Posted by odiousgambit
Apr 20, 2014

Rocky Gap Casino

Recent circumstances had me deciding between two first-time gambling trips. Having heard the situation at Charles Town WV had improved - 3x4x5x Craps with better minimums - I did consider a return to there even though my first drop-by take-a-look wound up with me ticked off towards a Suit with an attitude - no gambling that trip some few years ago! So it was still going to be first-time gambling if I went. But I pondered about Rocky Gap Casino near Cumberland MD, only a bit longer, and decided I'd rather try there.

Nobody seems to ever say they like Charles Town.

On the other hand, Rocky Gap [RG hereafter] has gotten some nice reviews, fitting the bill for the sort of experience I like better. Plus the area is scenic, which counts with me. There is an old thread,


So I trundled up there, surviving the 81/70 interchange, which I am going to try to avoid somehow any next time. The signs warned they would force us into one lane for construction, but it was such a parking lot at one point I have to think they stopped traffic for a while to do something. It looks like the mess is going to be going on for a while too. I had planned to kill time at RG, then go to my room in Cumberland, but I was delayed just enough to correctly guess I could check in early. I had some trepidation about this room at Econolodge, as I snagged it for $39 + tax with Hotels.com, a price that in fact definitely sealed it that RG was getting the nod. I was predicting some kind of shortcoming with the room and hoping it wasn't too bad. Lo and Behold: Nice bed, clean, not tiny if not big, just crummy TV and breakfast, and other minor economies is all. I asked for 'quiet' and got it too - thus the most likely disappointment did not materialize. I was by myself, but even the wife would have been OK with the place.

After a nice nap, on with the 15 minute drive back to the Casino - this distance also obviously working out fine. I was in the mood for the typical casino buffet deal, walked in and looked the place over, read every single sign. No sign for the buffet. I was so convinced I had looked thoroughly enough that I didn't try to ask but went for a sandwich at what seemed like the only alternative.

As warned, the casino was small, mirrors all around hiding the fact. One small Craps table that wasn't seeing much action. Blackjack of course, along with other table games I did not try to list.

After failing to make good use of a $5 freeplay for signing up [couldnt find a video poker machine that was recognizable], I headed to the Craps table. $5 min and 3x4x5x, forgot to check other details. Most of the time I rolled alone and again my rolling sucked. Being a small table was cool, but the pyramids hugged the table down low - hitting the wall without hitting pyramids was not happening with my skills. No one complained about short rolls, but of course there are only so many of those you chance in any circumstances. One other shooter who showed up for a while did well enough to keep me from total disaster. The fun we had as a group at The Meadows was fondly remembered as a contrast.

I finally pressed in my style - increased Come betting - at what I was guessing was right timing for a winning streak that did not materialize, and colored up. I wanted to check out the BJ.

I can confirm the BJ at Rocky Gap has good rules. Seem to be same rules as PA, probably due to competition.

resplit limit: not sure
re-hitting split aces - pretty sure you cannot

$5 minimum was available and I sat down. Young dealer was very good and felt free to occasionally express his opinion. A ploppy was bugging him, he was the kind who seemed to actually know BS and she was hardly doing that. He made a face when she urged another player to take "even money". I had been practicing with "Hit or Miss" and have finally seemed to gotten almost any situation down. But this time it was pair of 9s vs 4 that tripped me up, the ploppy was giving her opinion which I was trying to tune out, making me really hesitate. I took long enough to get a bit embarrassed about the slow decision, which was probably good, I don't think now it will ever trip me up again. I finally got it right and split. My instinct has been to stand on 18, splittable notwithstanding, now it's in my mind that 18 is really not good enough and to quit thinking you stand because 18's "good".

I came in on a shoe and stayed for two more. On the last shoe it was just me and the dealer. We got to talk more and he confirmed that they do allow Surrender. I said I hadn't remembered a choice yet where Surrender was worth considering - I had been getting good cards in that regard, but few Naturals and Double-worthies. We no more than talked about Surrender than 16 vs Ace and Ten came up a few times. The signal for the cameras was to draw a line behind the cards. Later I wondered if I had missed one or two 15 vs 10s I could have surrendered, seemed like I had. In any case, I pretty much broke even at BJ.

Returning to the Craps table, they still werent busy and I just couldnt get excited - passed it up. In the meantime, another player had mentioned that the Buffet had opened up. I asked "where" and they just said "downstairs". Well, now I wasn't really hungry, but I sure has hell wanted to find out where it was. I wandered around and couldn't figure it out at all; all the help had decided to take a break at the same time, just none to be found. I left the place still not knowing where that Buffet is!

Bottom line: I'd go back.

PS: another thing; at the BJ table I was at anyway, there was no CSM, in fact no shuffling at all. The used cards took a ride in some kind of table elevator and and new set of cards already shuffled appeared from somewhere.

[abbreviations per http://www.bj21.com/glossary/main.html ]


Buzzard Apr 21, 2014

Used to go to the horse race at Cumberland 1/2 mile track 14 hour train ride for the horses Remember one farm had this white fence. Seemed to be a mile frontage. Supposedly 1 man started white washing it each spring and never finished. Would pick up where he stopped next spring.

Assume it was all green by now. People in Colorado are nuts , Very little green. First year I was her I was told ride up in Mountains and see the aspens turn. Like a dummy I took Josie and the kids. The leaves turn from green to yellow Thats it One monotonous color WTF !

When you go back for the buffet, see if the old track is still standing

odiousgambit Apr 22, 2014

>When you go back for the buffet, see if the old track is still standing

Ha ha, OK, will do. Pretty sure it's not at the same place though.

Buzzard Apr 23, 2014

The grandstand might be standing, but that's probably all. Let me know if you see that damn white fence, The guy should be starting to whitewash it about now.

odiousgambit Apr 26, 2014

got a mail offer for $10 free play once a week for the next few.

Not much maybe, but more than nothing.

tringlomane May 02, 2014

Good report. The good BJ rules are state-mandated like PA. And that "table elevator" is an auto shuffler built into the table.

Posted by odiousgambit
Mar 05, 2014

WoV East Part II [Craps]

The much anticipated Craps event was soon underway. Lo and Behold, it was a $5 min table with 10x odds. That fits the bill with me 100%, as the line bet with full odds at $55 is a completely comfortably sized bet for me. As soon as they go to $10 min, a little nervousness sets in with that $110 to lay out and stay full odds. My superstition then kicks in, that the dice "see" that you are nervous and make a try for your bankroll. If you can show them you are fearless, they respect that [as this superstition goes]. But step one, comfort with the bet, was in the books. So I laid out a $800 buy in, not undefeatable, but considering the chances of ruin, hefty enough, and the dice respect that too. This in particular is important, as I've said many times [but I'll make it PG in the spirit of the new rules] the dice get aroused "seeing" a small puny bankroll and build a great desire to deliver a brutal sexual experience, without any kisses, upon such bankroll. As it was, I was feeling good, and the dice lost confidence who was going to play the submissive role. You guys who don't believe me, do it your way and find out what happens [g].

Pierce laid out an amazingly detailed sequence of events in his thread, see previous post. As he notes, my own rolling went fairly well, I was successful in avoiding 7-out for a lot of rolls, but didn't hit the numbers for my hands too well, which cost me The Challenge. I was exactly where I wanted to be positioned for my dice-setting fun; to the immediate right of stick. This allows the right-handed shooter to lean out over the table and release very close to the landing zone, limiting the kinetic energy shooter has to give the dice and allowing better accuracy for the hope that the dice will hit below the pyramids. Still, the table seemed bouncy. Furthermore, the dice were kind of sticky. My new release tries to assure that the dice do not land next to each other; such makes them explode apart and certainly then get off-axis. But the stickiness made the dice fling apart too much during release, I thought. So, with the stickiness and the bounciness, I failed to roll too well; had this not been the case, when Pierce saw himself reaching for the green chip in his dreams it would have gone *poof* just as his fingers tried to close on it [vbg].
Actually I don't have any evidence my setting has any effect on the dice. I don't really believe in it, so I just have fun with it. That doesn't mean I don't try like hell <g>

This last has to do with The Challenge. I was greatly pleased to find that everyone thought it added a lot of fun. Perhaps you have figured out my secret, which is that should someone win the challenge, I as a player have probably done pretty well. Actually I think the thing to do is to make the initial challenge border-line in this regard. Next time I have the honor of offering a challenge I am favoring the following [at the moment]: Passes on the Come-Out don't count, and it will take 3 such point-was-set-passes to win the $25; ties will have to resolve in a later play-off of some kind. 4 such passes beat all lower results to win $25, but ties each earn $25. At that point, 4 such passes, anyone who can beat the last performance wins [lower results now lose] and gets $50 with ties each earning $50 also. This way I may be paying money without a guarantee that I also am doing well; but as the prize gets better, the chances will be that I am doing very, very well.

BTW one thing I thought should have gone better is players announcing out loud their progress, asking for general confirmation at each step.

I stood next to the guy IMO who did the best, Teddys, and I noticed he insisted his odds be 'on' during Come-Out. I have mixed feelings about that, but leave them off mostly because I don't like trying to keep the dealers attention glued to it. I got a reminder that one positive thing about it, though, is that a dealer might wrongly scoop up your odds anyway, in which case you might as well have benefited from having them on should the number be rolled [that particular error may have stung me for $50; I thought so, but Teddy said he didn't think so and he is *very* observant]. Everyone thought that keeping them on helps lower the HE; it occurred to me, then, that I thought I was playing against a 0.00184 HE but in fact was not. I've never seen a calculation that shows how the edge is affected by allowing the odds to be 'off'. Might matter more at 3x4x5x ?

I got the cocktail waitress distraction again; the distraction of the lovely draw this time seems to have had me scooping up a pay-off without paying attention, thus making me make a fuss about my odds not being returned per the above, thinking I still had a bet out. More times than not, those gals get me away from my game. The price to pay I guess.

Another thing working in Pierce's favor was the chip distraction. It really bugs me when the $5 chips aren't completely red, and it turns me into an idiot. At least 3 times I used a $25 chip when I meant to use a $5 one. Teddy helped me correct that once and wondered if I was color blind. What actually was going on, I think, was that since Pierce set all this up he had his evil minions working to distract me this way and that. Next time I'll be better prepared and laughing big as I keep the Challenge money in my own coffers. Whu-ha-ha-ha!!

BTW not only was Pierce getting the pit evil eye right from the beginning, but he was the only one who got busted for not hitting the back wall. No doubt this was all a big act to throw me off, not actually calling no-rolls on Pierce when he was hitting his points and missing the back wall too, like they should have. I'm starting to see what Paigowdan has been talking about with these AP guys! [g]

All in all, a memorable fun event! Can't wait till next time!


teddys Mar 05, 2014

Thanks for the report, OG, it was fun to meet you. Glad we both did well. I actually think my turning odds "on" helped me this time since there was only one seven-winner when I had odds working, and it was only one odds bet. I've seen much more brutal come-out winners!

odiousgambit Mar 05, 2014

>my turning odds "on" helped me this time

good to see that work right, no? it definitely makes an impression when it loses! I didn't notice how bad you got burned on any loaded up situations that hit the 7-out, but I distinctly remember the big whammy one of the few times I had multiple points maxed with odds and also simultaneously went belly up on my only place bet. Still, nothing to complain about except that cold table we hit at the end just before both of us colored up. I lost about $200-300 before deciding it was time; I was flagging by then anyway, the table was telling us to wise up!

Posted by odiousgambit
Mar 04, 2014

WoV East Part I

Everything cooperated to make the vaunted WoV East event a great time except the weather. See http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/general/17283-wovcon-east-report/ for an excellent synopsis [if you need to]

Believe it or not, this was the first time in decades I have been to a casino to meet and play with other gamblers. I do not include my wife in this statistic, since although she will play BJ a bit, is not really a gambler. In fact she is rather circumspect about gambling, and only participates in the same way someone who doesn't really drink might have a glass of wine at odd times.
I believe I have related the fact that I wanted it to appear to her that I stumbled into this event. This I regret, but most aspects of my gambling life have had to be modified to accommodate this unfortunate wariness, including minimizing losses and wins both.[She wants to spend the money if I win big] In any case, she knows all pertinent details now; I operate on the theory that eventually she finds out everything anyway, and probably doesnt want to know some things. For example she knows I carry around a respectable bankroll, but never asks about it. To appreciate all this fully, you had to have known me before I got married. I was insistent on being quite honest in all things when a bachelor. Now I feel like Ralph Kramden in "The Honeymooners". When I used to think about that show and the tangled mess Ralph would get into hiding things from Alice, I would be tut-tutting his schemes and laughing; now I think "wow, that is me!" and laugh a little more ironically. What is it about marriage? [edit: married in 1996] It seems quite impossible to be open about everything, my first clues being what was clearly being withheld from my "need to know" about day one or so.

To be sure, I needed to be sure she knows the basics, where I was, what I was doing, where I was staying. But she does not know all; for example, I need to keep this blog unknown to her for obvious reasons, and, really, I would hate it if I couldn't blog about this. So, I'm not going to say to her the whole thing started on the internet.

So, I'm pleased that so far this go-round of "making friends on the internet" thing has been a success. My previous experiences with that have not been good. One concern worked out well: I have imagined going with someone to a casino and realizing at some point that the guy is off the deep end with gambling. It would be particularly bad to realize you have introduced somebody to that world only to realize some time later he was an obsessed compulsive gambler who lost his job, etc. But I felt good about this group, maybe that is because the Wizard's site tends to screen out problem gamblers, at least make them easy to spot.

Pierce was something, it was great to see him in action. I had no idea he was such a dedicated advantage-play hound dog. He related when we met up that he had started the day elsewhere grinding out his chances on a Keno slot that had gone +EV due to a progressive. I have to tell you I was quite astonished by this. Our boy admitted he was skipping the part of the day where, you know, you sleep. Nonetheless, one realizes this is not a problem gambler here, Pierce can hardly get interested in anything -EV. He proved again at the Craps table that he is just not heading down that road; he just risked enough to clear a few dollars at a very hot table, one that he himself was setting on fire. Amazing! And such a willing organizer!

Part II later.


Mission146 Mar 04, 2014

Thank you for the compliments, OdiousGambit, they are much appreciated!

I've been typically staying away from the Keno advantage plays for just that reason, you can't "Un-see," 108%, so you really have no choice but to go for something like that. I honestly shouldn't have done it, but being ahead by four bills (way North of expectations) I kind of said to myself, "If I can find a positive six/six Progressive, that's justifiable."

Didn't work out, but I still left there a little over $200 ahead.

I must admit I have no trouble getting interested in Craps, I just don't feel the need to risk anymore than necessary. Actually, I'm absolutely thrilled that we ended up winning, and also that I, personally, ended up winning. I had decided that I would not have my $100 Craps session in Vegas next month if I were to lose at Meadows, so Craps is still on the table for me in Vegas, so to speak!

I'm looking forward to the rest of your report, mainly to see if our recollections of anything differ. It's always interesting to get another person's detailed perspective of the same physical events and see where there are perceptual differences.

Posted by odiousgambit
Feb 09, 2014

Secret to Craps Success Discovered

My trip to Biloxi got the Kibosh put on it, as we were trying to get to New Orleans from the Florida panhandle the same day and were jumpy about the weather - prior days there had been freezing rain and unreliable forecasts. But I managed to make a few statements about my plans getting screwed, just for the record, you know.

Once in New Orleans it came to my attention that Harrah's has a casino there. Sure enough we had wandered near it at some point and the wife, not wanting me to be able to build up too much leverage on the matter I think [g], suggested I get my fix. A little snake-bit about her own gambling recently, she instead was going to hit a museum exhibit I had little interest in and then come get me, making my session a bit of a teaser, but I was taking what I could get.

I managed to get a spot at the only $10 Craps table; all tables offer 10x odds. That can take me out of my comfort zone most days; I decided I would be comfortable with full 5x if I didn't add much Come betting. I didn't like my position at this full table and sure enough my own rolling sucked. It had come around back to the only shooter that seemed to be able to make some of his points when my wife gave my arm a tug. OK, time to go, but I explained to her I had unresolved bets including one place bet. At this point, with me needing to get bets resolved, the shooter goes on a tear. He even hit my Come bet numbers, something that makes a difference! Several were 4 or 10, which paid $100 to my $50 odds bets. I had all my bets except the place bet [a number that didnt roll again unless it was 'off'] resolved at a couple of points, but since all were not resolved I just kept betting line bets with odds until he would 7-out. Actually, I had forgotten I could pick up the place bet, not surprising when there is the excitement of the shooter who can't roll a 7-out.

Eventually the hand is over, of course, but after tips I was up $718, very good for a non-presser like me. Fellows, I have discovered the Secret to Craps Success! Have a spouse waiting impatiently for you to leave the Craps table!


PS: I can't give you a good review, since my visit was brief. They have a big poker area roped off, tons of slots of course, and a respectable assortment of various other table games. For BJ I saw a few one deck games that paid 6:5. I'm sure they had other BJ varieties, but just didn't investigate, and made only mental notes about other games that fail me now.


1BB Feb 09, 2014

The blackjack on the main floor is 8 deck H17 and no surrender with 70% pen, nothing to write home about and nothing that I would play. There are better games in the area but you can easily walk to Harrah's from the French Quarter.

odiousgambit Feb 10, 2014

>you can easily walk to Harrah's from the French Quarter

That was nice. And it's kind of a nice place. I thought the 10x craps was a sign they were making some effort

Rereading this, it failed to convey very well that I was trying to get to where I could color up. The shooter just kept on with his terrific hand, making my wife wait of course; it probably seemed to her I was stalling. I became convinced that tension was our secret weapon [g]

hook3670 Feb 10, 2014

They have the friendliest dealers and bosses at any casino I have been to. I have been to Harrahs New Orleans many times. It is the only casino where on two different occasions a dealer has had the table laughing so hard people were falling out of their chairs including my wife and I.

RaleighCraps Feb 10, 2014

Excellent OG!

glad to see the craps gods have started smiling on our forum members. My destiny is coming soon too.

1BB Feb 13, 2014

It's a very nice casino. The entrances are set up so that everyone must pass by a security guard who will greet you and check you out.

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 04, 2013

Math During Sleep

I am definitely someone who has his unconscious mind working on all kinds of bullshit. Sometimes the truth of some event that happened decades ago will come to me, perhaps something about it I was trying to deny or suppress and that got hashed out; or perhaps due to being older and wiser the truth comes to me. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with this.

Or sometimes it's less profound. Like what came to me last night.

I had been ticked at myself for being unable to figure out how fast the lady was falling when someone tried to catch her. See the post in this thread,


Now, this same thread earlier led to the Wizard working out some Calculus in an "ask the Wizard"


And, I can tell you that one of the things I believe about Calculus is that in itself, it is not difficult [but see the PS below]; I realized this after reading or hearing someone say what makes Calculus difficult is the Algebra. In fact after hearing this it struck me that typically a math course shoots past the simple applications right away. In fact, working out answers to 'falling object' questions is a good example of simple application.

So I knew that knowing that gravity makes an object on earth fall at a rate of 32.1740 feet per second squared should tell a person quickly how fast they were falling after so many feet or so many seconds. The give-away is that this can be expressed also as 32.174 ft per second, per second. But I was stumped right away knowing that I had to solve for 45 feet, and I didn't know how many seconds. I was really pissed because I *used* to be able to do this! I pondered and pondered, sometimes on paper. I was determined *not* to look at the "ask the W" until I figured this out.

Last night, waking me up, it came to me. [it was slightly wrong, corrected now I hope]. Here is math from someone limited; I take a verbal approach to math, alas.

You have to ask, what computation of the formula results in 45 feet? G= the rate, S = time in seconds.

G/2 * S^2 = feet! As finally remembered, you have to take the average speed, not final speed, to calculate distance traveled. Solve for 45 feet.

32.174/2 * S^2 = 45


16.087 * S^2 = 45

S = sqrt(45/16.087)= 1.6725100110476963

double check, 16.087 *1.6725100110476963^2 = 45 , it checks

OK, what I am really after is final velocity of that person after 45 feet of fall

after 1.67 seconds at 32.174 feet per second per second = 53.73 feet per second final velocity.

At this point I have some rules of thumb about ft or yds per second so I can relate to the speed in miles per hour. Roughly 54 feet per second which is 18 yards per second,

roughly 36 miles per hour.

Let's double-check this too; "per second per second" is naturally confusing, but if speed is indicated differently, it clears up. It's about 22 miles per hour per second; that is less confusing. 1.67 * 22 = 36.74 mph approx. I think we're good (but watch somebody correct me again [g])

No, I ain't catching that woman!



G * X^2 = feet! So simple. Solve for 45 feet.

[the above statement is in error, correct formula is G/2*X^2=45]

[I got roughly 26 miles per hour, but the distance allowed a much higher final velocity]



I went to Wikipedia etc. and found no evidence whatsoever that Calculus isn't damn tough. Somebody makes it hard with algebra? Dunno. Maybe I have to take it back, nothing I look at resembles the Calculus for beginners I remember.

And check this out, I put a formula into an online calculator but then realized I had jumped the gun. Curious, I clicked on the "eguals" button anyway. Look at this weird stuff that came up. Is there not something perverse about where the math guys always want to go? You tell me!


PapaChubby Dec 04, 2013

Unfortunately, the real equation is G * X^2 / 2 = feet. That's the problem with unit manipulation. It's easy to miss constants. Otherwise, I think everything you did should work out ok.

odiousgambit Dec 04, 2013

I walked away and realized it was wrong ... couldn't get back to the keyboard

What do they call it in calculus? the first derivative? somesuch.

In plain terms, the object starts it's descent at zero miles per hour, thus you can't use the final velocity like it was in effect all along. Divide by 2 and you have the average velocity.

I am going to attempt to fix this.

PapaChubby Dec 04, 2013

Exactly right. Acceleration is constant, velocity is linearly increasing, position can be obtained from average velocity, which is (zero plus final velocity)/2.

odiousgambit Dec 05, 2013

corrected now I think

Face Dec 06, 2013

Ain't catching her?

The mind is funny. I doubt you'd even have a chance to think, should that happen in your presense. It's a reaction, just like the old thread about the hot air balloon and if you'd let go. No time to ponder, to time to compute. Just "do or do not".

But put into persepective, even a goon can hit 20mph on skates. Some of the real speedsters can hit 35mph, no problem. I'm sure I personally could crack 30. Just about every check you see in hockey is a worse hit than that little woman would put on you.

Just wanted to add some perspective, in case it rains women aorund you in the future. You might save someone's life and suffer little more than the pain of a check.

odiousgambit Dec 06, 2013

>Ain't catching her?

I feel shame now

OK, at 45 feet I try to save her, but at 55 feet no way! [solve for final velocity for me btw][g]

Face Dec 06, 2013

No shame, just perspective. You see someone fall on someone else from height, and it looks kind of devastating. But then you realize the forces involved are more common than you might intuit, forces which you see over and over and over again on any given Sunday. When it comes to possibly saving someone's life...wouldn't you do it now, knowing it's no worse than Face losing control and running into you on the ice?

As for the math...how about "no"? =D AZD will become a bleeding heart before I understand anything above 8th grade math.

onenickelmiracle Dec 17, 2013

What I find hilarious about dreams is if you directly question the people in your dreams about the facts of your dreams, they change the subject hoping you'll forget your objections and normally they're right.