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Radical Approaches To Popular Games

By Frank Scoblete


I think many players get stuck in a playing mode and they can’t think any other way about their favorite games. For example, there are slot players who must play the machines that offer up to 50 million to one odds in order to win millions of dollars. Those are big odds and those machines are quite tight. Still the lure of the big one makes one have big dreams.

The radical approach to slots states clearly that players should avoid the dream games and play those machines that give them a chance to win tonight. The better the payback percentage on a machine, the better chance a player has to win and, as I’ve always said since 1990, winning is the most fun.

So go for stand-alone machines and (here comes the radical advice!) only play one credit. That will stretch your time at the machines and/or it will reduce by a significant amount your losing expectation. Try to play machines that do not significantly increase the win for full coin; larger jackpot wins for full coin are a beautiful technique for getting players to play a lot more money. The actual percentage increase in payback for full coin is not truly significant.

The reverse is true of video poker players. They must play full coin at all times. Blackjack players using their own very flawed logic have come up with eccentric ways to play the game – giving the house far more of an edge than necessary. Some won’t split aces against all dealer up cards; some won’t split 8s versus all dealer up cards. Some players always take insurance when a dealer shows an ace. All of these are bad decisions.

Many good blackjack players have fallen for the idea that deep penetration of the decks in a shoe means the game is good for them. Unless such players are card counters, deep penetration is a ruse. Blackjack players want more cards cut out of the game. Fewer cards coming out means the dealer must shuffle more. The game goes slower and slower is good.

Other players like playing continuous automatic shufflers so there are no breaks in play. That is a major problem as the house gets to deal about 20 percent more cards. This is not good for a player.

Normal blackjack players, meaning basic strategy players (basic strategy is the computer-derived play of every player hand against every dealer up card) will often look to play head-to-head against a dealer. This is another big mistake as the number of decisions such a player faces is immense. Better to play at full tables thereby reducing the number of decisions.

The radical laws for blackjack players should be simple. Use basic strategy and play at games with good rules and at crowded tables with many cards taken out of play. Fewer cards played is better for the player; more cards played is better for the casino.

Craps players can be a wild lot and here many (actually most) also tend to make several (or more!) bets, many of which come with extremely large house edges. They want what casinos call “action” and the casinos’ definition of “action” is simple — the “action” player makes many bets and all those bets have house edges; indeed, some have larger house edges than those on slot machines. The more bets a player makes, the more the casino wins.

In craps the blackjack rules should also apply. Here goes: Only make one bet on the rightside of the game. If you win it then make another bet. Do not play multiple bets at one time. Yes, you will be the anti-action player but your bankroll will not suffer the indignity of being blasted away at a cold table.

Which bets should a rightside craps player make? Just one Come Bet with as much as you can afford in odds. The game becomes your number versus the seven on the point cycle of the game. All other numbers become irrelevant.

And what of the “don‘t” (darkside) player? One bet per one shooter and that is it. That bet should be a “don’t come” bet and lay as much as you can in odds. What if the shooter knocks you off that number? Wait for the next shooter. No one shooter should be allowed to hammer you. Sure it is possible that shooter after shooter becomes hot enough to hurt you but such a possibility is not all that large.

I know my advice for craps players might seem insane but in fact playing as I recommend reduces the house hit on one’s bankroll. In games where the casino has the edge the reduced hit is quite important. I am guessing that almost all craps players work hard for their money and such hard-earned money should be handled delicately.

Put simply. The more decisions you face, the more money you bet, the better the chance you will wind up losing more than you really want. Hey, less is best!

Visit Frank’s web site at . Frank’s latest books are I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, Confessions of a Wayward Catholic and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.


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