Wizard
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Wizard
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February 2nd, 2011 at 9:55:48 AM permalink
I'd like to submit for consideration for the worst casino bet ever the pick-10 "stimulus" keno bet at Harrah's Las Vegas. It costs 5¢ and pays $15,000 for catching all 10. There are no consolation prizes for catching 9 or less.

The probability of winning is combin(20,10)/combin(80,10) = 1 in 8911711.

The expected win is $15,000 × (1/8911711) = $0.00168318.

The expected return is $0.00168318/$0.05 = 3.37%. That is a house edge of 96.63%!

As a runner up, I would submit the former Million Dollar Parlay Card at the Golden Nugget. It cost $20 and paid $1,000,000 for picking correctly 20 games against the spread/total. Again, no consolation prizes. For a random picker, here are the odds:

The probability of winning is (1/2)^20 = 1 in 1048576.

The expected win is $1,000,000 × (1/1048576) = $0.953674316.

The expected return is $0.953674316/$20 = 4.77%. That is a house edge of 95.23%!

Those are the worst I know about, but welcome other submissions.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
MathExtremist
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February 2nd, 2011 at 9:57:02 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I'd like to submit for consideration for the worst casino bet ever the pick-10 "stimulus" keno bet at Harrah's Las Vegas. It costs 5¢ and pays $15,000 for catching all 10. There are no consolation prizes for catching 9 or less.

The probability of winning is combin(20,10)/combin(80,10) = 1 in 8911711.

The expected win is 0.05 × (1/8911711) = 0.00168318.

The expected return is 0.00168318/0.05 = 3.37%. That is a house edge of 96.63%!

That is the worst I know about, but welcome other submissions.



How is that legal? NV statutes require minimum payback to be 75%...
"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
Wizard
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Wizard
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February 2nd, 2011 at 10:04:21 AM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

How is that legal? NV statutes require minimum payback to be 75%...



Keno is a grandfathered game. It was around before the 75% rule was put in place, so it doesn't have to abide by it.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Ayecarumba
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February 2nd, 2011 at 10:10:12 AM permalink
I dimly recall a "trucker's special" 15 spot keno that was in that neighborhood.... I'll have to do some checking.
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rdw4potus
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February 2nd, 2011 at 10:16:26 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Keno is a grandfathered game. It was around before the 75% rule was put in place, so it doesn't have to abide by it.



How does that work? Is the whole class of games grandfathered? If I were going to open a brand new Keno game, would it have to return 75%? For example, if the Cosmo offered Keno, could they mimic the Stimulus game or would they have to meet the 75% threshold?
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
Doc
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February 2nd, 2011 at 10:20:54 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

... The expected win is $0.05 × (1/8911711) = $0.00168318. ...


Typo.

$15k, not $0.05. The result is correct.
Wizard
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Wizard
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February 2nd, 2011 at 10:21:45 AM permalink
Quote: rdw4potus

How does that work? Is the whole class of games grandfathered? If I were going to open a brand new Keno game, would it have to return 75%? For example, if the Cosmo offered Keno, could they mimic the Stimulus game or would they have to meet the 75% threshold?



I think it is the game that is grandfathered, not the casino. So I claim the Cosmo could mimic that game legally. Keep in mind I'm not a lawyer, so take anything I say in regard to the law with a grain of salt.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
P90
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February 2nd, 2011 at 10:26:31 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I'd like to submit for consideration for the worst casino bet ever the pick-10 "stimulus" keno bet at Harrah's Las Vegas. It costs 5¢ and pays $15,000 for catching all 10. There are no consolation prizes for catching 9 or less.
The expected return is $0.953674316/$20 = 4.77%.


Wow. That's probably even worse return on investment than the government stimulus. But one still has to appreciate the boldness in naming.
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thlf
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February 2nd, 2011 at 10:46:48 AM permalink
Doesn't the stations have a 15 team parlay that pays 100k for 15 of 15 and nothing else?
Wizard
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Wizard
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February 2nd, 2011 at 11:02:58 AM permalink
Quote: thlf

Doesn't the stations have a 15 team parlay that pays 100k for 15 of 15 and nothing else?



I don't know. That would be worth $3.05. How much did it cost?
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.

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