Casino Games And Mathematics. Part 1.

Can the knowledge of mathematics help a gambler to win?

One can often hear that the best piece of advice given by a mathematician to a lover of gambling games is an assertion which lies in the fact that the best strategy in gambling games is complete abstention from participation in them. A lot of mathematicians consider that the most which the theory of probability and the theory of games can give a gambler are the strategies following which he won’t lose too much.

It is difficult to predict whether the American mathematician Edward Thorp shared this view, when once spending winter holidays in Las-Vegas, he, having entered a casino, decided to try his luck in the game of twenty-one. As it turned out, Dame Fortune” was extremely unkind to him. We do not know for sure what amount of money this teacher of mathematics of one of American universities lost that winter night at the end of the 50-s the beginning of the 60-s of the last century, however, judging by the following events the amount was not small. Otherwise, how can we account for the fact that development of an optimal strategy of this game became for a number of years an idte fixe” of our hero. Besides, the matter was not only in the quantity of money lost by the mathematician. Perhaps, Thorp was simply an extremely venturesome person, and his pride both of a gambler and an expert-mathematician was hurt. Besides, he could suspect a croupier of dishonesty, since, as he had noticed, cards were not shuffled after each game. Though, during the game itself it did not make him very uneasy. However, afterwards, having visited casinos a number of times, he noticed that as the rules did not presuppose obligatory shuffling of cards after each game, so it was difficult to accuse a croupier of anything. Anyway, he managed to develop a winning strategy in the game of twenty-one.

This strategy among other things was based on the same very aspect which had put a defeated mathematician on his guard cards were not shuffled too often. At that, this, apparently, as a rule, was done not because of some evil design, but in order to avoid, so to say, unnecessary slowdowns in the game. The results of his studies Edward Thorp put forth in a book published in 1962 (Thorp E.O Beat the dealer. A winning strategy for the game of twenty one. – New York: Blaisdell,1962.) which made owners of gambling houses in the state of Nevada essentially change the rules of the game of twenty-one. But let’s not ride before the hounds.

In accordance with the game rules of twenty-one of that time one croupier dealt gamblers two cards each out of a thoroughly shuffled pack consisting of 52 cards. Gamblers themselves did not show their cards to a dealing croupier. At the same time out of two cards taken for himself an official of a casino showed one of them (usually the first one) to gamblers. Gamblers evaluate their cards according to the following scale. Jacks, queens and kings have a value equal to 10 points, an ace could be assigned either 1 point or 11 points, the value of the rest of the cards coincided with their numerical value (eights had 8 points, nines took 9, and etc). That gambler was considered a winner who had cards on hand with the sum of points closest to 21 from the bottom. At that, having assessed the received cards every gambler (including a croupier) had a right to take from a pack or putting it simpler, take a widow”, any amount of cards. However, if, as a result, the total number of points after a widow, will exceed 21 points then a gambler must drop out of a game having shown his cards.

Special rules were established with regard to stakes. Initially, upper and lower bounds were set, and every gambler had a right of choice of a specific stake (within these bounds) depending on the evaluation of his position. If, as a result, it turned out that in accordance with the game rules a casino’s visitor had a “better” number of points on hand than a croupier had, he received a gain in the amount of the stake that he had made, otherwise, this gambler lost his stake. In case of an equal number of points of a gambler and a croupier, the game ended in peace, that is the result of the game is considered harmless” both for a gambler and a casino.

Let’s point out that unlike ordinary gamblers a croupier is not obliged to open his cards in that case if the number of points in these cards exceeds 21. Moreover, after all the gamblers have opened their cards, and therefore, all the stakes go to a casino gamblers cannot practically find out what was the number of points of a croupier, in order to build their game strategy for the next game (whether to risk or not to stand pat, and etc). It goes without saying, it gives a croupier considerable advantages. Besides, all the gamblers are surely aware of this, and, … continue to play. Nothing can be done about it, who does not take risks, as is known, does not win.

Gaming Services: A Career In Gambling

It was a long time before gambling was legalized in the United States. It was not a one time legalization of all gambling games though but a very long process. The legalization process was also different and in various stages for each state. In the end, the government assessed more jobs for employment due to the legalization of gambling. Casino games such as poker, black jack, slot machines were said to be helpful in creating jobs across the United States.

Gaming or the play of various games of chance is reported to be a multi-billion industry that paved the way for the creation of a number of service professions. Gaming can include the usual casino gaming, state lotteries, horse racing, dog racing and even charitable games. The gaming industry created such an impact that it reached the status of an industry. How ironic that an industry that is supported by games of chance could sustain and provide stable jobs for the people.

Almost all workers that cater to the gaming industry are employed in the casinos. These workers have titles and responsibilities that could vary from one casino establishment to another but despite these differences in titles, all workers are basically doing the same thing. Workers could supervise, investigate and conduct surveillance while some of them will be assigned to work directly with the customers or casino players. These workers will perform various activities such as dealing cards or running games, tending the slot machines, handling money and writing or running tickets.

The Gaming Supervisor

The workers mentioned above will not be as organized as they should be without someone to oversee and supervise their day to day activities. This is the job of a gaming supervisor. A casino establishment can have more than one gaming supervisor. Gaming supervisors oversee the operations and workers assigned in a particular area of the casino. They circulate within the area, checking every table available and ensure the fluidity of the games even in the midst of shift changes.

Basically, the gaming supervisors are the workers who usually interact with guests in times of complaints or whenever guests have a hard time to understand the rules or limitations of a particular table game. These people are the ones who toy with ideas or various strategies on how to enliven the atmosphere for the guests while they are staying and playing in the casino. At the same time, they are ready for any inquiries or special requests that guests needs throughout their stay in the casino.

Other Occupations Available In The Gaming Industry

Some of the work occupations available in the gaming industry require a special level of skill. For example, black jack card dealers must be able to deal the cards smoothly and with precision, or else players might think that they are being cheated on the game. The skills indicated here are only useful and unique to casino gaming. Still, other occupations require skills that focus on being able to conduct financial transactions. All in all, these skills are mostly required by workers that are in contact with the guests and players. The workers mentioned above that deals cards or run table games, tends the slot machines, and handles money and tickets will need necessary skills helpful to their trades.

It is worth noting that workers are on shift rotation so each one will experience handling a specific work that will require a necessary skill. Casino establishment usually require their employees to undergo a specialized training that covers the whole casino gaming. In this training, attendees learn to cut a deck of cards smoothly, learn a few tricks with it and be able to deal it effectively along with other special skills.

There are slot key persons assigned in slot key machines that are responsible in overseeing its effective operation and supervising slot key workers. One job of the slot key person is to verify and handle the pay-off winnings of a lucky patron and reset the slot machine or refill its money contents. Another job is to make decisions regarding the repair of the slot machines.

A slot key person must be knowledgeable in different brands of slot machines. They must be able to detect a minor operational glitch in a slot machine and be capable of fixing it. In case of a major operational damage, the slot key person is also the person responsible to decide whether a slot machine needs to be removed from the floor for major repairs. Working in the floor as normal frontline personnel, the slot key persons are tasked to enforce the safety rules of the casino establishment and to report hazards to those concerned.

In operating games such as keno or bingo, there are gaming writers and runners that are tasked to take bets for the game and assist in its operation. These workers operates the device that issues random numbers, announce the numbers selected, pick-up and verify the tickets from the game patrons, calculate and distribute the game winnings.

The gaming dealers, on the other hand, are responsible for the card games such as poker, black jack, craps and roulette. The gaming dealers can be seen standing or sitting behind a table and facing the card game patrons. They will provide the dice and deal the cards to the patrons. During the card game, the gaming dealers will also monitor the patrons for any possible violation of the casino rules. In the card games, the gaming dealers must be highly skilled in their card games and are able to provide excellent customer service, especially in moments when a patron is losing most of his bet money.

The gaming dealers determine the winner of the card game, calculate and pay the winning bet while also collecting the bet money. It is a big advantage for a person that aspires to be a gaming dealer to be competent in at least two card games such as poker or black jack.

Secret Formula Of Black Jack Winners

When someone plays a game, they play to win. One of the many simple games at the casino is Blackjack. For those who don’t know how to play the game, it’s always best to start by learning the basics.

When playing Blackjack the most important feature to remember is that there are four times as many cards that have a value of 10 (10, J,Q,K) as any other value. With this information, one must always assume that the next card to be drawn from the deck has a value of 10.

By keeping this in mind, one may realize that if one has any hand that has a value over 12 one will likely lose or in blackjack terms bust (go over 21). Likewise if the dealer’s card is a 2-6 it is likely to draw a 10 card which means he will have to draw again, likely causing him to bust.

Another way to make the odds more favorable to the player than the dealer is by counting cards. This of course requires many pages and charts that must be memorized. Having a professionally written guide is very helpful and there are many different authors that have different styles and different counting systems. It’s always best to get more than one opinion to find out which style works best.

Practice makes perfect. By investing time and money with online training software learning the game, it will eventually pay off at the casino.

Upon entering the casino, one must choose the right table to play at. When one observes that the players at a table seem to be winning a lot, it is a good time to join in the action. Likewise, if you notice the dealer has a lot of chips and the players seem to be doing more losing than winning, then look for a better table.

Reward the dealer by tipping when one is winning. If the dealer knows he will be tipped when the players wins, he may begin rooting and actually do subtle things to help such as performing less thorough shuffles and penetrating deeper into the shoe before he re-shuffles thus allowing the player to get a more accurate count of the cards.

Though if the dealer starts losing too much money for the casino the pit boss will likely change dealers.

Although it may be impossible to find the perfect game, one should be familiar with how certain house rules affect the player.

Keep in mind that as a rule of thumb, the fewer decks the casino uses the more advantageous it is for the player.

Casino Games And Mathematics. Part 2.

Thorp managed to find out that owners of gambling houses gave their officials rather strict directions with regard to the strategies which they should stick to in the game with visitors. Control over fulfillment of these directions had its initial aim to prevent from a frame-up of a croupier with the rest of the gamblers, a chance of which could not be excluded. Assigned for a croupier strict rules determining his game strategy really substantially reduced a probability of such a frame-up, but on the other hand, allowed an advanced” gambler to rather adequately reveal the essence of this strategy and effectively oppose it. For unlike a croupier a gambler needn’t show the first of the received cards, as well as isn’t enchained by any strict rules as regards his strategy, that is why flexibly changing his behavior he can confuse a croupier. For example, Thorp found out that practically in all gambling houses of Nevada State croupiers were strictly ordered to keep away from a widow in case the amount of points in his cards exceeded or was equal to 17, and a player, from our mathematician’s point of view did not have to miss an opportunity to make use of the knowledge of even some aspects of a croupier’s strategy for achievement of his aims. Thus, those advantages which had an official of a gambling house from the start (as we already know, he is not obliged to open his cards at the end of the game), can be compensated to a certain degree for the knowledge of a player about the strategic “tunnel vision” of a croupier.

Besides, as has been mentioned, Thorp, while building his strategy presumed that cards were not often shuffled, in particular, if after finishing of a regular game there were still cards left in a pack, a croupier did not collect the thrown-away by the gamblers cards but dealt them anew (and the next game was played), and only after complete exhaustion of a pack, an official of a gambling house collected all the cards, thoroughly shuffled them and a new cycle” began. Naturally, if a gambler had a good memory he could change his strategy depending on the knowledge of the cards which had gone out of the game, and what cards could still be counted upon. It is important to remember that a croupier himself who was to strictly follow the directions of the casino’s owners practically without changing his strategy!

Thorp set himself a task to formulate the rules which would allow him to calculate probabilities of taking out one or another card out of an incomplete pack. Knowing these probabilities a gambler could already with reasonable assurance draw cards from the widow without being too much afraid of a pip out”, and besides, on the basis of the knowledge of some aspects of a croupier’s strategy to make suppositions about those cards which he had, and other gamblers as well. Naturally, as a gambler was to make a decision with regard to a widow very quickly, the sought rules for calculation of probabilities were to be rather simple for a gambler to be able to use them in mind” with the help of neither a calculator, nor a pen and paper (even if we suppose that a gambler will be given a chance to do calculation on paper, it will certainly arise suspicion). Edward Thorp managed to solve this mathematical problem having created rather simple algorithms for calculation of probabilities of taking out of one or another card from a pack, and using them to build a strategy of the game of twenty-one which would not be very complicated, allowing a gambler to considerably increase his chances of winning!

As the Hungarian mathematician A.Reni states after a few days of presenting his report on the obtained results at the meeting of the American Maths Society in 1960 in Washington Thorp received from a businessman a letter with a check for 1 thousand dollars intended for checking of a winning strategy in practice. Thorp accepted the check and having learnt the formulated by him rules left for Nevada to try his discovery. The trial went well: less than after two hours Thorp won 17 thousand dollars.

Needless to say, the owner of a gambling house didn’t share Thorp and his companion’s delight with regard to a successful comeout of the trial and the next day did his best to prevent Thorp from joining in the game. Later on Thorp tried to penetrate into other gambling houses, but the news of him had already spread far and wide, so that the doors of all the gambling houses appeared to be closed for him. Several times having adjusted a fake beard or having got a make up of a Chinese, Thorp managed to get to the gaming-table, but in any disguise his constant gain invariably gave him away. Thorp had to refuse from further checking of the strategy developed by him”. Though “additional checks” were necessary” only to enrich the pockets of the talented mathematician. One could hardly doubt that E.Thorp managed to create a real winning strategy!

However, since he could no longer benefit from his discovery himself, he decided to render welfare assistance” to his colleagues having published in 1961 a small article in an American academic journal (Thorp E.O. “A favourable strategy for twenty-one”, Proc.Nat.Acad.Sci., 47, 110-112, (1961)). And despite the small size of the article and, consequently, an extremely condensed form of persentment, made it comprehensible for rather a narrow group of professionals, one can be sure that a number of American scientists and their friends certainly “improved” their material situation (owners of gambling houses were unlikely to read scientific magazines at that time).

Best Casino Gambling Pay-outs

Nobody comes to a casino simply because they want to have fun. Underneath this vague reason is the desire to bring home cash, and lots of it. Indeed, casino gambling is a way to get your hands on lots of cash in a short time. However, it can also be the way to lose cash in an even shorter time. The thing with casino gambling is that the games have different pay-out rates. For example, spending half an hour in the slots will not help you reach the hundred dollar mark unless you win the jackpot. But if you go and spend time at the roulette table, you can reach the 200-dollar mark without waiting for 30 minutes. Likewise, you could lose all your casino gambling money at the roulette table in a shorter time than it will take you to lose $10 at the slots.

The trick to maximize casino gambling profits is to choose the right games to play. High pay-out games usually give you more money for limited funds. However, skill is highly needed in playing these games. Being a novice and attempting this game with the more experienced players only make you lose your funds. The rules may vary in different casinos, but still the most favored high-paying games are blackjack and video poker.

Depending on your casino’s blackjack rules, blackjack is a game wherein a player can expect high returns providing he plays wisely. There are many variations in blackjack rules like the number of card decks, splitting and doubling bets, and other rule variations. Years back, most casino gambling websites offer great odds. If played strategically, the player even gets valuable advantage. However, rules change and now, the odds are in the casino’s side regardless of the player’s strategy. So to ensure good pay-outs in playing blackjacks, it is to your favor to seriously consider being an advance blackjack player.

Of course, not everyone is born with jacks and aces in their hands. But learning good blackjack strategy is easy. There are many free and downloadable blackjack software tools that you can download and practice on. Also, blackjack books are available at most bookstores. These books are usually authored by top blackjack players who have gained fame and fortune in playing the game. Don’t frown because nothing is easy these days. Being a winner requires effort, so that at least you can enjoy yourself doing it. With regular blackjack practice, you could soon be the next casino gambling blackjack king.

Video poker is another casino gambling game that has a reputation for high pay-outs. However, like blackjacks, video poker rules and pay-out schemes vary among casinos. Examining the casino’s pay tables is important before starting video poker, or any game for that matter. Usually, there are different video poker machines at a given casino. Be sure to choose the one with best pay tables, otherwise, you’re just giving the casino your money without a fight. Good pay tables are assurance that the game you’re playing actually favors you.

Good video poker machines usually allow over a hundred percent return the longer you play the game. Also, despite being similar to slot machines, video poker is not a game of chance. This means that you have an actual advantage depending on your skills. Consequently, you cannot play the game and expect a high pay-out without understanding the basic rules and arming yourself with useful techniques. Casino gambling is fun, but it does entail some work.

Most casino gambling websites and traditional casinos offer both games. Betting experience and game skills improve your chances of winning the games and getting high pay-outs. Though playing requires effort in learning the games and mastering the skills, it does have its rewards. Besides, casino gambling is more fun if you go home laden with cash than big debts.