Calling CD - Casinos & Gamblinggreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
This thread is intended to explore the Casino/Gambling experience, since we no doubt will be partaking of it in L.V. when we're not busy engaging in intellectualizing and other exciting pursuits...
On a previous thread CD Said:
For what it's worth...
I am fairly familiar with Vegas, but without a doubt I *am* the resident expert on this forum when it comes to casinos ;)
If you have any questions regarding casinos or how they operate, feel free to ask.
This Vegas get-together sounds like it'd be fun. Not yet sure if I will plan to attend but am definitely considering the idea. I have some very close friends living there whom I would stay with and would also love to spend a few days in my old stomping grounds of Laughlin, 90 miles south.
-- CD (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 20, 2000.
Then Flash said:
I'd certainly appreciate knowing any and all info about casinos that you might care to post. Maybe you could start a Casino Thread! -Flash
Followed by CD, saying:
Congrats on your recent "lightening of the coffers" at the Sahara, Flash. Sounds to me like you have an admirable degree of will power working for ya. (Way too many people would have given that $180 back while chasing more, more, more.)
As far as my offering info on casinos or starting a Casino thread - I wouldn't know where to begin. It's such a huge topic and I think the best way for me to address it would be to field specific questions as they arose. I guess I could dispel a couple myths while I'm posting here now though...
Are casinos run by the Mafia? NO! My best guess is that any "mafia" connections became extinct sometime in the early 70's. The last few decades have brought about major changes in laws, gaming regulations and licensing requirements. (Bugsy Siegel and friends would never make it in the door nowadays.)
And my favorite myth; I was playing a slot machine and when I quit, somebody else sat down and immediately hit the big jackpot which I would have hit it had I played one more time. HIGHLY DOUBTFUL! The symbols which line up during play are dependant on a random access generator which is "initiated" by the player dropping a coin/credit. The chances of your "timing" this random access generator to select the same "big jackpot" symbols are astronomical. Always remember, the odds of your winning or losing are exactly the same for EVERY single play.
The best advice I can give anyone heading out to the casino, is to approach gaming as you would any other form of (key word here...) *ENTERTAINMENT*. Enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the "rush" of a win, enjoy the free drinks, cheap food and excitement all around you, but DO NOT exceed what you have *budgeted* to lose. Like I said, it's meant to be *entertainment* and losing more than you can afford takes all the fun out of an otherwise enjoyable experience.
Now ya did it Flash! Ya got me wound up and rattling-on. LOL. Feel free to ask any specifics. Also, email addy's real if you care to go that route.
-- CD (email@example.com), June 21, 2000.
Whereupon Flash now says:
Thanks, CD! I'm a Slot-Man. Here's the sum-total of my knowlege and experience. Please jump-in with any and all info/experiences that you care to add!!!
I love slot-machines. They're just like big video games that you don't make you think too hard in order to play!
It really does take discipline to quit while you are ahead, and I don't always have it. Am actively working on it, though. Gambling really can easily become an obcession, even for people like us who think that we are always in control. My friend who has an office in L.V. and travels there every couple of weeks is normally under control, but even he is starting to exhibit occasional bouts of compulsiveness.
I usually allocate a certain amount to an evening, beforehand, and then force myself to quit if I lose it all. On the winning side, it's easy to put it all back, and what I usually do is consider either the size of the win and/or the amount of time I have been playing. If I get a big win early, I just play a little longer, and then quit while I'm ahead and don't keep trying for another one in the same session.
I think that it is important that you gamble alone or with a partner who is only along to watch or participate lightly. All of my significant losses have been when I was motivated to keep on playing beyond my jackpots because I was with my wife or a friend who was losing at the time and wouldn't quit. It can also be helpful to stay where you are playing, so you can just go relax and take a nap or a swim if your partner doesn't want to quit right then.
I've discovered that on the slots, winning and losing really does seem to go in cycles. Some nights I just lose it all in a short time. Other times things seem to be really hot and I usually leave on the plus side. For me this is important. Individual machines really do seem to run hot and cold at different times. Even if this really is just statistical coincidence, it is an apparent reality and important in strategizing. I've played enough over the past few months to believe that it is relevant. What I do is try to locate a machine that seems to be "hot" at the time, and then play it a while until I get a decent jackpot. Then I play a little longer to see if it is still "warm", and quit after a short time if it no longer seems to be so. Sometimes I will have a "cold" night and never find a hot machine that evening. It has happened several times. This is where discipline is needed. My friend got drunk one night and dropped almost $1000 because he wouldn't quit. I never drink alcohol while I'm gaming.
In order to get decent jackpots, you need to play Max-Bet. Before doing this, though, it is important to play a machine with minimum bets for a little while to see if you can observe some sort of cycle to the wins and develop a strategy such as maxing right after each win, or maybe after every 5 minimum bets. This seems to work over a period of time even if you don't get a real jackpot.
I have been playing nickle-machines recently, which in reality are 45 cent machines because a max bet is often 9 coins. I got a $650 jackpot a couple of months ago, then several evenings of losses, then a +$150 night and a +$180 night. I figure I am still up about $500 or so, but honestly had enough fun to justify even moderate losses!
So, all you seasoned gamers/gamblers out there, let's hear about your thoughts and experiences....
-- Flash (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 24, 2000
It's clear to me, Flash, that you are becoming a truly savvy slot player. I loved this line-
I think that it is important that you gamble alone or with a partner who is only along to watch or participate lightly. All of my significant losses have been when I was motivated to keep on playing beyond my jackpots because I was with my wife or a friend who was losing at the time and wouldn't quit.
LOL. You nailed it! (This is a good example of how/why it is always to the casino's benefit to keep the players playing as long as possible.)
In order to get decent jackpots, you need to play Max-Bet.
Betting the maximum is *always* the smart play on slot machines. It is when hitting the top award jackpot that the payback percentage is most in the player's favor. Example: If you line up three 7's with one coin bet, you win 100 coins. If you line up three 7's with two coins bet, you win 200 coins. (Exactly double the win of the one coin bet). But if you line up three sevens with the maximum coins bet [in this case, 3] you win 500 coins which is obviously much more than triple the win of a one coin bet. The odds of your lining up three sevens does not change regardless of how many coins you bet. However, the payback percentage does change and increases to the player's favor when the maximum number of coins are bet. (Does my explanation make sense or have I lost ya?)
Before doing this, though, it is important to play a machine with minimum bets for a little while to see if you can observe some sort of cycle to the wins and develop a strategy such as maxing right after each win, or maybe after every 5 minimum bets.
If this "seems" to work for you, Flash, have at it. Many people feel the same as you and follow the same practice. The truth is, however, that *every* play gives you the *exact* same odds.
I have been playing nickle-machines recently,
Information only- Generally speaking, the lower the denomination of the game, the "tighter" the game is. In other words, a casino might keep 12% of the money placed in their nickel machines whereas they would only keep 5% of the money placed in their dollar machines. By the way, setting the percentage is an option and is determined by management at each individual casino. Too "tight" and they lose customers. Too "loose" and they lose money. Remember Anita's advice not to play slots at the airport? Those machines are probably the tightest in the state. Why? Because they don't need to rely on repeat customers as the casinos do. The reverse is true when it comes to casinos where the locals play. These casinos are as loose or looser than any in town and the locals know it and have made it their home.
Sorry... Starting to rattle on again.
-- CD (email@example.com), June 24, 2000.
CD, you better make an effort to show up in LV. Hear me boy?
Much too much personal info ahead:
During a large portion of my misspent youth & early adulthood I ran with a crowd of potheads, coke fiends, drunks & gamblers. Also a few mobsters in training. I was a pothead & drunk. It seemed almost to a man, those with a propensity for cocaine also had been bitten by the gambling bug. No conclusions offered here, just an anecdote FWIW.
I grew up in NJ (excuse me while I expell some phlegm). I'd routinely accompany my gambling acquaintences on their sojourns down the Garden State Parkway towards the slums of Atlantic City. Snorting fat lines of cocaine every hour or so, of course. 2-1/2 hours later we'd debark at Trump Plaza or the Tropicana. Now I didn't gamble at all. I'm one thrifty guy. Damned if I'd put up my good money, what little I had, in vain hopes of doubling it.
Why did I tag along? Free drinks! Strong drinks! They want you soused my friends. Flash, good to hear you don't indulge in the sauce while gambling. Very smart man. So while you partake of your gaming pleasure, you could order drinks, say every 15 minutes, & slip 'em to me. Natch. BTW, you don't mind tippin' the waitress for me, do ya?
Any other teatotaling (-3 sp) gamblers in the group? We could work out staggered shifts (pun intended).
I could relate a few sad stories of gambling addiction but why spoil the upbeat mood. Bet with your heads, not over it.
-- Bingo1 (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 24, 2000.
Thanks for the info. Please "rattle on" as much as you feel like. Your knowledge could possibly help a lot more people than just those of us who are headed to L.V. soon. I suspect that we have a much larger read-only audience than most of us think.
The part regarding the 'tightness' of the nickle slots vs the larger denominations makes sense, as does your explanation of the max bet business. The problem with most of us is that it takes a lot of $$$ to max bet the dollar machines until you get a decent jackpot, vs maybe $100 or $200 to do it on a nickle machine. I was just lucky to get a $650 jackpot on my first night there and quit while I was ahead. Then I won (and kept) another $140 jackpot the next morning, after which I had breakfast and headed home! How are the odds on the quarter machines?
Although I'm sure you are right about the probabilities, over a series of about a dozen sessions I have experienced the hot and cold spells of various machines as being quite real. I guess the trick is developing some sort of ESP or advanced intuition to help identify when and where to experience a hot spell (Hot Flash)! I think that watching other players for a while might be a good idea. Of course sometimes there's no one playing at my favorite machines.
Great idea on the drink strategy!!! I usually keep a few new $2.00 bills in my wallet for special rewards to the drink ladies. They are usually cute and friendly and happy to bring me sodas, water, and non-alcoholic drinks on a frequent basis.
I have another friend (also from NJ) who works as a Security guy in a smaller Casino, and he confirms your observation about drugs and gambling. He says it is really depressing to see a lot of the regulars obviously having drug and/or alcohol problems.
The bottom line is that occasional trips to the casinos can be fun, but living too close to them can be problematic. I say this because I really have to fight the urge to keep playing both after a jackpot, and after subsantial losses. For me the best strategy has been to set an absolute limit for the session, quit after any decent jackpot, and force myself to stop when I'm out of money for session, if losing. It's also a good thing that I live a minimum of 4.5 hours from L.V., although they have Indian Casinos all over the place in AZ. I refuse to go in the local ones.
-- Flash (email@example.com), June 24, 2000.
Thanks for the info. Please "rattle on" as much as you feel like.
Thanks Flash. (But you might regret ever having said that! I would never give a person like *ME* an unrestricted license to babble. LOL)
The problem with most of us is that it takes a lot of $$$ to max bet the dollar machines until you get a decent jackpot, vs maybe $100 or $200 to do it on a nickle machine.
Totally understand. Maxing out a dollar, 5 dollar, 25 dollar, etc. machine takes more bucks than most people like you and I are willing to immediately jump in with. I'd save maxing those out until after I accumulated a sizeable chunk of the house's money.
How are the odds on the quarter machines?
Generally speaking, the payback percentage increases in direct proportion to denomination. Quarters are better than nickels, halves are better than quarters, dollars are better than halves, etc. Also a good rule of thumb is to stay away from the "progressive" machines. A progressive machine(s) is one which has a very high top award jackpot which increases as the machine(s) is played. (An example of this would be the IGT "Megabucks" machines.) These games are always "tighter" than the non-progressive games.
Although I'm sure you are right about the probabilities, over a series of about a dozen sessions I have experienced the hot and cold spells of various machines as being quite real.
I absolutely agree with you on this. Hot or cold cycles definitely do exist. I would use the analogy of coin flips. Flip a coin 5 times and it "could" come up heads every single time. Each flip had the same "odds" but the "tails" side of that coin sure was "cold". In much the same way, slot machines can, and occasionally do, go through these hot or cold cycles. (Remember, the symbols are selected via a random access generator.) Unfortunately, as you know, the problem lies in not knowing *when* it will "turn around" lol. Never the less, it's no fun to sit in front of a machine that is cold, so I'd also probably walk away and check others 'till I found one that was at least "lukewarm".
Couple bit's of advice...
Like Bingo mentioned, if ya wanna gamble to win, don't get drunk. (Good for you, Flash.)
If you plan on going to a casino on a regular/semi-regular basis, sign up and take advantage of their "casino club cards". These are offered by almost all casinos. These cards are free and as you play you accumulate points which can be redeemed for comps/cash/prizes. Outside of getting on their "mailer" list, there's really no downside.
Finally- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER marry a cocktail waitress!!! (Don't ask.)
BTW Bingo- Thanks for urging me on for the Vegas trip. Appreciated. Truth is however, I'm way too busy procrastinating to make that decision right now. I'll have to get back to ya on that.
-- CD (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 24, 2000.
Thanks, CD! I didn't know about the percentage on the progressives until you mentioned it, but it certainly makes sense.
And I too, really hope that you can make an appearance in L.V. It would be great to have you as an on-site consultant!!! We'd even buy your drinks!
-- Flash (email@example.com), June 24, 2000.
The last time I went to Rena (Never been to Vegas as an adult) I found a dollar machine that kept paying me to play. I would play and every so often it would give me a small win, just enough to keep playing. It satisfied the desire to pull the handle without costing me anything. After the first time I was playing on their money. My friend and I walked through the older, smaller casinos and she put in 3 dolloars, I put in one, in each macine, we would walk down the row and play them that way. I hit one for a few hundren and she asked why I had not put in three dollars. I told her I would have lost a lot more than I had gained if I had done that.
I like to gamble a bit, but I never expect to win and NEVER play with scared money (money I cannot afford to loose). I got into playing bingo a decade ago and liked it because it took longer to loose my money that way. I haven't played Bingo in a while, they started using machines so it got boring.
Now if anyone wants to get together for a few friendly games of poker I am more than willing :o)
When I was in the AirForce and we went TDY (temperary duty) to others states I would play poker. My crew got so they wouldn't pplay with me anymore :o( but there were always "fresh fish" in the temperary quarters we stayed in. We have so many gaming rooms and Indian Casinos around here now that it doesn't seem like anyone would have a reason to go to Vegas or Reno. But for me, have of the fun of going is getting away from the kids, sleeping until all hours, the lobster and prime rib and the lack of responsibilities that come with getting away from home.
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 24, 2000.
And I too, really hope that you can make an appearance in L.V. Thanks, Flash. It would be great to have you as an on- site consultant!!! We'd even buy your drinks! LOL! Now that's a deal I'd have a hard time passing up.
I got into playing bingo a decade ago and liked it because it took longer to loose my money that way. Cherri- I'm not sure how familiar you are with "keno", but it sounds like that casino game would be right up your ally. (Crummy odds though.) In fact, you can even play it in the restaurants while you're chowin' down on your lobster and prime rib.
You're a poker player eh? I've never really cared much for the live game, but sit me down at the casino's bar where video poker machines have been installed and I can play for hours.
-- CD (email@example.com), June 24, 2000.
I play keno once in a while in the state lottery.
Poker with a cold indifferent machine??????(grin)
Whats the skill in THAT?
You can't bluff a machine, you can't use unfair psychological advantages with machines, it's no challange, you just get what you are delt and that's it. I win at roulette on internet because it is "random" and the rule of odds apply. Playing poker with people is an entirely different thing, a lot of winning depends on psychology.
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 26, 2000.
I agree that playing cards requires skill and can be rewarding to those who develop and use it. Some of us, though, just like to play mindless electronic games after a day (or week) of burning out our minds on work (mental) problems. My ex-wife used to play cards all night and sometimes she would win a modest amount. I would play slotas and sometimes win, sometimes lose. But I made more in a couple of hours working than she ever did playing cards. I'd rather work a couple of extra hours and then have some mindless fun.
-- Observer (email@example.com), July 02, 2000.