Ask the Wizard #168
Scott from Philadelphia
I’m going to assume that if nobody wins on the flop that either the bets are refunded or the next flop is used to resolve them, as opposed to the turn and river cards being used. I am going to ignore the rule that if everybody folds then the bet is not resolved. Clearly this rule helps the lower totals but to factor that in the analysis would get complicated and subjective. That said, the table below shows the probability of each total. As you can see, the best bet would be on a total of 23, with a probability of 8.3982%.
Blackjack Points in Flop
Mark S from Sault Ste. Marie
I’m on your side. If this could be done then dealers could easily conspire with players and share in the profits. Yet I never hear of this happening. A good test would be to get somebody who claims to be able to influence the roll and have him attempt to land it in a particular half of the wheel as many times as possible over 100 spins. The more times he makes it the greater weight his claim will have. The table below shows the probability of 50 to 70 successful spins. For example, the probability of 60 or more successful spins is 2.8444%. Common confidence thresholds in statistics are the 90%, 95%, and 99% levels. To beat a 90% confidence test, in which the probability of failing given random spins is 90%, the number of successful spins would need to be 57 or more. To beat a 95% test the number would need to be 59 or more, and at 99% the number would need to be 63 or more.
Probability of at Least 50 to 70Successful Roulette Spins
Bob from Novato
Wow! According to my calculations this results in a player advantage of 6.4%. I’m assuming that the rule applies after doubling and splitting. Here is the basic strategy for that rule.
Fred from Buffalo
The standard deviation in Pick ‘em Poker is 3.87. The standard deviation in conventional video poker tends to run from about 4.4 to 6.4. I don’t have any risk of ruin tables for Pick ‘em Poker. So the best advice I can offer is to use the jacks or better table in my video poker appendix 1. Jacks or Better has the lowest standard deviation in that appendix at 4.42, so you can be a little more aggressive than that table calls for.
Myles from Valencia
The five of a kind is less likely. I just added a table to my section on poker probabilities detailing the probability of each hand according to each individual rank as wild.
Wavy from Danbury, CT
When in Laughlin I prefer Harrah’s. Although it is also the most expensive in my opinion, it is worth the extra money. I find the service at every other casino to be slow and poor, and the median age of the clientele to be about 65. However, when I get in the mood for something less corporate and polished I head to the Riverside, the only family owned casino in town.