Return to Player - Critiques Requested.

Jufo

Three-toed sloth
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Location
Finland
To address the latest posts:

Re: "... the fact that if Regulatory Agencies and Certification Laboratories don't even understand ..."

If this were true, then the problem would be severe. What data has been offered to suggest, or conclude, that this is true?

"... a conversation with one Certification Lab in which they informed me that Theoretical RTP for Stud Poker is (100 - House Edge)."

So, a quantity of 1 Certification Lab is the data in hand.

My response to a sample size of 1 was: "I anticipate the need, at some point in the future, ..." That is, if it rained today and washed the camp supplies into the river, I "anticipate the need" to move the camp higher up the ravine in case it rains again.

I infer from your comment, in which you included, and pluralized, both Agencies and Laboratories (that is, you expanded the data count significantly higher than 1), that since it rained today it will certainly rain tomorrow, as well as every other day for the foreseeable future.

Please note: I used the phrase "I infer" rather than "You imply". I'm not a mind reader; I cannot speak to what, if anything, you imply. I can, however, accurately speak to what I infer, and from that speculate (I'm allowed to speculate) as to what others may infer.

However, I think we would all agree: A data point of one doesn’t support a conclusion, but rather reinforces the need for further data. To expand on my own analogy - it calls for a "prepare for battle" rather than a "send in the troops" response.

Well, you did write Regulatory Agencies and Certification Laboratories in plural yourself and you mentioned "battles" in plural. I understood "battles" as a reference to the concept of element of risk. So I used plural only because you did and in fact copied the text from your post. Of course I may have misinterpreted one of your metaphors so apologies for that if that's the case.
 

binary128

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May 18, 2009
Location
Vancouver, BC
I feel it necessary to mention - I believe that my posts in this thread are coming across as stilted and "professorial", rather than more conversational.

(I like to think that I am a lot more "conversational" than I am coming across here.)

I want to explain that I'm aware of this, but think that this style is necessary. I need to present what I am discussing in a dry, data-centric manner because I really want to keep this discussion "on point". And this is purely a self-serving need. I'm also getting an education here.

But I understand (or am beginning to understand) that there is a lot of history to this topic here in Casinomeister land, and some "bad blood" (as it were) too.

However, I have no intention of "clamming up" or "fading away". My skin is not so thin that I can't take some heat (or the occasional punch in the jaw).

Again, I'll continue to present the data I have in the hopes that it will allow me to write better for the people to whom it should be written, the Players.

I don't want to go all "Pollyanna" on you, and my intent is not "... to win the opinions of the members here ...", but I do understand and appreciate the fact that without the Players I wouldn't be in business.

Chris
 

binary128

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Location
Vancouver, BC
Expired Image

This goes to the first part of the Galewind referenced article, which addresses short term variance.

You can see that if you were to put a trend line through the peaks and troughs of the curves, the result would be a value that is significantly less than the Theoretical (Maximum) RTP, AND trending down.

In other words, you might miss this in a short-term analysis, but easily pick it up with an analysis of the larger sample size.

This is why I included the following in a previous post:

In addition, CFG has combined these monthly files from Galewind into:

- a 6 month analysis.
- a 12 month analysis.
- an 18 month analysis.
- a 24 month analysis.

A 24-month analysis is a pretty huge sample size, for every game in the Casino. Remember, we have monthly analysis, month-to-month comparisons, 6-month analysis, etc. going on.

Is it possible, within the bounds of the known universe, that all of this misses something? Yup.

Having spent years setting all of this up and doing it month after month, do I lose any sleep at night? Nope.

There is a word here, a word that can't be included in any statistical analysis, and that word is Trust. The bottom line: if you can't, or don't, trust the Casino or the Auditing group (in our case Certified Fair Gambling), well, that's pretty much the end of the conversation.

Galewind could be "cherry picking" the monthly data it sends to CFG. CFG could be doing nothing but issuing a report. Or, CFG could be discovering all sorts of problems but those problems are dealt with "behind the scenes". And on and on.

There is really nothing I can say that will speak to that. Or, more accurately, I could say all that I wanted, and nothing would make any difference.

Going down that path is, I think, not really of value to anyone. I gain nothing, you gain nothing, and we're just a crew in a Ready Room, drinking coffee and bitching about the damn Borg.

Chris
 

binary128

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Vancouver, BC
If memory serves me well, I seem to recall that eCOGRA also operates an ongoing outcomes-based checking system similar to that described above (called the Total Gaming Transactions Review or TGTR I think). That's in addition to the accreditation inspections and annual system reviews it requires its operators to undergo.

jetset - I believe that this is true.

I have also seen Monthly RTP Reports provided by TST.

However, I cannot speak to the details of these Monthly Audits.

Chris
 

binary128

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Vancouver, BC
I recall that when a player discovered that the double up game at English Harbour was not functioning correctly (ie. RTP < 100%) there had been an audit there at that time but it hadn't picked on the malfunctioning game. So it required a smart player to pick up what the audit failed to do. What are your thoughts about this binary128? How likely is it that the audit could miss a malfunctioning (either accidentally or deliberately) game?

I just had a read through that link (well, a lot of it anyway). Wow, what a thread.

A quick summary:

April 28 2006 - thelawnet started a thread reporting that there was a significant problem with English Harbour's Tens or Better Video Poker game.

May 2 2006 - The Wizard of Odds was notified of the problem.

May 3 2006 - English Harbour posted, indicating that they had looked into the problem and could find nothing to support the data as previously reported.

May 3 2006 - The Wizard of Odds posted, indicating that he was starting his analysis.

May 5 2006 - The Wizard of Odds published his analysis, confirming that there was a significant problem with the Double Down game in the various Video Pokers.

The Wizard identified that the problem affected games played on and between April 13 2006 and May 2 2006. He explained that this was due to a "... buggy software update ..."

The Wizard also explained that he would not have received the data logs containing the problem for another week or more. Therefore, the audit that would have caught the problem had not yet happened.

May 5 2006 - English Harbour (through Casinomeister) also acknowledged the problem, and accepted full financial responsibility for its ramifications.

English Harbour also explained that, when they first posted that they could not find the problem, this was because their first analysis used new data ("... we ran through several trials and also simulations.") rather than analyzing the problem data in the database (as all of the posting members on Casinomeister had done).

So, Problem #1: a "buggy software update" was released into production.

Problem #2: although the problem was found on April 28th, it was not reported to the Wizard of Odds until 4 days later, on May 2nd.

Problem #3: English Harbour's initial analysis used new data, rather than the problem data from the database.

Based on what I read, it appears that English Harbour is responsible for all 3 problems.

Other than that, I think that both English Harbour and the Wizard responded quickly and honestly. English Harbour accepted full financial responsibility and apparently (I didn't read the entire thread) refunded the affected Players.

As to your stated question: "How likely is it that the audit could miss a malfunctioning (either accidentally or deliberately) game?"

My opinion is that the possibility of the audit missing this problem is quite low, even vanishingly low. The reason that this particular issue "slipped through the cracks" is that it was created, reported on, and resolved before the actual audit was scheduled to occur.

Another question: "How likely is it that this problem, or one like it, could occur again, in Galewind's software, or anyone's software?"

Well, certainly non-zero. We do all that we can, run all the pre-release and post-release tests that we can, to bring the answer to this question as close to zero as practical, but ultimately "shit happens".

That may not be the answer that everyone wants, but I think that it is accurate data.

Chris
 

Jufo

Three-toed sloth
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Location
Finland
I just had a read through that link (well, a lot of it anyway). Wow, what a thread.

A quick summary:
[...]
The Wizard also explained that he would not have received the data logs containing the problem for another week or more. Therefore, the audit that would have caught the problem had not yet happened.

Ok I stand corrected. I've read through the thread only once so I didn't remember the exact timeline of events with the bug and the audit, but you summed it up very well, so thanks for that :thumbsup:

There are several people who thought back then / still think now that the bug wasn't accidental but a deliberate one to increase house edge, and the casino just made a very rookie mistake in forgetting that some players may know a thing about probabilities (it didn't require a large data sample to prove it to the extent of billions against one). And that the casino just got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and everything from there was just covering up, "it was just a programming error" tactics. But personally I bought the official explanation, given how easily spottable the bug was and that it was also present in fun money mode for anyone to test it.
 
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Jufo

Three-toed sloth
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Location
Finland
Having spent years setting all of this up and doing it month after month, do I lose any sleep at night? Nope.

There is a word here, a word that can't be included in any statistical analysis, and that word is Trust. The bottom line: if you can't, or don't, trust the Casino or the Auditing group (in our case Certified Fair Gambling), well, that's pretty much the end of the conversation.

Galewind could be "cherry picking" the monthly data it sends to CFG. CFG could be doing nothing but issuing a report. Or, CFG could be discovering all sorts of problems but those problems are dealt with "behind the scenes". And on and on.

There is really nothing I can say that will speak to that. Or, more accurately, I could say all that I wanted, and nothing would make any difference.

Going down that path is, I think, not really of value to anyone. I gain nothing, you gain nothing, and we're just a crew in a Ready Room, drinking coffee and bitching about the damn Borg.

Chris

I would like to say that my questions have been to gain more insight into the auditing process, which many of us know relatively little about due to lack of information. That's why some may feel that it is just a "rubber stamp process" etc. So it has been very helpful that you have given more insight into this process.
I am coming from the "sceptical player's perspective" of: Could some evil software provider somehow tamper the odds in their favor and still pass relatively superficial audits and get a clean bill? These speculations have absolutely nothing to do with Gale Wind software which most likely is well above board in this regard. So I hope you didn't take any of my comments as referring to your software in particular.

But then to your topic of TRUST. Online gambling is largely unregulated industry with shady reputation, where, every time I make a deposit I am aware that the reason for the other's party existence is to end up with some or all of my money. So given this preface, every time a casino operator asks me to TRUST them or their judgement, it makes me cringe a little. This is nothing personal against them but just something that arises from the inherent unequality of the parties.

Therefore I'd like to see a solution offered where TRUST is not an issue, that I don't have to take that blind leap of faith and just hope that everything is going to be fair and above board. Audits are there to help with this, ie. I don't have to trust the casino that much because there is a 3rd party taking care some of the trust issue. However, all those things you wrote in the above quote makes me wonder if even inclusion of external auditor is able to solve the trust issue between the player and casino completely.

There ARE solutions which quarantee fair results with NO trust between player and casino needed. Betvoyager casino has randomness control which gives the result to the player in encrypted form before the player plays his hand, making it impossible to alter the results after the bet has been placed. Then there is the old FairDice project which means that the outcomes (for example a dice roll) aren't generated at the casino server but done by a third party by using a process to which both the casino and player will agree to.

So, if casinos really wanted to, the trust issue could be completely eliminated by using some method like this. The question is: why are so few casinos willing to do this? Do they have something to hide? Why do players have to settle with: "our casino does audits, so just trust us and keep playing" when there could be ways to quarantee results in a way that removes the trust issue altogether? And this could be a great way to attract players too!

I end by quoting Stalin who said: "Trust is good, control is better" :)
 
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vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Yes, think about a game where you bankroll always goes like this:

Expired Image

You would reach the expected 99.5% return infinite number of times and couldn't complain about the returns but the rigged downward variance would mean that you could never get ahead from the session's starting balance by playing this game.

This is similar to the curve expected from a UK style pub slot, also known as an AWP or "Fruit Machine". Since the downward variance is rigged, they CAN be beaten by choosing the start point of your session based on observations of others playing such that your session begins close to the bottom of each cycle, and ends close to the top where it again reaches it's set RTP. This is commonly known as "sharking", or drifting around in the background looking at others play, and leaping on machines in a predatory manner that seem to have been abandoned near the bottom of the cycle.

ANY rigged game can be beaten, even when the RTP is close to 70%:D I have been thrown out of a number of venues for doing just this:p
 

Jufo

Three-toed sloth
Joined
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Location
Finland
This is similar to the curve expected from a UK style pub slot, also known as an AWP or "Fruit Machine". Since the downward variance is rigged, they CAN be beaten by choosing the start point of your session based on observations of others playing such that your session begins close to the bottom of each cycle, and ends close to the top where it again reaches it's set RTP. This is commonly known as "sharking", or drifting around in the background looking at others play, and leaping on machines in a predatory manner that seem to have been abandoned near the bottom of the cycle.

ANY rigged game can be beaten, even when the RTP is close to 70%:D I have been thrown out of a number of venues for doing just this:p

Ah yes, of course. I forgot about AWPs so this kind of "rigged downward variance" game does indeed exist and even legally! So I would rephrase the trust problem like this: I choose to play a game that on the outside looks to be random and fair so how do I know for a fact that it is not in fact a disguised AWP? Because seeing AWP-like behaviour on games that are supposed to be random is way to common IMO. I hope audits can distinguish AWPs from "true" games.

As for your comment that any rigged game can be beaten, I disagree. You are only able to beat AWPs because other players are feeding the downward part of the curve and you get to reap the upward part. But if the are no other players, that is, you have your own virtual machine, how about then? I'd say that in some rare cases rigged games can be beaten if you discover the mode of rigging but most of the time you are simply screwed.
 

Jufo

Three-toed sloth
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Location
Finland
Just wanted to say what a fantastic thread this has become.

I really hope lots of members read it as it really has a lot of great information.

Kudos to Chris and Jufo and others for maintaining an excellent style of debate.

Thanks for the kind words. Your feedback makes the effort put in writing long responses feel worth it.

I probably don't disagree with Chris all that much and vice versa, the tension between us arises mostly from us being from different sides of the fence, ie. a player vs. casino industry. Anyway having a casino industry person to answer questions is a very good opportunity to gain insight so I hope Chris stays around.
 

binary128

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Joined
May 18, 2009
Location
Vancouver, BC
Just wanted to say what a fantastic thread this has become.

I really hope lots of members read it as it really has a lot of great information.

Kudos to Chris and Jufo and others for maintaining an excellent style of debate.

Thanks for the kind words. Your feedback makes the effort put in writing long responses feel worth it.

I probably don't disagree with Chris all that much and vice versa, the tension between us arises mostly from us being from different sides of the fence, ie. a player vs. casino industry. Anyway having a casino industry person to answer questions is a very good opportunity to gain insight so I hope Chris stays around.

Nifty - Thanks from me also. As with Jufo, my responses have also been a bit of an effort, for which I can only hope that there is value.

Chris
 

binary128

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Location
Vancouver, BC
Jufo - Re: English Harbour, and your statement "... personally I bought the official explanation ..." I agree that what English Harbour, and the Wizard, described is indeed the accurate explanation. That is, "shit happened". And, as I summarized, I think that all parties did a pretty good job at clearing up the debris.

Re: "... the tension between us ..."

I felt it necessary to create my Rather Pointed Response (in which I state "A data point of one doesn’t support a conclusion, but rather reinforces the need for further data.") to Your Previous Post (in which you used the "Red Alert" words cheat or cheating 4 times) was because I didn't want this to become a "the sky is falling" problem.

That is, as with the previous "facepalm" graphic, ultimately I'm one of the people that has to remove their hand from their face and get on with the business of dealing with the problem. If the scope of the problem is "the sky is falling", well, I don't know what to do there, where to start. (If true, and the sky is indeed falling, then it's just bomb shelter time.)

Personally, I don't think that the sky is falling. For sure there are problems, but they are solvable.


Re:

... every time a casino operator asks me to TRUST them or their judgement, it makes me cringe a little.

... I'd like to see a solution offered where TRUST is not an issue, that I don't have to take that blind leap of faith and just hope that everything is going to be fair and above board.


As a fellow human being, living in the same world as anyone reading (or contributing to) this thread, I think that "leaps of faith" are just unavoidable.

Anyone that downloads an application from a web site and installs that application on their computer has taken what I would consider to be a huge leap of faith. Anyone that even browses the internet without having every form of blocker known to mankind (script blocker, Flash blocker, cookie blocker, ad blocker, port blocker, virus blocker, spyware blocker, malware blocker) turned on and set to "Black & Decker Mode" (which is how I browse, actually) is taking a leap of faith.

So, if "leaps of faith" are unavoidable, the question becomes "How far do I have to jump?" And the best answer to that one is, I think, "As little as possible."

I thus disagree with your statement "There ARE solutions which quarantee fair results with NO trust between player and casino needed." only because of your use of the word "NO", as in zero, nada, zip, squat.


I was aware of the FairDice project. I wasn't aware of the Randomness Control at BetVoyager Casino, so I went to have a look.

My first thought was "Wow, what a great idea". So, I had a look in greater detail, saw their Flash movies that detailed exactly how it worked for Roulette and Oasis Poker, thought about it some more, and like that.

After doing all of that, I concluded that it just won't work for a Casino application that is deployed entirely through Flash, like Galewind's product. (Anything that we deploy is easily "crack-able" on the Client, because those are "the rules of the game" when it comes to web site applications and browsers.)

I thought about it some more, and then said "Wow, maybe it is a great idea, but what a miserable way to play some rounds of Pontoon." If I had to do all of the copying and pasting and clicking and checking, I'd find myself asking "What the hell am I doing here, playing Pontoon, or running compliance audits of their game processing algorithms?"

Yes, I realize that I would only do this for a short time, until I had built up some trust (woops, there's that word again) in their games, and then maybe once in awhile after that. But still ...

I then put on the "Cynical Player Hat" for a bit, and tried to figure out how this system could still be bypassed by the Casino application. For example: "How do I know that the translator application for the checksum I received didn't first communicate with the game server and get the number (or cards, or what have you) that they actually sent me rather than what they said they sent me?"

So again, we find ourselves back to the issue of Trust. And again, the question becomes "How far do I have to jump?"

BTW - As with your chart on the 99.5% return curve, about which you stated "I wish to point out that I am not in way saying that something like this exists or is even likely to exist." - I'm also not saying that this is what is happening within the BetVoyager Casino application. I'm simply taking a Sunday drive along the "Cynic's Speculation Thruway" here.

Chris
 

thelawnet

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UK
Based on the details given it does seem that you give a high priority to audits and do them rigorously. The concern is that we don't know at what level of rigour other casino software providers do these audits.

In general they do not.

I am aware of multiple casinos licensed in the more reputable jurisdictions where the reported payout for certain games is incorrect (both too high and too low).

Certain games are very complicated to analyse, I would note for instance that the reported payout for the Playtech variant pontoon per Michael Shackleford was for several years 0.2% higher than the real payout and likewise the 2 Ways Royal game payout was listed by him significantly lower than the actual payout. How many people have the capability and motivation to make analyses of the games?

However you do not need to be dealing with a complex card game for the casinos to be all at sea. Even very large casinos have a fundamental lack of understanding of the mechanics of even their most basic games, which are after all provided by third party software providers - they enter the business because of marketing expertise and financial backing; sometimes the necessary expert knowledge is provided by the software provider but very often it is not and we end up with stupid decisions made by these outlets because as far as they are concerned their games are just black boxes that make money, rather than the reality, which is that they are pretty pictures projected over the top of a statistical model.

How many casinos offer games that they cannot afford to pay out on, due to high stake limits? Quite a few. Do the regulators know? Do they hell.
 

thelawnet

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UK
Jufo,

After responding to your post in this thread, I followed your WizardOfVegas link and read through the thread over there.

Off the top - We are writing (or trying to write anyway) to a much broader audience than Mike. I'm proceeding under the assumption that any technical term which we use needs to first be explained to some extent.

For example, we would not use the term Standard Deviation without first providing a satisfactory explanation - one that does not require extensive knowledge of Mathematics to understand - of exactly what that term means and how it applies to the subject at hand.

I believe that Mike can safely proceed from a different baseline.


Well possibly, but I suspect that a great many of even his readers do not really understand standard deviation, assuming that the game will operate in accordance with the normal distribution in the relatively short term, when in fact for games such as video poker the required sample size runs into the MILLIONS due to the effect of the jackpot.

From your perspective a progressive jackpot slot played at $1 a spin may entertain a player who would find blackjack at anything less than $50 a hand deadly boring, and even the concept of game A being high risk and game B low risk depends greatly on the sort of stakes employed. That said I do think that it would still be useful within say a selection of slot machines to give some idea of the risk level, as you are largely comparing apples with apples, this could be as simple as a green, amber, red colour-coding, or perhaps otherwise some sort of thermometer-style 'excitement meter' or something of that ilk.
 

binary128

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Location
Vancouver, BC
thelawnet,

When you state:

I am aware of multiple casinos licensed in the more reputable jurisdictions where the reported payout for certain games is incorrect (both too high and too low).

Do you mean that the Theoretical (Maximum) RTP values which they have published for some of their games is too high/too low?

For instance, I've indicated in an earlier post that for Galewind's Stud Poker game:

  • the House Edge is 3.35%.
  • The Element of Risk is 1.64%.
  • Theoretical (Maximum) RTP (as 100 - Element of Risk) is 98.36%.
  • Reported RTP (20-million game sample) is 97.48%.

Using this data as an example, to what figure(s) are you referring when you say "... reported payout for certain games ..."?

I agree, your second paragraph may perhaps answer this question, but I'd like to make sure here.


Re: "Certain games are very complicated to analyse, ..." Based on many conversations we've had with Mike, Eliot (Jacobson), Stacy (Friedman) and others over the years, I can readily agree with that.

BTW - I had a laugh over "... pretty pictures projected over the top of a statistical model." Not because it is off target, but rather because it is on the mark. I've often thought of a Slot or Keno game as just a really interesting report.

Re: "... I suspect that a great many of even his readers do not really understand standard deviation ..." You may be right. Perhaps it's a sliding scale. However, I think my original point is probably still accurate: the median of Mike's audience is higher than the median of the typical Casino Help file audience.

That further advises me, however, that when we do decide to dip our toes into those waters we need to proceed with extreme care. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we've got to find a way of "... providing a satisfactory explanation - one that does not require extensive knowledge of Mathematics to understand - of exactly what that term means ..." to our target Casino Help file audience.

And your idea of an "excitement meter" is a good one. (Something like the "heat meter" on a bottle of taco sauce?) Thanks. I've made a note of that.

Chris
 
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Jufo

Three-toed sloth
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Location
Finland
In general they do not.

I am aware of multiple casinos licensed in the more reputable jurisdictions where the reported payout for certain games is incorrect (both too high and too low).

binary128 said:
Do you mean that the Theoretical (Maximum) RTP values which they have published for some of their games is too high/too low?

Yes, I believe thelawnet was referring to reported house edge/element of risk with optimal strategy. Actual payouts vary from month to month due to variance and also depend of player's decisions so I don't think he was referring to actual payouts reports. (It would be impossible to say they are right/wrong).

I can give you two examples of false payouts in both directions. At Betfair Arcade (
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) there is a standard Blackjack game (tilted simply "Blackjack") whose help file says:

"This game has a Return to Player of 99.44% based on good playing strategy.
System malfunction voids all pays and all plays. "


You can verify this yourself by going to Betfair arcade and entering the game in fun mode.

It it very kind of them to mention the house edge, the problem is that it is wrong. The game has following rules: 5 Decks, No Das, No Hole Card, No Surrender, Split only once, Double Hard 9-11 only.
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lists the return (per initial bet) to be 99.24% (element of risk is 99.29%). So the listed RTP is 0.20% higher than true value. It's not a big difference but it is still makes the difference of stingy payout BJ instead of mediocre payout BJ.

Then at the same Arcade, open Pontoon. The help file says:

This game has a Return to Player of 98.00% based on good playing strategy.
System malfunction voids all pays.


I didn't find any rule differences to most common Pontoon rules, which are the same as with Gale Wind software. So the return (per initial bet) should be 99.62% (element of risk 99.68%). This is not a small difference anymore but an error of 1.62% in payout!

So, the question is: Suppose that I am an uneducated gambler and play the Blackjack game, trusting the help file and expecting 99.44% return but I am actually playing a worse game. Suppose I lose $5K in a session. Can I ask the money back because the game was not as advertised?

Or, suppose I play Pontoon and it is indeed set by the software provider to yield 98.00% return. I lose $5K on it. Can I ask my money back because the game was not fair (with optimal strategy the RTP can't be 98.00% on a fair game)?

So, what responsibility does the software operator/casino have that the listed payout values are even correct? I don't think they would pay my money back in either case, so none.
 

Glunn11

Full Member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Location
Idaho
After a cursory glance I can see that there's a lot of meaty, well-sourced material in this thread -- something you don't see very often. I look forward to reading and learning quite a bit when I have a little more time. Thanks in advance :)
 

binary128

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May 18, 2009
Location
Vancouver, BC
Re: "... I believe thelawnet was referring to reported house edge/element of risk with optimal strategy."

Yeah, I agree. However, I/we have been using Reported RTP so much throughout this thread that I wanted to make sure about the words "reported payout". (I'm just too old to worry about whether I'm asking a stupid question.)


Re: BetFair Arcade.

Yeah, it looks like someone at BetFair didn't pay all of the attention that they should have to the documentation. As you show, the Theoretical (Maximum) RTP values that they specify are out of whack. And that 1.62% difference for Pontoon is seriously, seriously out of whack.

As to 0.2% being a trivial amount - our current deployment has a (trivial?) 0.3% rebate on all wagers. Given Galewind Pontoon's 99.68% Theoretical (Maximum) (Element of Risk) RTP, that 0.3% nudge pushes it into an even money game. (Well, at 99.98%, or 2 hundredths of a penny per dollar, so close to an even money game that it doesn't make make much of a difference.) So yeah, I agree with you: nothing trivial there.

As to all of your closing questions: I've got no definitive answers to contribute. Is the Casino's "Player Contract" in the pay table (BJ pays 3 to 2, Insurance pays 2 to 1, etc.) and the "Rules of the Game" (deck count, Double rules, Split rules, Dealer rules, etc.)? Or is the "Player Contract" in the Help files and other documentation? Can you "nail them" because some junior tech blew it in the documentation?

As with many of the questions which have arisen in this thread, these address industry-wide situations, industry-wide answers. I can't speak for the industry. I can't speak for anyone else. I can only give you Galewind's answer, and I need to do that without appearing "spammy" or promotional. Even the article that is linked in my first post of this thread: I wasn't trying to promote Galewind's RTP numbers. I didn't care about the numbers. I was asking for a critique of the words I/we used.

BUT, back to BetFair Arcade ... If you advertise 99.44% and only deliver 99.24%, well, hmmm. That is, if someone were to prepare an RTP table comparing the Blackjack returns of different software providers/Casinos, and Betfair's value in this table was 99.44 instead of 99.24, well, hmmm again.

On the flip side, if you advertise 98% RTP for Pontoon but are actually delivering 99.62, well, I guess you could call that "something less than smart".


To be accurate, I was really surprised at the number of "little things" that are on this BetFair Arcade page.

Their use of the phrase "good playing strategy" is decidedly odd, almost childish. (It reminded me of Star Trek's "make ship go" episode.) Given the availability of the phrases "basic strategy" or "optimal strategy", both of which are defined and used in various and respected web sites, they decided to go with the amazingly funky "good playing strategy".

I went to the page with (as usual) JavaScript disabled. The page response to this was, well, just bad. Poorly handled.

After awhile, all of these "little things" begin to add up, resulting in an impression that is something-less-than-completely-professional. By that I mean that once a software or web site developer has got the basics down, the viewer's impression of quality and professionalism arise from a proper attention to the details. Bottom line for all of these kinds of "little things" - you begin to wonder, maybe even just subconsciously, "what else is wrong?"

In all fairness, however, this also causes me to wonder: What did Galewind miss? What "little things" are people finding on Galewind's web site, in Galewind's products, in Galewind's documentation, and not telling us about?

I thus conclude this post with a heartfelt request - if anyone finds anything wrong with anything that Galewind has produced or documented, right down to a missing comma in a Help file, please let me know.

Chris
 
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binary128

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*** ALERT - Thread Derail ***

You quoted from BetFair Arcade a phrase which I have found is "required" by some regulated gaming jurisdictions: "Malfunction Voids All Pays and Play".

Including this phrase (or its equivalent) on the game, or within the Help files, falls under the umbrella of "Game Malfunctions". "Game Malfunctions" is one of many many documentation and procedural requirements contained in those System Audits that I mentioned earlier.

This is another thing with which I have some concern. Or, to quote something I said earlier: "I'm concerned that I might be forced to do something that doesn't make any sense simply to gain "compliance", which really chafes my shorts."

Personally, this phrase causes me to imagine the days (oh, those days of lore) of having a 1-armed bandit tucked into some back corner of a traveling Carny tent. Someone comes up to the ticket booth and complains that they put in their penny but the machine didn't work. The problem - the person in the ticket booth has no way of proving that they actually put in the penny. Thus, "Malfunction Voids All Pays and Play".

With online systems however, we know whether or not the Player put in the penny. That is, if the game server received the Player's game call, processed that call, and (most critically) debited their wager balance, then they put the penny in.

So I don't think that this phrase, flatly stated and without any description, makes any sense for today's online gaming applications.

Also, as with any ill-defined statement (what exactly does "malfunction" mean, or "voids" for that matter), it can be manipulated to mean things, to apply to situations, which may not fall into Galewind's "commitment to fair play".

I'm NOT SAYING that this is happening. What I am saying is that this type of thing potentially adds to the distance you need to jump in order to gain trust in the Casino.

Anyone who has read my posts in this thread, or read the article that is linked in the first post, has probably concluded that "terse" is not a part of Galewind's, or my, vocabulary. With the disclaimer that the following is another (patent pending) "more words than you want to read" article, this is Link Removed ( Old/Invalid) .

And I'll close this post with requests for critique of the above article. This article is still in a pre-release stage, so I leave it wide open for editing.

*** End of Thread Derail ***
 
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thelawnet

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UK
Re: BetFair Arcade.

Yeah, it looks like someone at BetFair didn't pay all of the attention that they should have to the documentation. As you show, the Theoretical (Maximum) RTP values that they specify are out of whack. And that 1.62% difference for Pontoon is seriously, seriously out of whack.

Actually Jufo hit the nail on the head with this.

Betfair Arcade is an OpenBet site and they are FAR from alone in this; IME it is likely that ALL OpenBet sites contain errors of this nature. No matter that they have a TST logo at the bottom of their homepage.... Some of their behaviour amounts to GROSS negligence.
 

binary128

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Vancouver, BC
I just noticed, or maybe it just occurred to me: Casinomeister has identified me as an "I-Gaming Industry Representative". Me, an I-Gaming Industry Representative.

When my kids were younger (they're all in their twenties now) they used to have friends over to the house. My kids would often tell me "Dad, friend so-and-so told me they think you're Jerry Garcia".

(I was surprised that kids at that age - late teens - would even know who Jerry Garcia was, much less what he looked like. Still, I guess that goes to show the staying power of The Dead.)

Anyway - that someone looking like Jerry Garcia would (figuratively speaking) be standing up in front of a global audience and speaking as a representative of the entire I-Gaming Industry.

Now that's funny.

A post with a little more content will follow shortly.

Chris
 

jetset

RIP Brian
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Earth
Actually Jufo hit the nail on the head with this.

Betfair Arcade is an OpenBet site and they are FAR from alone in this; IME it is likely that ALL OpenBet sites contain errors of this nature. No matter that they have a TST logo at the bottom of their homepage.... Some of their behaviour amounts to GROSS negligence.

The legal intricacies of vicarious responsibility notwithstanding, I would have thought this sort of anomaly (once pointed out) should be brought to Openbet as well as Betfair's attention?
 

binary128

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Vancouver, BC
Jufo,

You published a post in a currently running thread about game RTPs. (I've read through this thread with interest, but have noted that the discussion concerns Real Time Gaming's RTP settings. I concluded that it would not be appropriate for me to post there.)

However, your post to which I refer contained a link to a Wikipedia article on the
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(LLN). (A great link, by the way. Thanks.)

In this Wiki article is the following:

The LLN is important because it "guarantees" stable long-term results for random events. For example, while a casino may lose money in a single spin of the roulette wheel, its earnings will tend towards a predictable percentage over a large number of spins. Any winning streak by a player will eventually be overcome by the parameters of the game.

This speaks to something which I have posted earlier within this thread:

I am absolutely, unshakably committed to ensuring that the Player, and the Casino, receive not one penny more, and not one penny less, than what the game's Theoretical (Maximum) RTP provides. Not one penny more, not one penny less.

This also speaks to something which you posted earlier within this thread:

Does the RTP realize itself from the game's rules and the laws of probabilities (the correct way) ...


So, to wrap it all up: if everything with our software is "exactly correct" such that all game results are realized ONLY from the game's rules and the laws of probability, then everyone is "in control".

There is nothing which can be exploited by the Casino, or discovered and exploited by the Player, to introduce "special cause variance." ("Special Cause Variation" is a term used within the subject of
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. In a sense, our "product" is Casino games.)

I've published the precise RTP values for all our games, so the Players are "in control" in that they know exactly what to expect. (Yes, I know, the issue of variance is critical to this, and we have discussed the need for Galewind to address this subject in perhaps another extremely verbose article.)

Due to the "Law of large numbers", the Casino is also "in control" in the same way as the Player - they know what to expect. (Again, same waver on variance.)

In reading your Wiki link to the Law of Large Numbers, I felt compelled to respond. Again, great link.

Chris
 

DiamondGeezer

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NOT Pennsylvania!!!
Binary128 I see you have listed your slots throretical RTP's on your excellent page. What are your thoughts on certain other software providers who say they won't publish theoretical RTP's of slots as it is "commercially sensitive" information? As the companies have never to my knowledge elaborated on this phrase I have no clear idea what their argument is. Also if you turn it around what sort of a player would play a game or slot when they did not know what the theoretical RTP is? Clearly the answer is "total idiot" as theoretically you could be playing at 90, 70 or even god forbid zero RTP!
 
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