A Closer Look At Positive Expectation

What do I mean when I refer to an over 100% machine?” An over 100% machine simply means a machine that pays back more than you put in. Fantastic, except for one thing: this is factored over a long period of time. It does not mean over 100% in every session.” In fact, an over 100% machine isn’t guaranteed to earn you a profit even over what most would consider a long period of time. And it’s certainly not graphed by a steady upward curve. The only sure thing I’ve ever found in casino gambling is streakiness, and video poker results can be as streaky as it gets.
Also, and this is a very important concept to grasp: whether or not you achieve that over 100% return depends on the number of royals you hit. A royal contributes approximately 1.7%-2% (depending on the game) to the total payback percentage, and you only hit a royal about once every 35,000- 45,000 handssome 80 hours of play. So during those other 79 hours, even if you’re playing a deuces wild machine with a 100.76% payback percentage and accruing .5% slot club cash back for your play, that 1.8% you lose for not hitting the royal pretty much wipes out your advantage during the periods in between the big jackpot. During these periods, you will most likely lose money (positive expectation is sweet, but it usually doesn’t come easily). That’s why it’s necessary to analyze situations in terms of what mathematicians call expected value” or expected return,” which assumes an infinite period of play.
Okay, with that groundwork laid, here are a couple of examples of positive expectation readily available in any number of casinos in Las Vegas at any given time.
Playing full-pay” deuces wild with computerperfect (optimal”) strategy, the return percentage is 100.76%. Another way to say this is: for every $100
you put into a full-pay deuces wild video poker machine, you’ll get back $100.76. It may look skinny,” but that’s a pretty good edge. Unfortunately, only a computer can play computer-perfect strategy. Humans make mistakes. They get tired of sitting and staring at a screen. They get a little fuzzy from the free drinks. The guys get distracted by short skirts on cocktail waitresses. I figure skilled human strategy on a full-pay deuces wild machine is more like 100.5%. In these examples, my numbers are based on that one-half-percentage-point advantage.
Playing 25 full-pay deuces, you’re making $1.25 bets (five quarters). If you play slowly (say 320 hands per hour), you’ll put about $400 through the deuces wild machine in 60 minutes. At our skilled human capability of 100.5%, over that hour your expected return is $402 (1.005 X $400 = $402). Thus, your expected return (or win) is $2 per hour. Don’t quit your day job!
Example 2. This time you’re playing $1 deuces wild with skilled human strategy, but you’re playing fast (600 hands per hour). Betting $5 per hand, you’re putting $3,000 through the machine per hour. Now your .5% positive expected return produces $3,015; over the long term you’ll take in $15 per hour. That’s like a $30,000-a-year paycheck.

A Closer Look at Negative Expectation

The flip side of positive expectation is, logically enough, negative expectation. An under 100% machine” is a machine that pays back less than you put in. Let’s say you find a 25 deuces wild machine that has only one change in the pay table from the full- pay deuces schedule. A key changeit pays only four coins for four-of-a-kind instead of five. That’s just one tiny alteration, but it gives the house a whopping 5.7% edge. This means that you’re playing a game that returns only 94.3%. Now if you play a slow 320 hands per hour, you’re losing $22.80 per hour (.057 X $400)and that’s on a 25 machine.
Does the $2-per-hour profit from full-pay deuces look better to you now? And does the $22.80-per- hour loss convince you to read pay tables carefully? The main reason for all the new video poker variations is that casino know there are a lot of players with a little bit of video poker knowledge. Many people now know that full-pay jacks or better and deuces wild are good games, but they’re not real careful about reading the pay tables to make sure that full-pay is what they’re playing. Point them toward any jacks or better or deuces machine and they assume it pays liberally. The casinos, of course, make sure that they aren’t: Play this game. It’s almost like the other one that pays a lot more.”
This occasionally backfires on a casino when it monkeys with a pay schedule of a well-known machine and the changes result in a larger payback percentage. If you become a true student of the game, you’ll be able to spot these situations, know what changes to make in the strategy, and take advantage to make a lot of money on these machines, until the casino wises up and fixes the schedule or removes the machines entirely.

Jacks or Better

Jacks or better is the basic video poker game. One of the first to come out, it’s considered something of a video poker standard. The full-pay version is known as 9/6 jacks or better, meaning the payback (with one coin in) for a full house is 9 coins and for a flush is 6 coins. Sad to say, there are not a lot of them outside of Las Vegas. Full-pay jacks or better has a return percentage of 99.5%. It’s not a positive game; as we’ve seen, the casino has a .5% advantage. But because it’s readily available in Vegas and a lot of other video poker variations are derived from it, I also consider it the standard. Often you get enough cash back from the slot club or a promotion to make jacks or better an over 100% game.The first chart is what the pay table for a 9/6 jacks or better video poker machine looks like. The second is also a jacks or better pay table, but with a crib- cal difference: it’s an 8/5 machine. Note the difference in the payouts for full house and flush; this lowers the return to 97.3%.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m not going to provide you with the strategies, which are readily available in any number of books and computer software programs. See the Appendix for recommendations.

Canadian Casinos North Of The Border For Fun & Games

Gambling in Canada expanded in leaps and bounds during the 1990′s.

Canada now boasts 59 casinos and 70 racetrack/slots venues in 7 provinces and NWT.

Provincial governments oversee gaming in each of the participating provinces.

The legal gambling age is 19 years of age. I suggest you call ahead for casino hours and location.

All information is correct at time of writing, but may change.

Nova Scotia

Casino Nova Scotia operates two locations in Halifax, 1983 Upper Water St. on the waterfront-Purdy’s Wharf and Sydney.

Quebec

All casinos have a dress code (no jeans), and no gratuities are accepted.

Casino Montreal: 1, Avenue du Casino, Montreal in Parc Des Iles. Nuance – 5 star restaurant.

Casino de Hull: 1, Blvd. du Casino, Hull. Across the river from Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.

Ontario

Contact Ontario Casino Corp. 416-326-0076 for current updates.

Charity Casinos: Four locations. All use The Winners Circle players card.

Brantford: 40 Icomm Drive, Brantford. Located 55 miles southwest of Toronto in downtown Brantford, ON. This celestial themed casino has a gift shop, a liquor license, Meteor Bar lounge and dining at the Cosmic Diner cafeteria. Open 24 hours.

Thunder Bay: 50 Cumberland St. S., Thunder Bay. Location: On the north shore of Lake Superior in Thunder Bay, ON. The area is rich in the history of mining, marine and fur trading. A sea faring themed casino of more than 14,000 square feet.

Point Edward: 2000 Venetian Blvd., Point Edward. Location: Ten blocks from Sarnia, Ont. near the Bluewater Bridge on the St. Clair River. Indoor sights of a ship’s hull, saltwater aquarium and glass bridge add to this nautical themed casino.

Casino Sault Ste. Marie: 30 Bay St. W., Sault Ste. Marie. Location: Northern Ontario approx. 400 miles north of Toronto. Great hunting and fishing in this area.

Eighteen racetracks have placed more than 9000 slots as per the provincial plan in partnership with the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Commission.

Manitoba

VLT’s available in many bars throughout Manitoba. Two of the best are:

Club Regent: 1425 Regent W., Winnipeg.
McPhillips Stn.: 484 McPhillips St., Winnipeg.

Saskatchewan

Casino Regina: Union Station, 1880 Saskatchewan Dr. is this province’s premiere casino.

Alberta

Casinos offer regular slots rather than VLT’s.

Edmonton is Canada’s fastest growing gaming city, and Casino Yellowhead is its jewel.

Home to the world’s largest shopping/entertainment complex – West Edmonton Mall.

Casino Yellowhead: Yellow Head Trail at 153rd St. located in the West Edmonton Mall.

At 73,500 sq. ft, Yellowhead is the largest casino in western Canada.

British Columbia

Great Canadian Casinos operates several casinos in BC.

Most locations offer these table games: Blackjack, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, Red Dog, Let It Ride, Caribbean Stud Poker, Sic Bo, Texas Hold ‘Em, Seven-Card Stud Poker and slots.

Each casino is centrally located in large municipalities and offers currency exchange,food and beverage service, wheel chair accessibility and nearby public transportation.

Western Canada Lottery Corporation works in conjunction with the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and territory of Yukon and Sport North Lottery Authority.

There are no taxes paid on lottery or casino winnings in Canada.

Being Canadian and born in Toronto, the research for this information was a labour (Canadian spelling) of love.

Casino Launches New Free Bonus

Casino Par is making it easier than ever to stick your feet in the online gaming pool. Why do you need to put up with the smoke-filled rooms, the crowded tables, and the exorbitant prices, when you can enjoy the skills and challenge from the comfort of your own home? At Casino Par, you can play dozens of casino games, benefit from cash-prize winnings, and even receive free chances to play just for signing up.

With the new $100 Free No Deposit Bonus, the risks are lower than ever. If you have never joined the online gaming world, you can break through without even having to provide the initial upfront investment. However, before you take the step, make sure you have read and understood these bonus requirements as well as what to expect from the promotion:

Due to the size of the bonus, and your increased chances at winning, only one account is allowed per household.

With thirty times rollover and thirty one active days of betting at least $5 per day, this means you will have plenty of chances to improve your skills and make online gaming a continually more profitable experience.
You can expect a maximum payout of $50.

The following games: roulette, blackjack, craps, baccarat, or pai-gow poker will not be used in the rollover.
Payments are made every day, and the next recipient could very well be you. Expect payment forms through money bookers or Western Union for clients in the United States.

Got an E-mail address? It must be validated for participation.

Due to jurisdiction requirements, players from Poland, Ukraine, Turkey and Argentina may not qualify for this bonus.

We welcome participation from Spanish players, and invite as many Spanish-speakers as possible to participate. However, we are only able to distribute rules in English.

While the bonus does provide a risk-free means for you to participate, only the winnings are cashable.

Casino Par launched this initiative to encourage more onlookers, who in the past have been curious to participate in online gaming to take that step. Seasoned pros are also welcome, and the No Deposit Bonus is the perfect way for everyone to satisfy their curiosities without having to put anything on the line.

And one of the key benefits of gaming at Casino Par that will keep you coming back is the variety. There are over 24 slot machines, 35 live poker and electronic video games, and 16 popular table games. Whether you are in the mood for roulette, craps, or blackjack, there are familiar games that will have you accustomed and ready to win in no time.

So break free from tight regulations and cramped quarters. The games you love at the casino are all available to you online with real stakes, where you can win real money. And to get started, you do not even have to cough up one dime of your own funds. Casino Par’s bonus program handles it for you, so you can get back to the business of winning.

Wins And Losses Of Casino Gambling

Gambling is a form of entertainment that involves the extensive use of money as betting instruments. While it can be entertaining as well as enjoyable, indulging excessively in the game can be dangerous, especially when the money involved is already one’s lifetime savings after years of hard work. This is especially true when the form of gambling that one indulges in is that of casino gambling. Needless to say, casino gambling has some good and bad effects on a person.

In some countries, especially in those areas where Islam is the prevailing religion, casino gambling is strictly prohibited. Religious authorities in these countries generally frown upon this game of chance basically because of the perceived social costs that it inevitably brings.

However, in a number of countries, especially those which are highly-industrialized, casino gambling is a legal business venture, although certain regulations or limits are often set. This is because the game is a double-edged sword. It gives you the opportunity to double or even triple your money. At the same time, however, when you grab that opportunity, you unwittingly also give the game the chance to take away some,if not all, of your money.

The stakes easily become higher in the case of casino gambling. In this form of expensive entertainment, there are usually only two ways to go – either you get to double your money or you lose all of it. This is not just small money, the amount involved usually run in the thousands. Casinos operate on the basic premise that it allows you to have a crack at their money, but at the same time they get to have a shot at yours as well. Who gets to go home as the winner at the end of the game depends on how you will play the game which will have to include the amount of money that you will be willing to place on the betting floor.

This is not to say that casino gambling should be banned altogether. The game as well as its concept has been with us for decades. Perhaps the game has gone on even for centuries. Another thing, as a form of entertainment, it still has its own share of beneficial effects; relaxation being the prime consideration. The key to successfully playing the game is simply to handle it with the proper attitude.

Gambling to be an effective means of entertainment should be approached as simply a game and nothing more. Of course, the aim is to win if possible. But at the same time, a player should not totally discount the possibility that one could also lose. And losing means giving away only the amount of money that you can afford to lose. This is essentially a good strategy, especially when it comes to the issue of casino gambling, where the betting stakes are higher, in which case a planned betting method is recommended. This will include discipline, which basically means having the ability to control yourself, especially when losses start piling up and the winnings that were accumulated in the early games start dwindling because of your casino gambling.

Casino Games And Mathematics. Part 3.

After one more year Thorp published a book (I mentioned it at the beginning of the article) in which he rather in details, in the form comprehensible to any even a slightly literate and sensible person, set the rules of formation of a winning strategy. But the publication of the book did not only cause a quick growth of those willing to enrich themselves at the cost of gambling houses’ owners, as well as allowed the latter ones to understand the main reason of effectiveness of the developed by Thorp strategy.

First of all, casinos’ owners understood at last that it was necessary to introduce the following obligatory point into the rules of the game: cards are to be thoroughly shuffled after each game! If this rule is rigorously observed, then a winning strategy of Thorp cannot be applied, since the calculation of probabilities of extracting one or another card from a pack was based on the knowledge of the fact that some cards would already not appear in the game!

But what does it mean to have thoroughly shuffled” cards? Usually in gambling houses the process of thoroughly shuffling” presupposes the process when a croupier, one of the gamblers or, that is still oftener seen of late, a special automatic device makes a certain number of more or less monotonous movements with a pack (the number of which varies from 10 to 20-25, as a rule). Each of these movements changes the arrangement of cards in a pack. As mathematicians say, as a result of each movement with cards a kind of substitution” is made. But is it really so that as a result of such 10-25 movements a pack is thoroughly shuffled, and in particular, if there are 52 cards in a pack then a probability of the fact that, for instance, an upper card will appear to be a queen will be equal to 1/13? In other words, if we will, thus, for example, shuffle cards 130 times, then the quality of our shuffling will turn out to be more thorough” if the number of times of the queen’s appearance on top out of these 130 times will be closer to 10.

Strictly mathematically it is possible to prove that in case our movements appear to be exactly similar (monotonous) then such a method of shuffling cards is not satisfactory. At this it is still worse if the so called “order of substitution” is less, i.e. less is the number of these movements (substitutions) after which the cards are located in the same order they were from the start of a pack shuffling. In fact, if this number equals to t, then repeating exactly similar movements any number of times we, for all our wish, can not get more t different positioning of cards in a pack, or, using mathematical terms, not more t different combinations of cards.

Certainly, in reality, shuffling of cards does not come down to recurrence of the same movements. But even if we assume that a shuffling person (or an automatic device) makes casual movements at which there can appear with a certain probability all possible arrangements of cards in a pack at each single movement, the question of “quality” of such mixing turns out to be far from simple. This question is especially interesting from the practical point of view that the majority of notorious crooked gamblers achieve phenomenal success using the circumstance, that seemingly “careful shuffling” of cards actually is not such!

Mathematics helps to clear a situation with regard to this issue as well. In the work Gambling and Probability Theory” A.Reni presents mathematical calculations allowing him to draw the following practical conclusion: ” If all movements of a shuffling person are casual, so, basically, while shuffling a pack there can be any substitution of cards, and if the number of such movements is large enough, reasonably it is possible to consider a pack “carefully reshuffled”. Analyzing these words, it is possible to notice, that, firstly, the conclusion about “quality” of shuffling has an essentially likelihood character (“reasonably”), and, secondly, that the number of movements should be rather large (A.Reni prefers not to consider a question of what is understood as “rather a large number”). It is clear, however, that the necessary number at least a sequence higher than those 10-25 movements usually applied in a real game situation. Besides, it is not that simple “to test” movements of a shuffling person (let alone the automatic device) for “accidence”!

Summing it all up, let’s come back to a question which has been the headline of the article. Certainly, it would be reckless to think that knowledge of maths can help a gambler work out a winning strategy even in such an easy game like twenty-one. Thorp succeeded in doing it only by using imperfection (temporary!) of the then used rules. We can also point out that one shouldn’t expect that maths will be able to provide a gambler at least with a nonlosing strategy. But on the other hand, understanding of mathematical aspects connected with gambling games will undoubtedly help a gambler to avoid the most unprofitable situations, in particular, not to become a victim of fraud as it takes place with the problem of cards shuffling”, for example. Apart from that, an impossibility of creation of a winning strategy for all “cases” not in the least prevents a mathematically advanced” gambler to choose whenever possible the best” decision in each particular game situation and within the bounds allowed by “Dame Fortune” not only to enjoy the very process of the Game, as well as its result.