Re: Does anyone know roulette?

#21
Perhaps you should review N10dough's post where he talks about the difference between an even money game and an even odds game.

On a roulette table, any and every bet you make, you expect to lose 5.3 percent of every dollar bet. That is the important fact. That is the bottom line.

It's true that if you bet more numbers, your odds change, but that just means you will win less money if one of the numbers win. The important fact is that you still expect to lose 5.3 percent of every dollar wagered.

I understand you are unhappy that you have said the odds in roulette are 1 in 36 and that you may do this for a living. I'm sorry about that. But it doesn't change the truth. The odds are in no way 1/36 and that is not a fair or reasonable number to express anyone's expectation of what will happen at a roulette wheel. There are 36 number slots and 2 zero slots for a total of 38 slots. If you bet on a number, the odds of payout are 35 to 1. But the real expectation of winning or losing money is that you always expect to lose exactly 5.3 percet of every dollar bet.

Re: Does anyone know roulette?

#23
Splishak wrote:
The only other issue that I'd like to raise is why would Tony Soprano (who makes a part of his living with gambling) be playing casino Roulette in North America? Surely David Chase has people to advise him that is just completely stupid and unrealistic.


I think the reason that David Chase has shown Tony gambling on roulette is based on the legend of how roulette was created:

A legend tells François Blanc supposedly bargained with the devil to obtain the secrets of roulette. The legend is based on the fact that if you add up all the numbers on the roulette wheel (from 1 to 36), the resulting total is "666", which is the "Number of the Beast".

Re: Does anyone know roulette?

#24
let me ask you, where do you get this info? have you ever played roulette?


Well sir, I have no special claim to fame of any expertise re gambling, in general, or Roulette, in particular, aside from a few experiences with people involved in writing about gambling. I took a few university courses in Statistics and Probability theory as well as Computer Simulation Systems. I have a university degree in Computer Science and took some courses in Statistics and Probability theory in order to get that degree. I also took some courses in writing computer simulation systems that essentially model events and measure expected results. So if you have a system in mind for playing a game, you can write a simulation of that game and see what the expected results will be after many millions or billions of hands are played. That is really the best way to handle any approach to gamblig because it enables you to see what the results are predicted to be given a specific approach to any casino game. But - as most people would expect, there is little surprise there. All casino games favor the house. It's like Penn (from Penn and Teller) says, "You have to be a moron to expect to make money in a casino. All casino games favor the house. People who walk into a casino expecting to make money are severly mathematically challenged."

I didn't learn a whole lot in University about how to apply probability theory to gaming. But I did learn a lot about it when I wrote my own simulation software for Blackjack and Craps. I once had a deal with an author. He was writing a book about Blackjack. He was going to write the book based on his approach using a card counting system and a wagering system and I was going to write the simulation software so that anyone who bought the book would also get the simulation software included with the book, so that they could test his theories (as well as testing their own). Sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn't it? After all, if you were going to buy a book about how to win at Blackjack by using some card counting system and/or wagering system, wouldn't it be great to be able to get a Blackjack game with the book that would let you simulate his system to see how much you expected to win or lose over the long run? Even better, wouldn't it be great to be able to plug in your own ideas and see how much they would win or lose? Unfortunately, he never finished writing the book and the simulation software had no real value on its own since many university students write similar systems and are quite happy to give them away for free by publishing them as freeware or shareware on the net. I'm sure you could find a number of such systems today that are available for free.

Unfortunately, I finished my part of the project, but he never finished his part. It was a shame that I spent several months working out the software and studying the game of Blackjack. But then I went to Las Vegas for a few weeks and had a great time playing Blackjack with my own money and living on Las Vegas buffets. I won't tell you how much money I won or lost. There is really no point to that since my experience is that everyone who tells you about how much money they won or lost in Las Vegas are always lying, anyway. The only thing I'm willing to tell you about my gambling experiences in Las Vegas is that I had a great time and met a lot of real fun people and the trip was highlighted by catching a cheating Blackjack dealer and I got him fired - although, that was not really a very big deal - considering that for the most part, what he was doing was cheating little old ladies by short changing them one dollar at a time. I will explain about that later on in this post.

I never bothered to write any software for Roulette because the game is so straightforward - assuming that the wheel is balanced and fair and also assuming that the croupier is not cheating.

I did once catch a Blackjack dealer cheating - but it was a very minor case - still it was serious enough to get him fired. But it was certainly nothing worthy of publishing. Basically, the dealer was simply short changing people. He would count out change for $10 and give people $9 change - pocketing $1. I thought it was a very good way to cheat because he was cheating the customers and not the casino. I thought the casino would not even care about that and wouldn't even bother to check for people cheating each other. I figured all they cared about was people who were trying to cheat the casino.

I figured the casino wouldn't really care as much about dealers who cheated the public so long as they weren't cheating the house, but I was dead wrong about that. The casino cared a great deal about that and fired the dealer P.D.Q!

Most people wouldn't have made any fuss about seeing a dealer shortchange a customer one dollar. I mean, after all, what is the big deal about stealing one dollar? But I once had a friend who used to say that it was much safer to steal a hundred dollars by stealing one dollar a hundred times than it was to try and steal the hundred dollars - all at one time. After all, if someone sees that they've been shortchanged one dollar, they usually will just forget about it - especially if the dealer acts very surprised and apologizes in a most genuine way and returns the dollar. Most people won't make a big fuss about that with the pit boss or casino manager. And so, the theft wouldn't even get reported and the thief could just carry on as if nothing had happened. Considering that he only got caught about once a month anyway, this dealer was having a great time making lots of extra money.

Anyway, this dealer would do his short changing act at least a hundred times per night and get away with stealing $100 or more every night - whereas other people who would try to steal serious amounts - like $100 at once - would often be caught and get fired and/or go to jail. This guy was teaching us all an excellent lesson and the casino was very happy to have discovered what was going on. They treated me to a very nice evening - they comped me to a nice meal and gave every player at the table $20 in chips to play with as an apology for this dealer shortchanging them. This was back in 1987 and $100 per night was worth a lot more back then than it is now. As it turns out, his usual victims were little old ladies because they were usually enjoying themselves by drinking and talking with their friends and they weren't usually intensely concentrating on watching the dealer count out their change.

Needless to say, the casino fired the dealer. This happened at the Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas in 1987. I doubt that you can verify my story today but it sure was a lot of fun and I don't really care whether it can be verified or not. It was one of the most fun adventures that I ever had and I don't regret a thing about losing the few months that I spent working on this project. As a matter of fact, I still use many of the techniques in my work today that I developed back then.

So, I'm sorry for any hard feelings you and I may have had regarding our disagreement re Roulette. I think it's really a shame that we should have had any disagreement at all because Roulette is really such a straightforward game. Although it is one of the worst games anyone can play in terms of how much money they expect to win or lose. Some people will argue that slot machines are the worst game anyone can play in a casino today. But you just never know how the people who have programmed the slot machines have set them up. You just can't tell what kind of payoffs any particular machine has been programmed to pay. The only way to tell is to play an individual machine long enough to get a sense of how much it pays or fails to pay to a customer. And each machine can be programmed differently. So some people will get the sense that slot machines pay out good money while others will get the sense that they pay out like crap. Or to find a friendly casino manager who will tell you which machines have been set up to pay out good amounts and which machines you should play. Of course, that almost never happens since everyone involved would be going to jail.

So then, one final thought about Roulette. The game of roulette is universally regarded as the worst game anyone can play in a casino - given that you expect to lose 5.3 percent of every dollar bet. For anyone who would have any doubt about that - aside from using probability theory to prove it to yourself, just walk into any casino and you will see many, many Blackjack tables and a similar number of Craps tables. But you will usually only see one or two Roulette tables in the whole casino. I've walked into some huge casinos - like the Golden Nugget, the Mirage, the Stardust, the Luxor, etc. and seen hundreds upon hundreds of people in the casino. But only seen one or two Roulette tables. It's hardly a good proof. But it certainly provides some good empirical evidence. There is very little demand for Roulette because people know that it's not a very profitable game for them to play. Given that they lose 5.3 percent of every dollar played, over the years, people have just built up an inate understanding that Roulette is a terrible proposition. I love the way James Garner speaks about Roulette in his movies, "Support Your Local Sheriff" and "Support Your Local Gunfighter". He said things like, "Roulette is a game for idiots. Do I look like an idiot?" Well, James Garner has always been a kind of renegade and it's just like him to use his movie appearances to try and do some good for the common people by warning them to stay away from Roulette.

Re: Does anyone know roulette?

#25
Wow, I am very surprised that the golden nuggets surveillance department hadn't caught that little scam. Maybe it hadn't been going on very long but I guess it was 1987 and their surveillance department was probably not very sophisticated at that time.

In general casinos take any kind of theft very seriously, I have had to fire an employee for point fraud before. in that case nobody actually lost money but somebody was given player points for somebody with out a player cards. This was done with out the cardless players knowledge and thus was looked at as a form of fraud. Casinos take those type of things very seriiously, that is why such an extensive background check is done to aquire a gaming license, and so much time and energy is spent on different types of surveillance (not only cameras).

Now about slot machines, generally slot machines are not independantly programmed to pay out, in actuallity nobody really knows (even the casino) when a machine is going to "hit" or where the hot machines are, and yes I get those questions constantlly and nobody has believed me yet when I tell them that I don't know.

Now usually slot machines are all programmed with the copies of the same software, some are server based some are linked together through a network some are connected to controlers that determine payouts. In alot of cases with class 3 gaming controllers determine payouts for a bank of machines, when a machine wins it pulls data from a prize pool to determine what payouts are available when that prize pool is half depleted it starts over. But each machine is programmed to payout a certain percentage, that percentage I believe is determined by the state and class of gaming and is regulated strictly. around 94% is a common pay setting. Now that is set for the life of the game title, so on a random day it may fall down to 86% or raise to 102% but over time it should level off at 94%.

A casino manager or slot manager could tell you that a certain machine is going to hit but they would not known, they may just have their own ideas based on the play they have seen or if they have seen it paying out regularily at that particular time, but you never really know.

For more info on slot machines the following links will do you more justice, I am awful at explaining things especially in print (especially since I lost my glasses).

These can give you more detailed info on the seperate classes of gaming machines as well as the payout settings of some casinos different myths about slot machines.
http://www.pokiemagic.com/blog/
http://wizardofodds.com/slots
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slot_machines

And I too am sorry that we have had any type of disagreement, truth be told I have recently developed a stomache ulcer and have been an especially cranky son of a bitch lately. I guess it comes with the job. Add to that I just lost a $500 pair of glasses which slows down my reading and typing which makes me even more cranky, (which I am usually cranky by nature, it is part of my job requirements at times) It is also a stressful time at the ol work place, but I won't bitch to you.

Re: Does anyone know roulette?

#27
Thank you for your offer but it is something that I would not be able to use at this point. Most of my computer work is done from work (I work long days) and we are not allowed to install outside software or even hardware on any of our computers.

Actually I took a large flat panel touch screen monitor out of a broken slot machine at one point and hooked it up to my computer in my office. It was great. our maintenance department made me a custom stand out of clear plastic countertops, it looked really cool and was 3 times the size of my normal computer monitor. Our It department stole it from me and informed me that we cannot install outside software on our pc's. But I really appreciate the offer.

And no the glasses were not of any special function, I really only use them to read or sometimes I will wear them If I have to meet with State officials or gaming commission or so on, or if I need to look more kind when dealing with particular situations or speaking with certain individuals. When i need to look more profesional I will wear my glasses and when I need to be more authoritive I take them off, when I do not wear them I squit and look angry.

Anyways, thanks again for the offer, when I update my home computer perhaps I will take you up on your offer.
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