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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Mail Call for Casino Fans

15 November 2006

Time to open up the old mailbag to see what's on readers' minds:

Any one who made their living working table games should show concern about any computerized table games. While craps and roulette will be harder to computerize to fit a live game, one can only hope an educated public will reject computerized table games. This is a sad time for most working Americans from casinos to manufacturing. – Joseph C.

A form of computerized roulette is already being played in casinos in Las Vegas. The game, "Rapid Roulette", is the same as the traditional table version except you play at an individual player terminal and place bets on a touch screen. At least a live dealer still runs the game and spins a real wheel.

Is there really such a thing as a strategy to win at slots? If so, where can I find it? – Nathan H.

The answer to your question is a one hundred percent unqualified "NO". No matter what anybody tells you, no strategy exists for winning at slots. The games are programmed at the factory to pay out a fixed percentage to players as a collective group and to retain a fixed percentage for the casino over the course of extended, long-term play. It's just a matter of being the lucky one to sit down and have the random number generator (RNG) and game EPROMS (the elements which make up the internal computer program) combine to give paying combinations. Money management and optimum playing protocol (e.g., not betting less than max coins on progressives) as well as learning all you can about how slots operate are all we can do to defend ourselves against those infernal machines.

I read your article that some blackjack championships are now being televised like the poker championships. Can you let me know how I can find out the dates and times they are on cable? – Terry B.

The Ultimate Blackjack Tour can be seen on Saturday afternoons on CBS. Check your local listings. The cable station GSN (The Network for Games) just finished a run of the World Series of Blackjack but check your late night listings in your cable guide for reruns. GSN has another season getting ready for production, plus the network has Celebrity Blackjack in reruns.

What is the latest on the lawsuit against Jamie Gold? – Bern B.

The last I heard, the suit against Gold, who won $12 million for his victory in the 2006 World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas earlier this year, is still in the courts and my impression is that it's going to go to trial unless one of the parties caves in. Meanwhile, Harrah's Entertainment has the $12 million in the bank. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

I was at a casino a few months ago and I came across the Texas Hold'em Bonus Poker table game. I was wondering if you knew of a place on line that I might be able to practice and play this game? I'm headed to Vegas, and while I have no delusions of striking it rich, I'd enjoy getting used to it again before I belly up to the table. Any help? – Simon

I couldn't locate an online location for you to practice, but if you log on to Michael Shackleford's excellent site, www.wizardofodds.com , and click on Texas Hold'em Bonus Poker under the "Game Info & Strategy" and scroll down, you'll learn everything you need to know about optimum play.

I know you have written articles on this topic before, but what does the term "loose slots" actually mean? Do casinos set the pay outs? Are some casino's slots looser than others? Thanks for your help. – Ashley W.

The terms "loose" and "tight" as they pertain to slots are archaic descriptions dating back to when slots were mechanical and capable of being manually "adjusted". Today's computer-driven marvels are programmed by the manufacturer at pre-determined pay back percentages. Casino operators, when they purchase a game, select the pay back percentage they desire, which vary (generally) from the low 80's to the mid 90's. Each machine's pay back percentage is proprietary. The longterm pay back on some machines is better than others, but the casinos keep us guessing which ones.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp