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Math is truly annoying18 July 2011
There are essentially four types of casino players and many subdivisions of such.
1. The math aficionados, dubbed by me as the "mathletes," but scornfully labeled as "the math boys" by uninformed ploppy players. The mathlete plays strictly by the math of the games. He makes only the lowest house edge bets; he takes his time in making these bets so he doesn't bet too much money too fast and he also doesn't get wound up too much in the action, which would entail losing his head along with his money. The mathlete also keeps his betting quite low, knowing in the long run he can't beat the games. Math tells him what to do and he does it. He plays strictly for fun, lightweight fun at that. His ego is not on the line when he plays since he knows he really has nothing to do with the overall long-term outcome of the games.
2. The "inspired" or "intuitive" bettor. This is the individual who thinks that somehow in some way he can pick up the subtle vibrations of a table or slot machine and ride a positive vibration to victory over the house. This player usually dismisses the math of the game in favor of a mystical calling to this or that game or machine. You'll find many of these types feverishly writing away on various websites, either trying to convince the world that they are themselves inspired and intuitive or, in fact, that they are players who should be inspirations to other players. These types have certainly inspired many players to lose quite a bit of money over the years.
3. The "angry" player who is angry because he is a long-term loser and is looking for excuses to blame for his losses -- not his poor betting choices. His ego is so wrapped up in his gambling that it is a personal affront to him that he has lost all these years. This player can be summed up by the following quote: "I have been playing craps for 40 years and do you think anyone can tell me how to play the game? Nobody can beat the game. There is no better or worse way to play because you lose no matter what you do. So I do what I want and who can tell me different? The math of the game is all [baloney]." Some angry players think that various trend-finding systems will overcome the math of the game in the "short run," as if the short run has predictability. Players who believe in trend systems tend to see red when told such beliefs are nonsense.
4. The advantage player. These players are certainly rare in the casino world since they only play games or machines where they have an edge over the house. The advantage player is well aware of the math behind all the games and knows which games can be beaten overall or at certain times. Such methods as card counting at blackjack; Golden Touch dice control at craps; proper playing strategies on advantage video poker machines and at Pai Gow poker; and playing advantage slot machines when they are in a positive mode are various ways such players take the advantage from the house.
You will note that two of the four player types adhere to the math of the games, or at the very least, fully understand the math of the games and use that math as guideposts in structuring their betting choices. The other two types are often resentful of the mathletes and, by extension, the advantage players, since these players are often disdainful of such "inspired," "intuitive" and "angry" players. Such disdain brings out a reciprocal disdain in the non-mathletes. Indeed, tempers can flare up among these groups.
Of course, there is no way around the math of the games. It is silly to think there is. Casinos literally bank on the math to keep their lights on. Those 54 million casino gamblers in America are losing money to the house not because of bad luck but because of good math. The casinos have mathematically structured their games to beat the players -- even though some players have figured out ways to best the casino math by turning it on its head. But those advantage players are rare.
Seriously, if casino games were fair between the house and the player, the casinos would not make any money from those games -- and what kind of business would that be? Luck is not the operant condition for the casinos. Players who think they can trend out an edge or mystically feel when and how to bet are deluded.
The math is annoying to players who wish the math didn't have the last say. These players are married to a spouse that takes them to the cleaners and there is no way to divorce their casino spouse except if they completely stop playing the games.
Sadly the "inspired," "intuitive" and "angry" players don't want to be shackled by the math. It annoys them no end to think that there is a very simple way to look at the games and that the casinos and the savvy players have figured this out. While these poor ploppies wish the math did not hold sway over the gods of chance, the fact is that math rules. Math is the Zeus of the gambling gods. Its word is law.
Players who understand the math and bet according to the math will see their money last longer and not see their fun shattered time and time again by poor betting choices and wicked losses.
Really now, for smart players there is only one way to view casino games, and that is through the prism of mathematics. All other ways are wrong.
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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