CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Mark Pilarski

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Deal Me In: Smart gambling takes the day

25 December 2015

Dear Mark: I just wanted to say thank you. My husband and I just got back from Las Vegas where we played blackjack. We would never have known about the now common payoff of 6 to 5 without your column. We played at Treasure Island, which did pay 3/2 on multi-deck. We feel that knowledge, your progressive betting, and a little luck resulted in our coming home with a net win! We don't gamble much, maybe a couple days in Reno or Tahoe every couple of years, so Las Vegas was pretty new to us. We enjoy craps as well, but with the new higher minimums, it was just too rich for us. A $10 table with a pass line and 2x odds (for each of us to play) was a bit rich for us. But, we are longtime readers of your advice and we stick to a budget. It was fun. We had a very nice room at the Bellagio, and especially loved exploring the Valley of Fire State Park. Gloria S.

You are the type of gambler, Gloria, that I love to write for: smart betting, sets a budget along with loss-limit goals, and someone who, when going to a gambling destination, makes it an enjoyable, entertaining trip, which includes sightseeing and not all gambling.

I am particularly pleased that you not only remembered my writing of the disadvantages of 6-5 blackjack, but you focused on wagers that have less than a 2% house edge.

Six-five blackjack has become far too prevalent in Las Vegas, and everywhere else for that matter. Unfortunately, the uninformed masses continue to hop up on a blackjack stool and allow the casinos to pilfer their wallet.

By getting paid 3 to 2, and NOT 6 to 5, you get maximum value for your blackjacks. These 6-5 games give the casino an edge of almost 1.5%.

Allow me an example, Gloria. If you are playing $10 a hand on a 3-2 game, a blackjack returns $15. On a 6 to 5 game with a $10 bet, you only get paid $12. Since you can expect, on average, five blackjacks per hour, three bucks shy per blackjack equals $15, hence the 1.5% casino advantage.

By the way, Gloria, I, too, am a big fan of Valley of Fire State Park. It is a perfect day trip instead of an all-out gambling excursion to Las Vegas. Valley of Fire’s name derives from its red sandstone formations, which often look like they are on fire when reflecting the sun's rays.

Abutting the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Valley of Fire is located just 50 miles northeast of LV. I discovered the Valley of Fire State Park when renting a houseboat for a week on nearby Lake Mead. It ended up being one of my favorite trips to Las Vegas ever. We never hit the casino, and the only machines we saw were at the airport, which of course, readers of this column know to avoid.

Also, Gloria, let’s not forget Hoover Dam. It, too, makes for a great daytime sightseeing activity. Moreover, it is closer at only 33 miles away.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: “They drank the health of the Queen of Hearts and of the Queen of Diamonds.” – James Joyce, After the Race (1914)
Recent Articles
Best of Mark Pilarski
Mark Pilarski

As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.