Posted by odiousgambit
Nov 21, 2014

Outlier Cont.

Since I have pretty much confirmed that I stick close to 50 bets an hour with my Craps play [as long as I am comfortable with the table minimum etc], and as this is an exercise in getting an estimate, of course 50 is close to 49, which has an easy to remember square root. The problem then comes in with memorizing the SDs for the various free odds.

I am indebted to Goatcabin who provided these some time ago, posted again below.

On closer examination, these are easier to deal with than I first thought, as long as an estimate is good enough. Simply add 0.9 to the free odds figure at first, then as odds get past the usual range of 3x4x5x add 0.8 instead. Doing it 'in your head' requires rounding the figure up to the next integer, losing some accuracy but still getting a better number than the method in the last post I think. One can calculate 3 SDs instead of settling for "between 2 and 3' too.

0....... 0.999900005
1 ....... 1.893050027
2 ..... 2.857879771
Full 2....2.954695498
345X .....4.91563184
6 .....6.819298375
7 ......7.815796102
40 ....40.7964868

Again, that's

"The standard deviation of the final result over n bets is the product of the standard deviation for one bet and the square root of the number of initial bets made in the session"

Posted by odiousgambit
Nov 16, 2014

Outlier SD Quickies

For a long time I've preferred to try to estimate how much I might be expected to win or lose in a best/worse case scenario playing Craps, useful for morale and money management. A mathematical approach using Standard Deviation is do-able, but hard to do 'in your head'. So, for a long time I have used a certain figure which seemed to work for 3x4x5x odds, but on the East coast here various places much better odds are frequently offered. I wanted to be able to crunch these different scenarios now.

I have also settled that with the amount of Come betting I do that I can be expected to make no more than about 50 bets an hour, assuming it is not an empty table. 99% of my action is line betting with max odds.

Using the Wizard formula:

"The standard deviation of the final result over n bets is the product of the standard deviation for one bet and the square root of the number of initial bets made in the session"

Just arriving at this by trial an error, 30 times the max odds times the EV of total action seems to give a workable figure.

Some examples below. Be advised I am perfectly capable of screwing up the SD math.

50 bets per hour

10x odds

1 unit bets with full odds

10.80917128 * 1 * sqroot of 50 [sq of 50 is 7.0710678118654752]

=76.432383110948737755392256 units for one SD

2 SDs = 152.864766221897475510784512

3 SDs = 229.297149332846213266176768

odi method: 30 times 10x odds

300 times ev should thus be an outlier


that's close to 3 SDs


4x odds

1 unit bets with full odds

4.830647323 * 7.0710678118654752

1 SD = 34.1578347961394254110028896

2 SD = 68.3156695922788508220057792

3 SD = 102.4735043884182762330086688

odi approx, 30 times 4 = 120

thus 120 times total EV should be an outlier

1*1.4%*50*120= 84 units

that's between 2 and 3 SDs


5x odds

1 unit bets with full odds

5.824001368 * 7.0710678118654752 = 41.1819086095252941967700736

odi approx, use 150 times EV

1*0.014*50*150=105 units

between 2 and 3 SDs


I conclude that 30 times the odds factor times the expected value of the bets can work as a quickie 'outlier' consideration for possible loss in Craps. Thus, for example, if at a $5 table and playing for an hour at 10x odds, I should know that 300 times approximately $3.5 in losses, @$1100, is a distinct possibility. Last time I played, WoV East II, it was at these parameters; first hour's luck was perceptibly bad, and I was indeed down about $1000 at one point.

Of course a gambler could be 'up' a similar amount, but I think for sanity's sake a player should not even think about winning in outlier figures, it would jinx a guy for sure!

Posted by odiousgambit
May 31, 2014

Anger of the Gods

To top off my remarkable month of unplanned gambling one more visit to Wheeling was in the cards. It required vigorous debate with myself. Perhaps fortunately, I'm a guy who moved about as far away from casinos as you can get anymore; nor is Wheeling the closest for that matter. The bigger thing though, is that I have decided I should get my mind off gambling in order to pursue other interests I have. I have recognized in myself that I am only going to have so much extra-curricular activity on my plate. I donít cram in an excess of fun in the face of daily life and chores, it just isnít me. Gambling seems to occupy totally that part of me if I am into it; just planning for it seems to crowd out other things.

But I had some reasons the Wheeling trip made some sense, including being able to meet up some with Mission and TeddyS. It was on!

After what was really just a bit too long of a drive, I checked in to the hotel and was soon able to meet up with Teddy who was ready to ...
Teddy gets teased for saying ďletís get fucked up and gambleĒ but it is unfair IMO since he actually posted that such seemed to be the attitude of *somebody else*. On the other hand, we did have a couple of drinks first <g>
The Craps table always our natural choice; I bought it for my usual $8-900 on the theory the dice must not be tempted to lust after a too-small bankroll; Iíve arrived at this figure to be about twice the amount I should be down at a $5 3x4x5x table at any time, so can just play and forget worrying about exactly where I am bankroll-wise. Teddy announces excitedly though that they have increased the allowable free odds to 10x. Wow, this is great news, as it perfectly compliments the size bet I am comfortable with, still staying with full odds; I merely slow down a bit on the Come betting for a nod to keeping my total action closer to the same. Nonetheless, my action will be more and I would have bought in a little bigger, $1100 or so. Sure enough the table is a little choppy, and I keep glancing at my bankroll. Are the dice getting excited eye-ing my chips on those downturns? In any case I finally color up down several hundred, paying, it would seem, for my first mistake, tempting the dice and the dice gods. Of course I donít really believe any of that ... Gulp!

Time for the buffet. They were on their game again and the promotion was great on Wednesday: 50 cents from your points and 50 cents in cash. Canít beat that.

Teddy and Pierce both had to work, so I was the one who could keep playing and had several more sessions, being able to play the next day all I wished. Was I going to learn my lesson? Well, this time I bought in a little bigger and that helped. Only one little mistake; one dealer was a little slow to pick up losing Come bets. A paigowDan devil and angel each popped up on my shoulders, the devilish one saying that losing bet might just stay for the next roll without a travel, but the other shoulder won out and I pointed out her error while my next come bet hovered over the loser. Out comes the next roll, bet removed, new bet unplaced, the roll a 6. So the boxman [possibly inheriting his own unseen devil/angel set] asks me if I had wanted that Come bet. Now it is true that the 10x player hardly gives a damn about the line bets anymore, and sure enough I was thinking a 6/8 roll looked good for what I was after. I completely forgot that to say ďyes I wanted that betĒ was the same category as saying ďthank you for letting me make a Pass line bet after the puck goes onĒ.

I heard myself say Ďyesí, handed over the money and the odds, then say ďwhy did I do that?Ē The 7-out was next.

No more tempting the gods to pounce. This time, itís angering the gods. I have slapped the dice! And yes, the session took more bankroll away for the evil coffers.

Later, figuring enough time had passed for the slate to be wiped clean as far as dice turning against me, with another reminder to self that I donít really believe any of that anyway. My lucky charms of Teddy and Pierce both are now gone [for the charm to work they seem to both need to be there]I think it gets back to what RaleighCraps theorizes about. There needs to be something that Iíll call Esprit de Table? Something else to wonder if you really believe, but I was pondering going darkside for my last session.

I walked up to the table and there were several old duffers playing. Well, I figure Rightside is better. Unfortunately this set of old curmedgeons have decided the table is uncurably cold. At one point I make 3 points in a row and try to get that spirit going. The old farts arenít buying it though, and all my other hands are PSO, so I donít help myself much either. Big mistake. Next time I see a bunch of gray-haired frowners at the table, Iím going Darkside without hesitation. Another mistake, and although it wasnít me this time angering the gods, I got swept away in the tide anyway. Last chance to get back some of the bankroll slips away.

This trip I did get in a little JoB video poker and came out ahead marginally [and had some fun]. The Craps table, though, humbled me this time around. No big deal, not more than I could afford to lose by any stretch, just enough to sting a bit.

My determination to take a holiday from gambling is fully reinforced now. Might take a shot at the NC Cherokee thing when not too far away in July, but thatís doubtful. September for the WoV East is looking very much like the next hurrah.


Mission146 Jun 02, 2014

That was an enjoyable read, as always, I'm sorry that Craps didn't go well. My Summer schedule is hellacious. I had a table to myself at Meadows the other day and doubled a $45 buy-in with PL + 2x Odds w/ Place 6 & 8 and did it within three hands, despite a PSO on the second. Tons of sixes and eights. I actually more than doubled, technically, but tipped the crew a total of about $12.

odiousgambit Jun 02, 2014

>enjoyable read

Good, I'm trying to be entertaining, but also laugh at myself. I was sure miffed at myself for getting sucked into a bad bet, maybe that is asking for bad luck with an element of something factually bad as well. The Meadows, eh? Perhaps we can thank them for causing the 10x odds to get spread around.

Posted by odiousgambit
May 13, 2014

Horseshoe Gambling cont.


I still had one day to kill and left Wheeling for Rocky Gap Casino in Cumberland MD. The buffet beckoned, as the last time I was there I couldn't find it at all. This time, I found the area but the staff there said there was no buffet today due to insufficient head-count. Denied again! Meanwhile, the casino looked pretty busy. Go figure.

I was curious indeed now what my play had generated the last time I was there, plus they were throwing in $10 in freeplay out of the blue anyway.

I checked points as soon as I entered the casino, but no freeplay was earned from 2-3 hours of table play previously there. Slots gave a point per dollar coin-in I learned now, not so much for Video Poker and table games. Worst, 10 points to be worth a penny. Indeed, quite a difference from Wheeling; a player seemed pretty dependent on whatever freeplay was from promotions at Rocky Gap, not play.

With some help from a slots assistant to get into the non-intuitive process of reaching the gratuitously given freeplay, I went through a few dollars to suck up same at Jacks or Better [freeplay with Video Poker do-able there]. Simultaneously, I decided to check paytables so I could compare* [something I didn't do at Wheeling]. I really hate paying to go through a learning curve, but it often seems unavoidable and this was no exception. Unused to what to look for, I played for a bit not realizing I needed to zero in on what a credit was worth. Clearly the better paytable was at triple-play machines, the single play at the bar clipped the payoff for flushes [this was where I cashed out the $10 freeplay after slots gal had to help me get started]. I put $50 into the triple play and found myself marveling at the ups and downs I was experiencing at triple-play. By the time I was down to a few bucks I realized it wasn't just the three simul-draws but the credits were $1, not 25 cents. I drew one more time and 'poof' the money was gone. Learning curve indeed.

I decided to lick my wounds with my old favorite, Craps. The table last visit 'had my number', so it was going to be interesting to see if it was going to be one of those tables you just never seem to beat [the thought crossed my mind last time].

Although the buffet people claimed they didn't have enough of a head-count, the Craps table was packed when I walked in and was still packed. I finally squeezed in and the horseshoe kicked back in for me. My own rolling was halfway decent once in a while too. I cashed out up $100 and left then to find something to eat; having my teeth set for the buffet, I wasn't eating there at all, ending gambling for the day. Take that!

I had enough time to kill to go back the next day for a bit. Played some Jacks or Better at some machine I remember little about except that I managed to avoid $1 multiplay. My horseshoe kicked in to keep me above even.

The Craps table opened up and this time it was not going to be busy, I could see. Time to go Darkside, I had a hunch. When I play Darkside I play it resolutely. I consider switching to Rightside in the middle of a session to be bad luck. The dice monitor such things, you see [g]. I would play the DP until I got a number, then the DC till I got two more numbers, resolutely replacing any "casualties". Some of the things I like about Darkside was talking to me. I never had to tell a dealer my odds were on; in Darkness they are always on. When a DC traveler is a 'casualty' and you have a new DC going, you immediately get the odds going again. When it's 7-winner-rightside, the traveled DC bets with odds get paid off to lessen the sting. And when it's 7-out with several DC bets set up, no payoff is ever sweeter.

This time I stopped with three numbers to resolve. Previously, when playing Darkside, when I had three I would go for more, thinking the more the merrier when the odds are on your side. And got hurt. This time, I kept saying, that's enough action. It seemed to be part of what was working, along with the horseshoe of course. Although [wouldn't you know it] my own rolling hurt me at times, the other players sucked totally, more than making up for it. I cashed out up $200 and left happy.

Maryland Live

Synopsis: buffet beckons, and a little gambling pays off. Jacks or Better further examined.

Wow, a croc for the image now that we are at Maryland Live. That's a little rough, especially now they have chilled on the mins. However, I can't seem to make myself gamble much there, it's my perception.

BTW there was an article recently in Atlantic magazine IIRC claiming the live poker there has the biggest action on the East coast. Huge schools of fish, article said.

I truly had planned for my gambling to be over with. The next day, though, plans to meet with someone got cancelled and I need to scrounge up something to eat for lunch. Damned if the Maryland Live buffet didn't beckon. I like that buffet, and again it didn't disappoint. 55+ gets a discount now too; I heard nothing about that previously. The southern food still there, good salad bar, carving station had ham. Lots of Italian choices. And yet again they were putting out nice Mahi Mahi. I caught them changing dishes for that and got it two different ways.

Any points I had accumulated there were washed out. It had been months and months since I had been there, and for that matter, I never played much. And the points aren't worth much or easy to earn. No sweat.

They got a little of my action at Jacks or Better. The bar machine single play clipped the Full House payoff; I kept looking and found a solitary single play machine with better paytable, loaded it with $50 and noted to my chagrin I had failed to see $1 per credit. I really have to avoid this, even single play, 'cuz now a guy is going to get that boy-I-do-not-want-it W-2 for the Royal. But I was up and kept playing, and next thing I know I hit 4 of a Kind!

I was happy; Maryland Live wasn't going to be where I gave it back! Whole trip was an overall win at each place. I wound up over $900 for my Horseshoe Jaunt! Lots of fun!

I gravitated to Jacks or Better long ago, as I think it is the best for the occasional rather than dedicated Video Poker player; the decisions are more similar to real poker. Using the Wizard's info, the 25c machines returned 96.1% approx at M-Live, $1 - 97.3% approx. At Rocky Gap 25c returned 97.3% approx and $1 - 98.4% approx. I didn't think to check paytables at Wheeling.

Wheeling and Rocky Gap both $5 3x4x5x and double-double field. Maryland Live was 10x and double-double, several tables going at $25 mins but one table was $15 min. I didn't have time to play Craps at M-Live


Mission146 May 13, 2014

Great reports, again, 9/5 JoB at Wheeling Island, on the Spielo Pick & Plays.

odiousgambit May 13, 2014

>Great reports


>9/5 JoB at Wheeling Island, on the Spielo Pick & Plays.

25c denomination or $1?

Mission146 May 13, 2014

$.25 is the only VP Denom on the Spielos, there are nickel games, but are all Keno.

The Game Kings have $1.00 Denom, but I have no idea what the paytables are. They are on the bar tops and there is another area with about ten of them, now, the Game Kings don't earn points, so they have a tendency of sitting empty. I know that you used to be able to use Free Play on them, but I don't know if you still can. They are of no concern to me since they stopped earning points.

RaleighCraps May 13, 2014

OG is on a heater. Way to get 'em, AND from both sides, Right and Wrong.

I really need to get a trip planned. My wife's work has them all on lockdown for another two months, but August should free up some trip time. Perhaps a wander towards Meadows and Wheeling should be considered.

odiousgambit May 13, 2014

> Way to get 'em


>Perhaps a wander towards Meadows and Wheeling should be considered.

there has been talk of a September WoV East in Sept. If you can't make that, and have to do August, or will try to do both, check in with me. All work and no play makes a day trader a dull boy!

tringlomane May 14, 2014

Nice report! And I agree Jacks or Better is definitely the easiest to learn, but for places with poorer paytables, playing Bonus Poker is sometimes better, and has roughly the same strategy. For crappy games on the Strip, it's usually easier to find a better Bonus Poker game.

If a JoB game has a full house/flush payout that sums 2 or more units higher than the corresponding Bonus Poker game, then JoB pays more. Otherwise, it's Bonus Poker.


9/6 JoB > 8/5 Bonus

7/5 Bonus > 8/5 JoB

odiousgambit May 15, 2014

>playing Bonus Poker is sometimes better, and has roughly the same strategy

thanks for the tip

Posted by odiousgambit
May 12, 2014

Embedded Horseshoe Gambling

For TL;DR, go down to each image and see the synopsis instead

A Sign My Luck Would Be Good

Funny how things can shape up. My turkey hunting was getting messed up by this and that, and I figured I had pretty much played my cards with the amount of gambling my wife would tolerate without exacting a higher price than I'd care to pay. She doesn't tell me what to do, and I don't ask her permission to do things [exactly], but screwing it up would have consequences. Most likely: going somewhere I'd rather not be on some vacation. A very wise friend once told me that all women should be considered Libras; everything gets put in balancing scales, all deeds and misdeeds and actions and reactions, it all gets weighed.

synopsis: the wife unexpectedly stamps 'approved' on a gambling jaunt; hunting phase gives a sign luck is with me.

The postponed hunting trip finally gets set just previous to another trip the two of us had long planned, however. This means there are a couple of days to kill some time for me; I point this out to my spouse with really no thought that maybe I could do some gambling. Lo and behold, my wife actually suggests doing just that! I think it helps that she has little concept of the distances, on the other hand she is a hell of a gal and I am a lucky guy, no question. So now I have a very nice exciting week planned!

The hunting starts out a little weird in that my two hunting partners both excuse themselves, continuing the strangeness of this season. I wind up hunting by myself, but the embedded horseshoe I seem to have for Spring Turkey season kicks in and I get a gobbler by golly (see blog at Diversity Tomorrow).

No matter how you want to cut it, success in hunting never comes without an element of good luck. I can't help but wonder, is this going to mean good luck gambling? I was going to find out!

A Penny a Point, Ain't Nobody Keeping Score

synopsis: unexpectedly, Wheeling opens my eyes to aspects of gambling I had dismissed; luck indeed is with me.

In the meantime I contact Pierce [Mission146] to tell him I unexpectedly have gambling on my plate. I'm thinking I can do Rocky Gap MD and would be happy to go just a bit further and maybe meet him at The Meadows [PA]. This is actually quite nuts since Rocky Gap itself is a considerable trip, but in order to deceive at least myself I blow off all these concerns.

Turns out Pierce has some gambling planned with Teddy [Teddys] at Wheeling Island. Well, now I figure that's only a little bit further too. Deceiving oneself never had a better day! So I tell Pierce we will meet up there - of course it's always fun to check out a new place. Pierce kindly offers to pick up some liquor and I'm bringing some. Things are shaping up! I arrive quite bedraggled after a 5 hour or so trip, so some down time in a hotel room is much appreciated with a few drinks with my two new friends as well. I'm too frazzled for anything that takes much concentration [and we continue to drink] but this never seems to interfere with Craps too much and we hit the tables. Having these two at the table seems to be my lucky charm but I think my luck was just going to be good anyway - as the turkey hunt was forecasting. After what was over two hours easy we tore them up pretty bad and I was ahead $500+ after tips.

For an interlude we decided on the Buffet. Pierce was unsure he should oversell that choice, but declared the buffet folks were relatively 'on their game'. It was good, a carving station having prime rib, steak, shrimp, other seafood that I forget, all done quite well. Skipped the fried chicken, it was that odd selection of economy cuts you often see from what I could tell. However, IIRC more than one kind of chicken wings were out. It bugs me when the vegetables are hog slop, and they didn't make that mistake, at least one fresh very crisp selection. Paid little attention to salad bar and desserts, but ate a bit of cheesecake Pierce recommended, and it was good. Just not a dessert guy actually. I obtain my considerable girth with just meat and bread I guess.

We returned to Craps and gave some of it back with a session of about an hour, but I was conservative and didn't get hurt bad. Teddy soon had to leave, so this left Pierce and me to round up some beers in what was a nice walk on the Island. A guy's wife would not like this walk, but it was safe enough really. Except the guys in the liquor store were nervous about something; you have to wonder if we were close to some 'shit happening' there.

Our 'night to howl' closed down some time between midnight and one, but my system was tuned for getting up ridiculously early due to the turkey hunting. I can push myself to stay up late with adrenaline and caffeine, but there is still the chance I'll wake up early. Sure enough, I was back downstairs around 5:00 AM. Nothing to do but try to snap my points from the night before and succeeded in playing through and cashing the small sum out, a moral victory [g]. The casino at Wheeling brags about their points, motto being something like "our points are worth more." I was in fact able to confirm they are at a penny a point, however, $5 coin-in to earn a point, and as usual an even less favorable rate with table games. Taking notes on my trip, other places I hit in Maryland had points worth less, Rocky Gap was 10 points to the penny for example, but coin-in to earn sometimes is more generous. I've come away deciding that this can be complicated, as it is juggled several ways,
*coin-in rate to earn points
*adjusted even-worse-rate if not slots
*what the points are actually worth in freeplay
*other value may be significant or lame
For the most part, I am interested in what they are worth in freeplay. Obviously, I should be somewhat embarrassed to have to admit that I have paid so little attention to points before. But you have to realize my previous play was limited to table games at places where they didn't seem to earn much in points, points that were worth little anyway. I'm chagrined now to say this trip woke me up a little bit.

However you want to place Wheeling as far as value given in points, I will say my play earned freeplay right away, modest as it was. The thing is, my Craps play EV is modest too. Tipping cost far exceeds my EV at Craps. In any case, Pierce showed me some surprising other-value stuff about these points ... but you just have to know the deal; when I got my Player's Card I asked what I should know and got minimal information. These things can change, but at Wheeling it would seem you do not sneeze at these points.

Professor Pierce Lays it Out

Synopsis: Pierce has accumulated quite the knowledge base when it comes to the machines; it slowly occurs to me I have dismissed them too easily. His complicated mathematical evaluation, however, loses me quickly to his frustration and my amusement.

Before we made our beer run, Pierce took it upon himself to try to wise me up about all these machines he visits. This is a brave new world for me, as I had no notion anything was ever worth investigating in the slots. Additionally, I had made myself allergic to Video Poker after pondering those W-2Gs with a big win. I predict that I will continue to be quite opposed to getting one of those, the idea of it sends me to the moon. Ironically, I had used the online training at WoO to get fairly proficient before deciding I wanted nothing to do with Video Poker. But Pierce straightened me out on that, too. A 25c machine paying 4000 units for a royal isn't going to generate the W-2. Another 'duh!' moment for Yours Truly, geez.

Pierce shows me on his grand tour of the machines that there is such a thing as a "must hit by" progressive. Nope, didn't know that, and obviously, an abandoned progressive can be +EV. Even the much-bashed Keno machines are worth checking out. His verbal attempt to crunch the numbers on one amused me, as I'd never be able to follow it without working it out on paper. However, the concept is clear: the chances of hitting the combination when the bonus is large has a certain EV that can take the overall EV into positive territory.

Nobody can work the turf like Pierce, something tells me. As for me, I can't see myself doing this much [it's always a trip too]. On the other hand, knowledge is good as they say at Faber. You never know.

Pierce never once said "sometimes people leave money too", which I respect.

Taking my Horseshoe to Maryland

synopsis: I head into MD where my luck continues at Craps and I learn some things about Jacks or Better. Again the buffet at Rocky Gap proves elusive.