I'm not sure I can make anything simpler for new players than this: focus. That's a tough thing to do when you're new at casino gambling. You find a blackjack table you want to practice basic strategy at and the dealer's smiling at you, the other players are talking about "that double down" that went wrong, and then there are cocktail waitresses in short skirts. What's a player to do? Most new gamblers can hardly remember the simple rules, much less the tough ones, so, get your blinders on!
Gambling should be fun, when it isn't, quit. But if you're having trouble because you can't concentrate, you need to learn some rules that have to do with all aspects of life, not just success in casinos. Prioritize with your eyes! Want some tips for poker on the subject? If you are playing poker, wouldn't it be better to know what your opponent did right before they raised the pot than what the Red Sox did tonight against the Yankees? That constant ESPN is costing you money if you've seen that replay more than once since you sat down. Believe me.
Concentrate and focus on the game you are playing and you'll do a lot better. When I first started playing poker in casinos I was so focused that once after about 45 minutes at the table I made room for another player next to me and said "There you go," to which the dealer smiled and laughed. I looked at him and he just said, "Sorry, that's the first thing you've said since you sat down." That was a long time ago, but I still remember it, because I may have been shy, but mostly I was concentrating on every move I saw from every player.
Of course it turns out there really wasn't that much to see in that $1-3 spread hold'em game, but after an hour I was able to say who the rocks were (no sense calling their raise), who the super-loose guys were (might as well raise them up again with a good hand), and who the dangerous players were (alright, I still don't know what to do against those guys except play carefully). Even if that's all the information you can gather by watching the players instead of the TV you are helping your long term results. Honest.
Casino jobs can be great, but dealing with the public, especially a public that is drinking and losing money, takes some skill. Table game dealers usually have their hands full with players, but they get the benefit of constant tips (they hope) to reinforce that they want to keep working, but then there is the poor Pit Boss. The job used to be glamorous, now it just takes patience and guest skills to keep from screaming. If you don't believe that, consider taking two dozen little kids to the zoo. That's what a pit of five or six table games is like on a Friday night for a Pit Boss!
Give those people in the suits a little credit because they are stuck back there, tracking players, watching the dealers, and trying to keep order with unruly guests. For the most part, they do a great job. And, they may be smarter than you think. Playing in a casino has some perks (you can actually win money on occasion), and if you know the best tips for casino comps, you can add to the fun of your trip, but remember, if you play at the tables, those very Pit Bosses are going to have a profound effect on your rating and your comps!
I was reading a book recently by an author who thinks he can control the dice, and apparently, his comp ratings. Unfortunately, his perception of the Pit Bosses and how they think is a bit off. Aside from the fact that he believes casinos comp up to 50% of a casinos estimated win (sorry, not even half that), he also believes you should walk around a lot with your chips on a blackjack table, call your bets off when the dice hit a player "because the dice have been disturbed," and sit out any hands on an automatic shuffler when 7 or more 10's have come out the last round. He says these things will increase your comp points. Now it's time to give your Pit Boss credit for some brains!
To start with, many casino players have traveled a long way to get to Vegas, or Atlantic City, or Lake Tahoe, and spent a good amount of money to get there, and to stay in the hotel, and pay for meals. They came to gamble. Don't tell them to waste time sitting out and wandering the property trying to earn a couple extra bucks in comps. Even if it works, the trade off is terrible.
As for the Pit Bosses, if you are playing craps and you call your bets off every time the dice go on the floor, or hit a player's arm, and are hoping that having your bets on the layout for an hour but only in action for 50 minutes is helping your comp dollars, you are wrong. The opposite is probably happening! In all likelihood, the box-man watching the game is noting your action and telling his relief, "this joker in the ugly hat is only playing half the time," so you are probably hurting yourself comp-wise.
As for the idea of sitting out anytime 7 or more 10-value cards come out during a single round on a continuous shuffle machine, that's the same as saying anytime you are playing on a six-deck shoe blackjack game that you should sit out if 7 or more 10-value cards come out. Anyone do that? Why would you do that? I have to assume that many other cards came out too, balancing the odds. And, just for the record, although I am not personally a fan of continuous shuffle machines because I can't run a count on them, depending on a casinos overall blackjack rules, many actually offer a slightly smaller house edge than the shoe games do. Doesn't make sense? Then just trust me.
As with most Major League Baseball seasons, there are some surprises. No, the Houston Astros are still going to lose over 100 games, and the Oakland A's are still competitive in a small market with a small payroll, but there are three teams that overspent big-time this past year to fill their rosters with starts, but that hasn't translated to more wins.
In fact, the Dodgers, Angels, and the Blue Jays all have terrific rosters. What they don't have is wins. Each team is at the bottom of their division sucking air. Well, the Angels are technically ahead of the Astros, but that doesn't count, does it? Each of these teams is having trouble in all area's, bullpen, hitting, pitching, and soon, making payroll will be tough too with no fans in the stands.
The 3-game series is my favorite to bet on. Now that I have my future bets in place for the World Series and I've got an idea how teams are playing, I spend a lot of time looking at how teams are scoring runs and how they will perform against other teams. Usually I can count on certain teams to score a ton, and I expected the Angels and Blue Jay's to do so this year. So far, I'm wrong.
The good thing about baseball is that every 3-game series will see one team win 2 games. All you need to do is figure out which one it is, before the games start. Right now you may find some very good lines to bet on, and you can expect the Marlins and the Astros to be happy with a win or two a week, so there's a start for you. Good Luck!
I was playing in a local poker tournament last week and they brought in a dealer to practice and audition on our game. Not only did it slow down the tournament, but it made the players mad. As with most tournaments, the blinds went up quickly and I was anticipating four more hands before the blinds passed me and we went on break. Instead, the new dealer spent nine minutes getting out two hands. Hey, it's tough doing an audition, that's not the problem. The issue was that the blinds were $2k and $4K, but instead of being on the button, I was the small blind at $5K with the big blind of $10K coming up. Sorry, but $15K instead of $6K was a big difference at that point with 14 players left and heading to the final table.
Note to poker room bosses: Do not send in your new hires and auditions at the end of a tournament. It's not fair to them, or the players!
As for blackjack dealer auditions, those are tough on any dealer, but I don't mind having them push in while I'm playing. Usually the dealer is so nervous they can't remember to do anything but smile, but that's a start. It's fun to see them trying so hard. If you have to do an audition, don't worry about the players. Just follow the rules you know and do your best! If you make a mistake, it's not brain surgery, the pit boss can always fix the problem.
Unfortunately, nobody can fix my poker issue right now. I seem to have an aversion to winning any tournaments. At the one in question I was the Bubble Boy for the evening. Oh well, the sushi before hand was great!
For years the casinos of Nevada and Atlantic City have offered credit to their casino players. The good part of establishing credit at your favorite casino is that the loan is free of interest. The bad part is you may be playing with money you really shouldn't risk gambling. Always use your best judgement!
Delaware has had slot casinos since the mid 1990's, but added table games recently. Delaware casinos can also offer credit, if they want to. You can't play in the casino at 18, but you can vote, play the lottery, and bet at the horse race tracks (each of which houses a really nice casino).
Missouri, which has 13 casinos, is considering a new bill to allow credit in their casinos. The current legislation would allow players to apply for credit, and much like writing a check, it would have to be paid within 30 days or would be withdrawn automatically from the player's checking account. That sounds like a reasonable way to go. Of course it will put more players who shouldn't be playing on credit at risk. Unless you are really naive about human nature and gambling, as obviously some people are. Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, was quoted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "I don't think many of those poor people are going to be eligible," she said. "That particular bill will be targeted for people coming from out of town -- baseball players, rappers like Lil Wayne. After his concert, he may want to spend $30,000 (gambling) on a boat. That's his prerogative." I'm sure Lil Wayne thanks the Senator for thinking of him and his needs.
As for your needs, credit is a scary casino product. It's a slippery slope with a patch of ice at the bottom. Slide down the slope and you hit that ice hard! Gamble with what you can afford, not with what you want to be able to afford. Having your losses taken from your checking account at the end of the month can be a rude awakening, even if you are from "out of town or a baseball player." Good luck.
I'm not sure patience can be considered a system, but being patient usually works for me. And when I'm not patient, I make mistakes. Dumb ones. I once hurried onto a rope swing across a creek and wound up doing a double-back flip onto my head (yeah, that's what did this to me) because I wasn't patient enough. Simple as that. So, my main system for gambling is being patient and taking advantage of the times when a good streak comes along.
It doesn't matter whether I'm playing blackjack and waiting for the count to go up, or tossing hands in poker waiting for a hand I can play, I can always wait a little longer. Except in a tournament! As the blinds grow to five or ten percent of your stack, you've got to start pressing your more mediocre hands. I know that, but still I struggle. Do as I say, not as I do.
On the other hand, I'm very good at being patient at craps and then really pressing my bets up. When winning at craps is my goal, I know a pretty simple system that works wonders during good streaks and doesn't bury me when the dice are choppy, but sometimes I don't get back to my poker game too quickly. If I could just get the casinos to stop putting craps tables between the poker room and the restaurants, I'd be all set!
According to the AP, the founder of Full Tilt Poker (you know, the one that took like $450 million in player deposits, but only had $150 million in cash), Raymond Bitar, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and was sentenced to time served (7 days after his first arrest) and had to give up his assets. The prosecutors said nearly $300 million in player deposits were missing. His own lawyers said he was helping recover money. Bahhh! Bitar was quoted as saying,"I'm very sorry for the problems that Full Tilt Poker got into." Hey, Full Tilt didn't get into problems, you, Mr. Bitar, spent your players money!
Earlier reports said Full Tilt kept paying their owners and representatives (read: over-paid professional poker players representing the site) from $30K to $100K a month each. I have yet to hear of any money being recovered. Eleven people were charged in the case. They took the player's deposits and funneled hundreds of millions of dollars of gambling revenues through U.S. banks by disguising the income as coming from legitimate business, and they spent $300 million that was not theirs to spend. They owned a business, spent more than they were earning (with all the rake, how in the heck was that possible?), and gave online poker a black-eye and left thousands of players without money they deposited!
It is so sad that a company that was making millions every month still couldn't stay within their bankroll. For our readers, do yourself a favor and take good care managing your own casino gambling bankroll. You'll be happy you did.
As amazing as this may sound, Dr. Edward O. Thorp's Book, Beat the Dealer, is #1 at Amazon for blackjack books. It's amazing because the book is 50 years old! Are there any other books in the world, that old, that are number-one best sellers on Amazon? I doubt it.
Beat the Dealer was ground-breaking because it explained how a game played in casinos could actually be beaten. In response to his book's popularity, Las Vegas casinos actually changed the rules on their blackjack tables and waited for the house to cave-in. Of course the opposite happened, as more players refused to take any of Thorp's advice, and actually lost money playing, and that still applies today. Players love blackjack, but that love doesn't translate to beating the game. It takes a lot of skill and practice to be a successful card counter.
When Texas Hold'em poker gained nationwide popularity in the 1970's, David Sklansky took note and authored two very important books about poker, and Texas Hold'em. His book, The Theory of Poker, is number 8 in poker at Amazon, even though is was originally written thirty years ago! That's pretty amazing too.
Sklansky is a respected author, three-time gold bracelet winner at the WSOP, and also authored Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players, which should be on every poker player's bookshelf. It is, obviously for players who already know how to play Texas Hold'em and are well-grounded in the game, but the insights provided and the concepts are so material to sound play at Texas Hold'em, that the book is really much better than most of the "new" books being presented by so many professional players. If you see it on a bookshelf, pick it up and take a look!
Ever see that chart with the evolution of man, from Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, to Modern Man? Ever wonder what a casino gaming evolution chart would look like, for say the last few hundred years? Well, to start with, the casinos in Europe were dominated by roulette, so think of a big roulette wheel for the first part - table games. Next, as the American West (alright, Mississippi and New Orleans too) expanded, poker joined-in as the next favorite, and because it has evolved, it's still huge as the second part! And finally, after the invention of the Liberty Bell Slot (reel slot machines), slots came along and they too have changed over the years and now dominate the financial end, pulling about 70-percent of the revenues for the average casino. Wow.Obviously that chart only takes us to the early 1900's. What happened then? Well, roulette stayed the same, but slots and table games have continued to evolve and capture new interest. Today's slot machines can do most anything compared to what they used to do (spin, spin, stop). That's great. But I like table games too. Caribbean Stud was the first widely accepted new table game in decades when it came out in the 1990's, but Three Card Poker is now the King among new table games. Derek Webb's game employes poker basics with high, slot machine-style payoffs, and only variations of Hold'em, such as the World Poker Tour table game have shown any such popularity. It's not easy inventing a new casino table game, although every year there are dozens of new developers trying to get licensed in gaming jurisdictions across the country. Did you know that in Nevada alone, over 200 games have been approved for field-trials? That's a lot of new, patented, and licensed games, but the competition is fierce. If you're working on a new game, keep your fingers crossed and your pocketbook closed, at least until you have $50k to $100K to invest! The path to riches is fraught with pitfalls, and the path to a field-trial is a long, long road indeed. Good luck!
The Casino Chip and Gaming Token Collectors Club is coming to Las Vegas at the end of June. The annual show brings thousands of casino memorabilia collectors to Sin City for a little fun, but relaxation is never on the agenda. Every convention includes meetings, trade sessions, an auction, a room packed with casino items the collectors have for sale, banquets, poker and blackjack tournaments, and lectures about whatever might be new, or newly found!
The club's been around for almost 30 years, and the convention happens every summer now. I've been to about half the meetings, and I can tell you it's always the highpoint of my collecting year. Meeting with friends and collectors is great fun, and there are always plenty of new chips and dice I've never seen. This year I'll also be talking about my new book, Vegas and the Mob, which tells the story of, well, you get it, Las Vegas and the Mob.
Anyway, the convention starts this year on Wednesday June 19, 2013. It's located at South Point Casino, 9777 Las Vegas Boulevard South. It's a bit down the road, but at least you don't have to worry about coping with high casino table limits. South Point has bowling, movies, poker, bingo, a sports book, plenty of slots, and lots of $5 and $10 table games. And, in June, they've got the chip collectors in the upstairs convention space. You should plan to attend!