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Frank Scoblete - This, That and the Other Thing

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  • Frank ScobleteHope springs eternal but most casino games are based on math. We know, we know, Americans hate math. If you are experiencing a losing streak, the math does not indicate on most games that such a streak will end anytime soon. Hope does. That same math-thing holds true for a winning streak. It might continue, then again it might not. Trends can only be discerned in retrospect, not in advance. What is to come is unknown. But you can hope!

    Attention: the Big Wheel was a carnival game before it made its way onto the casino floor. Carnival as in P.T. Barnum, the very same man who said: ?There?s a sucker born every minute,? who also worked the carnival scene. Remember his famous sideshow freak -- the Egress? You entered the sideshow, there was a sign that said: ?This way to the Egress!? You opened the door and -- found yourself outside the building in an alley! Egress means the opposite of Entrance. That?s right. The sign actually said: ?This way to the Exit!? The suckers had paid money to enter the building and exit the building. No one who was suckered told all the poor fools on line what was in store because they were either too embarrassed or figured: ?If I got taken, let them get taken!? The connection between this and that BIG Wheel is this -- only a person who fits P.T. Barnum?s description would play the Big Wheel.

    If you like wheels, try roulette. Otherwise, egress!

    Side bets for those jackpots at Caribbean Stud and Let It Ride are not the best use of your gambling dollar. Those one-dollar bets face approximately a 25 percent edge, which means if you make 60 of them in one hour, your expected loss is $15 per hour! That?s lunch!

    Just because something seems complicated doesn?t mean it is. Video poker, blackjack, Caribbean Stud, and Let It Ride all have basic strategies that will cut the house edge to a minimum. If you don?t want to memorize them -- bring a cheat sheet to the table or the machine! Most casinos will allow them and if one or two don?t, give your business to the ones that do. Also, looking at a cheat sheet will invariably slow down the game and slow games are good for the majority of the players. Yes, some other players might get miffed that you are taking time with your decisions, but you can always tell them with a slight smile on your lips: ?I?m sorry that you don?t like the way I play, but you can always egress.?

    Other than the Pass/Come and Don?t Pass/Don?t Come with Odds, the next best bets at craps are Placing of the 6 and 8 in multiples of six dollars. Winning bets pay 7 to 6 and the house edge is a smallish 1.52 percent. You can also buy the 4 and 10 for $35, paying a one-dollar commission. The house has over a 2.5 percent edge on this but it beats the 6.67 percent edge on the placing of the 4 or 10. I wonder when AC casinos will take a leaf from Tunica, Mississippi, and Las Vegas and offer those buy bets with the commission extracted only on a win? I am holding my breath...I?m still holding my breath...my face is turning blue...I, uh....What happened? I passed out? Oh, I remember, something about buying the 4 and 10...oh, well, maybe someday....

    Using a Player?s Card is a very smart move. As long as you don?t play for comps, the extras that the casinos give to their ?rated players? are money and gifts in the bank, so to speak. Just never play one dollar more than you intended to play just to get a comp.

    Sic Bo is a sick joke -- and it?s a joke on the player. With house edges on some bets hovering at the 40 percent point, only a maniac would make this his game of choice. Yes, the board lights up, but the player is paying a hundred times over for that electricity. Even the best bets at that game, the ?small? and the ?large,? have 2.8 percent house edges. What also causes Sic Bo to be a nauseating game is the fact that it can be really, really fast. You can get in almost 100 decisions in an hour. Hmmm, let?s see... a 40 percent house edge; $10 per bet; 100 decisions equals...$400 per hour in expected losses. Egress quickly!

    Beware of the spillers -- of drinks that is. Not only will they get you wet, they might just take your chips. The scam works like this. Davey Drunk slobbers his way into your game, plays a couple of hands, then ?accidentally? knocks over his drink, all over the table, the cards and you. You, of course, look down onto the rapidly spreading stain on your crotch as our spiller ?attempts? to catch his glass and make amends with one hand.(?Oh, man, I?m really sorry, yeah, sorry.?) With the other hand, he takes a nice handful of your chips. He then staggers off into the casino. By the time you realize that your chips are gone (?Martha, didn?t I have 15 black chips, not eight??), our culprit is long gone as well.

    Dealers split their tips, which often gives bad dealers (personality wise) no incentive to clean up their acts. Here is an original way to handle a surly, nasty dealer taken straight from the tables of Atlantic City. One player, with this rude dealer, tipped all right, but she?d stand up, walk to the table next to her, announce loudly that she was tipping the ?dealers? but would not tip on the table with ?that nasty one.? Then she?d point out the offending dealer. She would then put the tip in front of her friend?s bet on the adjacent table. My bet is -- she came from New York. What do you think? Want to get extra comp points? When you tip at blackjack or any other card game, always put your tip on top of your bet. Let the dealer know that this chip on top, should it win, will be the dealer?s bet and that you?ll let that chip ride until it falls. If you are a $25 player with a $5 tip on top, the floorperson will more than likely rate you as a $30 player for those hands. Hey, every little bit helps!

    Some of Frank's most popular books can be purchased by clicking one of the image links below:

    cover cover cover cover

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