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Surprised at the lack of “gamble” in a high-limit gambler.

Discussion in 'Casino Gaming' started by thecarve, Oct 23, 2014.

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  1. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    During my trip last weekend, I had an invite to a “Game Show” event at Wynn. It was done up quite well with a nice spread and open bar. There were plenty of CWs and busboys to clear your plates, and the hosts were meandering around schmoozing their clients. And it was short enough (little under an hour and a half) that it didn’t drag. I would highly recommend anyone who gets these types of offers to try one out some time.

    But I digress…The point of this thread is that I actually saw something at this “game show” that surprised me quite a bit.

    The game was set up like this: for every X number of points (2500?) on your Red Card during a set time you get a ticket. The tickets go into a drum and at the event they are drawn at random. The first name drawn gets the first pick of the prizes.

    The prizes were as follows (all freeplay): $50,000/$20,000/$15,000/$10,000/$7500/$5000/$2500

    There were two of each prize denomination. One went on the “Take What You See” board. If the prize was available when your ticket was drawn, you could choose it. Or, you could play the “Let’s Make a Deal” part of the game and choose whatever was behind curtain number 1,2,3,4,5,6 or 7.

    Obviously, the first person drawn takes the fifty grand. The second takes the twenty grand. Both choices are no-brainers. At this point, the next highest prize on the “take what you see” side of the board is $15,000. The average value of the seven prizes behind the curtains ($110,000/7) is $15,714.28. So, the “correct” thing to do would be to take the risk and choose a curtain. But I think that the gentleman whose name was drawn at that point can certainly be forgiven for taking the sure $15,000. Though, I was a bit surprised that he seemed quite unwavering in his choice.

    The thing that really shocked me (and the whole point of this post) was that the lady who won next chose the guaranteed $10,000 instead of taking a chance on a possible $50,000, with a worst-case scenario of $2500 and an expected value of nearly $16K. And this wasn’t some poor college kid or underemployed single mother working paycheck to paycheck…this was someone who plays high limit slots at Wynn. The freeplay (I would hope) was not that big of a deal to that person in the grand scheme of things. Hell, I would have taken the chance in a heartbeat and I was a looow roller compared to most in that room.

    I’m not really going anywhere with this. I was just shocked that a gambler would make such an awful (mathematically) decision in the name of “guaranteeing a win”. Am I the weird one? Would you have done the same?

    As an aside: the first person drawn (who was guaranteed $50,000 in freeplay) was not present and therefore did not get the prize! :eek: And it’s not like he wasn’t at Wynn. You had to play there for the prior few days to earn the tickets and then you had to deposit your tickets in the drum the day of the drawing.
     
    Number 50!
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    No opinion on what I would have done, but years ago I was in a similar drawing at MSS. I won first place, but you had to be there to collect and we were already on the plane back to WI. So instead of twenty grand winner (cash), I won the free airfare for two to Hawaii consolation price.
     
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  3. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    Not talking about nearly that level of play but my only Royal on quarters was on a straight flush 9-K......paid 250 quarters.....was doing fairly well at that point so don't know if I would have made the choice to throw away the 9 and go for the Royal if I was losing terribly, but I did and got it; but I see your point. I am a low (REAL low compared to this group) roller but if given the opportunity would do it again as you play to win the Royal and this opportunity doesn't present itself often. A flush with an odd card from the Royal is much easier to toss.

    However, was the free-play taxable or was any cash involved that would influence the choices?

    I agree with you; why would you pass up an opportunity to score BIG given the opportunity.....I am kind of like you; with nothing to do while they call out names, I am trying to figure what I would do given the opportunity. What are the odds of making a good score? What could I lose vs. what I was guaranteed?
    I would think most of these people are yakking it up and having a plate / glass full not paying the attention they need to as to what is going on up on stage.

    Or maybe you do all the planning and when they put the mike in front of you for a decision you freeze up. IDK.
     
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  4. Fafa2e

    Fafa2e Low-Roller

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    This sounds kind of like the "Let's Make a Deal Scene" in the movie "21". I can relate this to my favorite slot machine at the moment "Top Dollar". When you get the Top Dollar bonus and get four offers, the machine actually will actually tell you whether the best play id to "Take Offer" or "Try Again". Another member on this board explained that the "Take Offer" best play meant the there was a greater than 50% chance that the remaining offers would be less than the current offer; however there is still a chance that the remaining offers could be higher. Recently, I have not necessarily taken the best play "Take Offer" and have hit a big payout. The way that I look at it is that if I get a 40 credit offer which is the best play "Take Offer", I will most likely still "Try Again" because even if I end up with the worst offer (usually 15 credits), I've only lost 25 credits, but I may have a chance to get significantly more credits on the next offers.
     
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  5. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    People that know a modicum of game theory are probably not racking up that kind of play of high limit slots.

    Here is a simpler Let's Make a Deal secanio to illustrate what went down. You're on Let's Make a Deal and chose door 1 and win $10,000. Now, you're told that behind one of the other doors is $50,000 and behind the other door is $2,500. Do you keep your $10,000 or pick another door?
     
  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    This mostly. Also Carve, it was made clear that the exact same prizes were behind the curtain? What I am thinking happened is, she is watching the prizes left on the board (which the previous 3 took) and not even considering the curtain.
     
  7. PayTriple

    PayTriple The Cucumber King

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    Another Let's Make a Deal scenario to consider, that is not so cut-and-dry.
    You're on Let's Make a Deal and chose door 1 and win $10,000.
    There are 10 doors left. You're told that behind one of the other doors is $110,000 and behind the other 9 doors is $0.
    Do you keep your $10,000 or pick another door?
     
  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Given my current scenario in life, $10k guaranteed and it's not even close.
     
  9. PayTriple

    PayTriple The Cucumber King

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    Ahhh....Carve, Snidely and other game theorists out there, care to comment?
     
  10. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    I think I would have gone for the gamble. You have 4 out of seven chances of getting the same prize or more and 3 out of 7 chances of getting less. To take a chance and end up with $7500 or $5000 instead of $10,000 isn't too bad of a loss at that level. The only prize I'd be worried about is trading $10,000 for $2500. That would hurt but that's part of being a gambler.
     
  11. dankyone

    dankyone VIP Whale

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    A very interesting scenario. Thanks for posting. This sentence stuck out to me:

    I was just shocked that a gambler would make such an awful (mathematically) decision in the name of “guaranteeing a win”.

    The gambler is making a mathematically awful decision the moment he sits down at a slot machine. The same individual is suddenly not going to look at things cold and rationally when he is participating in a drawing instead. Slot players are not used to winning and a "guaranteed win" probably sounds great.

    Another thing--while this drawing sounded straightforward and easy to understand, most casino drawings and promotions are rigged in some way, or at the very least do not offer the odds that they appear to. Many of these players have probably been burned before by such drawings and were wary of giving up a substantial prize in case they did not understand the odds on the drawing correctly.
     
  12. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    It's possible. I've certainly overestimated the intelligence of strangers before. But in this case, I think it was obvious. The emcee talked about it several times and there were some "Barker's Beauties" at each of the displays showing what amounts were left for each choice.


    I'm far from an expert on anything, let alone game theory. I'll be the first to say that basing every decision on expected value is foolish. In some instances (in my opinion) taking the chance with the lower EV is the "better" move if the thrill of the gamble outweighs the EV you're giving up by taking that gamble. Indeed, if this were not the case, there would be no such things as casinos.

    On the other end of the spectrum is your example. $10,000 is a lot of money to almost everyone. And while the thrill of a six figure payoff might lure many, I think the fear of losing $10K would be a bigger factor in most people's decision making process than the fact that they'd be giving up $1000 in EV or the chance at the big score.

    But neither are anything like my example, IMO. This was (presumably) a person who was, if not wealthy, at least, comfortable. I really don't think the potential loss of $7500 in FP should worry her so much as to ignore the big difference in EV or the chance at $50K.

    She was also a "gambler" or she would not have had any tickets. (It cost me about $50,000 coin in [VP] and $7500 in actual losses for two tickets - most people I saw had several, if not dozens.) So I would expect her to have a higher tolerance for risk than most people.

    Obviously, we all need to do what's best for us. I was just surprised at the lack of gamble in a situation where I would think people might be erring on the side of taking too much risk.

    Interesting. I hadn't thought of this. I guess I've just become accustomed to people making bad choices by risking too much.
     
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  13. dutchvelvet

    dutchvelvet VIP Whale

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    I'm going for the doors.
     
  14. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    Slot players can't do math.
     
  15. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Sadly I think you're more optimistic than I am about the financial stability of the woman. And the more stable she is, the more likely she should be taking the curtain, thanks to the "utility of money". Bill Gates should take the curtain obviously, someone who has their liferoll on the line this Vegas trip really should take the $10k probably. But then again it's freeplay...lol

    When I read TRs on this forum, I hope a decent amount of people posting here have 6 figure jobs minimum...do they? Probably not as much as I would like to see (my hope is nearly all of those who don't call themselves "low rollers"). I gamble unemployed right now at least monthly and understand all the math, so that says something right there.

    Also this...

    and this...

     
  16. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    You're right, sadly. As evidenced by a conversation I overheard while playing in the HL slot room at Wynn:

    While I was trying to earn my tickets on a $5 DDB game (the ones in the HL room earn 25% more Red Card points than the ones on the floor), a dude was playing two $100 Top Dollar machines at a time. And not slow playing - he was getting after it. And any time he'd hit a hand pay on one, he'd move to a $100 777 so as not to slow down. Another HL slot player who he evidently knew came up and they started chatting. There were some pleasantries exchanged etc, yada yada yada, and then the gist of the conversation:

    Lady who approached the high roller: Did you hear that so-and-so hit the jackpot on the XYZ slot last month?

    High Roller: No kidding?

    Lady: Yeah. Almost half a million

    HR: (Very excitedly) Are you kidding me? Half a million? That would be absolutely life changing!!


    Now, for you or me, $500K would truly be "life changing". But if you routinely play hours and hours of $100 Top Dollar (two fisted), a half a mil should be a "sweet win" or "nice score". If it's "absolutely life changing" to you...(pardon my French) you're a f***ing retard. That is not an opinion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
    Number 50!
  17. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    You answered the "question" right there. I get what you're saying but you shouldn't be surprised a high-limit slot player isn't making maximum EV decisions. It would be a different story if it was a poker player. In fact I would put my money on the poor college kid making the higher EV decision than the high-limit slot player, even though the poor college kid has a justifiable reason to keep the bird in hand.
     
  18. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Agree completely and unfortunately its not just slot players but IMO a lot of gamblers who are playing way above what would be considered prudent.
     
  19. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Yep. I've read multiple studies that show that about 90% of casino gross gaming profit comes from about 10% of their player base. And unfortunately not all of that group is "financially responsible". And to be honest I don't think $500k would be "life changing" to me either. Just more time for me to find a "good" job without worrying about money, but I won't lie, I might have an extra Vegas trip and actually pay to stay at Cosmo...lol
     
  20. PayTriple

    PayTriple The Cucumber King

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    $500K.....all on black 13!
    If it hits THAT would be life changing!
     
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