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Deal Me In: Are players falling in love with this machine?

13 May 2016
Dear Mark: I have a comment on the recent column where the questioner asked, "Is there any chance that the slot machine senses a new player has not been at a particular machine for a specific period, and then pays off initially, then stops paying?" Is this guy serious? A slot machine that can "sense"? Does he live on Planet Earth? Sorry, but I HAD to give you my 2 cents worth. ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Betting patterns won't change the casino's advantage

6 May 2016
Dear Mark: What are your thoughts about using a betting progression method in playing blackjack against a continuous shuffling machine? Is playing against shuffle machines ever a good idea? Tim R. Raising or lowering your wagers without the knowledge of the composition of the deck – card counting – does not change the house edge. ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: A shorter timeline is no predictor of winning

29 April 2016
Dear Mark: Any time I start playing slots, I always seem to win at the beginning, but end up going home a loser. I should just quit while ahead, but I do not because it takes me an hour to drive to the casino, and I do not want to play for just 15 minutes and leave. Is there any chance that the slot machine ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: No bluffing needed with PokerLotto

22 April 2016
Dear Mark: The Michigan Lottery offers a game called PokerLotto. It includes a draw poker hand from the machine against a poker pay table. Then, there is a 7:30 p.m. drawing in the evening where if the cards on your ticket match the exact poker hand shown on TV, you win $100,000. My question regards the second chance of winning. ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Can a computer beat a game that is built on lost bets?

8 April 2016
Dear Mark: A book review in the Wall Street Journal appears to claim that a computer can win at roulette. This doesn't appear to be reasonable, since each spin should be random and the rules of probability favor the house quite strongly with the normal double-zero American version. In the comments, someone ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Card counting isn't cheating, but . . .

1 April 2016
Dear Mark: When it comes to blackjack, why is counting cards considered a form of cheating? I look at it as someone who is very good at the game and no different from someone playing poker, like players who are very skilled at bluffing and reading the body language and facial expressions of the others at the table. ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: What in the world is going on with craps tables in California?

25 March 2016
Dear Mark: So I go to the craps table at Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs, as it is my favorite casino endeavor. I place $20 on the pass line. Being the only player, I am presented the dice, pick out a pair, and send them down the road. To my delight, I see a 6 and a 1. Now, that's a great start! As I look forward to the $20 coming back, the stickman announces my point is 5. ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Only bet what you can afford to lose

18 March 2016
When playing craps, I like the pass line with odds, place the 6 and 8 and then feed the come line and place odds on each. My question is on the odds. Most casinos offer 10x odds. Do I need to max that out to get the best house edge, and, if I only double my pass line bet, does this still work to my advantage? To go 10x odds requires a sizable bankroll. ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Anatomy of a beatdown

11 March 2016
Dear Mark: Terrific column last week, Breaking the Bank, especially the portion on Don Johnson’s take down of three Atlantic City casinos at blackjack. I was, to a certain extent, involved with the circumstance. At the time, I was a dealer at the Caesars and actually dealt to Mr. Johnson for nearly an hour. ... (read more)

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Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.