section contains some general published information on Blackjack and gambling,
and odds and gambling surveillance. Sources have been broadcast specials, and
other general information on the subject. You might find some of this
much gambling do Las Vegas players do?
Surveys show 87% of the patrons gamble 4 hours a day. And it was said that this
standard has been there for years.
did Vegas gambling start?
many visitors in each casino gamble?
For the big casinos with many attractions, sometimes only 5%, or as low as 2%.
Many of the more attractive casinos attract many visitors. And yes those
visitors do gamble - but not necessarily at the places they are visiting. They
leave and go to a place they feel comfortable at.
They are said to not like open spaces - but prefer security of closed-in places
better. This may not be in keeping with the super extravagant new casinos. The
new exotic casinos are attracting a great many tourists - but not necessarily a
great deal of gamblers. There is also a belief that for some gamblers, a great
dinner buffet at a casino helps. I would also add that a few of us find
smoke free gambling areas also an attraction.
CASINO ODDS and RETURNS
of Slot Machines
Even though slot machines had begun as an addition to the casinos to aid their
lucrative table gambling, things have changed. Slot machines are now the
big winner for the casinos making approximately 70% of the revenue. Table
games are therefore receiving less emphasis.
Slot machines can vary from approximately 1% in the casino's favor to about 17%.
17% in the casino's favor, which also can be said as an 83% return, is minimum
(return) law in one of the states for casino's slot machine minimums. So slot
machines have a wide variation. They can vary from 1% against the player
to about 17%. Often the machines with better returns are
marked that way. Roulette is approximately 5.26% in the casinos favor over
the player for US roulette with 0 and 00. That difference is really due to the 0 and 00 values which are
not even or odd, nor black nor white. Those two numbers are the houses
edge. In Blackjack, the odds in favor of the house can vary from about 0%
to about 6.5%, depending on how the players play, and the rules and the number
of decks in play. I do not know the odds on craps, but my understanding is
that they are good - perhaps only 2% against the player. In fact I have heard that unless one is good at
Blackjack, craps might give better odds. For more on this, see the rpsoft
2000 "Best-Bet" Odds Thermometer.
this compare to state lottery odds? A recent Forbes article claimed that
state lottery returns were about 55% return. If true, this means that
state lotteries can be almost 3 times as bad a bet as the worst (slot machine)
casino bet. And so, regarding the states that do not allow casinos but have
lotteries - how does this make sense to anyone?
Assuming that none of us is a professional gambler (I am not) the answer is not
always on the best odds. If the point of gambling is entertainment, and we
do not bet more than we can safely lose, then the idea is to have fun.
Even though I am a very big Blackjack enthusiast, myself and those I go to
casinos with play at a number of things: Blackjack, slot machines,
sometimes roulette. Of course you get to decide this for yourself.
But if the goal is to have fun, it is best not to lose sight of that goal.
Said to be one of the smallest organizations in a casino, nevertheless all
important areas are on camera and are recorded on video tape. If something
seems odd, the tape can be played back. Casino surveillance teams in general do
not fraternize with casino employees - since they are also watching dealers and
is watched by casino surveillance?
The surveillance watches both to safeguard casino money and the players. To
safeguard the game, they watch both the players and the dealers. However, as a
service, many try to also watch to ensure no player is stealing the stakes from
to get watched?
If a player does something unusual, such as betting $5 each hand, and then
suddenly bets $100, they are likely to be watched. Dealers noting unusual
playing style can also signal the casino surveillance team by hidden switches.
Not likely - at least this should be true for the large, physical resort-casinos. The stated point is that they don’t have to. Most games are in
their favor. I tend to agree with this by the way, at least for the physical
casinos that are a large investment. Being caught cheating for a casino would
be business death, and would be “killing the goose that lays the golden eggs”.
Some do. Blackjack players sometimes exchange cards between their hands or with
another player. Some increase bets after seeing their first two cards. Some
players steal from each other, distracting them and taking their cup of coins.
Some other players would keep ink under the lip of the table out of site, and
then would mark cards. Many however, are easily caught because even if the
dealer is not watching, the eye in the sky is and recording. Many players are
also caught since they get greedy. If they get away with something once, they
often come back to even the same place and do the same things again. Of course
at some point, they are recognized by the casinos and watched.
There is a casino concern that dealers in fact might cheat in favor of the
gamblers. Among other things, surveillance personnel watch to ensure that money changed
is not more than the money handed in. Many casinos therefore insist that the
dealer's hands and player's hands do not touch - since exchanges would be harder
to see by surveillance camera. Money and chips have to be transferred by
putting them down on the table and the other picking it up. Also, there is
an incentive for the dealers to be on the players side since when the players
win, dealers are tipped more.
Cards can last 2 hours or 24 hours depending on how much handling by the dealers
and players. If the dealers do not shuffle and use an automatic shuffler, and
if the players do not handle the cards, the cards last longer. However,
surveillance examines each and every deck of cards after it is turned in. They
look to ensure all cards are there and are not marked. Adding to this on a
personal note, I always like the casinos that when a dealer gets a new deck of
cards, they spread the cards out on the table so all can see that all of the
cards are there. Few people really ever think the casinos would cheat, but it
is a nice professional touch to do this.
The travel channel on its broadcast noted that card counting is not against the
law. However, it is considered an unfair practice by casinos, and casinos can
refuse service. Notice also that casinos have also instituted many things to
discourage card counting, including automatic card shufflers, barring mid deck
entry, burning (discarding without showing) one or more cards at startup, and
the use of multiple decks..
COMMENTS - at the end
course one would hope that for a great game as Blackjack that no one either side
would cheat. But unfortunately at least some of the players try to - and often
opinion of casino surveillance is that I am glad it is there. In addition to
protecting themselves, casino surveillance also spends at least a little time,
trying to protect us as players from those who would steal all or part of our
stakes. I have heard some in fact say that one of the safest places
anywhere is inside a casino. A common goal it would seem.
can be great entertainment - again, as long as we do not bet more than we can
- software -
Book: The Complete Blackjack Survival Kit (click for info)
eBook Available from Google Play, Amazon Kindle, Barnes
and Noble Nook
Does this book tell you how to win? No. It
does tell you how you might get the odds in your favor, and
gives some strategy tables for some of the more common blackjack
games played in casinos. It also tries to explain using math and
simulations why getting the odds in your favor may indeed
improve your play, but why no one we know of can guarantee
winning all of the time.