Distractions can impact game of blackjack or video poker
December 10, 2013 3:00 AM
by Marc Meltzer
Distractions are an easy way to get you out of your comfort zone and make you a bad gambler.
I have a short attention span and I’m easily distracted. It doesn’t help that I have great peripheral vision and can almost see behind me. I’m often okay being distracted, in part, because I’ve learned how to deal with it.
Sometimes I don’t mind being distracted with televisions, poor playing conditions, loud music, go-go dancers or fun bonus bets. Other times this makes me crazy. It all depends on my purpose when I’m in the casino.
Casinos offer a variety of games for different types of gamblers. Blackjack is one of the most popular and that comes with a lot of variety and confusion. Some casinos offer 3:2 blackjack in parts of the casino while other areas only have 6:5.
The 6:5 blackjack may be masked with party pits, go-go dancers, loud music and side bets to distract you from playing the game with a much smaller advantage from the casino.
If you’re looking for the most advantageous blackjack games you’ll find them in a quieter part with less bells and whistles. Not only will you be able to play better because you’re not being distracted but there will often be rules with a smaller house advantage.
That said, if you’re in the mood to watch a football game or sexy lady dance just be aware of your surroundings – including the rules of the games.
I was recently walking through one of these party pits with some friends when we decided to sit down and play. We didn’t look at the rules on the table at first and the dealer asked if we were sure about wanting to play.
Once it was known you could only double on 10 or 11 and blackjack only paid 6:5, we thanked the dealer and walked away.
One of the biggest distractions casinos have for gamblers is placing the video poker games with the best returns next to entrances. In Las Vegas every few seconds there’s a burst of extremely hot or cold air that not only distracts players from making the right moves but is also uncomfortable.
These games are desirable for video poker players but they’re not the easiest games to play. In the winter, when temperatures can be as low as 10 degrees (at night) this is almost a health hazard. Meanwhile, some of these casinos have less than desirable video poker games where it’s most comfortable.
While not all casinos treat good and bad games like this, enough do. It’s generally a good rule of thumb to assume the more fun distractions around your favorite casino games the worse the odds will be. Likewise, the less comfortable the surroundings the better the odds.
Think of the added house advantage to these games as a fee for extra amenities. Somebody has to pay for the extra TV’s and go-go dancers.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gambling and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Follow Marc on twitter @eastcoastgamblr. Check out his blog at www.AC2LV.com Contact Marc at MarcMeltzer@GamingToday.com.