Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 07, 2011

Groundhog Day in Delaware Part III

As no doubt the Faithful Reader has already figured out [assuming there are some of course], I lost plenty of cash gambling too. Not more than I was willing to risk, but I don't need to explain why it miffs me. If I may be allowed to indulge my superstitious nature, I guess it was indeed an omen when attempting to take a different route failed twice and yet again I took the long way by default to get to Harrington's casino. So it was Hello Groundhog Day in both regards.

I am starting to lose my fine feelings for the two games I now am willing to play. As I have mentioned before, once I know a game is for suckers, I can't make myself play it. For example I skip local lottery play etc with what is honestly no interest. I appreciate being able to go to the WoO site too and look at what he calculates for HE on games as well, as I particularly dislike what I like to call the "wobbly downward spiral" gambling experience where playing the game is a matter of just watching your bankroll dwindle downwards, little spikes upward once in a while notwithstanding. Certainly I seem to avoid this pattern with my games, but just can't get a win lately. I have pegged the 1.4% HE of Craps as pretty much the max to allow myself. Additionally, I have attempted to keep the HE much lower, less than 1% in fact. Can't say recently that this has paid off at all.

Craps was a bust again. I was expecting to at least avoid a slaughter, sticking to the $5 minimum and flat betting, though I grant you that I was putting up full free odds [3x4x5x] and placing the 8 sometimes too. After about and hour and a half I was down $200 and took a break. Nothing crazy about that outcome but it's like Harrington can produce only such as this; every Craps session I have played there put me down about $200. I wanted to return to Craps but the single table for it was so packed I couldnt get back on it, and didn't stick around, so this trip had only the one session.

Teddy [Teddys] really has me wondering about Blackjack and how it manages to produce only losses for us two anyway, so if you are reading, this paragraph is addressed to you. It is pretty new to me so I still have a chance to turn it around I guess. I have been thinking about it; one thing is the bets are resolved immediately, so even if a guy's luck is equally bad at Craps he is going to last longer with all those points awaiting resolution. Standing there at a Craps table makes the player want to take a break sooner and just maybe the combination of both factors allows him to quit when ahead or not down so much? At the BJ table I was up about $80 at one point; not near enough to some real bucks to figure 'that's enough' but maybe at the same point in time in Craps I would have stopped. Just a thought and as far as I can get with it. This game should have been up against around 0.4% HE .

I had two sessions at BJ, lost around $225 on the first one which could have been about 2 hours. On the second session [when I wanted to return to Craps] I was up for a while but lost it back and then quit while even. I think this was after about an hour. Not feeling too good to begin with, I decided I wasn't going to wait for a spot at the Craps table; I cashed in my remaining chips and headed home from this Groundhog Day in Harrington!

Craps I have put 'on notice' before, but due to the enjoyment I get from playing I know it would be unrealistic to say it is 'dead to me' now. Let's just say one foot is hovering over the grave.

Blackjack, on the other hand, is not only on notice but I would say it has one foot in the grave and the other has stepped pretty close to a banana peel. I'll go along with this treatment for a while longer but I don't see myself continuing with just taking a constant beating every time.   

Overall, I had some fun and got more comfortable with Harrington. I havent given up on it, just putting it on notice: SOME WINS once in a while please OR ELSE.  [g]

up or down longterm now "down $1591"
budget: still in the black: $509 balance



Ayecarumba Jun 07, 2011

Thanks for the interesting read odious. Before you completely pull the plug on craps, consider spending some time on the "darkside" at a cold table, and bet Don't Pass / Don't Come. The beauty of Craps is that it is possible to win on every roll of the dice, whether numbers repeat, or are broken up by 7's.

FleaStiff Jun 07, 2011

I too would suggest you not quite pull the plug yet.

It seems you have already acknowledged that modifying your behavior slightly would be advantageous to you: realize that standing and bending over a craps table does impose a certain "time limit" and perhaps adopt a similar time limit even when seated at a blackjack table. I think the crowded table is a problem for me too since I don't like it too crowded or too hectic and I often play with my companion and therefore need extra space to be available. Simply going to a casino with more than one table open might be a help to you.

Being too dedicated to the Right Side or the Wrong Side is unwise. If you were teaching craps to someone you would start off with a PassLine Bet but as an experienced craps player you now have more of an option to switch back and forth a bit. Sure it is not some sort of "trend" that the dice are "remembering" but it is a way to stay alert to your options at the table.

If you've reached your target at BJ, but the craps table is too crowded then that is the time for asking about a Comped Meal or at least a Comped Snack. That "break" to let you think can be a help.

odiousgambit Jun 08, 2011

Regarding Craps and playing the dark side, I have played that and often still do when the shooter is not close to me. I like:

*that a player is less prone to demoralizing losing streaks

*how easy it is with 3x4x5x knowing what to put up for odds

*how the free odds are active bets all the time without having to say anything during the come-out

*I prefer having multiple DC bets to multiple Come bets up, for those times going for broke

but I don't like

*giving up the dice as the shooter after a 7-out.

*switching back and forth trying to guess which way to go

*missing out on the fun playing it dark when a shooter makes several hands, and if I was ever there for those rare times when it is awesome... not just about the money but the fun too

*feeling a rookie dealer has to be watched carefully for errors [perhaps this last is misplaced]

teddys Jun 08, 2011

I feel your pain. There is no worse feeling in gaming than getting your clock cleaned by a BJ dealer. Even a cold table in craps doesn't compare. You just want to say "make the hurting stop." I think you/we/I are experiencing just an obscenely cruel run of bad luck. I have been doing well in other games, so it is evening out, but still. By the way, I just had a winning session at one of the Indian casinos here in AZ so I am off the schneid, for now.

Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 04, 2011

Groundhog Day in Delaware Part II

This second time around got me a little more comfortable with the Harrington facilities and the general experience of the place, as is to be expected I guess. In spite of getting off track again trying to find the place, the alarm of it was less as I pretty much knew where I was anyway this time. And I had timed it right for avoiding rush hour traffic and any Bay Bridge exasperation. Inside, I found a spot that no one else was using that had great big comfortable chairs. I spent some time drinking coffee and reading the paper there with reasonable privacy; there was even an empty drawer in a piece of furniture in which to stick that paper and I came back later and read it some more. Knowing you can be comfortable doing something besides gambling part of the time is pretty key I think to wanting to go back. Part of the plan was to hit the buffet and see if that had improved, but I was off my feed a bit with a mysterious lingering headache and a very rare lack of appetite. Thus no way was I partaking of the buffet [missing this was a disappointing part of the trip] but I forced myself to eat a sandwich at a cafe that offered a few items and a handy spot to eat with stools and counter.

The dealers again all seemed quite friendly if a little too pushy about the sucker bets; there has to be some incentive. Perhaps it's just monitored for the 'would you like to keep your job' department? Who knows, but for me it's becoming just part of the scene along with the ambient music of the slots. I seem to enjoy dreaming up different ways of handling it and have no reservations about this part of the experience either.

I got there early enough to be concerned there would be no craps, but a near empty table was operating. For my further deja vu there stood an Af/Am. in a T-shirt playing craps by himself. The last time there were plenty like this there, for some reason in these same white T-shirts. Delaware was a slave state so naturally this was to be part of the scene, but I have to say the Af/A community there must be unique what with this white T-shirt thing being some kind of uniform! My otherwise experience with these folks in other areas has been that they eschew any kind of shabby look and greatly prefer looking sharp; I definitely haven't figured this out. I realize this attention to race might offend some, my apologies, but for an additional observation the Asian scene seems pretty close to non-existent here, mid-week anyway. Slots were between one quarter and half full at mid-day, I would say.

More on the table games:

ROULETTE, one table; BACCARAT mini or otherwise nay; PAI GOW of any kind, nay; ULTIMATE TEXAS HOLD 'EM one table I think, memory faulty; LET IT RIDE maybe, memory faulty; IN BETWEEN BLACKJACK several tables of this! SPANISH 21, more than one table perhaps; OTHER GAMES besides the below, something tells me I missed something else that was going on but I wasn't much focused on trying to report on it all.

CRAPS: $5 minimum lasted the whole time I was there it seems, with 3x4x5x free odds. I asked about 10x odds and that was available for a $10 minimum. The tables could go to $10 minimum but I assumed you could do 10X odds if you just bet $10 at any time. To ask about that occurred to me after going home. The field still paid 3X on boxcars. They made no predictions about when tables might go to $10 minimum, and said it was not a scheduled thing but they wing it.

BLACKJACK: some dealt normally, some as "I-table", this latter I tried for the first time. BJ paid 3-2, double anytime, continue to split unlimited, including re-splitting Aces [which only got one more card]. CSM shuffling. At the I-table you had real cards and real dealers, however no chips and you played by touch screen. As the cards came out of the shuffler, they were read by the machine and you saw your total and the dealer's one card on your screen. Minimum bet was $2 if you paid 25 cents, and you played without that ante as long as it was $5 or more. This all seemed OK and the learning curve was short; clearly there were some good things about it. You didnt have to worry about mis-call or mis-pay and in fact at one point I accidentally hit 'stand' holding '8', thinking I had pressed 'hit' of course, and got a pop-up asking me if I really wanted to do that! So it let me renege, maybe that is what a dealer would have done or not. Later, though, I had an odd thing, I had soft 14 vs something like 6 I thought, but before I could press 'double down' I saw the screen change and suddenty there were no options available [evidently the machine had a ghost press on 'stand']. As I sat there stunned, things moved on quickly and we were on to the next hand. I mentioned what just happened and everybody looked at me like I was crazy. Well, the bet was only $5 and the EV for the error was something and the EV for the correct play was something better, so I guess on average this little bullshit glitch was not worth complaining about. And I didn't, but I am sour on the machine now, remembering other problems variously for touch screen applications and have decided no more of that for me.

Stay tuned for part III.

Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 03, 2011

Groundhog Day in Delaware Part I

Thursday I get up early, managing to beat rush hour traffic enough to avoid any jams and am on my across the Bay Bridge heading to Harrington Delaware and the Racino there to get my fix! This is to be the second time for me, I had been there right after they got table games last June. That time I missed my turn at Denton MD; this means going by a slightly longer route. The directions could be as simple as 'head east to rt 13 mid-state and turn north' and you would have a reasonable route. But in Denton there is a turn you can make and save a few minutes. I distinctly remembered being mystified as to why I missed this turn the last time I went. This time around, I vow to make sure I have good maps to go the smartest way. I pride myself on being able to navigate with good maps and have avoided using GPS. Surely it is just a matter of being alert at the right time, I'm thinking!

I planned actually a different route that would take me slightly north of Denton. As I zip through the general area of that turn it becomes clear that another exit is missed; after a bit the signs indicate I am nearing Denton! I can't believe it but there is going to be one thing for sure: a little miffed now, I am absolutely *on it* as far as not missing this next exit! As I proceed along the turn never seems to materialize. What!? Sure enough I am clearly past it; 13 is just a little further, no point in turning around. I wind up taking the exact same route as last time, Hello Brother it's Groundhog Day!

I had to shrug this off as a possible omen. I lost plenty of money for the way I was betting last time around. But I was too close to justify that kind of nonsense, it's Harrington or bust! The whole thing bugged me so much on the way back I turn around at both of these missed exits to see what it was I missed. I predicted that missing signs due to road construction made me miss the first turn, and now I confirm this. Reconstructing the Denton error, I carefully mark the turn whereabouts and actually head back as if I was still going to Harrington and sure enough! The damned highway department has a sign at the exit ramp that points straight ahead instead of indicating you take the exit! Unbelievable.

As for this being a bad omen, stay tuned for part II.


SFB Jun 04, 2011


From Route 404, go North at Route 313, (exit right, and left at the stop sign, and cross under the highway) Turn right at the sign for "Oil City" (MD Route 317-East)about 3/4 mile up the road.

No signs saying "this way to Harrington". But that is the shortcut.


odiousgambit Jun 04, 2011

Quote: SFB

From Route 404, go North at Route 313

Check it out carefully sometime, the sign at that exit indicates you go stay on 404 to reach 313 with an arrow that points straight ahead for 313. So that sign evidently screwed me twice!

SFB Jun 04, 2011

Quote: QG

Quote: SFB

From Route 404, go North at Route 313

Check it out carefully sometime, the sign at that exit indicates you go stay on 404 to reach 313 with an arrow that points straight ahead for 313. So that sign evidently screwed me twice!

That sign is for South 313, that seperates from 404 about 4 miles east of this exit.

I live about 12 miles from this intersection....

Wizard Jun 05, 2011

I once tried desperately to find the Harrington casino after a trip to Ocean City MD, and couldn't find it anywhere. Not a sign to be found and the locals I asked were clueless.

odiousgambit Jun 05, 2011

>couldn't find it anywhere. Not a sign to be found

that's particularly ridiculous as they quite clearly expect the Ocean City action to be what makes it for them

Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 01, 2011

I have a gambling problem: I don't gamble enough!!

Wife out of town now and it's time to do something about it.

I was going to try Charles Town WV but really wound up just not being able to make myself go. I have been inside that casino but didnt gamble then due to no Craps going at the time and high minimums on crowded Blackjack tables. At least some of the problem was a lack of trained dealers, so it is possible this has improved and minimums would be down and Craps would be offered before noon, etc. A very convenient time to head out and go came and went. Maybe I am letting the generally bad reputation this place has influence me too much to check it out again; maybe also an unnecessary few terse words with a Suit I had is pretty hard to forget too.

Unless the car breaks down or work calls unexpectedly on a day off, it's going to be back to Harrington DE Thursday to check that out again. I guess I will try my luck too with the Players Club.

Stay tuned, if I can flatter myself enough to think anyone would be interested!


buzzpaff Jun 01, 2011

I used to ride the train from Baltimore to Charlestown. But now with amtrak it is 8 hours !

Niblick Jun 02, 2011

OG, I know you know this but Harrington is in Delaware...not MD. I can tell you the last time I was there, all the blackjack tables had auto shufflers. Enjoy your time there and good luck.

odiousgambit Jun 03, 2011

>OG, I know you know this but Harrington is in Delaware

yep I knew better thanks for the correction

Posted by odiousgambit
May 28, 2011

Peppers: True Story

I once put some really hot chili peppers in vinegar, the really small red peppers the Chinese like. This I stored in jars that had been used for okra pickles, which do come preserved in vinegar, so the jars should take just acid OK. Checking a few months later I found the metal lids had been eaten up by whatever off-gassed. The lids were paper thin, crumbling to the touch; you still saw the logo painted on top but 'poof' if you touched it.

I always thought it would be interesting to make it an enclosed system for a science experiment. There might be a brief period where it could be shown that this is just possibly an exothermic reaction.


Nareed May 29, 2011

You do know vinegar is full of acid, right? :P

odiousgambit Jun 01, 2011

>You do know vinegar is full of acid, right? :P

that's my point. The preserved okra pickles do not affect the lid and would last like that for decades. The destruction of the metal lid was not caused merely by the acid.

Nareed Jun 01, 2011

Exactly, it's the acid :P

odiousgambit Jun 01, 2011

grrrrr [g]

you should try this yourself. It's amazing!

Nareed Jun 01, 2011

I saw the Mythbusters ep where they used salsa to corrode an iron bar. Slas is amde with vineagar, water, chiles and salt. now, as far as I know capsacin, the thing in chiles that's actually hot, is an alkaline substance. So you'd think it would be neutralized by the vinegar, an acid. Apparently that's not the case. salt does provide an electrolyte, FWIW.

A snack I eat from time to time are Takis; corn chips rolled like tortillas with a healthy sprinkling of powdred lime and chile. they're very hot. but if you soak them in lime juice, which I do, they get hotter. I love them. [Note to Teddys: I like a new variety called Takis Nitro; they're hotter than the Takis Salsa Brava you've tried]