Not Worth the Price

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No matter which side of the tables you are on, casino game protection or advantage player, I’m telling you there is not nearly the value in this book that you imagine.

November 17, 2014: Pre-Conference Workshop at Raving’s Cutting Edge Table Games Conference

Advanced Advantage Play: Beating and Safeguarding Traditional and Proprietary Casino Table Games

Co-Presented by Bill Zender and Eliot Jacobson, Ph.D.

This workshop will be held on Monday, November 17, 2014, at Paris Casino, Las Vegas, as part of Raving’s Cutting Edge Table Games Conference, a BNP event.

Today’s advantage players use strong and innovative ways to legally beat casino table games. While casino personnel are often well-trained to identify ordinary blackjack card counters, advantage players using more sophisticated methods are going unnoticed. The truth is that every table game has unique vulnerabilities that can make it a target for advantage players. In this ground-breaking one-day seminar, advantage play experts Bill Zender and Eliot Jacobson will cover a wide range of methods that advanced advantage players are using to legally beating casino table games. You will learn the games they are targeting and how they’re doing it. You will learn to identify, protect and defend your table games against the strategies and tactics used by modern advantage players. Continue reading

Card Counting the Wild Aces Blackjack Side Bet

Some blackjack side bets are so obviously countable that extraordinary measures must be taken to protect games where they are offered. Ordinary blackjack Insurance is such a wager (see this post). Insurance is simply a side bet paying 2-to-1 that the dealer’s down card is ten-valued. A simple unbalanced count can be used to crush insurance; hence two artificial limitations are placed. First, to make an Insurance bet the dealer must have an Ace as his up-card. Second, the player’s wager is limited to ½ his original wager. By restricting both the frequency and size of the wager, the house protects itself from advantage play. Continue reading

The World’s Greatest Baccarat Betting System

Baccarat and blackjack have one important commonality: the house edge for each changes as cards are played from the shoe. The advertised house edge is based on the initial composition of the shoe, but that value is not fixed throughout the game. In the case of blackjack, the house edge swings in favor of the player on about 30% of the hands, making card counting a viable strategy for the advantage player. As I showed in this post and this post, things are not quite as easy for the baccarat player. But that doesn’t mean that gaining an edge is impossible. Continue reading

Getting Lucky at Blackjack

“If it is all that time, one hundred and fifty-seven coins spun … consecutively have come down heads … one hundred and fifty-seven consecutive times, and all you can do is play with your food.”- From Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard

If a non-advantage player beats the house for an extended period of time, there are usually two significant consequences, especially if the player is a high roller. First, the player will most likely believe he has a system to beat the house. Second, the casino may expend significant resources investigating a square player. In either case, the illusion of skill is created by a lack of understanding of statistical inevitability and the so-called “long run.” In this post, I am going to consider the question of how long an average blackjack player can beat the house purely by luck. Continue reading

Risk Analysis of Baccarat Non-Negotiable Chip Programs: Confidence Intervals

Non-negotiable (NN) rolling chip programs are used by casinos to award cash back rebates to their high-rollers for their play. The rebate is based on returning a fixed percent of all NN chips purchased and lost by the player. In this post, I covered the basic mathematics of NN programs, including computing the effective house edge for each NN chip used. I also showed how to compute the T-Win for a player based on the exact number of NNs the player used. In this post, I presented a method of risk analysis called the z-Score. This analysis is backwards looking; how likely was a result? The present post considers a forward-looking method of risk analysis called confidence intervals. Continue reading

Risk Analysis of Baccarat Non-Negotiable Chip Programs: z-Score

Non-negotiable (NN) rolling chip programs are used by casinos to award cash rebates to their high-rollers for their play. The rebate is based on returning a fixed percentage of all NN chips purchased and lost by the player. In this post, I covered the basic mathematics of NN programs, including computing the effective house edge for each NN chip used. I also showed how to compute the T-Win for a player based on the exact number of NNs the player used. What I didn’t do is show how to use these numbers to tell something about the likelihood of a player achieving a given result. Continue reading

The Mathematics of Baccarat Non-Negotiable Chip Programs

While much of the U.S. market shuns baccarat, it is the number one game internationally. The size of the wagers players make is stunning to watch. In Macau, for example, it is difficult to find a table with a minimum wager less than $100. The casinos are packed full of what we in America would consider to be high-rollers. And marketing understands that high-rollers want perks and cash-incentives for their play. Asian casinos use an essentially perfect solution to line up theoretical win with cash-incentive: non-negotiable chips (NN). The amount returned to the player as a cash-incentive corresponds to a cash rebate on the non-negotiable chips purchased and lost by the player. Continue reading

A Plea for Surveillance

The primary directive of surveillance is to protect the casino’s assets. Because of this, surveillance must educate itself on as many different aspects of operations as possible. This continuing education is not rough around the edges: they’ve got to know it all. Identifying that something is funny means knowing the boundaries of normal and reasonable outcomes. Surveillance has to master their casino’s policies and procedures. They have to keep up with the latest techniques of advantage play, cheating, theft and scams. They have to know about the latest technology. Their skill set requires wide knowledge of all aspects of gaming, as well as the ability to accurately determine the value of any aberrations they observe. Continue reading

Guest Appearance on House of Cards Radio, 06/14/2014

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