Basic knowledge of what the player is betting on.
Sad to say, we all watch this at table games, too, and video poker. One reader wrote to me this week and told me a story about how two women showed up in a poker room, claiming to know very little about poker, but had heard of a bad beat jackpot of nearly $ 100,000, so they decided to play for a bit for $ 100. they don’t last long!
More than two decades ago, my father, Lenny Frome, created the concept of Expert Strategy. He likens it to a 3 legged stool where each leg is as important as the other two. These three legs are “knowing which game to play,” “knowing how to play it” and “knowing what to expect.”
All games in a casino are not created equal. Refunds vary by 20% or more. Play the game with a 99% return and you stand a fair chance of winning in the short term.
Depending on how the game is built, I tend to say that you have a 30% -45% chance of winning in a three hour session if the game has returns this high. Play the one with a 90% return and I’d be surprised if you win, over three hours, more than 15% of the time.
In the long run, you will lose 10 times more money (as a percent of the total stake) playing games with 90% vs playing one with 99%. The Keno and Big Wheel are near the bottom of the return scale. Blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and some types of video poker tend to be at the top.
Many basic table games have a 97% -98% return, but their sidebets may only pay out 90% -95%. Progressive sidebets will pay even less, and a larger percentage of the payback goes to one player hitting the jackpot. Casinos don’t usually tell you the rewards for games.
The reason why knowing what to expect is so important is because it’s what always reminds us of the importance of sticking to the strategies we’ve learned. It becomes very tempting to start playing with a gut feeling when the cards seem to be doing things they shouldn’t.