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
 

Getting cold-cocked by a cold deck

15 September 2006

Dear Mark,
In a recent column you mentioned cold decks and cheating. What does a cold deck have anything to do with cheating? Doesn't a cold deck mean cards that are cold in respect to player having an unlucky night? Dwight E.

In your scenario, yes, Dwight, a "cold deck" could mean a forensically fair game, but a tough luck time at the tables.

When I stated that cheating at cards can be done a whole host of ways, one being the use of physical objects such as cold decks, I meant decks that are pre-stacked, and are introduced either at the deal, after the real deck has been shuffled, or before the deal by a card mechanic using sleight of hand.

Secretly slipping a stacked deck into the game can provide a great potential payoff for the card cheat. The card charlatan's goal is to introduce a new deck, stacked so as to give him or her a great hand, but it may also give all the other players great hands, too — great enough to entice them (those lovely sheep) to bet a decent chunk of change, but not quite great enough to beat the sharper or arouse suspicion of his jiggery-pokery.

Dear Mark,
Let's just say two royal flushes, A-K-Q-J-10, show up in the same hand, obviously in two different suites. Do the suites or colors have an order of importance? Vernell C.

Dear Mark,
Your column stated that when there is more than one royal flush in a game that the hearts would be the highest. What order would follow? Ken

Granted, Ken, some of the hot air in this column contributes to global warming, but I did not say that hearts as a suit ranked supreme. What I referred to was a casino that offered a poker machine with a payout of $1,000,000 for a sequential royal flush, and if you were to play a machine that was suit specific, such as being in hearts, those odds would be astronomical.

Mutant home games, however, are known to have some quirky rules that embrace suits, like when I play a family game of pinochle, calling spades doubles your points. A poker game that comes to mind would be a Seven-Card stud game like Black Mariah, where the high spade in the hole splits the pot. But in general, Vernell, and you too, Ken, suits (hearts — priesthood; spades — nobility; clubs — peasantry; diamonds — the wealthy merchant class) have little to do with hand rankings. Hand rankings are strictly a function of probability. The rarer the hand, the more valuable it is.

Dear Mark,
An employee of an Indian casino in our state told me that the return on all quarter machines is programmed for 82%. How would you describe slots that have such a poor return? Louise J.

Your letter, Louise, reminds me of an episode on The Andy Griffith show where Barney Fife describes to Andy the local talent.

Barney and Andy are peeking through a doorway into a room where people are dancing. Andy says to Barney, "Do you see anyone (girl) interesting in there?" Barney replies, "Naw, they're all dogs, just dogs." Andy replies, "Barney, that's not a very nice thing to say." To which Barney responds: "Andy, if a quail flew through there right now they'd all point!"

It seems those machines you were playing on are all dogs, just dogs.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "To master poker and make it profitable, you must first master patience and discipline, as a lack of either is a sure disaster regardless of all other talents, or lucky streaks." -- Freddie Gasperian

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.