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
 

Smart play and goodies equal profits

8 November 2004

Dear Mark, I think that you're right on with your answer regarding counting cards at blackjack. The pit crews are almost paranoid now regarding card counters--witness one of the last episodes of American Casino. I guess they think that everyone is as good as the MIT students. Card counting is hard work and boring. You're right, just learn the basics first, and besides, most people can't, or not even willing to play perfect strategy. Besides, I think it is much better to learn to play video poker. The strategy is as easy as blackjack, and the comps are better. Jean H.

And Right on to you, Jean. Playing on a full-pay Jacks-or-better machine that pays 9 coins for a full house and six coins for a flush, along with comps, puts you in positive territory against the casino over the long haul, so long as you (Repeat after me) use a casino slot card to get credit for your play. Nationwide, casinos give away over a billion dollars in comps each year, and as a video poker player, you deserve your share of the goods. Comps are generally based on the number of coins you cycle through a machine, so you might as well get credit for all those quarters that once were yours. Always make sure though to shop casinos for comp value and ask how many points you will receive per dollar played. Then find out what those points are worth in comps. You always want to treat "comps" not as a form of profit, but rather as a balm to ease the pain. You never want to gamble just to receive them, any more than you'd roll in poison ivy so as to feel the relief of the calamine lotion later on,

You are also right, Jean, in noting that it's easier to play basic strategy in video poker than it is in blackjack. And as in BJ, it reduces the house edge to less than one percent. So, pray tell, how do you become skilled at video poker basic strategy? For starters, by purchasing one of those laminated cheat sheets sold for about $3-$5 a pop in some casino gift shops. Believe, me, they are worth their weight in some yet-to-be discovered super-metal. But instead of giving the casinos any more of your hard-earned money than they deserve, allow me to send you, and other sophisticated readers of this column, a strategy card FREE. Yep, you're reading it right, FREE. Just, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Winners Publishing, ATTN: Video Poker Strategy Card, P.O. Box 1234, Traverse City, MI 49685.

Dear Mark,
Last week while playing video poker, I got four aces and a joker before the draw. What are the odds of that happening? Larry G.

The probability of being dealt 5-Aces (53-card deck-including the Joker) before the draw are 2,869,684 to one. Last week I also happened to be playing on a similar type machine and I received four to a royal and the joker dealt naturally. The odds against that hand were 119,569 to one.

Gambling quote of the week: "All casino strategy is designed to chloroform the human lollipops so they can be separated from their money as painlessly as possible." Lyle Stuart, Winning at Casino Gambling

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.