CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Ask the Slot Expert: Is there a strategy to win more than you lose in a casino?

6 May 2020

Question: Hola.. quisiera saber si existe alguna estrategia funcional para ganar mas de lo que se pierde en un casino ... desde ya muchas gracias.

Answer: Hola. Forgive me. I don't speak Spanish. I'll have to rely on Google Translate and hope that the translation is close.

Hello.. I would like to know if there is any functional strategy to win more than what is lost in a casino ... thank you in advance

There actually are some ways that you can win more than you lose in a casino. These ways include counting cards at blackjack, using specific throwing techniques at a crap table, and playing certain games. Counting cards requires a great deal of concentration. It also requires much practice, as does learning dice grips and throwing techniques. Game selection might be a bit easier to do.

Some slot machines can be played with an advantage. They have some feature that changes with play and you have to catch them when the conditions are favorable for the player. The feature might be a progressive that is very high, a must-hit-by progressive that is near its limit, or a feature that requires collecting a certain number of items and it is close to being triggered. You can search Advantage Play Slots to see some examples.

Many players, in addition, make money playing live poker. In this case, you're not getting an edge over the casino, but playing better than the other people at your table.

Poker plays a part in the last beatable game. Some video poker paytables give the player the edge, but these are extraordinarily hard to find today and are nickels and quarters 99.999% of the time. Other paytables that are more plentiful are breakeven with standard slot club rewards and slightly positive on multiple points days. No matter what, you have to play a mathematically derived strategy to get the maximum payback possible from a video poker paytable.

You can make money in the casino, but it's going to take some effort. You'll have to learn card counting, or throwing techniques, or how to play poker hands, or how to find advantageous slots, or how to play a video poker hand optimally.

Remember that the casino's business model is: some players win, some players lose; the losers lose more than the winners win.


Week 8 of Stay Home for Nevada. Many people have said they are bored with staying at home and they have nothing to do. I've never been busier.

My valet is in isolation so I have to lay out my clothes and dress myself each morning. The cook hasn't come for weeks, so I have to get takeout. If the restaurant doesn't have delivery, I have to drive myself to get my order because my driver is also staying home. Nothing to do, indeed.

It's been two months since Nevada's governor told us to stay at home. You'd think I'd have more to show for it.

My biggest accomplishment is watching all 11 seasons and nine Christmas specials of My Family, a Britcom. And that's not even as big an accomplishment as it sounds because the British prefer quality over quantity in their telly programs. Most seasons had a dozen episodes -- one had only six -- instead of the U.S. standard of about 20 episodes per season.

I did clean out the hall closet. That upset my cat because I discovered one of the places he likes to hide.

One thing no one needs during these times is car trouble. Right before the non-essential business shutdown in Nevada, my car battery died. I wasn't surprised. It was five years old. My dealership tested the battery, confirmed it was weak and gave (well, sold) me a new one.

Three weeks later, the new battery died. Ford's engineers must have a dark sense of humor. My hybrid could have a fully charged high voltage battery array for the electric motor, but I can't turn on the car because it needs power from a small, low voltage, 12V battery in the trunk to boot up.

I called the dealership. Because this was a new battery, I said, there must be some electrical problem if the battery isn't defective. Give me a loaner, I'll leave the car. I've heard horror stories of taking weeks for mechanics to find electrical problems in cars on Car Talk.

The dealership had instituted additional safety measures since my last visit. The service advisor wore a surgical mask and gloves. Add a hat and gown and he could have performed an operation.

They lent me a Lincoln Nautilus, which is only slightly smaller than Captain Nemo's Nautilus. To save fuel, it shuts off the engine when the vehicle is not moving. It guzzled gas when it was moving. I'm not used to being to actually see the gas gauge move.

My problem, fortunately, was a known problem and was quickly diagnosed.

The mechanism for the power trunk decklid (the RGTM, Rear Gate Trunk Module) was faulty. The module needed to be reprogrammed, but my module would not accept the update so it had to be replaced.

Now that I had a diagnosis, I found documentation of the problem online. As it turns out, I had had symptoms of a faulty module for a long time, but I didn't know it. The trunk would occasionally not open or close when I pressed the button on the bumper, but I attributed that to a dirty switch. During closing, in addition, the trunk lid would occasionally bounce back -- abort closing and open again. I thought that was caused by something blocking the lid's path, so I rearranged the things in the trunk. Many times I didn't think that there really was anything in the way. I could live with all of those problems. Not so much the intermittent drawing down of the 12V battery.

It looks like Covid-19 was in Las Vegas well before the first official diagnosis. Convention attendees and convention center workers had symptoms as early as last December. They thought it was just a bad case of the flu, but now they think they may have had Covid-19. Like me with my trunk, they didn't realize what was causing their symptoms. Nevada Health Response has stated that "there were earlier cases than the first positive reported in Nevada."

Las Vegas hasn't been hit as hard as other cities because of its isolation in a valley. Once conventions were cancelled and casinos were closed, tourism stopped and there were far fewer people potentially bringing the virus with them to the city. Resuming large conventions isn't on the radar yet, but the Nevada Gaming Control Board issued a Health and Safety Policies for Reopening after Temporary Closure last Friday.

Before reopening, a casino will have to "clean and disinfect all of its hard and soft surfaces," which I guess means everything. Employess will have to be trained in proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures and how to prevent the spread of disease (e.g., social distancing, handwashing).

Signs reminding employees and patrons of proper hygiene will be posted throughout the property. Employees are supposed to report coworkers or patrons exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms to their supervisors.

Employees should wash their hands before the start of their shift, during every break period, several times during their shift, and whenever they change gloves or otherwise contaminate their hands.

On the slot floor, steps must be taken to ensure social distancing between players. The document allows the casino to propose the method(s) it will employ, but it does mention removing the chair in front of every other machine as an example. I suspect that casinos will still disable every other machine and also remove the chairs in front of the disabled machines. Casinos may also provide disinfecant wipes to players.

Over at the table games, the number of players at a table must be limited to ensure social distancing. Players will not be allowed to congregate in groups around the gaming tables (or the slot machines or anywhere, for that matter). Gaming table equipment must be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Biq guestion marks right now are: how to disinfect cards (new deck(s) after each round, used decks taken to be sanitized and then reused?), dice (new dice each shooter, used dice sanitized and reused?) and, the biggest unknown, chips. Maybe the casinos can install spritzers over the chip racks like those in the produce section to periodically give the chips a Lysol shower.

The first sentence in the section on Race and Sportsbooks, Keno Lounges and Bingo Halls suffers from overeager parallelism. "Plans must ensure that patrons do not congregate in groups and practice proper distancing in these areas." I'm sure they meant that patrons do not congregate and do practice proper distancing.

To facilitate social distancing, properties are limited to no more than 50% of the occupancy limit assigned to each gaming are by local building and fire codes. Social distancing must be maintained wherever guests queue. Restaurants and bars have to limit seating based on social distancing between tables and patrons. Meetings and conventions are limited to 250 people. Nightclubs and dayclubs remain closed.

There is no target date for reopening casinos. For those complaining that the governor won't give a date, remember that the virus is setting the schedule, not the calendar.

Moving on, my regular grocery store put directional arrows in the aisles about two weeks ago. I don't care. I'm trying to increase my step count. I see many people who either don't notice the signs or choose to not follow them. I just hope they know the meaning of One Way when they're driving.

Like many other stores, my store put up plastic barriers to protect the cashiers in the checkout lanes. Screaming Images, a local Las Vegas company ran with that idea, and developed plastic barriers than can be used to separate players at a bank of slot machines, and separate players from other players and the dealer at a gaming table. No word yet on whether casinos will install these devices.

Ending on two lighter notes. Last week, Nevada's governor held a press conferencing announcing that he was gradually easing restrictions. Non-essential retail businesses can resume operations if they can provide curbside delivery. Barbershops and salons would still have to remain closed, but he is relying on the Cosmetology Board to propose how salons can open safely.

A reporter asked if the salons could reopen if they could provide curbside services. The governor sat dumbfounded for a moment. Then he said that he didn't think those businesses could provide their services at the curb, so they would have to remain closed for now.

And finally, many TV reporters are working from home now. Their cats and dogs occasionaly make guest apperances during the segments and some pets have become TV stars. My Co-Anchor Is Pawing at the Door: Back to You in the Studio

John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots