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Nareed
Nareed
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April 13th, 2012 at 8:00:16 AM permalink
I read tons of sicence fiction, and I've watched many SF shows as well. Sometimes gambling comes up, usually all wrong. Here are some bits that stick in my mind:

1) Babylon 5. In the very first episode, the arrival of the station's "commercial" telepath is seized on to provide a tour of the station. One place mentioned is the casino. The commander tells the telepath she can go into the casino, but she's barred by law from playing.

At the time I thought nothing of it, but now I'm saying to myself "Huh?" It's established the telepath, and others like her, can read minds. I can see then they shoulnd't be allowed to play poker against toher gamblers, as they'd ahve an unfair advantage. they'd always know what cards the others held, whoc's blufing and who isn't. But most any other game gives a telepath no particular advantage. A roulette ball will be as random for her as for me, ditto a BJ deck or even a shoe.

2) Star Trek Deep Space Nine. In an episode where Dr. Bashir is playing a James Bond type secret agent in the holodeck (funny quip from an actual alien former spy upon seeing the character's opulent lifestyle "I chose the wrong intelligence service"), he requries to get a great deal of money. So he gfoes to the casino and proceeds to pick the Baccarat table clean (yes, Baccarat). When he does, a casino character tells him "You're an excellent Baccarat player."

Again, same reaction. Assuming straight Baccarat without a countable side bet, the top minds in gambling agree you can't gain a significant edge in Baccarat by any skill you may bring to the table. At BJ he could coutn cards and, possibly, made a killing if he bet high enough, played well enough, and variance was on his side that night.

3) A better one, again on DS9 but this time a book called, if memory serves "The Big Game." Amid technobabble, the station falling apart, a serial killer on the lose, malfunctioning cheating systems, a poker tournament is held at Quark's Bar. here a Vulcan is playing among others. Someone asks him how he can bluff when Vulcans, it is assumed, do not lie.

The answer is not that bad. It goes something like this: In poker, the player who wins is the one who claims he can do so and convinces the other players to believe him. Therefore a bluff, when believed, is not a lie at all, provided the player bluffing does not show his cards.

We can argue whether bluffing is or isn't lying, but the explanation sort of makes sense.

This book also made mention of specific hands, and some problems faced in tournaments (like thinking you're playing the last hand instead of the current one). In the final hand, one character ahs a straight lfuch and the other a full house, in Texas Hold 'em. So when they both go all in, they both ahve a reasonable expectation to win by doing so.

IMO, the author did know at least something about playing poker.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
ThatDonGuy
ThatDonGuy
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April 13th, 2012 at 8:06:25 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I read tons of sicence fiction, and I've watched many SF shows as well. Sometimes gambling comes up, usually all wrong. Here are some bits that stick in my mind:

2) Star Trek Deep Space Nine. In an episode where Dr. Bashir is playing a James Bond type secret agent in the holodeck (funny quip from an actual alien former spy upon seeing the character's opulent lifestyle "I chose the wrong intelligence service"), he requries to get a great deal of money. So he gfoes to the casino and proceeds to pick the Baccarat table clean (yes, Baccarat). When he does, a casino character tells him "You're an excellent Baccarat player."

Again, same reaction. Assuming straight Baccarat without a countable side bet, the top minds in gambling agree you can't gain a significant edge in Baccarat by any skill you may bring to the table.


Did they show that it was the same "baccarat" as played in Vegas? Perhaps the rules for baccarat have changed over the centuries.

Also, and somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but in Europe, isn't "baccarat" more along the lines of Chemin de Fer, but with two separate player hands? (I think "Vegas baccarat" is called "punto banco" in Europe.)
progrocker
progrocker
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April 13th, 2012 at 8:12:18 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

In an episode where Dr. Bashir is playing a James Bond type secret agent in the holodeck (funny quip from an actual alien former spy upon seeing the character's opulent lifestyle "I chose the wrong intelligence service"), he requries to get a great deal of money.


Did Garak the Cardassian say that? Love that character.
Solo venimos, solo nos vamos. Y aqui nos juntamos, juntos que estamos.
ddloml
ddloml
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April 13th, 2012 at 8:20:55 AM permalink
The first thought in my head when I saw this thread title was - Fizzbin!
Nareed
Nareed
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April 13th, 2012 at 8:26:39 AM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

Did they show that it was the same "baccarat" as played in Vegas? Perhaps the rules for baccarat have changed over the centuries.



I won't go Trekkie on that.

Quote:

Also, and somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but in Europe, isn't "baccarat" more along the lines of Chemin de Fer, but with two separate player hands? (I think "Vegas baccarat" is called "punto banco" in Europe.)



I believe so. But as far as I know neither variant is countable. In any case, they said "Baccarat" not anything else. IMO the average person has no idea what Baccarat is.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Nareed
Nareed
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April 13th, 2012 at 8:27:46 AM permalink
Quote: progrocker

Did Garak the Cardassian say that? Love that character.



Who else would? :)
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Mosca
Mosca
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April 13th, 2012 at 9:13:59 AM permalink
Quote: ddloml

The first thought in my head when I saw this thread title was - Fizzbin!



I just watched that freakin' episode last week.
NO KILL I
thecesspit
thecesspit
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April 13th, 2012 at 9:27:15 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

2) Star Trek Deep Space Nine. In an episode where Dr. Bashir is playing a James Bond type secret agent in the holodeck (funny quip from an actual alien former spy upon seeing the character's opulent lifestyle "I chose the wrong intelligence service"), he requries to get a great deal of money. So he gfoes to the casino and proceeds to pick the Baccarat table clean (yes, Baccarat). When he does, a casino character tells him "You're an excellent Baccarat player."



It's a reference to James Bond, who in the original books is an 'excellent' Chemin de fer/Baccarat player.

He's in the holodeck, playing a spy, to live out a dream. Course he'll do well.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
SOOPOO
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April 13th, 2012 at 9:48:05 AM permalink
Quatloos
Nareed
Nareed
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April 13th, 2012 at 10:13:45 AM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

Quatloos



Yes, well, for that matter there's the coin flip game Louis Wu is conned into playing with an alien in "There is a Tide..." But that was a ruse to.. well, that would be a spoiler :)

But that does it. I'll have to insert a gambling scene in one of my stories. I think I'll have the Chief Scientist in "Ours" explain why Baccarat can't be counted profitably.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal

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