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Being Sly

27 January 2022

CINDY: When you watch the old western movies and someone is cheating, the person might have cards up his sleeves or maybe he has a metal device that allows him to pull out an ace to complete his hand. Of course, a cheater doesn’t want to get caught.

ABBY: I think frontier justice, even in Eastern cities, was harsh. Could be a severe beating or maybe even death. If you could escape the wrath of your fellow players, I think heading out of town as fast as possible was the way to go.

CINDY: Now, here is a question for today. Can someone slyly change the outcome of a game, any kind of game, but it is not technically cheating? What you are doing is not disobeying a law or anything such as that. Ways to be sly but not really cheating? Can that exist?

ABBY: Have the world’s greatest competitive eater go to an “All You Can Eat Buffet.” The guy or woman isn’t breaking the law by eating an amazing amount of food. The owner of the restaurant isn’t going to be happy when he sees this person gobbling huge amounts of food.

CINDY: Let me bring it to games of some kind. Take blackjack. Everyone who plays blackjack knows that something called card counting can give the player a small edge over the casino. The casinos do not like the fact that card counters can get an edge over them. But counting cards is not illegal. It takes a game offered by the casino and turns it on its head, giving the player the edge.

ABBY: If you know what card counting is then you can watch other players, especially those who raise their bets when they haven’t been wining their recent hands. They could be counting. You might want to shadow their bets. This could be dangerous.

CINDY: You’d have to have a pretty good sense here.

ABBY: What about drawings where someone puts their hand in a bucket and picks out the winning ticket. Is there any way to influence such a game to give a player a better chance to win? And I don’t mean buy every ticket.

CINDY: Yes, there is a way to subtly change the nature of a lottery such as this. You wet your ticket, waiting until it is almost dry and then bend it. Put it in the bucket bent. It takes up more than one level of the other tickets. It isn’t a perfect thing that will guarantee a win but it increases your chance to win. Unless the contest strictly forbids doing this, then doing this is perfectly all right.

ABBY: Okay, what about a real lottery. You know the giant kinds that the states participate in? Can you do anything that is not cheating that in some way helps you out? I bet many people would like something to help them in this.

CINDY: Yes, there is one technique that can get you more of the win should you win. It can’t change the odds of the game on each ticket but if you win you will get more money. You buy two tickets with the exact same numbers. If you win, you now have two tickets that are winners and those tickets each get a part of the win. If other people have tickets with those numbers, you have them two-to-one. You really want to go crazy? Then you can buy more than two tickets with the same numbers.

ABBY: But you do have to buck the real odds to win. This isn’t like a gift, is it? I am right in this.

CINDY: Correct.
Royal Flushes

Abby Royal is a lawyer and Cindy Royal is a school administrator. Together, they are the Royal Flushes. The sisters play weekly or bi-weekly in such venues as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos throughout the country. They also enjoy the casinos on cruise ships. They know their stuff and have some great stories about their exploits.
Royal Flushes
Abby Royal is a lawyer and Cindy Royal is a school administrator. Together, they are the Royal Flushes. The sisters play weekly or bi-weekly in such venues as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos throughout the country. They also enjoy the casinos on cruise ships. They know their stuff and have some great stories about their exploits.