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Three ways casinos are taking advantage of uninformed gamblers


6 Jan 2017

The sole purpose of visiting a casino for a reasonable number of customers is to have fun.

They arrive with a disposable amount of cash lining their pockets and intend to mix some fruitful wins on the gaming tables with a few beverages.

Such guests are not especially interested in whether the games they choose to play are offering favourable terms or not, prioritising pleasure over profits.

These types of uninformed gamblers are the perfect visitors for casinos, especially those establishments which also have the wherewithal to tweak game rules slightly to push up profit margins further.

Here are three simple manipulations that could be utilised to leave the uneducated gambler in an even more disadvantageous position when playing games in a casino.

000 roulette

It is no secret that all casino games incorporate a house edge, which effectively promises that a casino will win more than they lose. Obviously, the bigger the house edge, the more likely the player is to be a loser.

When it comes to roulette, it is the presence of the green 0 that offers the edge. If the spinning ball lands on this number, all odd/even, dozen, corner, column and line bets are losers.

With probability dictating that the 0 will land once in every 37 spins, the house edge was 2.7%.

The first adaption, which has now been adopted with the majority of the world’s casinos, was to include a 00 on the roulette wheel. This upped the casino’s edge to 5.26%.

Some venues are now taking things even further with the insertion of a 000 to their roulette wheels, ramping up the house edge to 7.69%. This version of roulette is the least favourable a player can get involved in.

Along similar lines is a method involving the removal of any green numbers from the board. Instead of a 0, 00 or 000, these vacancies on the wheel are replaced by a symbol, whether it be an animal, emoji or casino logo.

Such symbols ultimately fail to favour a player, but their inclusion adds a bit more personality to the board.

6:5 blackjack payout

The bulk of winning blackjack hands are paid out at 1:1. If a player beats the dealer, they receive their stake back, alongside the same amount again in profit. So bet £20, £40 is returned.

An exception to this is if a player is dealt the perfect blackjack hand of 21 with their two cards, consisting of an ace and another card worth a value of 10.

Back in the day, players were paid out at 3:2 if dealt blackjack, turning a bet of £20 into £50.

Yet some casinos decided to reduce these odds to 6:5 on the perception that players were being favoured in other ways instead. A £20 bet at these odds would return £44. A £6 saving on something that happens an average of once every 21 hands rapidly adds up.

The compromise was that all games of blackjack used only a single deck, rather than multiple decks in a shoe. However, this adjustment only really helps card counters and not Joe Average.

So the majority of players were not gaining from the deck change, but were losing out on the blackjack payout.

Most casinos now still pay at 6:5 and also use multiple decks, leaving uninformed players short-changed in comparison to the locations that do still pay at 3:2.

Slot jackpots

Arguably the biggest lure when deciding which slot machine to play is the size of the jackpot. The possibility of winning a life-changing sum of money does act as a greater temptation.

The issue is that certain rules sometimes have to be followed to win such quantities. For example, a player may have to Max Bet every set of reels to win the ultimate jackpot. This is an optimised bet on all of the possible paylines, which is generally the highest coin denomination offered by that specific slot.

This poses no problems for big money players, but for those preferring penny slots or other low value spins, they could be chasing a dream they have no chance of obtaining. Max Bets do have a tendency of ensuring a progressive jackpot or a win paying out at higher multiples.

It is important for players to know all of the specifics of their chosen slot before sitting down for a session.