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20 Assumptions You Should Never Make in a Casino!16 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 #11: The pit boss always ignores me when I want to get his attention.
On occasion a pit boss might purposely ignore a player, if that player is obnoxious, loud, drunk, or otherwise a ploppy. But most of the time when you think you are being ignored, you aren't. If that pit boss, or floorperson, is at the computers, it probably means he or she is checking on a comp or a rating. One pit boss, one floorperson, is in charge of many tables and they do have many responsibilities. Chances are they don't see you waving. When they do, they'll usually say: "I'll be right with you." In such cases, patience is a virtue. One caveat to the above. If you are trying to get the attention of the pit boss in order to ask for a comp -- stay seated but stop playing! Don't risk any more money as you wait for your comp.
Assumption #12: Dealers make a lot of money, that's why they all wear so much gold on their arms.
Some dealers do make a lot of money. Some dealers don't. It all depends on which casinos they deal in and, sometimes, what games they deal. It also depends on what you consider a lot of money. But most dealers' salaries are marginal at best, sometimes not more than minimum wage. They need tips to make ends meet. Dealers are in the "service" part of the casino industry, very much like waiters, waitresses, bartenders, valet parkers and bellhops. As to the gold that festoons many a wrist, finger and forearm, those are there for decorative purposes. Many dealers realize that their hands/arms are watched carefully and they actually take pride in adorning these. I've noticed female dealers will often polish their nails in truly creative ways. Male dealers will have interesting rings. Often these displays are sources for conversation. Since I can't tell legitimate from faux, I have no idea if all that gold I see is real gold or fool's gold.
Assumption #13: If a craps table has been hot it will continue to be hot. If it's cold it will continue to be cold.
Many casino players, not just craps players, look for trends and then bet with or against the trend. It is an old law of gambling that the "dice have no memory." That is, what happened on the last decision has no influence on what will happen on the next decision. That is absolutely true as long as the game is random and no one is controlling the outcome through physical means. Craps is an independent-trial game and what happens now will have no effect on what happens next. However, there is some truth to the assumption that while the dice might not have a memory, certain shooters do. These shooters, called rhythmic rollers, might be able to influence the game by the way they physically roll the dice thereby increasing the likelihood of some numbers appearing and decreasing the likelihood of other numbers appearing. So here's an instance where an assumption is false except if it's true.
Assumption #14: Professional blackjack and video poker players make millions.
The number one video poker expert in the world is on record as stating he makes about $50,000 per year playing. That's about 500 hands per hour at a one dollar VP game at five dollars a pop at a machine that returns 101 percent of all the money played, playing eight hours a day for five days a week for 50 weeks a year. There's no medical, no dental, and no pay if you don't play and, horrors, no pay many days and weeks even if you do play! And he's the best, mind you, the very best. The Bride of Bulletman, who I wrote about in my book Victory at Video Poker, made $60,000 in 1998 and $80,000 in 1999. She is not the world's foremost expert, just the winningest video poker player I ever personally met. In ten years, she is averaging close to the $56,000 per year mark as well. But she is averaging less than a visit per week! It remains to be seen whether she can continue such a winning streak as obviously luck (or magic) has much to do with her success. As for blackjack, it is rare that anyone makes millions at that game -- unless he starts with millions. Despite the fact that some teams are making hundreds of thousands or, perhaps, millions overall, these teams are few and far between and they are heavily bankrolled. The best blackjack pro I ever met was the late PK who played five nights a week 52 weeks a year. He earned between $20,000 and $30,000 per year playing blackjack. He had to supplement his blackjack income with a job in a bookstore. He was the best, mind you, the very best at what he did. For most mortals the sky is not the limit on VP or blackjack winnings, the ceiling of a typical lower middle-class house is. However, for the recreational player who has no illusions about being a "professional," it is always better to play with an edge over the casino than to play without an edge. Obviously, you want to play the very best games that excite you and play them in the very best way. But millions? I'm afraid it ain't in the cards for the majority of us.
Assumption #15: The casino comping formula is an exact science and is written in stone.
There is a little truth to this assumption and a big untruth to it. Slot clubs for small and medium players are a almost an exact science. You play the requisite number of coins to get the requisite number of points and you get the requisite number of buffets or show tickets or discounts to rooms. However, for bigger slot players (dollars and up) and for table-game players, the comping policies are guidelines. If the guideline says that a $150 player who plays four hours per day gets RFB (the highest level of comps) and Mr. Jones, a very good customer of Luckland Casino, happens to only play three hours one evening, do you think the host is going to say: "Sorry, Mr. Jones, I know you've dumped tens of thousands here at Luckland, but tonight you can have the coffee shop, not the gourmet room, because you didn't play the four hours." More than just a rating will often go into what an individual on the high end might get. Such factors as the number of good players the individual brings with him or her would be considered; how often the person comes to the casino, and past history. Remember that comps are inducements to play and stay at a certain place and would any casino in its right mind say to Mr. Jones: "Buzz off, we don't want your $150 per decision, go somewhere else." I doubt it.
Next time assumptions 16-20.
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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