Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 05, 2010

Harrington Delaware Will Not Get My Action

I figured I had to check out the closest place to me at the moment with a Craps Table. In a few weeks that will be one-hour-away Charles Town WV, but this week it was newly set up Harrington. I came back with some specifics here if you were interested.

I decided to approach the trip with low expectations. Originally this place was a racetrack only, and racetracks have managed to bum me out in the way they operate. But some of my concerns were dashed right away. Nice facilities, obvious security, all those things; I wouldn't worry taking my wife. They wanted your business pretty clearly I think, and that does matter. Overall I'd say one of the big negatives for me was that it just didnt cut it as someplace to go for a DC area day trip. It is just slightly too far at 2 hours away [although gas was cheaper, so filling up there was part of that deal]. There's nothing else to do, the buffet wasn't much, and the excitement level of such small potatoes, if you know what I mean. And they did manage to miff me on a couple of things which I detail below.

The positives didnt add up enough: it was nicer than I thought it would be, there was no "clip-joint" horsescrap like charging for parking, the dealers were not surly. And the big positive for me, Table Games offered, also isn't going to be enough. Maybe if I wasn't waiting to check out Charles Town!

One thing I can't shake off is the Dealer who seemed to be trained to push the bad bets. A very nice and attractive young lady, she drank the Koolaid evidently: something like "you will be noticed for pushing the betting". I know you have to expect reminders that it is time to place my usual bet, but I don't like finding out the dice were coming out; then being told to watch my hands. Screw that business of calling out the bet, Geez I prefer to just place the chips, I'm trying to train myself to wait to do things when the dice are in the middle and I don't need someone untraining me. But the thing I really remember is me thinking the lady knows how I want to bet, I'm primarily doing the Don't Come bet [DC] with odds, but skipping the odds on 6's and 8's DC if my big bets have been going south. So my point on the DC is a 6, and she says "do you want the action?" and I say no, meaning to me no free odds bet. But she meant, did you want to just leave the bet in the DC box, start it over and don't go for the point resolved. To really tick me off, I get that straightened out, with me apologizing for the misunderstanding, and we no quicker get that done than the 6 is rolled losing my bet! grrrr. Of course then I'm thinking it's bad luck to have all that dealer participation going on. But especially it bugs me to think that I never asked once to do that particular thing, G.D. it, leaving the bet in the DC box even though a point is established! Did I ever ask to pick up a Don't Pass Line bet when we got a point? To my way of thinking, that has to be first. I need to figure out a way to let the dealers know to just let me be in charge of my betting. I know they are going to be reminding me to bet, but actually me maxing my action all the time, I don't care about that. And this other thing, "do you want the action?", brother I am going to be looking out for that now.

And the other thing was: going to $10 tables at noon. That really messes me up with my standard bankroll, so the DP/DC gets complicated with me being too much of a piker to put up $60 in free odds. If I play the Pass Line I just do 2X odds at a $10 table so I only have $30 in action. The sessions didnt go so good luck-wise, and I'm not forgetting part of what I perceived as my problem was the $10 minimum and the bankroll I brought. I would have had longer lasting action at a $5 table and my chances for luck changing would have been better.

OK, Harrington Raceway and Casino, you had a shot at my action, but now I have to think I'm going to have to expect $10 Craps Tables and bringing $1200 for a bankroll. Somebody else wouldnt think that was necessary, but I do, because H.R.& C. or anybody else isn't going to get the satisfaction of seeing me leave the table with no chips left. That really iced it, I'm not going in the middle of the night to see if that's when the tables stay $5. Maybe your chances were bad to start with, but you blew it for sure with that. I could have forgiven you if you had all 4 tables packed, but you "sort of" had two going and you had two empty. Going to $10 minimum in that circumstance is a slap in the face in my book. I'll really be surprised if they see me again.


DJTeddyBear Jun 05, 2010

Raising the table limits at noon, without having full tables, sounds like they were following someone's prescribed guidelines without putting thought into it.

Maybe you shouldn't cross them off your list just yet.

Give them a little time, and once they have a meeting between management and floorpeople, that noon guideline will go out the window.


toastcmu Jun 06, 2010

I'm wondering if all the Delaware casinos are following the book - someone asked about table limits at Dover Downs on their facebook page, and their response was $5 limits during the initial test and $10 and up once state approval sets in on June 21. To me, $10 limits is not worth the 1hr less drive to AC - I'll just keep going if that's the case. I'm awaiting July and Charles Town as well!

SanchoPanza Jun 07, 2010

Re: "But she meant, did you want to just leave the bet in the DC box, start it over and don't go for the point resolved."

Over many years of using a system to hedge by laying the point while going through the don't come, I use my order to take down my lay bet (after getting up behind the line) gauge dealers' competency and attention, as well as tipping. New dealers, especially, are eager to take down the established don't bet behind the line. It's not clear whether it's a problem of trying to decrease the player advantage at that or a lack of appreciation of the don't side. The latter is a major factor causing problems in Caribbean casinos.

Niblick Jun 07, 2010

OG, I was there Saturday at the Racebook for the Belmont (btw proud to say my horse won) and went to the table games area afterwards; the main area was packed, the poker room had a wait list, the high limit room was vacant. I'm most familiar with blackjack so it garnered most of my attention.

1. We saw one dealer, clearly a beginner (and rattled), at a $25 table. She tried hard but made some pretty basic errors (e.g. she had 9-9-2 and started to clear the chips from a guy who had K-J).

2. At two different $15 tables within a 5 minute time period, we saw one bloke stand w/A-5 versus a 10 showing; and then we saw a gent w/5-5 v. 5, hit, get a 3, then hit again. I seem to recall during my one/only trip to Vegas that these kind of plays would have drawn at least a pause from the dealer.

Seems like there's a lot to be learned for a lot of folks.

Do you think your dealer may have been trying too hard?

odiousgambit Jun 08, 2010

"Do you think your dealer may have been trying too hard?"

I don't think she was getting her Jollies by trying to screw us, exactly, but maybe trying to show she knew how to milk the crowd generally. She seemed to be proud of knowing that some knuckleheads "don't want that action" on the DC with a point of 6 or 8. Of course anyone working the dark side is hoping to get to lay odds on 4,10,5 or 9 instead of 6 or 8, but why would you ever give up anytime you have an edge to go back to House Edge?

Just this aggravation wouldnt keep me from going back by itself. I think I needed the practice of dealing with dealers, including this type.

odiousgambit Jun 08, 2010

not to mention that laying odds on 6 or 8 pays better, so nothing wrong with working that really anyway.

FleaStiff Jun 26, 2010

Its foolish for a player to call No Action when his Dont bet would result in a wager against the Six or Eight, but that is clearly what she meant when she asked Do You Want Action. If she meant odds, she would have said it or asked Anything behind it or something to that effect.

Its sometimes hard for dealers to avoid too much chatter, but if they have a question its best that they do speak up and then learn what you will probably want the next time.

Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 04, 2010

Putting Craps Tables ON NOTICE

OK, Craps Tables, you're "on notice" and could be moved to "dead to me" status ala Colbert if you don't look out. It was one thing when I was cleaning up for a while, and actually pretty neat when staying about even for remarkably long whole sessions, but lately you're getting close to blowing me out so bad I'm about ready to ask WoO to crunch the numbers! Last two times out, over about 5 sessions, you've take about $1000 from my funds in an awful slaughter!

Two short sessions at newly available Craps at Harrington Delaware took exactly $406 out of my pocket, and all but $3 of it was lost on the Pass Line or Don't Pass Line with various sized odds bets. That's supposed to have cost me 14 cents a bet EV at most, and it was pretty slick how that got to add up to about 30 times that per bet.

I'm putting the total for 5 years of gambling to "down $906" now.

I keep thinking how there are two different approaches to the anonymity here. I could make wild unverifiable claims as to how I always win big, or just try to be as honest about it as I can, relying on no one knowing me personally. I've clearly taken the latter tack and glad of it, although I have to tell you a little voice is still there that says "hey, you gotta brag a little." So we'll when and if I get to do that. For this summer, this was only about a third of my planned action.

I actually forgot to tip except $3 in two-ways. I honestly did plan to leave a green chip at the end, but reaction to my luck really did just make me forget. Perhaps more on Harrington later.

edit: for some perspective, I lost $400 on gambling yesterday, but today my losses in the Stock Market will mean 10s of Thousands of Dollars. Do I gamble? I have to say yes, if I never walk into another Casino in my life.


DJTeddyBear Jun 04, 2010


Putting Craps Tables ON NOTICE

I'm sure the craps tables are shaking in their boots....NOT!

But seriously, I feel your pain. Take a break or a lap or something. Things will turn around.

Posted by odiousgambit
May 30, 2010

Newbie Embarrasses Self in Atlantic City

I don't see how I can resist checking out the new Table Games in Delaware that opened this week, and, yep, they are going to have Craps. I'm holding down my expectations, though... nonetheless, there will be a report!

After feeling stupid about not playing Craps in the Bahamas when I had a chance, I vowed to take advantage whenever such an opportunity came up again. So, when going to Ocean City Maryland to check out fishing charterboats with a couple of friends a solid 15 years ago, we decided to later hit a Casino in Atlantic City. One guy really wanted to go and actually made it sound one heck of a lot closer than it was; he was the only one who had experienced casino gambling and now I can see he really had an itch he needed to scratch. Unfortunately it never crossed his mind to tip the other two of us off that we really needed a little preparatory information beforehand. It was a toss into the deep water, sink or swim, something that probably amused him. [I loved the guy, actually; he's passed away now].

We hit the Taj Mahal. I approached the Craps Tables with a minimum of information; this was before the internet [for me that is]. I knew how to play Craps, but just that 7 or 11 won, 2,3 or 12 lost, and how the other numbers were resolved. And somehow I found out what the Passline was on a Craps Table, and that there were a ton of sucker bets to avoid. That was it! So I proceeded to pretend I knew what I was doing, knowing no etiquette whatsoever. Right away, of course, I get yelled at for doing stupid stuff like letting my hands hang down to the felt. Worse, when it was my turn to roll, I managed to let go of the dice twice to hear "No Dice!!" yelled out. First time, I threw them without making a bet. Next time, I'm thinking I have it all figured out and for extra good luck cupped the dice in my hands and let her go! Duh!

Somehow I managed to stay at the table without being asked to leave, determined to stay there and suffer through, realizing now I needed to have prepared for this! It wasn't long, though, before my friends wanted to leave anyway. Our experienced gambler, I think now, probably worked some system that busted his bankroll in record time at the BlackJack table, and for that matter we got there crazy late to begin with due to quite excessive travel time. We used the Lewes Delaware Ferry to cross into New Jersey. Brother, do not think that is just some short little hop; that ferry, including the wait of course, took forever!

I learned nothing about the bets in Craps I didnt already know. But I certainly found out I better learn some etiquette! About this time, I started using the internet. Surely about that time or soon after I came across the Wizard's site.

A future post will have to include the next time I played Craps, a little more informed and this was in Vegas.

Posted by odiousgambit
May 27, 2010

Paradise Island Gets Stiffed

One thing since the last post, I want to use this as a place to keep a tally of how much I'm up or down for casino gambling. I have remembered another loss and since it is all trusted to memory, rounding it all up to "Down $500" to start with as of about 5 years ago ... additional figures will be more accurate. I keep having to remind myself there is no need to hide the fact I'm down. We are most of us anonymous here.

At one point it didn't look like Gambling was going to have much to do with me outside of things like the friendly poker game. Things that were available: state run lotteries, state run Keno, somewhat local slot machine parlors, and the like were not interesting to me. The Horses were the big disappointment, having held out some hope for that; see the first blog post.

I found myself some 15-20 years ago or so at Paradise Island, Nassau, in the Bahamas. I was there for Sun and Fun, and barely thought about the Casino. I had to admit, though, that there were times I was a bit bored. I knew the basic rules about playing Craps. And I knew Craps had a pretty fairly even bet. Nonetheless, I left there without making a single bet. After I got home and thought about it, I became convinced that it was really dumb to have sat there at the bar overlooking the Casino and not just walked up to the Craps area and had some fun. I vowed not to be so stupid next time around.

Next: well, when I finally played the first time, it didnt go so good. But it was progress!


DJTeddyBear May 27, 2010


.... But it was progress!

Now THERE'S an optimist for ya!

Posted by odiousgambit
May 24, 2010

Gambling Opportunities this Summer Part I

Well, my first Blog posting. I think it is the way to go rather than clog up the Forums with musings, and folks can ignore it if they choose.

I kind of have been wanting to keep track of wins/losses so let's start that too, figuring I'm down about $200 over the last 5 years or so, and before that there was nothing worth tracking [and no tracking of various friendly poker games]. So just Casino wins/losses.

One thing for sure, I'm a little surprised myself that I'm taking such an interest in Gambling these days. There were reasons to think it wouldn't happen. As far as family influence goes, it would be neutral to negative, knowing no relatives who gambled at all. My siblings and I got introduced to Poker as teenagers and took to it to a minor degree is all. Once I was a young adult, I knew some people who seemed to have fun going to The Track to bet on horses. So I wanted to give that a whirl.

I have to tell you that each and every time, few and far between, that I tried to enjoy myself at a Racetrack was a bust. Something always happened that made me *not* want to go back. This varied between being hassled by a maniac who threatened to kill me for sitting in his favorite seat to having to deal with pan-handlers. My last trip to a Track ticked me off with the attitude there that they were all about soaking patrons to the max: this was Rosecroft that has the Trotters in the DC area. When you drove into the place they charge you to just drive in the gate. Then they charge you to park. Then they charged you for a program [a must-have for horses]. Then to get away from the maniacs and panhandlers you paid to get to a nicer section. The appeal of betting against other bettors on the parimutuel basis had appeal [I didn't realize the rake was so high] but there was no question I would never be able to overcome being down $20 or so just getting to a
seat for the size bets I was going to be making.

I told myself I wasn't really a Gambler. I certainly wasnt having much fun tring to gamble on horses.

Part II will be about how Craps got my attention.


DJTeddyBear May 24, 2010


figuring I'm down about $200 over the last 5 years or so

Wow. That's good enough to be called a win! (Yeah, talking like a typical gambler, LOL)

The track charges to drive in AS WELL AS park? Are you using the Valet Parking?

The track near me, Meadowlands, doesn't charge for parking anymore. Not enough business. I think they decided it's cheaper to make it free parking than to pay for parking attendants. But they always did, and still do, charge to use the valet.

You don't HAVE to purchase a program. All that info is available online, and in some newspapers, but I understand your point. Of course, it costs to print them, so somebody has to pay....

And the overpriced beer and dogs? That's not the track, but the concessioneer, with a captive audience to exploit.

Looking forward to your Craps story.

odiousgambit May 24, 2010


Wow. That's good enough to be called a win! (figuring I'm down about $200)

I remembered another loss so let's modify that to down $400 and even say $500 for possible inaccuracy having to rely on memory. I want this to be honest and will correct that next post. Oh, it also speaks to how seldom I get a chance to do the type of gambling I want. After all, the local stuff such as Horses doesn't cut it for me [but that is changing].


The track charges to drive in AS WELL AS park? Are you using the Valet Parking?

No Sir, regular parking. I wanted to say they charged you to get into the Racetrack itself from the parking lot, but I'm not sure I remember that right. The Racetrack is on its last legs now and you can imagine I'm not the only person who learned to despise the greed.