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Early in his rise to enlightenment, man invented a concept that has since been variously viewed as a vice, a crime, a business, a pleasure, a type of magic, a disease, a folly, a weakness, a form of sexual substitution, an expression of the human instinct.
Recent advances in the field, particularly Parrondo's paradox, have triggered a surge of interest in the statistical and mathematical theory behind gambling.
This interest was acknowledge in the motion picture, "21," inspired by the true story of the MIT students who mastered the art of card counting to reap millions from the Vegas casinos.
Richard Epstein's classic book on gambling and its mathematical analysis covers the full range of games from penny matching to blackjack, from Tic-Tac-Toe to the stock market including Edward Thorp's warrant-hedging analysis.
He even considers whether statistical inference can shed light on the study of paranormal phenomena. Epstein is witty and insightful, a pleasure to dip into and read and rewarding to study.
Comprehensive and exciting analysis of all major casino games and variants Covers a wide range of interesting topics not covered in other books on the subject Depth and breadth of its material is unique compared to other books of this nature Richard Epstein's website: Elsevier Health Sciences Format Available: This textbook draws on real world, health-related and local examples, with a broad appeal to the Health Sciences student.
It demonstrates how an understanding of statistics is useful in the real world, as well as in statistics exams. Written in recognition of Health Sciences courses which require knowledge of statistical literacy, this book guides the reader to an understanding of why, as well as how and when to use statistics.
A study conducted at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah School of Medicine, explored whether there might be a systematic bias affecting the results of genetic specimen tests, which could affect their generalizability.
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Volume 1 Alex Hollywood: Such information runs contrary to the primary goal of their business: But in Casino Gambling For Dummies, I share the knowledge and tools to increase your chances of coming home a winner.
Conventions Used in This Book Each game of chance covered in this book comes with its own vocabulary — gambling jargon — that helps you become a successful player.
For example, to play craps correctly, you must know what a field bet is and why you should avoid it.
To make money at blackjack, you want to understand the terms double down and insurance. Starting to sound like the first session of a foreign language course?
I use the following conventions in this book to help you: In many cases, however, they clarify the principles and tactics in that chapter.
I make the following assumptions about you, my dear reader: How This Book Is Organized Like other For Dummies books, each chapter is self-contained, so you can read only the chapters that interest you most.
This modular feature allows each section to stand alone, without demanding that you read the rest of the book. That said, the book does have a logical sequence, and the following sections give you a better idea of its five major parts.
You can also check out the table of contents and index to see what interests you. Everything You Need to Know to Start Part I is a quick overview of the fast-paced, adrenalin-pumped world of casino gambling.
The first chapter provides the big picture of casino gambling. Chapter 3 looks more closely at odds, probability, luck, and house edge. In Chapter 4, I give important money-management tips, including how to report your winnings and losses to Uncle Sam.
The last chapter covers gambling etiquette and protocol. Conquering the Table Games This part examines the most popular table games, starting with poker.
I explain the rules of several different types of poker and provide some strategy tips from well-known stars, such as Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke.
This part also includes chapters on blackjack, craps, roulette, and other table games. First, because slots are the biggest cash cow for casinos, I offer practical, no-nonsense advice on which ones to play and, more importantly, which ones to avoid.
I also include a chapter on video poker, where I analyze several games and offer optimal playing strategies.
Chapter 14 focuses on two popular games: Finally, I show first-timers how to navigate the complex, high-tech sports books in order to place bets on your favorite sports team or horse.
Although most of the book focuses on casino gambling, I offer a chapter in this part on online casino gambling.
The chapter includes guidelines for staying out of trouble in that Introduction murky yet potentially profitable arena. I also provide a chapter on the current craze of tournaments, which comes from the explosion of TV poker matches.
Mine includes — drum roll, please — ten great places to gamble, ten mistakes to avoid when gambling in a casino, and ten really cool ways to score comps.
Appendixes This part includes two helpful appendixes. The first one is a handy glossary to keep all these casino gambling terms straight or is that flush?
The second appendix provides additional resources for delving deeper into casino gambling. They help draw your eye to specific types of information.
And after you have read the book, the icons provide a great guide for a final review before hitting the casino. Mastering these tidbits can keep you on the winning road.
Casinos have numerous pitfalls that trap novice gamblers. Remembering these pointers can help you stay on the road to success.
Information after this icon can help you understand the odds behind casino bets. Educated gamblers choose the best games and bets, greatly increasing their chances of coming home a winner.
This section covers the gambling basics, orients you to casinos, and tells you how formidable a foe you are up against. From there, just pick the chapters that appeal to you.
Scan the table of contents or index and find the topics that interest you. Feel free to frolic — there are no rigid road maps to follow in Casino Gambling For Dummies.
No one wins all the time. But knowledge is power. Part I Casino Gambling Basics: The first chapter offers a sneak preview of what to expect in Casino Gambling For Dummies.
Chapter 2 helps you find your way around a casino and introduces you to the key players. Chapter 3 provides a quick overview on probability, odds, house edge, and luck so you have a strong foundation before you start playing.
Chapter 4 focuses on important money-management issues, including essential tax-reporting info. Chapter 1 Casino Gambling Yet, despite the presence of those two titans, I idolized Gary Player, a South African whose diminutive size made for a less-than-intimidating physical presence in the tee box.
I was always amazed that someone so small could hit the ball so far. Believe it or not, casino gambling is a lot like golf.
And, no, not because both games are about going for the green. Golf is all about technique, skill, and knowledge. And masters of the game are inspiring to watch.
The pros seem to play as smoothly as those on the PGA tour. But, as in golf, the successful player has gathered important knowledge and studied effective strategies to finesse the outcome in his or her favor.
Your gambling aspirations are probably similar to my golf ambitions: And you have every reason to believe that you 10 Part I: Everything You Need to Know to Start can attain your goal.
But success requires knowledge, strategy, and some skill. This chapter and book can provide the preparation you need to help you find your swing in the casino.
Your best bet, then, is to be aware of basic casino operations so you can manipulate the experience to your advantage. Marketing their way to your wallet They see you coming from miles away.
Who are these omniscient watchers who track your secrets? None of the above. Nothing is left to chance in a modern casino.
Every possible element, from the design of the wallpaper to the thickness of the carpet, is there to draw you in and keep you gambling as long as possible.
All the colors, sights, sounds, and sensations serve one purpose: But casinos are in business to make money, so for most players, winning is a losing proposition.
The Inside Scoop Why? Check out Chapter In roulette, for example, there are to-1 odds of guessing the right number.
But if you win, the payout is only 35 to 1. This difference may seem small, but that discrepancy actually gives the house one of the biggest edges in the casino.
Refer to Chapter 3 for an explanation of true odds and Chapter 9 for more info on roulette. Read more about the edge in Chapter 3.
Your goal is to find games where the casino has the lowest edge. Craps is a great example. This fun, exciting game offers great odds — if you stay away from the bad bets.
I explore craps in Chapter 8. Protecting your money with a plan For most people, developing a strategy for doling out their gambling bankroll can keep them out of serious trouble.
Set a budget and stick to it. Consider contingencies such as losing your bankroll in the first few minutes of your visit and know how to respond when your wallet gets whacked.
Your strategy, however, is only as good as your willpower. Nothing jacks up casino profits faster than undisciplined gamblers.
Refer to Chapter 4, where I discuss important money-management issues. Gambling can be a great way to spice up a vacation and break out of a boring routine.
Gambling is all about taking a risk — exposing yourself to a chance of loss. Government studies show that as many as 1 in every 25 adults has a problem with compulsive gambling.
Think about that the next time you sit down at a blackjack table. Could you be one of them? Gambling addiction is a serious matter refer to Appendix B for some helpful info.
Identifying the colors of the rainbow Knowledge is power and is your only ally against the formidable forces that threaten to separate you from your hard-earned cash.
The following is a comprehensive list of common casino-chip colors, as well as their corresponding values: Give each one a try and see where it takes you.
After you read this book and know which games have the best odds, I suggest you take a quick walk around the casino floor to see where you want to start and give several of them a try.
The Inside Scoop Touring the table games In a casino, the tables come in all shapes and sizes, from the oval shape of poker tables to the half-round crescent of blackjack to the long rectangle of craps.
And the table is just about all they have in common. Unspoken rules seem to govern the table games. Most casino guests have discovered from experience to avoid the taboos: You can discover general casino etiquette in Chapter 5 and more game-specific rules in most chapters.
However, before you worry about acting proper, this section includes a brief overview of the main table games that you may encounter in a casino. Boosted by Internet and TV tournaments To say that poker is taking over the world may be only a slight exaggeration.
But technology is only one factor. Poker is one of the few games where good players consistently win.
In poker, you compete against other players rather than the house. And with honed skills and intimate knowledge of the game, you can have a significant edge over those other, less-prepared gamblers.
Hiding your emotions is a requisite skill for successful poker. For other tips, read Chapter 6. The best odds Blackjack also called 21 has been the most popular table game in casinos for more than 40 years.
If you memorize basic strategy that is, the optimal way to play every hand , your chances of winning at blackjack are better than at virtually any other game in the casino.
Blackjack also is intriguing because each hand is like a movie clip — with you as the star. The trick, of course, is to have more happy endings than tragedies.
Chapter 7 provides a thorough look at best blackjack strategies. Backslaps, high-fives, and cheerleaders This dice game draws a raucous crowd and has many of the best bets in the casino.
Some guests find the noise and the complex layout of craps to be a little intimidating. But before you slink back to your comfort zone, consider this fact: The house advantage is low in craps, making this game a great bet.
Just be sure you stick with the best craps bets. Furthermore, craps is like a sporting event, with its dramatic swings of luck, high-fives, backslaps, and noisy cheering section.
Every roll has a home team players who bet with the dice and an opposing team wrong-way bettors that gets dirty looks and ridicules from the hometown fans.
For more on craps, check out Chapter 8. The place for eccentric hunches The spinning wheel of roulette symbolizes the world of casino gambling.
This popular, entry-level game is ideal for novice gamblers because it requires absolutely no skill, concentration, or complex strategies.
You simply bet on the number or possible numbers that the ball will land on. A table full of players can be quite sociable, although not as rowdy as a craps game.
Roulette gives you a chance to play your eccentric hunches on a single number, a combination of numbers, or on an even-money wager that can just extend your playing session.
Refer to Chapter 9 for more on roulette. More tuxedo than T-shirt Although blackjack and poker appeal to the masses, baccarat is a card game that draws a far more upscale and refined crowd.
For the complete lowdown on baccarat, read Chapter Let It Ride, Pai Gow, and other table games Beyond the traditional favorites, several other table games have developed a strong following.
These games are fun diversions when you need a change of pace, but a word of caution: I tell you why in Chapter The Inside Scoop Turning to machine games For some folks, the intimidation factor of table games is too much to bear.
Even the most timid gambler can enjoy a satisfying time at these machines — no bluffing by other players, no angry gamblers if you hit or stand at the wrong time, and no embarrassment about table rules.
The lone gambler squares off against a machine or in the case of the loony gambler, against several machines at once. Just remember that the best and worst that the casino has to offer are often sitting side by side.
This section looks more closely at slot machines and video poker, two entirely different beasts. They have very different rules and very different odds.
This section also briefly discusses keno and bingo. From one-armed bandit to high-tech robotic At one time, slot machines were simple devices.
You put a coin in, you pulled a lever, and the reels spun. When they stopped, you heard the soothing sounds of clinking coins.
The humble one-armed bandit is now a sophisticated robotic master thief, with enough computing power to fly the space shuttle. This soulless adversary even plays you a little song while it gleefully sucks up all your coins.
Sure, the games still have some reminders from the past like fruit or bells on the paylines , but the level of sophistication grows every day.
Slots are primarily about luck, but video poker requires a 15 16 Part I: Everything You Need to Know to Start certain amount of skill and technique.
The strategies for video poker can be a little complicated see Chapter 13 , but the reward for that extra work is worth it. Video poker offers perhaps the best odds of any game in the house — at least for those who play correctly.
Two old standards Keno and bingo have many similarities, and both have a long history and a loyal following. Keno is a casino staple and a great way to stay in action while sipping on your soup in the coffee shop.
Bingo is less common in casinos, although some clubs still offer this venerable game. There is not much strategy to playing either game other than hoping to get lucky, but I do cover the basics in Chapter 14 and give a quick overview for anyone unfamiliar with how to play either game.
Betting on ball games and fast horses Some people travel across the country to a casino in order to do exactly what they do at home: These plush, high-tech rooms draw fans to cheer their favorite teams or horses.
The casino is ready and willing to take your bet on just about any sporting event. Thrill of victory, agony of defeat Currently, only Nevada has casino sports betting.
You can make some sports bets online as well. Read Chapter 17 for more info. Because the house takes a vigorish a small commission from every wager, virtually ensuring a profit on every bet.
Casino guests can find all kinds of betting opportunities in the wide world of sports, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, boxing, golf, and special events.
Point spreads and money lines add complex challenges to the process. But understanding how to handicap and analyze sports statistics can simplify that process — and help you improve the odds of winning.
See Chapter 15 for more on sports betting in a casino. The Inside Scoop Horse racing: A run for your money If you love a day at the track, the race book is going to feel like home sweet home.
After all, through the modern miracle of simulcasting, you can enjoy a day at several tracks at once, without leaving your cozy chair.
Casinos dedicate luxurious space and resources to keep fans happy: Good, now you just need to pick some winners. In both horse racing and sports betting, your understanding of handicapping and external factors can improve your chances of winning.
And both kinds of betting favor gamblers who take a contrarian view. Read Chapter 16 for more about horse racing. Gambling Near and Far: Only two states Hawaii and Utah have no legalized gambling.
The main reason for this explosion is that the stigma of gambling has mostly been removed from our society. This section looks more closely at the different types of gambling locations.
Although Las Vegas and Atlantic City are still popular destinations for casino gambling, hundreds of other options are also waiting for you.
Flip to Chapter 19 for ten cool places to gamble. For decades, Nevada was famous for being the only U. That limitation changed when the state of New Jersey legalized gambling in the late s although only in one town, Atlantic City.
And, despite the growth of on-the-water and Indian casinos throughout the United States primarily in the s , the Silver State remains the king of casino gambling.
Everything You Need to Know to Start Las Vegas reigns supreme Las Vegas is the jewel in the crown and far and away the biggest gambling destination in the world.
Also known as Sin City or Lost Wages, Vegas is a unique agglomeration of palm trees, fountains, neon lights, and ,plus hotel rooms among a wild mishmash of must-see architecture.
From its forbidden-fruit beginnings to its mobster adolescence, to its starring role in a few hit TV shows, Vegas exudes a frenetic energy that makes the city a unique place in American pop culture.
And Vegas takes full advantage of its iconic position. As of , nine of the ten biggest hotels in the world were located within a few miles of each other on the Las Vegas Strip.
The city is still primarily known for its gambling — after all, where else can you expect to find slots in grocery stores and in airports?
But that image is changing. At some point in the late s — for the first time in its history — gambling money amounted to less than half of the total revenue brought in by the Vegas casino industry.
And that change means people from around the world are seeing the city as a resort or convention destination first and a place to gamble second.
Quieter cousins Before Las Vegas rose to prominence, Reno was the epicenter of gambling in the United States, and casinos around Lake Tahoe frequently hosted celebrities, such as Frank Sinatra and his buddies.
Tahoe also boasts gambling opportunities on the Nevada side of the border while promising superb skiing in winter, a wealth of lake activities in summer, and spectacular mountain scenery year-round.
Vegas of the east In the late s, New Jersey took the bold step of legalizing gambling as a way to revitalize Atlantic City.
As one of the biggest gambling spots in the United States, it sees billions of dollars in wagers every year. The Inside Scoop setting. More importantly, the location means convenience for people on the East Coast — they no longer have to fly cross-country just to play blackjack.
Diving into on-the-water gambling Some people may not understand why gambling can be legal on the water but illegal on land. Of course, take your motion-sickness pills and be prepared to walk the plank.
Sailing for international waters What could be finer than cruising off the coast of Carolina? Nearly every cruise line takes advantage of international waters where gambling is legal by offering casinos on board their ships open only certain hours and only when the ship is in international waters.
Cashing in on less glitz Although reservation gaming came on the scene late, it has dramatically changed the landscape of casino gambling across the country over the last two decades.
The biggest and best-known Indian gaming area is in Connecticut outside Hartford , providing an appealing alternative to Atlantic City for New York gamblers.
Everything You Need to Know to Start Today Indian gaming generates billions of dollars in revenues every year and provides significant competition for more traditional gambling destinations.
In fact, the combined gaming revenue of all tribal casinos is greater than all the revenue of Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and Reno together.
Native American casinos typically offer the same machines and table games that other gambling capitals have. Nevertheless, the success of tribal gaming speaks volumes about the quality of the casinos.
Gambling abroad If you feel stuck in a gambling rut, traveling abroad for gaming may just be the adrenalin shot you need.
Most foreign casinos offer the same or similar games as casinos in the United States, but the experience is often more refined and memorable, especially in high-class locations such as Monte Carlo.
But customs differ around the world, so you may be surprised at the rules across the pond. Many European casinos charge an entry fee, and many of them require more-formal attire.
Pack a coat and tie or evening dress if you plan on playing on the Continent. Travelers should also be aware that the American traditions of megacasinos and multithousand room resorts are rare overseas.
The Caribbean is also a popular getaway for gamblers, and several islands offer casinos to complement their sun and sand attractions.
The biggest casino in the tropical region is the Atlantis Casino in the Bahamas, which is truly a world-class resort. Betting on the Internet Gambling and cyberspace seem to be made for each other.
Through the conduit of the Internet, casinos and gaming companies can invite themselves directly into the homes of gamblers. Now people can play anonymously and comfortably, without ever leaving the house.
Considered the last frontier for gaming, cyberspace has now been settled — if not fully tamed. Online gaming check out Chapter 17 represents a multibillion-dollar industry worldwide that continues to grow exponentially every year.
In spite of its convenience and fun, however, online gambling has some serious drawbacks. The purists may not care, but many people gamble for the experience as much as for the game itself.
You can wager and play — and lose — at a breakneck pace when gambling online. I emphasize that gambling can be a fun experience whether you win or lose.
In that spirit, I hope to arm you with the understanding and knowledge you need to maximize your enjoyment and success at casino gambling. Before you take a step into a casino, I suggest you answer the following ten questions to measure your grasp of gambling and the world of casinos.
If you answer them all correctly, congratulations! To come out ahead overall at sports betting, you need to win approximately A.
Everything You Need to Know to Start 2. She makes a big bet and then starts blinking her eyes rapidly. At which game would you lose more per hour on average?
What are the odds that the next number will be red? How many states have legalized gambling? Players who bet on the pass line in craps are hoping the first roll is a A.
The Inside Scoop 8. Video poker is adapted from what poker game? Which of these games can you play while in the bathroom? Where is the biggest casino in the world currently located?
Las Vegas The answers 1. In sports betting, a gambler needs to win approximately This could be a trick question because Annie Duke has bluffed and flirted on the same hand.
However, rapid eye blinking is often an indicator of bluffing. Surprisingly, playing high-stakes blackjack can be easier on your wallet than low-limit slot machines.
Currently 48 states offer some form of legal gambling, but just 20 years ago, there were casinos in only two states, so C was a reasonable answer.
However, if you picked B, you may want to retake that high school geography class. Everything You Need to Know to Start 6.
Seven is an automatic winner for pass line bettors on the come-out roll first roll. B is incorrect because prowess at Yahtzee rarely translates into winning at the craps table — the pit boss is never happy when you try to throw all five dice.
Video poker has many versions, but all are based on Five-Card Draw. So you never need to worry about losing your shirt or your socks at this game.
The Foxwoods Casino just outside Hartford, Connecticut, is the biggest casino on the planet. Blinking lights and ringing bells signal jackpots.
Glittering chandeliers and rich furnishings and fabrics often mimic the sequined gowns and dapper dress of the folks at the high-roller tables.
Clinking ice chills your drinks, and courteous staff appear to serve your every whim. Lucky gamblers make fortunes every day, but the reality is that most money ends up on the other side of the table.
And the casino, or the house, is willing to pour millions of its profits into making sure you walk inside, stay inside, and — most importantly — gamble inside.
Always remember that, in addition to wanting your business, casinos provide a service to you, so you have every right to shop around for the establishment that best serves your needs.
To assist you in your shopping, some casinos have Web sites where you can take a degree virtual tour without ever leaving your house.
I hope this chapter accomplishes a similar goal. In this chapter I explain and prepare you for what to expect when you step foot into a casino and give you not only a glimpse of the razzle-dazzle designed to distract you but also the blueprint of the typical casino.
I explain why this goes here, that goes there, and with whom you interact. From neon signs to valets to the smooth hum of the slidingglass doors, the modern casino entrance is designed to attract you.
Every possible consideration is given to design, color, and lighting. Like a siren call, the sounds of winning jackpots beckon you onward, as do the color schemes, floral arrangements, glittering lights, slot machines, and table games.
The master plan behind the traffic flow is to bring you and your wallet into close proximity with the slot machines or table games at every opportunity.
The pulsating pace of the gambling world is seductive and makes it hard for you to leave a winner. Feeling overwhelmed — and not a little manipulated?
It can be deflating to discover that the sounds, sights, and even smells are devised to lull you into a mesmerized state where you continue emptying your wallet into the casino coffers.
Embrace them, because knowledge is power. And by understanding the psychology of casino design and getting to know the employees who perform their duties within the casino, you put yourself in a better position not only to enjoy the casino as an entertaining leisure activity but also to maintain the level-headedness and critical thinking required to succeed at your gambling ventures.
Your mission — if you choose to accept it — is to educate yourself before you enter these temples of chance. Even at the smaller clubs, you recognize many of the same aesthetic and functional characteristics found at the megaresorts.
Taking a Quick Stroll Through the Casino and they design the interiors to make their guests comfortable with parting with their cash.
This section takes a stroll through a typical casino to prepare you for the sights and sounds you encounter when you walk through those neon-bathed doorways.
Preparation is the key for maintaining control. Remember that gambling is the ultimate impulse buy.
Taking away the mystique is your first step toward improving your odds and coming out a winner. I suggest that, in addition to the virtual walk-through you get by reading this chapter, you do the same in every brick-and-mortar establishment you visit before you drop your first dollar on the table or pump a coin in a slot.
Stand still, take a deep breath, and look around. Getting in is the easy part It may surprise you how fast you can find yourself in the middle of the sensory hurricane on the casino floor.
In less restrictive states, such as Nevada and New Jersey, you can walk in off the street or get dropped off by a taxi and find yourself a few feet away from the gaming areas.
After all, casinos want as little as possible to stand between you and your favorite game. But most casinos give you a chance to catch your breath and do some mental stretching prior to plunging into the action.
When you walk in, you often find yourself in a lobby or foyer. Remember that most casinos are also hotels, so you may see familiar sights, such as the concierge, bell desk, and check-in counter.
People bustle about and crowd together before they find the destinations suited for them. While some gamblers are anticipating the excitement just steps away, others are exiting with delirious grins on their faces — or expressions of shock and awe.
At the threshold of the gaming floor, the sounds, colorful lights, and crowd energy all go to work on your senses, even from a distance.
Just like an infant reaching for bright colorful objects, casino visitors gravitate to the sights and sounds of the casino floor.
Interior design is to a casino floor plan what aerodynamics is to automobile manufacturers; forward movement is a result of an ever-expanding array of enticements including colors that dazzle, lights that entice, and a temperature 27 28 Part I: Everything You Need to Know to Start scientifically controlled for maximum comfort.
You quickly find that every destination in a casino — the guest elevators, the bathrooms, or the buffet — requires that you walk through or dangerously near the gaming areas.
Slot machines and video poker stations are positioned just inside the casino entrance. The boys in marketing put them here so you can test the waters and feel the rush a quarter at a time — getting your feet wet right at the casino entrance.
Up ahead you see the casino proper, a virtual indoor carnival buzzing with excitement. You can almost feel the energy pulsing.
Place them and they will come As you enter the casino proper, you see hopeful gamblers, often two-deep, standing in line, patiently waiting their turn to reap the spitting, buzzing payoffs from the slot machines.
You operate the slot machines by pushing the buttons or yanking down on the lever to the side. Larger casinos hold aisle after aisle of slots, like rows of corn.
Casinos typically place the most profitable slot machines within easy access to the main traffic aisles, such as the foyer, restaurants, and bars, and are extremely careful to place high-hit frequency slots within earshot of the thronging masses.
If you venture farther onto the casino floor, you can see this philosophy in action. Clusters of people sit at the corner slots, sometimes two-deep as the individuals standing in line patiently await their turn to enjoy the spitting, buzzing payoffs.
As you venture down the aisles of slots, you may find a few open machines, but not many. As one row ends, another aisle begins. Some of the most popular machines are Double Diamond and Wheel of Fortune.
See Chapter 12 for more slot info. Penetrating the inner circle Just as the sun is the center of the solar system, the table games rest in the middle of the casino system, attracting visitors ever inward and at the same time providing the main source of energy and vitality to the floor.
Table games are grouped together into areas known in casino lingo as pits. The pits are separated from slot machines, restaurants, and other casino functions by a wide aisle, allowing nonplayers to watch the action and vicariously enjoy the thrill of turning over the winning card or nailing the winning roll.
The classic card game is often played in a separate room to create a more civilized and secluded atmosphere; see Chapter Determine your own fate with smart decisions and timely double downs; see Chapter 7.
Roll the dice and hear the crowd roar in the most boisterous game on the floor; see Chapter 8. Pick a number, place your bet, and then watch the spinning wheel go round and round; see Chapter 9.
They feature fancy amenities, such as private cocktail servers or a bar. But most table games are designed for moderate bettors.
The intimate nature of the poker table beckons would-be strategists, while the smoky haze surrounding a blackjack game cries out to the novice with its lack of intimidation.
A large casino may offer numerous bars interspersed throughout the floor, each with a unique theme. Some feature live music, and some are simply service bars where you can take a quick pit stop away from the flow of traffic.
Casino bars are in the midst of the lively pits. Casinos profit from the fact that alcohol lubricates the ATM card.
But no casino wants drunk patrons, so the line they walk is a delicate one, and the policy on pushing alcohol consumption may vary from place to place.
In addition, every state has different laws governing alcohol consumption inside its casinos, so there is no single unifying rule about how alcohol is handled inside betting areas.
The drinking environment varies widely, so the smartest play is to find a scene that suits your tastes, and always strive to stay in complete control.
Where you can cheer for a horse or a home run In Nevada, most casinos have a sports book, an area devoted to betting on sporting events such as horse races or ball games.
In smaller casinos, the sports book may be nothing more than a counter with a tote board hung behind it. But the larger casinos have super-sized rooms full of amenities designed for anyone willing to put his money where his mouth is.
The newer places, such as the Wynn in Las Vegas, really roll out the red carpet for bettors. Their sports book features leather sofas, couches, and chairs that are so comfortable, you could fall asleep there.
Before you doze off, read Chapter 15, which tells you everything you need to know about sports betting, from deciphering the odds, to placing a bet, to hopefully!
Not ready to place a bet just yet? The sports books are open to everyone. You can pay and tip them with chips from the casino or cash. You need to visit one of the many restaurants to chow down.
Highly trained and supremely trusted casino employees handle more cash each shift than most people see in a lifetime.
This location also offers a beneficial side effect that casinos are happy to take advantage of. Casinos typically locate them along the sides of the rooms to allow the more valuable floor space for games.
Here, much like at a bank, one or more tellers deal with the public through a window. Depending on how big a player you are and the type of games you want to attack, you may want to ask for a line of credit.
These workers simultaneously cater to the needs of the guests and the casino owners. No matter who they are, the casino employees all have one goal in common: In this section, I introduce you to the pleasant cast of characters you may encounter, and I explain their unique roles.
Serving the table players As you explore the responsibilities of the various casino personnel, it helps to split the casino into two parts: The casino arranges the tables in clusters, similar to wagon trains encircled to protect against an attack.
These groups of tables are known as pits. Each pit is designed to be an autonomous, fully functioning business, equipped with a variety of table games and a small community of casino personnel that is always willing to usher your dollar bills into the casino coffers.
Pit bosses Pit bosses are smartly attired, experienced professionals who are responsible for all the gaming operations in their assigned pits.
As the name implies, pit bosses are just that: Theirs is a very detail-oriented job, requiring not only intimate knowledge of all aspects of the games but also the ability to keep track of thousands of dollars flowing through their spheres of influence.
Winning or losing vast sums of money often ignites supercharged emotions. The pit boss is there to congratulate as well as to calm, to soothe as well as to strong-arm.
Floorpersons Reporting to each pit boss see the previous section are several other suits known as floorpersons. The main difference from pit bosses is that floorpersons Chapter 2: Taking a Quick Stroll Through the Casino are in charge of only a couple of tables in the pit and report directly to the pit boss.
Both of them make sure that proper casino procedure is followed. These procedures include refilling dealer chip racks, monitoring markers, and handing out comps, all while remaining cool and calm.
Dealers For most people, gambling is a social sport. Because the machine games are a more solitary venture, many players prefer the camaraderie of table gaming.
Dealers are at the center of this emotional wheel of fun. Excellent customerservice skills are a requirement; after all, dealers stand on the front line when it comes to irate, belligerent, or inebriated gamblers.
Even during high-pressure situations, dealers must promote a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere. Dealers have their fingers on the pulse of the casino — figuratively and literally.
Their hands, after all, deal the blackjacks and the full houses and take the money you lose or pay off your winners. Theirs is a high-pressure job with a demanding audience.
Overseeing several players at a table, dealers must be confident in their gambling knowledge. They must know who wins, who loses, and how much to pay out on each hand.
Many gamers mistakenly believe that dealers simply shuffle and deal cards, but dealers must also handle dice, chips, and money — accurately and quickly.
Dealers have a wide range of personalities. Some are polite and ebullient, others efficient and brusque. You can spot a good dealer by his or her smile, humor, demeanor, and often the size of the crowd at the table.
When you find one you like, sit down, but remember the dealer has no control over the outcome. Most dealers prefer that you win because they make their money primarily from tips.
The reel dealers The average American casino makes nearly two-thirds of its profits from its various slot machines.
Much is at stake along the rows and rows of clingclanging slot machines and electronic games. Therefore, casinos are diligent when it comes to maintaining and stocking them for long-term play.
Just like the pit bosses and dealers who watch over the table games see the previous section , the staff members assigned to the slot machines — the slot attendants and the slot supervisors — keep a careful eye on their vast realm.
Slot machine attendants are on constant vigil, ever watchful for the next jackpot or flashing light requesting service. However, if a machine needs repair, the slot attendant calls a slot technician.
Slot supervisors The slot supervisor rules the realm of the slot machines, managing employees and overseeing the maintenance and upkeep of the machines.
The slot supervisor generally has several slot attendants as direct reports. Running the tables In addition to the employees who ensure the smooth-running operations on the floor, a host of other casino personnel contribute to the success of the house.
As a beginning casino player, you may not come into contact with any of these people. However, if you do, management employees, such as the casino host, may become familiar and friendly faces.
Casino hosts Modern casino hosts best resemble a successful hotel concierge: Whether dealing with new guests, loyal customers, or high rollers, the casino host focuses on service, service, and more service.
Hitting the jackpot, baby! For those rare but exciting payoffs when you defy the gods of gambling and win more than the machine can pay out, a slot attendant — and, in some cases, the supervisor — responds to your flashing machine.
The slot attendant arrives with a big wad of cash to ceremoniously peel off the bills, one Franklin at a time, to you, the happy winner. Taking a Quick Stroll Through the Casino A typical casino host is an affable and professional employee whose mission is to serve your every need.
Hosts are hands-on people who greet VIP guests at the door and pamper them throughout their stay. But even low rollers can make a relationship with the casino host profitable.
Keep the following in mind: Find your favorite gambling locale and stick to it. The players who get comps are the ones who ask the casino host.
Player development is all about forming relationships. Casino hosts are eager to wine and dine you if they believe they can create player loyalty through these lavish perks.
Other managers As in other walks of life, every casino employee has to report to somebody, and those somebodies are the shift managers.
The shift managers then report to the casino manager. As the name implies, shift managers are responsible for their areas of casino expertise such as slots or table games during a particular shift day, swing, and graveyard.
When player disputes arise, money needs to be accounted for or items need to be authorized; the shift manager takes on these duties as well.
Shift managers are responsible for employee schedules, customer service, comps, credit, and a host of other duties that make for a mind-boggling job.
Everything You Need to Know to Start The only position above the shift manager is the casino manager. The only time you may ever interact with the manager is if you win enough money to buy the casino.
Security staffs have a two-pronged task: For instance, some guests are also out to separate a casino from its money, either through cheating or through faking an injury in crowded conditions.
The responsibilities of security employees range from viewing the rows of surveillance cameras in high-tech rooms to patrolling the casino floors, constantly on vigil for fights, thieves, drunks, and other disturbances.
Taking a Quick Stroll Through the Casino Surprisingly, security also keeps a close eye on the help — casino employees have initiated many cheating scams over the years.
Even though every casino is different, security staff typically wear a uniform that is quasi-military, with a shirt that says SECURITY or at least a nametag or badge that identifies them as such.
Other identifying features include a walkie-talkie, a badge, and possibly a gun. Bigger hotels can have several dozen security officers working at the busiest times of day and a supervisor in each major area of the casino who manages the team.
Security supervisors must wear many hats, including the hat of a diplomat. Their staff is on the front lines, both protecting and ejecting guests, and when the occasional temper flares or a misunderstanding arises, the security supervisor must wade in to render an on-the-spot verdict.
The eye in the sky On-site security personnel at a casino can only see so much when trying to protect the casino and its guests.
To assist them in their daily rounds, security personnel rely on electronic surveillance — the eye in the sky. One-way glass conceals thousands of digital cameras in any casino.
Some are hidden where you least expect them. Others are prominent, large, and noticeable so that they serve as warnings.
On-site security personnel can view banks of television screens to identify cheats and save casinos millions of dollars each year.
The cameras capture his attempt, and the thief is quickly arrested. In less obvious but equally common situations, security personnel carefully observe, identify, and apprehend cheats and cons.
Although most surveillance is for the detection and prevention of cheating and swindling, the eye in the sky also protects honest gamblers from slick crooks prowling the casino for easy prey.
The newer casinos have cameras outside the building, such as in the parking garages, to cast the safety net farther for you. Everything You Need to Know to Start Taking safety into your own hands The modern casino should be a carefree environment where you forget your troubles, spend money, and — with hope — win some money back.
Unfortunately, where innocent, naive, and trusting people congregate in great numbers — surrounded by huge amounts of disposable income — the predators of society gather as well.
Thieves are on the prowl for ways to separate you or even the casinos from hard-earned cash. Although casinos implement the most stringent security measures and the latest in state-of-the-art surveillance technology, you, as a prudent casino guest, should assume responsibility for your own safety.
The following tips can help you avoid becoming a victim of a casino predator: Chapter 3 Probability, Odds, and a Bit of Luck: Sounds like the intro to a lecture in higher mathematics?
A Temporary Fluctuation Unfortunately, too many newbie gamblers rely on luck to guide their experiences.
Casinos can be an easy place to burn through money, so your best chance for hanging on to that hard-earned cash is through a little dose of 40 Part I: The term luck can describe many situations, especially in gambling.
Someone may have a lucky run at the baccarat table, or maybe your Aunt Rosemary plays a lucky slot machine that never loses. But in order to have a realistic perspective of your chances in the casino, you need to view luck in rational and mathematical terms: Luck is a temporary fluctuation or deviation from the norm.
In the short run, you may perceive that you got real lucky when the dealer busted eight hands in a row at blackjack.
But in reality, such an event is just normal fluctuation — also known as a random walk — such as when the stock market drifts one direction or another.
Yet over the short run, anything can happen. In a purely mathematical sense, neither of these results has anything to do with luck.
They are simply the normal consequences of fluctuation. For example, try flipping a coin. Half the time it should be tails and half heads.
But over a short-term sampling, it can veer far away from 50 percent. Understanding the Role of Probability Millions of merry gamblers frequent casinos all over the world every day without a clear understanding of one important concept — probability.
But an elementary understanding of probability is certainly helpful in making sound gambling choices. Probability is the study of the laws of chance, the identification of how often certain events can be expected to occur.
So, 1-to-1 odds means the event is an even money event; it has an equal chance of occurring or not occurring. Identifying independent events Another important term to understand here is independent outcomes.
Being independent has nothing to do with successfully ditching your loser boyfriend in the keno lounge.
Craps and roulette are great examples. Slot machines are also independent. Recent jackpots do not change the likelihood of the same combination coming up again.
If your chances of lining up three cherries are 5, to 1 and you just hit the jackpot, the three cherries have exactly the same chances of appearing on the very next spin.
Recognizing dependent events So you may be asking yourself, what constitutes a nonindependent or dependent event? Dependent events are occurrences that are more or less likely based on the previous occurrences.
Imagine a bag of five black balls and five red balls. Before you pull a ball out, you know you have a 50 percent chance of pulling out a black ball and the same odds of pulling out a red ball.
Then you reach in and pull out one red ball and toss it aside. Now the odds have changed — you no longer have a 50 percent chance of pulling either ball.
Your chances of pulling out a black ball are now greater 56 percent. So in some situations, the past does affect the future.
Another classic example is the game of blackjack. For example, your chances for getting a blackjack drop dramatically when a disproportionate number of aces are used up.
Almost all casino games consist of cards, dice, spinning wheels, or reels. These games almost always yield independent events. Blackjack is the rare exception, which is the main reason for its popularity.
Everything You Need to Know To Start Factoring in the odds To be a successful gambler, you must understand the intersection of statistics, probability, and the odds.
The best example to start with is the coin flip. You probably know that heads and tails each have a shot at turning up.
As I say in the previous section, you can communicate the probability of the flip in terms of odds. In the case of a two-sided coin, your odds of flipping heads are 1 to 1.
In other words, with two possible events outcomes , you have one chance to fail and one chance to succeed. Consider the roll of a sixsided die.
The ratio is 1 in 6, so the odds are 5 to 1. For example, the amount of money a bet pays compared to the initial bet are sometimes called odds too.
True odds refer to the actual chance that a specific occurrence will happen, which is usually different from the casino payout odds. House Edge The seasoned gambler can count on true odds to dictate the chances of winning a particular game, right?
And like all successful enterprises, they follow reliable business models. With their intimate understanding of probability and odds, casino owners guarantee themselves a healthy bottom line.
The house edge sometimes known as the casino advantage or house advantage by definition is the small percentage of all wagers that the casino expects to win.
Every game has a different house edge, and even certain bets within a single game have a better house edge than other bets. To put it a different way, casinos expect to pay out slightly less money to winning bettors than they take in from losing bettors.
The laws of probability tell casinos how often certain bets win relative to how often they lose. What You Need to Succeed then calculate the payout odds based on the winning probabilities, or true odds.
The payouts are typically smaller than the true odds, ensuring that, with enough betting action, the casino will take in a certain amount with every dollar wagered.
As you can see, the higher the house edge, the more you can expect to lose. For example, you cut your losses by 80 percent if you switch from roulette to baccarat!
Also, the edge for many games, such as video poker or blackjack, varies depending on the particular type and version you find and on how skillfully you play.
Check out the specific chapters later in this book for detailed strategies. This next section looks at the three methods that casinos utilize to assist themselves in performing profitably.
Charging a fee With some games, casinos charge a fee, or commission. Baccarat is a perfect example. This fee tilts the odds slightly in favor of the house and ensures that the casino makes a profit at this popular table game.
Another example of fees is in sports betting. The house adds what is called vigorish or vig a commission to every wager check out Chapter 15 for more on the vig.
With 38 numbers on the wheel, your odds of guessing the winning number are 37 to 1. But, wait a minute.
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