The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hit, split, double down?

Sitting here in a room that is still too cold, even though I adjusted the thermostat, waiting for an idea to strike. Seems a waste of time. We moved from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to the Isle Hotel and Casino yesterday. Faye got comped to 2 nights here. I was planning on playing golf today but... the course I wanted to play was booked up this morning and it's still awfully windy out so I probably won't play. No big deal but there is little to do if one doesn't gamble.

I used to gamble, years ago it seems, mostly Blackjack. But that become boring many years ago. You sit at a table with a dealer who is either indifferent or obviously faking interest. You start with a stack of chips which shrinks or expands but mostly shrinks as the cards fall in front of you. There may be others at the table with you, maybe you make a little small talk about where you live, or maybe you just concentrate on the cards. Concentrating on the cards does no good, they come out of the deck in whatever order they will. You have no control over them at all. Even the dealers have no real control over them... unless they are cheating. And they don't cheat, there's no percentage in it. First, it can get them fired. Second, the casino doesn't need them to cheat, the odds are always in favor of the house. Third, they get paid the same whether they win or lose.

Contrary to popular belief, the house doesn't gamble. It would be surprising if the house even considered taking a chance. They don't need to. Consider the Blackjack dealer. He or she has specific rules which control his or her play. Hit on 16 or below, stay on 17 or above. No splits, no double downs, no decisions to make. Your absolute best odds at a Blackjack table exist only when there is just you and the dealer and then only if you play using the same rules the house does. It's rare that you are alone at the table, though. Usually there are one or more additional players. These players will do things which help the house make money. They will hit when they shouldn't, not hit when they should, and change the order of the cards and the number of cards available to you just by being in the game.

You do not stand a chance.

The slot machines are even worse. They pay out here at 95%. That means they, over time (and no one seems to know what that time span is), pay out 95% of what the players put in. In other words, you are guaranteed to lose.

The worst part, to me, is that casinos are freezing. For some reason, the temperature in the casinos is around 68 or 70 degrees F. For me, that is uncomfortably cold. I feel like I am sitting in a refrigerator.

You would think that investing in casino stock would also be a sure thing, wouldn't you? Doesn't work that way for some reason. I suppose that the stock market operates on different rules. Not sure we stand a chance there either.

Still, here I sit. Until tomorrow morning when we take the long drive home.


The Jules said...

My gambling career began and ended in Vegas, many years ago. I found a quarter, used it in a slot machine, won a dollar in change, and then gave up whilst I was on a high.

I'm a winner!

Douglas4517 said...

A comedian (whose name I forget) once said, "Vegas is a place where you
decide that ending up even is like winning." But this is Biloxi where
winning is just a dream.

Sightings said...

There's nothing more boring than a casino, IMHO. I do go to the track once a year. A friend of mine hosts about a half a dozen couples. We each "give" him $20, and when at the end of the day he gives us back $8, he claims we've "won" $8!

If I put aside the fact that his "logic" drives me crazy, a $12 expense for an afternoon's worth of fun is not too bad. Less expensive than golf. But once a year is enough.

Douglas4517 said...

I used to go to the Del Mar race track a couple of times a year. Fun enough.
Like you say, worth a few bucks.

TheLogistician said...

Over the years, I found myself going to Las Vegas on business, and going to a casino or two. I employed the same approach each time. Allocate $40 for the dollar slot machines, and play with the intention of pulling out when I had a minimum of $60 in winnings ($20 profit).

As a general rule, my winnings would increase for a while, $100, $300, then roughly $400-$450; then you keeping playing and it goes back down, $300, $100, etc. I stopped at $60 each time.

Douglas4517 said...

Why not at $100?

My plan, when I played Blackjack or Craps, was to start with a set amount
(say, $50 or $100). If I went above that by 50%, I would pocket the "seed"
money and just bet from the winnings. Each time I reached the same amount I
started with, I ould put that amount in my pocket and continue betting from
the winnings. Of course, this assumes that I didn't lose from the start...
which happened. In that case, I would walk away when I lost the seed money.