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Casino Smart: Part 1

27 March 2011

People often say there is "book smart" and "street smart." I submit that in the world of the recreational gambling there is "Casino Smart."

"Casino Smart" is an art and a science; it is knowing how to make the most of the casino experience. It is using the casino's tricks and traps against them. It is being the best player you can be and the casino's toughest opponent.

The following questions can be used to judge how savvy a player you are. I believe most people here will answer most if not all of the questions correctly. If you have a friend or loved one that is not as knowledgeable as you, then consider sharing this with them.

Demeanor:

  1. The casino personnel are my enemy. I will treat them like an enemy.
  2. The casino personnel are there to serve me.
  3. I pretty much ignore casino personnel. I intentionally limit my interaction with them.
  4. I have pleasant interactions with dealers, pit personnel and various casino employees.

Casino personnel are people doing a difficult job. Many stand on their feet all day and have to try to placate even the most obnoxious patrons. They should be treated with respect. This could pay off in your comp rating, a better room or a table at a booked restaurant. More importantly, it is the right thing to do.

Appearance:

  1. Showering is optional in my opinion.
  2. I come to the casino dressed like I am going to paint the house.
  3. I really dislike people, so I do not care how people view me.
  4. I take pride in my appearance.

People respond to others based on how they present themselves. We judge people based on the first few seconds of interaction with them. Naturally the first thing you notice about a person is their appearance. Wagering levels not withstanding, the casino personnel with be more welcoming if you present a nice appearance. Plus no one wants to sit at a table with someone that looks like he or she has been sleeping in their clothes.

Energy:

  1. I come to the casino with little or no sleep.
  2. After not sleeping I have a few drinks and a "Red Bull" to keep me going.
  3. I get plenty of sleep but I have a few drinks to calm me down.
  4. I get plenty of sleep and I stay away from alcohol while gambling.

Imagine Tom Brady shows up for the Patriots/Jets game after staying up all night and drinking beer all morning. Will he play his best? Of course not. It is imperative that we be well rested and sober when playing any game. As an advantage player, you need to play perfect strategy or have the perfect toss. That said, if one drink helps you settle your nerves before taking on the casino, it can be a positive. But if you are going to go to the casino and get wasted, do not expect to win.

Funds:

  1. I use the cash advance window.
  2. I use the ATM in the lobby.
  3. I carry cash to the casino.
  4. I have a line of credit and draw a marker.

Borrowing money in a casino is expensive. The cash advance window may charge you upwards of 20% to borrow money. The casino ATM has an onerous fee of up to $25. Carrying cash can be dangerous. Pickpockets, thieves and robbers lurk around casinos. The casino city governments work hard to keep the REPORTS of crimes as quiet as possible. Having a credit line and depositing winnings back into your account is the best way to go.

Blackjack:

  1. I play my gut feelings,
  2. I have an idea of Basic Strategy, but I deviate when I have a feeling.
  3. I play perfect Basic Strategy.
  4. I am a skilled card counter.

The casino advantage in blackjack is dependent on the rules of the game and the skill of the player. A perfect Basic Strategy Player in a game with good rules can cut the house edge to about 1/2 of a percent. A skilled card counter can get a small advantage over the house.

Craps:

  1. I love the action of the center layout bets.
  2. I play pass line with single odds.
  3. I only make the bets with the lowest house advantage.
  4. I am a skilled dice controller.

Craps is a game with plenty of different bets. Some have a huge house advantage and some have a small house advantage. It is imperative to know the best bets and stick to them. I am not saying not to make the occasional "Hard Ways" bet, after all we are also there to have fun and take a shot. But this should be the exception not the rule.

If you are willing to make a commitment to travel the long, demanding road to becoming a skilled dice influencer, you will be one of the casino's toughest opponents.

Craps:

  1. I do not pay attention to accurate payoffs.
  2. I cannot remember what each bet pays.
  3. I know the payoff on each bet, but in the heat of the game I cannot check the dealer.
  4. I check each payoff by the dealer.

Making low house edge bets is irrelevant if you are shortchanged on the payoff. Dealers can be inexperienced or careless. It is your responsibility to know how much you should be paid and checking the pay out.

Scan
Scan works in a top-secret government agency and he is therefore not allowed to reveal his real name or show a picture of himself. We’ve used a clip-art drawing to indicate his nature. Needless to say, he is an extremely bright guy. He is an active member of the goldentouchcraps.com private members-only Web site where he posts his thoughts and gambling theories on a regular basis.
Scan
Scan works in a top-secret government agency and he is therefore not allowed to reveal his real name or show a picture of himself. We’ve used a clip-art drawing to indicate his nature. Needless to say, he is an extremely bright guy. He is an active member of the goldentouchcraps.com private members-only Web site where he posts his thoughts and gambling theories on a regular basis.