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Gaming Guru

 

Just Ask AP

31 July 1999

Dear AP:
I am an avid craps player with a big bankroll and I'm looking for the best craps game in America. Where is it? I'm a pass line and come better and I take the full odds. Point me to the best places to play. My money is burning a hole in my pocket!

SG

Dear SG:
First, let me compliment you on your style of play, which is the best way to play craps. Let me recommend that you also incorporate the 5-Count into your play as well. This technique can be found in the book Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win! Since you are a pass line and come player who depends on getting his value from taking the full odds, you have to locate the casinos that are offering the best deal on the odds bets. You will readily find casinos in Las Vegas and some in Mississippi that are offering l0X, 20X and even 100X odds. Take as much as you can reasonably afford to in odds and you will have the best possible craps game.


Dear AP:
Why do the casinos serve alcohol for free when you're playing the games? Isn't this costing them a fortune? I was in one casino where the size of the drinks were incredible. The guy next to me ordered a glass of wine and the waitress (who was quite a beautiful sight to behold I might add) brought him a 8 ounce glass filled to the top.

HH

Dear HH:
The girl, the glass, the wine all have one thing in common in the casino management s thinking—they are there to loosen the player up so that he plays for more money, more hours and more recklessly than he would have had the wine been served in a small glass and had the waitress been a grandmotherly type. A long time ago, the casinos discovered this about their male players: Give a man some booze and he'll lose his inhibitions. Give him a beautiful server with a revealing outfit and he'll start to show off. In a casino, this showing off usually consists of playing like an idiot, making foolishly big bets and bad bets. The deeper the neckline, the dopier the player. I spend a lot of time in casinos and I have seen men do very foolish things just to impress someone who will never be impressed by anything he does. When I'm playing, I keep the booze to a minimum and I focus on the game. You must always keep this in mind when you're in a casino. The casino does everything to relieve you of your money in as painless a way as possible. If you're tipsy and flirty, you're not going to be thinking clearly. You push that money out like there's no tomorrow and there will be no casino in your tomorrow in short order.


Dear AP:
I'm interested in playing tournament blackjack but I'm afraid that I'll embarrass myself because I don't know what I'm doing. Should I give it a try? I play regular blackjack and I use a strategy that I've developed. I haven't being doing too well. Any ideas?

MT

Dear MT:
Tournament blackjack has become very popular lately for two reasons: 1.) for a relatively small investment (the entry fee), you have a chance to make a lot of money and 2.) good players can get an edge since the casinos usually return all the money in the form of prizes. The latter point is the reason that so many professional blackjack players have turned to the tournament scene as a source of income. These players are not competing against the casinos but against other players! A player such as yourself, with your own strategy, would have a hard time coping with the sharks that tour the country playing in the tournaments. The reason for this is simply: You aren't playing properly. No strategy that you can devise can duplicate the power of the basic strategies created by the computer. So before you even consider entering a tournament, learn the proper basic strategy for playing blackjack (I recommend Best Blackjack by Frank Scoblete as a good book to start with). Once you have learned the proper basic strategy, then you can feel confident about your playing strategies. At this point, you are ready to consider the tournament scene. However, before you do, read Stanford Wong's Casino Tournament Strategy, which has become the bible among tournament players. Then you'll have some idea of what the other players are doing and how to handle their game plans.


Dear AP:
I've heard the roulette term "tilted wheel" but I've never seen one of these in a casino. Do they really exist or are they simply a figment of some gambling writer's imagination?

RB

Dear RB:
A "tilted wheel" is merely a roulette wheel that is not in perfect alignment. Thus, certain sections of the wheel will have more hits than other sections based on long-run probabilities. However, with that said, don't expect to be able to "see" one of these wheels because the tilt is usually so slight that it is unnoticeable to the naked eye. If that weren't so, the casino pit crews would quickly see that the wheel was unbalanced and take it out of action. So to discover tilted wheels (these are also called biased wheels), you have to scout a wheel over a prolonged number of spins. In the American version of roulette, there are 38 numbers into which a ball may drop—1 through 36 and 0 and 00. The chances for any one of these numbers coming up is therefore 1 in 38. After 380 spins of the wheel, if you notice that a certain number has come up more than, say, 18 times, or if a certain quadrant has come up more than a fifth of the time, you might indeed be facing a "biased wheel." The only way to make a killing in roulette (aside from being lucky, that is) is to play biased wheels since the casino otherwise has a rather hefty 5.26 percent edge on roulette bets. Frank Scoblete's book Spin Roulette Gold: Secrets of Beating the Wheel contains many strategies for exploiting potentially biased or tilted wheels.


Dear AP:
What's the best time of day to play slots? My uncle won $80,000 at 10 p.m. and he claims that the night has more winners than any other time. Is he right? He also claims that the casinos loosen their machines at night but in the day the machines are tightened. He says that in the day, not enough people play so the casinos have to win more money from them than they do at night.

BE

Dear BE:
You're right about more money being won during the night at slots. Unfortunately, you're wrong about the reason as to why this is so. The casinos can't loosen and tighten the machines at will because this means removing and exchanging the computer chips inside or reprogramming them. Still, more people win at night. So why the increase in the number of winners at night? That's simple: More people play at night and thus there are more opportunities for winning combinations. Just walk around a casino at 10 p.m. and you'll see that the majority of the machines are in action. Nighttime brings out the gamblers. Since there are loose machines scattered throughout the casinos, the more people playing the better the chance for these machines to also be in action. See Frank Scoblete's Break the One-Armed Bandits! for more information concerning the placement of "loose" and "tight" machines. Slot machines are programmed to pay out a certain percentage of the money put in them and they don't know from day to night.

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.