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Best of Mark Pilarski
Just whose money is it?26 May 2003
If a slot player walks away from a machine leaving credits in it, and someone else walks up and plays those credits, is that okay? Are credits fair game for everyone else? Nancy G.
According to them, and we all know who them is, 'taint yours. Luckily, if Sticky-finger is caught, there is no soundproof room with a glove-vice waiting. In fact, I have never heard of any leftover-credits-playing culprit being shown the door.
But that doesn't mean there are not naughty charlatans who make a living scavenging the millions lost each year by gamblers who forget their stored credits (winnings).
Called "sea gulling" in gamblese, it is illegal to purposively circle
the casino looking for orphan credits on a slot machine, or even change
on the floor.
Clearly, you're not a casino conniver looking for an easy score. But a tip to you and other slot-playing patrons: before you walk away from any slot machine, dont forget to press the cash-out button. You might tattoo that bit of wisdom on your thumbnail.
Ordinarily, Three Card Poker is a better play than Caribbean Stud
(-5.3%), better than Let it Ride (-3.5%), and even better than Pai Gow
But just when you think you've got your juju flowing over the low house edge of Three Card Poker, take a quick look upstream. Most casinos are now tightening the screws on Three Card Poker by reducing the payoffs on straight flushes and three-of-a-kinds. It's screamingly worse on the Pair Plus payoffs. For example, by making a crafty change on what you're paid for a straight flush from 40-to-1 to 35-to-1, and nibbling down threes-of-a-kind from 30-to-1 to 25-to-1, the house edge jumps to 4.58%, making this originally good game go bad, way bad.
Stick exclusively to these payoffs on Pair Plus wagers:
Also, to avoid pocketbook piracy, make sure the Ante Bonus payoff
follows this schedule:
Better yet, Hilda, think about giving Mini-Baccarat a try, or even blackjack, using perfect basic strategy. Each has a house edge well under 2%, whipping all the table games mentioned above.
Gambling quote of the week: "Essentially, expert card counters know the right bet and the right play at all times. Understandably, this doesn't thrill the casinos." Michael Konik, The Man With The $100,000 Breasts
Best of Mark Pilarski