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Learning the Easy Way or the Hard Way

12 April 2022

QUESTION: Doesn’t it take time to really learn how to play in the casinos? I mean you don’t just walk into one and suddenly become a good blackjack player or a good craps player or the like. I don’t see any other way to understand what happens at the tables or machines except with experience. Experience is the key to everything in life. Don’t you agree?

FRANK: I think you are right and I think you are wrong as well. I think entering a casino without any knowledge of the game or games you wish to play is probably asking for trouble. It might be short-term trouble but it is trouble nevertheless.

I see many supposedly experienced casino players making bad bets and bad decisions at games, such as blackjack and video poker, that require an understanding of what the right strategy should be for any given hand. You can’t learn that right off the bat. You have to come to those games somewhat prepared.

Think of all the truly bad bets at craps that experienced players throw out there all the time. A novice might think these are great bets to make when he or she sees the experienced players making them. They especially become appealing to the novice when these bets hit and a lot of money is given to the winning player. The novice is not going to understand that over time those bets are bankroll killers.

Experience can be a hard way to learn your lessons – if it is the only way you can actually learn them.

Still, forewarned is actually forearmed – at least it is intellectually forearmed. For example, if a novice player has read that winning and losing streaks are common in random games and that these mean nothing, then a winning streak or a losing streak holds no information about the future. That could help a new player avoid thinking that trend betting or anti-trend betting holds some key to winning in the future.

You really don’t learn how the casino achieves its edge at the games just by playing. Indeed, many experienced players do not understand the methods of house edges at the various games.

How is the edge at blackjack achieved? What about the edge at the various bets at craps? How come place betting the 2 or 12 at craps is a terrible bet but betting the Pass Line is a good bet? How is the edge achieved on placing the 2 or 12 or other place bets, but why is the Pass Line different in how the casino establishes the edge on that bet?

The casino doesn’t explain these aspects of the game to you. You either read how these things are done or you never learn it. There are many false and even somewhat crazy ideas about casino games and how to play them.

[Please note: When I say “read,” you can also get good videos or information on the Internet. But a word of caution is advised. The information should be fully grounded in the actual math of the games and not based on feelings and concepts which are dead wrong. Too many experienced players have strange theories and ideas about how the games actually work.]

I recommend learning at home first. Be comfortable that you have a grasp of the game or games you wish to play and how to play them. So here is a quick list of some do’s and don’ts about the games:

• Blackjack: You must learn basic strategy, which is the computer derived play of your hands against the dealer’s up-card. You can even bring a basic strategy card to the table with you at most casinos. Although there are different basic strategies for the different number of decks being used and the rules, the changes in strategy from one to another are not that great. Play at full or almost full tables so you play fewer hands.

• Craps: There are many bets at craps. Most are bad bets with high house edges. Which are those? And when you find out why they are so bad, do not make them. There are some good bets at the game, indeed there are some very good bets at the game. Only make those bets. Do not be afraid to take the dice and roll them!

• Roulette: There are many bets at roulette. You can spread your bets out on many numbers but that can be quite costly. Or you can bet a single bet that actually covers many numbers and doing so means you are playing in a contained way.

• Mini-baccarat: This game is easy. You only make either the “player” or the “banker” bet. These are good bets as far as the house edges are concerned. Avoid the “tie” bet. Now here is your problem at this game – it is extremely fast. What do you do to account for that and why is speed a problem for a casino player?

• Pai Gow Poker: A wonderful game. Learn how to play it and you will find it is leisurely and fun and your playing decisions count.

• Slots: Even though the casino doesn’t tell you the house edges on the slot machines, a reasonable “guesstimate” can let you understand which machines to play, which to avoid, and how to keep your playing contained.

• Video Poker: Much like blackjack, each video poker game has its own strategy of how to play the cards. How you play them determines what the house edge is.

Okay, this is the start. Now, you novices: Go get them!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete