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Can you make a few bucks always betting on the 12 at craps?

17 June 2013
Question: My grandfather, who's 92 and lives alone, goes to the casinos by bus every weekday. He loves craps and has a "system." He buys $31 in dollar chips and bets them one at a time on the 12. As soon as he wins, he quits. He says it's nearly impossible not to hit the 12 in 31 rolls and that he "almost always" wins a few bucks. ... (read more)
 

Is there a “best” way to play Let It Ride?

10 June 2013
Question: Is it true there are rules to decide when to take your first and second bets down at Let It Ride? If so, what are they? Answer: Your first decision is made on three cards. The optimum strategy is to keep bet #1 alive with any winning pair (10s or higher), three of a kind, or three-card possible straight flush. ... (read more)
 

What are the chances of a jackpot at the slots?

3 June 2013
Question: What are the chances of hitting a jackpot on a reel-type slot machine? Answer: There's no single answer to this question. Modern reel-type slots are controlled by computers. They can be programmed so the chances of jackpots are just about anything. And machines that look the same don't necessarily offer identical chances. ... (read more)
 

Why would anyone “take the bank” at Pai Gow Poker, rather than just bet more?

27 May 2013
Question: At Pai Gow Poker, you can "take the bank" – facing off against everyone else at the table. This means you're in a position to win a lot on a single hand. But you could also lose a lot. Why would you do this, rather than just bet more money? Answer: Bankers, you or the house, have a slight edge at Pai Gow Poker. ... (read more)
 

What are the chances of royal flushes in various games?

20 May 2013
Question: Video poker and at least two table games have jackpots for royal flushes. What are the odds against pulling such a hand? Answer: At the tables, jackpots are paid for royal flushes in Caribbean Stud and Let It Ride. In both cases, players get five cards with no discards or draws. The odds are therefore identical in the two games and are 649,739-to-1. ... (read more)
 

Why do high “counts” at blackjack help players and not dealers?

13 May 2013
Question: Blackjack "card counters" increase their bets when they determine that shoes are rich in 10s. Assuming players bet only on single spots, why is this situation advantageous? Don't players and dealers have equal chances of receiving high hands in these circumstances? Answer: The advantage in ... (read more)
 

What happens to doubles and splits when dealers have blackjacks?

6 May 2013
Question: At blackjack, you might split pairs, then double down on one or more of the hands when the dealer has an ace or 10 showing. This means you might have multiple bets on the table. If the dealer doesn’t check in advance for a blackjack and ends up getting one, you only lose some of this. How much do ... (read more)
 

Do the slots make payout adjustments for people who bet bills or coupons and not coins?

29 April 2013
Question: Most slot machines now seem to have "bill acceptors" or take coupons so you don't have to get rolls or cups of coins to get started or to continue if you run out. Someone told me if you play with bills, you'll lose more because the machine assumes you have more money to keep going. Is this true? ... (read more)
 

Why can you take 6X odds on some numbers at craps but not others at a 5X table?

22 April 2013
Question: I played craps where the casino allowed five-times odds on the Pass line. On my first bet, the point was a six; I had $5 on the line and put down $25 odds. On my next bet, the point was a nine. I put down $25 odds but the dealer said it had to be an even amount – up to $30. The next shooter had a point of eight; I put down $30 odds and the same dealer said the maximum was $25. ... (read more)

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Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.