In any particular hand, it is 99%+ luck between two decent players who know basic strategy. However, that one percent makes it so that the better player will win over the long run with probability approaching 100%, given you play sufficiently many.
- New casino players will receive a Is Poker Really Profitable free real cash bonus whenever they play at a casino for real money. Casinos usually give out bonuses in the form of deposit matches usually. Is Poker Really Profitable That means a certain percentage of your deposit is given in free money, so the bigger your deposit, the bigger your.
- That’s because poker is unique from most other forms of real money gambling in that you need other people in order to play. There are some USA poker sites that prohibit players from certain states from joining. And you’re not going to find many players from countries outside the US on these sites for various reasons.
Games available in most casinos are commonly called casino games. In a casino game, the players gamble cash or casino chips on various possible random outcomes or combinations of outcomes. Casino games are also available in online casinos, where permitted by law. Casino games can also be played outside casinos for entertainment purposes like in parties or in school competitions, some on machines that simulate gambling.
There are three general categories of casino games: gaming machines, table games, and random number games. Gaming machines, such as slot machines and pachinko, are usually played by one player at a time and do not require the involvement of casino employees to play. Tables games, such as blackjack or craps, involve one or more players who are competing against the house (the casino itself) rather than each other. Table games are usually conducted by casino employees known as croupiers or dealers. Random number games are based upon the selection of random numbers, either from a computerized random number generator or from other gaming equipment. Random number games may be played at a table or through the purchase of paper tickets or cards, such as keno or bingo.
Some casino games combine multiple of the above aspects; for example, roulette is a table game conducted by a dealer, which involves random numbers. Casinos may also offer other type of gaming, such as hosting poker games or tournaments, where players compete against each other.
Common casino games
Notable games that are commonly found at casinos include:
Casino games typically provide a predictable long-term advantage to the casino, or 'house', while offering the players the possibility of a short-term gain that in some cases can be large. Some casino games have a skill element, where the players' decisions have an impact on the results. Players possessing sufficient skills to eliminate the inherent long-term disadvantage (the house edge or vigorish) in a casino game are referred to as advantage players.
The players' disadvantage is a result of the casino not paying winning wagers according to the game's 'true odds', which are the payouts that would be expected considering the odds of a wager either winning or losing. For example, if a game is played by wagering on the number that would result from the roll of one die, true odds would be 5 times the amount wagered since there is a 1 in 6 chance of any single number appearing, assuming that the player gets the original amount wagered back. However, the casino may only pay 4 times the amount wagered for a winning wager.
The house edge or vigorish is defined as the casino profit expressed as the percentage of the player's original bet. (In games such as blackjack or Spanish 21, the final bet may be several times the original bet, if the player double and splits.)
In American roulette, there are two 'zeroes' (0, 00) and 36 non-zero numbers (18 red and 18 black). This leads to a higher house edge compared to European roulette. The chances of a player, who bets 1 unit on red, winning is 18/38 and his chances of losing 1 unit is 20/38. The player's expected value is EV = (18/38 × 1) + (20/38 × (−1)) = 18/38 − 20/38 = −2/38 = −5.26%. Therefore, the house edge is 5.26%. After 10 spins, betting 1 unit per spin, the average house profit will be 10 × 1 × 5.26% = 0.53 units. European roulette wheels have only one 'zero' and therefore the house advantage (ignoring the en prison rule) is equal to 1/37 = 2.7%.
The house edge of casino games varies greatly with the game, with some games having an edge as low as 0.3%. Keno can have house edges up to 25%, slot machines having up to 15%.
The calculation of the roulette house edge is a trivial exercise; for other games, this is not usually the case. Combinatorial analysis and/or computer simulation is necessary to complete the task.
In games which have a skill element, such as blackjack or Spanish 21, the house edge is defined as the house advantage from optimal play (without the use of advanced techniques such as card counting), on the first hand of the shoe (the container that holds the cards). The set of the optimal plays for all possible hands is known as 'basic strategy' and is highly dependent on the specific rules and even the number of decks used. Good blackjack and Spanish 21 games have house edges below 0.5%.
Traditionally, the majority of casinos have refused to reveal the house edge information for their slots games and due to the unknown number of symbols and weightings of the reels, in most cases it is much more difficult to calculate the house edge than that in other casino games. However, due to some online properties revealing this information and some independent research conducted by Michael Shackleford in the offline sector, this pattern is slowly changing.
In games where players are not competing against the house, such as poker, the casino usually earns money via a commission, known as a 'rake'.
The luck factor in a casino game is quantified using standard deviations (SD). The standard deviation of a simple game like roulette can be calculated using the binomial distribution. In the binomial distribution, SD = √npq, where n = number of rounds played, p = probability of winning, and q = probability of losing. The binomial distribution assumes a result of 1 unit for a win, and 0 units for a loss, rather than −1 units for a loss, which doubles the range of possible outcomes. Furthermore, if we flat bet at 10 units per round instead of 1 unit, the range of possible outcomes increases 10 fold.
- SD (roulette, even-money bet) = 2b√npq, where b = flat bet per round, n = number of rounds, p = 18/38, and q = 20/38.
For example, after 10 rounds at 1 unit per round, the standard deviation will be 2 × 1 × √10 × 18/38 × 20/38 = 3.16 units. After 10 rounds, the expected loss will be 10 × 1 × 5.26% = 0.53. As you can see, standard deviation is many times the magnitude of the expected loss.
The standard deviation for pai gow poker is the lowest out of all common casino games. Many casino games, particularly slot machines, have extremely high standard deviations. The bigger size of the potential payouts, the more the standard deviation may increase.
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As the number of rounds increases, eventually, the expected loss will exceed the standard deviation, many times over. From the formula, we can see the standard deviation is proportional to the square root of the number of rounds played, while the expected loss is proportional to the number of rounds played. As the number of rounds increases, the expected loss increases at a much faster rate. This is why it is impossible for a gambler to win in the long term. It is the high ratio of short-term standard deviation to expected loss that fools gamblers into thinking that they can win.
It is important for a casino to know both the house edge and variance for all of their games. The house edge tells them what kind of profit they will make as percentage of turnover, and the variance tells them how much they need in the way of cash reserves. The mathematicians and computer programmers that do this kind of work are called gaming mathematicians and gaming analysts. Casinos do not have in-house expertise in this field, so outsource their requirements to experts in the gaming analysis field.
Is Poker Really Gambling Games
- ^'Michael Shackleford is the wizard of odds'. Observer. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- ^Hagan, general editor, Julian Harris, Harris (2012). Gaming law : jurisdictional comparisons (1st ed.). London: European Lawyer Reference Series/Thomson Reuters. ISBN978-0414024861.
- ^Gao, J.Z.; Fong, D.; Liu, X. (April 2011). 'Mathematical analyses of casino rebate systems for VIP gambling'. International Gambling Studies. 11 (1): 93–106. doi:10.1080/14459795.2011.552575. S2CID144540412.
- ^Andrew, Siegel (2011). Practical Business Statistics. Academic Press. ISBN978-0123877178. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
Whether on a riverboat atop the Mighty Mississippi or in the smoky dimness of a mining camp saloon, a lucky draw could turn a broken man into a winner. In the days of the frontier west, poker was king with the mustachioed likes of Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, “Canada” Bill Jones, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and hundreds of others.
In the old west towns of Deadwood, Dodge City, Tombstone, and Virginia City, gamblers played with their back to the wall and their guns at their sides, as dealers dealt games with names such as Chuck-A-Luck, Three Card Monte, High Dice, and Faro, by far the favorite in the wild west saloons.
The exact origin of poker is unknown but many have speculated that it originated from the 16th-century Persian card game called As Nas. Played with a 25 card deck containing five suits, the rules were similar to today’s Five Card Stud. Others are of the opinion that it was invented by the Chinese in 900 A.D. In all likelihood, the game derived from elements of various gambling diversions that have been around from the beginning of time.
Poker in the United States was first widely played in New Orleans by French settlers playing a card game that involved bluffing and betting called Poque in the early 1800s. This old poker game was similar to the “draw poker” game we play today. New Orleans evolved as America’s first gambling city as riverboat men, plantation owners and farmers avidly pursued the betting sport.
The first American gambling casino was opened in New Orleans around 1822 by a man named John Davis. The club, open twenty-four hours a day, provided gourmet food, liquor, roulette wheels, Faro tables, poker, and other games. Davis also made certain that painted ladies were never far away. Dozens of imitators soon followed making the gaming dens the primary attraction of New Orleans. The city’s status as an international port and its thriving gambling industry created a new profession, called the card “sharper.”
Professional gamblers and cheats gathered in a waterfront area known as “the swamp,” an area even the police were afraid to frequent, and any gambler lucky enough to win stood a good chance of losing his earnings to thieves outside of the gambling rooms and saloons.
Gambling was outlawed in the rest of the huge Louisiana territory in 1811, but New Orleans continued to enjoy the prosperity brought by gambling for more than 100 years. Though the law was passed for the entire Louisiana Purchase, it was obviously not enforced and casinos and gambling began to spread.
As commerce developed on the waterways, gambling traveled up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, then westward via covered wagons, and later on the railroad. The first written reference in the United States came from Jonathan H. Greer in 1834 when he referred to the amusement as the “cheating game.”
Some of the first gambling dens outside of New Orleans were started on river towns that were popular with both travelers and professional gamblers. It was here that many “sharpers” preyed on these transient people, with their pockets filled with their life savings, on the way to the new frontier. The dishonest gamblers also often ran confidence games and other con artist businesses, in order to gaff the unwary pioneers. A host of companies specialized in manufacturing and selling card cheating devices. One riverboat gambler named George Devol was so proud of his ability to slip a stacked deck into a game that he once used four of them in one poker hand, dealing four aces to each of his four opponents.
It was professional gamblers who were largely responsible for the poker boom. Considering themselves as entrepreneurs, they took advantage of America’s growing obsession with gambling. Though having a high opinion of themselves, the public viewed them with disdain, considering them as contributing nothing to society. This viewpoint was often warranted in many cases, as a large number of professional gamblers often cheated in order to win. To be successful, professional gamblers had to have irresistible personalities in order to attract men to play with them. Often dressing in dandy clothes, their success depended partly on chance and partly on skill, sometimes on sleight of hand, and in the Old West, their shooting abilities. By the 1830s, citizens began to blame professional gamblers for any and every crime in the area and gambling itself began to be attacked.
It was during these riverboat gambling heydays that an interesting story occurred in 1832. On a Mississippi steamboat, four men were playing poker, three of which were professional gamblers, and the fourth, a hapless traveler from Natchez. Soon, the young naïve man had lost all his money to the rigged game. Devastated, the Natchez man planned to throw himself into the river; however, an observer prevented his suicide attempt, and then joined the card game with the “sharps.” In the middle of a high stakes hand, the stranger caught one of the professionals cheating and pulled a knife on the gambler, yelling, “Show your hand! If it contains more than five cards I shall kill you!” When he twisted the cheater’s wrist, six cards fell to the table. Immediately, the stranger took the $70,000 pot, returning $50,000 to the Natchez man and keeping $20,000 for his trouble. Shocked, the Natchez man stuttered, “Who the devil are you, anyway?” to which the stranger responded, “I am James Bowie.”
Anxious citizens of these river port towns grew more and more wary of the confidence men that were multiplying so quickly. In Vicksburg, Mississippi, the citizens’ rage had become so increased by 1835, five cardsharps were lynched by a vigilante group. It was soon after this that many of the gamblers moved onto the riverboats, benefiting from the transient riverboat lifestyle.
At the conclusion of the Civil War, America pushed her boundaries West, where the frontier was born of speculators, travelers, and miners. These hardy pioneers had high risk-taking characteristics, making any gambling situation a popular pastime for these rough and tumble men of the frontier. In virtually every mining camp and prairie town, a poker table could soon be found in each saloon, surrounded by prospectors, lawmen, cowboys, railroad workers, soldiers, and outlaws for a chance to tempt fortune and fate.
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During the California Gold Rush of 1849 gambling houses sprouted up all over northern California, offering a wide array of not only gaming tables but also musicians and pretty women to entertain the gamblers as they played. It was at this time that dance halls began to appear and spread throughout later settlements. While these saloons usually offered games of chance, their chief attraction was dancing. The customer generally paid 75¢ to $1.00 for a ticket to dance, with the proceeds being split between the dance hall girl and the saloon owner. After the dance, the girl would steer the gentleman to the bar, where she would make an additional commission from the sale of a drink.
A popular girl would average 50 dances a night, sometimes making more a night than a working man could make in a month. Dance hall girls made enough money that it was very rare for them to double as a prostitute, in fact, many former “soiled doves” found they could make more money as a dance hall girl.
As the Gold Rush gained momentum, San Francisco replaced New Orleans as the center for gambling in the United States. Over one hundred thriving saloons and brothels met the sailors and fortune-seeking travelers as they disembarked at the San Francisco harbor and stumbled into the infamous Barbary Coast Waterfront District.
Faro was by far the most popular and prolific game played in Old West saloons, followed by Brag, Three-card-monte, and dice games such as High-low, Chuck-a-luck, and Grand hazard. It was also about this time that gambling began to invite more diversity including Hispanics, blacks, Chinese and women in the games. Three of the more famous women gamblers of this time were Calamity Jane, Poker Alice, and Madame Mustache.
Before long, many of the Old West mining camps such as Deadwood, Leadville, and Tombstone became as well known for gunfights over card games than they did for their wealth of gold and silver ore. Professional gamblers such as Doc Holliday and Wild Bill Hickok learned early to hone their six-shooter skills at the same pace as their gambling abilities. Taking swift action upon the green cloth became part of the gamblers’ code – shoot first and ask questions later.
One such occasion that clearly showed the quick and violent code was when Doc Holliday was dealing Faro to a local bully named Ed Bailey in Fort Griffin, Texas. Bailey was unimpressed with Doc’s reputation and in an attempt to irritate him; he kept picking up the discards and looking at them. Peeking at the discards was strictly prohibited by the rules of Western Poker, a violation that could force the player to forfeit the pot.
Though Holliday warned Bailey twice, the bully ignored him and picked up the discards again. This time, Doc raked in the pot without showing his hand, nor saying a word. Bailey immediately brought out his pistol from under the table, but before the man could pull the trigger, Doc’s lethal knife slashed the man across the stomach. With blood spilled everywhere, Bailey lay sprawled out dead across the table.
Inevitably there were liquored up miners and cowboys who would shoot up the saloons and sometimes the poker winner when they were angered by their losses. Even Wild Bill Hickok, who is mostly known for his heroics and prowess with a six-shooter, took advantage of those abilities when faced with a loss in Deadwood, South Dakota. Shortly before midnight after a night of drinking and gambling, Hickok was playing a two-handed game with a man named McDonald when the stakes began to increase with every card dealt.
When the hand was complete and the middle of the table piled high with money, McDonald showed his hand, displaying three jacks. To this, Hickok responded, “I have a full house – aces over sixes,” then threw his hand face down upon the table. However, when McDonald picked up Hickok’s hand, he exclaimed, “I see only two aces and one six.” Wasting no time, Wild Bill drew his six-shooter with his right hand and replied, “Here’s my other six.” Then he flashed a bowie knife with his left hand, stating, “And here’s my one spot.” McDonald immediately backed down saying coolly, “That hand is good. Take the pot.”
By the end of the 19th century, gambling had spread like wildfire through the many mining camps, multiplying as the gold and silver hunters spread across the West, searching for new strikes. It was about this time that both states and cities started to take advantage of these growing ventures by taxing gambling dens and raising money for their communities.
It was also during the late 1800s that many towns and states across the western frontier began to enact new laws against gambling. Attempting to gain new levels of respectability, the laws primarily targeted the “professional gambler” more than gaming in general. Some types of gambling were made illegal, while limits were established on others. Initially, anti-gaming laws were weak and had little real effect on gambling, as they were difficult to enforce, establishments simply introduced new variants, and penalties were light.
This $100,000 bet that a professional poker player made, that he can stay in a darkened room for 30 days without leaving it, is outstanding. Pro Poker Player Bets $100,000 He Can Stay In A Dark Room For 30 Days. Poker prop bet dark room. The bet the pair have goes like this: if Alati can stay in a pitch-black Las Vegas bathroom, alone, for 30 days straight he’ll get $100,000 from Young. “The conditions are complete darkness, so no. According to a Facebook post by Danielle 'DMoonGirl' Andersen — later crossposted to TwoPlusTwo by Allen Kessler — a poker player has agreed to a prop bet that calls for him to live in a dark.
Faro gambling card game about 1900.
However, the laws were gradually strengthened and ironically, Nevada was one of the first states in the West to totally make gambling illegal in 1909. Other states soon followed suit and true to the worst fears of the Puritans, gangsters combined liquor and gambling in the cities of New York, Cleveland and Chicago during the 1920s.
By the time construction on the Hoover Dam was underway in 1931, Nevada relaxed its gambling laws and casinos once more began to flourish. By 1939 there were six casinos and sixteen saloons in Las Vegas. As automobile traffic increased and people began to travel more for leisure, Las Vegas began to boom into the gambling Mecca it is today.
Over the years, poker has evolved through legitimate casinos and backroom games to its many present variations. Over the last decade several states have reintroduced gambling in limited formats and the fastest-growing gambling opportunity today doesn’t even require you to leave your home, as you log onto your computer to tempt the fates. Carefully regulated by gaming laws, poker is now the most popular card game in the world.
© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated November 2019.
“If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.” –– Paul Newman