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Last Updated: June 6, 2004

June 6, 2004


The Wizard's News
June 6, 2004

The Wizard's gone!

Hey, hey, hey, the Wizard's on vacation again, and you know what that means! That's right, Michael Bluejay runs rampant all over the newsletter! Bwah-ha-ha!

To blink or not to blink?

I've got some super-good news on the website front. (See? Already the newsletter is different. The Wizard would never say something like "super-good".) First of all, there's less blinking! About a year ago when the Wizard split from his old business partners and got 100% control of his site back the first thing he had me do was to remove the popup windows. Yay Wizard! I suggested that the next thing we could do to make the site more user-friendly was to remove the animation from the banner ads. Really, I can't concentrate on reading a web page if there's something blinking at me relentlessly. It's like trying to read a newspaper while someone's repeatedly poking you in the shoulder over and over again for no reason. I hate it when people do that! So I said we should ditch the animation, but the Wizard didn't think we'd still be able to sell ads if they didn't blink. Hah! The Wizard put me in charge of ad sales, and not only have we ditched most of the animation but we're charging more than we ever have for ads and we have a big waiting list of advertisers trying to get on the site.

Anyway, we're very proud to be unique in this regard. We dare you to find another gambling-related site of our size and stature that has less blinking! We double-dare you. And I'm throwing down the gauntlet, challenging other sites to not beat their visitors over the head with animation. Who's gonna take me up on it?

We nixed the blinking because we want to serve our readers well, but of course we have to serve our advertisers well, too. So when we took away the animation, what we gave them instead is we repeat their ads all the way down the page in the sidebar. That's a fair trade, isn't it? Or is it? Let us know which way you prefer and we'll compare what you want with what our advertisers want and see if it's possible to please everybody.

Vote in our survey! Which do you prefer?

* Ads are NON-animated
* Ads repeat down the page

Vote for this choice(link removed)

* Ads are animated
* Ads appear on the page only once

Vote for this choice(link removed)
Votes are counted only once even if you vote multiple times.
Advertisers, please don't vote, we'll poll you separately.

Advertiser of the month

Our advertiser of the month is Phoenician Casino. There are three things I like about Phoenician Casino. First of all, their home page doesn't blink relentlessly at you. How common is that at an online casino?! Second, they have 1-cent games. Most online casinos make you bet several thousand dollars at a time, so this is a good deal for us more frugal players. And finally, dun dun dun.... instant payouts! Phoenician says that if you request a payout through Neteller that they'll process it immediately. That's big news, huh? So what the hell are you waiting for? Head on over to Phoenician Casino and check it out.

And remember, our policy is to advertise only high-quality, prescreened casinos, and we advertise only four at any given time. We selected them because we feel you'll have a good experience there, and if you don't then we want to know about it.

Website of the month

I turned the Wizard on to CocktailDoll.com, the website of a real, live Las Vegas cocktail waitress and he lost no time in linking to it. Man, who needs Reality TV when you've got reality websites? If you even wanted to know what makes a cocktail waitress tick — and what ticks her off — then you need to go here.

Exposing the gambler's fallacy

Okay, so we know the Wizard's all smart and stuff, but he tends to explain things with words, or even worse, numbers. Me, I like pictures. So my newest article for my own site uses clever illustrations to explain the Gambler's Fallacy. Well, they're mostly pictures of numbers, but still.... Anyway, the Gambler's Fallacy is when you mistakenly think something is more likely because of other, unrelated events. For example, if red just came up nine times in a row in roulette, black is not more likely to come up on the next spin. And I have the pictures to prove it. Check out the Gambler's Fallacy debunked.

Ask the Wizard now categorized!

I saved the best news for last. You know how there are over 100 Ask the Wizard columns, and if you wanted to look up all the questions that have been asked about, say, craps, you'd wade through all 100+ columns, trying to pick out the questions that were about craps? Doesn't that make you want to hurl yourself on the floor and squirm around in your own hurl? Well, pick your crying butt off the floor because I have good news! I just spent about sixteen hours categorizing all the old Ask the Wizard columns into their respective topic areas! So now if you want to see all the questions about bingo, or about video poker, or about betting systems, well, you can! Just check out our new super-duper Ask the Wizard index.

You know, reading through all those old Ask the Wizards, I kept daydreaming, thinking, What if the Wizard were a real jerk? Then these columns would sure be spicy! So to commemorate our brand-new categorized Ask the Wizard columns, below is my fantasy about how I daydreamed that the Wizard responded to typical Ask the Wizard questions.

The questions below are actual, real questions taken from the Ask the Wizard archives, but the answers were completely made up by me! Don't complain to the Wizard, this is just one big joke....

Parody of "Ask the Wizard"

Q: I have a thick, and I mean thick, friend who is intoxicated with having won a fair amount betting player only in baccarat. He plays $10 units and does the dumb play that 9 straight banks won't happen. He escalates to a risk of $3,980 by going 10 10 30 60 120 250 500 1000 2000. How can I find solid mathematical evidence to try to convince him to stop? - Charger

If your friend is really that thick then instead of worrying about how he's betting you should be getting him to exercise and eat more vegetables to get some of that weight off. But no, instead you're hassling him about how he plays in the casino. Some friend you are.

I recently witnessed a strange event. I was watching five card draw poker, where you could only draw a maximum of 2 cards. One player drew 1 card and completed a heart flush. The dealer drew one card, and drew a spade flush. Naturally, the dealer's flush was higher. There were 3 other players in the game. What are the odds of having two flushes in the same hand? - Ted from Mandeville, USA

This has to be the stupidest question I've ever received. Obviously the probability of getting a flush on the deal (not including a straight/royal flush) is 4*(combin(13,5)-10)/combin(52,5) = 5108/2598960 = 0.0019654. And naturally the probability of being dealt a 4-card flush is 4*3*combin(13,4)*13/combin(52,5) = 111540/2598960 = 0.0429172. And even a child knows that the probability of completing the flush on the draw is 9/47. Any idiot understands that the overall probability of getting a 4-card flush and then completing it is 0.0429172*(9/47) = 0.0082182. So the total probability for a flush is 0.0019654 + 0.0082182 = 0.0101836. At that point it's a piece of cake that the probability that exactly 2 out 5 players receiving a flush is combin(5,2)* 0.01018362*(1-00.0101836)3 = 0.001006, or about 1 in 994. Moron.

Please tell me where I can find a copy that I can print and carry in my purse on the odds for blackjack. I am just learning and I am not sure when to take a hit and when to stay. - Sue from Marquette, USA

The casino is no different from home. Take another hit when the buzz wears off.

If I had an infinite amount of money and time, and the casino would take any bet, then could I ensure a profit by playing the Martingale (doubling after every loss until I win) on a fair bet on the toss of a coin?

If you could have an infinite amount of money you could also suffer an infinite number of losses. Duh.

What is the probability that out of 600 bingo cards at least one will get a coverall within 54 calls?

Only losers play bingo.

Hi. You say all betting systems will fail. If you play roulette and bet one unit on number 1-12 and 2 units on number 13-24 wouldn't you then have 66.66% chance to break even or win. - Atle from Porsgrunn, Norway

Oh right, the whole entire planet must have missed that fatal flaw in roulette over the last several decades. Now the casinos will have to take out the roulette games since secret about how to beat them is out, and now nobody will be able to have any fun any more. I hope you're happy.

Q: Consider a bingo game with 75 random cards. Draw 12 random numbers, according to standard bingo rules...

Excuse me, do you normally go around issuing commands to people you've never met? Do you have much success with that? You certainly didn't say "please". You didn't even say "Simon Says..." for that matter. In the meantime, consider this.

Mr. Wizard, if 50 different people toss a coin in the air 8 different times. What percentage of the 50 people will toss 8 consecutive heads or tails? Thanking you in advance.

Don't these people have anything better to do than to stand around flipping coins all day? And these people are pretty cheap if all 50 of them are sharing the same coin. As for how many will toss eight consecutive heads or tails, you're the one who knows these people, not me, why don't you go ask them how many got eight heads?

In blackjack and/or in Caribbean stud poker, does it make a difference if you are the only player seated at the table versus if the table is full? - Patrick from New York, USA

Of course it makes a difference. First of all, it will take you longer to get your drink because the cocktail waitress has to deal with everyone else's orders. Also, you're more likely to have smoke blown in your face, but on the bright side you're also more likely to blow smoke into someone else's face.

I rolled four hard 4's without rolling a 7 or an easy 4. Any idea what the odds on doing that is? Can it be calculated?

Can it be calculated? Oh no, that would be impossible. Nobody has ever figured out how to figure basic probability for dice, sorry.

Of course it can be calculated. Did you not realize that you're writing to the Wizard of Odds? Did that not give you some kind of clue? Hello?

What happens if two players get a royal flush, both of who made the progressive side bet, in Caribbean Stud Poker?

First what happens is that everyone goes, "Wow! Look at that! Two Royal Flushes!" Then the two players who got the RF's get upset about having to share the prize so they get into a fistfight. Security guards rush to the table but not before all the drinks are spilled, ruining the nice new felt. The dealer starts crying and players at other tables take advantage of the distraction by doing some old-fashioned cheating. By this time the commotion has escalated into an all-out brawl. The casino manager arrives on the scene and a cocktail waitress jumps on his back and starts pulling his hair and he starts spinning around trying to shake her off but she just holds on even tighter. Meanwhile the escalator stops working and the snack bar closes early.

I read about someone winning 1.3 million at an Online Casino in Caribbean Stud and not being paid because they used robot play. What is robot play, how does it win, and why is it illegal?

What does robot play sound like? Really, which word are you having trouble with, robot or play? Here, let me spell it out for you:

robot = a robot
play = to play a game

Haven't you ever seen Lost in Space? That big metal thing that lumbers around is called a robot. The reason some people have robots play at online casinos for them is so they won't get in trouble with their wives. ("No, that wasn't me who lost all that money at the online casino, must have been the robot. Bad robot! Bad, bad, bad!" The reason it's illegal is that most robots are under 21 years old.

Now read the real Ask the Wizard columns.


That's all. Until next time, set your expectations high.