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

3 Reasons Why Your Gambling Sucks, and What You Can Do About It

Another losing gambling session?

I once read a self-help book called “Why Your Life Sucks” by Alan H Cohen. I guess I was in a dark place, or maybe looking for a different perspective on things. In any case, it was really quite good and pointed out many life “wake-up calls” to help us enjoy the life you were meant to live. It’s funny and informative, but most of all, it forces you re-evaluate the choices you have made, and how you can make better choices in the future.

So, I was thinking, “how many people leave the casino grumpy, as if losing is a huge surprise.”

Leaving Las Vegas - usually a quiet plane ride.

Leaving Las Vegas – usually a quiet plane ride.

Even the plane ride home from Vegas is so quiet and sullen compared to the excitement and hope on ride out there. Go figure….

So, does your gambling suck? Maybe it’s because you don’t embrace the realities of the gambling industry. Here’s some quotes from the book that may have implications about your gambling experience:

1) “Fortune isn’t something that happens to you, it is something you create”

Take advantage of point multipliers and

Take advantage of point multipliers to get the most out of your play.

So, you really think that recreational gambling is going to get you millions? I don’t think so.  But, there are things you can do that will enhance your visits, like:

  • Know the best strategy for the games you play
  • Take advantage of free play and multiplier reward points / tier points days
  • Don’t overplay you bankroll to gain higher status. Keep to your bankroll.

2) “Don’t get involved in the dark side” of gaming.

Losing at Gambling?

Guess what, the gambling industry is a business and like any other business, it needs to make money to continue. So:

  • don’t expect perks that you don’t earn
  • don’t expect the casino to ensure your winning because you’re a good customer, and
  • expect loses.
  • And stop thinking conspiracy and fixed machines. Look up what a random number generator does (RNG) , and how the house advantage is built in without switching machine computer chips or throwing that famous “switch upstairs” that immediately changes machines from loose to tight. In other words, be knowledgeable about the industry instead of continuing myths and superstitions to make you the unsuspecting victim.  “It’s not personal, it’s business.”

3) “It’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s what you make of what happens”

Shooting at the Craps Table - have fun whatever your game is.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

  • Enjoy the wins.
  • Enjoy casino employees who know the meaning of good service and are friendly.
  • Enjoy the excitement of breaking even – yes even. By breaking even, you’ve beaten the house advantage. Sure, it’s not what we are all looking for, but if you play for a few hours and break even, be happy for the free entertainment, the rewards points you’ve accumulated, and the free beverages you’ve consumed.

Now, back to the casino, but this time with an open mind, an awareness of the business and new flexible expectations. Acceptance could be the key to a happier gambling experience.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Casino Gambling Challenge – How Much Slang Do You Really Know

7525251_origSo, you say you’re a knowledgeable gambler?  Well, I have found 20 slang words used in the casino by players, dealers, and pit bosses – some simple, some rather esoteric. Let’s see what you know.  I dare you to take this challenge and comment to us at NETime Gambling on how well you did.

imageAnswers Tomorrow at 1:00pm, EST.  I made it easy – matching!  But, there are more answers than questions, so make sure you check all possible answers A-Z.

Note – it’s easier to take the Challenge on a tablet, or at the website NE Time.com.

_____1. an Ante         A. a bet in poker placed before player sees any of his cards.

_____2.an Arm          B. a player who is skillful in throwing the dice 

_____3.The Blind      C. casino lingo for 10 dollar bet.

_____4.a Buck            D. a forgotten table bet originally wagered by the player.

_____5.a Copy            E.to be broke or totally out of money

_____6.Down to the Felt     F.a Video Lottery Terminal

_____7.Grease           G.losing player

_____8.a Mechanic   H.a bribe

_____9.Barber Pole   I. a bet required to start at hand in card games.

_____10.a Bug              J.refers to a $100 bet

_____11.Cracking the Nut   K. a slang word for a dealer who cheats

_____12. a Fish             L. a drunk player.    

_____13.a George         M.sign above roulette table showing previous wins

_____14. Martingale    N. a net profit after all gambling expenses deducted.

_____15. a Pidgeon       O. more than one denomination/color in a stack of chips

_____16.a Railbird        P. the Joker card.

_____17.Spinner           Q. term for a winning session

_____18.a Tom              R. a generous tipper to table dealers 

_____19.a Skin or Skoon     S. an observer who hangs around a gaming table

_____20.a Ploppy         T. a player who is not knowledgeable about the games.

U. a wagering system where the player doubles up after every loss.

V. irritating player who has high expectations for casino comps and benefits while not deserved.        

W.a non-tipper.        X.a single dollar.        

Y. means a player and a banker have a similar two-card or  five-card hand especially in Pai Gow poker.

Z. a newer player who is not practicing sound strategy nor making correct decisions, however is not above coaching other players about what they should do

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casino Players Club Cards – The Truth to Correct the Myths

players-clubIt amazes me to see people sinking their money into a machine with out having a card inserted in the card reader. I sometimes ask people why they don’t use a card and have received several different answers.  The other day, someone was spouting off every slot myth in the book – “teaching” everyone around him, whether they cared or not.  However, the biggest sin of this whole escapade was that he had taken out his card to “get a bonus” for nearly 10 minutes.  His bet was over $8.00 a whack!  Just think of the comps he missed out on due to his “Casino Paranoia.”  That was the most foolish thing he could’ve done.

Anyway, all of the following I was told at one time or another and are completely false, with an explanation why: Continue reading

In A Losing Streak? – 7 Suggestions to Help Gamblers

Vegas Vacation

In A Losing Streak?

I was asked by a blogger the following question, “If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?”

For me, this blog tries to inform, and be a resource. But one thing I wish I could do is to help gamblers understand the logistics behind the big gaming industry machine and help them understand losing. It’s difficult for most of us to deal with – it becomes very personal. We bring a certain amount, whether it be $20, $200, $2000, or more, and it can be gone in a New York minute – and there you are, a quick losing streak changing your expectations, your feelings, and possibly your behavior.

Now what do you do?  When your gambling becomes a streak of losing, what do you do to change your “luck?” How do you handle that pit in your stomach?

BankrollDo you go on “TILT?” According to Bill Burton in his article “Losing Streaks: How To Survive,” “going on tilt is the expression used when poker players become upset and lose control of their emotions. Consequently they start making poor decisions and play badly and irrationally. Going on tilt is not confined just to poker players. Anyone who gambles on any casino game can find themselves on tilt. Once a player starts losing money they are a prime candidate. They have lost money and they try to make it back quickly by raising the size of their bets or playing a higher denomination slot machine. This will usually just lead to more losses.”

Sometimes a player will get to the point where they just don’t care how much money they have lost. But, for most of us, it does matter. Understand that casinos are very profitable businesses. They make money that is coming from the players pockets. Few people win. Most lose. Gambling is for fun. If it makes you feel bad, and cannot accept the fact that you’ll probably lose, do something else in your free time!lottery

Losing can become purely an emotional response.  I try to remind myself the following:

  1. I came with money that I could spend on the recreational pleasure of gambling. When it’s gone, I’m done. And a 10% win on the day’s Bankroll is a good day for any recreational gambler.  Consider going home with money in your pocket, win or lose.
  2. The casino will win, the house edge is real and getting worse every year as casinos tighten machines, game rules, and paytables.
    6:5 Blackjack

    Dont play Blackjack that pays 6:5 on all blackjacks! Just don’t!

    Learning to accept it is the first step to dealing with losing.  Even better, look for the best table rules, the best paytables, and higher denomination slots to help your gambling duration and “win-a-bility.”

  3. If I win big, or lose big, I need to admit that anything CAN happen. The end result, AS LONG AS MONEY SPENT IS DISCRETIONARY, NOT YOUR FAMILY’S BUDGET $$, must be accepted.  When you’re not in a good frame of mind and on a losing streak, put down your drink, don’t carry on and calmly leave. Jessica Cheng, Brand Ambassador at 777DragonCasino.com, says,”…we have a chance at winnings and a chance at losing – it’s just the nature of the game.
    Losing at Gambling?

    Losing at Gambling?

    But there is no reason to slip into a depression and refuse to ever go gambling again. Just recoup, maybe take a break and gather yourself again, sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month and then when you feel ready, try again.” However, I would emphasize wait and “sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month…” 

  4. Repeat after me…..We must ALWAYS use our Rewards Card.  At least get something for your money. A comp of any size could give yourself the break that you need, whether it’s an outright comp gift or from your own hard-earned comp points.
  5. NEVER GO TO THE CASINO TO GET AWAY FROM PROBLEMS, NEVER GO TO THE CASINO WHEN YOU’RE ANGRY, UPSET, OR DEPRESSED. 
  6. If you have lost A LOT of money (which could mean anything to anyone, but I mean a good chunk over hours of play),  do what Richard Munchkin, Author of Gambling Wizards and cohost of cover170x170Gambling With an Edge (an excellent podcast and highly recommended for Advantage & recreational players alike). “The most important thing AFTER a big loss” he says “is to contact a casino host and ask for some money back. This is called a loss rebate, but it is only for BIG losses……Bottom line – try to get some of your money back by asking a host. If you can’t get cash try for show tickets, fight tickets, or whatever they will give you. By the way – the term “ton of money” is relative. If your ‘ton’ is $500 then you may only get a comp for 2 to the buffet.”  Remember, unless you ask, you can’t get anything!
  7. Fluctuations are to be expected, depending on the EV (expected Value) of the game your playing.  See the cartoon above and read again. Don’t expect your money to last on a slot machine like it would on a Video Poker machine with perfect strategy.  And yet, fluctuations will happen, no matter what the EV is. There are advantages to playing any game – just be knowledgeable and accept the consequences of lower EV games.

Remember, gambling is like any recreational pleasure – it can create a rush of adrenaline and release of endorphin to our human brain that some of us can’t handle well. Before I end, I must repeat what is in the side panel of this blog daily: Gambling Addiction is a serious illness progressive in its nature. It affects the person who gambles as well as many around them – family, co-workers and friends. If you wonder if the fun has stopped, and the compulsiveness has begun, go to the following Gamblers Anonymous site and answer a quick 20 questions. It may save your life.

Go to Gamblers Anonymous.org and take a 20-questions quiz if you wonder why it isn’t fun anymore.

Be in control.  I wish for safe, healthy and fun gambling for us all, win or lose.

Binbin

Changes at Mohegan Sun Casino Floor – Sign of the Times

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun

As I have said before, don’t get too comfortable with anything in life.  As soon as you do, it’s gonna change.

Well, many of us have been seeing quite a lot of changes on the Mohegan Sun casino floor.  Large spaces empty where a row or group of slots once were.  Then, something added.  Video poker machines have been exiting the side room casino in the Casino of the Earth for a while.  Once, an always vibrant room full of smoke, slot players and VP patrons, is being whittle down to nothing.  I knew something was up when my favorite “Monopoly Jackpot Train” slots were taken out.

IMG_0434Well, that entire space will be empty soon, getting for for renovations – to become a comedy club?

Yes, it’s true.  So, I expect the Cabaret will become a multi purpose space.  Two comedy clubs probably isn’t the plan.  But I think the real interesting problem to be worked out will be sound – as in loud Wolf Den sound.  The music from the Wolf Den, which is a free live entertainment venue, can be heard all over the Casino of the Earth. How will Mohegan Sun seal off the quiet needed for the comedy club while the Wolf Den is rocking in a weekend night – all at the same time?

Wolf Den, Free live Entertainment, Mohegan Sun, CT

Wolf Den, Free live Entertainment, Mohegan Sun, CT

Could there be other changes coming in gaming space?  At least two of the old cashier cages have been turned into bars, the Bow & Arrow has been expanded outward as a sports bar, taking away slot space as well.

Recently, a study came out about Las Vegas.  It was found that less visitors to America’s gambling mecca were there for the gambling.  The majority are now going for the hotels, the clubs, the food, and the overall experience.  In the casino wars of the future in New England, casinos may be favored over others solely because of the amenities offered, not necessarily the gambling.

th (18)The casino industry has seen a downward trend in slot play, and any concern by gamblers between 20-40 towards good gambling options.  Many people these days will be happy to play 6/5 blackjack as long as they are having a good time, or play 6/5 video poker at bar for fun.  (if you have to ask what all that “6/5” means, you may be one of them!

In any event, changes will continue in the ever-evolving industry of casino gambling.  Meanwhile, don’t get too cozy with your favorites.  They could be gone in a flash!

That’s all for now.

Binbin