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Wizard
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Wizard
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July 11th, 2011 at 12:16:19 AM permalink
Greetings from sunny Victoria, British Columbia. Earlier today I paid a visit to the View Royal casino, which is about a 20-minute bus ride from downtown Victoria. Here are some facts and observations about casino. If anything is in error, I welcome correction, as always.

All casinos, and there are several of them, in British Columbia are strictly overseen by the provincial government, although actual management is done by a private company. Based on answers given to me by the slot manager at the View Royal, all BC casinos are part of the same player reward program and you should find the same game rules at all casinos.

The View Royal casino is one of only two casinos on Vancouver island. The other is way up north, so the View Royal is pretty much the only gambling option close to Victoria. It can be found in the city of View Royal, which is on the outskirts of the greater Victoria area, along a highway in a commercial area. The casino is small to medium in size, with about 500 slots and about 20 table games. There is little to do besides gambling. There is no smoking (yeah!), no alcohol (boo!), and no music. The clientele seemed like locals, but it was hard to tell as most players just sat there an played without saying a word. If you prefer to be left alone while you play you shouldn't have any problem at the View Royal. If you're looking for excitement apart from the actual gambling, you probably won't find it.

There is a free shuttle that makes a loop between various stops in downtown Victoria and the casino every 90 minutes. I picked up a schedule at the visitor information center at the inner harbor. The shuttle is a comfortable passenger van. On the way back the driver asked where you were getting off. As long as it was on his way, or not far off of it, I think he would drop off customers anywhere on the way back.

I visited the casino from 7 PM to 9 PM on Sunday, July 10. About half the table games were manned, and of those the average number of players was about three. I would estimate that about 25% of the machines were being played. Other than the casino there is a snack bar in a separate room. In the penny slots room there is a small bar, where I was told you could order alcoholic beverages, but could not take them elsewhere in the casino. There was also a counter to buy lottery tickets. With the generalities out of the way, here are the games they offered and the rules.

Video Poker:

VP does not seem to be very popular at the View Royal. I would estimate the ratio of reeled slots to VP to be about 20 to 1. What games I did find were multi-denom with with the following games:

Deuces Wild
25 ¢: 25-15-10-4-3-2 (94.82%)
50 ¢ 16-13-10-4-3-2 (96.77%)
$1 25-15-9-4-4-3 (98.91%)

Double Bonus
25¢ 8-5 (94.19%)
50¢, $1 9-6 (97.81%)

Jacks or Better
25¢ 6-5 (95.00%)
50¢ 7-5 (96.15%)
$1 8-5 (97.30%)

Slots

The BC casinos web site says the average return is 92%.

Video Keno

25¢, 50¢ 8-spot (92.31%)
$1 8-spot (92.62%)

Blackjack

6 decks
Continuous shuffler
Dealer hits soft 17
Late surrender
Double any two cards
Double after split allowed
No resplitting aces
Dealer takes no hole card, but player will lose original bet only if the dealer gets a blackjack.
House edge of 0.55% with correct basic strategy.

I might add that the tables had basic strategy cards available. However, said cards were based on a different set of rules. In particular on where the dealer stands on a soft 17, no surrender, and no double after a split.

Other games

Roulette (double zero)
4-Card Poker
Baccarat
EZ Baccarat
Texas Shootout

Poker

There was an electronic poker game that was shut down when I was there.

Player Club

The player's club is useful for slot players only. Table games players do not get rated. Points are earned at the following rates:

Slots: $1 bet = 1 point
Video blackjack & baccarat: $5 bet = 1 point
Video roulette: $5 bet = 4 points.

Every 1000 points is worth $5 in free play. That would equate to a free play rate of 0.5% for slot players.

There are three levels of cards -- single, double, and triple diamond. It takes only 7,500 in turnover to get double diamond, and 45,000 to get triple, which compared to Vegas is pretty easy to attain the higher levels. Double diamond members get an extra 5% in "bonus points," and triple-diamond members get 10%.

Overall I found the staff to be helpful when I had a question. However, the dealers I encountered were otherwise very quiet, as well as the players. When I had a question the two people at the player club couldn't answer they paged the slot manager.

So that is my report on the View Royal. I welcome all questions, comments, and corrections. I'll probably make a blog entry about this on my Odds site, so I consider this to be a first draft.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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July 11th, 2011 at 2:34:59 AM permalink
>Greetings from sunny Victoria, British Columbia.
Is that humor or was it really sunny when you were there?

>which is about a 20-minute bus ride from downtown Victoria.
Is it Victoria or Vancouver that has the proposed mega-casino project in the downtown area?

>as most players just sat there an played without saying a word.
That can be a refreshing change. And it obviously means that there are no young ladies chatting up a series of unattached males. I'm surprized about the no music. Even Dotty plays music.

Deuces Wild
25 ¢: 25-15-10-4-3-2 (94.82%)
50 ¢ 16-13-10-4-3-2 (96.77%)
$1 25-15-9-4-4-3 (98.91%)
Double Bonus
25¢ 8-5 (94.19%)
50¢, $1 9-6 (97.81%)
Jacks or Better
25¢ 6-5 (95.00%)
50¢ 7-5 (96.15%)
$1 8-5 (97.30%)
........ so does this compare favorably with Las Vegas pay tables?

>The BC casinos web site says the average return is 92%.
Mean, median, modal?
This seems to be a bit on the low side.

Video Keno
25¢, 50¢ 8-spot (92.31%)
$1 8-spot (92.62%)
..........Again, I would compare this to Las Vegas so as to give a more informative comment just so people know what its like even if they have no intention of treking to Vegas.
Blackjack
Dealer takes no hole card, but player will lose original bet only if the dealer gets a blackjack.
House edge of 0.55% with correct basic strategy.

>I might add that the tables had basic strategy cards available. However, said cards were based on a different set of rules.
By how much did such cards erode that 0.55 percent house edge? Or add to it? Is that an easy calculation?

I note you mentioned Video Roulette in the slot club discussion how does that differ from the live roulette wheel's edge?
Also your slot club earnings section might have a comparison to Vegas casinos just to let people know how Canada does things.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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July 11th, 2011 at 3:00:06 AM permalink
Craps players are left with nothing. *sigh*
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
Wizard
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Wizard
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July 11th, 2011 at 7:11:18 AM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

Is that humor or was it really sunny when you were there?



I've been in the Seattle and Victoria for a week now and the weather has been great the entire time. Sunny skies and not a drop of rain.

Quote: FleaStiff

Is it Victoria or Vancouver that has the proposed mega-casino project in the downtown area?



I don't know, but my guess would be Vancouver. A big casino in downtown would not blend well into Victoria. It would be like putting a casino along the waterfront in San Francisco.

Quote: FleaStiff

>as most players just sat there an played without saying a word.
That can be a refreshing change. And it obviously means that there are no young ladies chatting up a series of unattached males. I'm surprized about the no music. Even Dotty plays music.



Indeed. Depends on why you're playing. The median player age was about 50. The number of attractive women I noticed was zero. There was one average looking gal, but she was there with boyfriend. She just sat there and watched him play. Rarely did they speak to each other, and even then they whispered. I've seen libraries with more talking than this casino.

Quote: FleaStiff

(re: video poker_so does this compare favorably with Las Vegas pay tables?



Much worse.

Quote: FleaStiff

>The BC casinos web site says the average return is 92%.
Mean, median, modal?
This seems to be a bit on the low side.



The web site didn't state the median or mode. The 92% would be the mean, I assume by machine. I'm not sure what games are included in that figure. 92% is about where Vegas sets its low-denom slots too.

Quote: FleaStiff

Video Keno
25¢, 50¢ 8-spot (92.31%)
$1 8-spot (92.62%)
..........Again, I would compare this to Las Vegas so as to give a more informative comment just so people know what its like even if they have no intention of treking to Vegas.



That is about the same as Vegas low-denom video keno.

Quote: FleaStiff

(re: incorrect basic strategy card)
By how much did such cards erode that 0.55 percent house edge? Or add to it? Is that an easy calculation?



Not surrendering costs 0.09%. To make an educated guess, the no DAS about 0.04%. The S17 0.01%. So about 0.14% total due to the wrong card. Perhaps I'll figure it out exactly when I get back home. If anyone else wants to save me the trouble, my blackjack appendix 9 on my Odds site would be all that you need to answer the question.

Quote: FleaStiff

I note you mentioned Video Roulette in the slot club discussion how does that differ from the live roulette wheel's edge?
Also your slot club earnings section might have a comparison to Vegas casinos just to let people know how Canada does things.



The free play in video roulette would be 0.4%. So lower the house edge from 5.26% to 4.86%. The free play rates is better than most Vegas slot clubs. While the pamphlet also mentions other "offers and promotions," as a non-competitive casino, I doubt they compare to such incentives in Vegas.

Regarding the question about craps, I asked the supervisor about it. He said a much larger casino in Vancouver had a craps table at one time and it didn't get enough customers to play it, so they took it out. Based on that experience, they never put one in at the Victoria casino. Strange that they would have Texas Shootout but not craps. Then again, I think for many years dice games were illegal in Canadian casinos, so perhaps our friends up north have not had a chance to get to know the game yet.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
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July 11th, 2011 at 7:24:56 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

Craps players are left with nothing. *sigh*



What is it about craps anyway?

It seems plenty of jurisdictions either don't like or plain don't allow craps. There's the nonsense with cards in California, and from what I read here it seems in many palces the game just isn't attractive enough to be played.

Ok. I can see craps requires a larger investment than most games, and it should have bigger operating costs. I mean, the table is larger, and massive, and a proper game requires two dealers plus a stickman and boxman. So, sure, that would amek the game less attractive to casinos. On the other hand, the table allows for a lot of players, the game moves very fast, and there are a lot of bets available per throw, many with high house edges. And that ought to make the game more attractive to casinos.

So what is it about craps?
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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July 11th, 2011 at 8:23:33 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

What is it about craps anyway?



on the recent East coast casino expansion there was little thought about bringing tables games and not having Craps! Last time I was in DE they needed to open another table midday and apparently didnt have the dealers to do it.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
Tiltpoul
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July 11th, 2011 at 8:40:56 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard


Strange that they would have Texas Shootout but not craps. Then again, I think for many years dice games were illegal in Canadian casinos, so perhaps our friends up north have not had a chance to get to know the game yet.



My thought exactly. The only market that I'm aware of where Texas Shootout thrives is the Kansas City market. Ameristar has like three tables of it. But even Ameristar Council Bluffs, Iowa where the game debuted and survived for at least 6 years no longer has it (replaced by, well I guess there are a few new games that could have replaced it... EZ Bacc or MS Stud is my guess.)

On the record, I kind of enjoy Shootout. It does have a high house edge, but it's fun.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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July 11th, 2011 at 8:45:07 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

What is it about craps anyway??

It may just be a self perpetuating situation. If dice were illegal for awhile there may be a generation who grew up ignorant of craps, if the laws change that does not mean demand will be there. It just might be that there is an insufficient number of players clamoring for a dice game or that the casino owners think that there are too few players.
FleaStiff
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July 11th, 2011 at 8:53:41 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

She just sat there and watched him play. Rarely did they speak to each other, and even then they whispered. I've seen libraries with more talking than this casino.

Well, this is Victoria. Extremely polite.

>So about 0.14% total due to the wrong card.
Oh, okay. That's not all that much. I just wondered about why the casino personnel never noticed this.
Nareed
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July 11th, 2011 at 8:59:39 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

on the recent East coast casino expansion there was little thought about bringing tables games and not having Craps! Last time I was in DE they needed to open another table midday and apparently didnt have the dealers to do it.



I don't quite understand. They had insufficient dealers for craps or for some other game?

I've been thinking that perhaps craps is seen as low-class. Perhaps because it uses dice, or perhaps because of the cmplex lingo attached to it. and that may have something to do with the lack of popularity.

It's also a hard game to learn. I've mastered the pass/don't pass come/don't come pay, but that's it. When I see discussions here about buying and laying numbers, and having bets working or not, and the myriad prop bets, my eyes glaze over.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal

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