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HOME > > Are Casino Players Insane?

Are Casino Players Insane?

4 May 2021

By Frank Scoblete

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” This quote, or some version of it, has been credited to Albert Einstein.

Whether Einstein said this or not, the concept seems to hold water. Why would anyone who is sane keep doing the same thing “over and over again” without seeing some change, hopefully for the better.

I was once asked this question at a seminar I was running; “Do you think casino players are crazy because they can’t win but keep playing over and over expecting to win? Isn’t that nuts?”

At first I was going to say “yes” but then I gave myself a moment to pause and think this through. Did casino players fit this insanity profile? No, I realized, casino players do not fit Einstein’s prediction because they may do the same thing over and over but they do not get just one result, meaning no result. They do see different results using the same strategies.

No system can beat the casino if one is playing a strictly random game without figuring some way to actually get a mathematical edge. No betting system can overcome how the casinos manipulate their payouts. These are sad facts but they are facts nevertheless.

Still, the casino player does not always get the same result during any given session no matter what system or technique that player uses. Even a player who just throws bets out there willy-nilly, not playing any system, just guessing and hoping for a win, is not doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. The player is getting different results.

Follow me: A player wins a little; a player loses a little. A player wins a lot; a player loses a lot. A player experiences an inconsistent game of wins and losses. Different things happen at different times using the strategies that the player enjoys using. Therefore such a player does not have to change strategies because that strategy being used works at times because of the myriad results it gets. It might be the same thing over and over but it is getting different results.

So, whew!, casino players are not insane. The casino’s ability to beat the players over time, be it short time such as today, or long time such as weeks, months or years, is based on a mathematical manipulation of betting percentages and “taxes” paid on wining bets by the players (also known as “short payouts”).

When a player enjoys the game of craps, the losses are easy to establish. On the Pass Line bet the player wins 244 times but loses 251 times, giving the house a 1.41 percentage edge. It is simply that the casino wins more decisions on this bet.

However, on most other bets the casino will take a tax out of the player’s winning decision. For example, if the player places the 4 or 10, the casino will pay back $9 for a $5 winning bet when the fair payment (meaning no edge is taken) would be $10 for $5 since the 4 or 10 is six-to-three in favor of the 7. That’s two-to-one. You can consider that payout cutting short one dollar as a tax on a player’s win.

With the incredible number of bets at craps, the taxes win quite a lot of money for the house. Still, players will win some and lose some because they have guessed correctly at times. That makes the players believe in their strategies. The players have seen enough wins to make them true believers.

This situation holds true for all casino games. The casino either wins more decisions or taxes the players’ wins.

Now if you look at blackjack you see that the casino wins approximately 48 decisions; loses approximately 44 decisions and ties about 8 decisions. If the casino allowed that range of wins and losses, most players would skip off the game and play something else. So the casino makes blackjack more palatable by offering rewarding hands where the player can get an edge or reduce the house edge on those hands.

The players can double their bets on the first two cards; split pairs; double after splits and be paid three-to-two on blackjacks (or, ugh, six-to-five on blackjacks). The house edge for a player using the computer derived basic strategy is somewhere in the one-half percent for the traditional game.

All roulette bets come with the house taking a tax on all winning bets for inside straight-up bettors by paying only 35-to-one when the fair payout is 37-to-one in the American double-zero wheel and 36-to-one on the European single-zero wheel. On the outside proposition bets, the casino will win bets whenever the green 0 or 00 shows. The house edge is 5.26 percent on the American wheel and 2.7 percent on the European wheel.

You can bet roulette any way you wish; placing chips on the inside numbers, on the outside proposition bets, or on any combination of the two. The long run results heavily favor the casino but no individual session dictates that the player must lose. Any strategy can probably work in any given session.

In truth, while understanding which bets are better for the player, the house will have an edge on all of them. That’s the way it is and it isn’t insane.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on smile.amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at book stores.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in AmericaFrank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books include Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! and Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players.

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