RonC
RonC
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November 11th, 2011 at 8:18:27 AM permalink
Quote: kaysirtap

Do you also think that aliens are tapping your phone?



Thank you for taking the time to examine so thoroughly my question regarding the ethics of reported attempts by various casinos to change gaming conditions to influence the outcome. Neither thing has actually happened to me but they are things that I have heard here about casinos trying to apply "heat" in various ways--and not whether or not it could possibly work, but whether it is ethical to do so.

You've never heard a tale of shuffling earlier in the deck than normal?

So...you needn't bother worrying about what game I play. I don't give a damn what you think about the game I choose.

Quote: kaysirtap

Casinos are in the entertainment business, not the lets-offer-fair-games-to-the-public business.



Your answer here is a bit messy. Yes, casinos are in the entertainment business. However, their place in that business is to offer fair games (approved and regulated) to the public.
kaysirtap
kaysirtap
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November 11th, 2011 at 10:27:35 AM permalink
Quote: RonC

Neither thing has actually happened to me but they are things that I have heard here about casinos trying to apply "heat" in various ways--and not whether or not it could possibly work, but whether it is ethical to do so.

I see. In that case, I apologize for having read your post and assumed you were accusing casinos of intentionally trying to break a winning streak. None of the sentences in your original post were conditional, so the lack of the word "if" certainly gave me the impression that you had actually experienced or witnessed the events you mentioned.

If you were giving examples of what you have heard of other people's experiences, I'm sure you know that gamblers have been known to grossly exaggerate accounts of "heat" being applied by casinos... in which case, I direct the statements made in my previous post to whomever would like to claim they have had such experiences.
Quote: RonC

You've never heard a tale of shuffling earlier in the deck than normal?

Of course I have, but since I was under the impression that you were giving an account of your own experiences, I felt as if complaining that the dealer shuffled the cards before reaching a cut card needed clarification about the particular situation.

In fact, I have witnessed a similar, but somehow opposite situation occur. A small casino in the northwest allowed dealers to stand on a dead Blackjack game with a half-dealt shoe still loaded. They didn't have to spread the cards or reshuffle on a dead game - but they could, given that the floor supervisor approved. Before going on break, the supervisor explicitly stated to his relief (supervisor, that is) that he did not want the shoe broken because he believed it was winning (for the house). Ethical? Sure, why not... it does not change anything, nor does it interfere with the delivery of service to the customer. Mind you, this was an act by an individual - for whatever motivations he may have had. This casino was not in the habit of such practices. Shameful in a place that allowed dealers to keep their own tips.
Quote: RonC

So...you needn't bother worrying about what game I play. I don't give a damn what you think about the game I choose.

That's fine, I really don't care about what games you choose to play. I was simply stating that since you appeared so concerned that the table games department was conspiring to ensure your loss, then you might enjoy your time at a casino playing the machines instead, since they cannot really try to break a winning streak.
Quote: RonC

Yes, casinos are in the entertainment business. However, their place in that business is to offer fair games (approved and regulated) to the public.

I guess I have misunderstood your use of the word "fair" to mean a game with no house edge, when you meant that a game should follow established rules.

So, would it be ethical if the casino were to alter the conditions of the game to break a winning streak? I would consider any deliberate attempt made by the casino to break a winning streak as ethical, as long as these attempts conformed to regulations. However, this is obviously bad customer service and the wrong way to seek an increase in profit, as it will likely have the opposite effect. Furthermore, I do not see these attempts as altering the fairness or consistency of the games.
kp
kp
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November 11th, 2011 at 10:39:17 AM permalink
Quote: kaysirtap

Before going on break, the supervisor explicitly stated to his relief (supervisor, that is) that he did not want the shoe broken because he believed it was winning (for the house). Ethical? Sure, why not... it does not change anything, nor does it interfere with the delivery of service to the customer.


What if the motivation was based upon the supervisor having knowledge that the shoe had a negative count?

Going one step further, what if the house had a policy where the dealers count and automatically reshuffle on positive counts and keep dealing on negative counts?
NicksGamingStuff
NicksGamingStuff
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November 11th, 2011 at 11:21:36 AM permalink
I doubt a dealer would be tapped in to stop a streak, it is just a coincidence. The dealers do go on break after an hour or so.
Face
Administrator
Face
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November 11th, 2011 at 12:24:15 PM permalink
Quote: RonC

You've never heard a tale of shuffling earlier in the deck than normal?



This they actually do, typically if they believe someone may be counting. But, if they make the decision to do this, they will do it for every shoe the supposed counter plays. IF they somehow kept a count and only shuffled on high counts while allowing you to wallow through an entire low count shoe, then I would start to edge towards unethical. But, since they don't, I can't call it so. Irritating, frustrating, annoying, yes.
The opinions of this moderator are for entertainment purposes only.
kp
kp
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November 11th, 2011 at 12:36:59 PM permalink
Quote: Face

This they actually do, typically if they believe someone may be counting.


How do they know you're counting? Because you do things like flat bet a while and then start betting big for no apparent reason? A shuffle at this point would be shuffling indirectly because of a high count.

Quote: Face

But, if they make the decision to do this, they will do it for every shoe the supposed counter plays.


So next shoe they will shuffle early, even if the player is still flat betting, and not wait for the player to suddenly increase the bet?
Doc
Doc
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November 11th, 2011 at 12:49:33 PM permalink
I'm not a card counter, so I may not have this straight....

If the shoe is hot (overloaded with high cards left in the shoe), the player is more likely to start winning. Does this imply that if a player has been winning for the first half of the shoe, then that early portion of the shoe was likely overloaded with high cards? Again if so, does that imply that if you are winning for the first part of the shoe, then the remainder of the shoe should be cold for you? (Yes, I know that you can either win or lose with either a hot or cold shoe, but I'm talking about tendencies.)

I feel that line of thought is relevant to the question about the casino seeing the player win numerous hands and then (without knowing the actual count) choosing to shuffle early because of the pattern of winning. If anything, that seems to be a shoot-yourself-in-the-foot reaction by the house.

Is any of that line of thinking rational?
kaysirtap
kaysirtap
Joined: Nov 1, 2011
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November 11th, 2011 at 1:13:53 PM permalink
Quote: kp

What if the motivation was based upon the supervisor having knowledge that the shoe had a negative count?

Going one step further, what if the house had a policy where the dealers count and automatically reshuffle on positive counts and keep dealing on negative counts?

Just to clear the air, that was not the case, as the supervisor had not been watching the game that closely. IF it had been the case, considering that casinos don't want you counting cards, I suppose it would be unethical for casino personnel to do it. If casinos were okay with players counting cards, then I wouldn't see any problem with the casinos using that information either. Maybe I need to give it more thought...
Face
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Face
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November 11th, 2011 at 1:55:50 PM permalink
Quote: kp

How do they know you're counting? Because you do things like flat bet a while and then start betting big for no apparent reason? A shuffle at this point would be shuffling indirectly because of a high count.

So next shoe they will shuffle early, even if the player is still flat betting, and not wait for the player to suddenly increase the bet?



I don't suppose we can ever "know" someone is counting, but there are red flags. Bet fluctuation is the biggest. Taking insurance is another. Deviation from basic strategy is yet another. None of these things means anything on their own, really, but they bring attention to the possibility. If someone brings enough attention to themselves, we'll count with them or back count them and see what's what. If their fluctuations, deviations and other oddities are all over the place, we move on, even if they happen to be way up. If we see this activity following the count, that's when we act.

A short shuffle isn't something we just do out of hand, because it's a killer on hands per hour. I did a study you can find in here about how a slightly more lengthy shuffle costed us millions just from loss of hands. So a lucky streak, whether flat betting or hunching your tail off, isn't enough to get short shuffled. In fact, even if you were a counter, you'll get away with it for awhile. Both because of the time it takes to back count, as well as us wanting to see it multiple times just to make sure. The loss from a counter, in my opinion, is peanuts compared to the loss from an overzealous Floorman.

Quote: Doc

I'm not a card counter, so I may not have this straight....

If the shoe is hot (overloaded with high cards left in the shoe), the player is more likely to start winning. Does this imply that if a player has been winning for the first half of the shoe, then that early portion of the shoe was likely overloaded with high cards? Again if so, does that imply that if you are winning for the first part of the shoe, then the remainder of the shoe should be cold for you? (Yes, I know that you can either win or lose with either a hot or cold shoe, but I'm talking about tendencies.)

I feel that line of thought is relevant to the question about the casino seeing the player win numerous hands and then (without knowing the actual count) choosing to shuffle early because of the pattern of winning. If anything, that seems to be a shoot-yourself-in-the-foot reaction by the house.

Is any of that line of thinking rational?



If a player won the front half, you might assume the front half was high card rich. But (and I'm throwing this math back at you since you're probably better at it) I don't think it means it was definately so. Isn't that the whole "can't make a determination off of one example" math stuff? ;) It could be that it was indeed high card rich, or it could just be dumb luck. I think we'd need our math friends to answer this definitively, because I am so not a math guy.

And hopefully my response to kp answered your second question. You're right, deciding to short shuffle simply because someone dared to win is beyond shooting yourself in the foot. IMO, it's more like cutting off an arm because your finger itched. Winning in and of itself means next to nothing to me. Turn your $100 into $1,000 in a few shoes and I'll hardly bat an eye. Do it repeatedly, or then turn that into $2,000, maybe I'll take a look at you. If I don't see anything on a cursory glance, then carry on. It really takes an insane win or ridiculous play to get me to pay attention to you, and I believe that's a good thing. There's way too much going on in a casino, way too many things to protect, to spend much time with AP.
The opinions of this moderator are for entertainment purposes only.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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November 12th, 2011 at 1:25:08 PM permalink
Quote: RonC

Thank you for taking the time to examine so thoroughly my question regarding the ethics of reported attempts by various casinos to change gaming conditions to influence the outcome. Neither thing has actually happened to me but they are things that I have heard here about casinos trying to apply "heat" in various ways--and not whether or not it could possibly work, but whether it is ethical to do so.

You've never heard a tale of shuffling earlier in the deck than normal?



I don't think it is an ethical question. If the pit boss thinks that slowing down the game, shuffling more often, or any other tactic will make you leave, then they can do it. They can also ask you to leave for no reason at all. These are legal rights. Businesses can serve who they want, as long as it is not based on racial prejudice.

It doesn't matter if there is any mathematical validity, it is legal.

In his book, Edward Thorpe describes his first Vegas gambling trip to use his techniques that he researched for tipping blackjack in his favor. They included counting cards, basic strategy, and the big bet at high penetration levels when it was in his favor. Of course, since he hadn't written the book, "Beat the Dealer" the casinos were only vaguely aware what he was doing. He got to the point where he would scratch his nose, and they would reshuffle the deck even if only one hand had been dealt.

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