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Comments by YACCS
Saturday, June 10, 2006

Gaming at Yearly Kos,pt II: attitide


The seminars are going along, you're meeting people, having a good time,and someone says "let's go to the casino"

Ah, the moment of truth. All that purposeful political activity turns into denegeracy.

Well, not quite.

Gambling, what the casino industry calls gaming, is a recreational activity where you bet money on games of chance,and more than likely lose.

But if you have the right attitude, you may atleast have some stories you can tell without getting into a fight or breaking up with your SO.

In Part I, we went over the games and linked on how to play them. Now, we're gonna discuss how to act in the casino.

Someone asked me if I was going to show them how to break the bank. Sure, bet a lot and lose. You can break your bank easily. The casino's, not so much

My first rule, I only bet money from ads, not donations.Why? Because that money is for other things.

The casino floor

Basically, the design of a casino is a carefully studied proposition. Everything is done to accomplish two goals, to keep you in there and take your money. Some casinos are dark, some light. All want you to lose track of time.

Leave the electronics in the room. Casinos don't care about cellphones, but PDA's are a no go.

Women can take a purse, but men are expected to check their bags or leave them behind

Most casinos hit you with the slots first and then the table games

Slots and Video Poker

Slots are for people who are either old or perverted like Bill Bennett. Twisted little man, sitting pulling a lever and losing money. Actually, it's female friendly, because it's easy and doesn't require interaction. I've never been able to play for more than a few minutes myself. It's boring to me, but if people want to play, the trick is to quit after the jackpot.

Slots are noisy and bright, which is the point.

Video poker is a little more interesting, in that you can play mulitple hands. But after a while,it gets sterile.

Oh, and those .5 machines. To cover your lines, you will have to bet 9 times or .45. Which is 20 more than a quarter machine. It can suck your money away faster than you can imagine.

Table Games

When you get past the slots, you will see several tables with people around them. Usually, the first tables you'll see are roulette, then blackjack. The further back you get, you'll find what I call the House Games, Pai GowPoker, Carribean Stud, Let it Ride. I'll explain why I call them house games later. Poker is an entirely different subject and will be discussed at the end

Table games have a dealer and a pit boss. Dealers run the games, pit bosses watch the dealers, the players, approve comp cards and check on the amounts being gambled on the tables. They can also approve bets and consult with their bosses.

They will also be the ones to kick you out if you're drunk or rude

Blackjack or 21

The game itself is simple, you and the dealer draw two cards and whoever has the highest amount to 21 wins. If the dealer is at or below 16, they must hit, you can hit. Boiled down to a concept, it's about risk and risk assumption. When you're at the table, betting, you can control the risk you're going to assume. The idea is to make the dealer assume the risk of hitting whenever possible, especially when face cards are coming out of the deck.

I think it's far better to lose with a 14 than bust with a 23 myself.Why? Because it's my money and not a Bacardi commercial. Let the dealer take the risk unless you have to.

You'll see people splitting cards, doubling down and playing more than one hand. And while they're having fun, they're getting waxed as well. Why? Because the odds against you go up when you take more risk. Doubling down means you can't take another card, splitting means more risk of busting, playing more than one hand divides your concentration. You never split10's or face cards and you must split Aces.

A blackjack table is a lowkey kinda place.Some chatting, drinking, but people are concentrating on not losing their money. It's only a little more action than the slots.

Oh yeah, I leave if I lose three straight hands. Why?If I lose three straight hands, my timing isn't right and I need to be somewhere else.


Think of it as the small scale lottery. In my experience, it's a fun game and if things go right, you can at least walk away even. Each number pays 35 to 1, on the inside and varying lower odds on the outside.

Want to lose money quick? Place $100 on black. You'll probably lose. I've seen guys, roll up with $100 chips, which are usually black, and play black or red and lose, badly.
Fuck the outside. Pull up a chair and play the numbers.

Why? Because it's more fun. A roulette table is a pretty lively place when you do that. Ok, you can bet on between 1 and 37 or 38 numbers. And while you can bet all of them, spreading around the minimum can work, usually $5-10 per spin. The goal is to spread risk.Sure, you could bet $10 on one number, but why? You'll probably lose, becuase you have a 2.3 percent chance of winning when you can up that to 25 percent or more with a relatively small investment.

Another thing I've seen is people try to play five and 10 dollars on a few numbers. Yeah, they win big, when they win. Meanwhile, I'm making money on betting rows, between numbers and between rows. One time, I bet every space around 13 and won $261, that for a $12 investment, three on 13 and nine around it, betting other numbers and rows.The more numbers you bet, the more likely you'll win.

Of course,I've seen $60 go in 20 minutes when I've done that. It's not a bank.

Roulette allows cheap multiple bets which allows you a fairly healthy return if you win. It's also exciting


Wonder how the greatest generation spends it's retirement? At the craps table. I've seen old men with WWII veteran hats on at every time I've played craps, and Korean War vets aren't far behind. I mean, the odds of you throwing dice with someone who survived the Battle of the Bulge or the kamikazes is higher than you think. That's 60 years of gambling experience around you. Hell, I calculated my father's craps experience recently and it's 52 years. That's a lot of experience.

It's a little confusing, but a lot of action.You bet on whether someone will roll a seven or another number, which is called the point. You can bet on those numbers as well. The thing is that it's action, people around, yelling.It's what gambling is. You want action, play craps. You can win playing the numbers, but avoid the high odds rolls,they tend to not pay off.


A favorite of Asian tourists, it is usually a high stakes game. But the casinos now have a varient called Mini-Baccarat they play on the floor. On the East Coast, these tables are packed. But if you have the patience, and want to feel like James Bond, this is the game to play.Of course, Bond wasn't sitting next to a middle aged store owner, but simply, you bet either on the banker or the player. You get back less for betting on the banker.

The dealer deals two cards, whoever gets closest to nine wins, and face cards count for zero, depending on the hand, the dealer may draw a third card.

It's a simple game, but draws a lot of people

House games

What they all have in common, and they are different, is that they make a lot of money for the casino,Pai GowPoker, Let it Ride, Carribean Stud, they're hard to win, have complicated rules and you lose quickly.I won't play them,


Yes, you can play poker, against humans, in Vegas. But you only have limited time and a lot of people play for a living. You can beat some of them, but if poker is really what you want to try, go to Vegas for a poker trip, don't try to squeeze it in in a couple of hours


Dog racing may seem unappealing, but when you're in the racebook, all races are equal.Horses and dogs.It's also a place to collect your thoughts, get a drink, maybe a quick lunch, and since you can bet $2 on win, place and show (across the board) it's a cheap,fun bet

Sports is even better, there you can cheer on a real team. This week, the World Cup. Someone cashed in big betting against Poland.

But it's exciting because people are cheering or cursing, and it's lively. Yes, there's a whole science to bettingl, but you know, random choice can work as well. The only sport it really pays to study hard before betting is football. But now? Bet the Yankees to lose, bet on the World Cup, both matches and the overall winner.Cheap bets, lots of fun.

posted by Steve @ 1:24:00 AM

1:24:00 AM

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