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Best of Mark Pilarski

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Deal Me In: Speak, baby, speak

11 February 2011

Dear Mark: When I have a place bet on the six or eight and win, what do I say to the dealer when I want to remove the whole bet after winning? Also, what do I say if I want to remove just a portion of the bet? Jim B.

When you make a place bet, Jim, you are betting that a particular number will roll before the 7 appears. Place bets can be made on the following numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10.

What players like about place bets, Jim, is that they are in control of all place bets, all of the time. With a place bet you can change its amount, call the bet on or off, and take the wager off the game. This differs from a pass line wager where you can't take your bet down or reduce its size once a point has been established. By having a point, pass line bets are now considered a contract wager, and must stand until there is a win or loss.

Besides being in command of a place bet, there are two other reasons why players should complement their pass line wager and odds with a place bet on, and only on the 6 or 8. First, it's a wager with a small house edge, 1.5 percent, and second, it's plenty cheap. A place bet can be made for as little as $6. The reason for units of $6 (on a $5 minimum table), is to receive the correct payoff of $7 for every $6 bet.

To make a place bet, you put your chips in the center of the table and tell the dealer which numbers you want to place. The dealer will then move your chips to your number on the layout that geographically corresponds to the location on the table where you are standing. This is how the dealer knows whom to pay when there are multiple players placing the same number.

What place bets are not, are self-service bets, meaning, Jim, the dealer handles the chips, while you, through verbal instructions, direct its management.

Typically, a place bet would be made after a come out roll. Anytime you want a place bet off, out of action, it is up to you to verbally let the dealer know. The same holds true if you want the place bet back on. You must verbally tell the dealer.

So when you win a place bet, the dealer will normally push you your winnings, and the original bet stays up. If you want it removed, just instruct the dealer to remove the bet by saying, "Take down my 6 and 8, please." Being that a place bet is off, or not working on come out rolls, if you want it turned on, just tell the dealer, "I want my bet working on the come out." Want only a specific amount wagered? Simply dialog with the dealer. Since a place bet is self-governing, just tell the friendly dealer what you want.

Dear Mark: I'm a fan of yours and read your column weekly without fail. The column in The Detroit Free Press (1/6/11) discussed playing a 9/6 video poker machine. I would be very appreciative if you could clarify what a 9/6 machine is. Nathan B.

If you notice, Nathan, there is always a pay table located under the glass of all video poker machines. The pay table reveals what the casino pays for a pair of Jacks or Better, two pairs, three-of-a-kind, flushes, a full house, etc. The pay table for a 9/6 machine tells you that you will be paid 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush, with one coin inserted.

On a full-pay Jacks or Better machine, a machine that pays 9 coins for a full house, 6 for a flush and 2 for two pair, you can expect a return rate of approximately 99.5 percent, making it an excellent machine to be playing on.

Note, Nathan, the full-versus-partial equation changes when the payoff for two pair is reduced to 1-for-1. If you find a machine that pays even money for two pair, odds are that it is probably some hybrid Bonus Poker machine where the payoff bonus for certain fours-of-a-kind is higher than normal. Even with boosted payoffs, your play is penalized, and depending on the pay table, you could be giving the house an extra 5-plus percent.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "How the IRS views gambling is a murky, swampy, stinky cesspool, so wide that it's extremely difficult to maneuver around." --Jean Scott
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.