Posted by odiousgambit
Apr 25, 2011

More Thoughts on the Greenbrier

More Thoughts on the Greenbrier

When I was first looking into The Greenbrier, there were a lot of internet reviews to be found about it that were frustratingly general about the casino, while I was looking for specifics such as table minimums. And I ran across news articles. But one thing began to stand out: the Greenbrier was not doing so good before the casino was in operation, but since then things have been hunky-dory. Articles pre-casino found plenty to grouse about in general, mostly having to do with the place dreaming up ways to add to your bill [nothing is cheap there, that's for sure anyway]. But sometimes even the food got bad reviews. Post-casino [mid-summer] reviews show a big improvement in sentiment. This is a mystery to me now, since I never saw the casino anywhere near busy, yet in general the casino is getting the credit for this improvement.

I strolled through without playing on arrival Sunday late afternoon, and played afternoons and evenings the next two days. The scene changed between
being clearly 'near empty' to sometimes 'somewhat active', never truly busy. The slots never got much action for sure, those being the potential big money maker of course. You just would think that they would be disappointed there that the place's capacity was just not being met.

I guess there are some explanations, such as my visit not being during a good time to get a good example of how busy it was most other times. There was a Mrs. America pageant going on, note Mrs. America not "Miss" America, and maybe that crowd did not contain a lot of gamblers. I sure saw no contestants in the casino. But somehow the casino itself is doing plenty well for itself, and of course if that is the case then it is helping operations in general. This article is typical.


Ayecarumba Apr 26, 2011

I suspect the addition of the Casino also brought some PR staff familiar with placing favorable, "reviews" in various media channels. It's good business, but not necessarily reality.

If possible, keep track of your throws to see if setting produces any noticable deviation from the expected random results.

Posted by odiousgambit
Apr 20, 2011

A couple of days at the Greenbrier

We have decided that we want to take most of our vacations locally now, somewhere we can drive to without killing ourselves from the DC area, instead of putting up with the hassle of flying. If gambling is to be in the picture for that, I knew we might be fitting in Mohegan Sun in CT or Atlantic City in NJ. But the idea of hitting a more local gambling scene was ruled out for various reasons [as mentioned in other blog posts].

This was a bit of a dilemma for me when we planned to head west of DC for vacation. I finally remembered that the old resort in WV that people used to go to to "take the waters" [for 233 years they say] now had some kind of current manifestation that included gambling. So I suggested to my wife we try that, and to my surprise she was thrilled as she had wanted to stay at this 'The Greenbrier' for some time and hadn't mentioned it. She used to work for the hotel industry and likes to stay at the famous hotels. OK! off to a good start here!

It was hard to find good reviews on the casino itself. Most of the reviews I seem to be able to find on *any* casinos off the main track tend to disappoint, often written by someone who doesnt gamble. Worse, they seemingly most often otherwise are written by disgruntled slots players, grousing about the usual beating they are taking. Emailing them didn't help, although that has been a problem for me other places as well. So I was forced to show up not knowing what to expect for sure in the way of minimums and rules. From some of what I was able to glean, seemed like there would be a good chance the minimums would be too high for me, forcing me to just make a few bets and leave. As it turned out, the minimums for the two games I would play, $15 at BJ and $10 at craps, were less than I predicted. I was also predicting 2X odds for craps, but it was indeed 3X4X5X.

I was set to try BJ for the first time in a casino. I sat down where it was only me and the dealer, and I immediately told her how I learned to play only online. I was glad to see she wanted to be helpful and understood what I was saying. As it turned out, there weren't any real surprises; that helped but I was still nervous. She called out the totals on both hands [wasn't sure that was going to happen] and I attempted to follow Basic as best I could including having laminated cards handy. I astounded myself by making several errors, some of which she actually let me renege on [before flipping dealer cards] and some of which went as I called them. Over two days I had two rounds of BJ; the first round I couldnt get BlackJack dealt to me except when dealer had it too it seemed, but I only was down a little over $100. By the second day I think I played almost error free at Basic, got my fair share of BlackJacks, but got clobbered with doubling down, losing about the same amount. Overall it was pretty fun, I have to assume I'll have better luck once in a while.

The new thing I wanted to try at craps was setting the dice before throwing. Now I have set dice before, but was actually faking knowing what to do just to see how people would react. This time I learned a couple of sets, and wanted again just to see how people would react, not believing that it worked. All I did was get some basic info at the WoO site and go with that, no lessons or anything. Lo and Behold, it seemed to be working! The dealers and everybody were remarking on how long my hands were going without the 7-out. The way I was playing, I would usually just be trying to hit one number for myself, with a come bet sometimes setting up another number. I found couldnt hit my numbers before the 7-out too consistently, the other part of that equation, and by no means did I exactly set any records for rolling anyway. But I came away about $100 ahead, making me happy since the BJ earlier had set me back. Next night, I again had everyone remarking how long my hands were getting rolled without the 7; the difficulty of hitting my own numbers continued. As I was tiring and about even and not the roller, I put up some come bets with full odds so that I was going for 3 numbers; this roller 7'd-out, and I bagged it then, down over $100. Overall a lot of fun, but no cigar you might say.

It was definitely fun to set the dice. The crew was definitely immediately on notice to make sure my rolls suited them. The first toss I made didn't hit the back wall; the stickman announced "a soft roll" without actually asking me to toss harder. I knew I was on notice, though, so my thought was to try to have only one die hit the back wall with maybe getting away with neither going that far once in a blue moon. That definitely was accepted OK, both dice hitting the back wall many times anyway. I enjoyed the attention all this got, including the apparent effectiveness of it.

Did I believe I was really skewing the results? In a word, NO. I don't really believe it can be done at all in casino conditions, much less actually making the long sets of rolls I was getting without 7-out really happen like that from dice-setting! However, as opposed to some, I don't feel there is much need to speed the game up, so what the heck. And I will confess to getting the "Pascal's Wager" effect on this. You know, it seemed to work, so what does it hurt either? If someone gave me a rabbit's foot and told me it would improve my luck, and it did, you know I'd be keeping that rabbit's foot. I am definitely that way, forgetting while playing sometimes that it was hooey. As a matter of fact, I started feeling disdain for people who were just tossing the dice with no technique. I definitely kicked myself for making those last big bets of my visit when just such a person indeed went down in flames. For sure, I am hooked now, dice setting is going to be it for me!

up or down longterm now "down $1152"
below budget, $948 balance



rdw4potus Apr 20, 2011

Nice report! It looks like you managed to stay relatively close to even and have some fun, but I don't see anything about your wife's influence on the bankroll. Should I take it to mean that you'd rather not talk about it?;-)

RonC Apr 21, 2011

Thanks for the report...I enjoyed reading it.

I don't think the way I do anything necessarily influences the dice in any way...but I set them the same way each time, take a deep breath, toss them with care, and roll an average number of sevens anyway!!

odiousgambit Apr 21, 2011

>I don't see anything about your wife's influence on the bankroll.

well, the gambling bankroll for us is a separate thing from other expenses incurred on vacation. She doesnt gamble as much, but also now is taking some interest in BJ also, so maybe the next thing I know she'll be a high roller!

odiousgambit Apr 21, 2011

to clarify, if she loses/wins that does not affect my own payroll. We have joint accounts but this is not one of them!

Posted by odiousgambit
Feb 13, 2011

Variant Field Bets Explored

The lack of symmetry on the Field bet, with '5' losing and '9' winning, does bug me. Of course, the come-out is not symmetrical either, as the '11' has the same chance of coming out as '3' does, but one wins and the other loses. I've gotten used to that it seems, and never think about it.

But the equally likely '5' and '9' having different field payoffs, grrrr. Probably it's 'just me', but I had to toy around with this; after all, different casinos have different field bets. And "how things came about" is of interest to me.

Here's what I have so far, and to make a stir, if I owned a casino, I'd use and promote #1 at least some of the time. The excitement factor I think is pretty good!

The desired HE aside, at this forum I realize I will be up against plenty of boos, hisses, and catcalls [g]. And I too would really like something more simple than #3, not sure I can.

Wincraps should have these right, although I sometimes seem to run into a glitch with "bet results". At first I thought it was kind of weird that zero HE would sometimes be what I got, toying around, but now I think I get it.

    variant #1- house pays 3x on '2','3','11', & '12', while '5' and '9' loses [as well as the other inside numbers]. Zero HE. Because of the symmetry, but also excitement factor, I like this better for a zero HE promotion. I have to admit as casino owner I'd probably only have something like that on a low-max-bet table myself.

    variant #2 - house pays 3x on '2','11', &'12' but pays 2x on '3', while '5' and '9' etc. loses. This one is -5.56 HE. The "stingy casino" house edge with symmetry, except a lack of symmetry in what pays in multiples.

    variant #3 - house pays 4x on '12', 3x on '2' or '11' and 2x on '3' while 5 and 9 etc. loses. Has a -2.78 HE. The most standard HE, now with symmetry and same problem as #2.

I havent been able to concoct a field bet that has -2.78 HE without a lack of symmetry at least in the unsymmetrical multiples pay. I think the problem is that one 36th is .0278. Thus that is the most fine tuning you can pull off one way or the other?

My guess on how the field bet got to its various current formations: All field bets with '7' paying are rejected, and inside numbers in general are rejected. Then having the '5,6,7,8,9' inner numbers losing, with no bet paid in multiples, was considered at the beginning? Finding no one to bet such a rip-off, the '9' was chosen to pay I think, why the '9' over the '5' I know not. Indeed a truly symmetrical way to give better odds perhaps cannot be found. Paying double on 2 and 12 and then triple on 2 or 12 surely came about in an effort to out-compete another casino by offering better odds yet, as also paying on the '5' sends it to player advantage. It took me a while to realize the outside numbers are for fine tuning, as the inside number diddling is big whacks.


kenarman Feb 13, 2011

variant #1 is already on the table, although with different odds, in the horn bet

guido111 Feb 13, 2011

No need to guess on how the field came into being.

From John Scarne on Dice 1974.

Pages 103 and 104 have photos of old layouts.

The field bet started with the numbers 12,11,10,9,5,3,2 and paid even money.

changing the 5 for the 4 and adding the double 2 and 12 was just a way to adjust the HA and get more action against other casinos as you have mentioned..

I remember years ago in Miss. that I saw a field with a centerfield 5, now I know why.

7winner Feb 13, 2011

I have read in Scarne's book that the 2 and 12 paid 3 to 2 on bets over $1. The other numbers 11,10,9,5 and 3 paid even money.

He has some funny stories in the "Betting Systems" chapter.

The field has always been an action bet.

odiousgambit Feb 14, 2011

thanks for all the input

Posted by odiousgambit
Feb 02, 2011

Craps Question Was Eating At Me

This will strike many of you as a profoundly idiotic question, but it has been bugging me for some time. If taking free odds in Craps, you increase the variance to the point that the significance of winning or losing at the pass line [or don't pass] becomes smaller; at something like 100x odds the pass line bets are almost immaterial for a session. I also had noticed during a session that I seemed to win a pretty normal percentage of times when the bet was resolved by rolling 7, 11, or craps on the come-out, but that my luck varied wildly on whether I would make my points, the very time that I had my big bets up with the free odds.

I couldn’t figure out if somehow wincraps kept track automatically of how often a come-out got resolved immediately, or how to keep track of that using chipracks in wincraps.

But I thought it was possible that a fairly lengthy session might involve a situation where playing free odds meant a losing session could turn into a winning one, or vice versa. The question became, does betting free odds tend to emphasize winning or losing in a session? The intuitive answer would seem to be “yes” but I decided to use wincraps and do some trials.

So what we have below are the results for 20 sessions of 300 rolls, long sessions of approximately 3 hours in real time each. The *same set* of random numbers for each trial was duplicated to see how it turned out betting differently. It pretty much confirms that major winning or losing gets boosted, not reversed, with the free odds. In other words common intuition on the matter seems correct. If, however, a session was close to break-even, then the free odds seem to have an unpredictable influence.

Some sessions, like #4, turned out quite interesting.

PS: the betting is by one unit, with a bankroll of zero to start.
PS: if I get around to the other stats, it will be a chart below this chart

Session Number Pass Line no odds 1 Pass line with 5x4x3 odds Don't Pass no odds Don't Pass lay 5x4x3 odds
#1 -13 -58 +10 +55
#2 - 20 - 93 +17 +90
#3 +8 +52 -11 -55
#4 -1 -45 -1 +43
#5 -2 0 -2 -4
#6 -8 -14 +6 +12
#7 +9 +57 -12 -60
#8 -5 -5 +2 +2
#9 -1 -18 -1 +16
#10 -6 -51 +2 +49
#11 +6 +33 -10 -37
#12 -2 +8 +2 -8
#13 -10 -70 +10 +58
#14 -14 -56 +10 +52
#15 -3 -3 +1 +1
#16 +8 +72 -10 -74
#17 -5 -45 +3 +43
#18 +1 +52 -4 +49
#19 +9 +80 -12 -83
#20 +6 +24 -7 -25


teddys Feb 02, 2011

Not an idiotic question at all. I've often wondered about it myself. Even single odds will increase your variance to the point where the pass line bet really doesn't matter. The odds tend to emphasize losing, because you will have fewer points lost than won. However, variance goes both ways, and you also have the best chance of winning when you take odds.

Ayecarumba Feb 02, 2011

In reality, I don't think you would flat bet if you won with a 7 or 11 on the comeout multiple times, or made multiple passes. A progressive betting scheme would further increase your variance, but also increase your total win. Alternately, your could bust out sooner if your betting scheme does not include a "reset to base amount" following a loss, or string of losses.

i note that of the 20 passline trials, taking odds would "save" the player only twice (#5 and #12). In other words it turned a losing session into a breakeven, or plus. This is as expected, however, I wonder what the peak bankroll and max loss were for each session?

odiousgambit Feb 03, 2011

I believe max and min bankroll are preserved figures. If I add columns it might get too big, but I'll at least post that for you in comments if you check back.

I don't see a way to vary betting and benefit myself.

RaleighCraps Feb 03, 2011

I had been struggling with the same thoughts, which is how I came up with the big bet idea. Free odds works great when numbers are being rolled (or 7s if you are dark side), but they cause large pain if you are on the wrong side of the resolution.

You can see the number of instant resolves by having your autobet file only play 1 game of 300 rolls. Just end the Hyper Roll in the auto bet file after 300 rolls, plus resolve the final action by testing for a new comeout roll. If you do that, then the Summary page will show you the number of shooters, and the number of points made. It also shows the complete number of passes. so number of passes - number of points made = number of comeout winners. That data is not persistent though, so if you reset the table, you lose that info.

odiousgambit Feb 03, 2011

Raleighc., you are right, that has it all, including bankroll high and low. When I can get to it, I'll add these other stats, I've started the column already.

dm Feb 04, 2011

Session 4 - quite interesting? To everyone? I assumed it would be totally not interesting to me. I know ways to give money away and I don't need any more. But, by all means, keep posting this craps or crap or whatever. In general, advantage players are not interested in this game.

dm Feb 04, 2011

My post was uncalled for - sorry.

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 23, 2010

Boardless Diceless Clue

Christmas week is a very slow time for us at work, yet we are expected to show up and fill the days somehow. Gambling would be frowned upon, so after our recent discussion, I decided a game of Clue could be played. So here is the idea and how it went.

Boardless Diceless Clue. Some sequence of who goes first and who "is to the left" of who is modified from where people normally sit. I modified a deck of playing cards by writing names, weapons, and rooms on various and distributing them; the empty deck package held the 3 key cards determining whodunit etc.

A simple map of the board is provided to each player along with a piece of paper with the suspects, weapons, and rooms listed so that notes can be made. The map shows how you move from one room to the next, providing some manner in which you can cross the board as well as move from adjacent rooms and secret passages. There is no need to decide which suspect you are playing, each player is just himself.

Players could pick the room they would start in. To move, each player gets one move in one turn; in that move you may walk out of a room or into a secret passage. In the next move you may enter a room or continue to the next place on the map without entering. Rules about blocking a room and all that were not in effect. It was considered good if the game went pretty fast, as of course certain interruptions occur even on a slow day.

I anticipated a problem with people remembering where they were on the board, so the player "to the left" must help the current player remember. It turned out everybody started helping everybody remember. Otherwise it was standard Clue rules.

It went very well! For the second game players decided they wanted everybody to start in the same room, so I thought that was OK, if unnecessary. As is the nature of the game, sometimes it was over fast, and with moving so easy, it was really fast. But that was probably a good thing. I'm wondering now how well Boardless Diceless Clue would go as a parlor game at a party and might try it.


benbakdoff Dec 23, 2010

I think they should have thanked you for a great year and sent you home With Pay!!

Nareed Dec 26, 2010

You should pitch it to the manufacturer as "Rapid Clue" ;)

Ayecarumba Jan 03, 2011

There actually is a card based version of "Clue". It is designed for 2-4 players. You don't move around a board, just ask other players if it was "insert two rooms/weapons/suspects here". Sort of like "Go Fish". Your invention sounds more fun.

odiousgambit Feb 03, 2011

stay tuned, I think I will have to make a chart below the first chart to have room