smoothgrh
smoothgrh
Joined: Oct 26, 2011
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MrCasinoGamesAyecarumbabobbartopJoemanRomestringlomane
November 30th, 2019 at 1:35:09 AM permalink
A bulleted list trip report for Stateline, Nevada on the night of Sunday, November 24:

—The Mrs. got a “free” 3-night stay ($28.50 daily resort fee) at either Harrah’s or Harveys Lake Tahoe—we chose Harrah’s.
—Our room was on the 7th floor near the elevators, so we asked for a different room and got upgraded to a 14th floor, north-facing strip view of Hard Rock and Montbleu. Both rooms have two bathrooms, which is nice. I noticed Harrah’s isn’t afraid to have a 13th floor—I salute them for that!


— Went over to Harveys for $1-$3 no-limit. There was an interest list for $4-$8 limit poker, but the table never formed. Drained away $98 (including $2 dealer tips). Went all-in with $20 left on Q-10 suited with a flush and gunshot straight draw. No luck this time. Fun time, though. At one point, a woman in her 30s left the game and on her way out said “I’m off to a sex party,” which perked everyone up and elicited chatter.
— Shared a cigar with the Mrs. at a Harrah’s bar, playing $1/credit 9-5 JoB. Surprised to see 9-5 JoB on a bartop machine. Played single coin. (I know, I know.) Won $3. Enjoyed a Maker’s Mark neat and a Modelo.


— I tried vulturing an “Ocean Magic” slot that had a Wild symbol on the third reel, but lost $2.


— Looked around at Dotty’s. The “Singin’ in the Rain” slot machines that I enjoyed in April have been replaced by “Shark Week” slots. For the first time, I touched some of their country curios, and noticed that they’re glued to their surfaces. Not surprised.
— Walked over to Montbleu and played a few hands of IGT 3 Way-Action Poker. They have at least 4 such machines, but at the terrible 94.713% payback setting. Won a hand for 105 nickels though, and finished up $1.25.


—Video poker at Montbleu is generally terrible: 6-5 JoB on the main floor!
— The Mrs. played IGT’s “Texas Hold’Em Heads Up Poker No Rake” (the same game from like 5 years ago that had Johnny Chan or Phil Hellmuth but now genericized), and on her third hand, she rivered a royal flush—but we weren’t aware of the “Bonus Bet” side bet. She coulda, shoulda, woulda won at least an extra $62.50! But when she was done, she turned her $10 into $40!


— The tables were super slow (they even had the one-dealer craps table shortener), and after reading about the seemingly imminent demise of traditional Pai Gow Poker, I played at their $5 table. Lost $36.50, but the Mrs. and I enjoyed chatting with the dealer, who’s nearing retirement and whose husband sadly passed away last year. Sounds as if she has had a good life living in the Tahoe area for the past 35 years, though.
— Late night breakfast special back at Harrah’s on the 18th floor Highlander Bar for $4.99. (The Mrs. was there in September and said it was $2.99 then.) I made the individual components into two bacon-and-egg half-sandwiches. Also have 9-5 JoB but played video blackjack (with 98.3% payback rules) and won $4. Excellent spicy Bloody Mary.


—The next morning, I played the $40 poker tournament at 10 a.m. About 16 players. Fun time, but had to go all-in with A-rag and finished 10th.
— We left after 2 nights to avoid the storm. I’m sure Harrah’s was happy to reclaim a room they could book for $300 with all the skiers coming in.
Last edited by: smoothgrh on Nov 30, 2019
HugoSlavia
HugoSlavia
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November 30th, 2019 at 6:32:55 AM permalink
Quote: smoothgrh

played video blackjack (with 98.3% payback rules)


Thanks for the report. I didn't think 98.3% was possible (assuming "2 for 1" even-money BJ payouts). Did it have unusually favorable rules?
smoothgrh
smoothgrh
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MrCasinoGames
November 30th, 2019 at 9:08:15 AM permalink
Quote: HugoSlavia

Thanks for the report. I didn't think 98.3% was possible (assuming "2 for 1" even-money BJ payouts). Did it have unusually favorable rules?



You're welcome! I had a relaxing time checking out what's available these days. Seems like the South Tahoe casino area is recovering—they're adding Gordon Ramsey's "Hell's Kitchen" restaurant to Harveys in "late 2019" and Hard Rock Casino is a major improvement over Horizon.

I haven't seen this 98.3% BJ configuration in a long time. The tipoff is that Surrender is offered.

Here are the (unconfirmed) payback percentages/rules:

99.5%— Dealer hits soft 17, Blackjack pays 5 for 2, Split pairs (Ace one card), Double Down 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.
98.3%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. Split pairs (Ace one card), Double down on 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.
95.7%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. No Insurance or surrender. Split pairs, Double Down 10 or 11.
93.2%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. No Split or Double Down. No insurance or surrender.

Nearly every game I've seen is set to 95.7%
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
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bobbartop
November 30th, 2019 at 9:41:12 AM permalink
Quote: smoothgrh

You're welcome! I had a relaxing time checking out what's available these days. Seems like the South Tahoe casino area is recovering—they're adding Gordon Ramsey's "Hell's Kitchen" restaurant to Harveys in "late 2019" and Hard Rock Casino is a major improvement over Horizon.

I haven't seen this 98.3% BJ configuration in a long time. The tipoff is that Surrender is offered.

Here are the (unconfirmed) payback percentages/rules:

99.5%— Dealer hits soft 17, Blackjack pays 5 for 2, Split pairs (Ace one card), Double Down 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.
98.3%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. Split pairs (Ace one card), Double down on 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.
95.7%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. No Insurance or surrender. Split pairs, Double Down 10 or 11.
93.2%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. No Split or Double Down. No insurance or surrender.

Nearly every game I've seen is set to 95.7%

98.3%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. Split pairs (Ace one card), Double down on 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.
95.7%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. No Insurance or surrender. Split pairs, Double Down 10 or 11.

Why is there such a big discrepancy, Late surrender can't possibly have that much.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
HugoSlavia
HugoSlavia
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November 30th, 2019 at 9:51:23 AM permalink
Quote: smoothgrh

99.5%— Dealer hits soft 17, Blackjack pays 5 for 2, Split pairs (Ace one card), Double Down 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.
98.3%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. Split pairs (Ace one card), Double down on 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.


98.3 appears correct for a 6-to-5 (11 for 5) game if it existed, but I think an even-money game would have to be a full percent or so lower. The Wizard's calculator doesn't include an option for even-money BJ payoffs.

Usually the 6-card win rule is also present, but it's probably not worth much at single deck. Late surrender adds only negligible value at single deck, and of course insurance is useless against a newly shuffled deck every hand.
HugoSlavia
HugoSlavia
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November 30th, 2019 at 10:01:08 AM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

Why is there such a big discrepancy, Late surrender can't possibly have that much.


Late surrender value (single deck) should be very close to zero for a non-counting situation.

I don't see how it's possible to set the game at 93.2%. Wizard's rule variations page shows a cost of 1.91% if neither doubles nor splits are allowed. That's for an 8-deck game, but I doubt the single-deck effect would be drastically different.
HugoSlavia
HugoSlavia
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smurgerburger
November 30th, 2019 at 10:23:18 AM permalink
House edge calculator:

https://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/calculator/

Just an idle wish, but I would like to see additional radio buttons supporting some of the really bad rule options encountered on video BJ machines. The author probably assumed such games to be unplayable, but a 2.5% house edge can sometimes be viable if the machine earns points at the reel slot rate.
bobbartop
bobbartop
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November 30th, 2019 at 10:24:53 AM permalink
Quote: smoothgrh

You're welcome! I had a relaxing time checking out what's available these days. Seems like the South Tahoe casino area is recovering—they're adding Gordon Ramsey's "Hell's Kitchen" restaurant to Harveys in "late 2019" and Hard Rock Casino is a major improvement over Horizon.

I haven't seen this 98.3% BJ configuration in a long time. The tipoff is that Surrender is offered.

Here are the (unconfirmed) payback percentages/rules:

99.5%— Dealer hits soft 17, Blackjack pays 5 for 2, Split pairs (Ace one card), Double Down 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.
98.3%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. Split pairs (Ace one card), Double down on 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.
95.7%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. No Insurance or surrender. Split pairs, Double Down 10 or 11.
93.2%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. No Split or Double Down. No insurance or surrender.

Nearly every game I've seen is set to 95.7%




When I first read this I raised my eyebrows, but my eyebrows had just woken up. Now that I'm awake, it still doesn't seem right. I'm quite familiar with the top schedule. The second is VERY common in my neck of the woods. That's the one I have a problem with. The third, I've seen it, but it doesn't sound right either. The fourth, I don't think I've ever even seen that one. I have always figured the top one at about 99.8, even though it sets at "99.5". With card composition, 6-card charlie, and DAS. I cannot think right now of an old machine or any age machine that doesn't offer surrender and 6-card. But I'm only picturing California in my mind right now.
bobbartop
bobbartop
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November 30th, 2019 at 10:31:14 AM permalink
Quote: HugoSlavia



Usually the 6-card win rule is also present, but it's probably not worth much at single deck.



Without looking it up, and still with sleep in my eyes, I'm thinking about .0015.
bobbartop
bobbartop
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November 30th, 2019 at 10:33:31 AM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

98.3%— Dealer stands on 17, Blackjack pays 2 for 1. Split pairs (Ace one card), Double down on 10 or 11. Surrender and Insurance offered.




This can't be right.

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