Tells: Dealer Toke Hustling

After a session playing with rookies, I like to ask, “What did you think of those dealers?” or “Who was your favorite employee?” Heat management is one of the most important aspects of the game, and sizing up the personnel is the key to heat management. “Bullet” and I tend to have identical assessments of the personnel, but the rookies often reach different conclusions. Rookies don’t realize that some of the apparently friendly interaction is nothing more than incessant toke hustling, and that grates on veterans, even those who are generous tokers (which Bullet certainly is, and I’m far from the cheapest myself). Continue reading

Posted in General Thoughts | Tagged | 18 Comments

Local Casinos: Economic Revival, or Black Hole?

When the Horseshoe opened in Cleveland a couple years ago, I happened to be in the area for a wedding, and I couldn’t believe how excited these people were to get a casino! They were saying how they’d finally be a real city, and the TV news showed the people lining up on the street to be the first ones in. Everyone was talking about it, and the reporters were even explaining on TV how you had to always put your card into the machine to get your points, and then showed the chart of what the points were worth! Continue reading

Posted in General Thoughts | 11 Comments

The Real Problem with Problem Gambling

The University of Nevada has hosted the International Conference on Gambling and Risk-Taking every few years for the past several decades. Increasingly prominent on the agenda is problem gambling, and I attend many of these talks, since there aren’t as many talks on the mathematics of gambling.

While some of the speakers discuss treatment programs, many of the talks, surprisingly, are about identifying and defining problem gambling. At the 2009 conference, a speaker who worked for Harrah’s stated that their biggest challenge in tackling problem gambling was that they didn’t have any method to identify a problem gambler. “Oh well, I guess there’s nothing we can do then!” [shrug of shoulders] Continue reading

Posted in General Thoughts | Tagged | 9 Comments

Casino (Mis-)Management: Time Wasters #1-3

We can’t even cover all the ways casinos waste time in one post, so we’ll just look at three of them that relate to card handling. Now, if you’re in charge of cleaning up the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, do you send the custodians with their mops and vacuums in the middle of the trading day? Probably not. Continue reading

Posted in General Thoughts | 22 Comments

I Lost My Wallet at a Casino Where There’s Heat: What Now?

If you spend enough time in casinos, eventually you’ll drop or lose something. If it’s a chip, you’re probably out of luck, but I’ve seen found chips returned by pit people. A bigger problem is dropping your wallet in a casino where you have heat.

For me personally, this is a hypothetical topic, because the only wallet I would carry is a decoy wallet containing a small amount of cash, a few worthless business cards, an empty Starbucks gift card, and an expired third-party ID that has no picture or someone else’s picture. Such a wallet is handy to give to a mugger, and if lost under heat, need not be retrieved at all. Continue reading

Posted in Advice for Players | Tagged | Leave a comment