Ask The Wizard #224
Loosely stated, skewness is going to correlate with how often you get a win in a session. In Jacks or Better, for the most part, you are not going to get a winning session over a few hours if you do not hit a royal. You can sit down at Double Double Bonus and be a winner after a few hours more often because of the big quad payouts. Because most people are subject to cognitive biases, the pain from a loss is twice the pleasure from a win. People do not really play Double Double Bonus because they like the variance, they play because they have a greater shot at winning. The following table shows some key statistics for four common video poker games. It is interesting to note that skew is greatest for Jacks or Better.
Key Video Poker Statistics
|Statistic||JoB — 9/6||BP — 8/5||DDB — 9/6||DW — NSUD|
How can knowing this actually help the video poker player? I suppose one could say that a game with a large skew has a greater chance of a loss over a session of a few hours. For example, in Jacks or Better, if you don’t hit any royals, the house edge will probably eventually grind your bankroll down. However in a game like Deuces Wild or Double Double Bonus, the second highest wins can pull you out of the hole over a session. In other words, the skew keeps you from winning when you are not hitting royals. Knowing the skew won’t increase your odds, but it is mentally helpful to know what to expect. So, the next time you take a beating in 9/6 Jacks, blame it on the skew.
My thanks to Jeff B. for his help with this question.
Largest Casinos in the World
|Property||Locale||Casino Feet2||Table Games||Slots|
The wages are pretty low, not much more than the minimum wage. The minimum wage in Nevada, as of this writing, it is $5.85/hour if health insurance is provided and $6.85 otherwise. However, tips can add to that significantly. At most casinos in Vegas, the dealers pool tips. The only exceptions I have heard of, where dealers keep their own tips, are Caesars Palace and Hooters. Following is a chart of average tips over an 8-hour shift for one week in November, 2008. These figures are quoted, with permission, from The Dealer's News. My thanks to Ron Saccavino.
Average Tips — November 2008
|Green Valley Ranch||$156|
Update: The Dealer's News appears to have been discontinued since this question was published.
I would have much better luck if I could just count the tens and never deal with negative numbers. That should be possible, right? The major factor is how "rich in tens" the deck is, right? I know you have your Ace-Five count on your site, but you say that’s profitable only if the dealer stands on soft 17, and that’s not the case at the casino I go to.
So my questions are: (a) Am I barking up the wrong tree entirely by thinking you could use just a count of tens (adjusted for number of decks left, of course)?, and (b) Do you know of any such strategy that doesn’t use negative numbers?
The Speed Count requires only counting low cards, offset by adjustments in the number of hands played. There are no adjustments for the number of decks left, known as a "true count conversion." If you really hate negative numbers, you will probably never see one with the Speed Count, although one subtraction per round is required. The effectiveness and ease of use are a topic of hot debate in the blackjack community. For more information, please read my review .
If negative numbers are the only issue, my webmaster Bluejay notes that you could adjust any counting system that does not involve a true count conversion, like the Knock Out, by starting at a higher number. Of course, you should adjust all the index numbers by the same amount.