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Possibly stupid questions

Discussion in 'Casino Gaming' started by SloggingScotsman, Mar 15, 2016.

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  1. SloggingScotsman

    SloggingScotsman Tourist

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    Hello All

    Been nosing about for a while, and while Vegas is way beyond my means, I am fascinated by the business model, and have been struggling to get my mind around some issues which I hope some here will be kind enough to help me with. To be clear I mean no offence to anyone if I sound septic all or rude or clueless, and apologise now should I inadvertently offend anyone with my questions.

    The main issues that I am having trouble with are:-

    1. I get why people go to Vegas to gamble, hey I would if I could! And I also get why people may on occasion bet large sums. For example, if I were a substantial billionaire I could see myself passing 100 10000 dollar bets over a table for the experience. But I am not sure that I would do it twice. Why? The maths and loss. Clearly I will never understand unless and until I am able to do such things, but I do struggle to see why people do this, unless they like the attention, and if so fair play to them. I can't help but feel that I am missing something though and it is irritating me (hope I am not irritating those of you who do bet big :nworthy:). Surely the same pure gambling fun can be had at table minimums?

    2. The 12 hour 25% Theo requirements for discounts, airfares etc. How do you:-

    --- (a) get to 25% Theo with under 40 or so hours? (My maths may be a bit dodgy here but I struggle to see how you could reasonably do this without gambling a very long time, so if you have a practical example of how to get 25% in 12 hours or not much more I would be interested.

    ---(b) more of a why? Is it the challenge? The buzz? Again I accept that I would have to do itto really understand, but I have tried hard to get it conceptually.

    Hope you don't mind me asking, and apologies again if I have offended anyone. I am just trying to understand one aspect of the Vegas business model that I am struggling with, but which is clearly very successful.
     
  2. jeffr

    jeffr Tourist

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    I can provide some insight to your first question from my years of gambling. When I first started to play I was playing for about as low as you can risk (25 cent slots / $5 craps betting $6 6/8).. they didnt have penny slots back then, i probably would have played those if they existed..

    The games were fun because of 2 main reasins for me:

    The game itself was fun.
    The thrill of winning something relevant.

    The first point is obvious.. the game needs to be entertaining for me to play. Baccarat for me is boring because i dont feel involved.. another part of entertainment for me if the social aspect and camraudere for other table games like pai gow poker or craps.. slots didnt offer me that which is why i gave that up long ago.

    On to the second point which i think addresses the main question. Winning something relevant. I need to feel exicted and happy when i win. That contributes to the entertainment factor. Way back i could get excited winning $7 .. but after years of playing that no longer doesit for me. Now i am a green chip player (still low roller in the casino's eyes). I try to bet the minimum amount that will still give me that thrill of winning.

    I guess that may be the "trap" of gambling. How it will desensitize you on wins such that you need to increase the stakes. The difference is i consider this only entertainment and not a means of income.
     
  3. georgesken

    georgesken Low-Roller

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    If you were A man utd player, would you enjoy playing against a fifth division team? No but you will still get excited if you have to play against Barcelona in the championsleague. Its the same with gambling I suppose. If you have 100.000$ banroll, you wont get any excitement out of a $5 bet, but you Will still feel the gambling rush when you bet $5K.
     
    Once again
  4. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    SlogginScotsman fair questions and I will give you my insight into why I and some other "big" players that I know do what we do.

    Players who bet larger sums of money do it because we can. I'm not being a snob here its just a fact. I've been asked this question before, why I place larger bets at the tables. My real answer to this is, not only because I can but I also enjoy the thrill of the game. I've been very fortunate and blessed in my life that my job, investments and other life events have led me to the point where I have the disposable income and can play at the level that I do. Some people will spend large sums of money on season tickets for basketball, football etc., that is their entertainment. I just happen to enjoy Vegas and that is my entertainment.

    The amount of money that people spend for entertainment in Vegas varies. Some will sit at the BlackJack table and spend $10 a hand and be thrilled when they win, that is their entertainment level. My entertainment level just happens to be a little higher. As Jeffr stated it is the thrill of the win, the level of play that thrills some is not always necessarily the level of play that thrills others.

    Each person is different; you could apply your questions to anything in life. Why do some people buy a Chevy Cruze and others buy a Lamborghini? Why do some people eat at Dragon Noodle (which I do also), and some people eat at Restaurant Guy Savoy (which I also eat at), its all about the experience. When people ask (not saying you) these types of questions, I find it tends to stem from the "negative" societal perception of gambling. I go to Vegas to be entertained, this entertainment comes from various activities, nice restaurants, shows, people watching and it just so happens that larger bets at the tables is one of the activities that entertains me.
     
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  5. parallax

    parallax Low-Roller

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    Blackjack it is spot on with his response. I couldn't say it any better.
     
  6. Kolmeseiska

    Kolmeseiska Low-Roller

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    I think I'm speaking for everyone when I say that we all understand the odds that you'll inevitably lose in the long run. If we leave problem gamblers aside, the main thing is entertainment and the thrill, regardless of the level of play. People who play bigger stakes do so in order for the gambling to feel like something. Let's say you had a million dollars to spare, if you bet $10 a hand or $1 a spin, you wouldn't feel anything. Losing or winning $1000 wouldn't make any difference, it's all the same. I also don't mean any disrespect to you but non-gamblers often don't understand the entertainment value. For example if you a buy a million dollar car, the value of the car will drop pretty rapidly once you drive it off from the store. All you get for that value is the pure entertainment of actually driving the car. Same goes for gambling, it's fun, but it can cost you a lot of money.

    The best thing in all of this is that no matter how much money you have, you can't buy yourself a win and the feeling that comes with it.
     
  7. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Intermittent reinforced operant conditioning is the strongest type of learning. This means that if we do not have to be rewarded with wins every bet for us to "learn" that gambling is fun.

    So even though we know casino games are negative expectation endeavors, we all seek that momentary variance in that negative trend, that allows us to win and experience fun.
     
  8. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Until you've done it, you can't explain it nor understand it.
    Once you've done it, no explanation needed.
     
  9. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    I'll take this one step further: One must experience losses in order to appreciate the pleasure of a win.
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  10. SloggingScotsman

    SloggingScotsman Tourist

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    Geogran, I agree and mentioned this in my post, these questions have just been screwing with my head since I started to look at Vegas as a business case study a couple of months ago. It has got to the point of my bewilderment that I thought it best to ask the experts.:wave:

    Thank you all, your explanations do make sense.

    As I mentioned above I myself would in the right circumstances bung a million over a table, and I do get the whole Vegas experience. I reckon that I could happily pass a month there taking into account day trips etc. Sadly I am broke so it is mere fantasy for me, but the overall business proposition and case study of Vegas is for me a valuable learning tool.

    Anyone any thoughts on my second question?
     
  11. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Gambling is fun, and can also be quite literally addictive.

    Why do people keep playing in spite of the math?

    a) Its fun
    b) The math plays out over the long runs. Many, many sessions. But gamblers often think session to session or trip to trip. And in that context some wins along the way are quite possible.
    c) Magical thinking: the human brain is wired in a way to look for and try to anticipate patterns that often are not there. The odds get drowned out by feeling 'due' or sensing trends. And long term losses tend to glossed over into "I'm about even"
    d) Adrenaline and addiction: Gambling is also addictive, and particularly for addicts there is increasing excitement the higher the stakes are. This is how you get someone not remotely a billionaire making those 10k bets.


    I'm not sure you understand these terms correctly, because this question means no sense to me.

    Theo is a calculation of how much you should mathematically have lost given how long you played, what you played, and what your average bet was. It is how the casino figures out how much you are worth to them (more or less) without worrying about short term good or bad luck. A percentage of the theo is just a calculation. You don't 'reach' 25% of theo. So what are you asking? Can you link to the thread that gave you this impression? Might you have seen "25k Theo" as in 25000?

    Casino's will give better players a certain % (reportedly between 30-40) of their theo 'back' as comps ... off the retail price of things like restaurants, shows, and rooms.

    I'll let players who are at that level comment on what dollar figure of theo a person needs to be at to start getting airfare and/or loss rebates, but it will be a dollar figure, not a % of theo. There might be a secondary consideration of what you actually lost relative to theo.

    Hours only really enter consideration because the casinos don't like hit and run players, and want to keep people at the tables. The longer you make people extend their sessions, the tougher it'll be to walk away. So the 12 hour thing sounds like a requirement for a 3 day trip, where if they did not put in at least that many hours, their comps would be reduced.
     
  12. SloggingScotsman

    SloggingScotsman Tourist

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    Nevyn

    Thank you that helps.

    Re the 25% Theo iirc this was in relation to a sub conversation on a thread, some time in the past couple of months, where someone was being advised about the benefits of being a 100k player compared with being a 300k player, in terms of discounts on losses, airfare tickets, 2 v 4 iirc at 3.5k each, etc. If my memory is correct, and it may not be here, I think that to get such comes it was said that you had to play a minimum of 12 hours on the trip and have amassed 25% of your front money as Theo through your play, which by my back of the envelope calculation means churning through your front money a huge number of times, if you still had it! A niggle in my mind thinks that someone noted that they had achieved that in under 12 hours once, and i have been trying to understand how. Positive variance on high he games?
     
  13. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Ah, ok.

    Lets run some numbers.

    **The numbers below are for purposes of an example. I am not saying that this is the exact hands/hour of the exact house edge they will apply for the game

    You sit down to play blackjack, flat betting 10k per hand. You get about 60 hands an hour. Based on the rules at the table you select and their observation of your skill, they figure the house edge to be 1%. Thus in 12 hours your theo would be 72000. So if you brought 288k in front money, you would have a quarter of that amount in theo.

    And anecdotally speaking, a lot of the bigger players (at least on here) do not flat bet, they will press their bets aggressively, often either chasing losses, or pushing wins. So a person who starts out betting $1000 per hand might end up having a crazy roller coaster session where their average bet is higher than that.

    I believe the requirement in this case is that they don't want to give you something based on a huge some of money coming in, and then have you put very little of it at risk.


    So how do you get your theo to 25% of your front money in just 12 hours? Just have an average bet high enough relative to the amount of front money you brought.
     
  14. SloggingScotsman

    SloggingScotsman Tourist

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    Ah, that makes sense Nevyn thank you. I was being silly by assuming how I think I would bet, ie dividing bankroll by 100 bets, on the assumption that I would loose a lot. It did not occur to me that professionals and experienced would use eg 30 bets.

    Sometimes the obvious isn't obvious to an outsider!
     
  15. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Since you are among the select group with enough common sense to NOT gamble, there is little reason to try and figure theo. Anyone with half a brain (even me) realize that they only give you back a small amount of your expected losses in comps. A smart man just pays for the room and food. It is much cheaper.

    Not a slam to the OP. I know people that love to drink and eat, but would never ever set foot in a casino. That is fine. I am just not one of them, and I consider myself rather logical and street smart. Apparently not all the time.

    And by the way - not stupid questions. The subject line could use some improvement though - LOL!
     
  16. alexb7

    alexb7 MIA

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    I can play any stakes and still get a thrill from playing. But when I play at higher levels the thrill is obviously higher. I am also desensitized to small wins. If I'm not up at least a few thousand I don't care and will keep playing until my win is big enough or I've lost it all.

    Regarding theo and comps, I don't think I've ever just flat bet an entire session. I'll often end up betting 10 times more than the minimum even if I planned on playing small.
     
  17. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    My question is why is gambling/Vegas looked upon differently from anything else?

    Why do people pay $5,000-$10,000 going to Disney?
    Why buy a $300 dinner when you can get a Happy Meal for under $5?

    People tend to be forgiving and understanding when its something they can relate to but since many people don't gamble they simply can't relate and therefore view it as a waste of money.
    Just like people who don't care to fish think its a waste of money to buy a boat.

    Take just about anything anyone does whether it be part of their daily life or recreation and I am sure there are plenty of other people out there who don't understand it and therefore view it as a waste of time and money.

    People have the inability to not be judgemental. I guess it makes themselves feel better.
     
  18. Sapphire

    Sapphire Tourist

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    That's so true, LV Bound. I am often asked, "how do you afford to go to Vegas so often?!?" And I'm always like .... "uh, because I'm not wearing $300 sweat pants, and I didn't just pay someone $200 to blow dry my hair for me, and I didn't pay an 'artist' $100 to decorate my fingernails .... " to each his own, right?
     
  19. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Yep, different strokes for different folks.
     
  20. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I use this example frequently. When you come back from a Disney trip nobody ever asks, "How much did it cost you?" No, they ask, "Did you have fun?"
    But what do people ask from a returning Vegas visitor? "How much did you win/lose?"
     
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