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Best of Mark Pilarski
Some do's and don'ts before your trip to Vegas10 September 1999
Here are some do's and
don'ts, Mary, that everyone should know before they make their first
flight to the mothership, Las Vegas. Learn them, live by them, and your
casino experience can be very rewarding.
Do plan other activities like shows, shopping, sightseeing, the health club or golf. Make it an enjoyable, entertaining trip, not all gambling .
Do comparison shop for the best buys on meals and accommodations.
Also, do comparison shop for bargains on the best rules and playing conditions for the particular games you're going to be playing.
Do monitor the status of your bankroll. At all times you should know where you are financially.
Do count your blessings. If you break even your first time gambling, that's a win in anybody's book.
Do check the many Las Vegas gambling guides found at newspaper stands for the best values and deals.
Finally, do keep up to date
on both rule changes and different variations of your favorite game
because casinos can, and will, change the rules all the time. The
winning player is always the informed player.
Don't bet over your head but only with what you can afford to lose.
Don't play with scared money.
Don't borrow money from friends to finance your gambling or try to recoup your losses.
Don't press your bets if you're on a losing streak.
Don't be superstitious. Knowledge is the key, not luck. Like I've said many times in this column: "The smarter you play, the luckier you'll be."
Don't waste your time on games or wagers where the casino has a house advantage of more than 2%.
Don't play any game or make any bet you know little about. Learn it first.
Don't drink excessively and gamble at the same time. Sip for pleasure, don't gulp for effect.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Who's money is it? YOURS.
Don't be greedy. Be satisfied with a small win.
The above suggestions, Mary, should make your pilgrimage to the Mecca of gambling all that more enjoyable.
The correct answer should be, NO, not me,
NEVER. Basic strategy charts are derived not from some slick huckster
selling his latest beat-the-casino system but by mathematicians and
countless computer studies.
Today's slot machines contain a random
number generator (RNG) that controls the payback percentage of each
machine. When a casino purchases a slot machine it tells the
manufacturer what percentage it wants that particular machine to return
to its customers. That amount is pre-programmed into the RNG at the
plant. A casino can always change the payback percentage, but it must go
back to the manufacturer and have them reprogram the RNG.
Best of Mark Pilarski