From Jimbo: OK, here is something I am interested in. I saw a guy win 100 thousand dollars last night at craps. That was the most I ever saw someone win. That got me to thinking about you guys who spend your entire lives in the casinos. How much have you seen players win at the games? How much have you seen players lose? What is the most you ever saw at a game where you were actually playing? What is the most you have ever won in a casino?
I think people love to hear about the big wins and big losses in the games. So what do you say? Fill us in.
Frank’s Response: Interesting question and I agree with you, people do like to hear and read about big wins and big losses. However, some of those big wins and big losses are because the players are betting big. If someone is betting 250 thousand dollars per hand at blackjack a loss of a million dollars is basically a loss of four hands. If someone were betting $250, a loss of a million dollars would be titanic bad luck.
So that should be kept in mind. The more you bet the bigger the wins and the bigger the losses.
The most I ever saw won at a table was just a shade under one million dollars in craps at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in its glory days. The most I ever saw lost was 1.4 million at a table at the Venetian by a Hollywood producer, one of the most obnoxious players I ever saw. He would not allow the crew to change stickmen while he was shooting. When he sevened out he was OK with a change, but even then he grumbled that he was betting enough that no changes should be made until he said so. He cursed the dealers and was totally insulting to the waitresses and never even left them tips. He was a crazed bettor and had money all over the layout. A totally nasty individual. I hate to say this, but I was happy he lost.
The most I ever saw won at a game I was in was also in craps. That was a mere 300 thousand dollars. This was at Tropicana in Atlantic City.
I have seen tens of thousands won and lost in high roller rooms at both baccarat and blackjack, but usually not at tables where I played. Most of the games where the big bucks were won or lost came at reserved tables of a thousand or more a hand – way, way too rich for my blood.
The most I ever won or lost in a casino? About $45, more or less.
From Bailey: Settle this argument for me. Is poker a game of skill or a game of luck? My friend says it is a game of luck since you do not determine which cards you get; that is random. I say it is a game of skill because how you play those cards is what counts. Your decision will decide who wins this argument.
Frank’s Response: Spread out the time frame and poker is definitely a game of skill. Those with the goods will be winning players; those who do not have the goods will be losing players. If the game were random, all players who played any substantial amount of time would be losers and we know this isn’t so. Even if there are more losers than winners, that also proves the point.
True, the initial deal is random, based on 52 cards, but from that point how you play them is the key ingredient in determining who wins and who loses. Just think of the coin toss in a football game. That is totally random too but it starts off a game where skill overcomes luck.
Is there luck involved in poker? Yes, some. But there is luck involved in any skilled contest. Still, it’s the skill that counts in the long run.
From Dennis: Which games in order are the most popular?
Frank’s Response: The last survey I saw was published by Harrah’s. The games from top to bottom were slots, video poker, blackjack, craps/roulette tied, mini-baccarat and the various carnival games such as Let It Ride, Three-Card Poker, Caribbean Stud and Pai Gow Poker. Of course many players play many different games so these listings can be off. A player might play a few spins on a slot machine and many more decisions at blackjack so what is he? A blackjack player or a slot player or both?
I think there is no doubt in any casino executive’s mind that the cash cows of the casino world are the slot machines. No one can really deny this. Without those former one-armed bandits (I say “former” because I see almost no one pulling handles anymore), casinos would not have spread throughout the country and world.
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