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  #41  
Old 24 April 2007, 11:29 PM
bjohn13
 
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Originally Posted by guruwan2b View Post
I went to a local casino two years ago with $20 and about an hour and a half to kill. When the hour was up I still had over $20 so I started betting max, just to use up the money and go home. I hit the progressive jackpot for $28,000. (on a penny machine. Max bet was $1.80)
So even if I go to the casino once a month and take $20 to lose, I still have quite some time before I break even....
Some people would call that luck.

Gamblers call luck "the name donkeys give to variance."
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  #42  
Old 24 April 2007, 11:33 PM
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Cactus Wren Cactus Wren is offline
 
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1) I wish I could locate a news item from a few years ago (more than two, probably less than five) about a man who was attempting to sue a chain of casinos on the grounds that -- based on his calculations of probability, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars he'd dropped into progressive slots over the years -- he "should have" won a certain amount by now, and since he hadn't the chain's managers were conspiring to keep him from winning.

2) When I was in Laughlin, back in 1986, I did find a way to reliably win at slots. Or more precisely, at a slot: a particular nickel machine in Riverside Casino. It was broken and gave a fairly consistent 30% overpayment on every payout. (And no, it was not easy to find that machine "vacant".)

3) I am at an unfair advantage over many people WRT gambling. Specifically, all forms of it bore me down to the soles of my feet. I can walk into a casino, pass every machine in the place on my way to the buffet, eat lunch or dinner, and walk out having expended only the price of the buffet.
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  #43  
Old 24 April 2007, 11:35 PM
Alchemy Alchemy is offline
 
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The MIT Blackjack Team had a good system, with investors earning well over 200% ROI and players averaging between $20 and $80/hour, which - even reducing that for time spent practicing and travel - is quite respectable. They managed to earn at least a few million dollars, divided over a few hundred or so people, and proof of their success is that all the players are banned from practically every casino in the world.

So the obvious problem with trying to make a living gambling is that the casinos keep good track of their money, and if you are consistently leaving with more money than you came in with, they will study you, figure out your technique, call that technique "cheating" and ban you.
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  #44  
Old 24 April 2007, 11:57 PM
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rhiandmoi rhiandmoi is offline
 
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The only way to "win" at slots is to join the slots club and make sure you get your comps. Or sit next to guru. She wins all kinds of stuff.
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  #45  
Old 25 April 2007, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
The MIT Blackjack Team had a good system, with investors earning well over 200% ROI and players averaging between $20 and $80/hour... and proof of their success is that all the players are banned from practically every casino in the world.
Didn't the MIT team eventually lose back most of the money they won?

or am I remembering it wrong?
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  #46  
Old 25 April 2007, 07:39 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Yes, I didn't and still don't believe that guy either. As I said in the thread, if his system was that full proof why was he keeping his day job?
I've seen this guy's system as well, and it will work and it is legal. However, without giving too much away, it has some problems:

* There's a limit on how much money you can make using it.
* It's not a proper system, in that it does not work with the game itself, but rather the casino.

It's good enough to win some beer money and get a few minutes of free gambling as well, but not enough to make a living on.
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  #47  
Old 25 April 2007, 01:59 PM
dewey dewey is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
I've seen this guy's system as well, and it will work and it is legal. However, without giving too much away, it has some problems:

* There's a limit on how much money you can make using it.
* It's not a proper system, in that it does not work with the game itself, but rather the casino.

It's good enough to win some beer money and get a few minutes of free gambling as well, but not enough to make a living on.
This sounds very much like he is just using comps to gamble with. I get a mailing from Foxwoods every month that offers me $20.00 a week if I come in to claim it. I could drive for 90 minutes each way and play the $20.00 in a slot machine, keep the winnings and leave. I would eventually make some money and slowly build up some slots credits but I would lose more in gas money and eventually the casino would stop sending me the free $20.00 coupons.

I am guessing because John did not answer me when I emailed him for the system.

dewey
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  #48  
Old 25 April 2007, 02:22 PM
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My method is to use gambling as a form of entertainment. Going to the movies would cost me about $20 with snacks and with the drive+movie timewise I am looking at 2 1/2 to 3 hours entertainment.
I can drive to the casino in 5 minutes, take the same $20, play until it is gone (which could be from 10 minutes to ?) and I am entertained.
Now my DH hates casinos. Not just the noise, people and smoke, he hates the games. He won't play them. He would play poker if our local casino had tables, but it is small and doesn't have poker yet.

I do know people who think they can come out ahead by gambling and I see them get deeper and deeper in debt. They tell me "You are so lucky. You should be gambling more." They don't see the real picture. If you gamble, more than likely you will lose. Don't bet more than you can afford to lose.

Also one of those same people has won $2,000 to $3,000 at different times. She doesn't stick back any money for taxes. I don't know who did her taxes this year, but after last year I refused to do them anymore.

When I won I immediately stuck back $8K for taxes, paid off the new roof loan, paid off some other bills and splurged a little. Tax time came and I had it covered. No sweat, no stress.
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  #49  
Old 25 April 2007, 04:23 PM
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I just won $35 at video poker on Monday.

I'll sell my system to anybody who wants it for ten bucks.

Aw, heck, we're all friends here; you're on your honor to send me ten bucks if you read any further. Okay?

Here goes: Hit a quad, and quit when you're $35 ahead.
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  #50  
Old 25 April 2007, 04:50 PM
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WonkoTheSane WonkoTheSane is offline
 
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Originally Posted by pob14 View Post
I just won $35 at video poker on Monday.

I'll sell my system to anybody who wants it for ten bucks.

Aw, heck, we're all friends here; you're on your honor to send me ten bucks if you read any further. Okay?

Here goes: Hit a quad, and quit when you're $35 ahead.
Send me your checking and savings account numbers, your social security number and full name, and I'll wire that money right into your account. All you need to do is send me a $2.00 processing fee first.

Wonko
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  #51  
Old 25 April 2007, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post
Send me your checking and savings account numbers, your social security number and full name, and I'll wire that money right into your account. All you need to do is send me a $2.00 processing fee first.

Wonko
Wonko, I never realized you were Nigerian!
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  #52  
Old 25 April 2007, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guruwan2b View Post
Also one of those same people has won $2,000 to $3,000 at different times. She doesn't stick back any money for taxes. I don't know who did her taxes this year, but after last year I refused to do them anymore.

When I won I immediately stuck back $8K for taxes, paid off the new roof loan, paid off some other bills and splurged a little. Tax time came and I had it covered. No sweat, no stress.
Gambling winnings (as far as the IRS is concerned) can be offset with any losses for that year up to the amount of winnings. If she won $2,000 this year but lost $3,000 winning it, she can deduct $2,000 of her losses against the winnings. With the new cards and ATMs set up in casinos, many people are able to prove these losses and therefore pay no taxes on any gambling winnings (since the majority of the time losses > winnings).
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  #53  
Old 25 April 2007, 06:25 PM
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Kathryn Kathryn is offline
 
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Another way to get "free" money is to sign up for a timeshare demonstration... they often offer casino money - all you have to do is sit through a 2 hour hard sell presentation

The casino next to our time-share in the Bahamas had a program running where you could get $5-$50/day for using your "slot member" card and spinning a wheel. This works because MOST people will add more money when they use that up.

My family (mom, step-dad, DH and I) got quite a lot of play that way. We are notoriously cheap though... DH and I usually do penny or nickel slots.

A few years ago, DH won $400+ in the quarter slots and I won $400+ in 3 card poker... plus smaller wins here and there. For the first time ever we came home with more cash than we started with Especially since we started gambling with the $100 from the timeshare presentation mentioned above The nice thing was that we put our "seed money" away after the big wins and just gambled with the winnings the rest of the week.
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  #54  
Old 25 April 2007, 06:34 PM
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Errata Errata is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
The MIT Blackjack Team had a good system, with investors earning well over 200% ROI and players averaging between $20 and $80/hour, which - even reducing that for time spent practicing and travel - is quite respectable.
Ok, but if you get some bright, motivated MIT students, don't you think they could go out and earn $50/hour pretty reliably in the business world, hour after after, day after day, with less stress, without paying those travel expenses, getting banned from casinos (shutting down their "career" pretty quickly), while risking less and making a net contribution to the world?
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  #55  
Old 25 April 2007, 06:53 PM
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BoKu BoKu is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
The MIT Blackjack Team had a good system, with investors earning well over 200% ROI and players averaging between $20 and $80/hour, which - even reducing that for time spent practicing and travel - is quite respectable...
Blackjack is vulnerable to card counting and maybe one or two other attacks by intelligent, quick-witted folks of the MIT sort. Slot machines are generally impervious to such hacks.
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  #56  
Old 25 April 2007, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
The MIT Blackjack Team had a good system, with investors earning well over 200% ROI and players averaging between $20 and $80/hour, which - even reducing that for time spent practicing and travel - is quite respectable. They managed to earn at least a few million dollars, divided over a few hundred or so people, and proof of their success is that all the players are banned from practically every casino in the world.

So the obvious problem with trying to make a living gambling is that the casinos keep good track of their money, and if you are consistently leaving with more money than you came in with, they will study you, figure out your technique, call that technique "cheating" and ban you.
One of those MIT guys is now my boss
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  #57  
Old 26 April 2007, 12:05 AM
bjohn13
 
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Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
So the obvious problem with trying to make a living gambling is that the casinos keep good track of their money, and if you are consistently leaving with more money than you came in with, they will study you, figure out your technique, call that technique "cheating" and ban you.
Or try to figure out a way to use that techniques against you.

If I could go back to 1962, I'm pretty sure I could beat the blackjack games they used to spread back then.
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  #58  
Old 27 April 2007, 02:51 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
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I don't know if this was just coincidence coming into play, but my wife and I stopped at a small casino near Traverse City, MI. I sat down at a machine, put in some money (I think it was a nickle machine) and won some money. Not a lot, but it was more than I put in. Second, third, fourth, fifth spin - nothing. Noticing that it was only on my first spin that I won, I stopped and counted to sixty, then put in a nickle - and won some money. I stopped and counted to sixty, then put in a nickle - and won some money.

Each time that I stopped and counted to sixty, I won some money. Not a lot, but I did come out ahead each and every time, without exception IIRC. I ended up making about $40 on that machine before it suddenly stopped working. I tried this technique at another machine in that casino, and have tried it since at other casinos, and it hasn't worked. It appears that that machine was designed to give a nice payout on the first spin only, and my stopping and counting to sixty made the machine think I was a new player each time.

Then again, it could have just been coincidence.

David
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  #59  
Old 27 April 2007, 06:39 PM
bjohn13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
I don't know if this was just coincidence coming into play, but my wife and I stopped at a small casino near Traverse City, MI. I sat down at a machine, put in some money (I think it was a nickle machine) and won some money. Not a lot, but it was more than I put in. Second, third, fourth, fifth spin - nothing. Noticing that it was only on my first spin that I won, I stopped and counted to sixty, then put in a nickle - and won some money. I stopped and counted to sixty, then put in a nickle - and won some money.

Each time that I stopped and counted to sixty, I won some money. Not a lot, but I did come out ahead each and every time, without exception IIRC. I ended up making about $40 on that machine before it suddenly stopped working. I tried this technique at another machine in that casino, and have tried it since at other casinos, and it hasn't worked. It appears that that machine was designed to give a nice payout on the first spin only, and my stopping and counting to sixty made the machine think I was a new player each time.

Then again, it could have just been coincidence.

David
Sounds like variance to me.
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  #60  
Old 30 April 2007, 03:19 PM
Alchemy Alchemy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
Ok, but if you get some bright, motivated MIT students, don't you think they could go out and earn $50/hour pretty reliably in the business world, hour after after, day after day, with less stress, without paying those travel expenses, getting banned from casinos (shutting down their "career" pretty quickly), while risking less and making a net contribution to the world?
Well, I'm sure quite a lot of their classmates started dot-coms, working insane hours, being paid in stock, and when they went bust, ended up with nothing. Intelligent doesn't mean risk-aware or business savvy. The meaningful bit of the enterprise wasn't that they made a lot of money, it was that the founders of the group were able to use a statistical approach to model card-counting techniques, use this model to maximize their winnings, and find that the model really worked in the real world. It's the design of the system that's so fascinating.

Additionally, the comps most of the players were making were pretty decent perks - they had multiple penthouse stays and some were picked up by a private jet once if I'm not mistaken - and these bright and motivated students weren't going to make $50/hour while they were still in college.

But when it comes down to it, it's straight hacking, with the added incentive of breaking Vegas. You can't put a price on that.

The investors could, of course, and whoever they were, they were the real winners.

One of the reasons for the breakdown of the group was that the people who were doing most of the work - the players - had the least amount of creative input (basically none; they were card-counting automatons, no hacking there) and were paid the least for their efforts.

Interestingly, if the players were allowed to once in a while "ride the streak" as many of them badly desired, and stop card counting, they would lose a few thousand here and there, but they would also add a bit of randomness to their betting style which might have made it harder to be identified as card counters.
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