Mission146
Mission146
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June 1st, 2021 at 12:59:16 PM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

Good idea for an article, I'll leave some specific comments there too

I noticed a long time ago that slots people overcrowd the reviews for casinos, complaining like hell that they lost. I have to think experienced gamblers learn to disregard these same folk!



Thanks! I thought it would be a fun one! I just hope that if any of those Google reviewers stumble upon it that they don't take my jabs too seriously. It really is meant to be light-hearted, at least, for the most part.

If this gets enough clicks, there will almost definitely be a Part Two.

I'd hope that experienced gamblers disregard those folks, hell, anyone who has played a slot machine more than a dozen times in their entire lives should know to disregard them.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Mission146
Mission146
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July 8th, 2021 at 8:23:46 AM permalink
Here's a Review of a reality show that documented the Jacks or Better Riverboat Casino:

https://wizardofvegas.com/articles/riverboat-review/

Certain elements were clearly quite scripted, but it wasn't bad.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
100xOdds
100xOdds
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Mission146
July 8th, 2021 at 12:38:49 PM permalink
Quote: Mission146

Here's a Review of a reality show that documented the Jacks or Better Riverboat Casino:

https://wizardofvegas.com/articles/riverboat-review/

Certain elements were clearly quite scripted, but it wasn't bad.

havent finished reading it yet but about the 3 mile gambling line from US land:
major cruise lines (ie: NCL) use to have cruises to nowhere where they sail out x miles and stay there over night or 2 nights.
it was basically a gambling and eat lots of food cruise.

then US law changed recently (2018?) and all the cruise lines stopped doing it.
no idea how the riverboat casino was allowed to off Florida?
Craps is paradise (Pair of dice). Lets hear it for the SpeedCount Mathletes :)
DRich
DRich
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July 8th, 2021 at 1:20:26 PM permalink
As I mentioned in the comments on the article, I am very familiar with that boat and have spent hundreds of hours on it when it sailed out of Texas. I can answer questions about it if there are any at least as it existed in Texas. Overall the layout seems to be the same with mostly the same machines.
Order from chaos
Joeman
Joeman
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Mission146odiousgambit
July 8th, 2021 at 7:34:00 PM permalink
I never sailed on the Jacks or Better, but I did sail on it's Mayport predecessor, the Sun Cruz, and it's replacement, the Victory II (You can read my review of the Victory II here, if you like). The JoB wasn't in town very long. IIRC, it was less than two years.

As for the "reality" show, I agree with your assessment, Mission, that there was some truth to it, but the predominant storyline about Fatboy and the other about the generator stretched the bounds of 'reality.'

Several things stand out to me that make me think the whole Fatboy storyline was completely fabricated:

1) In the first video, Fatboy says, "Hit me," but never taps the table, and the dealer gives him a card. I have never sat at a shoe game table where the dealer doesn't always insist the player make hand signals.

2) When the dealer talks to the pit boss, he turns his head away from the table. Pretty sure this is a big no-no.

3) On the last hand, it appears that the owner is dealing the cards?! Seriously?

4) When I am the fat loudmouth at the table, I am never surrounded by that many beautiful women.
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
DRich
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Mission146
July 9th, 2021 at 2:08:04 PM permalink
Quote: Joeman



4) When I am the fat loudmouth at the table, I am never surrounded by that many beautiful women.



I have been on that boat for hundreds of hours and never saw many pretty women.
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Mission146
Mission146
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July 9th, 2021 at 2:29:18 PM permalink
Quote: DRich

As I mentioned in the comments on the article, I am very familiar with that boat and have spent hundreds of hours on it when it sailed out of Texas. I can answer questions about it if there are any at least as it existed in Texas. Overall the layout seems to be the same with mostly the same machines.



Do you have any idea if the machines were all set to the lowest possible manufacturer setting? What were the VP paytables like? It sounds like the Blackjack rules were at least within reason, how about the other Table Games?
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
DogHand
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July 10th, 2021 at 3:48:08 AM permalink
Quote: Mission146

Do you have any idea if the machines were all set to the lowest possible manufacturer setting? What were the VP paytables like? It sounds like the Blackjack rules were at least within reason, how about the other Table Games?



Mission146,

I posted the following on the bj21 South page back in 2017:

Jacks or Better Casino Cruise: Galveston, TX

Galveston recently (in April, 2017) began hosting a casino cruise ship named Jacks or Better, operated by a company called Cruises To Nowhere, LLC. According to https://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/casino/aransas-queen-casino-tx, this ship used to sail out of Myrtle Beach, SC, and then Jacksonville, FL. Later, it moved to Aransas Pass, TX (and changed its name to Aransas Queen). When it relocated to Galveston, the name was changed back to the original Jacks or Better.

The casino's website is http://jacksorbettercasino.com/. Note, though, that the website contains many inaccuracies.

The cost to board is $15 per person plus taxes, with a slight discount for booking online. This cost includes two free alcoholic beverages during the outbound trip.

The ship supposedly sails daily, but I learned that they won't sail if they have fewer than 30 reservations. The day I went out, they had about 40, so the facilities were not crowded at all. They also won't sail if the seas are too rough, so the website has a link showing the sea conditions. I advise calling before you go to be sure they'll be sailing.

The cruise lasts 6.5 to 7 hours, but the first and last 1.5 hours the casino is closed as the ship makes its way to and from the 9-mile limit. Thus, the actual gambling time is 3.5 to 4 hours. The cashier does stay open during a portion of the return trip.

As for the layout, the deck plan (see http://jacksorbettercasino.com/articles/jacks_or_better_casino_deck_plans.pdf) is woefully out-of-date. In fact, the deck 1 is entirely slots, and all the table games are on deck 2. The total number of tables games appears to be nine: 4 blackjack (though one many have been baccarat), 1 three-card poker, 2 roulette, 1 craps, and 1 proprietary game called Shootout Poker in which the players play against one another and against the house. When I sailed only five tables were open: two BJ and one each of 3CP, roulette, and craps.

For the mobility-challenged, the casino does not have an elevator, but does have a chair lift on one of the staircases to get between deck 1 and deck 2.

The BJ is 8D, H17, DA2, DAS with reasonable pen (I saw cutoffs of 1.25 to 1.5 decks) and limits of $5-$100 and $10-$200. Note that the website claims S17 and $5-$500 limits. The PC indicated that he did have a $500 limit sign, so perhaps they'll raise the limit upon request.

The ship also had a number of Game King video poker machines, but the pay tables were all very poor (for example, 6-5 JoB for 95% return) at all denominations.

The staff were all very friendly, and the ala carte food was pretty good. Most of the experienced players chose to eat during the return trip, which makes sense, since the casino was closed during the last 1.5 hours.

Dog Hand


Additional information: I had to flash government ID to board; the BJ tables used an ASM, and while I didn't vomit (though some of the other passengers did), I did feel quite queasy on the outbound leg.

Dog Hand
Mission146
Mission146
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July 10th, 2021 at 4:03:17 AM permalink
Dog Hand,

Thanks for sharing the great review of the ship! If nothing else, I'm pretty surprised that the cutoff for sailing was as low as thirty, even with big house edges, it's tough to imagine how the overall operation would be profitable on only thirty people playing for 3.5-4 hours.

In your recollection (and also for DRich), were there any, 'High-rollers,' when you guys were on there? Say consistent $50-$100/hand bettors? Do people usually take a shot at a huge bet when it's announced that the gambling operation are about to close up for the night?

If it takes 1.5 hours to get out far enough, what do the people who aren't eating yet do until then? Does everyone just kind of sit around for an hour and a half?

Apparently, 6/5 JoB can be found in Vegas at the $5 denomination sometimes, so it must not be that bad. (This is a joke, though true about being found in Vegas, see Planet Hollywood thread)
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
DRich
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July 10th, 2021 at 12:44:35 PM permalink
Quote: Mission146

Do you have any idea if the machines were all set to the lowest possible manufacturer setting? What were the VP paytables like? It sounds like the Blackjack rules were at least within reason, how about the other Table Games?



Surprisingly, the machines were not as bad as they could have been. The video slots were around 90% and the video poker was poor at around 96%. There was "mistakenly" one full pay Deuces Wild game,
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