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Casino notes - video poker, blackjack, slots

Friday 03/05/99

Played the slot machines yesterday. Split $100 into 10 parts and played that many sessions. I won one session and lost 9, with a net result of -$3.00. Then I decided that once the winning session ended, this is time to quit, because I am not likely to win another session in the same series. Testing that theory, I played another 10 sessions and lost them all :)

Note: I play according to "John Patrick's Slots": leave the machine after 8 'naked pulls'.

Thursday 03/04/99

I think split in BlackJack pretty much works now.
When playng 100 sessions, most are still lost - I am reading a new book to see if there's more intelligence I can add to the program. If I can't win at the computer, there's no sense of doing this with real money, is there ?

Wednesday 03/03/99

Struggling with 'split' code in BlackJack - it may be a little unstable when splitting, so watch out :)

Wednesday 02/24/99

Writing a "Jacks or better" Video Poker program. No bells and whistles, but then that's the whole idea - I can play at work and nobody will know what I'm doing :)
Should be pretty good practice before risking real money in the casino. Note that this program plays fair - as if with real deck. Anybody knows whether casino Video Poker machines are the same way ?

Download it here.

*** Later that day ***
Added batch mode capability, so I could test which decision are best on a given hand.
Came to some interesting conclusions:

  1. When you have four cards of the straight, it's worth to shoot for it, provided straight can be completed from both sides (that is, there's no gaps in your 4 cards).

  2. It's always worth the while to try for royal flush when you have three pictures of the same suit.

  3. It is good to keep a pair of cards, even if they are lower than jacks. It's not good to keep a higher card in addition to the low pair.

  4. Going for flush when you have 4 cards of the same suit pays off in a big way!

  5. When you have 3 different high cards, it's about the same to keep 1 or 2 of them - but chances get worse if you keep 3.

Monday 02/22/99

Wrote a program to simulate blackjack play. It knows how to double down/surrender. Also it uses the probability table from the book to decide what to do with hard holdings (12-16) - when to stand (and hope that dealer busts) and when try to improve hand.
Session ends when 5 bets are lost. If 10 bets are won, main money is put away and we just pay using the winnings.
Note - program is not meant for interactive play - rather it's to test the suggestions offered in the book and see how good our chances are against the dealer. So far it's not so hot - we lose most of the time (in 100 sessions we win about 20).
However, I have not yet implemented splitting - perhaps it will improve the odds.

You can download the program here.

 

Books


Video Poker Mania
Useful book. At the heart of it is the strategy table , which shows you which cards to hold depending on the hand you have. As of Mar 11, 1999, I haven't seriously played video poker in the casino yet - instead I practice at home using Casino Depot software. Well, yesterday I actually won using the table from this book!

 

Links

03/16/99 "Casino, Casino" song by Passenger (RA)
03/11/99 Slot Strategies
03/05/99 Good looking Shockwave Slot
03/05/99 Info about Slot Machines
03/04/99 Java Slot Machine
03/04/99 Java BlackJack

Good video poker program by SAGE Software.

Great video poker page- tips and knowledge quiz

Casino Depot Online casino - can play for fun or for real money. Blackjack, video poker, slots - the whole works. Great looking client software.


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