Digital Tables Don’t Mean Better Tables

Planet Hollywood iTables
Planet Hollywood iTables

As a person who loves technology, I’m easily an early adopter (a term for people who are first to buy any new technology). Technology has revolutionized how we do everything and I’m willing to bet that almost everything you do throughout the day would have been done differently 20 years ago. It’s pretty exciting stuff. So when casinos began to introduce more technology into their table games, you would imagine I would be excited, but you would be wrong. (ED: Same here)

The biggest step forward was probably Rapid Roulette. A few years back the casino companies figured out that you could get many more Roulette spins per minute if you eliminate the time it takes to pay people out chips. Furthermore, if you cut out physical chips, you reduce the risk of people cheating and betting way too late. This was accomplished by making the betting digital, while keeping the roulette spin as-is.

The same people who invented Rapid Roulette (Shuffle Master) gave the same thought to Craps and released Rapid Craps at Bills Gamblin Hall. The concept was the same, where you had a betting terminal that basically made the time between rolls faster. Just like roulette, not everything is digital as the player still gets to throw the dice. I don’t think this game has been as successful since I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

Recently a company (ED: Shuffle Master) has started making a digital blackjack table that keeps the cards and chips electronic. The dealer would still be there running the game, but that’s all that would remain the same. Everything else is digital.

So why am I not fond of this? Because part of the fun (especially in Craps) in all that goes in to betting and interacting with the dealer. Rapid Roulette and Rapid Craps takes all of that interaction away. My dislike with the blackjack table only has to do with that I can just see a lot of people thinking the cards are rigged. Anytime a deck of cards becomes electronic, people are going to think that their hands are no longer left to chance, regardless of the truth. I’d rather just play in a real game, with real cards, with a real dealer. However, I do like that Rapid Roulette has lower limits than the full table game. It allows more people to get in on the action. So what do you think, do you like the technology?

Ever Get Short Sticked? Me Neither.

I love when I learn something new.  Yesterday, thanks to Jeff Simpson’s article on casino irritations and annoyances on two way hard three I learned about Short Sticking!

“…stick men should refrain from “short-sticking” attractive women, when they make female dice throwers reach farther than normal for the dice so that they’ll expose more of their cleavage.”

I usually have an eye for stuff like this but I’ve never noticed before.  Thanks to Jeff Simpson, I’ll keep an eye out for the creepers, especially when I’m rolling dice with my lady friends.

Overall, the article and comments are great.  It’s a fun read if you can deal with the dark background.

Why I Play Video Poker

Two years ago I realized that a friend of mine was getting better comps than I was by playing video poker in Atlantic City.  I was appalled by this.  I never thought that a game that grannies played would be given better treatment by the casinos than the table games I played.

This was the catalyst for me learning more about advantage play, payouts and percentages over two years ago.  It’s also partially the reason I started ECG.  Hopefully people can learn from my experiences – good, bad, drunk and over-caffeinated.

Since my $15 bets in blackjack weren’t accumulating comps in the way they I wanted them to, I devoted that money to learning how to play video poker.  I thought that maybe this would help my comps a little while making me a more efficient gambler.  I still play $25 hands when I play blackjack, but I tend to stay away from low limits for reasons beyond comps.

Since I began playing video poker, my comps have certainly gotten better and I’ve been able to extend my gambling day as I enjoy playing video poker in the morning before the rest of the casino is awake.  I’ve also come to learn what I like and dislike with all games and I’ve learned a lot about my own tendencies when I gamble.

This blog started as an into into my video poker play during my recent trip to Las Vegas, but was a little too long for an intro.  Look for my video poker play later this week and why I think video poker in Vegas is lame.

Rapid Craps!

Rapid Craps is a new way to play craps and not an illness from bad Chinese food.  The name gives giggles and is too easy to poke fun at.  I’ve never seen the game, but thanks to Five Hundy By Midnight I had a few chuckles about Rapid Craps.  The game wasn’t in Atlantic City when I was there a few weeks ago, so consider this a Vegas exclusive.

I love craps and rapid craps is the newest in a line of “Rapid” games from Shuffle Master. As described in the press release:

Rapid Craps™ combines a traditional craps table and live dice throwing with up to 20 touch-screen betting terminals. By automating many of the game’s elements which make it costly to operate, Rapid Craps increases game productivity and security.

I don’t really like roulette, but the redeeming quality of the game is the social interaction between the players.  I fear that Rapid Craps would do the same for the game – especially with room for 20 players.  Something doesn’t jive here with me.  I will look at this game and probably stay away.  If that changes on my next trip I’ll let you know.

Check the PDF for pictures and more details.

4 Hour Roll In Craps

4 Hour Craps Roll at Borgata Atlantic City
This lady rolled dice for 4 hours!

Wow.  Just Wow!  This weekend, in her second time playing craps, a New Jersey woman broke a record with a 4 hour-long roll of the dice in craps at Borgata.  He turn lasted 154 rolls.  Yowza!

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A record-setting night for one gambler in Atlantic City.

While playing craps at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on Saturday night, Patricia Demauro of Denville set a new record for the longest craps roll by hanging on for four hours and 18 minutes.

Borgata officials said that bested the previous mark of three hours and six minutes, set nearly 20 years ago at a Las Vegas casino.

I might have kissed Patricia if I were at that table.  The longest roll I’ve ever been apart of lasted about 45 minutes.  It was awesome.  Lately, I’m lucky if I get a roll that lasts more than 10 minutes.

I stopped playing craps at Borgata last year when I heard rumor that the tables were longer and the felt was bouncier than other Atlantic City casinos.  These were things I noticed when playing, but hearing this from multiple other sources played to my fears and has kept me away.  The more the dice roll the more difficult any strategy is.  I’d rather just play other games.

Photo: Time

Vegas Report – Last Night

…Sometimes naps have a good rejuvenating effect and sometimes they just make me more tired.  This nap was somewhere closer to making me more tired.  When I woke up I decided to try to start the engine again and headed to the Diamond Lounge for a nice big drink – a double kettel and soda!  It was damn good.  This time there was a hot buffet and the lounge was packed with people that piled food to the ceiling.

I was disgusted watching people shove food down their faces so I went to the casino to play craps for the first time.  About 2 hours later I was down $400.  I was never up and hung around for a while.  I love craps and had a great time.  I only wish I was travelling with someone that played so I played a little more.

I wandered around for a little while, kind of in a daze, and sat down, again, at the 1/2/5/10 cent Top Dollar slot.  I plowed through $100 in minutes.  I think I only sat down because it was familiar.

I was couldn’t find anyone I knew so I decided to go to the Augustus Cafe for a little dinner.  I had another grilled cheese and chocolate chip shake.  Again, it was pretty good but didn’t really give me the boost I was looking for.  The one place I haven’t visited yet was next on the agenda.

I took a nice walk over to Planet Hollywood casino.  It was ROCKING!  This is one of my favorite casinos and I think a highly underrated casino.  I dropped a $20 into one of those giant Wheel Of Fortune machines that I’m a sucker for.

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After I played through my $20 I walked around and noticed that PH is another place that added go-go dancers to their pits.  This is now the 3rd place I’ve seen go-go dancing at the tables.  I don’t mind scantily clad women gyrating, but the casinos use the dancers to distract from games with lesser odds.  In this case it was 6:5 blackjack.  I went to the heart bar for a drink and decided to lose another $20 in a video poker machine.  I’m not even sure which game I was playing.  There were lots of hot girls and I didn’t really pay attention to the game.

I have a short attention span and the rest of the trip must have caught up to me.  I headed back to Caesars Palace after that one drink.  In the couple of hours I was at Planet Hollywood Caesars did a complete 180.  CP was now rocking!  I was pooped and not in the mood to gamble any more (GASP!).  As I headed back to the room I won another $75 in the $1 Wheel Of Fortune slot machine.  After I win I head back to the room and crash….hard…for one last night in Vegas.  A sad way to go out as Monday is my last day in Las Vegas…