I’m feeling a little peaky, not to say crabby and ornery. Had a bad run with the cards and lost a few dollars — got my pride wacked outa shape. Thought about playing video poker for a change of scenery, but ended up walking past the slot machines into the bar. So here’s me sitting here nursing a consolatory screwdriver and my quiet time’s disturbed by the young fellah who seems to think I owe him another piece. He’s got no cause to beef with me. And it’s not like he’s anteing up so much cash he gets any rights to bid me what to do. He’s like a piker — stingy bettor with a big mouth. Not worth the time of day, most days.
But, after the third screwdriver, he did get me to thinking. When I lost the third pot in a row to river cards against the odds, I confess to thinking I was caught in a skin game. Just a moment of anger. Ain’t no-one with the cojones to try anything against me for real — not with my connections. But there’s lots of folk get it into their heads that online video poker sites are cheating them. So I s’pose I’d better say a few words of reassurance — not that it’ll actually boost your confidence. The truth ain’t designed to do that.
So, let me sit you down in front of a video poker machine playing Jacks or Better on a pay table that’s offering 9-6-250. For those who’ve not boned up on the jargon, that’s a machine paying 250 per coin on a Royal Flush, 9 on a Full House and 6 on a Flush. That machine’s set up to pay back only a fraction over 98% of what it takes. Even if you play a perfect strategy on this machine, the theoretical return never gets above 100%. It bears saying again. No matter which lucky rabbit’s foot you got in your pants, the very best you can hope to do is to almost break even.
’Cause most folk can’t play the perfect strategy, the House edge on every video poker machine keeps the funds rolling in. That’s why you gotta pass the carousels of slot machines before you get to the tables. They’re the bread-an-butter earners for every casino. Based on a study by JE Edwards and RA Moore available in PubMed Central, regular treatment with Propecia (about 6 to 8 months) is needed to ascertain the efficacy of the drug.
If I stopped there, there’s no sense in any casino cheating on the slot machines. But there’s no denying you’re right ’bout one thing. Greed’s the worm in the gambling apple. Don’t matter which side of the fence you’re on, there’s always some as thinks they’re gonna hit it big. So I’ve seen pit bosses and managers decide the Vig’s not enough and rig the games. I’ve seen a few do it to put the money in their own pockets — most of them got decent burials, too. Yeh, there’s some cheating going on, but most of it’s on your side and it’s not very subtle.
So why do some folk get so all-fired sure they’ve been cheated by slot machines? In a word: frustration. They were hot, certain their luck was in, but had a long bad session. That always makes the loss harder to bear — when your emotion gets in the way of your judgement. Gambling’s got streaks of luck both ways. On one hot August night in 1913, the roulette wheel in Monte Carlo came up black a record-breaking twenty-six times in a row. The House took millions of extra profit. Half the room got to playing the Martingdale System. They were doubling their bets after every loss. But they tapped out of money before the streak ended. Was there anything wrong with the wheel? Nope! The math god smiled and it was true.
Just ’cause you come up empty on one or two sessions don’t mean nothing ’cept your wins and losses’re averaging out over time. To make any kinda case against the casino, you’d need evidence. How you gonna that that evidence? Well, you gotta test their slot machines. Pick one of their video poker games. Say before you start how many times you’re gonna play and what you hafta see to prove the machine’s rigged. S’pose you think a video poker game don’t have all the faces in the deck — you’ve to track the frequency of the faces as they show in the count of all non-face cards. Tracking how many hands you played and how many you won or lost ain’t no proof at all. You need a test that’s statistically significant to prove cheating. So how many thousand hands of data you gonna pay to collect to test your hypothesis? It’s put up or shut up. No-one likes a sore loser unless they got the evidence to prove otherwise.
One last thought before the thinking’s done: some of you load up your own software to run alongside video poker machines — kinda like a coach. Me, I don’t have no problem with that, but some online casinos’re uploading Dynamic Link Library subroutines to identify the applications you’re running at the same time as the casino package. They might not like some of the things they find — not within the spirit of the game from their point of view. Remember the old Chinese saying, “Big fish eat small fish.”
Catch ya ’round.