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Stranger in a strange land23 December 2014
So we went to a large, famous casino, and EEgog was amazed. “There are many humans scurrying about.”
I explained that 54 million Americans go to casinos every year. “Why do they go?” EEgog asked.
“Fun,” I said.
“On my planet we have no fun. I don’t even know what that is.”
I ushered him inside and began my tour. “You see all these machines? They're called slot machines. People put money in them in an attempt to get more money out of them. The machines are run by an RNG, which is a random number generator. That selects what symbols come up, and some symbols pay out money. So the players put their money in and hope more money comes out. It's all random.”
“Does more money come out?” asked EEgog.
“Well, maybe now and then. But over time the players lose, except maybe a few who hit for millions of dollars. That’s what we call luck,” I said.
“On my planet we call that math,” said EEgog.
“Over here is roulette,” I said. “The dealer spins the ball around that round area, and it drops into the grooves. Notice the bumpers? Those and the ball bouncing around those pockets randomize the game. The ball ultimately lands in one of the pockets and that number, color, whether the number is high or low, or fits into one of the columns of 12 numbers wins. As I said, the game is random.”
“I see. The dealer, the ball spinning and the bumping and bouncing are the RNG of roulette.”
“Yeah,” I said. “I guess it is.” He had a great point there. “Now, over here is craps. It's the most exciting game in the casino, because many of the players are betting on the exact same thing and when they win, it gives them a great feeling. The shooter takes two dice and throws them against the back wall on the other end of the table. The dice hit these foam rubber pyramids, and then they bounce back. This game is random too.”
“The player who throws the dice and the pyramids and the bouncing are the RNG of craps,” nodded EEgog.
“Yes, yes, that makes sense,” I said. “These tables all have different card games like Let It Ride, Three-Card Poker, Four-Card Poker, Mississippi Poker, Mini-Baccarat and Caribbean Stud. The cards are shuffled in that machine and everyone gets cards, but there is only one round so these games are random.”
“Yes, the card machine and the one round are the RNG of these games,” said EEgog.
“Now,” I said. “Here is a game called blackjack. It is a card game of many rounds. Players get to make choices on how they play their hands against the dealer’s up card. How the players play their hands determines over time how well they do. The card shuffle randomizes the cards, but as they come out, the percentages of the game change.”
“Yes, I see,” said EEgog. “This game has more wrinkles to it than the others. Can a player beat this game?”
“The players can beat a couple of the games I have shown you. If they can use dice control at craps and card counting at blackjack, they have a chance to win more money than they lose.”
“Do the casinos like it when the players beat them?” asked EEgog.
“No, no, the casinos do not like it, so they try to make sure players can’t use any of these techniques.”
“So why do players play these games if they must lose in the long run?” asked EEgog.
“The games are thrilling. The games are fun. It is exciting to see whether you win or lose.”
EEgog eyed me. “So you humans have fun losing your money? You go to the casinos to lose your money?”
“Not exactly,” I said. I was trying to get across the idea that winning or losing money was secondary to the thrill of the chase. “EEgog, winning or losing money is secondary to the thrill of the chase.”
EEgog eyed me again and shook one of his heads. “You humans are crazy.”
Frank Scoblete is celebrating 25 years as a casino player and he wants to share the fun with you. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will send you a free copy of his nongambling book "The Virgin Kiss."
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 email@example.com.
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