Sunday, December 23, 2012

E-41: Casino Design Myths & Truths

There are many interesting and often unfounded casino design myths spouted by players, here we discuss some of the main ones:

Lack of Clocks & Natural Light: This is obviously so people lose track of time and keep playing
This may have once been a small reason for this design, but nowadays it isn't fooling anyone. Most people have either a watch or cellular phone.

Oxygenated Air Supply: The idea being that oxygen will keep players awake and they therefore will keep playing.
This is not true. It is against the law to tamper with the air supply, however properties do sometimes scent the air.

Maze Like Design: Casinos are deliberately built to be confusing, so that players are more likely to keep playing.
Often the cages and bathrooms are on the opposite end from the exits

Curvature of Pathways: Many of the walkways are positioned on a gentle arc, this way when a player enters thee floor they are unable to see the entire floor, so you are therefore encouraged to explore.

Slot Banks: Slot machines are generally clumped closely together. This is twofold; to ensure maximum number of machines are used per square foot and studies have shown that players prefer intimate spaces to play in.

Lighting: Is set at a level where it is not too bright and thus would create a stark environment. Yellow bulbs are generally used to give a soft, even warm light. Many casinos utilise a moth lighting design, whereby the lighting is brighter towards the middle of the gaming floor. Here the principle is that people will more toward the light.

Sound: Slot machine bells and music are generally tuned to a certain key and rhythm, so that it isn't just a mass of noise but all plays together creating a unified sound that is pleasing to listen to.

If you wish to learn more elements of casino design, check out the book
"Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

E-40: Table Game Myths Part 2

To follow on from the last blog post. You should never listen to casino myths and base your decisions solely on basic math. Most games can be quickly deciphered with some logical thinking.

Myth 6: Counting cards and dice control are illegal.

This is not true. If this was the case, a player would not be given the dice to throw and all blackjack games would be dealt from a shuffle machine. No player is expected that they purposely try and lose. If they believe they can control the outcome of the dice, they should be allowed to do so.
Casinos fall under an out dated law called "The Inn Keeper Law" This states that a man's inn/casino is his domain and he can serve or not serve whoever he pleases.
It is not illegal, it is just discouraged by casinos.

Myth 7: The pit boss always ignores me

This is usually not the case. A bit boss has a lot to do,watching the dealers. checking comp ratings and watching all the players in their pit. If you really are being ignored, it is likely you are drunk and being obnoxious. The best way to get a pit boss's attention is to ask your dealer.

Myth 8: Dealers make a high wage

This is dependant on what casino they work for and the tip sharing policy the casino adopts. Most dealers are only on minimal wage and rely on their tips to boost their pay. The majority of casinos require that all tips be shared.

Myth 9: If a craps table is running hot, get in on the action.

This is ridiculous. Past events do not affect the future. Someone who has rolled well is just having a streak of lung and has no guarantee of continuing.

Myth 10: Professional blackjack dealers make millions of dollars.

This is only possible if you start with millions of dollars to bankroll it. To make a normal living, most professionals work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and still only grind out a small profit.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

E-39: Table Game Myths Part 1

Due to the large amounts of money wagered a vast number of stupid myths and unfounded superstitions have evolved over the years. Somme of these myths continue to cloud thee judgement of even the most seasoned gambler.

Myth 1: In blackjack the dealer probably has a hole card/face down card with a 10 value.

This is less less likely than you probably first think. There are only 16 cards in the deck with a value of 10 and 36 cards that are valued as 9 or lower. The key is to never worry about the hole card as there is no way of predicting it and just to focus on the up card and base your playing decision solely on that.

Myth 2: The casino always wins

This is true in a sense, but you should never go to the casino with the thinking that you will lose. That's a losing attitude and will only enforce bad gambling decisions. The casino does always win in the long run, but if you get up while ahead, then you won for that session.

Myth 3: All casino games are luck

This is not true. Games such as blackjack, video poker and some may argue dice control are all games of skill. Of course luck plays it's part, but your knowledge, or lack there of will be the deciding factor in how much money you win or lose.

Myth 4: You have to be a genius to count cards

This common myth has been reinforced by Hollywood and even many reputable books and websites. In order to count count cards all you have to know is how to add and subtract. Counting cards is simple but is just a fast process.

Myth 5: New games are introduced to give players more options

This is partly true, but obviously it's mainly to increase the casino's bottom line. All new table games that are released have a higher house edge than the traditional games.
The best bets are still the classics; blackjack, baccarat and the pass line at craps.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

E-38: Slot Machine Étiquette

Slot playing is generally a solitary activity and in most cases doesn't require interacting with other players. Even so, there are some tips that will make the casino experience more enjoyable for you and other players.
  • Coin Cups on Hanles or Seats: This usually means the machine is being held by another player. With regards to ticket in/out machines, players will leave a personal item on the chair or screen. Always find another machine and if you are the one holding it, do your best to return as soon as possible.
  • Playing Multiple Machines: During busy periods, this should be avoided and if another player wishes to sit down on one of your machines, you should let them.
  • Players Card Left in Machine: If you do find this, it is customary to place the card on top of the machine. This makes it easy to find. Never detroy or throw a card in the trash.
  • Smoking: Be sure that you ash tray is positioned so that the smoke isnt blowing toward another player and always ensure that your cigarette is extinguished properly.
  • Tipping: If you hit a jackpot on a machine that reqiires a hand pay, then you should tip. Half to one percent is considered the average.