GamecoxJax
Joined: Jan 5, 2016
• Posts: 22
January 8th, 2016 at 11:07:22 AM permalink
Wife and I are going on a cruise, and we love to gamble. Problem is, neither of us are very good, and rarely have a winning session, let alone a trip. We play craps and BJ, and while we both understand odds and BS, we still just have that black cloud of negative results that follows us.

We love it, despite the lack of success. So, this trip, we are thinking about sitting down at a slot bank, and trying \$20 at a time that way, rather that \$200 at a time on craps or BJ table.

So, the question I have... What would be the preferred game or type of game? I have avoided slots almost exclusively, just because we love the live action of the tables. But, in an effort to make our gambling dollar go farther, we want to try the flashing lights and bells and whistles flavor.

So, again, what games or strategy should noobs take into a slot endeavor?

Thanks
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
• Posts: 5580
January 8th, 2016 at 11:20:33 AM permalink
Sorry to hear about the poor variance you've had thus far in Craps/BJ. However, you really should stick to these games. Playing \$20 at a time won't change the house edge and your much, much greater negative expectation.

Example:
\$200 at an average .5% BJ Game. Say you play for 2 hours, flat betting \$10 per hand, with about 70 hands per hour.

EV = NumHands*AvgBet*HE = 140*10*(-.005) = -\$7

Thus, in your 2 hour spam playing blackjack, in the "long run" on average you could expect to lose \$7.

Now let's look at slots, which most states have a minimum payback of 85%, putting it at a 15% HE. Hell, let's give you the benefit of the doubt and say it's only 10% HE. Let's say you play the same amount of time/action through as blackjack. Now let's look at your EV.

EV = TotalAction*HE (TotalAction is the same has NumHands*AvgBet) = 1400*(-.1) = -\$140.

Thus, in your couple hour spam playing the slots, in the "long run" on average you could expect to lose \$140.

I hope you see the MASSIVE difference. Yes, you've been having poor variance for blackjack, but even if you're playing a losing game (just basic strategy) the same math applies to you as it does an AP. You'll have an expectation, and you'll have standard deviations around that expectation (which is how some basic strategy players can be winning players for a little while), but eventually everyone will gravitate towards their true EV of the game. For counters, that's a positive number. For basic strategy players, it's a negative number, but not "hideously" negative (I guess depends on your action and what you consider hideous).

So even you, a basic strategy player, can be "below expectations" and "running bad"...i.e. having bad luck/variance. All this means is IN THE LONG RUN you will balance back "upwards" towards your natural negative EV. So if your long term EV is -\$10,000 for your lifetime, and you're already -\$20,000... This means by the end of your life (decades from now) you can mathematically EXPECT to gravitate upwards towards that -\$10,000 number.

That was a long winded way of saying, keep playing blackjack and craps. You're chances for success are MUCH MUCH higher there and you'll lose a LOT less money in the long run. Yes, you've had some bad luck with your "black cloud" but that black cloud is just a figment of your imagination. It happens, to both AP's and BS players alike. Gotta keep on playing through it and eventually it'll turn in to a white cloud! Not that you'll have a positive expectation in the long run just playing BS, but you will do much better than now when you're having "bad luck."

I hope that makes sense =).
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
GWAE
Joined: Sep 20, 2013
• Posts: 9854
January 8th, 2016 at 11:42:22 AM permalink
Romes don't forget he mentioned playing on a cruise line. Game choice for BJ is going to be worse, but moreover the slots are not regulated and they do not disclose nor have to adhear to state laws on payback percent. I would say they are probably in the 15-20%. They do have VP but you are usually looking at games like 6/5 JOB and worse.

I will say I was the only vulture on my last cruise so that turned out very very well.
Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed. I AM NOT PART OF GWAE RADIO SHOW
GamecoxJax
Joined: Jan 5, 2016
• Posts: 22
January 8th, 2016 at 11:45:09 AM permalink
Absolutely makes sense.... No arguments on any of that.....

But even AP know that sometimes, for some reason, there is just that guy that can't catch a break. Trust me, I could be hired as a "cooler" if I lived in the desert. Its that bad. But I just love it so much... There is nothing in the world that I have ever experienced as fun as a craps table with 10 people at it, a thousand dollars spread by everyone, and the nervous silence as those dice bounce off the wall. Or the know that comes from a double down with an 11 when you know the count is in your favor, but just haven't seen your luck turn.

I do appreciate the mathematical break down. I guess I just figured with bonuses and extra spins and side games, we might enjoy our time in the slots section this trip. But I don't want to go in blind.
GamecoxJax
Joined: Jan 5, 2016
• Posts: 22
January 8th, 2016 at 11:45:58 AM permalink
Vulture?
GWAE
Joined: Sep 20, 2013
• Posts: 9854
January 8th, 2016 at 11:52:05 AM permalink
Quote: GamecoxJax

Vulture?

Means playing certain games when they are at an advantage but not creating the advantage.
Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed. I AM NOT PART OF GWAE RADIO SHOW
GWAE
Joined: Sep 20, 2013
• Posts: 9854
January 8th, 2016 at 11:54:12 AM permalink
Quote: GamecoxJax

I do appreciate the mathematical break down. I guess I just figured with bonuses and extra spins and side games, we might enjoy our time in the slots section this trip. But I don't want to go in blind.

The bonuses are part of the house edge. They are not extra on top. Play slots if you think they are fun but don't play them thinking they are going to be better than table games. Of course there is always the exception but we don't write about those on public boards.
Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed. I AM NOT PART OF GWAE RADIO SHOW
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
• Posts: 5580
January 8th, 2016 at 11:55:22 AM permalink
Quote: GamecoxJax

...I do appreciate the mathematical break down. I guess I just figured with bonuses and extra spins and side games, we might enjoy our time in the slots section this trip. But I don't want to go in blind.

Enjoyment is in the eye of the beholder =P but you will ABSOLUTELY lose more money playing slots. Not only will you lose more money in the long run, but in the short run of your trip you're much more likely to lose playing slots as well.

Trust me when I say I understand the bad run you're in. My business partner and I went through a 5 month spread of "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WIN ONE HAND" this year. We put in 250 hours this year and finished slightly in the RED for blackjack... and this is with us playing with a 1-2% (or more from other things we do) advantage! KewlJ, a professional blackjack player on this site, had a 6 month losing streak in years past as well. We absolutely KNOW what it's like, looks like, feels like, etc, etc. You just walk in feeling like you're going to lose your next bet before you even place it.

KewlJ played through it, we played through it, and it SUCKED but it's what you have to do to get to the good side of the coin. You have to "try" to ignore the fact that you've been getting busted up playing and just keep playing your game. We've had WEEKS where we busted on every single 12 we hit, WEEKS where every 11 double down was met with a deuce and the dealer draws out on a bust card... We've literally had 3 shoes (6 deck) in a row where the dealer didn't bust once. I went 1-22 with the hand 19 and had losing streaks of like 14 in a row (.48^14 odds of that happening). I've seen the ugly side of the coin, and I have a much larger respect for the GRIND that blackjack truly is (AP or not).

All I'm saying is if you have fun playing the game, don't let "bad luck" stop you from playing... especially if that means you're going to play a MUCH MUCH worse game such as slots =P.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
GamecoxJax
Joined: Jan 5, 2016