FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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August 2nd, 2011 at 9:14:04 AM permalink
I agree. There are differences in just what "minimal impact" means to a casino. Suppose a comp figure is set to low and the casino simply loses that player to an alternative casino somewhere? Or suppose its set to high and the casino is buying rooms and meals and the player's action just doesn't really support it. Or comps are awarded and the hotel gets sold out turning away much higher rollers?

I wonder if anyone has ever actually reviewed an entire shift's worth on the action at an average blackjack table? How many hands per hour for real? How many player and dealer errors? How many tips, how many cocktails, and how many "good" players at the table?

Its true that one minor setting that is left at its default value may indeed be okay when compared to a slice of reality from the day's tapes but how can anyone be sure?
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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August 2nd, 2011 at 9:20:08 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear


I'll even go so far as to announce the first time I stand on 16 that I always do that - unless the dealer shows an ace.
If I remember, I will also surrender the 16 to a ten if the casino allows surrender.
I WILL hit a 12 vs 2 or 3, but will not hit a 13 vs 2.



Wait a second... You're not supposed to hit a 13 into a dealer 2. I even just checked the cards to make sure.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
DorothyGale
DorothyGale
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August 2nd, 2011 at 9:38:25 AM permalink
The casino I have in mind (and there are many that fit this model) has about 4000 players generating about 5M in theo per year assuming a 1% house edge at BJ ... at 20% reinvestment, the casino is offering about 1M in on-site comps to these players. They reinvest and another 1M (20%) in mailers with room offers, free play & match play coupons, shows, buffets, etc. These are costs that satisfy the marketing goals of acquisition, growth, retention and reactivation ... at 3% house edge, they would generate 15M in theo and 6M in comps and other reinvestment costs ... this is a huge problem, worth millions to the average casino per year ...

Many don't realize that casinos base their comps on theo rather than actual ... except for quick-loss policies and advantage players, everyone else fits into the broad marketing scheme outlined above.

--Ms. D.
"Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!"
boymimbo
boymimbo
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August 2nd, 2011 at 9:52:29 AM permalink
The basic strategy mistakes that you pick are fine, but there are a couple of major deviations from basic strategy that I think about 25 percent of novice players employ.

(1) Hitting on anything until they get to 17 or more (no matter what card is showing).
(2) Never doubling (no matter what's showing).
(3) Staying on 12 - 16 against a 10 (common), 9 (rarer), 8 (rarer still), or 7 (very rare) (the opposite of hitting on anything).

I think about 1/2 the players out there do the sins as below.
(4) Not splitting 9s at all (very common)
(5) Splitting 4s inappropriately (on 2s, 3s, 4s)
(6) Not splitting 2s or 3s on 2 to 7s.
(7) Staying on all soft 18s
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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August 2nd, 2011 at 10:01:32 AM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

I think about 1/2 the players out there do the sins as below.
(5) Splitting 4s inappropriately (on 2s, 3s, 4s)



Ahh, I'm going to disagree with you on this one. I would say that most players don't split 4s into a 5 or 6, and most dealers will advise against the split as well. They'll say "Never split anything that begins with an "f", Fours, Fives and Faces" I've had dealers outright berate me for doing so (and those dealers very rarely earn a tip from me, if I even stay at their table).
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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August 2nd, 2011 at 10:16:24 AM permalink
Quote: DorothyGale

The casino I have in mind (and there are many that fit this model) has about 4000 players generating about 5M in theo per year assuming a 1% house edge at BJ ... at 20% reinvestment, the casino is offering about 1M in on-site comps to these players. They reinvest and another 1M (20%) in mailers with room offers, free play & match play coupons, shows, buffets, etc. These are costs that satisfy the marketing goals of acquisition, growth, retention and reactivation ... at 3% house edge, they would generate 15M in theo and 6M in comps and other reinvestment costs ... this is a huge problem, worth millions to the average casino per year ...



A casino might base comps on theo, but the actual money that goes out the door is very real. It's pretty obvious if you're over or underspending if the numbers don't match up. If you assume your players have a 3% HA and comp accordingly (when they only have a 1% HA), you'll quickly run out of marketing budget. An operator who assumes they're supposed to be making $15M and comps $6M, in spite of only seeing $5M in win, they deserve to go out of business. It's like the old bargain shoe seller joke: "I take a loss on every sale but I make up for it in volume."
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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August 2nd, 2011 at 10:28:35 AM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

A casino might base comps on theo, but the actual money that goes out the door is very real. It's pretty obvious if you're over or underspending if the numbers don't match up. If you assume your players have a 3% HA and comp accordingly (when they only have a 1% HA), you'll quickly run out of marketing budget. An operator who assumes they're supposed to be making $15M and comps $6M, in spite of only seeing $5M in win, they deserve to go out of business. It's like the old bargain shoe seller joke: "I take a loss on every sale but I make up for it in volume."



I just think that you're assuming every player will use every comp dollar issued to them. Truth be told, many casinos now operate on a point system that is very clear-cut; you either HAVE the points or you don't. Plain and simple. Under Dorothy's example, yes a casino could stand to lose millions of dollars a year by rating a player too high. However, the players who don't use the comps let them sit. And the ones who provide a very high house edge (maybe even higher than 3% by making side bets, and hitting hard 17s and doubling on hard 12) most likely will not use their comp dollars.

I understand how the math could cause problems. The bargain shoe seller in the joke knows exactly what the fixed costs are and how much of a loss he takes on each pair sold. But a casino doesn't know the exact rates, and even if they did, it's up to the player to request said comps. I also know that bounceback plays a big part in this as well (Caesars properties take advantage of this the most), but again, I have about 75 offers in my account right now across various casinos. I'll be lucky to use 5 of them.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
DorothyGale
DorothyGale
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August 2nd, 2011 at 10:30:55 AM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

An operator who assumes they're supposed to be making $15M and comps $6M, in spite of only seeing $5M in win, they deserve to go out of business.

Most operators I know don't do a side-by-side comparison of theo vs. actual for table games ... table games staff leaves the theo up to marketing ... their job is recording the actual (drop/win/hold/fills, etc) and giving out discretionary and other comps based on what the software says they can give ... marketing is only interested in the theo and doesn't pay attention to actual. Really, it's like this ... mainly because the slot model says that these two values are always approximately equal (theo && actual).

--Ms. D.
"Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!"
DorothyGale
DorothyGale
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August 2nd, 2011 at 10:33:22 AM permalink
Quote: Tiltpoul

I just think that you're assuming every player will use every comp dollar issued to them.

Unused comps are considered to be breakage and are accounted for in the standard casino marketing models.

--Ms. D.
"Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!"
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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August 2nd, 2011 at 10:59:06 AM permalink
While I'm waiting for my lunch to finish cooking, I was reminded of a couple arguments for this forum topic.

1) Ameristar properties (at least Kansas City and Council Bluffs) now offer up to 4x points on select slot machines. In fact, they classify various slots as NEW, HOT, 2x, 3x, or 4x. The point rate accrues I believe at $4 coin-in = 1 point, so on the 4x machine, basically, $1=1point. The New and Hot slots tend to be the newest ones that are most popular (i.e. IGT Sex and the City). These games have licensing agreements, so it could be inferred that there is also a higher hold on the game. The 4x point machines tend to be older, Aristocrat style machines. While I don't anticipate that the hold is higher, it certainly wouldn't be lower than the Sex and the City machine.

The reason I bring this up is that the casino most likely isn't making more on the person playing the higher comp return slot. In fact, it's probably making less. However, the casino is willing to reward that player for playing an older machine that doesn't have to leave the floor. Theoretically, the casino is losing more on that player, than on the one playing a HOT slot. However, in the long run, it's a good marketing tool and helps keep older machines on the floor.

2) Many Midwest casinos feature a BJ game called 21+3. This is a side bet that you can read about on the WoO website. Needless to say, it does carry a house edge, but among side bets, it's one of the lowest. You can never find a seat on any table, and if you're NOT playing the side bet, you WILL be derided by players and often the dealers when it hits (which can be frequently). Most casinos require a $5 min. on the side bet. There are players that would forgo the BJ hand just to play the side bet, and many allow the side bet wager to be more than the main wager.

I guarantee you in these casinos the hold on the tables outweighs the a 3% generic rating on players. The actual loss is likely to vary by day to day (as I said, the side bet gets paid frequently at 9-1), but I'd venture to guess that the action on the 3-card hands more than justifies the BJ game.

This leads me to another interesting side bar. Why do casinos offer high house edge side bets that don't get played often? I've seen many casinos offer Lucky Ladies, and some people play it occasionally. But 21+3 nearly gets EVERYBODY playing the side bet. I know holds are lower on that particular bet, but if I were an operator, I'd rather have high action on a lower HA game than minimal action on higher HA bet.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park

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