Casino Strategies for Geeks
It’s easy to think winning in the casino is just a matter of luck. From the spin of the roulette wheel to the turn of the blackjack dealer’s card, it’s all just a game of chance, isn’t it? Think again. “Advantage players” use a combination of intellect, patience and maths to put themselves in a favourable position to beat the house. If you can swot up on these strategies, you’ll be an ace in the casino.
The Poker “Equation”
You’ve seen the poker professionals on television. They’re living proof this popular card game is not about luck. In land-based casinos, it’s about reading your opponents, discovering their “tells”, analysing their betting patterns. Online and offline it’s also about understanding how to use your bets to your advantage; to gain “position” on your opponent and control the round of betting. For geeks, however, the poster boy is Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. The Computer Science graduate played the game by mathematically finding a solution to different game situations based on any eventuality on the poker table. A seasoned analyst of game theory, his work to develop computer simulations to improve his approach and understanding helped him triumph in the 2000 World Series of Poker event, winning $1.5 million.
Card counting for blackjack
Card counting was popularised by the MIT team’s successful use of the method to win big in Vegas. It’s not easy to do and requires both concentration and memory skills in addition to being able to do fast calculations in your head. But anyone wanting to flex their true “geekery” should give this a go. The basics of the method involve assigning a value to cards based on deck strength; as cards are played you keep a running count which influences whether you bet high or low. It’s a strategy that allows you to limit risk, determining on each deal whether or not the advantage lies with the house or the player.
D’Alembert for roulette
For those that fancy their prowess with numbers, roulette is definitely a game where maths skills and memory can help sway the winning odds in your favour. Whether you’re in a land-based casino or playing roulette online at CasinoEuro, for example, the roulette strategy known as the D’Alembert method is successful if you’re able to remember your win-loss record. It works by increasing or decreasing your bet after each spin; for a win you add 1 to your wager, for a loss you subtract 1. It’s a safer strategy than the popular Martingale method because it doesn’t require you to double your bets after losses meaning you don’t have to put as much money on the line.
Geek-out on casino game theory and gain an advantage through strategic play. These methods take luck out of the equation by turning an analytical approach to the player’s advantage. Whether you’re playing roulette, poker or blackjack, put your intellect, analytical skills and maths to good use and become a winning “advantage player”.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.