Gambling Log

EasyRhino

Dormant account
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Location
San Diego
Oh god, I just "pulled an aka" of my own. I was playing single deck Vegas BJ on a microgaming site, working on their bonus, and was playing a $100 hand.

I draw 15, the dealer has 4. Obvious stand decision. Unfortunately, I'm still amping myself up to prepare for the big win/loss, and I hit the "hit" button. I realize my mistake before the card flips over, but it's too late.

I draw a 6 giving me a 21. Even crazier, if I had stood, the dealer would have drawn to an 18, clobbering me. (I ended up making a profit on the bonus and got to request a cashout)

I guess that just proves that luck favors fools, children, and apparantly for a brief shining moment, me.

~~~~~

Incidentally, aka, I think I found a better microgaming for you if you're trying to run up a bonus. I know that you've written that you like half-chipcount blackjack bets, and you like Atlantic city BJ because it allows surrender, which you like to have available when you have a large bet out.

Hogwash, I say. First of all, the whole point of a sticky bonus is to play fast and hard and hope for the best, giving the house edge as little time to catch up to you as possible (in other words surrender is for wusses!). But more importantly, the fairly flexible rules in ACBJ allow lots of splitting and doubling after splits. You could theoretically split to 3-4 hands, and double all of them. Of course, unless you only bet 1/8 of your bankroll, this option wouldn't even be available.

I think the Vegas SD BJ is superior when going kamikaze on a bonus. Strangely, the very restrictive rules is what makes it appealing. You can only split once, and if you split, you can't double. The most you could ever do is double your bet. This is perfectly suited for a half-chipcount bet.

The house edge different between the two games is trivial over just a few hands, but I really think I like the easier bet-sizing.

Of course, you could also play MG's classic blackjack. It only allows one split or one double too, and it even has a lower edge. However, it's a no-hole-card game, and even I just hate those. :)
 

aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
Regarding playing making mistakes when playing fast, I can relate. I was trying to grind through a fairly monstrous RTG bonus the other day, and was playing fast enough to where I started making mistakes too. One was standing on a soft ten, (which I lost). The other was hitting a pair of 8s instead of splitting, ironically I drew a 5 and won the hand. Of course, these were about $5 bets :)

BTW, did you ever have Palace of Chance label you an "advanced player"? They did to me after I got lucky and ran up their new account bonus fairly high. Now I'm limiting to no more than 30% bonuses with crappy WRs.
Oh god, I just "pulled an aka" of my own. I was playing single deck Vegas BJ on a microgaming site, working on their bonus, and was playing a $100 hand.

I draw 15, the dealer has 4. Obvious stand decision. Unfortunately, I'm still amping myself up to prepare for the big win/loss, and I hit the "hit" button. I realize my mistake before the card flips over, but it's too late.

I draw a 6 giving me a 21. Even crazier, if I had stood, the dealer would have drawn to an 18, clobbering me. (I ended up making a profit on the bonus and got to request a cashout)

I guess that just proves that luck favors fools, children, and apparantly for a brief shining moment, me.
It's great when a mistake pays off, but it is terrible when a mistake costs you. I usually rarely make BJ mistakes, or at least I rarely catch myself making mistakes. In the Palace of Chance episode, my goal was to time how many hands could be played in a minute, so I was more prone to errors than usual.

Prism & Slots of Vegas have labeled me an "advanced player". The rest of the Virtual group had not when I took my last bonus with them a couple months ago. However, they may have now. They have at least dramatically reduced my max bet limits in blackjack.
 

aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
Incidentally, aka, I think I found a better microgaming for you if you're trying to run up a bonus. I know that you've written that you like half-chipcount blackjack bets, and you like Atlantic city BJ because it allows surrender, which you like to have available when you have a large bet out.

Hogwash, I say. First of all, the whole point of a sticky bonus is to play fast and hard and hope for the best, giving the house edge as little time to catch up to you as possible (in other words surrender is for wusses!). But more importantly, the fairly flexible rules in ACBJ allow lots of splitting and doubling after splits. You could theoretically split to 3-4 hands, and double all of them. Of course, unless you only bet 1/8 of your bankroll, this option wouldn't even be available.

I think the Vegas SD BJ is superior when going kamikaze on a bonus. Strangely, the very restrictive rules is what makes it appealing. You can only split once, and if you split, you can't double. The most you could ever do is double your bet. This is perfectly suited for a half-chipcount bet.

The house edge different between the two games is trivial over just a few hands, but I really think I like the easier bet-sizing.

Of course, you could also play MG's classic blackjack. It only allows one split or one double too, and it even has a lower edge. However, it's a no-hole-card game, and even I just hate those. :)
That's a good analysis. I'll give vegas SD BJ a try some time soon.

Yes, I like ACBJ because of the surrender option. I like getting another chance, if I happen to draw a terrible hand. And I also like having won more than statiscally expected on the game. For the purpose of a few big bets, the difference in house edge between blackjack versions is negligible. It would become more significant when meeting a large wagering requirement.

The chances of wanting to split to several hands is another concern. Without the option to split/double at all, the house edge increases by about 1.9%. With the option to only split or double once (half bankroll bet), the difference would a little under 0.2%.

Again, for the purposes of a few big bets a small difference in house edge like this won't amount to much, so I think of the choices between BJs as more psychological preference. Do you want the option to surrender if you have a bad hand? Do you want to eliminate the possibility of being stuck with a pair of 8s that you do not have the bankroll to split? Do you want to know that you played with optimal stategy and game choice? Do you have a good history with one game, or a bad history with another? Do you have a favorite game?
 
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EasyRhino

Dormant account
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Location
San Diego
True, I think that personal preference should dominate when attacking a clearpay-type bonus. However, the bet-sizing thing is a conundrum I've had when playing other games (mainly RTGs), and I finally applied the similar analysis to BJ.

There's two main reasons I prefer going kamikaze on stickies, and both are due to me not normally betting a couple hundred dollars a hand when I play B&M:

1) If I bust out, there's less emotional pain from the loss if it's quick.
2) If I start to win, I'm more likely to keep my discipline until I reach my target amount (lately I've been more aggressive with stickies, and try to triple my starting chipcount at the beginning).
 

aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
I just hit 1 million Neteller points today.

--------------------------------------------

I received my second cashout from Intertops, the one from the $100 bonus they left over in my account. I never would have expected a gain with a 60xB wagering requirement that can only be fulfilled on high variance games.

--------------------------------------------

I played the Belle Rock Gift Wrap free spins promotion recently, which requires wagering $1000. I started at $55, then worked up to $95 playing low bet ACBJ. I finished at an even $100 after gaining $5 playing Twin Samurai and All Aces.

I did not get the 100 free spins as promoted. Given people are reporting that it is 100 1 cent spins for a total value of $1, so I did no miss out on much.
 

EasyRhino

Dormant account
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Location
San Diego
I think the gig may be up for French Roulette at microgaming shops.

I've noticed several different casinos dropping the amount that FR counts to wagering requirements to only 25% of a bet.

This turns a 30xB requirement into 120xB. Meaning each dollar bet will clear .83% of the bonus, but cost you 1.35% house edge.
 

aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
I think the gig may be up for French Roulette at microgaming shops.

I've noticed several different casinos dropping the amount that FR counts to wagering requirements to only 25% of a bet.

This turns a 30xB requirement into 120xB. Meaning each dollar bet will clear .83% of the bonus, but cost you 1.35% house edge.
Which casinos are you referring to?

The Casino Profit Share group recently switched from a wagering requirement of 100xB on non-bj table games to 120xB. It's a new bonus system designed to reward quality players. "Platinum Elite" players must wager 40xB. Standard players must wager 120xB. I doubt that the change is targeting FR players.

Belle Rock and Trident are still 45xB, Casino Rewards and Fortune Lounge are still 60xB. Vegas Partner, Grand Prive, and Golden Riviera still have the same high wagering.
 
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aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
I have a new formula for approximating the expected return of a Clearplay bonus when using large bets without playthrough:

For large bets with a 100% bonus:
Average Gain = Bonus *(Chance of Bust - 2 *wagering * house edge)

For example, there is a 50.7% chance of busting with a full-bankroll baccarat player bet, the house edge is 1.29%, and average wagering is 1.08 (it's more than 1 because sometimes you get ties and have to bet again)... so the numbers are:

Bonus * (.507 - 2 * 1.08 *1.29%) = ~48% of Bonus
Confirming with real numbers: .493*200 - .507*100 = ~48

If you bet on banker instead of player, then the numbers are:

Bonus * (.493 - 2 * 1.08 *1.01%) = ~47% of Bonus
Confirming with real numbers: .507*0.95*200 - .493*100 = ~47

If you bet everything on the numbers 1-12 in single-zero roulette, then the numbes are:
Bonus * (25/37 - 2 * 1 * 2.7%) = 62% of bonus
Confirming with real numbers: 12/37*2*200 - 25/37*100 = ~62

If you choose a game with a high variance and lower house edge like All Aces, then the chance of busting is roughly the same as the percent of bonus.
 
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soflat

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Location
Florida
I have a new formula for approximating the expected return of a Clearplay bonus when using large bets without playthrough:

For large bets with a 100% bonus:
Average Gain = Bonus *(Chance of Bust - 2 *wagering * house edge)

I thought it was a lot higher.

Let's say you bet it all on one hand of Bacarrat with a House Edge of 1.29%.

Your expected cashout is then $98.71 ($50 deposit, $50 bonus, bet $100 once).

So then your average gain is 97.42% of the bonus.
 

aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
I thought it was a lot higher.

Let's say you bet it all on one hand of Bacarrat with a House Edge of 1.29%.

Your expected cashout is then $98.71 ($50 deposit, $50 bonus, bet $100 once).

So then your average gain is 97.42% of the bonus.

You need to conisder that half the time you lose your $50 depsoit and do not make a gain.

So about half the time you gain about $100, and about half the time you lose $50. This makes that average gain roughly 0.5*100 - 0.5*50 = $25 = half of the bonus. The house edge of the games reduces it to a little under half of the bonus.

Note that the above numbers don't include playing through the bonus. If you played through the bonus and retained 100% of the bonus during the playthough, the average gain would be 100%. However, if you could retain 100% of the bonus during the playthrough, then there would be no point to making high variance bets. With typical FR weighting, you'd gain another ~10% average by playing through in the baccarat example above, for an overall average gain of a little under 60% of the bonus.
 
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soflat

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Location
Florida
You need to conisder that half the time you lose your $50 depsoit and do not make a gain.

So about half the time you gain about $100, and about half the time you lose $50. This makes that average gain roughly 0.5*100 - 0.5*50 = $25 = half of the bonus. The house edge of the games reduces it to a little under half of the bonus.

Oh yeah, I forgot to factor in that you are forfeiting the bonus.
 

aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
The 2xWagering I mentioned before relates to wagering being expressed as a percentage of Bonus, and 2xB being a full bankroll bet on a 100% clearplay. I can express things much more elgantly as follows:

Expected Value of a Cashable Bonus = B - AW*HE
Expected Vaue of a Sticky Bonus = B*CoB - AW*HE

B=Bonus
CoB = Chance of Bust
W = Wagering Requirement
AW = Average Wagering
HE = House Edge

Note that average wagering may be quite small, if you bet the bonus early and typically do not have complete the wagering requirement.

Using some examples to confirm reasonable values:

Example #1 -- A $100 100% Clearplay bonus when using the startegy betting every thing on a hand of baccarat (player), then cashes out without playing through. The sticky formula applies since the bonus is not cashed out.

Expected Value = $100*.507 - $200*1.4% = $47.90 (the same value mentioned a couple posts back)

If instead of cashing out, you complete the playthrough on French Roulette with 60xB weighting, then average wagering changes. You wager the $200 at a 1.4% house edge, then 49.3% of the time,you win and wager an additional 60x$100 = $6000 at a 1.35% house edge. So the average wagering * house edge is $200*1.4% + $6000*.493*1.35% = $42.73. Plugging into the cashable equation:

Expected Value = $100 - $42.73 = $57.30


Example #2 -- $200 cashable bonus with 20xB wagering on BJ. If you complete the bonus with $5 bets, then the average wagering is close to the wagering requirement, as you will rarely bust before completing wagering. The chance of busting is only 9%. I'll assume that you get close to completing the wagering when you bust , So the average wagering is in the neighborhood of 97%*200*20 = $3880. Plugging into the cashable equation:

Explected Value = $200 - $3880*.005 = $181

If you made $20 bets instead of $5 bets in an attempt to increase variance increase likelyhood of using the bonus money while completing wagering, then the chance of bust increases to 37% . Most of the times you bust, you'd complete the majority of the wageirng, so I'll esitmate average wagering to be 85%. $200 - $3400 *.005 = $183.

You only get an extra $2 from the additional risk. Betting the bonus before playing through or other high risk stategies are not much use unless you expect to lose most of the bonus on the wagering requirement.


Example 3 -- 100% $100 slots only bonus with 30xB wagering requirement. This is a terrible bonus that often has a negative expected value. You will probably bust before completing the playthrough. If you choose a low variance strategy with hopes to complete the wagering, then the bust risk is reasonable. I'll estimate that you bust 50% of the time and average 20xB wagering when you bust. The other 50% of the time, you complete the 30xB wagering. So the average wagering is 25xB. Plugging into the cashable equation.

EV = $100 - 25*100*.05 = -$25

If you instead begin with a high variance slot such that you will either bust quickly or win big and then switch to a low variance slot to compelte the wagering, then the bust rate and average wagering changes. I'll estimate that 90% of the time you bust with a 4xB average wagering, and the other 10% of the time, you complete the 30xB wagering. This makes the average wagering .9x4 + .1*30 = 6.6xB. Plugging into the equation

EV = $100 - 6.6*100*.05 = +$67

You can make almost any bonus have a positive expected value by increasing the bust risk and decreasing the average wagering. The key exception is bonuses that are given only after completing wagering.
 
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aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
I had an interesting experience at Villento today. I've been playing 10-play All Aces Video Poker for the past few weeks with each of Villento's weekly bonuses. I usually bust and have never gotten 4 Aces in real mode while playing through several $100 deposits.

Today something different happened. After signing in, I had to redownload all games for an unknown reason. After downloading All Aces, I started playing. I drew 4 Aces on my first hand!!! I wish I had saved a screenshot. I stopped playing soon after that point and cashed out.


I also got into a 15-page argument on the Casino Affiliate forums over whether you should stand on a pair of 10s vs 6, or split a pair of 10s vs 6.
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.
. Running a simulation with 200 million hands, working out the odds by hand, and linking to Wizard of Odd's results and other reputable sites wasn't enough! I'm surprised people like that have casino websites.
 

EasyRhino

Dormant account
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Location
San Diego
Wow, that's quite a thread, I was impressed that Ken Smith even weighed in, early in the thread.

Wonder how my suggested strategy of doubling down on soft 21 would go over?
 

jerrylee

Dormant account
Joined
Oct 12, 2006
Location
Playa del Vaquero (I wish)
I
I also got into a 15-page argument on the Casino Affiliate forums over whether you should stand on a pair of 10s vs 6, or split a pair of 10s vs 6.
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.
. Running a simulation with 200 million hands, working out the odds by hand, and linking to Wizard of Odd's results and other reputable sites wasn't enough! I'm surprised people like that have casino websites.

ha ha funny stuff aka23.
especially Link Removed ( Old/Invalid)
where nick777 says "While those mathematical percentages you list are correct, they are also wrong" ok there buddy :confused:
 

EasyRhino

Dormant account
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Location
San Diego
Hi thread, long time, no see.

Aka, I've thought about it some, and I've decided, I think you got a little bit lucky in your bonus hustling career. But not ridiculously lucky.

Here's why: I started a couple of months after you. I don't think I played as aggressive early on. And of course, the US closures probably hurt me a little bit more than it hurt you. Anyway, if I add up all my winnings everywhere (bank account, e-wallet, frozen in neteller, awaiting cashout from casinos) I'm probably looking at about $20,000. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with these results, but you were up to around $35,000 when you stopped counting a while back.

I think I made a few technical errors early in my career:

1) "shorting" myself on large signup bonuses at some places by not depositing the max amount available. I did this early on when I didn't have a very big bankroll, but I should have saved those for later, rather than wimping out on them.

2) not being aggressive enough in play: There were a lot of fairly marginal cashable bonuses that I played through 'straight'. In hindsight, if I had gone with the riskier strategy of trying to double-up or triple-up early, it would have paid off much better over the long run.

3) Being too aggressive on some play: I had a stupid roulette phase, where I was playing entire deposits on 1 to 3 numbers. That was too risky to have a reasonable expectation of profit over the medium term.

And also, as mentioned, the whole UIGEA thing really put a damper on things.

But then there's luck, and I think you had a little bit more of it than I did. Just a little.

My own activities are definitely winding down. I seem to be out of casinos that I haven't signed up, and are at least somewhat reputable, that will allow US players. The RTG casinos that I've been milking for their recurring bonuses have gradually been bonus-restricting me. And then there's the occassional offer from places like grand prive, trident, and big dollar.

I don't mind too much, it leaves me with more free time :)
 

aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
Wow, its been a long time since I looked at this thread. I think that is an accurate analysis. A gain of $20k is still great, especially for a US player who only had a few months of playing prior to the October 13th changes. Another factor you did not list is me receiving more monthly bonuses and more reload offers throughout the year (including Grand Prive).

From an overall gain perspective, I agree that I was "a bit lucky", and not "ridiculously lucky." However, there were 2 events early on in my gambling that were ridiculously lucky. I've mentioned these events many times on the forums. They are what inspired to get so into gambling.

1. During my trip to Vegas on Memorial Day weekend last year, I was not a gambler. My gf and I bet maybe $20 over the course of the full weekend. Before leaving we decided to spend the $1 cash in my pocket on a slot spin, our only wager of the day. That spin won $750, which was more than enough to pay for the trip! That was the inspiration for looking into how to win more at casinos. I was interested in card counting and the MIT BJ team, and tried the QFIT program.

2. The first time I played at an online casino was at casino.net . I chose it because it had a solid sounding name, and my QFIT BJ simulator said there was a small player edge on single-deck BJ with Boss Media. At the time I did not know anything about casino bonuses. 25% with 50xB wagering sounded like a good deal, as I had a player advantage during the wagering. So I deposited $800 for the maximum bonus. I read on a website that the private BJ games were single deck and the public games were multi-deck. I later found out that all games at casino.net were multi-deck, so I was playing with the wrong blackjack strategy. In spite of using the wrong strategy, I gained $1300 over the course of the wagering using a combination of a flat bet of $25 on BJ and switching to a few slot spins from time to time. I did not drop below my starting balance at any point during the wagering. Only $200 of the $1300 was the bonus. Statistically, I should have lost most or all of my $800 deposit. Instead I had a huge win. That was my inspiration for trying more online casinos and more casino bonuses.
 

aka23

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Location
Planet Earth
I do have 1 relevant update. I am about to complete the wagering requirement for a bonus that I claimed in September 2006, 6 months ago! I've took a multi-month break from playing the bonus because I had an open dispute and was waiting for Montana/Hastings. I've decided to just go ahead and do the extra wagering. I have about $9000 to go, and my balance is at $1800. With my current bet size and play rate, I'll finish in 60-90 min. I may post more detail, after I receive the cashout.
 

SlotMonster

Twitch Streamer - Affiliate
webmeister
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Location
Belarus
Impressive! Impressive! Impressive! Impressive! Impressive! Wow, this thread is sooooo goood! :notworthy
I thank you aka, for this useful log! I just finished reading it! Wow :)
I want to do smthng similar :)
 

Avatar73

Full Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2007
Location
UK
Star/Planet luck.......
That was my experience with them too - I thought it was just me! :p

Thanks very much for sharing your experiences - very much appreciated! :thumbsup:

Please keep this log going - it's great reading!

Well you'll be happy to know that theyve closed now!

Although I always found them both really good... won over 15,000 (and then lost 10,000 ;) )
 
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