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The number of decisions is the key to your treasury20 May 2010
Gambling is a numbers game. For casinos it has nothing to do with luck, although on any given table at any given time, it looks as if luck predominates.
Casino gamblers fervently believe in luck: short-term luck, long-term luck, luck today, luck tomorrow, luck for a week, a month, a lifetime, and these casino gamblers firmly believe that such luck will dominate over time either for good or bad.
Smart players know that luck is almost always bad over time for casino gamblers who are not playing with an edge and who have to go up against the house edge on the games they play.
Gamblers are almost all losers over almost any prolonged series of decisions. Casinos, on the other hand, are almost always winners over any such prolonged period of time — indeed casinos with all their tables, all their machines and all their decisions per hour are almost always winners in relatively short periods of time.
When a casino has an edge it means a mathematical edge — not an edge in luck. On the pass line in craps, for example, the casino's edge is about 1.41%. That means the casino will win $1.41 for every $100 wagered. It translates easily thusly: the casino wins 251 bets on the Pass Line, while the player wins 244 bets. That seven bet difference gives the casino a mathematical edge on the bet.
So a casino player plays the pass line day in and day out and for years and years... he is probably cursed to be a loser, and the casino is blessed to be a winner. That seven number edge is all the casino needs to make a nice hunk of change from a craps player. That's a good craps player too.
So what about the bad craps players, who are legion in the casinos? It isn't pretty.
The casino, interestingly enough, does not change the odds on the bets of the game. The 7 will come up once every six rolls on average; the 2 or 12 will come up once every 36 rolls. The casino makes its money by not paying you the proper amount for the bets on these numbers. Instead of paying 35 to one on the 2 or 12, most casinos will pay 30 to one. That five number discrepancy gives the casino a hefty edge in the double digits.
The bottom line is that the longer a player plays, the worse his or her prospects will be. That's a fact because that is the math of the game. Ploppies think they can overcome randomness by discovering patterns in such randomness that are predictable and therefore bet-able, making the game beatable. They can't; they are merely deluded in regards to this.
Now the casino obviously wants as many decisions as it can get to allow the mathematical probabilities to work themselves out. If a player were to make one single bet in all his or her life then the player could come out ahead for his rather short gambling career.
In ploppy bets such as the Horn, yes, the casino will take its 12.5% of that bet but if the player won and never played again, the math of the game would not have time to work itself out to guarantee the casino a real monetary win.
But now let's take one million players across the country all making just one bet on the ploppy's Horn proposition. What happens then? Even if the number of Horn numbers comes up exactly as probability indicates; even if the number of players winning comes up exactly as probability indicates; the players — as a group — will lose 12.5% of all the money wagered on this proposition.
That's the math working itself out. You can't escape the math even if you are deluded enough to think you can.
So the more decisions a casino gets the better chance it will be ahead. In craps, the casinos look to get in 120 decisions an hour. Do they? Probably.
A single shooter at a table getting the dice back every 30 seconds can hit that 120 decisions. But what happens if there are 12 players at a table. The number of decisions goes down, don't they?
Not necessarily. With 12 players making the exact same single bet, the dealers have six minutes to pay off all the bets to be on track for 120 decisions. If each player makes two bets, the dealers have 12 minutes to pay off the 24 bets to be consistent with 120 decisions per hour.
The more bets, the more decisions, the longer time allowed for the shooter to get the dice back.
Yes, when a monster roll is going on the number of rolls will decrease but the number of decisions will rise and rise as the players bet more and more. Keep this in mind, it doesn't matter if the casino wins or loses a given decision, the total number of decisions will allow probability to work itself out to the casinos' benefit.
That's the be-all and end-all of the house's edge over the player relying on luck to win.
And what about players who have an edge at the game they play? They now reverse places with the casinos. The math is now on the advantage-player's side over time. The only problem is that a single advantage player has to play a lot of hours (make that years' worth) to get in enough time for his or her edge to assert itself enough to be a winner.
For advantage players, the road is up and down, down and up, but over time, the advantage player should be ahead.
It's a numbers game, pure and simple.
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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