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Donald Catlin Gaming Guru - Page 4

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Blackjack Ruin Again

19 June 2011
I recently received the following letter from Amy, one of my readers: Dear Sir, Alan Krigman says if you go for winning 10 hands at Blackjack (with a bankroll of 50 times your bet) you have a 4:1 chance of winning and a 9:1 chance of winning if you go for winning 4 hands. I take it the math is not linear. ... (read more)
 

An Optimal Craps Wager

1 May 2011
The following is part of an email I received a while ago from one of my readers. My question has to do with "dice control." Assuming that you could come up with one less seven every 36 rolls (in other words only 5 sevens in 36 rolls), what would be the optimum profit margin to attain before raising your ... (read more)
 

Taking Advantage of an Advantage: Part 3 – Kelly Betting

3 April 2011
            In last month’s article we discovered that when employing proportional betting, choosing the fraction f of our stake that we should risk when playing a positive game is tricky.  In particular we noted that if f is a large number (between 0 and 1), virtual ruin is almost certain.  Even ... (read more)
 

Taking Advantage of an Advantage: Part 2 - How Not To

6 March 2011
Last month I wrote an introduction that postulated a simple game with a probability p of winning and a probability q of losing where p was larger than q. Think of a biased coin. The expected return e for this game is e = p - q. If our stake after k bets is Sk, what should the size of our next bet be in ... (read more)
 

Taking Advantage of an Advantage: Part 1: Introduction, References

6 February 2011
In 1956 J. L. Kelly published a paper [3] in which he suggested an "optimal" betting system for positive games. This paper was a very technical piece of work and was generally unknown to the gambling community until the publication of Beat the Dealer [5] by Dr. Edward Thorp. This means of betting caught on with savvy gamblers, primarily blackjack players, and became known as Kelly betting. ... (read more)
 

All Small - All Tall - All or Nothing

1 January 2011
I recently received an e-mail from a good friend of mine who lives in Las Vegas. In it he described three new wagers that have been introduced on the Craps games at Wynn and Encore hotel casinos. The names of the three wagers are in the title of this article. Each of the three bets can only be made after a seven has been rolled. ... (read more)
 

Bowling

3 December 2010
Sometimes proposition bets rely on misleading language.  For example, a person at a bar might tear a small hole in a bar napkin and declare: "I'll bet you I can push this glass of beer through that hole."  If the sucker bites then the proposer simply sticks his finger through the hole and pushes the ... (read more)
 

Hand Wringing Hands in 9/6 Jacks

12 November 2010
            9/6 Jacks or Better Video Poker is, for the most part, a reasonable game.  High cards are better than low cards; high pairs are better than low pairs, and so on.  While it is true that one needs to study a strategy table to establish a hierarchy of hands, there are almost no real surprises.  ... (read more)
 

Winning Craps

1 October 2010
The latest book on craps written by Frank Scoblete is, in my opinion, the best book on the subject in print. The title is Casino Craps, Shoot to Win and it is published by Triumph Books. This is a book about controlled shooting. As such, it is no surprise that Frank's co-author is Dominator. But ... (read more)
 

Free Buy Bet

3 September 2010
As you may have noted in my last article, I finally got back to Michael in Laughlin who inquired about introducing a $3 line bet at Craps. Here is his reply: Hi Don, I was glad to hear from you. I hope all is O.K. I truly enjoyed our communications on this subject and it appears that my director ... (read more)

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Donald Catlin
Don Catlin is a retired professor of mathematics and statistics from the University of Massachusetts. His original research area was in Stochastic Estimation applied to submarine navigation problems but has spent the last several years doing gaming analysis for gaming developers and writing about gaming. He is the author of The Lottery Book, The Truth Behind the Numbers published by Bonus books.

Books by Donald Catlin:

Lottery Book: The Truth Behind the Numbers
Donald Catlin
Don Catlin is a retired professor of mathematics and statistics from the University of Massachusetts. His original research area was in Stochastic Estimation applied to submarine navigation problems but has spent the last several years doing gaming analysis for gaming developers and writing about gaming. He is the author of The Lottery Book, The Truth Behind the Numbers published by Bonus books.

Books by Donald Catlin:

Lottery Book: The Truth Behind the Numbers