Saturday, February 14, 2015

E-54: Know the Odds

A pair or better in Caribbean stud:
1 in 2 or 20 per hour

Two pair or better in JOB video poker
1 in 4 or 100 per hour

Natural or two card 20 in blackjack
1 in 11 or 5 per hour

Natural 21 in blackjack
1 in 21 or 3 per hour

Any pocket pair in holdem
1 in 17 or 2 per hour

Pocket aces in holdem
1 in 221 or 1 every 6 hours

Nine consecutive losses in blackjack
1 in 329 or 1 every 5.5 hours

Nine consecutive wins in a row in blackjack
1 in 814 or 1 every 14 hours

Royal flush in JOB video poker
1 in 40,388 or 1 every 100 hours

Megabucks jackpot
1 in 50 million or 1 every 3000 solid days of play

E-52: Bad Bets

Don't Take Insurance in Blackjack - Only hits 31% of the time

Not Doubling Down when it's offered
Greater than 50% chance of winning when you take it

Not playing optimal strategy in Blackjack
It's Math.  You will lose more money over time if you don't

Not playing optimal strategy before the flop in Poker
Not raising when you've got a strong hand allows more players with weak hands to stay in and potentially catch what they need in the river to beat your stronger hand

Saturday, November 1, 2014

E-53: 10 Best Casino Bets

By "best bets" we are referring to games with a low house edge or even an advantage.

  • Poker - It's a game of skill and a good way to gain players points (and get loaded) for minimal risk
  • Card Counting - It will give you a 1-2% advantage over the house although its pointless with the advent of the shuffle machine
  • Video Poker - Another game of skill with only 0.5% house advantage with minimal bankroll exposure.
  • Basic Strategy Blackjack - Easy to learn and lowers the house edge to 0.5-1%
  • Don't Pass & Don't Come in Craps - Although they do offer better odds than the pass line, betting against the table makes you a dick.
  • Pass and Come Bets in Craps - The house gets an additional 1.4% on you compared to the don't but there is something to be said about routing for the shooter to win.  Also, if you take double the odds, you can lower the house edge to 0.61%
  • The Banker in Pai Gow - Its a game of skill and you only pay the house a 5% commission on all bets you win from other players.
  • The Banker in Baccarat - Offers you a house edge of just over 1% as apposed to the player bet which is closer to 1.3%
  • Player in Baccarat - Although higher than the banker, it's still a good bet
  • 6 & 8 in Craps - The best bets in the game and offer you a house edge of only 1.5%

Saturday, February 8, 2014

E-51: The Downfall of Blackjack

Casinos like to operate with an average of a 3% edge on each game. Blackjack however is one of the best games you can play, because by playing basic strategy you can lower the house edge to 0.5% to 1%. Clearly way below what the house like to run at.

When the NeywYork best seller "Beat the Dealer" was released in 1963, casinos increased the number of decks used in an attempt to detour counters. This had no real effect and blackjack remained the most profitable game for a solid player.

All this considered the average blackjack player doesn't bother to learn basic strategy and plays at a 2% disadvantage. While you might think this is more than acceptable for the casino, you'd be wrong. In recent years casinos have begun making blackjack a much tougher game.

Initially casino operators started introducing the automatic shuffle machine. This eliminates the possibility of card counting, but just to clarify, these don't increase the house edge. They simply increase the amount of hands per hour and therefor expose your bankroll to the existing house edge.

Following the introduction of shuffle machines, properties begun changing the house rules. The first was not allowing players to double down after splitting and later the dealer hitting on soft 17.

But the most profitable change that the casino industry made was the introduction of 6/5 blackjack. This means that when you receive a blackjack with lets say $10, with the old 3 to 2 rules, you would be paid out $15. But with 6 to 5 you would only be paid $12.

This single rule change increased the house edge by another 1.4%, meaning that a basic strategy player is now at a 2% disadvantage as opposed to about 0.5%. And the non-basic strategy player is now at about a 3.2% disadvantage.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

E-50: Betting Systems

If you've ever spent any time thinking or reading about gambling you've surely considered betting systems. Obviously any system that claims to be a sure winner is absolute bull shit. There is no such thing and any attempt to convince you of otherwise is a lie.

Every game in the casino has been worked out to give the house an unbeatable edge. No betting method can ever beat or even slightly dent that. All a betting system can do is limit the damage the house edge has on your bankroll.

There are generally two forms of betting methods:
Increasing the amount of your bet when you lose or increasing your bet when you win.
Systems that call for you to increased your bets when you lose have two inherent problems. First they assume you have a large bankroll and second you will run up against the table limit before you can follow these all the way to the needed conclusion.

Martingale System: This is the most common betting method. The basis is that you double your bet every time you lose, meaning that eventually you will win a hand and therefore be ahead your initial bet.
This gets expensive quickly. Starting at a base bet of $5 and doubling each time $10, $20, $40. $80. $160 etc. After only 10 hands you are down $5000 and would have gone way over the table limit.

Reverse Martingale: This calls for you to double your bet each time you win, or let it ride and return to your base bet once you lose. The obvious disadvantage to this is that it's only great when your winning, but when do you know to stop? You don't.

360 Betting Method: This method is to increase your bet by one unit after each win for a cycle of four hands at most.
For example; Start with $10, then $15, $20 and $25 and return to the $10 base bet regardless if you win or lose. This betting method keeps it exciting as you increase when you win, but is conservative to a degree as you are taking money and stacking it.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

E-49: Roulette: Inside Bets

Inside bets on roulette can become confusing to some players and be too overwhelming to give a shot. If you look at each possible bet separately, you'll see that they are quite simple.

Inside bets are those that you play on the number field of the table. There are six kinds of inside bets to choose from:

  • Straight
  • Split
  • Street
  • Corner
  • Five Numbers
  • Six Numbers

You must ensure that when you play the inside field that you place your chips in the exact right spot. The slightest misplacement can result in your chips being dragged in by the dealer.
Payouts on the inside bets are considerably higher as the odds of hitting them is also much higher.

Straight Bets: This is the bet with the highest return. In this bet you simply place your chip on a number. If it comes up you are paid at 35 to 1

Split Bets: This is a bet that covers two numbers. Place your chip on the line that separates the two numbers and if either come up on the wheel you are paid at 17 to 1.

Street Bets: This covers a row of three consecutive numbers. Simply place your chip on the outside line of the row you want to play. If any of the three numbers in that row come up you are paid out at 11 to 1.

Corners: As the name suggests, you simply place your chip on the corner of the 4 numbers you want to bet on. This bet pays out at 8 to 1.

Five Number Bet: Sometimes called the "Top Line Bet" covers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. This is the only bet where you can cover five numbers at once. This bet is inadvisable as the house edge is 7% and pays out at 6 to 1.

Six Number Bet: This bet covers two rows of three consecutive numbers. Similar to the street bet, but you are covering two adjoining rows. For this you are paid at 5 to 1.

Most casinos have $1 roulette tables, meaning you can place $1 on any inside bet, but usually must place a minimum of $10 across the board and $5 on the outside bets.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

E-48: Roulette: Outside Bets

Roulette is considered a bad game by most serious gamblers, but in all honesty roulette can be a great game to pass the time and get you feeling comfortable with the table game environment.

To learn the game, its best starting with the outside bets. There are 5 to choose from, these include:
Because you cover more numbers with these bets, the payouts are lower than the inside bets. You typically have a 1 in 38 shot on the inside bets, whereas on the outside you have up to a 18 in 38 shot.

Dozens: Sometimes referred to as Any 12 pays out at 2 to 1.
On this bet you cover 12 numbers; 1 through 12, 13 to 24 and 25 to 36.
Place your chip on the box marked 1st 2nd or 3rd 12. If the ball lands on any number within your dozen you win.

Columns: This bet also allows you to cover 12 numbers, but they aren't consecutive. Here you place your chip on the column titled 2 to 1. If the ball lands in a number in your column you win.

Even/Odd: Choose one, if it hits you double your money.

Red/Black: The most famous of all roulette bets and is further encouraged by the house displaying the last 20 spins on the digital screens.

High/Low: You choose the 1st or 2nd 18 numbers and if you pick right you are paid 1 to 1.

Remember all these bets do not take into account thee 0 or 00 on the wheel. If thee ball lands in either of these, you automatically lose and therein lays the house edge. You would probably be surprised how easy this point is missed and many players truly believe that the outside bets are a 50/50 bet.
The true odds are closer to 47% of you winning these bets and therefor giving the house an edge of 3%.