Apr 03

Is postponement in the cards for the 2020 WSOP schedule?

Is Postponement in the Cards for 2020 WSOP Schedule?

An unprecedented series of events flipped the world upside down in March 2020. Covid-19 went from a shocking news story out of China to a global pandemic that’s got everyone huddled in their homes; some voluntarily, some by government mandate. That includes the countless professional and amateur poker players who flock to Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas each year to attend the world’s most prestigious poker festival of them all – the World Series of Poker.

Last year, more than 182,000 people turned out for the 2019 WSOP, registering for one or more of the 90 events in the 50th anniversary edition of the poker tournament series. This year, just as many – if not more – were expected to attend. But with the current situation, it’s not certain what’s going to happen when it comes time to “Shuffle Up and Deal!

Postponement in the Cards for 2020 WSOP Schedule?

Seth Palansky, the WSOP’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, has been on the phone with numerous media outlets in the past week or so. The biggest question on the interview docket is an obvious one:

Will there be a 2020 WSOP?

There are only three possible answers to this question. It can either be held, canceled, or postponed. Unfortunately, that’s a question Mr. Palansky has been unable to answer. According to the WSOP spokesman, that’s not going to change for a while. He doesn’t expect organizers to come to a decision before May.

That’s a long wait for the countless poker players who are surely waiting for a decision. The 2020 WSOP was originally scheduled to run from May 26 to July 15, with a record-setting 101 gold-bracelet events on the roster.

To date, World Series executives have already pulled the plug on 10 WSOP Circuit events since March 13, when the global pandemic first led to social distancing. Future Circuit events schedule through May have already been scratched off the menu, as well. It only makes sense that the official WSOP bracelet series would be either canceled or postponed, but to date, officials refuse to make the call.

“We Don’t Need to Make a Decision Now”

Last week, in an interview with Jim Barnes of the Las Vegas Review Journal, Seth told the poker community that no decision will be made until it has to be, and until then, it will remain business as usual.

“We keep our heads down, keep planning in place,” said Palansky. “We don’t need to make a decision now.”

Further comments pointed towards potential postponement. Palansky said that the WSOP is normally unable to reschedule, due to the Rio in Las Vegas having a packed convention slate. Now, with many conventions being canceled, he says it could give them enough wiggle room to run the tournament series at a later date.

But again, no official word has come down, nor does he expect it to anytime soon. In another interview with CardPlayer Magazine this week, he reiterated his previous statements.

“Everyone’s health and safety is paramount in the decision making, and there is no need to make a decision today,” said Palansky.

As for what might impact the decision of organizers in weeks to come, he said:

There are a plethora of factors to consider, especially when you conceptualize alternatives. That said, the only factor that matters for the WSOP, for it to be held as planned, is the health and safety of guests and staff. So, if we can’t host an event like we have in the past 50 years in Las Vegas, where everyone can participate safely and without risk, we won’t.”

Seth added that contingency plans are being discussed everyday, but as the situation constantly changes and evolves, it’s impossible to come up with a definitive solution at this time. His best prediction for a final answer to the mystery of the 2020 WSOP schedule is early May, at best.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Feb 28

Things to see in Nevada when you’re over the Las Vegas Strip; Reno, Carson City, Silver Springs, and everything in between.

Things to see in Nevada when you’re over the Las Vegas Strip

If you’re not from around the area, you probably don’t realize just how much there is to see and do in Nevada. Everyone visits Las Vegas to see the casinos and myriad culture-shock of crowds along the Strip, but rarely do they ever take the time to see anything else. It’s like going to Disney World. There is so much to take in, you could spend a whole week there and never experience even half of it.

Once you get over the Vegas vibe, don’t make the mistake of thinking there’s nothing left to do or see in the Silver State. It is a beautiful place with a more diverse landscape than most people realize. From desert valleys, to mountainous terrain; deep canyons to breathtaking lonesome highways; this is not the kind of holiday you want to rush your way through.

Things to See in Nevada (besides the Las Vegas Strip)

There’s a fantastic, triangular region in West Nevada that can deliver the most amazing experience, without ever coming close to the fast-paced stress of the Vegas Strip. Whether you’ve been there so many times (or even once) that you’re over the sights and sounds of Las Vegas Boulevard, or you have no desire to step foot into what some consider a cesspool of anxiety, this out-of-the-way Nevada holiday will inspire and relax you to the core, and still provide a chance to do a little Vegas-style gambling. Our adventure starts in…

Reno – The Biggest Little City in the World

Reno Nevada
Now entering Reno, Nevada

Surely you know something of Reno. It is the third most famous gambling city in the United States, after Las Vegas and Atlantic City. What I was surprised to learn over the years is just how few people actually know that Reno is in Nevada. I did a little survey of this among ten purely random people – people I didn’t even know – and only 3 of them knew. Go figure?

Yes, Reno is a city on the western edge of Nevada, situated along the border of California just north of Lake Tahoe. It is quite literally a miniature version of Las Vegas. It even has a mini-Strip – they call it The Row – made up of its three major, inter-connected casinos – Eldorado, Circus Circus and Silver Legacy. There are plenty of other interesting things to see and do in the Midtown District, so take your time and enjoy it. When you’re done there, rent a car and hop on Interstate 580/Highway 395 South, where you’ll embark on a picturesque, 40 minute drive to…

Carson City – Modern Take on a Historical Treasure

Kit Carson Trail, Carson City, Nevada
Kit Carson Memorial - Carson City, Nevada

Carson City is the capital of Nevada, so it’s got a big city atmosphere. However, it’s also got a tremendous amount of historical sights and natural wonders to behold. If you like trains half as much as I do, the Nevada State Railroad Museum is a must. The Kit Carson Trail is a museum and national park all mixed into one – bring a picnic lunch, then head over to the Shoe Tree Brewing Company to unwind. If you’re more interested in the nature scene, Washoe Lake and Skunk Harbor are well worth the visit. Spend the last of your evening at one of the local bed and breakfasts – far better than any hotel you’ll find in the city – then get up bright and early for your next drive to…

Virginia City – A Town atop a Century Old Silver Mine

C Street Virginia City, Nevada - Almay Stock Photos
C Street in Downtown Virginia City, Nevada - Almay Stock Photo

Did you ever see a John Wayne movie? How about Wyatt Earp or Gunsmoke? Better yet, Bonanza – it was filmed on location. Entering Virginia City is like stepping into one of those historical towns, straight out of an old western. The drive out, which takes about half an hour via US-50 East and NV-341 W/342 N, is similar, but is clearly marred by the effects of time and modernization.

For instance, you’ll drive through Silver City, which may sound like something special – and believe me, at one time it was – but is now barely more than a fueling station and diner along an old desert road. Back in 1861, when the Sierra was brimming with silver, this bustling 4-hotel city had a population of 1,200. Now, and for many decades past, the population is listed at around 170 – a Ghost Town since 1869.

From there you’ll pass through the Devil’s Gate, a famously narrow, craggy pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and into Gold Hill, a small town with a similar history of desolation. A minute or two further along sets your destination, Virginia City.

The thoroughfare dividing the boardwalks of downtown may be paved with asphalt now, but the buildings along this stretch still bleed of the past. Remove the colorful but deteriorating paint, and the 150 year old hotels, saloons, and trading posts remain virtually untouched. Make sure to arrive early – by high noon, the Wild West tourists come piling out of the woodwork!

Nevada US-50 – The Loneliest Road in America

Nevada Route 50 Loneliest Road in America

If you still have some time, head back south to US-50 and bear east. Forget destinations – you don’t have one. Your path is one of uncertainty and contemplation. Just keep driving for as long as you feel like it. This stretch of road is what’s known as The Loneliest Road in America. It goes on for miles and miles – all the way to the country’s east coast, in fact – but the Nevada expanse goes on for nearly 400 miles. It can take around 7 hours to reach Utah, but the breathtaking views will last a lifetime.

Of course, odds are you’ll get tired of that drive within half an hour or so, at which point I recommend stopping off in Silver Springs. Once you pass Stagecoach, you can’t miss it. It’s hard to miss anything that exists out here in the middle of nowhere – but again, that’s they beauty of it. There’s not a whole lot to do in this small town, but there is a cozy little Silver Springs Airport that will fly you back to wherever you came from.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , ,

Jan 15

Land-Based vs. Online Casino Loyalty Programs Compared

Comp Comparison: Land-Based vs. Online Casino Loyalty Programs

Walk into any casino, and if you aren’t already brandishing a rewards card, you’ll be urged to sign up for whatever player’s club program they have on offer. Logging into an online casino comes with the same consideration. You’ll either be signed up for the rewards plan automatically, or strongly encouraged to join.

These programs are designed with several purposes in mind, benefiting both the players and the casinos. Players receive various types of rewards base don their game play, and casinos are able to collect all sorts of marketing data to better their game selection. They are also able to design targeted promotions for individual members based on their past gaming history. Realistically, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Land-based casinos tend to deliver very similar rewards packages as their fellow land-based rivals. Likewise, online casinos mimic their internet competitors in most ways. However, there are significant differences between the way walk-in and log-in casinos reward their loyal players.

Land-Based vs. Online Casino Loyalty Programs

To answer the most obvious question – Which is more rewarding? – I’ll start by saying the land-based variety are a lot more versatile. You may be offered anything from free credits, to free food, to free hotel rooms. Online casinos are more conservative, delivering bonus credits more than anything else. Then again, the amount of bonus credits from online casinos greatly outweighs the number of free credits any land-based establishment would be willing to offer.

So which is best? It honestly depends on what you want out of your experience. Check out the comp comparisons below and decide for yourself which would benefit you the most.

Free Bonus Credits

This is where online casinos shine. They have consistent bonus promotions to take advantage of. Whether you’re high-rolling VIP or not, you’ll get regular deposit bonus offers. On top of that, you’ll earn comp points for every dollar you wager. Those comps convert back to cash at a rate of $1 per 1,000 points. Higher VIP levels usually get an accelerated points rate of up to +25%.

Land-based casinos will offer small bonuses every once in a while, but unless you’re an upper echelon VIP member, don’t expect too much. Land-based casinos prefer to deliver their comps in the form of goods and services, as opposed to free bets or cash.

Comped Goods & Services

At a land-based casino, comps are most often provided as free goods and services, such as free beverages and meal vouchers, or tickets to a live show. If you’re spending enough money, the casino might put you up in their hotel. Their biggest spenders may be offered everything from limo rides to shuttle service via the casino’s private jet.

It’s rare for an online casino to supply physical goods or services. They do not host restaurants, hotel chains or concerts. However, some have been known to promote real-life experiences, such as Caribbean cruises, Vegas getaways, etc. Some have been known to allow players to trade comps for physical merchandise, like electronics or apparel. Again, these are rare perks, but it has been done before.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Walk-in casino guests have more leverage here. You can approach the concierge desk and request pretty much anything. The more you play – and more importantly, the higher your wagers – the more likely you are to receive exceptional requests. But in general, casino hosts are paid to keep guests happy. Asking for a free meal might only get you a free drink, but that’s still a free drink. Or, you may get that meal. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Online casino loyalty programs offer their highest level VIPs a dedicated account manager. You can ask this person for anything you want, just like in a land-based casino. Again, your request may or may not be fulfilled, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. You won’t likely be given anything substantial, like plane tickets or hotel stays. More realistic requests would be a refined bonus offer or faster withdrawal times.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Jan 03

Going South: The Best Blackjack Odds in Vegas

Going South: The Best Blackjack Odds in Vegas (99.86% RTP)

If you’re planning your first trip to Vegas, don’t bother reading this. You’ll want to spend your time on taking in the glorious sites along The Strip and Downtown’s Freemont Street. On your first visit, it’s not about the games, but the experience. If you’ve already had that experience, and are looking for something a bit more, then by all means, continue reading.

I’m going to tell you about the best blackjack games in the city. You won’t find them on The Strip or in Downtown, despite the rampant finger-pointing towards El Cortez. That casino does have some nice games, clocking a 99.82% RTP with the cheapest table limits of $5 and up. If you’re willing to spend $25 per hand, you can do better.

Best Blackjack Odds in Vegas

Head south along Las Vegas Boulevard approximately 10 miles from the central Strip area (Bellagio / Caesars Palace); past McCarran International Airport; beyond South Point and The Grandview. Just as you cross the St Rose Parkway, you’ll come to the luxurious M Resort Spa & Casino, sticking up from the vast stretch of desert floor like a hitchhiker’s thumb.

Beating Vegas with M Resort Blackjack Odds

Its opulence may seem a bit out of place this far south of The Strip. Technically, you’re not even in Las Vegas anymore. You’re in the city of Henderson, but once you enter the property, you’ll never know the difference.

I suggest taking advantage of valet parking, unless you don’t mind long walks. Once you get to the doors, head inside and take the nearest elevator to the upper level. Follow the signs to the casino, and once you’re there, stop the first employee you see and ask them to point you to the blackjack tables. The pit boss should be easy to find, standing at his/her central kiosk with a birds-eye view of the dealers.

Tell this person that you heard the M Resort blackjack odds are the best in the city, and ask for directions to one of those tables. There should be three of them It wouldn’t hurt to do this with a tip sticking up between your fingers, ensuring you get preferential seating if there’s a line. Once you’re seated…

M Resort Blackjack Odds and Rules

At the right tables, you’ll find rules that dish up a delicious 99.86% RTP. That’s a mere 0.14% house edge. It isn’t some odd-ball game with wacky rules and side bets. It’s a standard game of classic blackjack, with just enough player-friendly rules to deliver the best blackjack game in Vegas.

These games are played with a double-deck shoe, requiring the dealer to stand on all 17s. Players can double after a split and are allowed to re-split Aces. By these rules, a basic strategy will deliver that beautiful 99.86% return. Making these tables even more appealing, the games have a 0.8 cut card with 60% deck penetration. Deeper would be great, but in a 2-deck shoe, that’s a nice mark for precision card counters.

To recap…

  • Shoe: Double-Deck
  • Soft 17: Stand
  • Double: Any 2
  • Double After Split: Yes
  • Re-Split Aces: Yes
  • Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2
  • Cut Card: 0.8
  • Deck Penetration: 60%
  • Min / Max: $25 / $5,000
  • House Edge: 0.14%
  • RTP: 99.86%

If you’re interested in testing your skills against the best blackjack odds in Vegas, set your destination for the M Resort Spa Casino, located at 12300 S Las Vegas Blvd South, Henderson, NV 89044.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Aug 13

RTP comparison reveals the best paying slot machines in Nevada.

RTP Comparison Reveals the Best Paying Slot Machines in Nevada

When it comes to gambling, people have developed conceptions over the years as to how and where they can achieve better odds of winning. Some say it’s the games you play. Others say it’s the casino in which you play them. I (and everyone else with a higher education in gaming) say it’s both. But if there’s a specific game you want to play, location is everything!

I’m talking specifically about slot machines. Everyone knows these aren’t the best paying games overall. If you want the highest possible RTP, you have to play blackjack or video poker with a perfect strategy. That takes time and mental energy that some players simply aren’t willing to expend.

Slots fans play for the simplicity and entertainment value above all else. For these players, you won’t convince them there’s a better overall game out there. And since choice of game is out of the question, location becomes the primary focus. And with that, we’ve drug up statistical data that reveals…

…the best paying slot machines in Nevada.

Las Vegas, Nevada is the gambling mecca of the western hemisphere. When we think of casino hubs, The Vegas Stripis the first place that comes to mind. But it’s not the only place in the Silver State that caters to gamblers. There’s many more – some more famous than others. Downtown Vegas, North Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City, Henderson, Laughlin, Boulder Strip, Silver Springs, the list goes on and on.

When you compare the best paying slots from one area to the next, there are two locations that rank highest, appearing consistently on the list more than any others, Downtown Vegas and Boulder Strip. And then there’s the two obvious choices to compare – Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip.

If you think Las Vegas and The Strip are the same thing, think again. As far as reports from the state’s gaming regulators are concerned, Las Vegas refers to the casinos that are “off the Strip”. Downtown Vegas is the area North of the Strip, including Freemont Street. The Boulder Strip isn’t a single location, but rather a series of 30+ casinos that appear along a long strip of the Boulder Highway, from Downtown Vegas to Henderson and beyond.

Now that you know where they are, let’s compare the average slot machine RTP (return to player) between these four locations, based on recent data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). For absolute accuracy, we’ll divide the payout ratios by coin denominations (penny slots, nickel slots, quarter slots, etc).

Highest Paying Slots by Denomination

Location       RTP of 1¢ Penny Slot Machines
The Strip 88.38%
Las Vegas 90.88%
Downtown Vegas 89.15%
Boulder Strip 90.38%
Location RTP of 5¢ Nickel Slot Machines
The Strip 91.64%
Las Vegas 95.29%
Downtown Vegas 93.40%
Boulder Strip 96.21%
Location RTP of 25¢ Quarter Slot Machines
The Strip 89.35%
Las Vegas 96.41%
Downtown Vegas 94.25%
Boulder Strip 96.13%
Location RTP of $1 Dollar Slot Machines
The Strip 92.43%
Las Vegas 95.39%
Downtown Vegas 94.63%
Boulder Strip 96.13%
Location RTP of All Slot Machines Combined
The Strip 91.96%
Las Vegas 93.53%
Downtown Vegas 92.67%
Boulder Strip 94.34%

Best Paying Slots are Off The Strip and Off the Grid

The table above clearly shows that the Las Vegas Strip is, in fact (and as rumored), the worst place to play slot machines. The best paying slot machines in Nevada are found on the Boulder Strip, with Off-Strip casinos in Las Vegas coming in a close second.

Not surprisingly, the penny slots are the worst of all. No matter where you play them, the best average RTP in the reporting period was only 90.88%. The highest average, 96.41%, was found on quarter slots in off-Strip Las Vegas casinos. But overall, Boulder Strip casinos had the highest RTP average out of all categories.

On a final note, you’ll find similarly high RTP slot machines entirely off the grid. The online casino industry is famous for housing the highest paying slots of all. For the month of May 2019, Royal Vegas Casino recorded an average slots RTP of 96.87%. That’s higher than any of the slot machine RTPs recorded by the NGCB in a similar time frame.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Jun 18

Cheaters never win! Unless you happen to be one of these guys who won a fortune by cheating at different casino games.

Cheaters Never Win? These Guys Won a Fortune Cheating at Different Casino Games

Cheating the casino isn’t exactly the best way to make your fortune. It’s not so easy, either, especially considering the last few decades or so worth of advancements in technology. Security surveillance is far superior to what was available half a century ago. But it does still happen.

We don’t hear about casino cheats too much these days for two simple reasons; mostly because there aren’t many willing to try it anymore, but also because those who succeed aren’t blasting the news across social media.

Cheating at Different Casino Games

Although not intentional, some casino games are designed in such a way as to be more vulnerable than others. An entirely computer based game can be hacked and its software re-engineered to perform differently. A deck of cards offers no such mechanized manipulation.

Similar rules apply to the number of people involved in the deception. Any single-player game – a slot machine for instance – is going to be easier to manipulate with special tools or hacking software. The fewer eyes upon you, the better. In the same token, a multi-player game like blackjack is easier to exploit via distraction, wherein the deceiver gives prying eyes something else – something less suspicious – to train their scrutiny upon.

Famous Casino Cheats of Past and Present

I certainly don’t recommend cheating casinos – or trying to, as the case so often turns out to be. I for one would never have the gumption to attempt it, and I hope you would make the same smart decision to keep your gaming on the up-and-up. But there are a lot of people out there who did and do take the renegade plunge. Most of them failed miserably, paying a high price for their crimes. But not everyone…

The following is a list of famous fraudsters who pulled off some of the biggest gaming heists in casino history. Between the most successful tricksters of old and the biggest failures of all time, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so for now, you can consider this an ever-growing compilation of casino game cheats.

Richard Marcus – The Drunken Master

I’m starting here because his story is my personal favorite. Richard Marcus, a former card dealer, was a supremely cunning individual who used the commonality of social vices against the very casinos that promoted them. In this case, slovenly drunken behavior.

Marcus’s skulduggery relied upon excellent acting skills, and a great deal of courage, of which he had both. He was so adept at this method, he gave it a name – “Savannah”. It’s awfully similar to the comparably lame technique of past-posting, in which a player uses slight of hand to inconspicuously add chips to a winning bet. But Richard’s method was so much more convincing, if not a bit backwards.

In one of his more vividly detailed exploits, Marcus would play roulette with all the vigor of a drunken master. Upon entering the game, he would place two chips on a bet. The top chip would be small; maybe $5. The chip beneath would be of much greater value.

If he lost the bet, he would irately grab his chips from the table – going against every casino rule in the book – and fling them straight at the croupier! In the process, of course, he would cleverly replace the higher value chip with a second $5 chip, which is exactly what the croupier would expect to find.

If Marcus won the bet, however, he would make a valiant show of the fact that the chip beneath the $5 was of greater value, ensuring he got paid for his acceptable, albeit unorthodox manner of chip stacking. If security were to go back and observe the surveillance video, nothing out of place would be seen. Such was the wisdom of Richard Marcus, who managed to dupe the casinos out of an untold fortune by doing the exact opposite of what was expected – cheating on a loss, rather than a win.

“Savannah” was Marcus’s lucky lady, and she walked him across the fiery coals of many gambling adventures without ever getting caught. We only know of his insurmountable success because he wrote of his duplicitous exploits in his best-selling books. Of course, by the time he told the world what he’d done, he was already beyond wealthy and retired from that swindling lifestyle.

Unfortunately, I’ve lost all respect for the man in recent years. Now, he makes all of his money by bragging and pitting his own kind against the enemy. He runs a blog that supposedly teaches others how to cheat at poker and casino games, and at the same time, offers services to the very casinos he once cheated, teaching them how to catch the people he is supposedly training to bilk them. Not cool, Richard!

Dennis Nikrasch – 2-Step Teaming & Scheming

Dennis Nikrasch World's Best Slot Machine Cheat

Dennis Nikrasch (aka Dennis McAndrews) was a very talented man, particularly skilled in lock smithing mechanics. He used those talents to his lucrative advantage, taking the casinos for an estimated $15 million before the FBI got hold of him.

Nikrasch’s story begins as a teenager, when learned the trade of a locksmith. His unscrupulous ways began there, stealing cars and burglarizing luxury homes in his community. His reputation grew quickly, earning him a respected position with the Genesse Crime Family. The police caught up with him in 1961, and by the time he was released, he began eyeing new locks – the ones on casino slot machines.

By simply observing the keyhole on a slot, he found he was able to fashion a key that would open it. Once in, he used a series of strong magnets to manipulate the machines into releasing their jackpots. His actions went unnoticed for eight long and lavish years before one casino’s security time finally caught on. He was arrested shortly after.

Following a 5 year prison sentence, Dennis eventually returned to Vegas in 1991, thinking he’d get right back to his old ways. Slot machines had changed a lot since then, and Dennis had to come up with a new way to cheat them. So he did. Nikrasch teamed up with tech wizard Eugene Bulgarino, a former associate from the Genesse Crime Family.

Together, the two got their hands on some of the newer slot machine models and dissected them from the inside out. It didn’t take long to discover that the computerized machines ran on a microchip, as opposed to the old mechanical reels, and that the microchip was responsible for triggering jackpot payouts. After months of hard work, he was able to replicate the chip, except that his version would command the game to pay out its top prize the very next time the reels were spun.

Nikrasch’s biggest problem now was finding a way to switch out the microchips in a busy casinos without drawing suspicion or setting off a machine’s tamper alarm. The solution was easy enough – recruit a large team of helpers to disguise his actions.

While Dennis was sitting at a slot machine, appearing to play the game, an entire crew of helpers were moving about the casino, ensuring that his view was blocked from the casino’s security cameras at all times. Once he had finished replacing the chip, he would leave the machine and one of the team members would come along to play instead. One spin later, that inconspicuous member struck the jackpot.

There’s nothing uncommon about one player walking away and the next one striking paydirt, thus the casinos didn’t catch on to what Nikrasch’s team was doing for several years. Odds are they never would have figured it out if Dennis hadn’t been betrayed by one of his own partners.

Exactly who turned on him and why is a matter of speculation, but it’s believed it was a woman from the team who wanted more than Dennis was willing to give. When she tried to turn him in to the police, the FBI was eager to get involved, but try as they might, they could not find a single scrap of evidence that he had tampered with any slot machine. The security cameras showed nothing, and he left no trace of manipulation on any machine. Even IGT, the company that manufactured some of the games he cheated, could find no hint of tampering.

Slot Machine Cheat Dennis Nikrasch Arrested

The FBI resorted to tapping his phone, but of course Nikrasch and his colleagues were too smart for that. What they didn’t prepare for was the bugging of Dennis’s home. The FBI overhead a conversation in which Nikrasch invited Bulgarino to his home. Just hours before, agents snuck in and planted listening devices throughout the house. During the meeting, the two discussed every aspect of their previous crimes in an effort to find areas of improvement. They spoke of upcoming hits, and ways to spend their ill-gotten gains.

That was more than the FBI needed to storm the home and arrest them both. Dennis Nikrasch plead guilty to all charges and agreed to reveal all of his slot machine cheating secrets to help casinos catch other people like himself. For his cooperation, his sentence was reduced to 8 years.

Tommy Glenn Carmichael – Monkey Paw, Monkey Do

Tommy Glenn Carmichael was a product of the mid 1950s, a time when technology was all the rage. Electronic wonders were coming out of the woodwork, and they fascinated Tommy. He was that kid that ignored his friends pleading to visit the soda shop, and instead stayed in his room, dismantling a ham radio just to see how it worked.

Infamous slot machine cheater Tommy Glenn Carmichael

When he grew up, Tommy’s love of small machinery led him to open Ace TV Sales & Services in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The business was going great, but then everything began to fall apart. Prior drug convictions had him on probation and doing community service. He was in the midst of divorce proceedings from his third wife. Similar shops were opening all over town, driving his revenue into the basement.

Tommy Glenn Carmichael was in shambles.

That’s when Ray Ming, an old high school buddy, walked back into his life and change everything. Ray led Tommy outside to his car and told him that the object inside his trunk would change his life forever. He was right.

Within the confines of Ming’s trunk was a small-scale slot machine and a cheater’s tool known as a “top-bottom joint”. Neither Ray or Tommy knew how the gadget worked, but they were determined to find out. Carmichael took the slot machine home and disassembled it, learning the inner workings of the game and how to exploit it with the mechanism. Finally, after fiddling with the tool for many hours, he felt he was ready to use it in a real casino.

His first trip to Vegas started with a nickel machine, which he was to strike a $35 win on. He then moved up to quarter slots, and by the time the weekend was over, he had taken the casino for nearly $10,000.

His cheating ways continued with great success for the next few years before casinos updated their machines to RNG technology, forcing him to rethink his strategy. Unable to use the top-bottom joint on the newer models, Tommy limited his gaming habits to smaller casino joints beyond the strip, where the older machines were still in use.

Smaller crowds made for easier detection though, and it didn’t take long for police to catch up to him. They followed him for a week gathering evidence before he was arrested, charged and convicted of running an illegal gambling enterprise. Since he was already on probation, he was sentenced to five years in prison.

Years later, in an interview with USA Today, Carmichael said about this time in his life:

You think about what you did, and the mistakes, and how to correct them. You either get straight or get better.”

Carmichael got better.

In the years he was away, machines continued to evolve, so Tommy decided to go back to school, so to speak. He worked multiple minimum wage jobs until he’d saved enough money to purchase one of the newer machines. Not a slot machine this time, but a video poker machine. He spent more than a year learning the how the RNG and micro-processing units worked before he was ready to head back out into the casinos with his new invention – The Monkey Paw.

It’s engineering was genius, yet its operation simple. Built with guitar string and steel springs, it did resemble a monkey’s paw. And when it was inserted up the payout chute of a gambling machine, it triggered a mirco-switch that released a payout.

Tommy was “winning” thousands of dollars every outing, but just as before, times were changing, technology was evolving, and casinos were updating to newer machines. Carmichael decided to save some time and play it cool, disguising himself as an affluent with interest in purchasing one of the new slot machines.

Under this presumption, he convinced a casino employee to open up one of their new machines and explain how everything worked. In that limited space of time, he conceived his next big invention – The Light Wand.

The Light Wand Slot Machine Cheating Device devised by Tommy Glenn Carmichael

As is turned out, the new games were just as easy to cheat as the old ones, but instead of making contact with the trigger, he needed only light to pass over it. Like before, the light wand was inserted into the payout chute. When the light shown on the sensor, coins were released.

Tommy Glenn Carmichael became extremely wealthy at this point, not only because his new slot cheating device worked so well, but because he was making loads of money on the side selling them to fellow casino cheats. He was so rich at this point, he took a 6 month vacation from Las Vegas, pilfering the machines on casino cruises in the Caribbean.

Upon his return, Carmichael decided to set up a team. He partnered with Ramon David Pereira and his old prison buddy, Michael Balsamo, among others. Each member had an important role, scoping out the machines, keeping a watch for security, blocking the line of vision from security cameras at just the right moments.

If the stories are true, these guys were so successful that at their peak, they were raking in upwards of $5 million a day, virtually raiding the vaults of every casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Then one day in 1996, it all came crashing down.

The group was running their scheme at the Circus Circus Casino when authorities closed it. Tommy had no idea the casino had updated its security cameras. His blockers were no longer effective. Security saw everything. The moment Carmichael inserted his light wand into a machine, a team of guards pounced.

He was charged with cheating, manufacturing of a cheating device, and possession of a cheating device. However, authorities didn’t have enough evidence to make all the charges stick. They had to release him the next day.

Tommy Glenn Carmichael was arrested again in 1998, to no avail, and one last time in 1999. That time it stuck. He was sentenced to 1 year in prison and 3 years probation. After his release, he turned his life around, sort of. Carmichael began working with the casinos instead of against them, and made his new fortune developing tools to help stop cheaters. Might as well, since he’s engraved in Nevada’s Black Book of life-time banned players.

Ronald Harris & Reid McNeal – The Ruinous Nature of Greed

In the mid 1990s, a pair of seemingly unlikely comrades were getting rich quick off Nevada casinos. One was Ronald Dale Harris, a respected engineer with a strong background in computer programming and a convenient source of employment. The other was Reid Errol McNeal, an old school yard friend of Ron’s who just happened to be in the wrong situation at the right time.

Ronald Harris and Reid McNeal arrested in 1995 for cheating slot machines in Las Vegas and Atlantic City

The story begins in the early 1990s, when Ron Harris applied for a job with the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). He had all the right skills and his record was squeaky clean, thus he was a perfect candidate for computer programmer. His responsibilities included analyzing the state’s slot machine software for glitches and flaws.

In Ron’s defense, he had no intention of going rogue when he was hired. However, his job granted him access to very sensitive information, and it wasn’t long before he realized how easy it would be the manipulate the system from his position. All he had to do was alter the erasable programmable read only memory (EPROM) within a slot machine to govern its payout release. And so he did…

Harris knew the inherent dangers of his actions. He knew that if he went to the casino and won a jackpot himself, it would look awfully suspicious. That’s when he decided to contact his old childhood friend, Reid McNeal. The two had stayed in touch over the years, enough that Ron knew Reid had recently lost his job and was hard up for cash. Needles to say, it didn’t take much convincing to bring McNeal aboard.

Ron would program the EPROM chips of certain slot machines to line up a big win when a certain sequence of coins was entered. Then Reid would play the slot machines his friend told him to play, in the exact manner he was told to play them. For instance, one of Ronald’s favorite sequences – one no other player was likely to insert by accident – was 3 coins, 2 coins, 2 coins, 1 coin, 3 coins, then 5 coins. If that precise number of coins was inserted per play for six plays in a row, the sixth spin would result in the big win.

At first, they were the perfect duo, splitting the profits down the middle. They won relatively lucrative amounts of money, but never more than a few thousand per strike. It kept the prying eyes of the NGCB off their backs, and put far more in Harris’s pocket than his day job allotted. But then, as criminals so often do, the two got greedy.

In 1995, Ron wanted to try his illicit programming skills on keno machines, but he didn’t feel comfortable doing it in his home state. They left Nevada for the east coast, bringing with them all the equipment required to manipulate a gambling machine on site. They booked a room at an Atlantic City hotel and set their sites on a keno machine at Bally’s Park Place Casino.

In the beginning, everything worked just as planned. Harris gave instructions to Reid, who inserted $100 into the appropriate machine and – as expected – won the $100,000 jackpot. It was the largest keno prize ever paid by the casino. But instead of uncorking the champagne bottles and taking pictures with oversized cardboard checks, casino staff became instantly suspicious of Reid McNEal.

His first mistake was his lack of reaction. He did not seem surprised or even excited by the 6-figure win. He remained perfectly calm and asked for his winnings to be paid in cash. No payout would be forthcoming however; not just because the casino suspected something was up, but because any win of $35,000 or more required an investigation to confirm the win.

As protocol called for, security protected their latest big-money winner back to his hotel room, where they just so happened to find Ron, along with all of the equipment the two brought with them to manipulate the machines and cheat the casino. That was all police needed to place the two under arrest.

Ronald Harris plead guilty to more than twenty counts, including abusing his position with the NGCB, using confidential information for personal gain, and rigging gambling machines from Las Vegas to Atlantic City. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was released on good behavior after serving just two. Reid McNeal cut a deal with authorities, testifying against his friend in exchange for exclusion. Subsequently, all charges against him were dropped.

Ida Summers – The Vegas Vixen

Ida Summers Vegas Vixen

People often jump to conclusions when it comes to the roles women play in large-scale casino cheating scandals. It is assumed that any woman is merely a distraction – a decoy – directed by a man or group of men to swing their hips and bat their lashes while the real geniuses get the job done. That stereotype had nothing to do with the success of the fraudulent femme fatale, Ida Summers.

Ms. Summers was, for the most part, a one-woman show, and one of the most successful Vegas fraudsters of all time. And while she most certainly distracted the dealers and pit bosses from what was really going on at the table, it was for her own benefit.

Aside from her deviant charms, Ida’s claim to notorious fame was her indubitable skill at sleight of hand. From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, she pocketed thousands of dollars a day at Las Vegas casinos, mostly by adding or removing cards – sometimes entire decks or shoes of card! She was so adept at it, she eventually earned the nickname Vegas Vixen.

We must attribute a great deal of her success to her beauty, and ability to flaunt it. With a petite frame and slender physique, 5’2” and under one hundred pounds, every head in the room turned when she walked in. As competent as she was at sleight of hand, her flirtations were her most dexterous skill, allowing her to easily move cards around without notice.

Ida was especially fond of technique known as hand-mucking. It involves exchanging one or two cards in your hand with outside cards. In order for this to work, of course, you need the additional cards to flawlessly match the current cards. She had no trouble solving that potential problem, either.

Ms. Summers would either steal a deck cards right off the table when the dealer was distracted, or she would use her charms to convince a dealer to give it to her, even though it is thoroughly illegal to do so. The Vegas Vixen was known to draw a dealer so deep into her flirtations that when she asked for a deck of cards, just so she could “practice at home”, they were more than willing to risk their job just to make her smile and flash those beautiful eyes once more before she left.

Having an entire casino deck to work with, Ida would slide cards up her sleeve and discreetly pull them out as needed. She used them most often at the blackjack table to give herself a hand of 21. She was also known to cheat at Texas Hold’em poker and Caribbean Stud.

In her most daring adventures, she would stack an entire shoe with “cold decks”, prearranged to guarantee beating the house. Of course, replacing an entire shoe was much more difficult, and far riskier, than replacing a few cards. This was one area in which Ida Summers required help, recruiting a number of people to assist her in the job. She would remove one shoe from the table and slip the stacked shoe back in its place, then rest the original shoe in her lap, just out of sight under the table, until an accomplice could discreetly take it from her.

It’s crazy how successful she was in these duplicitous endeavors, despite the seeming blatancy of her crimes. One could say it goes to show how gullible men can be when it comes to the charms of a beautiful woman. However, once the casino managers became suspicious and brought the FBI in to investigate, it still took them several months to gather sufficient evidence to prove she was, in fact, cheating the casinos. This attests to her immense skill at sleight of hand.

Eventually, she and several of her accomplices were caught. The charges against her so well stacked that she should have spent several years behind bars. But her days of charming weren’t over yet. We can only assume that she was able to flirt her way out of the courtroom, handed nothing more than probation, even though several accomplices served time in jail.

Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio – The Counterfeit Con

Louis The Coin Colavecchio The Counterfeit Con

Louis Colavecchio was not a casino cheater in the traditional sense. He did not manipulate the games to increase his advantage over the house. There were no Aces or mechanical devices up his sleeves. Mr. Colavecchio’s crime was more subtle, and far less detectable by casino security. He was a superbly skilled counterfeiter of slot machine coins.

For many years – no one knows for certain how long – Louis was using special equipment to mint counterfeit coins that perfectly mimicked the tokens accepted and emitted by casino slot machines. His coins were so on point, it wasn’t just the cashiers that were fooled by them. He is believed to be the first counterfeiter that was able to successfully recreate coins even a slot machine’s sophisticated software was unable to identify as being fake.

Louis wasn’t always a con artist though. He was the son of a poor immigrant-turned-businessman who rose up to open his own machine manufacturing company. In hopes of following in his father’s footsteps, Louis, who was very intelligent, went to college and opened a business of his own – a jewelry store in his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. It was years later, after a brutal burglary destroyed his business and almost took his life, that Louis got involved in counterfeiting.

Using the insurance money from the robbery, he opened a new jewelry store and began taking “business trips” to Atlantic City. Those trips were actually a front for a new addiction – playing slot machines. The store, in turn, became a front for counterfeiting coins. He started out minting fake chips for the blackjack and poker tables. This was far easier than slot machine coins, but yielded a minimal profit. Eventually, he decided the reward outweighed the risk associated with counterfeiting slots tokens.

Louis would make his way to Atlantic City, bringing a stash of coins he’d minted on a machine originally built to engrave jewelry. He would then use these coins to play the slot machines, appeasing his addiction with no risk to his financial welfare. A bad run lost him nothing, but when he had a good day, he was able to cash out for pure profit.

Mr. Colavecchio is said to have made over one million dollars counterfeiting slot machine coins before the law finally caught onto his deceptive ways. It started with a phone call to the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement from Caesars Palace after the staff discovered a massive surplus of $10 slots tokens during an annual inventory check. All other casinos in the area were informed, and when they ran their own counts, they found equally sophisticated counterfeit coins in their network.

The casinos were put on high alert, and when Louis Colavecchio and his then-girlfriend, Donna Ulrich, entered Caesars Palace the following weekend, it didn’t take long for security to catch on to their suspicious habits. They spent hours watching the two, making note of their game choices. When they left, security opened those machines to find counterfeit coins in the hoppers of each and every game they had played.

In 1998, Louis and Donna were arrested. Authorities found them in possession of 750 pounds worth of counterfeit coins from various casinos in New Jersey and Connecticut. In exchange for a reduced sentence, Colavecchio agreed to tell the casinos how he had counterfeited the coins so perfectly. He spent the next 7 years behind bars.

Upon his release in 2006, he went right back to his old ways. Within a few months, Louis was arrested for the exact same activity. Years later, after statute of limitations had been exceeded, it was revealed that rumors of Louis Colavecchio’s involvement with the mafia were true. He admitted that the brutal robbery of his first jewelry store was really a premeditated scam to claim insurance money. He is also said to have been involved in other mafia-related robberies, arson fires and shootings. Louis was arrested again in 2013 for drug trafficking.

Phil Ivey & Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun

Baccarat Cheats Phil Ivey and Cheung Yin Kelly Sun

The name Cheung Yin Sun may not ring a bell, but surely you’ve heard of the highly decorated, world-class poker pro, Phil Ivey. He’s got 10 WSOP bracelets under a multi-million dollar belt. But poker isn’t the only game he excels at. Paired with Cheung Yin Sun – better known as “Kelly” Sun – this duplicitous duo was caught cheating more than one casino out of massive amounts of cash.

Ivey and Sun seemed to be the world’s most successful baccarat players, right up until the casinos figured out how they were getting so lucky. The two were using a special technique known as edge sorting. This system only works if 1) the players are extremely observant, and 2) the deck of cards in use has some sort of discernible flaw in the pattern printed on the back of each card.

Some say these two actually manipulated the cards in some way to achieve their edge-sorting advantage. Whether that’s true or not, we don’t know. What we do know is that Ivey’s immense bankroll and intelligence, combined with Sun’s expert edge-sorting capabilities, made one heck of a time – for a while.

Ivey and Sun famously cheated the Crockfords Club casino in Mayfair, London in 2012. While playing Punto Banco for high stakes, they utilized an erroneously printed pattern on the cards that helped them predict whether the next card would be high or low. In this way, the two were able to wrangle up a massive £7.7 million in winnings at Crockfords alone.

Unfortunately for them, that kind of cash isn’t handled directly. When Ivey requested the winnings be transferred to his bank, the casino instead froze his account and launched an investigation. Soon enough, they filed charges against the two for outright cheating.

Ivey of course claimed that they had merely found a fair edge and used it to strategically win. After a 5-year court battle, the London Supreme Court sided with Crockfords, declaring Phil Ivey and his accomplice were “undoubtedly cheating”. Thus, the casino did not have to pay Ivey or Sun the millions of pounds they had illegitimately won.

Crockfords wasn’t their only high-rolling haunt. When the pair weren’t edge-sorting the Punto Banco tables in London, they were doing the exact same thing at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City. It wasnt’t until the Borgata caught wind of what was happening across the ocean that they took greater notice of Ivey’s baccarat play at their own establishment. Low and behold, Ivey always played alongside Kelly Sun, and together they had taken the Borgata for more than US $12 million in April 2012.

The Borgata, having already paid out their winnings, filed charges against the duo – more severe charges than they faced in the UK. Ivey and Sun were accused of cheating, and were also brought up on charges of fraud and racketeering (via the RICO Act). If convicted on all counts, they would have faced at least $30 million in fines, not to mention jail time. As it was, the extra charges were dropped, leaving Ivey and Sun to pay back the more than $10 million.

While Phil Ivey was attempting to file an appeal against that judgment, he was also learning that the UK courts had ruled against him. He would not be receiving any money from Crockfords Club. Without that cash, he told the courts he could not afford to repay the Borgata – that the “enormity of that amount would clearly be of devastating impact”, resulting in “irreparable harm” to both Phil Ivey and Cheung Yin Sun.

Borgata wasn’t falling for it, and neither were the courts. Ivey did not have enough liquid assets in New Jersey to cover the cost, but he had no trouble spending money in Nevada – including the $10k buy-in for the 2018 World Series of Poker Championship. The NJ courts ruled that the Borgata could pursue Ivey’s assets in Nevada, including any futures winnings from poker, until the casino had been paid in full.

Phil has yet to give up on the court battle. In March 2019, he filed an 800-page appeal in hopes of practically rearguing the entire original case. He maintains to this day that neither he nor Sun interfered with the deck of cards in any way. However, it was proven that the two requested the same deck be used for an extended period of time. During that time, they were placing $150,000 bets, and won $12.6 million. When a pit boss intervened and demanded that a new deck be introduced, Ivey and Sun immediately cashed out and left.

Phil Ivey finished in the money in several events at the 2019 WSOP, where he won a combined $133,395. He never saw a penny of it, though. WSOP host Caesars Entertainment instead sent the money to The Borgata, which had obtained a court order to seize his poker winning in Nevada. To date, still owes millions of dollars to The Borgata.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

May 14

A fond farewell to mechanical horse racing games.

A Fond Farewell to the Nostalgia of Mechanical Horse Racing Games

I often talk about the variety of casino games found in today’s major gambling establishments. Everything from slots and video poker machines, to blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps and other table games, not to mention keno, bingo, and today’s big-ticket skill-based games slowly invading Atlantic City. One game I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned before is the Sigma Derby.

We’re not talking about genuine horse race betting. The Sigma Derby is a mechanical race simulator. It takes place at a massive table that seats up to 10 players, with 5 figurine horses racing around a miniature track. The results are random, the payouts are real, and that one minute of excitement is more than enough to draw beads of sweat as the mechanical ponies jerk their way ever-closer to the finish.

How Mechanical Horse Racing Games Work

Sigma Games Inc., based out of Japan, introduced the first electro-mechancial horse racing game in 1985. Named after their own company, the Sigma Derby was a big hit out of the gate. The set-up features 5 horses on an oval track. Each is pulled along from beneath by individual gear chains. To make the games fair and unpredictable, each gear runs at a random speed each time it’s initiated.

The only available wagers on Sigma Derby games are “quinellas”, meaning that the player must select two of the five horses to win and place (finish 1st and 2nd). It doesn’t matter which order they win and place in, so long as the two horses selected are the first two to finish. As such, there are only 10 betting options. Eligible quinellas and their respective payouts are as follows:

Much like a slot machine, the probability of the speed being high or low is predefined, but is determined at the moment the game starts by the algorithmic density of a random number generator (RNG). Suffice it to say (and this is only an example), horse #4 may only win or place in 8 out of 100 races, but no one – not even the manufacturer – can predict which of those races he will finish.

Horses Pays Horses Pays
#1 + #2 5 to 1 #2 + #4 20 to 1
#1 + #3 39 to 1 #2 + #5 2 to 1
#1 + #4 200 to 1 #3 + #4 160 to 1
#1 + #5 19 to 1 #3 + #5 15 to 1
#2 + #3 4 to 1 #4 + #5 79 to 1

Mechanical Racing Simulator a Dying Breed

The Sigma Derby fell from the grace of casino management many years ago when it was decided that the games just weren’t profitable enough to keep them around. It certainly wasn’t a popularity issue. Everywhere these games existed, the seats were occupied, and almost always at capacity.

Why the Sigma Derby is a Dying Breed

So why weren’t they making money? They can’t blame the house edge. Those horses were providing anywhere from 10-20% edge for the casino. Players didn’t even care, though. Even knowing how bad the odds were, the game provided plenty of excitement, at a low enough cost, to keep the seats filled. And with 10 players participating, wins occurred often enough to attract more bettors whenever one left the table.

The real problem was that Sigma designed the game to take quarters only. Players would bring a cup of quarters with them to the derby game, and could bet anywhere from 1 to 20 coins per race ($0.25 to $5), but most stuck to one quarter. With 10 players betting 1 coin per minute, even with a 20% edge, the casinos were only generating about $2.00 per minute. Removing a game of such considerable size and replacing it with a bank of slot machines, or a single $5-minimum blackjack table, could earn them so much more in the same span of time. So that’s what they did.

At the time of writing, it’s believed that just one Sigma Derby game remains in North America, occupying a small piece of property on the second floor of The D Las Vegas. More recent remakes are being introduced, but they lack the tinny nostalgia – as well as the cheap betting options and 5-horse build – of the original, mechanical horse racing games.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , ,

Apr 15

Exploit your swag to fleece extra casino comps in Las Vegas.

Exploit Your Swag to Fleece Extra Casino Comps in Las Vegas

Earning casino comps doesn’t have to be a long, tedious or costly process. Sometimes, playing the part of a high-roller is all it takes to generate VIP treatment. You won’t have to rob a bank to pull it off either.

Flashing just enough cash can do the trick, but only if you bring the entire package. A full high-roller ensemble includes fancy attire and a trendy hair do to match. Keep reading to learn how a sharp dressed man, or woman, can have the casinos eating out of the palm of their hand!

Fleece Your Swag to Earn Extra Casino Comps

There’s an age-old adage that says, “The clothes make the man”. If you want to get a good job, you don’t walk into an interview in jeans and a Led Zeppelin t-shirt. If you want to impress a girl on your first date, you don’t wear socks with sandals. And if you want to attract the attention of the VIP managers in Las Vegas, you never, ever show up in a polo.

If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of the usual Las Vegas tourist scene, it’s surprising how many people think quarter-button down shirts and khakis are “cool”. Maybe if you’re heading to the miniature golf course, but the Bellagio? Not even close.

The better dressed you are, the more heads you’re going to turn. You don’t even have to be a good actor. As it turns out, simply dressing in formal attire has the ability to provide you with all the swag you’ll ever need.

Don’t believe me? It’s a scientific fact!

The Science of Formal Attire

In 2015, research was conducted by Columbia University Professor of Psychology Michael Slepian. The study revolved around the impact of dressing sharply, both on the mental and physical prowess of the wearer, and his impression upon those he interacts with. The study culminated into a research paper titled The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing, published in SAGE Journal’s Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Dr. Slepian found that “wearing formal clothing enhances abstract cognitive processing.” He conducted five separate studies, concluding the donning of fancy, formal attire could be associated with…

Study 1: …higher action identification level.

Study 2: …greater category inclusiveness.

Study 3: …greater category inclusiveness.

Study 4: …global processing advantage.

Study 5: association between clothing formality and abstract processing was mediated by felt power.

According to Slepian:

The findings demonstrate that the nature of an everyday and ecologically valid experience, the clothing worn, influences cognition broadly, impacting the processing style that changes how objects, people, and events are construed.”

Clothing, Confidence, Cognition & Coinage

Once you’ve got the clothing, all you need is the confidence of a high roller, the cognition of a strategic gambler, and the coinage to back it up. Two of these should come naturally, as Dr. Slepian points out. The right attire gives a person confidence, and that confidence equates to higher mental capacity. The thing it won’t give you – quite the opposite if you have to pay an arm and a leg for the clothes – is money.

As I said, you won’t need to rob a bank, but you should save up a decent size bankroll before attempting to exploit the casino. You can’t possibly pull off the persona buying in for anything less than $1,000. This doesn’t mean you have to wager the whole 4-figures. You just have to look like you’re ready to do so.

Take a leisurely stroll across the casino floor. Check out the tables. Spend a few moments observing the action at various mid- to high-stakes tables, but steer clear of the VIP room. Let them feel like you’re thinking about playing, but shrug it off as something a bit too boring for you taste and keep on walking. Before long, someone should take notice and approach you. They may ask if you’re looking for something in particular, or if you’ve considered partaking in their VIP games. This is your moment!

Act interested, but disconnected. Tell them you were about to play one game or another, but you haven’t eaten yet and your throat is parched! If you can pull off the debonair of James Bond or one of his seductive lady friends, you’ll be dining free of charge before you can say “Hit me!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 13

Creative Candor: How to have hours of casino fun with no money to gamble.

How to have Hours of Casino Fun with No Money to GambleIf you’re even a moderately regular casino goer, you’ve surely experienced this before. You get all dressed up, grab your stash of cash and head for the big casino. Whether it’s a Las Vegas vay-cay or the locals gambling joint, we have high expectations for these trips. And when our bankroll goes bust long before the night is over, it can ruin an otherwise fantastic evening.

Now what? Here you are, standing in a frothy sea of entertainment, with no cash to partake in any of it. You certainly can’t do any gambling. You probably can’t even afford a cold beverage to drown your sorrows in. Must be time to pack it in and head home. Or is it? With a little creative candor, you can have…

Hours of Casino Fun with No Money to Gamble

Don’t get me wrong. These major casinos were built to collect your money in as many ways as possible, from the negative expectation games to the overpriced (unless comped) drinks. Most people assume that without cash, there’s no fun to be had at a casino. But keep on reading, because there are four easy ways to keep the fun going, even when you’re broke at the casino.

#1 Like sports? Kick back and watch the game!

If your typical evening at home involves lounging around in front of the TV and watching sports, you’re in luck. Most casinos host a sports book, or at least a sports bar. They have wall-to-wall big screen TVs showing every major sporting event available. Boxing, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, football – if it’s happening, it’s probably broadcasting live at the casino.

Grab a seat, kick back and enjoy! If it’s a sports book, no one will say a word. If it’s a bar, you might be asked if you want to order a drink. If you have enough change to do so, go head, then sip at it nice and slow until you’re ready to go. If not, say you’re just waiting for you friends. Stick to your story as long as they let you.

#2 Is poker more your style? Rail a poker game!

Most casinos host a live poker room where cash games are played around the clock. If you’ve ever watched poker from home, you’ll find it a lot more interesting in person. There’s no harm or foul for rail-birding the games, so you can waste all the time you want here.

#3 Any points on your club card? Smoke if you got ’em!

Assuming you’re a smart gambler, you should have a rewards card for the casino. You know, that card that you slipped into all the electronic gaming machines or showed to the dealer at a live table just before that stroke of bad luck cost you all your money? That card has a purpose – to earn you points. See how many points you have on that card, because it may be enough to extend your casino fun with no money; worthy of free play credits, a free drink, a free meal, even a free room for the night.

#4 Ain’t to proud to beg? Ask for a comp!

I’ve always lived by the philosophy of, ‘Ask, and you might receive. Don’t ask, and you’re guaranteed to get nothing.‘ If you’re a regular, why not ask for a comp? What are they going to do, say no? Then you’re right where you started – broke at the casino. It can’t hurt to ask for a little free casino fun, especially right after you lost all your cash to them. A lot of establishments will be generous if you just ask nicely. You just might get a free buffet voucher out of it!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

Oct 10

Proper bankroll size and management for a 3-day casino trip.

Proper Bankroll Size and Management for a 3-Day Casino TripA weekend in Vegas can be a grand experience. Many of us dream of such a vacation. It doesn’t even have to be Las Vegas. Atlantic City, Niagara Falls, Richmond – all have fantastic gambling halls with luxury casinos, exquisite dining, the whole sha-bang!

I think there’s one primary reason so many people never take the plunge—money. Most people think it’s going to be an expensive trip. It won’t be cheap, mind you, but the gambling aspect itself is the most intimidating, due to its unpredictability. How do you prepare a bankroll for a three-night stay, not knowing whether you’re going to have any luck or not?

Proper Bankroll Size and Management for 3-Night Casino Stay

To better understand how much money you’ll need, we must first define what a “bankroll” is. Your bankroll is the amount of money you have set aside—extra cash only—specifically for wagering. The cost of the hotel room, meals, and other entertainment is not part of your bankroll.

The first thing I would suggest is to find out what all of your other expenses are going to be. Go to Priceline, Groupon, Kayak, Travelocity—whatever discount website you want—and look into hotel packages. If you’ll be flying in, see if you can bundle an airfare/hotel deal. Then check out the website of the casino and/or hotel and look into their restaurant prices, and other local fare. Figure out how much you’re going to need for all these other expenses (don’t forget extras like cab fare, tips, snacks, etc.), set that aside. Any extra money you have left over is your bankroll.

You’re going to need at least $100-$200, per person, per day—more if you can swing it. Land-based casinos aren’t like online casinos, where the table games are as cheap as $0.50 or $1 to play. Depending when and where you go, you can expect table minimums ranging anywhere from $5 to $25 per hand. The slots may seem cheap, but the odds are terrible, and the game play so fast it can eat through your budget at lightning speed if you’re not careful.

If you don’t feel you have enough cash, keep saving up and plan the trip for a later date. Otherwise, keep reading…

Divvy the Total by Days and Sessions

Assuming you’re going to be accessing the casino for three days, the first step is to divide your entire bankroll by 3. This gives you an equal amount of wagering power for each day of your trip.

Next, you need to divide each of those parts into separate amounts for different session. Maybe you want to play some blackjack, some roulette, a little craps, and give the slots a go, all on day two. That’s four separate sessions. Divide that day’s allotted cash into four parts. Do this for each day, and make sure you don’t short yourself on sessions. After all, it’s supposed to be fun!

When you’re at the casino, set a profit goal. 25% is a reasonable amount. If you reach your goal, set aside any further profits you may make and keep them as winnings. This way, you won’t make the all-too-common mistake of giving all your profits right back to the casino.

Subdividing your bankroll like this will make the entire experience a lot more enjoyable, and ensure that you never run dry before the trip is over. Proper bankroll size and management will also help you remain accountable for your spending throughout the weekend in Vegas, or wherever it is you may go.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,