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Gaming Guru

 

Just Ask A.P.

25 November 1999

Dear AP:
If I play $25-a-bet for four hours at a casino, what can I expect to get comped?

PG

Dear PG:
That is not an easy question. Each game is rated differently depending on the percentage edge that the casino has over you. If you were to play blackjack at this level and you knew basic strategy perfectly, you would probably be treated to a meal for two at the coffee shop and you might even get a reduced rate for a room. If you were playing craps, a pass line bet of 25 dollars would probably get you the same thing. Roulette would be different. At 25 dollars per spin, you would probably get a free room and also comps for the coffee shop. The other factor that has to be considered is the casino you're playing in. A casino such as the Mirage in Las Vegas would not consider a $25 player to be a big player, whereas a casino such as the Maxim in Las Vegas would. The best thing to do when figuring the kind of comps your action would get is to ask the casino directly. Don't be shy. Just say: "If I play this amount for this time what will you give me?"


Dear AP:
When should you split 4:4? I read one book and it said never split them. I read another book and it said to split them against a six. I read a third book and it said split them against a five or six. I read an article that said to double down on it. I'm going crazy. What's the right move?

DS

Dear DS:
According to Frank Scoblete author of Best Blackjack, every one of the moves you mentioned is the right move—-depending on the nature of the game you're playing. In multiple-deck games where the player can double down after splitting, you should split your 4:4 against the dealer's five or six. In single-deck games where you can double down after splitting, you should also split your 4:4 against the dealer's five or six. In multiple-deck games where you can't double down after splitting, you should never split 4:4, just take the appropriate hit. In single-deck games where you can't double down after splitting, you should simply double down on your 4:4 against the dealer's five or six. The reason for these various decisions has to do with the nature of your hand versus the dealer's hand. If the dealer is in a vulnerable position, you want to get as much money out as possible. If you can split and then double down, you could theoretically get four hands instead of one.


Dear AP:
Are all video poker Jacks-or-Better Draw Poker machines the same? Or are some looser than others?

GH

Dear GH:
Video poker machines are not like slot machines. The player cannot tell from the face of a slot machine whether the machine he is playing is loose or tight. According to Frank Scoblete's seminal book on slots, Break the One- Armed Bandits!, the only way to figure out which slots are "loose" and which slots are "tight" is by their positioning in the casino. As a video-poker player, you don't have to do an analysis of the casino machine placement. If your game is Jacks-or-Better Draw Poker, look for machines that return nine coins for a full house and six coins for a flush (playing one coin) and 4,700 coins for a royal flush (playing maximum coins). These machines are the loosest Jacks-or-Better Draw Poker machines to be found today. To take full advantage of their looseness, you must play the maximum number of coins—-which is five-—and play perfect strategy. My advice is to get a copy of Victory at Video Poker!. This book contains good strategies for over a hundred video poker machines.


For more information about maximizing your comps, we recommend:

The Frugal Gambler by Jean Scott
Comp City: A Guide to Free Las Vegas Vacations by Max Rubin

For more information about blackjack, we recommend:

Best Blackjack by Frank Scoblete
The Morons of Blackjack and Other Monsters! by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Blackjack! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete

For more information about video poker:

Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
Alene Paone
Alene Paone is the publisher of Paone Press which specializes in gaming books, videos and audio cassettes. For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406.
Alene Paone
Alene Paone is the publisher of Paone Press which specializes in gaming books, videos and audio cassettes. For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406.