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%.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

E-47: Roulette Dealer Signatures

Roulette Dealer Signatures is the theory that some dealers pick up the ball and spin it in the same way every time as well as giving it the same amount of oomph. This should result in the ball spinning around the wheel the same number of times and therefor land approximately the same number of pockets from where the dealer released the ball.

Is this really possible? Experts are divided over whether this can actually be achieved. As this would take hundreds of dealers, rolling the ball thousands of times to prove with any degree of merit.

The general consensus among dealers, is that such a signature does not exist and any pattern is a fluke. That being said, the dealer in not looking for a pattern with their own roles as they must pay attention to the players bets at the table and the roll is simply a reflex.

The fact that the dealer is subconscious of his action may be the very thing that makes it possible. The biggest problem with finding a dealer with a signature is that it would take too long to measure. Following a dealer from table to table, day after day would quickly be noticed by the dealer and the pit bosses. The very fact that they are being watched would alter the dealers spin and thus the signature. As in most experiments; the observer interferes with thee observed by the mere fact that they are observing.

Dealer signatures really can't be proven and even if they could, it would be impossible to exploit. There are just too many variables that will alter where the ball could land.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

E-46: Casino Misconceptions

The following, are commonly held beliefs by even the most seasoned gambler. They are not myths as such, but common misconceptions that most people seem to believe as it certainly seems feasible when you look at gambling from the players perspective.

1: In blackjack, the last players actions affects whether you win or lose.

This has to be the most misunderstood components of blackjack.
You need to look at this from a purely mathematical stand point, which is hard to do when money is involved.
Blackjack is played 1 on 1; its you versus the dealer. The key is to play your hand in accordance with the best possible strategy. What the last player does makes no difference to your hand. Blackjack is generally played nowadays from a 4 deck shoe, so it is a mood point to say a players actions affected the card that is being dealt. Any 1 of 208 cards could come out of the shoe.

What players also fail to notice in this example is all the mistakes that someone does that actually improve your hand. For example, maybe if he hadn't pulled an extra card on that last hand, then your first card on the next deal wouldn't have been an ace.

2: Roulette wheels are setup to favour the house

No casino owner in their right mind would dare cheat their players these days. Wheels are regularly inspecting by the Nevada Gaming Commission and casinos don't gain anything if they are caught. They would lose all their patrons in a heartbeat if they were thought to be cheating.
On top of this, they already have an unbeatable edge on all game, cheating is just not needed.

3: Hot and cold dealers and dice throwers.

There is no such thing as good or bad luck. Its another case of player perception, where you only remember the streaks someone has and fail to notice all the hands or rolls that had a normal outcome.

4: Opening and closing squares in blackjack affects your outcome.

Again this is the same as the last players actions that affects the dealers hand. It doesn't matter how many squares are being played or even if you open or close them. There is no such thing as the flow of the cards. It is a purely random occurrence that will not change by how many cards are pulled.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

E-45: Poker Hand Nicknames

This information can be helpful if you are watching it on TV or even if playing in your casino or home game. Learning the slang you hear in a casino will make you seem less of a novice when approaching a new game.

You would be surprised how much basic information you can pick up off a weak player just by knowing some of the more common nicknames. Even if this knowledge doesn't help you get a read on another player, it should at least boost your confidence at thee tables when you know the lingo.

Some of the common names are:
A-A American Airlines, Pocket Rockets, Bullets
K-K Cowboys
Q-Q Ladies, Dames, The Hilton Sisters
J-J Jokers, Hooks
8-8 Snowmen, Octopuses
7-7 Walking sticks
4-4 Sailboats
2-2 Ducks
A-K Anna Kournikkova, Big Slick
A-J Ajax
K-Q Marriage
K-J Kojak
K-9 Canine
Q-7 Computer Hand
Q-3 San Fran Bus Boy
J-9 TJ Cloutier
J-5 Jackson Five
10-5 Five and Dime
10-2 Doyle Brunson
5-5 Speed Limit
5-4 Jesse James

These all may be nicknames of hands, but very few are actually used regularly. To be honest you would seem like a huge fish if you started spouting these out after every hand. Never over do your your usage of these and if you spot someone using them, that's who you should target with your play.

Monday, January 21, 2013

E-44: Finding A Casino For Your Skill & Bankroll

If you are new to casino gambling, or even just want to try out a new table game, it is imperative that you find the right casino to try it at.

Although the allure of a big name casino might be tempting, it really may not suit your skill level. Casinos like Caesars Palace, Aria and Wynn are all aimed at the most experienced player, or at least a player with a higher bankroll. Most of their table games will be at least a $15 minimum or higher and if you wanted to try your luck at a new table game it really wouldn't be a smart idea.

Not only are the minimums higher, but the dealers are less likely to help you with any teething problems you may have. At the higher end properties, the dealers are encouraged to cater to the bigger gambler and will not have time to step you through your bets.

The slots and video poker will also be a higher denomination. The difference from a penny slot to a quarter is substantial and can put some serious pressure on your new bankroll. Be sure to play within your means, especially when you are still learning.

Some great options for a quality experience on the strip without breaking the bank are the lower tier Caesars properties, such as Paris, Planet Hollywood, Ballys and Flamingo. These hotels offer good service, with friendly dealers who generally have the time to help you if you are new to a game.

Some casinos even offer free training on games like, poker, blackjack and craps. Table games can be daunting and a one on one training session can really help you learn thee basics in an actual casino environment.

Another great option is the Las Vegas local casinos. These always have smaller table limits and the dealers are used to chatting with players and are more likely to help you out.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

E-43: Finding Loose Slots

When playing slot machines everyone wants to find the loosest machine. By dispelling some common myths and by following some of these tips, we hope to help you get the most from your gambling dollar.

Myth 1: Loose machines are surrounded by tight machines.
This is a common myth and comes from the fact that many slot players like to play more than 1 machine at a time. The thinking is that the slot manager will surround the loose machines with tight ones in order to lull players into playing them.

Myth 2: Loose machines are placed near the casino entrance.
This is an obvious myth and forms from the idea that players walking passed will see people winning and that will entice them in. This myth doesn't really have much validity as there are usually multiple entrances and they cant really be seen from the street.

Myth 3: Machines near the end of the slot banks are loose.
This comes from the idea that people seeing players winning will be more likely to go down the row and play a machine.

Myth 4: Machines near the table games are tight.
There are 2 reasons for the myth, firstly, the noise and activity will distract the table game players who are generally placing larger bets. An d secondly, the table game players will dump their remaining coins in the machine when they get up and head to the cage.

Myth 5: Slot machines near thee showroom and buffet lines are tight.
This is due to the fact that the people in those lines are stuck and are forced to watch the slot players. They will hopefully be tempted to play and by keeping the machines tight they are forced to play them because they can't stray too far from the queue.

Myth 6: Slots near the casino cage are loose.
The reasoning behind this is that the casino wants to see players winning while you are waiting in line. It creates more of a buzz and you may leave the line to try your luck.

Myth 7: Round carousels are looser than the rows.

This has formed because the carousels are visible from many more angles than the rows and again, the more visible a machine the more it should pay out.

Most of these myths you have probably heard and if you think a step further, so have the slot managers. If they know all these myths too, they are likely to switch them all on their head to increase profits.
That being said, most casino managers simply don't have the time and ability to move machines around regularly. The majority of machines are set at a payback of between 80%-95%

Sunday, January 6, 2013

E-42: Bad Slot Characters

Slot machine etiquette is a very important factor to consider to ensure you and other players have a pleasant experience. Below is a list and brief description of the different slot characters you may come across.

There are quite a few bad habits that people seem to develop. These have formed because of superstition or a need to control the outcome of a slot machine. Some slot players seem to be oblivious to the people around them and will do just about anything, if they think it helps them hit that big pay out.

Button Slappers: This is the players that smashes the spin button with so much force that it vibrates the machine and the sound can be heard rows away.
These people are extremely annoying to sit next to and you should avoid becoming one off these players.

Machine Basher: These people hit the machine with a clenched fist and if a spin doesn't go their way they may give the machine a boot.
Casinos may have a lot of money, but this could be better spent on new additions as opposed to repairing damaged machines.

The Lounger: This is the player who can be found with his legs propped up on the slot bank or better still his legs on an adjacent chair.
This is not your living room, so have some respect for the fact that other players may want to sit down.

The Talker: This can be the most annoying player that you encounter. This person doesn't mean to frustrate you but they will often bore you with their losing stories.
Try to be polite with this character as they mean you no harm and are simply trying to be friendly.

The Newbie: This player will sit down right next to you, even though there are many seats available. These players are more common around video poker machines.
The best way to get rid of these people is to tell them to throw away that pair of queens and chase the flush.

Group Players: These are usually young guys or girls on a "Bucks Stew" who cheer on the player after every hand. They will frequently bump your chair and scream as the player hits 2 pair.
The best tactic here is to simply cash out and move to a quieter part of the casino.
The key with all these people is to remain polite and find a quieter machine if it really bothers you. Remember that everyone is trying to have a good time and these people aren't usually trying to annoy you deliberately.