giving the players the (incorrect) positive feelings that they are winning.”

No kidding. The invention of video slots gave the impression of lots of small hits instead of waiting longer for bigger hits in reels. Bonuses also play in this game – individual hits can be small more often due to the chance and volatility of hitting a bigger bonus. We all wait to hit THE BIG ONE! Lotteries, the worst odds of all, wouldn’t be so popular – but we want the chance to hit the BIG ONE! In the longer run, the real problem is that the payout percentage continues to be lower throughout the country. Why? Because as a culture, we still intend on being constantly entertained, so it doesn’t matter to most players. We know the games pay less – but we like the fun, so we play them anyway. Why would so many people settle for 6/5 blackjack? or 6/5 JOB Video poker? Or Keno?

Caveman Keno

Here are two rules to live by as a casino visitor:

  • The responsibility on which casino games to play rests solely on the shoulders of the gambler.
  • Gamblers that play often be responsible enough to KNOW the best games, best strategies, and the pitfalls of high casino-advantage games.

So, be aware of the “tricks” (or maybe they are just good business practice) and take responsibility for your gaming. If it’s not fun anymore, contact GA, tell the casino to not allow your entrance (which casinos do to help addicted gamblers any time you feel you can’t control staying away) and seek help.

It’s not a black and white situation. It is neither solely the casino’s fault or the addict’s – it’s a gray area, more complex than any single blog could summarize.

So, be careful, be smart, be knowledgeable, and go to the casino with a money management plan for your visit every single time. This way you limit the “trickery” of those casinos, and also help to either leave with money, or at least lengthen your bankroll’s life.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Video Poker – When To Play Fast

Video poker is not like slot machines – there is skill to it. It’s knowing the probability of the dealt hands, memorizing the strategy and holding what gives the best advantage for the best winning hand.

Video Poker machines often have a button where the player can set the speed of the cards dealt. Mostly, it is about where your comfort level is with your speed of play, but there is a reason when playing as fast as you can is suggested, as long as it’s accurate perfect strategy.

One time, I sent a question to noted Video Poker Expert, Bob Dancer.  For great software to practice your Video Poker Play, go to bobdancer.com. I asked him, “When do you suggest to play as fast as you can?”

His answer – “Always.”

From his stand point, it was the correct answer.  However, he insists on only playing advantage games – full pay, or very close to it. That means he plays games such as:

  • Jack or Better – 9/6 **
  • Bonus Poker – 8/5 **
  • Double Bonus – 10/7 **
  • Double Double Bonus – 10/6 **
  • Full Pay Deuces Wild – 9(StrFl)) /5 (40faK)
  • NSUD (Dueces Willd) – 9(StrFl)) /4(40faK) / 4 (FH)

** Please note – The first number = payout for Full House, second number = payout for Flush in these games

 

Jacks or Better best paytable (called 9/6 because of the full house and flush pay out). Notice the jump in pay out from 4 to 5 coins.

These games are seen as full play because they have a pay out of 99.7% to over 100% with perfect strategy. Because Mr. Dancer plays perfect strategy on full pay VP, his answer is correct – full speed ahead always.

Playing Video Poker as fast as one can should only be played when the player has the advantage, as in the above VP paytables. For more information about which games are FULL PAY, go to vpFREE2 and the Wizard of Odds.

But, the rest of us have a few considerations that many advantage players don’t. Consider these:

PRACTICE

Whatever video poker game you play, you need to practice, and practice. Advantage players can play over 15 hands per minute. They only play full pay VP, and learn to minimize the time for each deal/hold play. Practice teaches AP’s what patterns of cards to memorize for whatever strategy is needed, no matter in what order the patterns are in on the deal.

Playing full pay VP also needs a technique that alleviates excess movement.  I average 400-600 hands if needed by using my left hand for the holding of cards and my right hand for the deal/draw.  By rolling my left hand slightly, I can hold whatever button is needed without looking down, keeping my eyes on the screen.

LACK of FULL PAY VIDEO POKER

No matter how good, or how fast you play video poker, the fact remains that full pay options are increasingly hard to find. Many casinos offer playable (like 8/5 JOB or 9/5 DDB) to incredibly bad (6/5 JOB, 7/5 DDB).  The only full pay video poker in New England can be found at Mohegan Sun – 9/6 JOB.

SPEED CAN KILL (your Bankroll, That Is)

Since most casinos in the country don’t offer full pay VP, playing fast is not a template for success. Playing any casino game – slots, tables, VP – with a higher house edge should be played accurately first, speedily second.  Playing slow can be a friend to your bankroll. Besides, if you play fast and make mistakes – don’t play fast.  Unless you are playing full pay VP, there is absolutely no reason to speed.

ACCURACY IS #1

The primary strategy is knowing the optimum strategy for the game you are playing.  Even with JOB (Jacks or Better, remember?) basic strategy, or the cards you hold, is different depending if the pay table is 9/6 or 8/5.

BOTTOM LINE

Jerry “Stickman” wrote the following in his post “How Fast Should You Play Video Poker?” in Casino City Times.

“First and foremost, if you are playing a machine where the house has the edge, you are best off pacing your play. The more you play, the more you will lose. Sure you may hit some big winners, but the more you play, the more the house will take your hard earned money. So if you don’t have an edge (including slot club points and possibly comps), take your time playing. Don’t rush to give the house any more money than you must. Only play as fast as you can be accurate. When playing with an edge, Wyatt Earp probably said it best when he quipped, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” Don’t get killed. Make sure you are playing correctly.”

Now, go get that Royal Flush!

Bin

Gambling Books – Must Read Recommendations

While we don’t tend to cover news in Atlantic City, NETimeGambling.com does like to visit.  Of late, all three of us – Bin, Bert & Miguel – will have had the “Fly Borgata Experience.”  We love Borgata, and hope it stays the same, since  MGM recently bought out Boyd Gaming and now owns 100% of Borgata.  I, personally have also enjoyed 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 great website/podcast called “Due For A Win.”  It covers Atlantic City casinos, from the closings to the recent news of Hard Rock buying the Taj Mahal.  Their Facebook group, which I also recommend, is a wealth of knowledge for the AC newbie and the AC regular.  The following recommended list is from a member of the “Due For A Win” Facebook Community.  With his permission (he only wants to be known as @Scan720 , here they are.

 

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner!

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner!

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.  Send it to us and we’ll publish it for you!

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

Bin