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20 Assumptions You Should Never Make in a Casino!14 July 2001
Tell me honestly, whenever you say something like: "Well, I assumed blah, blah, blah," doesn't it annoy the heck out of you when some idiot then counters with: "Always remember, when you assume you make an ass of you and me! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
None of us want to be told our assumptions are false. Or illogical. Or dangerous. Or dumb.
Could you imagine what would happen if we discovered our individual assumptions about God, heaven and hell were completely wrong?
"Hey, are you God? Am I in heaven because I was a good __________?" (Fill in the blank with your particular religion.)
"Me? God? Ha! Ha! Ha! No, no. I am Gwando, the Mean, the ruler of the universe. The one true religion was Gabagaba. There were four people who believed in it. They are here in heaven with me. All the rest of you, all nine billion humans who lived and died, were wrong and are now in hell, freezing. Their teeth chattering from the vicious cold down there. You shouldn't have assumed you had the truth about heaven, hell or anything puny mortal, ha! ha! ha! because when you assume you make an ass of.... [he presses a button]."
Now, that would be disquieting, wouldn't it? To discover that our most cherished beliefs "paved the primrose way to the everlasting refrigerator" (to misquote Shakespeare) instead of to "hog heaven" (to quote craps player, Barry Dickerson).
And it will be almost as disquieting for many casino players to discover that some of their cherished gambling/casino assumptions, many handed down by tradition and authority, are indeed false, illogical, dangerous and dumb.
Here are 20 things players assume that can make an...I assume you can finish that line, can't you?
Assumption #6: You have to be a genius to count cards at blackjack.
Really? Do this. Add one plus one. You got two, right? Now, add another one to the total of two. Did you get three? Fine. Now, subtract two from three. Did you get one? Great. You can learn how to count cards at blackjack. The discoverers of card counting, guys such as Edward O. Thorp, were (are!) geniuses, but the folks who learned how to count are just you and me. One plus one is two minus one is one plus two is three plus two is five minus one is four. Card counting does take a little discipline, and some concentration when doing it in a casino, but the rudiments are as easy as one, two, three.
Assumption #7: New games are introduced to give the players more choices.
That's certainly how the casinos advertise it. In reality, new games are introduced to give the casinos more of an opportunity for increased revenues. New games are an attempt to lure veteran players who might be bored with the old games, or introduce new players to the tables. You'll notice that all new table games come in with higher house edges or faster speeds than more traditional games. Even a relatively good new game such as Spanish 21 needs the player to memorize a whole new basic strategy (called the Armada Strategy) in order to reduce the house edge to around 0.8 percent. This still isn't as good as the approximately 0.5 percent edge a normal six-deck blackjack game has for a basic strategy player. And if you don't play the correct strategy at Spanish 21, which most people do not, you are facing edges of well over two and three percent.
Assumption #8: When you get to the bonus round on Wheel of Fortune, each stop is equally likely.
Visually, the beautiful spinning wheel looks as if every stop is as equally likely as every other stop. It isn't. They aren't. That wheel is not a mechanical device but a computer controlled "entertainment feature" that selects the winning stop based on a Random Number Generator (that pesky RNG again), so something that might look like a one in 22 chance could really be a one in 20,000 chance!
Assumption #9: Counting cards is illegal.
A lot of people believe that this is true but it isn't. Despite the fact that casinos have been known to "ask" card counters to leave their environs, or at the very least desist from playing blackjack, card counters are not violating any laws. How could they be? It is not a criminal offense to think. Your eyes have to look at the cards. Your brain has to make decisions on what to do with your hand. So why have the courts (thus far) upheld the right of a casino to refuse someone's action because he or she is counting cards (or was thought to be counting cards)? Casinos are under an ancient law/custom called the "Innkeeper Law" that states a man's home and, by extension, his "Inn" is his castle and he can serve or not serve whomever he pleases. In the United States, certain "protected" groups, such as minorities and the handicapped, cannot be asked to leave a business establishment because of these particulars, but if they were counting cards in a casino, they could be booted out as well. Thus far, no court has really established that we have a right to think.
Assumption #10: Casinos are not interested in low rollers. To get comps, you have to bet big money.
If you play the machines, even for quarters, you aren't as low a roller as you think you are. Put three quarters in a machine every five seconds and you are putting through $540 per hour. Play four hours and you just gambled $2,160 -- wow! The casinos will be more than happy to recognize such action with free or discounted rooms, meals and other special promotions. Even such high-end places as Mirage and Treasure Island are now rating quarter players. If you play table games, you might not want to be a five-dollar bettor looking for comps at the Mirage where they only rate $25 action. But there are plenty of casinos in Vegas and around the country that will gladly comp five-dollar players if they play long enough. The bottom line is this: Most casinos want just about all players. Find the places that give your action the most in perks as possible...and then patronize them.
Next time assumption 11-15.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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