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Best of Frank Scoblete

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The crop circles of gambling

19 December 2017

In M. Night Shyamalan’s movie “Signs,” the people of earth wake up one day to find that certain signs have been created in their various crops fields. These are the “crop circles” of current lore. And they have a meaning in this film too. Space aliens have come down to conquer us and take whatever the heck they want.

We are used to patterns in various art forms, in war strategies (think Troy, think forts), in flag making as evidenced by the amazing number of flags at the Olympics, in sewing vestments and other clothing (“I just love Herman's clothes”), in delivering a fine gourmet meal at a fine gourmet restaurant each ingredient nestled beautifully in a large gourmet plate; in fact, in just about everything we see signature patterns.

Our love of patterns could be an identifying characteristic of human beings. We are “crop circle” fanatics.

Patterns also exist in human activity. You could say we have “crop circles” in our behavior too. For example, you have a friend who is a little or a lot neurotic. When he does something of regular note you might say, “Well, that’s James, typical behavior for him, putting his whole head in a beer barrel and getting stuck.” Or, “Sally always dates the guys who are losers who take advantage of her.”

Casino games also have patterns. Each game will have “crop circles” that are understandable when looked at closely.

• Roulette (inside wagers): If you bet an inside number your pattern shows a one in 38 chance of hitting. That means you will win once and lose 37 times. Winning such a bet is something of a long shot and you could go for quite some time before winning it or, as Lady Luck might have it, you might just hit on the very first try.

• Roulette (even-money wagers): A one in 38 pattern is not true of the whole game where you have a 18 chances of winning on an even-money bet and 20 chances to lose. That game is somewhat close to 50-50 (somewhat but not quite).

• Roulette (other wagers): Every other wager at roulette has a distinct pattern too. When you know what it is, you know what to expect from the game over time. You can have long waits for the one in 38; and short waits for the 18/20.

• Blackjack: If you play the proper basic strategy, the player will win approximately 42% of the time; the house will win approximately 49 percent of the time and a tie will occur approximately 8% of the time (I know, I know, using “approximate” percentages makes our total come to 99% – math is just not fair!). So you can see you have 42 chances to win and you lose or tie the rest. So this is not that close to 50/50.

• Craps: We see an amazing number of bets at craps, each with its own pattern. Let me take two. The Pass Line and Come bets have a 251 chance to lose for the player and a 244 chance to win for the player. This is very close to a 50/50 wager. Other bets are different. If you want to bet the 12 straight up, you have one chance to win and 35 chances to lose. This is a longshot bet. With a long shot you can have serious bouts of waiting to win; with the Pass Line, you tend to go back and forth since the bet is so close.

• Baccarat and mini-baccarat: Here are the patterns of wins for the three bets at baccarat and mini-baccarat. The "bank" hand will win approximately 46% of the time; the “player” hand will win approximately 45% of the time; the “tie” will win approximately 10% of the time (yes, yes, that comes to 101% because I used approximates). The pattern of this game on the first two wagers is close to 50/50, but the tie only comes in once in a while.

• Slots: Now slot machines are all over the place. You can have winning decisions on some machines of fewer than 10% and on others over 20%. Of course, slots pay back various amounts for their winning bets so “hit frequency” is not the be-all and end-all. Slot players are very patient and will go many decisions before they abandon a machine that is not paying well.

I should note that all longshot bets will pay out more than one-to-one and that is why casino gamblers enjoy making these bets. That’s called pattern-patience.


[Read Frank Scoblete’s books I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack, I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps and Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! All available from Amazon.com, on Kindle and electronic media, at Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores. Visit Frank’s website at www.frankscoblete.com.]
Recent Articles
Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

Baccarat Battle Book

> More Books By Frank Scoblete