Gambling City

We are Cash Back

Promotions Can Expose Your Pay Check

Author: Mark Pilarski

Dear Mark Pilarski: Our local casino offers free spins on slots that have a $1,000 jackpot, plus other prizes like free meals if you cash your check at their casino. Are these free-play slots less likely to win than a slot machine that you put cash in? J. K.

There is a Random Number Generator (RNG) on any slot machine. It doesn’t matter if you are given a free tug of the handle or are using your own hard-earned money.

I need, however, to question a portion of your inquiry when you stated, “if you cash your check there.” My problem, J.K., is that having a lot of ready cash in a casino makes for a gambling casualty for those susceptible to that sort of temptation. I’m just thinking out loud here, that’s all.

Dear Mark Pilarski: I read your weekly article in the Detroit Free Press. I was wondering how you can make a single $1 wager on number 22 on a roulette table. All roulette tables that I am familiar with have a minimum of a $5 or $10 wager for "inside" or "outside" bets. W. P.

I have mentioned this wager in the past. Over a thirty-year period, all four winners were in Northern Nevada, where you can still find plenty of roulette games that will let you bet $1 on the inside. Here in Northern Michigan, it’s $5 on any one number, but only on Saturday and Sunday. Otherwise, an inside bet can be had for $1. It all comes down to the competitors and foot traffic as to the minimum wager required.

By the way, I honed my craft by racking chips on a 10-cent roulette game in downtown Reno. Players could buy a stack for $2 and park themselves in the game my entire shift. They still offer a 50¢ game today.

Dear Mark Pilarski: Okay, I get that the best Craps bet is the Pass Line bet, with free odds. But, if I desire more action then placing the 6 and 8, should I make some Come bets? S. G.

Come Bets carry the same shallow house edge as a Pass Line wager, 1.4%.

With that said, a Pass Line Bet with two Come Bets is well within the realm of good action on this lively game. What you do not want to do is get so caught up in the Craps game that you start bombarding the dealer with money for those high house percentage bets.

Dear Mark Pilarski: What do you think of picking one number at roulette, then covering that bet multiple ways? For instance, if I put a substantial wager on 6 black, but then cover it with chips on Red, Odd, then one of the sections of 12 that black 6 is not in, and a different Row, to hedge my Black 6 wager. Will this work? M. L.

The house has a 5.26% edge on any number, or any outside wager you make, no matter how you configure your bets at Roulette. Because you cannot avoid the casino’s advantage of plus 5%, the more money you wager on those outside bets, over the whole, the more you will lose.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week:
“Whether he likes it or not, a man’s character is stripped at the poker table; if the other players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in cards, as in life.”
Anthony Holden - English writer, broadcaster and critic