The House Always Wins

Creative Commons License photo credit: tetradtx

Working in a casino provides an interesting insight into people’s psyche – on both sides of the gaming tables. One of the first things a new dealer has to get used to quickly is to not give a damn about whether the punters won or lost – because they mostly lost. Often the reaction of the staff was then to become indifferent – all that mattered was that things were run well, that everyone was happy, that turnover was good, that no mistakes were made. Punters would often accuse us of wanting them to lose – mostly that was not the case (unless they were particularly loathsome), we didn’t need to want them to lose, mathematics took care of that for us. On the games I dealt and supervised the House advantages were as follows:

Blackjack – 0.80%
Baccarat (banker) – 1.17%
Baccarat (player) – 1.63%
Roulette (single zero) – 2.7%
Caribbean Stud Poker – 5.26%
Big Wheel – 11.1% to 24%
Sic-Bo – 2.78-18.98%

We didn’t need to wish or try and rig the game, the mathematics had rigged it for us already. All we had to do was keep the turnover going and keep you happy – happy enough so that if you did happen to win, you would come back. Because the golden rule of the casino world is that the house always wins in the end.

Usually I worked nights, but for 6 months I worked on the day shift and it was without any doubt the most depressing time of my life (the only time that came close was the period that I worked night shift). At night there is always a chance you’ll be dealing to tourists and people out for a night; but during the day for the most part you are dealing to addicts.

The casino doors would open at 10am, and within a week I could predict 6-7 of the first 10 through the door. Many were pensioners.

Don’t bet on the joys of pokies,” by Greg Jericho, The Drum Opinion, April 13, 2011

ht The Browser

Problem gambling – Wikipedia

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