?The New Math Of Gambling? Essay, Research Paper
The article “The New Math of Gambling” in Discover Magazine May 2000 was an article that shows the use of software, math and a few hours of time to beat the house when gambling. These life stories and achievements the individuals have are truly remarkable and real.
The article begins with Anthony Curtis who is a blackjack conqueror. He is a regular gambler at the Binion’s Horseshoe tables in Las Vegas. He was once a rugby player turned publishing guru of the Huntington Press. He states right off that the dealers are crabby and tough in Vegas but this doesn’t stop his science towards blackjack and his flirting with a cute dealer. He won the Match-Play Blackjack Championship in 1987 by card counting and having the ability to track many events going on at once.
“When an ace came up, he put his heel down…second ace, foot to the left…third ace, up on his toe and forth ace, foot to the right.” Anthony then counted 2’s and 8’s as +1, 3’s 4’s 6’s and 7’s as +2, 5’s +3, 9’s –1, and 10’s and face cards as –3. Whenever his count went positive he boosted his average bets and winnings.
Curtis found his gambling spirit after reading “How to win at Blackjack” and has read many other mathematical scientific techniques on winning in Vegas. The Baldwin Group, four army mathematicians, taught how to win and play each hand efficiently. This made blackjack the most profitable game in gambling. Other novels and even giving up a wrestling scholarship has led Curtis to win 101.1% return during his off hours.
Over the long haul of a normal gambling night, the house will win anywhere from 1 to 60 percent return on gambler’s money. Americans lost $55 billion in 1998, and extreme losses have increased in recent years. Gambling is legal in all states but Hawaii, Utah and Tennessee.
The second success story comes from a video poker player named Jean Scott. Jean is the queen of Video Poker having been a blackjack counter for many years. An average hour for Scott is to play 600 hands and cycles going through $3000 like candy.
Scott is a minister’s daughter who is “taking the money to God away from those evil casinos.” She plays at the Orleans, a casino that attracts locals who prefer advantageous games. The machines she concentrates on are usually five card draw poker games with a #4000 return on a royal flush.
Her strategy begins with writing down each machines payoff and rules. Then she enters the information in a program that figures odds and payoffs on all possible hands. She is not allowed to bring her computer into the casino, but her information is very valuable and important to her playing.
Scott says to not play the video poker games like you would around a kitchen table with friends. The odds on winning a four-of-a kind instead of a full house might be better than you expect. A royal flush, for instance, occurs once in every 40,390 hands or the equivalent of 67 hours of play at 600 hands an hour. These secrets of hers are top secret and these odd beatable games have given casino management time to restructure there gaming systems.
Vegas changed blackjack rules changing doubling down and ace splitting rules. This has players like our third gambler, Olaf Vancura, to track blackjack odds. “People need to play properly instead of the idea of beating the game,” says Vancura. He was formerly an astrophysicist who developed an easy card counting technique. The cards are given values like the first case and then the number of decks to receive a K.O. odds system divides the totals. The higher the number the bigger the bet.
All three cases show that using technology to win a blackjack or poker game can be really simple. These cases give the average gambler to re-evaluate their gaming strategy and go beat the odds of Vegas. This article makes me wish my 21st birthday was coming just a little more sooner.