FROM JACK: I have written several times and you have been gracious enough to print my comments and answer my questions.
My wife and I are Platinum members of the big cruise line and enjoy cruising more than a Vegas trip because you get pampered much more, the shows are near-Vegas quality and the gourmet food can't be beat. I get fruit baskets, champagne, logo gifts and at least $100 of casino cash on my account when I get on the ship.
I agree with reader Patty concerning the low payoffs on the cruise ship's slots. So how do you get a fair shake in the casinos while on a cruise? Let's assume the slots have a low payoff. DON'T PLAY THEM. The blackjack, 3 card poker, craps and roulette as the same games that are in every other casino, with similar rules and $5 minimum bets, which is getting harder to find outside of Vegas. The table games are honest and the dealers usually have good personalities, especially at the craps table where they are a little looser.
But when you pull into port (especially in the Caribbean and Bahamas) the local casinos will be happy to have you get a new card and normally give you $15 startup slot money. I have won more than I lost on the slots in the island casinos and the only thing I take from that is that they are better payoffs than the cruise ships. Oh yeah, the drinks are free too, which is not true of the ship casinos.
So, the next time you sail, do your slot play in an air conditioned island casino rather than get dragged into some trinket shop and put up with sweaty and abusive shopkeepers until you buy something just to get out of there. You will have a better shore visit than the rest of the ship and might make some money.
There is one more advantage to the island casinos. On board, the ships must report slot winnings over $1200 to IRS where the island casinos pay you cash with no 1099 sent to IRS. If you do hit big, that could mean keeping a lot more of your money.
Thanks again for having this great site where players can get an honest answer on gaming questions.
FRANK RESPONDS: Good advice. I am sending you a free copy of my new book “The Virgin Kiss” for your email.
FROM SUZANNE: I am a $10 player at the craps table, usually with a pass line, double odds and $12 each on the 6 and 8. My question is, with limited finances, how many times should I press my 6 or 8 before just sitting back and taking the wins if someone is on a good role? I usually wait until I’ve made enough money back to cover all my original bets (i.e., $54) and then press each one once if the dice play out that way and then let it ride. I also realize I may make more money by upping the odds instead of placing the numbers, but I enjoy the action enough to take the chance.
Love your articles! Thanks for your advice.
FRANK RESPONDS: You are playing a game where you don’t have an edge so every dollar you bet has a negative expectation. If you really enjoy the action and aren’t worried about losing money then I would suggest winning three times more than you have out on the layout before you increase any of your bets.
My real advice is much different. Make one bet on all shooters but yourself.
For your email I am sending you a copy of my new book “The Virgin Kiss.”
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