Pai Gow Poker: Learning the Game

If you are looking for a new game to play in the casino that is easy to learn and can be very profitable, you should consider Pai Gow Poker. It is a combination of American poker and the Chinese domino game that shares its name. Similar to blackjack, it is a slow-paced table game with plenty of player interaction and dealer assistance. With a 5% house vig on your winnings, this game provides the player with a huge advantage which is why the house has to take a cut. The actual house advantage is 2.3 percent. (more…)

CRAPS: Deconstructing Marty and Marvin

Last issue I offered to our readers a few players who articulated their craps strategies – some of these strategies were good, some were mediocre and some were awful. I didn’t comment on these strategies because I wanted our readers to savor them without my own strategic articulation – meaning “Hey, I’m right but I’ll let most of these poor souls have their moments in the sun.”
The next two issues will have me offer my opinions about these various strategies. My first player is Marty, our model of a smart player.

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Video Poker: Lemonade

I can remember my mom saying that when life deals you lemons you should make lemonade. Beyonce even had a blockbuster album called “Lemonade”, so I guess moms everywhere (and grandmothers in Bey’s case, since she passed the adage and recipe on to the star’s mom) have some of the same feel-good maxims. It’s not just true about life in general, but also applies to the world of gambling. You might logically assume that with all the competition for players, casinos would be offering better odds than before, but that’s not the case at all. Instead, there are more greedy hands stuck out for pieces of the pie than ever before and our legislative regulators are merrily lowering the minimum ER (expected return) on a state-by-state basis. You may have sworn that if house odds were increased at your expense, then you’d never again enter a casino, but that’s like an ultimatum when angry with your partner; it may not happen. In the mercurial case of casinos your best bet may be to make lemonade. (more…)

Casino Strategy: Short-Run Decisions

When you read gambling books and articles, you sometimes see a distinction made between the “short run” (tonight, this weekend, this week, this month) of a few hundred or a few thousand decisions, and the “long run” (a few years or more) of millions of decisions. In the short run, anything can (and does) happen. Players can go on incredible streaks of improbable wins or equally improbable losses.

The long run is a very long time. Usually, it can be stated as the amount of time, or number 
of decisions, necessary for the probabilities to be within a given range of results. A coin flip will be, in the long run, faster than a roulette wheel because a coin flip has only two possible decisions and a roulette wheel has 37 or 38, depending on the type of wheel. As I stated, in the long run, the math of a game will win out over any aberrations that take place tonight. (more…)

Travel Aficionado – Planning Your Trip


In some ways, taking a vacation today is more troublesome than ever. Long security lines at airports, the prevalence of airline delays (customer satisfaction with America’s airlines continues to nose dive), the rising cost of fuel, a weakened dollar and the need for passports even to fly from the U.S. to Canada have all conspired to make travelers grumble. According to the Bureau
of Transportation Statistics, 24.3 percent of flights in the United States arrive late; 21.3 percent register a late departure.

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Finding the Edge: Three Card Poker VS. Mississippi Stud Poker

Three Card Poker and Mississippi Stud Poker are two of the hottest table games around. Their popularity doesn’t challenge long time player favorites blackjack and craps, but in some states they draw more players than baccarat or even roulette.

HOW GOOD IS YOUR SHOT TO WIN AT THOSE GAMES? WHAT IS THE HOUSE EDGE?

Those are questions that need to be answered in multiple steps, because both are games with more than one round of betting.The house edge can be expressed as a percentage of the ante that starts either game, or it can be expressed as a percentage of the average total wager, once subsequent bets are considered.Some people refer to these as “house edge vs. the ante” and “house edge vs. total action.”
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