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Deal Me In: Thomas D. 1 — Mark P. 0

4 December 2009

By Mark Pilarski

Dear Mark: In your answer to Jason S. about Don't Pass players being allowed to take down bets, you state correctly that a Don't Pass bettor has 3 ways of winning on the come out, but incorrectly show the winning numbers to be 2, 3, 12. As you know, 12's are neutral for a Don't Pass bettor on the come out, contributing to the house edge. Please correct this for your readers. Thomas D.

House rules and tangling with technology, Thomas, caused me to forget to insert the words, "or draw" for either – depending on the casino – the number two or 12.

House rule # 17 (no, not the casino's, but my own household's) is that a circle of 20-mile radius with center at my home marks the point of no return. So, when 40 miles out on a trip to Chicago, I suddenly remembered I had forgotten my laptop, I was forced to do that week's column on the 2x3 inch screen of an iPhone.

Yeah, I know, it's a piss poor excuse, but, Thomas, I do appreciate your calling me out on the oversight. I should have stated that the Don't Pass wager is opposite in that it loses if the come-out roll is 7 or 11 and wins if the come-out roll is 2 or 3. A 12 "draws" (in some casinos a 12 will win and a 2 will draw); but either way, a player "draws" and cannot lose if a 12 is rolled.

On the layout, for those inclined to check out the Don't Pass wager which has a measly house edge of 1.402%, you will note the words Don't Come or Don't Pass "BAR," along with the appropriate dice symbol of two or 12. This means "Standoff " which ensures that the casino maintains their slight casino advantage.

Dear Mark: I saw an unusual turn of events at the Motor City Casino (Detroit) last night. A gent was playing the single line poker video game, $1 to $5 play, and hit four deuces. The "Call Attendant" prompt came up. While waiting, he moved to the next machine and hit four Aces. "Call Attendant" came up. He moved to the next machine and hit four deuces. He had three machines with the "Call Attendant" lined up. Not sure how much he made, but I don't think I have ever seen anything like that. Pretty cool. Thought you would have an interest. Tom K.

It's kind of fun, Tom, when the impossible happens, and yet, anything is possible no matter how long the odds are. Using proper basic strategy, you should hit four deuces approximately once every 5,000 hands. But three? That's more than cool.

Try the improbable odds of hitting three consecutive $4000 royal flushes on three separate machines. This event happened on Sep 5, 1993, at Scolari's Food and Drug on Lakeside Court in Reno. The Nevada Gaming Control Board closed the machines for an inspection, but found no evidence of tampering. Oh, and the odds of hitting three royals in a row are 32.8 trillion to one.

Not as long odds, but as a pit boss I witnessed on a double-zero roulette table the number 25 coming up four consecutive times. No biggie, what's 2,085,136 to one?

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "I have no control when I'm betting on a game. I'm like a prisoner trapped in front of the TV." --Stu Unger, One OF A Kind

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.