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 hadnít 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 ď10/8/6Ē payscale returning 95.78%. At this point, though, all I know is ďbetmaxĒ 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 donít 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 doesnít 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 donít hit the Royal [another reason that lasted only one bet]. Well, I guess I canít complain, my luck was good, hitting full houses and a 4-oak. But the G casino did not get what they wanted either; itís 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 ď10/8/6Ē 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.

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.