Shop Your Games -- Part 1: Tables
------ The Felt may be Greener over at the Next Table...
It has always amazed me how so many people who, when in a grocery store, will deliberate over a potential savings of twenty-five cents on a roll of paper towels, will then head to a gambling town and play a poor game when a better one is available at the very next table or machine. They will risk a lot more money on that poor game than the savings made from a lifetime of deals on paper towels and other groceries.
When in a gaming town, it is advantageous to pay attention to the various games offered. If you choose to play, select the game that offers you the best odds. Here are some examples:
The rules for blackjack games often vary within the same cluster of tables, called a pit. This can be true even for the same table limits. Differences in the games can include variances in player options, number of decks in play, side bets, and availability of insurance. The horrid rule of 6:5 payoffs for a blackjack might be mixed among the normal 3:2 games. It is a good idea to see what is offered before getting into a game.
The standard game of roulette has a wheel with numbers from 1 to 36, half of which are red and half of which are black. It also has a 0 which is green. When the zero comes up, all bets on the other numbers 1 through 36, black, red, even, odd, etc are all lost. (One could bet on zero but they the house would still be at an advantage.)
American Roulette is common in the United States. In addition to the green zero, this game features a green double zero making the house advantage twice as bad as standard roulette. I have seen two roulette tables, side by side, in the same casino. One was standard roulette and the other was American roulette. Both had the same stakes, both had equal amounts of players. Guess which players were having a better time? ----- Limits!
Table limits can vary wildly throughout a gaming town or even a single casino. They are often higher on the more populous gaming areas, like the Las Vegas Strip, as well as during special events or holidays. The time of day will influence them also. They tend to be highest in the evenings and lowest in the wee hours of the morning. Never play for stakes that you are not comfortable with or can not easily afford to loose. If you don't like the stakes, look around!