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The patterns of the games

13 Jul 2019

By Royal Flushes
ABBY: Many casino gamblers have not looked at how their games pay out in terms of the patterns of wins and losses compared to other games in the casino. For example, is roulette a game that pays out frequently, or do you have to wait for hits only now and then? If we take a look at roulette you can see that the inside bets, meaning directly on the numbers, only pay out once every 38 spins on average. That means you can go for a long time with no hits but when a hit comes the payout is 35 to one. On the outside bets at the game such as red/black, odd/even, high/low the game goes back and forth since the player can win 18 times and lose 20 times. It’s not 50/50, but it is close.

CINDY: If you look at slot machines, the payouts are more like 10% to 20% of the time, but most of those payouts are not so big. Some payouts might not even be wins. Slot players have to develop patience and go through many sessions where they are down, but if luck shines on them, then a few big hits and a player can come all the way back. Of course, those few big hits might not come at all. Patience is the key for slot players, for good or ill.

ABBY: Blackjack is interesting in how it pays out.

CINDY: That’s the truth!

ABBY:A player will win about 44% of the time; the casino will win about 48% of the time and 8% of the time it is a push. So those figures make the game look bad for the player, right? I mean the casino wins a lot more hands. The truth is somewhat different in terms of the money going back and forth between the house and the player.

CINDY: Because some hands can be doubled or split and because blackjacks pays (or should pay) three-to-two, players can win more than even money on their hands. That’s what keeps the game very close between the player and the casino.

ABBY: If the player used the appropriate “basic strategy” for the playing of the hands the house edge can be in the one-half percent range. So it goes you will lose more hands than you win but some of those winning hands will be for more than even money and that is the key to the game.

CINDY: Now craps is a little crazier because you have bets that are really close between the player and the casino, such as the pass line and don’t pass, and then you have bets that are big payers but are only hit on occasion. You can have a bet that has a 1 in 36 chance of hitting or a bet that is almost 50/50. The house edges on those big money paying bets can be extremely high too, some worse than slot machine edges! Players love those bets, and they lose the players quite a lot of money if the bets don’t hit.

ABBY: Baccarat or mini-baccarat is almost a 50/50 proposition between its two main bets, the player and the banker. These will come up about 50% of the time each. So the pattern is back and forth on those two bets. There is a third bet at baccarat, the tie bet, and this will come up now and again and it has a big payout.

CINDY: And a high house edge, too! The speed of mini-baccarat can be somewhat of a problem even though the house has a small edge. I’ve heard that some players can play upwards of 200 hands an hour!

ABBY: Video poker is much like slots. Unless you hit your share of royals, you will tend to be down much more than you are ahead. So again, these video poker games require patience to play them.

CINDY: I like pai gow poker, and the winning and losing is almost 50% for player and casino with a lot of ties. You don’t find too many of these tables in casinos, but it is a good game and I recommend it highly.

ABBY: I’d like to say we can talk about all the carnival games, but we haven’t really played them much.

CINDY: We stick to the more traditional games.

ABBY: So that is that.

CINDY: Yes. It is.

[The Royal Flushes, Abby and Cindy, are sisters who have been going to casinos regularly for over 35 years – often weekly. They have strong opinions about the games and the casino environment.]
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