Ask the Wizard #60
Eddie from West Memphis, Arkansas
Good question. In full play Three Card Poker the house edge on Pairplus is 2.32% and on Ante & Play is 3.37%. However the element of risk on Pairplus is still 2.32% while in Ante & Play it is 2.01%. I believe if comparing one game to another the element of risk is more appropriate. In other words comparing the expected loss to the total amount bet. In this case Ante & Play has the lower element of risk and is thus the better bet. So I would disagree with the writer of the article you mention. According to my house edge index the element of risk in Let it Ride is 2.85%, higher than that of Ante & Play.
Mitch from Hopkins, USA
A put bet is like a come bet on a particular point. In other words the put bet does not get the benefit of winning on a 7 or 11 on the first roll, but the bet immediately gets "put" on the point of the bettors choice. The bettor may also immediately take odds on the put bet. Put bets are generally not a good idea because the player is twice as likely to win as lose on the first roll of a come bet, and the player is voluntarily forfeiting that roll with a put bet. However if the odds allowed are high enough a put bet, backed up with maximum odds, can have a lower house edge than a place or buy bet. My craps section states how high the odds need to get for this to happen. My craps advice in general is to stick to the line bets (pass, don’t pass, come, and don’t come) and backed up the odds.
Mitch from Hopkins, USA
Based on my own research I have found that the theory about the correlation between return and slot placement to be untrue. I do believe that oversized novelty machines in high visibility areas are set lower, but that is as far as I’ll go. Most casinos are very consistent and all slots of a particular kind and coinage will be set to the same percentage. Those that do mix up loose and tight machines seem to do so randomly. You are right that if a casino advertises "Our machines pay up to 99%" then only one in the entire casino has to be set that high. However some casinos will have certain carousels or banks that they claim are all set to a certain percentage. Wherever me or my associates have seen such claims, and tested them, we found the claim to be true. So my advice to slot players is to look for particular machines that are guaranteed to pay a high return, and don’t pay any heed to the guessing games.
Dean from Winston Salem, USA
In my strong opinion the variation you’re observing is the result of random variation in the cards, not where you’re playing. I suspect you are exaggerating about sometimes only winning 20 hands out of 100, that would be very unlikely. Some people believe that Microgaming has a "take down" mode in which the player will lose like crazy for a period of time. It is to be expected that in any game the player will occasionally have bad losing streaks, as well as good winning streaks. So these alleged "take down" periods I think are just normal bad luck and that all Microgaming casinos deal a fair game.
Patrick from New York, USA
Daniel from Hong Kong
Unfortunately I can’t elaborate much. Sports betting is not my strong point, although I plan to learn more about it when I have the time. I will say it is hard to compare the profitability of sports betting to card counting. Card counting is very technical and by the book. Making money sports betting requires more judgement and is more subject to opinion. There are various strategies one can employ to make money sports betting, for example looking to arbitrage games by taking both sides at different casinos under different point spreads, looking to exploit unusual proposition bets, or going after correlated parlays. I would recommend ’Sharp Sports Betting’ by Stanford Wong for more information on winning at sports betting.
Beau from Toronto, Canada
(1) It depends what happens if the dealer does have a blackjack. If the player is guaranteed to lose no more than the original wager then it doesn’t matter if the dealer takes a second card or not. If the player stands to lose the total amount bet after doubling or splitting and the dealer gets a blackjack then that works to the dealer’s advantage. (2) I don’t have to simulate this because the number of players makes no difference.
Tim from Chicago, USA
The days when it was easy to make good money gambling on the Internet are over. Players can still make $50 here and $100 all over the place but the $500 or more bonuses are hard to come by any more. It isn’t the play requirements that are ruining bonus hunting, it is caps on the size of bonuses. To give an example, consider a 20% bonus with a 5 times play requirement, up to a $100 bonus. If you deposit $500 then the expected loss of $2500 in action playing basic strategy blackjack is only $10, assuming an 0.4% house edge. Even if you play ten times through the deposit the expected loss is still only $20, which is much less than the $100 bonus. The problem, in my opinion, is that it isn’t worth the fuss for only $80.
1. one card
2. two cards
3. three card
4. four cards
5. Dealt a royal flush
I am asking the question because I recently hit a royal flush after holding 2 cards the ace and jack of diamonds and then drew the ten, queen and king of diamonds. I know the odds of drawing 3 cards to the royal must be very high. Then last week , I was sitting next to a man who held the Ace of diamonds and drew 4 cards to complete his royal. I was amazed. Thanks for your answer.
2. 1/combin(47,2) = 1/1081
3. 1/combin(47,3) = 1/16215
4. 1/combin(47,4) = 1/178365
5. 4/combin(52,5) = 1/2598960