Not easy, but they are there
by Henry Tamburin
It amazes me that most casino players believe their fate in the casino rests solely on luck. Their mantra goes something like this: The casino has the advantage and we are going to lose, but let’s just have fun playing.
Their gloom-and-doom attitude might be fitting for most casino games, but not all of them. The fact-of-the-matter is that there are beatable games in a casino and you ought to know which ones they are.
This is a relatively easy game to beat but you must have sufficient funds to weather the roller coaster ride your bankroll will take in the short run. To win at video poker you must know the pay schedules for full pay machines, find out where they are located, learn the correct playing strategies for them, and take advantage of the casino’s cashback and comps.
“Whoa now, that all sounds complicated,” you might be thinking. Then let me introduce you to Pete, my 87-year old father-in-law. You might remember him because I’ve written about his exploits in video poker in previous columns. Since Pete learned video poker two years ago, his bankroll has doubled. Think his winning is a fluke? This past week he hit two royal flushes in Vegas in three days (I was there for both) and he left town a winner. If he can win at video poker, so can you. Here’s a list of resources to help.
Pay Schedules: For a complete listing of pay schedules and their expected value (how much the machines return in the long run) go to http://videopoker.fws1.com/index.html.
Training software: You can’t go wrong with either Frugal Video Poker or WinPoker. Both are readily available and by using the software at home you will be able to learn the correct playing strategies in a relatively short period of time.
Strategy cards: You can purchase inexpensive video poker strategy cards from experts Dancer/Daily, Skip Hughes, or Dan Paymar. If you have them handy when you play you’ll never make a playing mistake.
Just about everyone knows blackjack can be beaten with card counting. But most recreational players find traditional card counting too laborious and difficult to master. But that all changed in 2003 when Dan Pronovost discovered Speed Count, a new and easy technique that average players can learn in 10 minutes and after a few days of practice have the skills to beat the casino. You can read about Speed Count in Frank Scoblete’s new book, Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution!.
Pick up the dice and fling them down the table and you don’t stand a prayer to beat the casino no matter what betting or playing system you use. The reason is that the outcome of your throw is completely random. However, if you learn to influence the results of your throw ever so slightly, then you can beat the casino at craps. “Hogwash,” you say, “because the dice have to hit the back wall.”
If you still believe dice control is a fantasy, you need to read Frank Scoblete’s and Dominator’s book, Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution!. The book tells you in words and pictures (95 of them) how dice control works and how to learn it. Is it easy to master? No, because you are learning a physical skill which requires lots of practice. But if you have the discipline you will be rewarded because good dice controllers often have a greater edge over the casino than good blackjack card counters.
Still skeptical about dice control? So was I until I started playing with some of the best dice controllers around. And guess what? They consistently won and so did I by only betting when they threw the dice. They made me a believer. I’ve since attended a Golden Touch Dice Control class and now I hold the all-time student record in their no-sevens contest with my new dice control skill (I rolled 45 consecutive times without a 7 showing… read about my feat on www.goldentouchcraps.com). If I can do it, so can you.
Pai Gow Poker
You can get a tiny edge in this game and it’s not all that difficult to do so. The trick is to be the banker as much as possible and when you have to be a player, bet as small as possible (i.e., Bank Big, Play Small). But you’ll need a sizeable bankroll to cover player’s bet when you are the banker. The playing and betting strategies you need to beat Pai Gow Poker are readily available in Stanford Wong’s book, Optimal Strategies for Pai Gow Poker and on the Pai Gow Poker page at www.wizardofodds.com.
You can beat roulette but it’s not easy and it’s not cheap. Betting systems don’t work but what does work are roulette prediction techniques. The expert on all this is Laurance Scott, author of the book, Professional Roulette Prediction (Vol. 2). His book costs $499 and that includes a great roulette analyzer software. Get all the details on the roulette page at www.advantageplayer.com.
What about playing the slots or Let it Ride or Three Card Poker or any number of other table games? Do you have any chance to beat the casino? I’m sorry to say NO. But here are some tips on other ways that you get the edge when you play.
1. Play in tournaments. You are not playing against the house but against your fellow players. If the host casino returns all the entry fees in prizes and throws in a free or discounted room, free meals and a free gift, you are ahead of the game from the get-go.
2. Use gambling coupons when you play. You’ll have the edge every time you use them.
3. Play poker, or bet on sport games or the ponies. It’s possible to win more than you lose in all three, but it’s not easy and you are going to have to do a lot of studying to get good at it.
4. Play basic strategy in blackjack and get rated for comps. Often the latter is enough to give you an overall monetary edge.
5. Play video poker games that return just under 100 percent (like 9/6 Jacks-or-Better or NSU Deuces Wild) then take advantage of the Players Club promotions so that your return from cashback, bounceback, and comps added to the return on the game will give you an overall positive expectation.
So you see there is more than luck to winning. My friend and poker author Bill Burton says it best: Luck comes and goes … knowledge stays forever.
Dr. Henry Tamburin is an authority on casino gambling. For details on his Golden Touch Blackjack course featuring “Speed Count” call 866/WINBJ-21. To order copies of his books and tapes at 30-percent discount, visit www.smartgaming.com. To receive a free 3-month membership to his Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For a free copy of his Casino Gambling Catalog or to schedule him as a speaker or for private lessons, call 888/353-3234.
Finding Beatable Games in Casino.