Poll

3 votes (20%)
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1 vote (6.66%)
2 votes (13.33%)
2 votes (13.33%)
No votes (0%)
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1 vote (6.66%)
3 votes (20%)

15 members have voted

Joeshlabotnik
Joeshlabotnik
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August 23rd, 2016 at 8:30:48 AM permalink
I first learned about AP gambling three decades ago. Back then, there were far fewer casinos; there was basically Nevada, and the big AC boom wasn't really off the ground yet; nor was every Indian tribe in the country with a membership of over 15 persons opening a casino. Yet, I seem to remember there being a LOT more good plays out there, and their being much easier to find and play without hassle, than today. This impression continued into the 90s, that golden age of VP and promos. Also, even then, I could find a good BJ game and spread 5-40 with very little heat--and the games were good enough that that was enough to earn a pretty good living. It seems to me that the early 2000s brought on this wave of mass tightening of, well...everything. I'm getting the impression that we're about to hit bottom:

There are fewer than 100 +EV video poker machines in all of Vegas. The BJ games that aren't 6:5 cut off half the shoe, and the very very few good games are heat sinks--you get dragged out and shot for betting a 1-2 spread. Slot wonging is extinct. It's very hard to beat poker, with all the jacked-up rakes and players being much better than they used to be (i.e., very few idiots). And promos and such do appear here and there, but they are generally one-shot or of limited duration; also, if they're any good, the roaches crawl out of the woodwork and burn it out in short order--often on the same day the promo appears!

So I'd like the opinion of those whose AP endeavors (not necessarily "careers") have spanned the last two decades. What is the present state of AP'ing? Where is it going? Are casinos going to keep making at least SOME mistakes?

Note that I'm not referring to bottom-feeding stuff like gathering up uncashed $0.01 slot tickets, fishing matchplays out of garbage cans, etc.; nor am I referring to getting yourself twelve different slot club accounts at the same casino so you can take advantage of their weekly "play $5, get $10" promo. I'm talking about opportunities to make meaningful money without spending an inordinate amount of time doing so (so that you make effectively $3 an hour), or having to risk an immense bankroll and endure huge variance (so, no Bob Danceresque plays where you stuff in $200,000 in one day and have an 0.007% edge).
mcallister3200
mcallister3200
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August 23rd, 2016 at 8:42:51 AM permalink
It's just different. More difficult? Probably. Can you think of any industry where you can do things the exact same way you did 20 years ago and be just as effective? I cannot, if there are there are very few.
Romes
Romes
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August 23rd, 2016 at 9:42:39 AM permalink
The day the casino games alllll become asbsolutely unbeatable is the day the casinos all go under. People, while still stupid in general, are becoming "slightly" more educated. Millennials don't really gamble because they've learned enough to know it's throwing money away... and they have bigger things like $100k student loan debts to pay off.

Tougher conditions are a combination of things:

1) People spending less on gambling, especialyl after near 2008 when things crashed and people tightened up with their money.
2) Less people gambling with millennials as explained a little bit above.
3) Stupid coorperations believing they should be making a steady X% more every single year not realizing they have a market cap. Thus, in order to be CEO and not get fired you need to come up with some way to make X% more per year. Well, start shaving payouts, put worse games out, pay your employees less, etc, etc, etc, and it's just a downward spiral for the entire industry.
4) More information is made available to both players and casino employees alike in which certain plays become more common and thus more procedures are written to cut them out.

Part of those (#4 specifically) is just the nature of evolution. Much like bacteria evolves to become resistant to anti-biotics, we then have to make stronger anti-biotics, then the bacteria evolves again and the cycle continues. The same is for AP'ing. We'll almost always be able to beat their games, but it's going to require evolving your thought process and how you look at plays. There are so many things I've come across and then been like "omg that's so easy, but I never would have look at that like that or for that..."

Also, I can tell you personally there are plenty of "bigger money" making plays out there still... If you don't see them, that doesn't mean they don't exist... Just means you need to evolve your thinking =).
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
RS
RS
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August 23rd, 2016 at 9:52:54 AM permalink
I think it's obviously changing and becoming more difficult. It seems like the casinos are definitely getting smarter and smarter. The same promotion that many casinos had just a few years ago isn't as common today.....I can't imagine the difference between 10 or 20 years ago compared to today. As long as people keep their traps shut about the really good stuff, creative and outside-the-box thinking APs will be able to make money in the future. I think something very serious would have to happen (i.e.: new laws) in order for AP to have a huge down-turn over the next 10 years.


Mcallister summed it up perfectly.
TomG
TomG
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August 23rd, 2016 at 10:19:59 AM permalink
Quote: Joeshlabotnik

What is the present state of AP'ing?



The present state is far different than what you describe. Such as: "There are fewer than 100 +EV video poker machines in all of Vegas." Completely wrong. For example, I think almost every deuces wild at South Point between 25-cents and $2 is set to over 99.7% payback. It's really not that hard to find a way to add 0.3% to your action with the players club and promotions.

Black jack, like VP and most everything else, is definitely tougher than the 90s. That doesn't mean it's unbeatable. If you know basic strategy and hi-lo, it's almost impossible not to earn money at blackjack spreading reds. Doesn't mean it's a lot of money (maybe even under $10 per hour), but it's easy enough to add some greens and improve your game and start making a bit more.

Quote: Joeshlabotnik

I'm talking about opportunities to make meaningful money without spending an inordinate amount of time doing so (so that you make effectively $3 an hour)



Depends what you mean by "meaningful." I find $500 to $1000 per month pretty easy. At most any big off strip Las Vegas casino it's the same story: check slot and VP progressives (including UX if you like), usually nothing much, but the occasional good hit can make it worth up to $10 per day; $5 dd blackjack, show your biggest bet (hopefully over $100) and be done; go to the sports book and check you phone to see if any games are off market price or if there are any good correlated parlays; play the best video poker (often over 100%) long enough to earn whatever $5 or $10 promotion they're running that day; add in minimal the free-play on slots and coupons on table you get from that level and even for us bottom feeders it should be worth at least $20 just to walk through the door.
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
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August 23rd, 2016 at 10:20:16 AM permalink
Quote: Joeshlabotnik

From reading your story about the Frontier(not sure if you yourself played that or it was just something you heard about) and if you have been around doing AP for 3 decades on big plays in the 90's it would be an anomaly I wouldn't know of you, at least by sight.

AP didn't end or become harder it just changed.

I'll kinda use your example. $5 and $10 match plays and aces used to be given out like candy guys ran around using multiple coupons.(even $25 and $50 were not all that uncommon) Match plays and aces have faded (but they're certainly not extinct) in the place of that came all the $5 and $10 free play stuff (larger amounts not all that uncommon)

As casinos started to tighten up the world of online casino bonuses started.

Blackjack changed but other AP vulnerable games flourished.

I could give many more examples but you get the point.
♪♪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♪♪
bobbartop
bobbartop
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August 23rd, 2016 at 11:07:07 AM permalink
Quote: TomG

The present state is far different than what you describe. Such as: "There are fewer than 100 +EV video poker machines in all of Vegas." Completely wrong. For example, I think almost every deuces wild at South Point between 25-cents and $2 is set to over 99.7% payback. It's really not that hard to find a way to add 0.3% to your action with the players club and promotions.



Even not counting anything at South Point, he's still way wrong. He doesn't know what he's talking about.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
Joeshlabotnik
Joeshlabotnik
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August 23rd, 2016 at 11:20:59 AM permalink
Quote: TomG

The present state is far different than what you describe. Such as: "There are fewer than 100 +EV video poker machines in all of Vegas." Completely wrong. For example, I think almost every deuces wild at South Point between 25-cents and $2 is set to over 99.7% payback. It's really not that hard to find a way to add 0.3% to your action with the players club and promotions.

Black jack, like VP and most everything else, is definitely tougher than the 90s. That doesn't mean it's unbeatable. If you know basic strategy and hi-lo, it's almost impossible not to earn money at blackjack spreading reds. Doesn't mean it's a lot of money (maybe even under $10 per hour), but it's easy enough to add some greens and improve your game and start making a bit more.



Depends what you mean by "meaningful." I find $500 to $1000 per month pretty easy. At most any big off strip Las Vegas casino it's the same story: check slot and VP progressives (including UX if you like), usually nothing much, but the occasional good hit can make it worth up to $10 per day; $5 dd blackjack, show your biggest bet (hopefully over $100) and be done; go to the sports book and check you phone to see if any games are off market price or if there are any good correlated parlays; play the best video poker (often over 100%) long enough to earn whatever $5 or $10 promotion they're running that day; add in minimal the free-play on slots and coupons on table you get from that level and even for us bottom feeders it should be worth at least $20 just to walk through the door.



Well yes, duh, there are still quite a few machines that when played at the appropriate times, go +EV even if not inherently positive without promotions/slot club benefits, etc. The South Point exception you mention isn't very common, and even then, you have to play on double points days (once a month--maybe) or when some other promo is running to stagger up to...100.33%. So play the highest denomination of NSUD available: $2, at 800 hands an hour, and that's $8000 action to generate about $26 in profit per hour. Obviously, you have to be prepared to lose twenty or thirty grand in a single day, and have the bankroll to support the play long-term. I'm given to understand that a five-royal bankroll is needed for adequate RoR when playing FPDW, so I would imagine that you need more for NSUD + 0.6%. I, personally, could invest $100,000 in a number of ways and make more than $150 a day (adding my time, in each case, of course). I did exclude Danceresque plays where you have to bet enough to buy a new BMW every day. For those who have the bankroll, such plays are still available here and there, though you have to worry about getting barred (Bob has managed to strike various deals to get himself inoculated against that, but that's probably not a strategy available to the rest of us mortals).

The best you can find in Vegas is inherently positive games at .25 with little or no slot club benefits, or games like NSUD on multiple-point days, also usually at .25. These aren't going to earn you more than McWages. You're probably better off dumpster diving. I should also add that even these pitiful opportunities are drying up: the Rampart used to be a mildly positive play on double points days, but all the decent games have been torched. I think it's only a matter of time before there's no such thing as any VP play that can be made +EV, except maybe for one day a month, like at South Point (and yes, I know about how good the gas card promo was, which is why we haven't seen it recently).

I do agree with you that $500-$1000 a month can be achieved. But is that actually an AP play when you spend 200+ hours a month and several tanks of gas chasing down all those $5 free play promos?
Romes
Romes
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August 23rd, 2016 at 11:36:29 AM permalink
Joe, I guess you're only looking at machine play then? There are tons and tons of other plays...

Also, it's been known for YEARS that Vegas is a quantity over quality when it comes to most gambling (tables, machines, etc).
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
Joeshlabotnik
Joeshlabotnik
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August 23rd, 2016 at 11:59:29 AM permalink
Quote: Romes

Joe, I guess you're only looking at machine play then? There are tons and tons of other plays...

Also, it's been known for YEARS that Vegas is a quantity over quality when it comes to most gambling (tables, machines, etc).



No. I referred to a deterioration in opportunities in a number of other games in my original post as well. Blackjack and poker are two of the most drastic changes--candy stores twenty years ago, still beatable ten years ago, largely a waste of time today (though I'm sure there are people who will tell you they're crushing those games even today, from behind the wheel of their 2003 Hyundai as you're driving to McDonald's).

And of course, even during the golden era, what opportunities existed were something like 1% of all the games you could play and the bets you could make. But that was still a LOT--more than one person had time for. You could cherry-pick. Now, that amount is more like 0.001%. And when there's any kind of decent promo, it gets swarmed. Earlier this year, I found an obscure play at the Hard Rock that was pretty good, but only was available on three machines. I went there at four in the morning, and there were three APs pounding away at it. Three in the afternoon later that day--still full, and one of the same APs was still there. (I could tell that they were APs because of their demeanor, the speed with which they played, and I recognized one of them.) Ten or twenty years ago, the play (worth about $20 an hour) wouldn't have been worth bothering with.
TomG
TomG
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August 23rd, 2016 at 12:20:29 PM permalink
Quote: Joeshlabotnik

I do agree with you that $500-$1000 a month can be achieved. But is that actually an AP play when you spend 200+ hours a month and several tanks of gas chasing down all those $5 free play promos?



That is not very good advantage play. Doing it on 50 hours a week while condensing each day into one geographic area is much better, especially if you include the entire valley, not just Las Vegas. In Henderson the Skyline has two walls of $2.50 deuces wild at 100.7%. And that's not even the best play in the casino. And it's just up the street from Longhorn and Joker's Wild that have equally good plays on machines and good tables and promos most days. Given that bankroll requirements to earn $50 per day should be one-third of the requirements to earn $150 per day on just the easiest / lowest margins plays. If you can find just a few plays that are much better throughout the year, it's not hard to earn $15,000 on these casino games with a mid four figure bank roll (that is also used to pay for rent, food, car, clothes and anything people who have that much money buy)
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
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August 23rd, 2016 at 12:20:35 PM permalink
Quote: Joeshlabotnik

No. I referred to a deterioration in opportunities in a number of other games in my original post as well. Blackjack and poker are two of the most drastic changes--candy stores twenty years ago, still beatable ten years ago, largely a waste of time today (though I'm sure there are people who will tell you they're crushing those games even today, from behind the wheel of their 2003 Hyundai as you're driving to McDonald's).

And of course, even during the golden era, what opportunities existed were something like 1% of all the games you could play and the bets you could make. But that was still a LOT--more than one person had time for. You could cherry-pick. Now, that amount is more like 0.001%. And when there's any kind of decent promo, it gets swarmed. Earlier this year, I found an obscure play at the Hard Rock that was pretty good, but only was available on three machines. I went there at four in the morning, and there were three APs pounding away at it. Three in the afternoon later that day--still full, and one of the same APs was still there. (I could tell that they were APs because of their demeanor, the speed with which they played, and I recognized one of them.) Ten or twenty years ago, the play (worth about $20 an hour) wouldn't have been worth bothering with.

Well there you have it, since you have all the answers not sure why the question.

Most people who are actually playing stuff are not going to come tell you everything they are doing just to prove you wrong.

Less good machines, progressive and blatantly good pop up promotions? yes. That doesn't mean there's less money. Some of the best plays I have ever known about have actually happened over the last 6 years.
♪♪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♪♪
bobbartop
bobbartop
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August 23rd, 2016 at 12:58:13 PM permalink
Quote: Romes

Joe, I guess you're only looking at machine play then? There are tons and tons of other plays...

Also, it's been known for YEARS that Vegas is a quantity over quality when it comes to most gambling (tables, machines, etc).




You won't beat him. Don't you guys recognize an endlessly argumentative troll when you see one? Look at the date he joined, look at the nature of the threads he has started, look at his replies. To me it's obvious. He's not even a very good troll. I'll rate him 4/10. Tops. You still won't win.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
RonC
RonC
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August 23rd, 2016 at 1:18:29 PM permalink
The attacking, know-it-all nature of his comments seems to diminish the amount of discussion on many threads. He did stop with the personal insults; don't know if that will last. I am not huge on suspensions for insulting me; it is just that no one who insults people a lot really ends up being worth the time of day.
djatc
djatc
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August 23rd, 2016 at 3:49:29 PM permalink
No money in AP everyone's solid.
"Man Babes" #AxelFabulous

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