Gambling City

We are Cash Back

How Much is Enough

Author: Mark Pilarski

Dear Mark: I work as a dealer on an Indian reservation in northern Michigan. One of the most common mistakes I see is players getting ahead, then giving all their winnings back to the casino. Why do you think so many players are boneheads?
Anonymous for job protection.

One word, GREED. Too many players, when gluttony sets in, keep upping the ante on what they want to win. “Enough” is just over the horizon, and like the horizon, it recedes when they get close to it.

This column has always recommended having a predetermined win plan. All players need to set loss limits and win goals. Without this money management system, your typical player generally becomes a casino statistic called the “hold,” a percentage of chips purchased by the customer and then won back by the casino. All too often, when the avarice of a player goes unchecked, the player’s entire bankroll slowly but surely reverts back to the casino.

Dear Mark: If a slot machine pays back with hot coins, does that mean it’s a hot machine? S. G.

No, Sly, the temperature of the coins has nothing to do with the machine’s payback percentage.

I remember years ago watching a gentleman heating up his coins with a hair dryer in the men’s room. In questioning his gaming mastery he replied with unwavering conviction that using hot coins produced more winners because the coins coming out of his favorite machine were hot. My explanation that coins falling out hot is because of the close proximity of lights and other electrical components to the hopper fell on deaf ears.

Dear Mark: Is there any difference between the crap tables of Nevada and those in Atlantic City? W. B.

Excluding the ability in Nevada to take higher odds on your line bets, the biggest difference on the craps table layout in Atlantic City is there is no big 6 or 8. When the player bets on the big 6 or 8, the payoff is even money, whereas it is 7-to-6 bet when either the 6 or 8 is wagered as a “place bet” in either state. The latter is a much smarter bet.

Dear Mark: I always feel awkward when I see a player playing alone at blackjack and I want to play on the same game. What do you suggest? R. W.

When I see a player playing solo, especially when his bet exceeds what I had planned on wagering, I ask him politely if he prefers to play head-to-head with the dealer or would he be adverse to some company. This always seems to work.

Dear Mark: I buy $50 worth of lottery tickets per week. How long will it take for me mathematically to finally hit the jackpot? J. S.

If, just if, Jenny, your genetic structure is predisposed to longevity, you can plan on winning the jackpot once every 7,000 years. Then again, given enough opportunity ($50 per week), any supernatural occurrence because of chance can happen. This is what makes the lottery/gambling so inviting.

Dear Mark: I recently found your column on an internet site in Stockholm, Sweden. I enjoy your historic questions the most. I am doing a research paper at the University about the introduction of casino gambling in the state where you live, Nevada. Can you tell me when it became a legal enterprise? S. E.

A cowpoke politician for Humboldt County named Phil Tobin presented before the assembly a bill in 1931 making gambling both legal and taxable. Governor Fred Balzar, also known as “Friendly Fred,” signed the open gambling law on March 19, 1931. Coincidentally, on that same day Balzar signed into law a bill that would drive tourism, he thought, far more than gambling ever would: the six week divorce statute.