Why does a croupier always win? 10 interesting facts that casinos will never reveal
Why does the house always win? Get to know 10 secrets that casinos will never reveal!
Many ambitious gamblers are dreaming about inventing a system that would break the bank at a Las Vegas or Monte Carlo casino. Imagine you were brilliant enough to do it. Will your invention outwit the law, according to which the house always wins? And, if so, will the casino pay you? Read about the tricks, wins and losses of the most famous casinos and get to know their small secrets!
You would not doubt the fact that a casino is a not a charity organization, whose mission is to give away free money. As long as it is a business, it always has a special model to increase its financial efficiency and be the one who wins in the end.
When you entered a casino, did you ever pay attention to small details that have a significant influence of a player? Did you ever have a feeling that the house controls and affects your every move? Even if you did not, be sure that the casino is interested in making you stay longer and play more. No furniture or background music were chosen for the house by accident. The managers’ job is to think about every small detail in order to part you with your money. Here are the most obvious tricks that keep people in a gambling binge.
Casino tricks that make you stay and play
- No windows or clocks (so that people can lose a track of time.)
- Controlled lighting systems (so that people can mix day with night.)
- Fast music (so that people can make fast decisions.)
- Agreeable aromas (so that people can get an extra pleasure.)
- Encouraging interiors (so that people can stay and play.)
- Intimate atmosphere (so that people can feel more comfortable.)
- Free drinks (so that people can get blackout drunk and fail to control how much they bet.)
- Complimentary rooms (for high-rollers only to stay longer.)
- Friendly croupiers (so that people can feel more relaxed.)
- No overt score declaration (so that people can fail to realize the house is actually winning.)
How it all works
As a rule, casinos have forgone windows & clocks and turn on a dim lighting to blur the boundaries between a day and a night. Many gambling premises look the same at 2 am and 2 pm, and it is really easy to lose a sense of time there. What is more, fast music, red lights and agreeable aromas are supposed to create a more engaging atmosphere and make people want to stay longer, upgrading the level of excitement they get from playing the game.
Bill Friedman, a casino design consultant, wrote a book Stripping Las Vegas: A Contextual Review of Casino Resort Architecture. He claims that that a layout also has a great influence on a human behavior. At any casino you would normally find a labyrinth of short and narrow passageways over long, wide rows of gaming areas. There is no intention to make people get lost in such a maze, though. On the contrary, such interiors limit the players’ vision and reduce the scope of the space where the person is playing at the moment. Low ceilings and segmented gambling floors also make the place look more confidential, as opposed to an “open barn.” Friedman explains that such layout encourages the visitors to wander around and explore new gaming areas. Each space seems very cosy and feels like an intimate place.
The cleverest and richest people come to gamble at the most respected casinos. Is there any way to draw them into a complete oblivion of the game? Surely, if they get totally drunk!
To increase the profitability, casinos often provide their customers with unlimited free alcohol. Almost all biggest casino's debts in history are connected with a state of being completely drunk. Terrance Watanabe, for instance, lost approximately $127 million in about a year in Las Vegas, nevertheless he was a successful businessman who had been developing a family company for 20 years. By the way, such high-rollers as Mr. Watanabe have a special privilege at the worldwide casinos: they are given free complimentary rooms, which encourages them to stay even longer.
One more interesting observation has been made by the seasoned visitors of popular casinos. Croupiers behave in a very friendly way, especially if they notice that you are going to lose a pile of money. In order to distract your attention from an upcoming and inevitable loss, they would rather pander to your every whim. They will do their best to make you feel important and even “lucky” when you have the lowest chances. There will be no overt score declaration, so you might not even suspect that you are losing.
Secrets that help the house win a game
Viv Mitchell, a croupier and a journalist, says: “As a roulette dealer I can tell you, without a doubt, that there is NO way for us to control which number the ball lands on! It is luck of the draw, and no matter what numbers have come up in the last 20 spins, any number can come up in the next spin. Do not let the sign, which shows you the previous numbers, deceive you. Furthermore, casino staff are not paid on commission, and we have no incentive to make you lose. If anything, we want you to win, because winners give great tips!” So it is not exactly a croupier who determines the final victory of the house. Do you believe it?.
Casino games are designed in such a way that the house has a built-in edge, stacking the odds in its favor. There is no difference which game you decide upon, the house still has much more chances to win than you do. All the activities are designed in such a way that the probable compensation to the players gives the casino a small advantage.
Let us take a roulette, for instance. The biggest payout for a single number stake is 36 to 1. But have you ever noticed that its wheels often include other numbers, besides 1-36? If you are attentive enough, you will also see a zero and sometimes even a “00.” So the real chances are not 36 to one, but 37:1 or 38:1.
Speaking about the house edge, it represents an average gross profit that is expected to be derived from every game. A casino can generate 1-2% on the games with the lowest house edge and 15-25% on other games.
On a 00-roulette-wheel the house edge is 5.26%. This sum does not look big, but the casino plans to get more than $50,000 from every one-million-dollar stake. The rest, which is $950,000, should be given back to the bettors. Good casinos are not trying to drain the customer’s reserves at once and stick to more forward-looking strategies. A visitor should leave the casino with some money left in his pocket – a bit less than he brought to the house.
The best and worst chances in casino games
The profit you might get from a casino game varies according to the house edge, so you have different chances in different games.
Games with the lowest house edge
Blackjack is a game where the house advantage is very low. Even if you stick to an ideal gaming strategy, the house edge will be only 0.5%, or even 0.28% at the liberal casinos. It is followed by craps with the next lowest edge, which is 0.8%. The next game is baccarat, where the house edge is 1.06%.
As for roulette, it is still one of the most played games, despite a rather high advantage for the house (5.26%.) The house edge on slot machines is incredibly high (17%) and for keno it is even bigger – as high as 25%.
It is important to remember that you have to play the odds impeccably to apply the lowest house edge. In case you lose concentration, it will increase.
When do you lose more than you expect?
Are you one of those people who know about the house edge and still fail to grasp its impact on their bankrolls? There are many cases in which you can lose more money than you might expect. We hope that these tips will help you avoid significant losses while playing at casinos.
Many people think that if there is a 5% house edge for the roulette, they can bet, holding a $100 banknote in their hand, play for several hours and lose maximum $5. Their greatest mistake is that they think the house edge applies to their starting bankroll, when it really applies to the total sum they bet.
Here is an example: you are placing $5 wagers on every spin of the roulette wheel. The wheel spins 50 times per hour. You are betting $250 in 1 hour while you might be winning and losing some wagers. If the house edge plays out well, by the end of the game (in approximately 4 hours) you will have lost 5% of $1,000 – that is, $50. This sum of money is 10 times bigger than what you might have expected because of your misunderstanding of the house edge notion.
“Games are designed around preserving the house edge so that over thousands of bets, the casino will come out on top,” says Carla Harris, a promotions manager at Casino-Mate.com. “While people may win millions on individual bets, in the long run players as a whole will give the casino a small percentage more money than they take away from it. So the house does not “always” win in the short run – you may very well go to Las Vegas for a weekend and double your paycheck, but if you go to Vegas every weekend of your life, your chances of profiting from the excursions go down to almost a zero.”
When the house fails to win: a story of a major loss
Do you know the case when the house lost $85 000? If not, it is time for the story about a croupier who scammed the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
One of the casino’s croupiers, whose name is Tony Che, was accused of stealing more than $85,000 from the Crown Casino’s Sic Bo tables. According to The Age, he pleaded guilty of obtaining property by deception.
The boy nearly turned 21, but he is believed to be the mastermind of a “brilliant” scheme, which allowed him to deceive the casino. Tony Che had been working at the casino for 2 years, since he was 18. Over that period of time he was arranging a series of wins.
The problem is that Tony was hiding the true outcome numbers of dice in his hand and drew his preferred number (17) on a board. Every time Che’s friends bet $100 of 17 coming up, they were able to win over $6,000, on the basis that the house redeemed a rate of 60:1 for that number.
Tony Che’s scheme presupposed an “honest sharing,” so he took approximately $55,000, which made 65% of all the money, won thanks to his plan. He was hoping to stay unnoticed, but one day the casino’s security “found irregularities in the Sic Bo results.” The managers started checking the casino’s CCTV cameras and soon found the evidence, due to which Tony Che’s scheme was revealed later.
Malaysian was arrested for counterfeit chips in Singapore
A 40-year-old Malaysian was arrested in Singapore for being involved in the case of counterfeit casino chips. Despite this story happened almost five years ago, the authorities took all necessary measures to punish the scammers.
Back in August 2011, counterfeit casino chips were found by the police at the Marina Bay Sands. The authorities seized 287 fake chips at the casino’s baccarat tables. Each chip had a value of $1,000. They started an investigation, which lead to the arrest of 4 people by the Royal Malaysia Force. It took the police more than a year more to find the fifth man, involved in the case, and arrest him as well. According to The Star, he will be imprisoned for 7 years or have to pay a fine of $150,000, or both, if he is convicted.
Now you know why the house always wins, if there is no thievish croupier around. Learn the secrets, mentioned above, and hit the craziest jackpots!