Casinos there to help bettors, not hurt

Oct 16, 2007 2:03 AM

I’m constantly fielding questions about whether or not the casinos cheat.

I’m not really sure why people feel compelled to ask this question. Does Disney World cheat? What about the movie theater? What about NFL sports teams? Wait, scratch that last one!

Generally speaking, companies don’t cheat their customers. Why would casinos be any different?

I’m guessing that there are 2 basic reasons why people think that casinos cheat. The first is that this would explain their ”˜awful’ luck and why they lose. The simple reality is that most casino games are created to all but ensure that the Player will lose in the long run. To expect otherwise, especially while playing table games or Slots would be silly. However, with Expert Strategy, you can minimize the losing and give yourself of at least enjoying many winning sessions.

Unfortunately, most people don’t use proper strategy when playing and thus, not only do they lose in the long run, they lose in the short run. Plus, they tend to lose a lot more than those that use proper strategies. So, why blame your losses on your own failure to learn and use proper strategy when you can just blame the casino?

The second reason that people like to say that the casinos cheat is because that seems to give them the feeling that it is okay (both legally and morally) to cheat the casinos in return.

After all, they’re cheating me out of my money, so I can try and cheat them out of their money. This argument falls flat for a variety of reasons. First, there is no way to ”˜cheat’ the casino. Anything truly considered ”˜cheating’ may very well be illegal and at the very least may get you booted from the casino. If it’s less intentional, such as finding a malfunctioning machine, your win may be short-lived.

A malfunction voids all plays, and the casino will have much latitude on ”˜voiding’ your good fortune. If you find a wad of bills on the floor and choose to keep them without telling the casino, you haven’t cost the casino a thing. You may have cost a senior some food money or a honeymooning couple a wedding present, but the casino will report the same revenue whether you tell them or not. Personally, I’m not sure I’d want the karma of gambling with someone else’s money in this way.

The only real way to ”˜cheat’ the casino is to learn the proper strategy for each game. While the games are all built to give the casino an edge, the casinos are not built to expect that everyone will play the game at this edge. On average, most Players play games so that the house has a 2-to-4 time larger advantage than the theoretical.

I suppose that is the one sole advantage of Slots. You can’t play the game any worse than anyone else. Of course, with paybacks in the low 90’s, the casino doesn’t need you to.

This is also the main reason why I don’t think that casinos cheat in any way. They don’t need to. If everyone came to Las Vegas ready to play using proper strategy, casinos might have to resort to this to cover costs. But, the reality is that probably no more than 10 percent of Players show up playing even close to proper strategy. The other 90 percent are playing so poorly that the casinos earn their large profits, even after the expenses.

The second biggest reason why casinos don’t cheat is that most of them today are big multi-national corporations.

Cheating simply would not be profitable relative to the risk they run if they are ever caught. In a society full of lawyers, I wouldn’t want to be the casino caught pulling 10’s out of the Blackjack shoe.

So, given that the casinos aren’t actually cheating you, there is no need to try and cheat them. If you think that you’re entitled to cheat the casino, or you think that finding a roll of bills on a chair and not turning it in is somehow getting even with the casino, then you’re probably reading the wrong column. My column is about learning the right strategies when playing the games, which is the best way to get even with the casinos.