‘Perfect play’ doesn’t impress Lady Luck

Feb 12, 2001 7:15 AM

If you’re at all familiar with my views, you won’t need your computer for this one. Put away that slide rule. You won’t even need a calculator. You need only one piece of high-tech equipment: your brain! And if you learn to use it efficiently as a weapon against a video poker machine, you have a better than 50-50 chance to overcome the house advantage.

We’ve all been told how it’s close to insane to think about playing a video poker game where we don’t have the advantage.

But does that mean some people are taking advantage of some stupid mistakes by the casinos? Yeah, right — and a blackjack pays 5-1.

In reality, nobody ever walks into a casino anywhere, sits down at full pay deuces wild, 10/7 DB poker, or 9/6 JB with creative comps, and plays with a mathematical advantage of any kind. Why? Because those advantages are theoretical over an infinite amount of time with absolutely unattainable computer-perfect play.

Even the most addicted players pound away less than eight hours a day, which is nothing more than a disconnected series of short-term attempts. The casinos know this. Why don’t they? The math never lies, but playing to the math is impossible.

Where this all started that casinos actually let people play their machines, who so blatantly announced their superiority over certain games with any kind of credibility, I’ll never know.

Name one casino in Nevada that worries about such stuff. They certainly allow them to play all right — to the tune of taking their money.

Now, who said the human mind is limited to never figuring out ways to overcome odds of any kind? Based on our history, we already know this is untrue. When it comes to games of chance, the mathematicians always seem to have the last word. Not any more. Up until four years ago, while I played optimal strategy, I had less than a 15 percent rate of leaving casinos a winner. Since then I’ve had a greater than 98 percent success rate, and it’s dead on target to the expectation that took me nearly three years to develop with the help of several consultants in this and other countries.

It’s loaded with special maneuvers and inconsistencies, but it’s simple in its premise of setting pre-determined win and loss goals, and never deviating from them. Progressive in nature — after losses and wins — it’s far from the dangerous Martingale system, which plays a minor role in the overall methodology.

Will power, determination, bankroll, and the ability to always do what you say you’re going to do (a feat almost impossible to perform while involved in casino action) are the ultimate keys. They’re the true test of a gambler who enters the arena for the purpose of gambling to win, not simply to have his performance rated.

Rob Singer is a professional gambler from Scottsdale, Ariz., and expert at video poker. His column about playing video poker appears weekly in GamingToday.