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Gambling Tips Tricks and Advise

Mark Pilarski Gambling Tips Tricks and AdviseAs a recognized authority on casino gambling, Pilarski worked 18 years in the casino industry, for seven different Nevada casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals.


Marks latest columns
Columns by subject
Poker Blackjack Craps General
Have A question Contact Mark At
pilarski@markpilarski.com

Marks latest columns

Blackjack's most revered fallacy: Collateral damage
How well, or poorly, fellow player's play does not affect your chances of winning over the long haul.

Roulette Where Are The Good Bets
The three payout terraces of roulette

Texas Hold'em Bad Bets Hope Springs Eternal
Making the wrong move at the right time is what it's all about.

Blackjack Splitting Aces And 8s
As with any two-card matching hand, there are times you want to take advantage of this splitting rule, and splitting a pair of aces is definitely one of those times.

Aisle Slot Machines Pay Better Fact Or Fiction
Do slot machines that are placed on the end of an aisle pay better than those in the middle?

Does speed kill in a casino?
I play a decent game of quarter video poker at a pretty good clip whereas my wife plays quarter slots at a leisurely pace. Although I'm playing faster, at a game with a lower house edge, does my speed offset that lower house edge?

Blackjack Counting Cards Made Simple
Counting cards is nothing more than wagering more money when the cards remaining in the deck are rich in tens and aces. Here is how.

Multi Line Multi Coin Slots
Far too many players, Jason, are betting big-time bucks on multi-line/multi-coin machines despite the relatively low paybacks.

Table Blackjack VS Video Blackjack
The advantage of a video blackjack machine over a live game

Blackjack Splitting 10s
Is there actually any time when it is a good idea to split tens.

Lucky Streak On Video Poker
When the impossible happens, and yet, anything is possible no matter how long the odds are.

Should Rogue Dealers At The Roulette Table Be Cause For Concern?
Calling over a pit boss and explaining your situation should correct your problems.

Slot Tournaments And HIGH Payout Slots
How slot tournaments work in a slot tournament there just happens to be one simple strategy: Get in as many spins as you can.

Craps 101 how to play without looking a beginner
By exploiting only the best bet(s) the game offers, you join the less than one percent of players who truly understand dice.

Progressive Slots What Are The Odds
Maximize potential and minimize risk, don't get confused with a "bonus multiplier" machine.

Slot Machines And Their Payback Percentages
You need to look at slot paybacks this way: The more a machine gets played, the closer its actual payback gets to its theoretical payback.

Slots Poor Economy VS Slot Payouts
Will the dramatic drop in slots play at casinos due to the economy also dramatically drop the payouts?

Video Poker Payout Quarter VS Nickel
When a nickel machine lists 9/6, and a quarter machine also lists 9/6, does the player on the nickel machine playing five nickels get the same payout odds?

Pai Gow Poker Tips For The New Player.
Pai Gow Poker is a variant of American seven-card poker. It is played with a standard 52-card deck and a joker, but differs from the typical seven-card game in that you play against a banker, not against the other players at the table.

Video Poker Machines Pay Table Analysis
Lets take a closer look at the rest of the pay table.

Poker Go For That Elusive Royal
The frequency of hitting two pair, three of a kind, full houses or four of a kind when you hold the low pair more than makes up for always chasing that elusive royal.

Video Blackjack Odds Vs Table Blackjack
Most video blackjack machines pay only even money on natural 21's

Craps Don't Wager The Sucker Bets
The greater the edge, the more of your hard-earned money that you put into action the casino gets to keep.

Casino Scams Am I A Victim
The games they play to change your winning ways

Slots Playing Max Coins On A Budget
Is stretching your bankroll by betting one coin at a time a good idea?

Pit Boss And The Dealer Switch
The dealer change is often erroneously credited by superstitious pit bosses (and players alike) with ending a player-favorable streak of cards.

Blackjack Soft 18 Against A Nine
Here's the arithmetic: With a soft 18 against a 9, you'll win eight times out of 20 if you stand, but nine times out of 20 if you hit. And the winner is?

Slots Minimum Payout Percentage
Percentage return doesn't necessarily mean you will see slot machines actually set that low.

Slot Tournaments How To Increase Your Odds
In most slot tournaments, you play strictly for points, and the player with the most points at the end of the tournament wins.

More and less than you think
Pit bosses like to push in a dealer whose pitch and pay-and-take is Speedy-Gonzales-fast, a seasoned dealer who can handle high-limit action, and deal more hands per hour.....

Just left a slot and someone else hits it big
How come every time I get up from a machine, someone sits down and immediately hits a big jackpot?

Video Poker Speed Kills
With this little bit of information, you can easily figure out how fast your roll of quarters goes away.

Video Poker Brick And Mortar Royal Flush Of Yesteryear
Royal flushes of yesteryear are an easy urge to wax nostalgic for the "good old days.

Blackjack split 8s breaking up a 16
When you split 8s, you will lose $44 for every $100 wagered. You may not necessarily always put extra jingle in your pocket by splitting 8s, but you will jingle louder and longer if you split 'em.

Using a printed video cheat sheet
Using a printed video cheat sheet gives you not only the discipline to play video poker correctly, but it also gives you an understanding of the "Expected Value" of the hands you are dealt.

Video Poker Books
My advice for those of you who are now just recreational players but who want to become serious video poker players, is to get any of these books.

Side Bets Sucker Bets In Poker
Should I be betting the side bets and if so which one ?

Finding Those Loose Slot Machines
All casinos have "loose" and "tight" machines commingled in the casino . "Loose" machines are defined as those machines returning more of the player's money; the "tight" machines return less.

Craps knowing when to fold them
Fortunes in craps are won when the dice are hot, lost when they go cold.

Craps The Pass Line Player
I want you to place $30 in lieu of $5 on the Pass line, and then bet $25 on the Don't pass simultaneously. Your net bet becomes only $5.

Math Loss Formula For Blackjack
A mathematical formula for blackjack that you can project your losses in a casino.

Video Poker That Sweet Edge And How To Find It
Full pay machines are machines that pay out more for certain winning hands than do other comparable ones.

Slots RGN Random Number Generator
Just what creates that random number generator at a given moment

Lady Luck And Playing Smart
The smarter you play, the luckier you'll be is the correct answer here.

What are you thoughts on this roulette system
Past results, Jenny, have no effect on a future outcome. Regardless of what happened on recent spins

Video Poker What Cards To Hold
Playing 5-card draw with jacks or better, I draw a pair of 5s, a king, a 7 and a 2. Do I just keep the pair of fives, or do I keep the fives and the king?

Blackjack Royal Match
The Royal Match wager, a side bet in blackjack that is based on the first two cards dealt to the player is a bad deal here is why.

Video Poker Perfect Strategy Or Not
I strictly play each hand using a printed cheat sheet based on the perfect strategy for that game, should I deviate my play?

Card Counting And Continuous Shuffle Machines
Why would a card counter play at a casino that uses only continuous shuffle machines.

Plenty of Wampum Needed for a Royal
How much money is needed for a bankroll before I can expect to hit a royal flush?

Blackjack Doubling Down Outpaces the Insurance Bet
Far too many players don't double, fearing that losing the extra bets might wreak havoc on their bankrolls

Ultimate Texas Hold'em 101

ShuffleMaster's Ultimate Texas Hold'em pretty much has it all, aggressive betting, yet the ability to check through the river, optional Trips bonus bet, and yes, those bad beats and miracle draws.

Royal Match blackjack
The casino's advantage on a Royal Match bet depends on the number of decks used.. If playing on a six-deck shoe game, the casino advantage is 6.67%. On an eight-deck game, the house edge is slightly lower at 6.46%.

Odds And Payout Video Poker VS Live Poker
Are the paybacks and odds the same on Table Master's Three Card Poker video machine as that of playing on a live game with a live dealer?

Table Master Multiple Player Table Games
Table Master games nearly doubles the number of hands played per hour. Called "incremental game speed," the more hands you are exposed to the built-in house advantage on any of the Table Master games.

Poker The Over Sized Chip Rule
The over-sized chip rule also applies when more than one chip is necessary to call a bet, and when the last chip tendered might be interpreted as a raise.

Blackjack Thorp's Card Counting Theory
Thorp's theory was based on counting cards with a value of 10. In a deck of 52 cards, there are 36 non -10-value cards and 16 10-value cards, After each shuffle, the deck stands at 2.25 to one which slightly favors the house.

Blackjack Switch
Blackjack Switch, it is a mutant form of blackjack where a player is dealt two hands and is allowed to trade cards between hands.

Let It Ride Poker
Let It Ride is a variation of five-card stud poker where the player wagers on a poker hand consisting of three cards in the player's hand and two community cards in the dealer’s hand.

Pulling The Slot Card
A player pulls the slot card from the reader before hitting the Draw button on a hand that has potential for a big payoff.


Can Video Blackjack Stiff You

Can video blackjack machines be programmed to recognize a larger amount bet and then stiff you accordingly?

The Taxman Cometh
The casino's decision to issue a Form W2-G, Certain Gambling Winnings, or a Form 1099-Misc., Miscellaneous Income, does not affect the nature of the winnings or the deductibility of losses for tax purposes.

No Hole Blackjack
Any blackjack game in which the dealer does not take a second card until after all player hands are finished is

PERFECT BASIC STRATEGY - not just a pretty slogan
In passing, most players try to take on the casino with too small a bankroll. Your bankroll is the amount of money that you are willing to put at risk, knowing that there is a reasonable possibility that you...

Roulette Odds
How the house does get its edge in
roulette.

The Smarter You Play, the Luckier You'll Be
Unless you're making wagers that have a casino advantage of two percent or less, you're like a greyhound at the track, chasing Rusty, the fake rabbit of gambling riches.

Video Poker Stay Put ?
Many players erroneously believe that if they had stayed put and inserted just five more coins, or had pressed the play button on a coinless machine one more time, that royal -- that someone else fortuitously hit -- would have been theirs.

Switcheroo Allowed with this BJ Hybrid
Players miscalling their hands. And a game called BlackJack Switch.

Free Money When Using Match Play
Match Play coupons are often found in casino fun books and can often be had by going up to the casino cage and just asking for one.

Marked Cards Juicing A Deck
Do the casinos check for marked cards after they are taken from the table

Mississippi Stud Poker
Mississippi Stud is but another poker variant in which each player receives a mix of face-down and face-up cards.

Pai Gow Poker, The Second Hand
I have noticed that those who play the Dragon do so depending on the circumstances and their style of play.

Craps A Bad Call
In a frenzied game like craps, the stickman needs to make a lickety-split decision that is not always favorable to the player.

Quirky Quickies From The Mailbag
What happens at a blackjack table if every player refuses to cut the deck? How do they determine the house edge in roulette? Do blackjack machines use a random number generator just like a video poker machine does? And More..

What Are The Odds
A player early in the evening got four aces and the king of spades to win the hand. Later on, he got the exact same hand? What are the chances of that occurring?

Easy Card Counting System For Blackjack
Card counting, is not restricted to any one method. The central idea is simply that a deck rich in high cards favors the player and a deck rich in low cards favors the dealer.

The Joker in Pai Gow
The rank of the a Joker when it applies to a flush.

Getting A Cold Deck
Secretly slipping a stacked deck into the game can provide a great potential payoff for the card cheat.

The Art Of A Card Mechanic
In a poker game with a card mechanic here are a few things to look out for.

Your Odds Doubling Up Playing Video Poker
Like the odds bet in craps, the Double Up wager is one of the few casino bets offered that doesn't have a house edge.

Some Worthy Wagers
I'm new to casino gambling and would like to find something in the casino that is very easy to play (where no brains are needed), and the house edge isn't sky-high. Is it slots, or is there something else?

Breaking The Bank
Joseph Jagger was the first famous gambler to get some publicity in 1873 for breaking the bank, but, it was a con artist, a public relations-thirsty casino owner, a song, and a music hall star that made the term "Break the Bank" most memorable.

50 And 100 Play Video Poker Machines
Why is it that every time I play 50 and 100 play video poker machines, I make less money than when I play your standard video poker machine?

Pokers Handy Glossary
A quick refresher of these contentious poker rules that seem to pop up at some not-so-friendly kitchen table games.

Poker And The Ace
That Ubiquitous Ace as it relates to poker, both using it as high or low, and using it in a straight.

A slot I had just left hits jackpot.
If I had played just three more quarters, that $10,000 jackpot would have been mine.
No even gluing your hopeful fanny to that same machine's stool would not have given you that $10,000 jackpot. Why?

Those near misses in slots
We've all been there seeing the winning combinations on a slot appearing more often than would occur randomly coincidence or not?

Craps And Hop Bets
Hop proposition bets, How they are played and the odds.

Craps The Casino Advantage In Hardways
The actual odds, pitted against the player's payout, determines what the casino's advantage is on a hardway bet, and NOT how many more ways you can roll an easy 6 or 8 versus 4 and 10. Let's examine this further.

Pyramid poker
A simplified version of Pai Gow poker, where, instead of seven cards, three cards are dealt to each player.

Blackjack Card Counting And The Shuffle
The disadvantage a blackjack player has who counts cards against continuous shuffle machines and online poker
.

Poker Blind Bets and Video Poker Odds
Poker blind bets how much they cost the players that are forced to pay them. Video poker the odds of hitting a Triple Play video poker machine vs. single-hand machine.

Texas Hold'em The Five Card Rule
When two people both make a flush, and the highest card is shared, is the pot split, or is the tie broken by the second highest card in each flush?

Blackjack Does The Number Of Players Matter
The house edge remains the same in blackjack if there are one, two, three, or even five players on the table. However…...

Slots Playing Max Coins
Next time you're front and center of a one-armed bandit, give the paytable a once-over.

Video Poker Paytables
Shopping for value and playing on video poker machines with the best paytables.

Poker "Could have been" should cost
"What if" players should shove their chips in the middle if they want to see whether they would have hit their straight.

Baccarat Counting Cards
Baccarat is a card game with one major similarity to blackjack, Once the cards are dealt, they are then placed in a discard rack and do not reappear until the shuffle.

Blackjack Card Counting And The Cut
Premature shuffling destroys the advantageous situation counters. The successful card counter avoids the early shuffling.

Is Video Poker Considered A True Draw.
Yes or no, would video poker on a machine be considered a true "draw" poker game?

The Best Bets On A Craps Game
The only bets you really want to make on a crap table.

Don't Confuse The House Edge And Casino Hold
Casino operators know all too well that such cautious behavior has negative implications on the casino's hold.

Max Coins Advice
For almost all multiple-pay and multiple-play machines, the maximum coin line tends to yield a better percentage payback.

Should You Really Split Your 8s In Blackjack
If the dealer in a strong position the good common sense your momma raised you with tells you that splitting this hand just creates two losers.

Why The Casinos Charge Tax On Baccarat
The banker and the noncommissioned player hand are two of the best bets on the casino floor.

Deal or No Deal Game Show Your Odds Of Winning
Deal or No Deal taps into the most basic human emotions: greed, a desire to improve one's situation.It's something we can all relate to, and one we all play in life differently.

Texas Hold'em maximum amount of players
Theoretically, Texas Hold'em can be played by up to 22 players (44 player cards, three burn cards, and five community cards.

Roulette Placing A Split Bet
Placing a split bet on the 0 and 00 in roulette makes zero difference to the house edge. The casino advantage of 5.26% applies when splitting the 0 and 00.

Advantages Of Video Blackjack
Video blackjack the advantages and disadvantages of playing.

Craps Dice Control The Golden Arm
I fly on the side of gaming folklore, and hold that it ain't so. Others in the betting house biz disagree.

Hooked on Winning tapes
You were just checking on your readers to see if we are alert enough to gamble, right?

Roulette Adding Chips To A Winning Number
One time Yours Truly had such a hustler on a game that was graced with the hands of a magician. He could get chips on or off a table without me even noticing.

Craps Field Bet And The House Edge
On a Field bet on a crap table, some casinos pay 2-1 if a 12 rolls, others pay 3-1.

How To Determine Your Eligibility For Casino Comps
This is but one criterion a casino would use to assess your rating and eligibility for comps.

Craps Size Up The Dice
What is the "allowable" size difference in a set of five dice on a craps table?

Craps Hardway Bet VS Hopping Hardway
Although all proposition bets like a hardway have high payoffs, the casino advantage on them is between 9-11%

Mark Pilarski Covert Casino Spy
At the seven casinos where I was employed, none had any problem with us rank and filers offering customers advice,

Las Vegas legendary lore Binion's Horseshoe Casino
Ground zero for plenty of Las Vegas legendary lore was Binion's Horseshoe Casino.

Card Shuffling Methods
The three most commonly used shuffling methods used in casinos today.

The Differences in blackjack that can cost you
Common Blackjack Misconceptions That Needn't Cost Your Chips

Pai Pow What To Do With That Three Pair
How to play three pairs in Pai Gow Poker.

Payouts For Pushes On Parlay Bets
Do pushes on parlay bets win if you tie a game?

Changing progressive slot percentages
Who sets the payout percentages for large progressives like Megabucks?

Blackjack's Origins The Elusive History
Just about every card game has a unique history, but unfortunately historians cannot always uncover the full trace of a game.

Safeguarding Your pacemaker In A Casino
Had to use Area 51's living legend, Blackjack Jack for help with this answer.

Blackjack Strategy Cards In Casinos
Do the casinos really allow you to look at a blackjack strategy card while playing?

Texas Hold'em What is considered a Dead Hand
First position is excited he won, slams his cards on the table face up, but one card falls on the floor. What is the correct ruling?

Points on Poker Etiquette and Prison
In poker, who is supposed to show their cards first at the end of a hand?

Black Jack Strategy Doubling Down
Doubling down is an offensive strategy that allows you to earn more of a profit than you'd rake in just by hitting the hand.

Texas Hold'em Tie Hands Breaking A Tie
It is not uncommon for two or more players to end up with identical winning hands.

Four Card Poker 101 How To Play
The generalities of the game, with a future column focused on a game plan to lower the house edge.

Super Fun 21 Rules How To Play
This mutant of blackjack incorporates a number of liberal rules and bonuses not found in conventional blackjack.

Casino Chips In The Collection Basket
More Catholic churches there than there are casinos in Las Vegas

State Regulations On Indian Casinos
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act Class I and II gaming.

Blackjack When To Split Your Cards
Here are seven easy basic strategy rules that apply to splitting pairs:

Pips, Paint and Pushka
“pips and paint" What exactly is it.

Poker Tournaments Making The Final Table
Poker tournaments involve multiple tables, and as players are eliminated, tables are combined, aiming at the eventual final table.

Video Poker Machines That Payout
Payouts on video poker machines are determined by; 1) the pay schedule and, just as importantly 2) how you select discards.

Poker Passing The Deal
Players deal for themselves as opposed to something you would see in a poker room.

Poker Hand Full House Ranking
Full House Rankings in Poker Hands.

Poker Table Captain
In a poker room, is a player ever allowed to make decisions regarding rules of the game?

Tahoe Poker
Ah, Tahoe! "Every day a picnic, every night a party," -- a quote, by the way, I coined years ago, perhaps eventually to appear on my tombstone.

Low Odds Craps Bets / Wagers
Can a greenhorn player stick to a few simple bets instead of mixing up his wagers on a crap game?

Best Bet Craps / Pass line Bet
a pass line bet requires limited (actually zero) knowledge.

Common Questions While Playing Craps
The only thing greener than the felt on your typical crap game is not the money won, but the players.

Whats A Duke In A Craps Game?
If someone were to write a book on gambling at Lake Tahoe and didn’t mention “the Duke,” they wouldn’t have done their research.


Setting Craps Gambling Limits
Bellying up to a crap table with $100 and expecting to win $1,000 is, at best, unrealistic.

Traditional Craps Plays
It is time to let go of your genealogically inspired gambling theories.

Pass Line Bet On The Craps Table
By using a simple mathematical formula, I will prove that by playing smart, your play will generally outperform.

The House Edge / Craps
Here are the percentages in favor of the house for pass line and come bettors when you take full advantage of various odds bets.

Craps Tables - Nevada and Atlantic City The Same?
When the player bets on the big 6 or 8,

Gambling Lingo / Craps Language
90 percent who visit casinos deny themselves playing what many consider the most engaging, exhilarating game the casino has to offer.

Horn Bet Craps And Video Craps
Although proposition bets have seemingly lofty payoffs, the house edge is way to high too waste your hard-earned money on them.

Hardway Bet Craps Wager
Hard way bets are much, much higher and will gourmandize most of your hard-earned, hopefully disposable income.

Don't Pass Bet/Buy Bet Craps Wager
The don’t pass bet (seven rolling before the point) is a marginally better wager—a 1.4 percent casino advantage.

Psychic Ability And Craps
All too many players use the dial-a-psychic approach on the next toss of the dice when something whimsical happens on the game.

Inspection Of Craps Dice
How a pitboss on a craps game identify loaded dice.





Gambling Quote
“Chance, luck, random occurrence—these are not the stuff of reason.” -Neil D. Isaacs, You Bet Your Life "

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