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Introducing POGGStrategies

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by ThePOGG, Dec 7, 2015.

    Dec 7, 2015
  1. ThePOGG

    ThePOGG Meister Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    Casino Affiliate
    Location:
    UK
    Hello all,

    This is a shameless piece of self-promotion, but I do think a good number of people here will be interested in this. We've (myself, the owner of Gaffg.com and the owner of BeatingBonuses.com) just launched a new site - You must register/login in order to see the link..

    The site focuses on casino game strategy and providing the best advice on how to play with mathematical information, strategy calculator tools and house edge information. It's taken over a year to put everything together and with over 200k words of content (the largest of the Lord of the Rings books - Fellowship - was 187k words), has been a significant part of my waking hours for that time.

    Personally I'm particularly proud of our Video Poker strategy trainers which can deal with just about any game or paytable. They give feedback on whether you've played the hand right or wrong and how much a mistake has cost you. I've actually found this quite addictive where I get stuck trying to get my % correct above a certain figure. Without question I'm a better VP player for messing around with this tool.

    This is a work in progress - there are a few bugs we're still working on and we do intend to add more to the site in the coming months - so if anyone has any feedback or suggestions for tools/games they'd like to see added/covered it'd be very gratefully received.

    TP

    P.S. - thanks to CM for okaying this post, the support is much appreciated!
     
    20 people like this.
  2. Dec 7, 2015
  3. hedgehok

    hedgehok Senior Member mm3

    Occupation:
    self-employed
    Location:
    Germany
    Some of the features look interesting, especially the "Reel Mapping, Variance and Simulation". I hope you can get some more recent and popular slots like DoA, IR, TSII etc. simulated.
    This would help us to assess how long losing-streaks with certain bet-sizes are likely to last and tells us something about bankroll-management etc.

    I would recommend to not focus too much on bonus-play but more on the general concept of variance and simulation when it comes to analyzing games of chance - trying to explain it for the layman. That's something that is actually still lacking, maybe except the great work of Michael Shackleford (Wizard of Odds) but that's also not very beginner friendly.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Dec 7, 2015
  5. fun4all

    fun4all Senior Member

    Occupation:
    .
    Location:
    .
    Pogg, great website, great idea and looking forward to reading it.

    If it is ok to say I am finding the hovering bar on the left (links to facebook, twitter, google+ etc) a bit irritating. It is constantly covering up the first few words on the left and making it annoying to read.

    Cheers,

    fun4all.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Dec 7, 2015
  7. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    I love seeing sites that are actually innovative rather than following the traditional review/promo style so kudos for that :thumbsup:

    A couple of minor layout issues in IE that's all: on the homepage I don't see the full links and mousing over doesn't throw up a title so might be worth adding (ie: "Video Poker Strategy Cal...", "Video Poker Strategy Tra..." etc).

    Secondly, on the inner pages, the social media lhs sidebar overlaps the text making it tricky to read (see pic)
     

    Attached Files:

    1 person likes this.
  8. Dec 7, 2015
  9. hhhelllo

    hhhelllo Senior Member

    Occupation:
    Modern age slavery
    Location:
    canada
    Very interesting... I'll try to improve my VP:) Thanks for.your work
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Dec 7, 2015
  11. ThePOGG

    ThePOGG Meister Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    Casino Affiliate
    Location:
    UK
    Firstly I want to say "Thank you!" to everyone above - the feedback means a lot to me and is going to be really useful.


    The slots reel mapping is going to be challenging. There's no question about that. But if you can get enough bots (now there's a dirty word) playing simultaneously it should be technically possible. We've had a few trial runs and this and there's still bugs to be worked out, but the infrastructure's in place. Consider that to gain any real insight into the return of a game you have to know how the bonus features, not just the standard reels, impact the results. So the average return of a 'click and win' feature or confirming that the reels in the free spin feature have the same layouts. Even in more general terms, many slots games use different maps on each reel. It's a lot of work and tackling even one game is likely to take months. In short don't expect this to happen quickly for lots of games, though once we've got a few worked out I will be looking for suggestions as to games people would like to see tested.

    I will say in advance that it may be worth software providers taking note of this - if we're doing the majority of the initial testing in free play mode I'd suggest it would be more than embarrassing if that free play mode was shown not to conform to the results provided by the real play mode.

    As to keeping the focus off bonus-play - I couldn't agree more. While the mathematics of bonus hunting is interesting it's a very niche interest group and being of a role where I have to be fair to both sides attracts too many individuals who don't adhere to terms and conditions. Alongside this I think it's been really overlooked in the online world that average players may have an interest in the mathematics of gaming as well as advantage players.

    You mention the fantastic WoO's site - POGGStrategies was actually started as a response to the sale of that site. I was working with Michael in the run up to the point where the sale was going to happen and at that time I didn't know exactly when the sale would take place, who the ultimate owners would be or what their intentions would be for the site afterwards. I needed a reference site that I knew was going to be there in the form I needed so with the uncertainty surrounding the WoO creating one seemed the only viable option. Back to the point though, the WoO/WizardofVegas sites have a huge following and despite being mathematical aren't only of interest to advantage players. Many many regular players frequent these sites just to learn a bit more about how to get more for their gambling buck. I think a site focusing on this for online players has been missing for some time.
     
    2 people like this.
  12. Dec 7, 2015
  13. ThePOGG

    ThePOGG Meister Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    Casino Affiliate
    Location:
    UK
    I hadn't even spotted the social media bar issue - thanks to you both!

    And good thought on the links on the homepage - think that effects all browsers so will have a dig and see what we can do on mouse over.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Dec 7, 2015
  15. hedgehok

    hedgehok Senior Member mm3

    Occupation:
    self-employed
    Location:
    Germany
    Great response! Way to go!
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Dec 7, 2015
  17. ThePOGG

    ThePOGG Meister Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    Casino Affiliate
    Location:
    UK
    To address the user issues highlighted above:

    Social Media sidebar - we've pulled this feature for the time being. I would like to find a way to build it back in as it does seem to be getting used (just from one day's data). But it's far more important that users can actually read the content!!

    Links on the homepage - I've now built in a mouse over effect so whenever you hover over a link it should display a title.
     
    2 people like this.
  18. Dec 8, 2015
  19. SoftGamings

    SoftGamings Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for you
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Yeah, totally agree with that!
     
  20. Dec 9, 2015
  21. jshort

    jshort Experienced Member MM PABaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    Bus Driver
    Location:
    Canada
    This must've taken years to build up. Congrats on the awesome site!

    I feel like this would be my one criticism, as I feel like this sort of thing would belong on a site like yours, but I guess that just like any other affiliate portal, it would create a conflict of interest.
     
  22. Dec 9, 2015
  23. ThePOGG

    ThePOGG Meister Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    Casino Affiliate
    Location:
    UK
    You might be surprised to hear that the content for this site was about 1/3 of my time this year. Albeit I have averaged around 65 hours/week for most of the year. The calculator tools were already prepared but being underused on another site. Another 1/3 of my time has been focused on ThePOGG (too little for what this site really needs) and the final 1/3 has been invested in another project I'm hoping to launch before the New Year.



    There are a couple of reasons that I don't want to cater to educating people about advantage play:

    1) There's already a resource online who's done it as well as I feel it's feasible to do. The owner of that site contributed the calculator tools to this site and we'd have to completely cannibalise his site to start covering bonuses as well. The resources we've used on POGGStrategies I believe will get a far larger audience there than they did on the previous site (BeatingBonuses), but we do need to leave some things behind.

    2) I've a great deal of respect of advantage play having come from that background myself. However, dealing with complaints I can say that there appears to be a significant cross over between those smart enough to beat the game and those that then decide to run multiple accounts to do so (1 in 5 complaints that have come in to our service so far this year have been identified as multi-accounting issues). I have a clearly defined policy about this. If you've been playing in a way that doesn't violate clear terms and conditions I'm happy to do what I can to help you. If you're engaged in practices that are clearly prohibited by terms and conditions then I've no interest in helping you get away with it. This policy ensures that operators remain willing to discuss complaints with us. Given the high level of cross over between skilled players and multi-accounters I feel that being seen to educate people about how to win from bonuses would be viewed as 'helping' a group that need to be held at a distance to ensure I get cooperation with the complaints where the player hasn't broken any rules.

    TP
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
    3 people like this.
  24. Dec 9, 2015
  25. hedgehok

    hedgehok Senior Member mm3

    Occupation:
    self-employed
    Location:
    Germany
    To be honest the site you are referring to is at least to some extent outdated since its techniques are either prohibited via T&C or highly frowned upon by operators. It's neither opportune nor smart to cater people with a "guide how to exploit bonuses" like BB does.

    A far better way for both the broad range of players and operators would be a site where interested players can gain information about RTP, Variance etc. and how this affects their individual play. For example a tool where you can put in a certain game (slot), your starting balance and your bet-size and it will give you a rough estimate of how likely you will achieve a certain target-balance. We had a discussion here not long ago where some players discussed why they cash-in so rarely and one reason is that they just seem to be exposed to the house-edge for too long.

    I can imagine that building in some newer slots in the simulation tool is some serious work. You might consider to collect data like (starting balance;bet-size;win) and analyse it to gain an estimate of the variance of a game. It takes some 100,000s of samples to get creditable data but maybe a operator can help you with providing this kind of information (pooling player-data, of course anonymous). This data you can categorize in "low-variance" (standard deviation 0-5), "medium-variance" (standard deviation 5-10) and "high-variance" (standard deviation over 10) games sorted by game-providers and suggest casinos where they can play these games. Don't forget to offer a little FAQ about what variance actually means and how it affects your play.

    Try to make it your goal to make us "a smarter player" not an "advantage player".
     
    2 people like this.
  26. Dec 10, 2015
  27. Pulver

    Pulver Senior Member PABaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    Technical
    Location:
    Tellus
    Fantastic site ThePOGG!

    I am going to use some time on the video poker strategy trainer that's for sure, fun and training in one tool. :thumbsup:
     
    1 person likes this.
  28. Dec 10, 2015
  29. ThePOGG

    ThePOGG Meister Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    Casino Affiliate
    Location:
    UK
    I disagree with you somewhat on this. Agreed the site is a bit out of date, but that's because the market's moved away from bonuses that can be beaten using table games. This shift's also created a situation where winning is now a high variance proposition meaning that you have to be well funded. In other words the entry requirements have increased and as such the market's gotten smaller. It becomes less worthwhile to continue to update the site as there's a smaller audience and the members of that audience are more likely to be able to get the information themselves.

    I wouldn't use the work 'exploit' - I understand why industry folks want to use that term (or 'abuse') but the simple facts are if someone plays within the rules of the bonus they've done nothing wrong. Using negatively loaded words is a PR exercise that covers up for the fact that the operator failed to do a good job of constructing terms and conditions. My experience has been that operators tend not to use these types of terms where there's been a clear breach of terms, just pointing to the term instead. That's not a hard and fast rule - if there's evidence of multi-accounting those terms tend to come out because the operator doesn't want to say what the real problem is.

    As to how smart doing so is, that all depends on your objective. That particular field was an area that I believe the owner to have found academically interesting, and not necessarily something they were running with a financial priority. I've been asked repeatedly at conferences what I'm thinking running my site the way I do. Many many people within the industry see me as just throwing money away by doing the things I do and I'm sure many of them would describe my decisions as 'not smart'. The thing is, while I do need to make some money, that's not my top priority. How smart this type of decision is comes down to what your objectives are.

    I wouldn't trust any figures handed over by operators. Not accusing anyone of anything here, but I just don't see that as a wise move. I can say for sure that the vast majority of operators wouldn't even consider handing this type of information over anyway. Even very general information about the behind the scenes performance of their business would be a complete no go for release. And if they were willing to consider this, gathering the info and anonymizing it would be a big job with no real return for them and with a high risk of small errors that could put them at risk of a Data Protection breach.

    If this is something we can achieve it'll be done by gathering the information we can independently and selecting the games we feel are of most use to the playing community.

    You've pretty much hit the nail on the head with the focus of the site there! :thumbsup:

    TP
     
    2 people like this.
  30. Dec 13, 2015
  31. jshort

    jshort Experienced Member MM PABaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    Bus Driver
    Location:
    Canada
    The one thing I notice about BB, is that its surprisingly dead. It's a shame too because I think their a rather unique portal.

    I feel like the regular members there aren't really a chatty bunch or in any way eager or willing to share ideas. Every now and then, I'd post a question and I usually got a nil response.
     

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