From Eugene: Mr. Scoblete, I enjoy your articles and look forward to always reading your books. But there is one thing that I do not understand and maybe you can help me with that. Why are some writers, yourself included, so against just going to the casino to have fun? Do I have to have an edge at the games I am playing? Is there any other kind of fun at the casinos for you guys other than having an edge?
I do not want to work to learn how to count cards or control dice which probably takes forever to learn or trudge all over the place looking for the right video poker machines or those advantage slot machines you wrote about in Slots Conquest. I want to go into a casino, play a game and whatever happens happens. I really don’t want to spend time filling up my life with casino strategies. I just want to go to the casino occasionally and play for the heck of it.
Is that so bad? Is that stupid? Why put in the endless hours of effort to get a tiny percentage advantage over the house in blackjack when I am going to play maybe 20 times a year, if that? The work is not worth the reward if you ask me. I’d rather have a few beers, sit back, talk to the other players and enjoy the atmosphere. I have seen card counters and I can tell you they are a grim lot. I don’t see them having fun.
I don’t know if I ever saw a dice controller because I can’t tell one person who sets the dice from another person who sets the dice. I am assuming they exist but I have no idea if I ever played with one at the tables.
What’s your slant on this?
Frank’s Response: My slant is simple; play the games any way you want to play the games. It’s your hard-earned money to do with as you please.
For a recreational player who really doesn’t care about getting an edge over the house, that’s a choice he makes. I prefer to at least offer the player the opportunity to turn the tables on the casinos at the games where this can be done or at the very least give strategies and money management advice that will reduce losses. After all, as a gambling writer, my job is to do just that.
As a player, your job is to do whatever you want. Certainly if you play blackjack it makes no sense to me not to use basic strategy – why not cut the house edge down to a half percent? I don’t see how that would ruin your fun. At craps, why not bet those bets that come in with house edges under two percent? It’s just as much fun winning on a good bet as winning on a bad bet.
Every game can be played in a way that gives you a better chance to win it or at least not to lose as much. I don’t see how this would detract from the fun you’ll have playing.
I admit learning real advantage-play techniques is out of the realm of most players’ desires, though not ability. But at least playing well should not compromise your fun. Given a choice of a good video poker machine sitting next to a bad video poker machine, it makes sense, at least to me, to pick the good machine and play the best strategy on that machine. Certainly having a better chance to win is a fun prospect, is it not?
From Paul: I am sick and tired of dealers who have rotten attitudes. Shouldn’t they be at least cordial? There are dealers at my local casino who are so unfriendly if there were another casino nearby I would go to it. You give a tip and the dealer doesn’t even acknowledge it. That burns me up. Not all of the dealers are this way. Most aren’t. But the few who are ruin it for the players. Is it that hard to be a professional in a casino? The cocktail waitresses are all friendly and they are running around like crazy. Why can’t all dealers be the same way?
Frank’s Response: My experience of over a quarter century of casino playing is that the overwhelming majority of dealers try to be friendly or at least cordial or at the very least professional. But some are dead wood and some are dead wood with maggots crawling around inside. I sometimes wonder why the casinos allow such dealers to continue working because they certainly aren’t doing anything for customer relations. They also hurt all those good dealers. I recognize it isn’t easy dealing with the public but a good act, a smile here and there and a thank you for tips should be part of the requirements of the job.
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