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Calculating Theo

Discussion in 'Comps' started by VegasSchemer, Mar 12, 2015.

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  1. VegasSchemer

    VegasSchemer Low-Roller

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    Sorry if this covered elsewhere, I read a post that explained theo but I still have one question about it.

    Is theo for playing perfect strategy on your game and/or exactly what you should have lost on a specific slot machine? Or is it a more general rounding?

    Examples: I play $100,000 in blackjack bets with a .5% house edge. Are my comps going to be given from my exact expected loss of $500? (Maybe 33-40% of that).

    Or is it more like, we don't care which specific slot or table you play, we have a general number for BJ and a general number for slots.

    Hope this question makes sense.
     
  2. BayouBengal

    BayouBengal VIP Whale

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    For blackjack skill can be taken into account. I've glanced at the screen where they rate players and have been skill listed. But for a game like roulette it's much more clear cut as there is no skill and all bets except one have the same house edge with a double zero wheel. Slots are just your coin in versus the hold set by the casino. On tables, the number of hands per hour could vary from casino to casino based on their policy. No real way to know their exact numbers. Also it gets real inexact in craps since there are so many bets all with different edge anywhere from less than 1% to over 16%. This all probably confused you even more. Haha.
     
  3. VegasSchemer

    VegasSchemer Low-Roller

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    haha Nah, mostly makes sense (although craps is one area I haven't even pretended to really learn yet).

    So, if I'm playing at a table with good rules and a table with bad rules, you think the theo is the same?
     
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Depends on how bad the rules changes are. I don't think I would assume they would assign the same theo for a 3:2 BJ table vs. a 6/5 table. God knows they shouldn't anyway.

    Now if you find a table that allows surrender vs. one that doesn't, they probably give the same theo. Really unsure about the S17/H17 difference. These are mostly educated guesses though.

    For slots/VP theo for comp purposes is often proportional to the machines' hold. But there can be variance with this. Unfortunately finding machines that are set give extraordinarily high theo vs. expected return is mostly trial and error. But with VP machines with multiple game options though on a single machine, you'll often get the same theo by playing the best game choice vs. the worst one.
     
  5. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    and if Keno is on the ROM too, that really helps.
     
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  6. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    For slots, it should be easy enough for them to calculate your actual theo exactly to the penny.

    If you play a mix of different types of slots and denominations, on the strip, 10% is a decent back of the envelope number to use. Closer to 8% for a $5 slot with a low paytable; closer to 15% for a licensed themed penny slot.
     
  7. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Just to add, I know for the best BJ games at MGM props your theo works out to 52.5% of your avg bet per hour. So they probably use 70 hands/hr & 0.75% house edge or vice versa. Since others have noted they have a skill setting this may be the number for basic strategy players. I play bs and others here who play the same games and also play bs have had the same numbers.

    So if you take the good DD games for example, the edge if you play perfect strategy is 0.26%. You would need to play 200 hands/hr to get to the 52.5% avg bet number. I think that is fast even if playing solo. I think its not more than 100 hands/hr when I play (usually with 1 or max 2 other players). So in that case the actual theo is about half of their expected theo. If you are getting back 40% in comps you are almost breaking even.
     
  8. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    in a perfect world, they would track exactly how much you bet every time and use the exact HA to calculate the correct theo.

    but instead they use the following imperfect system.

    they track bets basically by writing down how much you bet on the top of your rating sheet. depending on how busy they are and how much you're betting, they may write down every single bet or they may only check in on you ever 10 minutes and write whatever they happen to see at that time. at the end they look at their numbers and come up with a guess as to your average.

    as far as time, they write down when you showed up to the table. then when you leave in most games, they write down the time you left. in Bacc, they write down an hour for each shoe you played, so the time out is usually not really when you left.

    they then have an option to write down a couple of different things for each game. there's a speed setting - slow, med, fast - that helps the computer determine how many hands per hour to use in the calculations. there is a skill setting for BJ where they tweak the HA based on your supposed skill, as worse players increase the HA.

    once these 4-5 numbers - avg bet, time in, time out, speed, skill - are entered into the computer, the computer pulls the HA they have on file as well as the number of hands per hour they use as the benchmark.

    avg bet X hours played X hands per hour X HA = theo.

    so that leaves this system open to gaming to your advantage. the main one is getting the pit boss to increase your avg bet or time played. I almost always try to negotiate a higher rating. the only time I don't is when the numbers they tell me are already overly generous and I know it. but I estimate that on average I can get them to increase my rating by 20-30%. that means 20-30% more comps without playing a single dime more.
     
  9. Packer

    Packer VIP Whale

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    Me too on the "negotiate higher rating" And remember OP, That Theo calculation above isn't comp dollars. Take 35 to 45% (depending where you are and your relationship) of that and that's your comp dollars.
     
  10. Hiero

    Hiero Tourist

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    Altho this can be done on slots, what I've heard from house-side is that the house edge for slots is a single generic number. IOW, the only thing that really matters is coin-in, not the slot. Basically, ADT = k * TC. (That is: theo = some constant times the number of reward credits / tier credits that you got for that slot play.) Note that this TC varies by slot type: normal slots > specialty slots > VP.

    THIS. For craps, the "skill" number is whether you're strictly pass-line, make moderate prop bets, or are a sucker for sucker bets. I've heard that some casinos just use a single number for BJ (downtown & off-strip are mostly likely going to do that), but MGM & CET are generally more sophisticated and rate speed & skill. Note that this requires the cooperation of the pit boss doing the rating, which means many bosses will rate you at average (e.g. at 0.7% HA at BJ) regardless of how you're actually playing.

    Yep. I try to ask the pit critter to tell me my time & avg bet specifically to start a conversation to give me a chance to squeeze more out of the guy here. Tipping the dealers often helps in this conversation.
     
  11. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    I'm not sure about that. While using MGM and CET properties as an example, you may earn reward credits and tier credits at the same rate per coin-in regardless of the hold of the machine (excepting "specialty slots" at MGM), they certainly know what the hold of each machine is. And Venetian/Palazzo calculates tier credits and slot credits specifically based on the hold of the machine - you can actually determine the hold by playing $100 through it and seeing how many tier credits you get.

    I'd be surprised if MGM and CET don't at least know your exact theo on slots as opposed to using a generic HA number.
     
  12. Hiero

    Hiero Tourist

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    This is more convenient for marketing -- TC will always be a reflection of your theo, hence Grazie hosts just look at that.

    Accounting definitely knows what the hold of each and every machine is. The question is really whether the hosts and marketing department are given these numbers. Sure, "MGM" and "CET" have the numbers. Do they tell the hosts? Do the hosts listen when they're told? I have no idea if they do or don't, but I will grant my info is years old and could very well be wrong.
     
  13. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    Slot players can get their theo from the host just like table players.
     
  14. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    You can even get it from the MLife desk.

    I've gotten a printout of my exact theo from slots, from tables, and a bunch of other metrics from them.

    Since my slot play was basically all the same VP and they gave me my exact coin-in, I was able to tell what HE they used on that game.
     
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