Against All Odds: A Few Tricks to Increase Yours on the Casino Floor
Understanding how odds work is the first step in making sure you don’t end up pawning your wedding band on your first trip to Vegas. Each game you play has its own set of odds, or chance of winning. Odds is just an easy way to say probability. For example, you roll one die. The odds that it will be a 3 is 5 to 1, since there is only one way to get that 3 and 5 ways not to. Every game of chance has its own set of odds, and certain ways you can increase them, but never forget that they are always in favor of the casino.
Blackjack: Right off the bat the casino gives itself an edge with Blackjack by having the dealer play his or hers hand last. Any player who goes over 21, or busts, automatically loses even when the dealer busts too. The best way to play the odds at Blackjack is to follow the same strategy that the casino does. Stand on 17 and hit on 16. Odds are you will bust about 29% of the time. Still not even with the dealer since he can win even if he busts, but as close as you can get. Well you can increase your odds a bit by looking for a Blackjack table that allows you to double down on any number of cards or re-split Aces, but don’t be fooled by those that offer more than 6 decks. Those games give the house more of an edge than they already have.
http://www.vegaster.com/findeverythingvegas/ Roulette: This is not the game to play if you are looking to fund anything with your Vegas winnings. The casino maintains a 5.26% advantage on every spin of the wheel. There are 38 numbers on the wheel and a variety of different ways to play them laid out on the table. The odds of winning a single number bet are 37 to 1, but the casino will only pay out 35 to 1 if you win. You are better off playing black or red for each spin. At least there you have an almost 50% chance of winning. Or you can try the James Bond method of winning at roulette. This involves some math skills to work right. 55% of your bet goes on the high half, 40% on the first third, and 5% on a zero. This covers 31 of the possible wins, or an 81.5% chance to win. Since each bet has a different payout, it is important that you follow those percentages to insure that you at least come out a little ahead.
Craps: Craps is the most interactive game in the casino and the only one where a group can gang up on the casino to increase their odds of winning. Start with the pass line bet. Once the shooter has achieved their initial point you can place the odds bet. If the shooter gets another point you get even money on your pass line bet and true odds for the odds bet. 4 or 10 pays out 2 to 1, 5 or 9 3 to 2, and 6 or 8 is 6 to 5. The casino loses advantage with each odds bets you, and any other players make. Craps is probably the most difficult casino game to master, and many people are turned off by the interactions of the players, but once you learn how to work the odds in your favor it can be very rewarding.
“’Cause the house always wins. Play long enough, you never change the stakes. The house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet and you bet big, then you take the house.”—Danny Ocean
Danny needed to add one more line: If you do take the house, quickly walk away. Otherwise the casino will find a way to get it back.