Joined: May 2, 2010
  • Threads: 16
  • Posts: 118
December 13th, 2011 at 11:29:18 AM permalink
Today we were discussing how much money casinos make from blackjack, and more importantly where it comes from. Is it from the house edge, mistakes made in strategy, or players making emotional decisions because of losing streaks or booze or both? I figure it is probably a mixture of each. What does everyone else think, or does anyone have any real data to support this?
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
  • Threads: 306
  • Posts: 8409
December 13th, 2011 at 11:41:51 AM permalink
I am of the opinion that the house edge is quite enough, even when a low one is touted, due to how many hands per hour there are. No doubt the other factors you cite play a role. But I am thinking a casino should have very liberal rules to lower HE if they use a game that is not countable. Unless, of course, they have it made for some reason, like being the only game in town or whatever.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
  • Threads: 425
  • Posts: 24291
December 13th, 2011 at 11:53:50 AM permalink
It comes from the same place all table games profits for
the casinos come from. Players constantly recycle their
winnings back into the game until they have nothing left.

I played BJ for 30 years. Rarely and I mean rarely did I
ever see someone quit while ahead. They invariably would
continue to play, win or lose. This is what the casino depends
on, greed. In the old days these players were called 'casino
oriented' by the bosses. Now they're called what they are.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
  • Threads: 39
  • Posts: 3564
December 13th, 2011 at 12:29:59 PM permalink
I don't know if either of those names fits the majority of players. Yes, there are a low percentage that gamble when they shouldn't, lose their bill money and can't afford to live, but the vast majority that I see consider their money "entertainement". The play until they win a bunch or lose it all, with the losing it all being no different than if they went out to dinner and a movie, to the shooting range or bought a bunch of fishing stuff and went fishing. It's just their daily/weekly entertainent and they are not expecting to hit it rich.

I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
  • Threads: 180
  • Posts: 10302
December 13th, 2011 at 1:25:19 PM permalink
I think it's a mixture of everything.

Quote: ChampagneFireball

...does anyone have any real data to support this?

"Real data" ?

You mean, like, a scientific study that states that people make X mistake per hour when sober, and Y mistakes when drunk?
I invented a few casino games. Info: ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
  • Threads: 265
  • Posts: 14484
December 13th, 2011 at 1:34:40 PM permalink
The ignorance of many players is astounding but even the well-informed are often at a very high house edge when you view their style of play, particularly after a few drinks.

It doesn't take some stupendous win, the normal ups and downs mean that the behavior continues as long as there is some bankroll left. We all know slot machine players keep feeding quarters through until they are all gone. The re-inforcement quarters just means a few more quarters go through the machine until that house edge completes its task.

The casino knows it has to provide "reinforcement" by dribbling a few quarters back into the tray or putting photos up on the wall and keep interest alive by provide Bells, Whistles and by calling things "bonus" rounds. The casino knows it can't shear the sheep too fast or it will nick their hides but eventually the sheep get sheared.

The gambler is engaging in rewarding behavior so he is not going to stop. Even a big win, just means a pause.
Joined: May 5, 2010
  • Threads: 32
  • Posts: 1573
December 13th, 2011 at 1:58:20 PM permalink
Lately, more and more casinos are adding side bets to increase the hold on the games. Sure, they may have to pay out more, and if somebody hits they are more likely to leave a winner that session, but in the long run, those bets have such a high house edge build it that they are nearly guaranteed to make money on every session. On certain games (21+3 or Match the Dealer), I imagine the casino makes MUCH more on the side bets than on the game itself.

Outside of the sucker bets, the next biggest factor would be playing improper strategy, followed by the high hands played per hour. The latter is variable though, as it relies on dealer speed, hand shuffle vs machine shuffle vs continuous shuffle, number of players at the table, etc.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
  • Threads: 17
  • Posts: 5994
December 13th, 2011 at 2:09:56 PM permalink

You have theoretical house edge which is calculable, then the real house edge, which is a guess.

At a table with a theoretical house edge of say, 0.66%, your theoretical win/hour will be 0.66% x total hands / hour x total bet / hand.

5 people at a $10 table betting on average $15 at 60 hands an hour: .0066 x 15 x 5 x 60 = .0066 x 4500 = $29.70/hour revenue for the casino.

People don't play basic strategy, and as a result the edge rises. It's estimated that an average table will drop a percent due to poor play. This includes, I think, most importantly:

(1) Staying on 15 and 16 when you should hit (especially against 7,8,9,A).
(2) Staying 12 against a 2 or 3.
(3) Taking insurance
(4) Not doubling 11 or 10.
(5) Doubling inappropriately (on 8)
(6) General poor knowledge of splitting rules.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!

  • Jump to: