Posted by odiousgambit
Jan 05, 2015

Reserecting EV of Crap/Slots

Reserect's blog got me thinking.

Taking the Wizard's example for slot SD [8.74 see link] and assuming the the slot return is 93% [which I am guessing is fairly middlin'], and looking at 2 SDs of variance, I wanted to look at the multiple of EV this could be in Slots and compare it to Craps.

If a slot player's EV was -$500 and each bet was $5, playing such a slot, we know then that he bet about $7145 dollars in 1429 pulls [his EV would be -$500.15 actually]

Sq Rt of 1429 = 37.8 approx

37.8 * 8.74 = 330.37 units
2 SDs would be 660.74 units or $3303.7 , let's say $3305 if never betting other than $5

if running bad by 2 SDs, that would mean player lost $3805 [adding above to EV]

That's 7.6 times EV approximately; that same EV is about 13% of 2 SDs running bad, to look at it another way.


If a Craps player's EV was -$500 at 3x4x5x playing passline with full odds only, then at 0.374% HE he put about $133,689.8 at risk. SD for one bet is about 4.9.

Average bet is 3.78 units* and let's say it was a $10 flat bettor. That'll mean the player made about 3537 bets. Sq rt of that is about 59.47.

59.47 * 4.9 = 291.403 units, about $2914 dollars

2 SDs $5828; running bad means player lost $6328, that's about 12.7 times EV of -$500. That $500 is about 7.9% of 2 SDs running bad, to look at it another way.


So I conclude that a Craps player sticking with low HE and high variance can look at his EV and have his real results run wildly off.

A Slots player, always stuck with high variance, still gets a better handle looking at EV, which is not to say running bad won't clobber him.

It's somewhat subjective to conclude this.

I am used to accepting 20-40 times EV with Craps in short sessions. For 3500 bets, however, that kind of variance will not hold up. In the case of slots, 20-40 times EV just isn't going to happen. So it is another indication that a player needs to go by standard deviation to get a handle on his 'swings'

*saved info from Alan Shank, our Goatcabin, however I can no longer find the post that says this.

Wizard's link: http://wizardofodds.com/games/craps/basics/#toc-TheOdds

disclaimer: I am perfectly capable of screwing up the above math.



HornHighYo11 Jan 22, 2015

Just started reading on page 1... Funny, I learned craps in Nasau, 2004. I managed to make about $800 on my first couple of nights after SCUBA diving. My cousin and I were just a couple hotels (+casino) down the beach from Atlantis. Found WoV just before my first trip to Vegas 2011(thankbabygezus!) I admire your honesty in making the decision to be "real" and not front an image of "I win all the time". I have taken a nose dive myself over the last 4 visits... but I still L-O-V-E craps.

odiousgambit Mar 02, 2015

just saw your comment

currently I am running good! if that never happened, I'd give up Craps! still down lifetime, but not a lot.

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 27, 2014

Back to the Greenbrier part 3

Of course there was no way I wasnt going to play Craps when I have a chance.

Still 3x4x5x there, but $5 min is much more commonly available than before, at least during the week.

After having given it a lot of thought, I decided that I would try to make the transition from someone who has his free odds off during the come-out to someone who left them on. I was always the former player type for the usual reason, but also because I hadn't comfortably found a way to communicate the latter style to the dealer. It especially seemed kind of nuts to me to have to "train" each dealer in the rotation to do what I wanted. Finally it occurred to me that the thing to do is just be sure to say "always on, please" the very moment you give the chips to the dealer. What a simple expedient, yet it escaped me for the longest!

Well, "odds always on" sure adds excitement to the game. It is a real smack in the face when the dice do the nasty on you on the come-out and a real thrill when your number is hit instead. It's a good thing, though, that the Wizard has so confidently declared it is the thing to do, as I think it would otherwise be in the column of selective memory giving the wrong answer. In fact I think for the 2 sessions I played, I came out worse for the change in strategy. It makes such an impression though to lose those odds on the come-out that it's possible I broke about even and don't even know it.

One thing for sure, I couldn't seem to prosper with my come betting. The regular line bet worked out pretty good for me, but the come betting wasnt working. I broke even in the first long session, maybe 3 hours, but on the last session we had a lot of ladies shooting and I'm afraid I bought in heavy on the idea this would bring good luck. Instead we were treated to "girl can't catch a break" shooting. I took my beating cheerfully but the trend was finally too much for me and I colored up down $200 in a short 90 minute or so session.

I came away pretty convinced my new strategy was going to lower HE [as promised by the Wizard] while simultaneously increasing variance. Nice combination, but I got to experience the fact that variance is a double edged sword yet one more time!

Still a lot of fun. That Greenbrier Craps table has given me a lot of sessions that break even, but I've lost plenty of times and won a modest amount maybe once.

Armed with my new strategy though, I've got to give it another go one of these days!


miplet Dec 27, 2014

Not only was he groped, rolled and cursed at, but someone also rearranged his pips!

odiousgambit Dec 28, 2014

man, that's what you call groping!

GWAE Jan 02, 2015

I have always wanted to go there but I figured tables would be much higher limits.

odiousgambit Jan 03, 2015

the expense involved is just staying and eating there, which is required ... so you have to go with the attitude that you are going to enjoy being at a kind of cool place with fine dining, able to afford a splurge.

The table limits have come down from where they started at first.

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 24, 2014

Back to the Greenbrier part 2

My Blackjack play.

The Greenbrier BJ has switched from S17 to H17, so having played with the former rules a guy might feel like 'punishing' that decision by not playing [which I did once]; on the other hand, once you know how to play BJ, and you have a game still less than 1% HE, perhaps a player has to accept the game that is offered - I am certainly not in a position to be too choosey considering that I moved about as far away from area casinos as you can about 18 months ago. Additionally, the nature of H17, what with more doubling in BS, has to increase the variance.

Which leads me, well, astray perhaps. Is it actually possible that H17 is a better game for someone like me than S17? Surely a disciple of the Wizard could not think so!

Bear in mind I consider the variance in BJ to be too low for my taste. A recent thread pointed out that not everyone thinks like this, but for me the worst game is to sit there and watch your bankroll do what I like to call "a wobbly circling of the drain" ... some highs, some lows, but rare is the session, if long enough, that you don't lose money. In contrast, some say they "like how long their money lasts". That ain't me. I too, though, am playing with negative expectation, but I want more frequent winning sessions.

I hate to say it, but for someone with my tastes, I think it could be that H17 is a better game; specifically I mean getting increased variance at the cost of increased HE. Of course it depends; just to make a weird but illustrative example, if the house changed to paying 6:5 for a natural but allowed a side bet paying 2 to 1 at free odds, that would increase the variance nicely but still would not be worth it.

Certainly in the other extreme it would have to be worth it to a player wanting more variance to pay a 0.05% increase in HE to have the Standard Deviation double.

I'm not saying that I know that is the case with H17, the increase in HE is known to be 0.22%, while the increase in variance is unknown and may be negligible.

But lately the pupil has decided to scandalize the master even further, and I imagine the Wizard would feel this way,

Oh, it's not that bad, but really a departure for me: playing the "In Between" side bet. I figure it must increase the variance, and at The Meadows you can bet $1. I played it for a session there, my usual one shoe or so with BJ. It was easy to keep track of it as it involved the only $1 chips I had, and I broke exactly even with it. So I thought I'd try it at The Greenbrier too this time. Turns out although the minimum bet is $5 as a weekday special, this goes for the sidebet too. I certainly didn't want as much exposure as a frequent bet would mean, and decided to risk a chip just whenever a double-down paid off. Increase that variance!

I played for 3 or 4 shoes, unusual for me, and including this side-betting, broke even [2 and a half dollars ahead exactly]!

So far all the evidence I can muster indicates H17 and the In Between side bet decreases the variance! What!?


1BB Dec 24, 2014

I'll just say that H17 is not a deal breaker. It's about rules and penetration.

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 21, 2014

Back to the Greenbrier Part I

A recent stay at the Greenbrier [WV] gave me a chance to check out more of the gambling. I have slowly realized over the last year or so that I hadn’t learned much about video-poker; just reading a few pages and playing a few games at WoO hadn't cut it. I hadn't learned some of the games a player might look for; in particular a recommendation that I look into Bonus Poker from a comment by member tringlomane [thanks] was an eye-opener. I have always felt JoB is the game for the occasional VP player to learn, however I had not realized two facts:

*Bonus Poker is essentially a type of JoB

*at certain places it is often available when JoB is not

Well, The Greenbrier is certainly a place to check somethng like that out. Simultaneously, the G had a rare freeplay offer going.

So with the freeplay ready to load, the search was on. After some effort, I discover that JoB is not available [just as I remembered] but that Bonus Poker is. Only I see there are some odd things; the max payoff is 16000 units, completely undesirable for me at 25 cents a unit. A nickel a unit can be played, but the Bonus Poker icon disappears when 5c is chosen. And the payscale looks weird anyway, later to be confirmed to be what the Wizard calls the “10/8/6” payscale returning 95.78%. At this point, though, all I know is “betmax” is the way to go, so I hit that button. Well, as I probably should have realized, I just bet 20 units, not the 5 units I expected. Needless to say, next bet I change to 4 units, max return unavailable - giving up a good solid 1% if not more I imagine, meaning possibly some of the slots paid better!

All this must be amusing to veteran VP players!

Honestly, though, I don’t know how forcing a 20 unit bet benefits the casino. Why not give the player a chance to avoid the W-2g? Why not have the player divide his action into more bets, not less bets? What player thrilled at the idea of a 16000 unit payoff doesn’t realize instantly that it takes 20 units to do so? Is the house trying to trick the player into gambling more? Do they like doing the W-2g paperwork? One thing for sure, it sure feels dumb to play VP and hope you don’t hit the Royal [another reason that lasted only one bet]. Well, I guess I can’t complain, my luck was good, hitting full houses and a 4-oak. But the G casino did not get what they wanted either; it’s no secret that any casino offers freeplay with the hope that you will then keep playing, something I wanted to do too. Instead, knowing I am getting screwed, I played only a little into my own money before cashing out.

I appreciate any comments. I will try to cover my BJ and Craps play in part 2.


1BB Dec 21, 2014

Whenever I hear Greenbrier, I think of Slammin' Sammy Snead. I've had the pleasure of watching him play a few times.

odiousgambit Dec 21, 2014

they are also pretty big on Jerry West there

odiousgambit Dec 21, 2014

in WV generally

Mission146 Dec 22, 2014

This is not at all unusual for the WV casinos, and to be quite honest, it's a surprise that you found anything approaching even a reasonably good paytable on those Game Kings.

They pull that crap at Mountaineer and Wheeling Island, too. Effectively, you're really betting 5 units at the $1 denomination, or you're short-coining.

The Spielo machines at WI, with a few 98%+ games, are an exception. $0.25 denom, Max bet five credits.

odiousgambit Dec 23, 2014

they were Game King. At least I am no longer mystified when I see payscales of 16000 for maxbet/royal line. I had seen some of those at Wheeling Isl. and thought it was a huge return on 5 units that was made up for somewhere else, yet it was not clear where. BTW 2 pair only returns your bet same as high pair on the “10/8/6” bonus poker payscale, which really sucks too!

Posted by odiousgambit
Nov 22, 2014

Horseshoe Baltimore

I had a chance back in September to hit a DC area casino just before heading to WoV East II. It was easy to decide to check out the new Horseshoe Baltimore rather than stagnating in the older choice of Maryland Live, a quick check reveals the new casino is only another 16 minutes of driving. My thoughts were to check it out, get something to eat, and only gamble if the offerings tempted me; I didnt want to blow my bankroll or not have part of it for the get-together at The Meadows.

I had already gotten a CZR player's card by hitting the New Orleans Harrah's, so I checked in to see if there were any promotions. The deal was to swipe your card and get a randomly selected amount of freeplay which was going to be $5 to [some huge amount]. Well, you just figure $5 is all you are going to get of course, but why not? So I swiped my card and the display says "zippo for you, pal" - OK, not in those exact words. But apparently my play at Harrah's pegged me as a guy who is not to be given squat.

Now I'm doubting if they see any of my action.

I checked the whole place out, and there is a huge downstairs that you could easily miss. The video poker section was clearly marked, which is always nice, but the paytables were lousy [I guess that is a CZR thing]. Craps minimums seemed unnecessarily high. So, indeed they got none of my action, I walked out.

This November it was the same thing though, why go to Maryland Live after getting gouged there for so long? This time my situation was totally different, I had a small amount of time to kill and was ready to gamble. In the meantime, the WoV thread below is reminding me that 100x odds are offered there. For some one of my bankroll, this simply means I can choose the odds level I want - which might be as much as 10x. Normally, if the table minimum is $15, I have to figure I'll only do 2x odds or so. This time is different, though, as I won't do a full session of some 2 to 3 hours. It's going to make sense to give them about my usual action but in a more intense form - that actually makes more sense in negative expectation than "the grind". Do I have the balls to do it, though?

I finally decide I can go for laying up to $200 to get paid $100, if I find a $15 or less table minimum, empty table, and go darkside. If I can only find full tables I might go right bettor and just decide what odds to play. This'll be the max I've ever played, as in the past I've been able to lay the $120 or $150 but chickened out for the $200. I indeed find an empty $15 table [again nothing is lower grrr] and go darkside, although other players show up. Since the table keeps a respectable number of players, I figure my total action for the time I'll be there will be under control, pretty normal, without worry.

Sure enough, placing the $200 bet makes me nervous, and I lose one right off the bat too, but after a bit the desirable thing of forgetting it is real money kicks in and I am OK. There's no 'doing the DC' in addition to the line bet though, I have enough in action with it to keep from being bored. One player next to me expressed dismay that I was darkside, and I played the DC for his sake when he was rolling, but skipped the line bet in that case.

It was fun. My luck with the odds bets was fair, and only got stung with the 12-push once; on the other hand, 2s and 3s had to be less than normal on the come-outs while 7s and 11s were plentiful. I colored up down $30, not bad. If the min was only $5 I could have still made those same size odds bets and come up winner, is all!

The WoV thread is http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/other-casinos/19231-horseshoe-baltimore/ but I have no recent posts there.

One strange thing I observed: I am in the bathroom using a urinal and some dude I later saw playing Craps walks in wearing those stretch-waist, "sweatpants"-type pants that are jazzed up to look hip - gotta be comfortable as hell. No fly though, so the guy steps up to a urinal and drops his pants to his knees to pee, no underwear, bare ass exposed. I didn't stare but was astonished. Why would the guy want to do that? Why not just pull the front only down? If for some reason that was impractical, why not use a stall?

So you guys have to help me understand this. I figure the answer is amongst the following:

*guys do this all the time, where have you been?

*he was several feet from a stall and had to go bad, big deal

*he was a gay slut advertising for some action

*you missed it, dummy, he had no use of one arm, also making stall door hard to open

or what do you think?


FleaStiff Nov 23, 2014

You mean you still wear underwear? How time consuming.

Women no longer seem to wear panties you know. So if you have one up on those narrow tables they have in hotel corridors they no longer will have a pair of panties dangling from one ankle, no need to search for them if they fall. So much simpler to just dispense with passe trappings of the male dominated fashion world.

Nowadays women can walk up to some man at a party who is sitting on a couch and simply say hello, straddle him, slide their dress up a bit and pull down his elastic waistband...and get to know each other.

Haven't you been to the Ghost Bar Day Club yet? Or to just about any Grope Dancing party?

odiousgambit Nov 23, 2014

>Haven't you been to the Ghost Bar Day Club yet? Or to just about any Grope Dancing party?

lifelong problem of getting blackballed at the better parties [g]

FleaStiff Nov 25, 2014

>lifelong problem getting blackballed at the better parties

Yes. Same here.