# Ask the Wizard #93

"Anonymous" .

The following table shows what each number of points pays, the probability, and contribution to the total return. The probabilities were determined by random simulation. The exact probability of making all six points is 0.000162.

### Fire Bet

Points Made |
Probability |
Pays |
Return |

0 | 0.594522 | -1 | -0.594522 |

1 | 0.260503 | -1 | -0.260503 |

2 | 0.101038 | -1 | -0.101038 |

3 | 0.033364 | -1 | -0.033364 |

4 | 0.008776 | 10 | 0.087764 |

5 | 0.001633 | 200 | 0.326582 |

6 | 0.000164 | 2000 | 0.328063 |

Total | 1 | -0.247017 |

The lower right cell shows an expected loss, or house edge, of 24.70%. It is my understanding the only allowed bet amount is $2.50, so the expected loss per bet would be about 62 cents.

"Anonymous" .

If your strategy were to maximize the number of royals at all costs then you would hit a royal once every 23081 hands. I assumed that given two plays of equal royal probability the player will choose the play which maximizes the return on the other hands. The house edge of this strategy on a 9/6 jacks or better game is 51.98%. Below is a table showing the probability and return of each hand.

### Royal Seeker Return Table

Hand | Payoff | Probability | Return |

Royal Flush | 800 | 0.000043 | 0.034661 |

Straight Flush | 50 | 0.000029 | 0.001472 |

4 Of A Kind | 25 | 0.000222 | 0.005561 |

Full House | 9 | 0.001363 | 0.012268 |

Flush | 6 | 0.00428 | 0.025681 |

Straight | 4 | 0.004548 | 0.018191 |

3 Of A Kind | 3 | 0.020353 | 0.061058 |

Two Pair | 2 | 0.046374 | 0.092749 |

Jacks Or Better | 1 | 0.228543 | 0.228543 |

Nothing | 0 | 0.694243 | 0 |

Total | 0 | 1 | 0.480184 |

"Anonymous" .

This is interesting. Normally the house edge is lower betting on the favorite, as I explain in my sports betting appendix 3. However at Pinnacle they evidently set the money lines so that each has the same house edge. Let d be the money line on the dog and f be the money line on the favorite. For example if the money lines were +130 and -150 then d=130 and f=-150. The house edge on both bets at Pinnacle would be:

1-(1+(d/100))*(1-(100/f))/(2+(d/100)-(100/f))

The amount you must bet to get back one unit is 1/[(d/100))*(1-(100/f))/(2+(d/100)-(100/f))].

For example with money lines of +130 and -150 the house edge on both bets would be 3.3613% and the expected return on a bet of 1.034783 units would be 1 unit.

At a land casino, I would assume the fair set of money lines to be +140 and -140 in this example, resulting in a house edge of 2.78% on the favorite and 4.17% on the dog. All other things being equal this would suggest that Pinnacle is a good place to bet on underdogs.

"Anonymous" .

I have that coupon too, and am running out of time to use it. Let’s assume a single deck game. The probability the dealer has blackjack with an ace showing is 16/51 = 31.37%. So if you bet $50 the value of this coupon is (16/51)*$50 = $14.71. However I estimate you will lose $1.23 due to the house edge waiting for the opportunity to use it. So the coupon itself is worth $14.71 - $1.23 = $13.48.

"Anonymous" .

It is my understanding that cheating in a Nevada casino carries the same penalty as bank robbery. Computers and cameras definitely count as cheating devices.

"Anonymous" .

Let p be the probability of the favorite winning. If -160 is a fair line then:

100*p - 160*(1-p) = 0

260p = 160

p = 160/260 = 8/13 = 61.54%.

So the expected return on a $145 bet at a -145 line would be (8/13)*100 + (5/13)*-145 = 75/13 = $5.77. So the player advantage would be $5.77/$145 = 3.98%.

Let’s define t as the true money line with no house edge and a as the actual money line. Following are the formulas for the player’s expected return:

A is negative, t is negative: (100*(t-a) / (a*(100-t))

A is positive, t is positive: (a-t)/(100+t)

A is positive, t is negative: (a*t + 10000)/((t-100)*100)

So in your case your expected return is 100*(-160 -(-145))/(-145*(100-(-160))) = 3.98%.