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Casino Quasi-Morality

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by HevyMetal, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Reading another recent thread made me think of this...actually I think about it frequently:-

    Do you think that a person or persons who uses exotic methods to win at a Vegas (or any other) casino is a criminal?

    Over the years lots of people have come up with ingenious methods to beat the house.

    The stance of the Casinos is:- they are criminals and are doing wrong.

    I personally say hogwash. I believe in beating the Casinos any way you can (short of actual wrongdoing...say like an armed conflict or where people get hurt for instance).

    Other than that I say they are fair game to be fleeced. They are doing exactly the same thing to me.

    The house is rigged in their favor to win....otherwise they wouldn't be in business. Sure...there are winners every day in jackpots etc....but that's just to give you your "fix" so you'll keep coming back.

    I don't consider card-counting illegal.(It isn't anyway) I think they're just sore losers when somebody does that. Although it isn't illegal, you can be tossed from the Casino if they catch you.

    ( I am not or have ever been a gambler, As a matter of fact I dislike it and think it's waste of time...but the big Casino's holier-than-thou attitude I find to be absurd).
     
  2. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    You are obviously correct, the games are favored for the casino. But, that's no secret...it's not like they "trick" you into thinking you have the odds in you favor. So what that means is that a player "chooses" to play the game knowing full well that they have the disadvantage. Well, the converse of that is true...the casino has the same right to choose to play against an opponent. If they feel that the opponent has the mathematical advantage, they can "choose" not to play that opponent. Just like the player has that same choice to never sit down and play against the casino.
     
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. Sure, card counting is awesome and I don't think it's at all immoral, but I don't see why the casinos have to let you play.
     
  4. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    No, its all good. The casino isn't guaranteed a win, but as DFS said, they have the odds stacked in their favor. If you are smart enough to play the game in a way that places the odds in your favor (without cheating of course), then more power to you! That is why it is called gambling ... as it is a gamble for both you and the casino (although much less of a gamble for the casino).

    Although....if you consistently win big at a casino, chances are you will be kicked out of the Casino. I heard that is what happened to the MIT nerds who figured out ways to beat the system.
     
  5. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    BTW, counting cards is by no means as easy as the "average Joe" thinks it is. The MIT story is now a hit movie (and several hit books over the years) and there will be a rush on card counting literature and everyone will think they can "take down the house" and blah, blah, blah. The casinos couldn't have been happier about this movie coming out. Many a people are going to go broke attempting to count cards.

    Being a math teacher myself and into numbers and such, I've done some research into card counting and even the best card counters in the world don't create huge advantages for themselves. The most effective card counting techniques involve working with a team, the lone person who thinks he can win "big" counting on his own is hugely mistaken. And pretty much Blackjack is the only game this applies to, all other games are for the casino. Poker is the exception, where you're playing the other people, not the house...they just take their rake (cash games) or percentage of the buy-in (tourney play).

    If you win big at a casino and they suspect it was on the up and up, you will actually get comps and upgrades and such. They want you back. If they peg you as a counter, long gone are the days of the back-room beat-down and getting "thrown out". They will let you stay and play, just not blackjack. And you can rest assured that you will never get another blackjack game at a major casino in the world again with all the facial recognition software out there now. Now, if you're caught "cheating" and breaking the law then you will go to jail and you will not be welcome back there or basically anywhere.

    Now, to address the title of the thread, it's by no means a moral issue. It's business, and casinos have the best business model in the world! Card counters are mere flies in the ointment for them, and as I outlined earlier they have absolutely no moral obligation to gamble with them.
     
    #5 DFS, Apr 26, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2008
  6. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Well what would define "cheating"?

    If I go there with a team of say 4 people and we all have 'click' computers in our shoes and send signals to one another is that "cheating"?
    In my view it isn't....you're simply using a technological advantage.

    I agree... business it is for them.

    They have the right to refuse service....just like anywhere else.

    But if they use, as an explanation, that you were 'cheating' therefore you must leave...well pardon me for rolling on the floor laughing..

    They initially want you to partake in a game of chance that is rigged in their favor.

    IMO that's cheating by them to start with.

    Just because I agree to play doesn't mean I accept that they are entitled to fleece me or deem me a "cheater" if I use a method to outwit them.

    So basically what they're saying is:- you may play as long as we win 90% of the time.

    In other words:- you are entitled to play----by our rules.

    But seeing as how the rules require me to give them 90% of my money for free, I don't feel at all bad when I read that somebody took them for six figures.

    There was a show on t.v. a while back that re-created how people have been successful at this over the years.

    No casino ever, anywhere wanted to them play after they were discovered.

    But rather than admit they were beaten at their own game, they adopted the position that they are in fact running honest operations and the perpetrator ( *cough*......superior player/s IMO) are all criminals that need to be prosecuted......:lol:


    Get over it, casinos.....the only reason you got into it in the first place was because the Mafia originally was making a killing at it.
     
  7. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    In the eyes of the law, not opinion, using any kind of mechanical of computerized device is cheating yes. Of course, that's opinion, but so is any law. Counting, using your brain, is not cheating.

    I respectfully, and utterly disagree with you here. That's exactly what you accept by choosing to sit down and play with them, period. Casinos sell a dream, not a guarantee. They are soooo not cheating, there are no false pretenses what-so-ever. That's like saying if I sit down at a restaurant and order the steak that has said price that I don't agree to pay that price when the bill comes. Come on now, that's silly. And again, you are not a cheater if you count, just someone they won't gamble with.

    They don't win not even close to 90% of the time...on any game. The gaming commission has very strict rules on the % favor the house is allowed on each game, and it's nowhere near 90%. Forgive me for not knowing the exact, but I'm sure it's easily available with a little research.

    Umm, yup. If you choose to play in the NFL, you play by their rules. What's so wrong with this?

    Again, not 90%. They are within their right to refuse play to anybody for any reason. Rest assured they did not prosecute a counter, only a cheater. They are running honest operations, to the extent that anybody runs an honest operation. There are always a few bad apples.


    That's true. And I tell you what, I would do almost anything to own a casino!
     
  8. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    9 out of 10 people that I know who go to Vegas come back fleeced and broke...so I think they get 90% of people's money.

    Amazingly, people seem to be very happy about being relieved of their hard-earned cash as long as there's some free booze,free grub and hypnotic lights involved.

    Maybe they just say to themselves "Screw it, the casino's gonna get the money...not Celine friggin' Dion.."

    If I go to a restaurant and I order a steak, I will pay for the steak I get.

    If I go to a restaurant and they lead me to believe that I MIGHT get a steak if I give them some money, I won't feel at all bad when I go there there next time and con them into giving me a free steak because I didn't get one the first time. I'll get a steak and they MIGHT get some money.

    Business is business....they're in it for the money...I'm in it for the steak.

    Actually..now that I think about it...when you sit down to play at a casino table, you do not agree to play by their rules. You simply agree to play.
    You don't sign a binding contract, the rules are not specified or laid out, and you have no idea whether they are pulling a fast one on you or not.

    Maybe the general guidelines are known in a game like Texas Hold'em etc.

    But no assumption is contractually stipulated before you play.

    You are allowed to play even if you don't know how to play.

    If I play in the NFL, the rules are transparent. Either team can win based upon that team's knowledge,skill and prowess.

    It is not rigged in favor of one side.

    On the flip side, I agree that if I knowingly sit down at a casino table to partake in a game of chance where the odds are stacked against me from the start I deserve what I get. Which will probably be less than nothing.

    I don't, however, consider casinos and gambling a legit business really...

    It's a slime-ball racket perpetuated and owned by greasy individuals who profit from the lowest common denominator. At least a hooker will give you your money's worth. So I rank casinos lower than prostitution.

    And I openly applaud anyone who can take the house down for a barrel-full of greenbacks.
     
  9. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    By this logic then, anyone who loses at a casino should sue for their money back. Since there was no contract right?

    And yes, the rules ARE laid out. They will even train you on the best, most effective way to play the games. You have every idea whether they are fleecing you are not...you just have to do your homework...like ANY good consumer. This is why I don't play slots, they have the lowest payout of any gambling one could do in a casino. Again, you seem to imply that casinos are hiding the fact that they have the mathematical advantage and are "tricking" their players. "Poor little players for sitting down at the blackjack table and not realizing that he is not favored to win any money. Shame on those casinos for pulling a fast one on that poor little innocent player who thought that winning money was as easy as just sitting down and playing."

    And 9 out of 10 people losing is not indicative of the casino winning 90% of the time. I understand for a non-mathematical mind (not calling you a non-mathematical mind, just saying in general) that may seem weird. The statistical and probability formulas are so complex it would take 4 years of college just to scratch the surface. Don't presume the mathematics are that cut and dry.
     
    #9 DFS, Apr 27, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2008
  10. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading a book quite awhile ago that showed the percentage of payouts on slots.

    Apparently it differs from state to state and area to area.

    Other winnings also differ somewhat depending on where you're playing.

    Suing a casino wouldn't work IMO because regardless of the information provided or implied, the act of voluntarily partaking in the game without being forced would nullify any argument.

    Unless you could prove you were under duress or insane.

    I could, however, have an advisor sitting beside me who was an idiot/savant.

    That would be Dustin Hoffman as the " Rainman " character he portrayed or somebody just like him.

    If he was just advising me as I played,without actually touching any cards himself, I think we would both be tossed in minutes.

    There's nothing mathematically complex about it at all.
    Because of the odds, the casinos will make money.
    They'll teach you the best way to play? Not likely. It takes years for the average joe to become really good at poker (or blackjack).

    That's like Andre Agassiz showing you how to play tennis and then you thinking that in a real game , right after, you'll smoke him.

    Highly unlikely.

    If, overnight, everybody became geniuses at card playing and gambling, and could go into a casino and win each and every time they played, the casinos would be out of business.

    That's not going to happen any time soon.

    The casinos know, currently, that not only is the casino going to win, it is going to do it in grandiose fashion day in day out.

    Their current powerplay is to offer something for the wife and kids as well...this way if you don't want to go, you'll be pressured into it by your siblings and wife/girlfriend. Just like McDonald's.

    I would call all this a form of entrapment. You are seduced from the outset to go there and play. If you go to Vegas they will give you free money to get started. They will also give you near-free alcohol to get you out of your right mind.

    But if you win big consistently....the shoe is on the other foot as far as the casino is concerned. You are a marked man. Even though you are just counting cards.

    So in reality they do not want you to win big. They would rather you didn't win anything. But they know you won't come back if they don't throw you a candy for your efforts...so they rig it so you win just a little bit generally.

    This the same as drug-dealing. A dealer will offer freebees to get the victim hooked and take every advantage of the person's initial curiosity.

    However if you outsmart the drug-dealer and become a drug-dealer yourself, getting all the business and forcing him to take less of a profit, he will try to find a way to terminate your operations. He can't holler "illegal!" because what he is doing is also illegal. But the casinos can, because they are cloaked in a technically legal veil.

    But this is Nevada......and in Nevada, shafting in every form is legal.

    What people do and the choices they make are their business.

    Far be it for me to sit here and pontificate...do whatever you gotta do..

    But it doesn't take years of college to know you just got cleaned out at the tables...
     
  11. Apolon

    Apolon Well-Known Member

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    I worked at a casino for a couple of years and they percentages usually run from 85 - 97% payback . But in order to get that payback you may have to plunk several hundred in. Most can't or aren't willing to do that. We had a game that had a 99.7% payback but it was a 5 dollar poker game with a max of 5 bet ($25 per spin) I saw quite a bit of money going off of that machine, but it still made a lot.

    90% of people don't win is a more accurate statement, but that 10% wins a considerable amount of money.

    Don't go to a casino to make money. You won't. Use it for entertainment, by spending within your means and all is good. And hope you are the 10% that wins :)
     
  12. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but you KNOW all that going into it. How do I know you know it? You just spelled it out in a post! Every business does this kind of stuff to get people to partake of their business. If you walk into a casino and start gambling, then you should EXPECT to come out a little poorer than when you walked in. I don't think that most people walking into a Vegas casino expect to cash in big .... Most people are tourists who think it would be fun to gamble in a Vegas casino. That is what you are really getting for your money -- the fun and the experience, and the off-chance of getting lucky. If you expect more than that, than you probably deserve to be separated from your money.

    Well of course! How could it be any other way? Do you think they SHOULD want you to win big? If they did, then there wouldn't be a casino because they would never make any money. Remember, the purpose of a casino is to make money.
     
  13. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    I think HevyMetal, correct me if I'm wrong, but what you have is a moral issue with the legality of gambling. I was actually anticipating the drug dealer analogy, and gosh darn-it you laid it out there. :) Thus, your gripe is not with casinos as you are trying to lay out, but it's political. You think, because you hate what the casinos do, that they don't have the same rights as the patron to NOT gamble. You don't see it as a two-way street. You acknowledge that the player has the choice not to gamble knowing that they are at the disadvantage, however you argue that the casino should not have that same right when they realize that they have the disadvantage, i.e. against a counter. That's a double standard.
     
  14. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Of course you guys are right....it's just that I'm outraged ( *splutter*...*blubber*) at their veneer of pretending to champion themselves as doers of all things right and decent by regarding players who can give them a run for their money (no pun intended) as low-lifes and criminals.
     

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