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At The Oven’s Door…




Money isn’t everything unless you are buying into a casino game of craps or blackjack. Then, you better be prepared for the price of poker or accept the fate of losing for playing with an inadequate bankroll.


A couple of years ago I wrote a contribution for an e-book, how to double $100 at the casino. The best way to double $100, as the old joke goes, is to fold it in half and put it back into your pocket. A hundred bucks is not really enough money to properly enter today’s minimum bet games.


I did not come to the decision of participating in the e-book eagerly. To write about doubling money was contrary to my beliefs and my years of experience. In the end, I decided to write about a method of playing craps by betting on the don’t pass. I had experienced years of consistent results with the play, and I usually doubled my starting buy-in. To be clear, I am not trying to mislead you. The idea of doubling your buy-in is silly at best, and this was my concern for participation in the project, making winning appearing as easy.


Anything having to do with Las Vegas is hot right now. You can not turn on the television without seeing a show about the “City of Dreams”. Recently, there was a program competing two players against one another to see which one could win the most money. The experiment compared a system math player to a tourist type gambler. The question posed was, does an expert player have more of an advantage when it comes to winning than the average tourist gambler?


I must say right off that the scenario was bogus. I was surprised that the “expert” gambler conceded to the rules of the competition. However, as I studied the show I recognized that the point of the show was essentially an infomercial for luring more players to the casinos. The message was clear. You do not have to know much, or need much money, to gamble. Anyone can do it. If fact, the less you know the more you win.


Both competitors were limited to just $25 to play blackjack, craps, video poker and roulette. Playing craps or blackjack with just $25 is ludicrous, at best. Cutting to the chase, the strategy player was ahead in money, little as it was, only to be “aced out” in the last game, video poker. A win by the tourist gambler on the poker machine put him ahead and was crowned the winner. Though the show did not report profit and loss, both players, in fact, lost money. This point was not expressed in the program. The show made it appear as if both players actually won money. The show focused on the fact that one player, the tourist gambler, just won more than the other did.


 Reading between the lines, the subliminal message was, “See, all that math and strategy stuff does not make any difference. Anyone can play Las Vegas, you have just as good a chance as experts of the game.”


Wow! It left me with a feeling of protest. I felt the show was misleading millions of viewers into thinking the chance of winning or losing is in the luck of the draw. With the pull of a handle, you can be just as big a winner or loser. Skill really does not matter.


The program created the illusion that nothing is needed to gamble in Las Vegas except $25. From my perspective, it created a “what the hell, $25 or $50, play a little, lose a little, let’s have some fun”. Twenty-five dollars is not much money either way, win or lose, and that creates another set up. If the player wins, the game looks easy and entices them to play more. If they do not extend their play, and they lose, what next? Well, hell Mel, get the money back, it’s easy. What’s $25 bucks? Let’s play another $25 and get it back. Soon, the “money pocket” empties except for the lint. The funds, ear marked for shopping, are “LG”. (long gone)


The story was a complete manipulation of the viewers. The best way to insure losing your money is to engage in games with too little bankroll. Still, you have to know how to play the game first. I am not even going to talk about the machines. As you should know from being a subscriber, I do not consider slot machines entertainment. I’d sooner play a parking meter to have about the same result.


The purpose of this article is not so much to lecture you about proper bankroll for your game. It is asking you to be aware of the subtle manipulation present with television programs about gaming. Most seem to be slanted to convince the audience that gambling is “cool”, that you do not have to be an expert, that anyone can do it, and that it does not take much money. In the example, even a complete moron has as good a chance of winning money, perhaps even more money than an expert player would.


Maybe this is an unnecessary warning. Maybe it is not news to you. I merely wanted to let my readers in on the subliminal forms promoting and luring players to the casinos. The more you know about gaming, the more of your money you will keep when it comes time to play.


Where is the metaphysics in this article? Well, it is important to read between the lines. The truth always comes through, even when it’s subtle. You only have to take a step back and ask, what is the feeling created by the media’s message? As soon as you hear it said that you do not need any skill, figure it to be a forgone conclusion that you do need preparation. “Read my lips, no new taxes”, comes to mind. It also reminds me of Grimm’s Fairy Tale of Hansel and Gretel. The old witch tells Gretel to go into the oven to check if it is hot enough to bake the bread. Gretel, wise to the old witch, says she does not know how to do it. The witch, upset with Gretel, orders her out of the way to show the little girl how to check the oven herself. The witch bends over, Gretel gives her a shove and slams the oven door behind the witch.


Next time you catch one of the Las Vegas programs on television, telling you to check the heat in an oven, play like Gretel. When at the oven’s door, check first for who is standing behind you before you stick your head inside. A little bit of skill and cleverness can keep the oven door from slamming shut on your gaming experience.


Michael "The Professor" Vernon

Playing 4 Keeps.com


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