In this two-part article, I discuss 20 assumptions held by numerous casino players, many handed down by tradition and authority that are indeed false, illogical, dangerous and dumb.
Assumption #1: In blackjack,Frank Scoblete is the one of the most popular gaming authors in America. He has released sixteen books, three audiotapes, three videotapes, and his own imprint, the Scoblete Get-the-Edge Guides. Frank's website is www.goldentouchcraps.com the dealer probably has a 10-value card in the hole.
Don’t bet your life on that. True, the dealer is more likely to have a 10-valued card than any other single value, but he is much more likely to have a non-10 in the hole.
Why is that? Because in a single deck of cards, there are only 16 cards valued as 10 (the King, Queen, Jack and 10) and 36 cards not valued as 10.
Of course, you have a better chance of a 10-valued card coming out than you do a 2, or 3 or 4 or Ace because there are four 10-values to every one of any other value.
Now, here’s the really important thing to remember. We don’t play basic strategy based on what we guess the hole card of the dealer to be. We play it based on the face-up card. The computer simulations that developed basic strategy did so taking into consideration every single possible hole card the dealer could have and in what proportions.
Assumption #2: I am due to win on this machine because it has been cold for some while.
If a slot machine is programmed to be random, and they are, the chances of a machine heating up or cooling down are always the same -- before you started to play, while you’re playing, and after you’ve retired for the night.
If the odds of hitting a given payline are 50 to one, they are always 50 to one.
So don’t think that because you have been dumping the college funds into the machine these past few hours that you’ll win it all back.
No it doesn’t. On any given night, there are plenty of people who are ahead of the game at any given time. There are also plenty of people who are ahead when their day or evening of gambling is over. In fact, I once read a statistic based on a survey of people at the airport in Las Vegas, that approximately 10 percent of the folks leaving were ahead for their trip. If there were never any winners, the casinos would go out of business.
Who would ever play if hand after hand, roll after roll, spin after spin, time after time you lost? No one. In the long run, the casino will beat almost every player owing to three variables: the casino edge on almost all games, the casino bankroll that can weather hot streaks by the players, and the poor play of many players.
Assumption #4: New machines just put on the floor are always loose to encourage people to play them.
Maybe. Maybe not. Often new machines are so novel, so spellbinding, that people will take a crack at them whether they are loose or not. Why give the players who would play these machines simply because they are new a break? Why not just wait until the first wave of interest starts to subside and then jack up the payouts a bit more?
In fact, there is no evidence that new machines are any more or less loose, or tight, than the old machines. It is an individual decision made by individual casinos as to how loose or tight their new (and old) machines will be.
Editors note: Here at ReadyBetGo, we have a whole section devoted to finding loose slots.
Not true. Some games are a delightful combination of dumb luck (short run results) and smart skill (long run results). Games such as blackjack, poker, video poker, Caribbean Stud, Spanish 21, Let It Ride, Pai Gow poker, and even Three Card Poker require the best choices to be made on each and every hand you’re dealt in order to cut the casino edge to its minimum and, in some cases, to turn the edge in favor of the players.
On a given hand, on a given night, luck is the key factor, that is true, but in the long run how skillfully you play your cards will determine just what the casino wins from you -- or what you win from it!
Assumption #6: You have to be a genius to count cards at blackjack.
Really? Do this. Add one plus one. You got two, right? Now, add another one to the total of two. Did you get three? Fine. Now, subtract two from three. Did you get one? Great. You can learn how to count cards at blackjack. The discoverers of card counting are geniuses, but the folks who learned how to count are just you and me.
One plus one is two minus one is one plus two is three plus two is five minus one is four. Card counting does take a little discipline, and some concentration when doing it in a casino, but the rudiments are as easy as one, two, three.
Assumption #7: New games are introduced to give the players more choices.
That’s certainly how the casinos advertise it. In reality, new games are introduced to give the casinos more of an opportunity for increased revenues. New games are an attempt to lure veteran players who might be bored with the old games, or introduce new players to the tables. You’ll notice that all new table games come in with higher house edges or faster speeds than more traditional games. Even a relatively good new game such as Spanish 21 needs the player to memorize a whole new basic strategy in order to reduce the house edge to around 0.8 percent. This still isn’t as good as the approximately 0.5 percent edge a normal six-deck blackjack game has for a basic strategy player.
And if you don’t play the correct strategy at Spanish 21, which most people do not, you are facing edges of well over two and three percent.
Assumption #8: When you get to the bonus round on Wheel of Fortune, each stop is equally likely.
Visually, the beautiful spinning wheel looks as if every stop is as equally likely as every other stop. It isn’t. They aren’t. That wheel is not a mechanical device but a computer controlled “entertainment feature” that selects the winning stop based on a Random Number Generator (that pesky RNG again), so something that might look like a one in 22 chance could really be a one in 20,000 chance!
A lot of people believe that this is true but it isn’t. Despite the fact that casinos have been known to “ask” card counters to leave their environs, or at the very least desist from playing blackjack, card counters are not violating any laws. How could they be?
It is not a criminal offense to think. Your eyes have to look at the cards. Your brain has to make decisions on what to do with your hand. So why have the courts (thus far) upheld the right of a casino to refuse someone’s action because he or she is counting cards (or was thought to be counting cards)?
Casinos are under an ancient law/custom called the “Innkeeper Law” that states a man’s home and, by extension, his “Inn” is his castle and he can serve or not serve whomever he pleases. In the United States, certain “protected” groups, such as minorities and the handicapped, cannot be asked to leave a business establishment because of these particulars, but if they were counting cards in a casino, they could be booted out as well. Thus far, no court has really established that we have a right to think.
Assumption #10: Casinos are not interested in low rollers. To get comps, you have to bet big money.
If you play the machines, even for quarters, you aren’t as low a roller as you think you are. Put three quarters in a machine every five seconds and you are putting through $540 per hour. Play four hours and you just gambled $2,160 -- wow!
The casinos will be more than happy to recognize such action with free or discounted rooms, meals and other special promotions. If you play table games, you might not want to be a five-dollar bettor looking for comps in a casino where they only rate $25 action. However, there are plenty of casinos that will gladly comp five-dollar players if they play long enough. The bottom line is this: Most casinos want just about all players. Find the places that give your action the most in perks as possible...and then patronize them.
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