Slow and steady wins the race
By Frank Scoblete
I can break the casino games down to high-energy casino games and leisurely casino games. Two of the high-energy games are craps and blackjack.
When you play craps, you are usually at a crowded or relatively crowded table with players making multiple bets. You may be making multiple bets too. Not only do you have to keep track of your bets and know their payouts, you have people cheering and moaning, depending on how they are doing at any given time.
If you shoot the dice that is added pressure, but almost all craps players desire to and do shoot the dice. Sevening out, at any time in one’s roll, is a disaster. Emotions are charged when you are the shooter.
Play craps and your feelings will go up and down with the swing of the game, the swing of your progress, and the swing of how the other players are reacting. If a don’t (darkside) player comes to the table that adds more angst for many rightside players. Inebriated players can be problems as they slow the game or throw the dice in wacky ways. More emotional stress here.
Craps is the most exciting game in the casino and such excitement is high energy.
Next comes blackjack. It’s a card game where every decision has to be made by you. You have to know the correct strategy on every hand versus every dealer’s up card—or you have to create your own strategy.
The game is tremendously streaky. The premium hands where you double down, split pairs and double on splits can go your way (anticipatory excitement) or they can be failures (misery).You can go from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the mountain in a rather short period of time. Your energy can get sapped by your personal results.
On occasion you will get players who think they are experts and will tell you what decisions to make on your hands. Aside from the fact that most of these “experts” are wrong in their strategies, their haranguing can be a royal pain in the you-know-what. That is energy sapping.
Bring on the Leisure
Two leisurely games are roulette and Pai Gow Poker. Every casino player, or anyone who watched a movie where roulette is played, knows the game. A wheel spins, a ball bounces here and there in various pockets and then stops. That’s the winning number and color and proposition.
At a crowded table, with players making straight-up bets on numbers after numbers, wouldn’t that be as energetic as craps or at least almost as energetic as craps? Yes.
But to enjoy the game of roulette, you aren’t going to make inside straight-up bets. Why battle close to a host of other players to get your bets down? A true waste of energy. Why drain yourself pushing your way into the game of many aggressive players?
The first relaxing element of roulette is the fact that the game in and of itself is leisurely. You might get 40 or 50 decisions per hour. Compare that to blackjack where you can get 100 or more decisions per hour. Slow is relaxing in a casino game.
Such a leisurely pace relaxes you if you make the proper bets. And what are those? Just three—the “even-money” bets of red or black, high or low, odd or even. Making one of these bets does not change the house edge but you will go back and forth with the casino and all losses (and all wins) are even money. You will not face the possible monumental losing streaks that can occur in the straight-up betting.
However, you must sit in the middle of the “even-money” section of the table with the red/black bet right in front of you. Now, it doesn’t matter what happens at the table. You are seated in your position.
What the other players are doing has no effect on you. True, it is possible that some players might bet the “even-money” bets but they will be few and far between. Roulette is a game where many players are looking for a good score on high-payoff bets. The “even-money” bets are not that attractive to them. They aren’t high energy enough.
So, for roulette you have a leisurely betting method at a leisurely game. Not bad.
Pai Gow Poker
I love Pai Gow Poker. Sadly, it is not one of the premier games for casino players, although Asian rooms feature it and many Asian players love it. But Asian rooms are a rarity in most casinos. Some casinos don’t even have one table.
Most casino players don’t even know about it. Instead, they will play many of the new “carnival” games that have tremendous speed and multiple bets.
Pai Gow Poker is an extremely leisurely game, more so even than roulette, and the house edge is decent, somewhere around 2.6 percent. How many decisions do you play? About 40, with a good percentage of those ending in ties.
Yes, you must play the correct strategy on the two hands (one is a two-card hand and one is a five-card hand) but if you don’t know exactly what to do, ask the dealer. The dealer will explain how to play the hand you have.
There is a great variation of the game that reduces the house edge to under two percent. It is called face-up Pai Gow Poker, where you see the dealer’s cards before you have to play your own. That is a great improvement.
All the best in and out of the casinos!
Frank Scoblete’s website is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.