Thursday, September 16, 2010

So I did the math...

Please take note, 16th Parallel Peons, whenever an engineer (not just one of your engineer 16thP L.A.B.I.A.s) tells you that he has "done the math" or "run the numbers" that you may be in for a fuckload of information which, quite frankly, you do not and will not ever care about.
My original image 404'd.  So here's another one.

Ahem. About which you do not and will not ever care.

But recent forays deeper into the gambling world have led me to the local cardhouses here in the Bay Area. The Casino San Pablo just this past weekend. Lucky Chances Casino a while back, but that was only for the food.

No craps, but they have Pai Gow Poker, which as of late has been my game of choice. Except, it's not exactly pai gow poker, but some weird variation, much like California Craps at Cache Creek and Jackson Rancheria.

Double-Hand Poker plays just like Pai Gow Poker with a few notable differences. The dealers don't play on behalf of the House. Apparently that's illegal in California-land. Instead, some other dummy corporation is set up, they hire players and those people cover all of the bets placed by Joe Schmoe.

The opportunity to be banker rotates (as does the privilege of winning Copies, presumably) like in many other casinos. Pai Gow Poker N00b 16th Peons: Banker wins the Copy (e.g, A-K vs. A-K goes to the Banker).

The major differences in game play (the latter of which will likely dissuade me from ever playing Pai Gow Poker outside of a bona fide casino) are themselves quite simple. The first and foremost, you can bet on other players' hands, and vice versa. At your seat, you'll see that there are boxes numbered 1-10 upon which other players can bet on your hand versus the dealer's hand. Let's say you're sitting at Seat 4, and I'm at Seat 8. I can place a bet on the box marked "8" in front of you, and mangina, I've bet on your hand.

Cool shit? I guess so. If you see somebody heating up, you can bet on his hands too. While this may lead to hurt oriental feelings if somebody sets their hand incorrectly (ahem, AnnA and countless others), I'm not sure if in Double-Hand Poker you're allowed to set your own hand. I didn't get that far.

The last difference in game play-- the dealbreaker, and if you've been waiting for the post title to tie itself in, here ya go-- is the commission. Normal casinos take a 5% commission off of your winnings. Your $5 bet pays $4.75. For each red that you win, you give the house a quarter. Easy shit. With Double-Hand Poker, the commission is $1 for every bet $10-$100, $2 for every $101-$200, and so on and so forth.

Every hand. Win or lose. That's not good, since you're gonna push just over 40% of your hands in Pai Gow Poker. Check out the wizard of odds link above, because you didn't earlier. You want the math? I'll run you through it quickly...

Roughly, you'll push 41%, you'll win 29%, and you'll lose 30%. Don't argue. If you were just about to argue or whine to me that this didn't happen to you when you were playing recently in Vegas, then Get Bent. So if you play 100 hands, you'll push 41, win 29 and lose 30. When you push or lose, you don't pay a comission. But when you win, you'll pay that 5%. If you're betting the $10 minimum, that's 50 cents each of those 29 times, which is $14.50 comission to the house for 100 hands of Pai Gow.

Conversely, if you're playing Double-Hand Poker, 100 hands where 41 push, 29 win and 30 lose will pay a comission of $100. Sure, you'll win at even money, but then that means you're out $110, as opposed to $24.50 above. That's a lot of Monte Cristos at Thunder Valley.

At what point does the $1/hand comission give you more of an edge over the 5% commission? Right around $70 a hand. Five percent on $70 is $3.50, which if you win your statistically ideal 29 times will put your total comission paid at $101.50.

Moral of the Story: My friends suck because none of them like to gamble.

Love always,
Katie Greene, Vice President of Public Relations, Expresso Parking

ps- Along the lines of "So I did the math..." being one of those opening warning lines which you probably don't want to hear, here are some more! Feel free to add your own in the comments. Or you could follow the flow of the post and post about Pai Gow Poker. Or Craps. Or even Pai Gow itself.

Top Ten Opening Lines You Never Want to Hear
1. The University of California Golden Bears!!!
2. Umm, I got the test results back...
3. Hey, Tia Katie, can we talk in the conference room?

this used to be an image of hillary clinton for #4

4. "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States"
5. Hi, I'm Corinna, would you like to buy a private dan-- Daddy?!?
6. Leading off for your San Francisco Giants, Marvin Benard!
7. So I told my parents that I spent the night last night...
8. On the mainstage, here is Brunhilda!
9. ATF! Put The Purswader down!
10. I ain't never seen anything like this in my 28 years of being a proctologist.


  1. i don't gamble either, i dont even know how to play poker lol

  2. great post


  3. i got the test results back....lmao

  4. good job, your blog has a strong following

  5. is this good? =(
    no have understand >=O

  6. Thank you for the kind comments on my blog :)

  7. Poker isn't the game to play at the casino if you want to make money.

    Contrary to popular belief, if you place your bets right in roulette, you can ensure to at least break even every spin without fail unless 0 or 00 comes up. Then, every once in a while, the table pays back 30x your bet. Just a matter of picking the right spots :-)

    You have something interesting going here. Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future. Followed.

  8. ankiseth: your logic on roulette is severely flawed and quite frankly, scary. roulette has the biggest house edge out of all the major table games. compounding bets to "ensure" breaking even makes your disadvantage even greater.

    unless i'm missing something, in which case, please enlighten me. i'm more than happy to eat my own words if it means that i can exploit roulette.

    in any case, thanks for the follow, will definitely check out your blog. did i do so already? i know i came across your awesome avatar yesterday...

  9. great post, keep up the good work =)

  10. more opening lines you never what to hear:
    ... and then I said," thats not a hot dog in the popcorn."
    Do you know who you look like?
    I found this great website for posting anonymously!
    No, I only have one ball. I'm still a man god damnit.
    We're going to have a meeting today, see why no one gets work done around here.
    I'm from the health department.
    No, seriously, I am 18 mister.
    We met on the internet.
    When I was you're age...
    Woah, maybe that wasn't an advil.

  11. I don't think I'd be into that sort of poker. Actually I'm not really into poker at all. Only games I like gambling on are blackjack and the slot machines. Sometimes the occasional office pool-type gambles as well.

    Yeah, I'm a pussy when it comes to gambling :P

  12. ripghoti: oh man, i totally LOL'd. these are better than mine... "I found this great website for posting anonymously!"

    tal zahn: don't pay attention to that "fortune favors the bold" crap. play what you want, and enjoy it. and that's it. anything you win is gravy.

    thanks to all for the awesome comments!