Sit Down Games and Why YOU Need One

Believe it or not, craps is not the only game in the casino. Savvy players have a back-up plan for when their craps game is off. If Heavy isn't winning at Craps you're likely to find him playing Baccarat, Blackjack, or even Roulette. If the table games aren't working out he may even take a cigar break in the high limit slot area for a little hit-and-run action. But just like craps - you have to plan your play and play your plan. If you have a question on slots, video poker, carnival games or any table games other than craps, this is the place to post. Let's hear about the games you play when you're not playing craps! What's your game? What's your strategy? How's that working out for you? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Sit Down Games and Why YOU Need One

Post by heavy » Wed Jun 08, 2022 5:37 pm

For those of you who missed it, I wrote an article for this month's newsletter on Sit Down Games and Why YOU Need One (or more). I'm reposting it here, since it pretty much covers all of the "Games Other Than Craps" I think we should be interested in:

Sit Down Games and Why You Need One
By Steve “Heavy” Haltom

Okay, raise your hand if you are overweight. Ah, according to statistics that’s about 30% of you. What percentage of you have diabetes? Okay, about 8%. How about foot problems. Whoa! 75% of Americans have foot problems at some point in their lives and on any given day 20% of Americans are suffering from foot pain. Now, I know there’s some overlap in there. There are a bunch of overweight diabetics with foot pain at the craps table. But not every person with these issues standing at the table has all three problems. And let’s not forget you folks with circulatory issues as well. I mean, seriously! At least half of you need to take a break away from the table and sit down every hour or so. Give your feet a rest. Maybe find a place to kick back and elevate your feet a bit. Well, there are answers to this right there in your neighborhood casino. Sit Down Games where you can still have a decent chance at winning while building comp credit and enjoying those free drinks the casino keeps bringing by.

What are these games and why should you play? Let’s take a look at some old standards and some of the latest and greatest.

Sports Book. Benny Binion was once quoted as saying “Never bet on anything that eats or shits.” Try betting sports and you’ll understand why. Sports betting is an extremely tough way to grind out a small profit. Nevertheless, nationwide there are plenty of players making big bucks moving money through books. The downside? You have to do your homework. Unless, of course, you want to shell out money for a handicapping service. Of course, from an advantage players point of view that just adds to the vig. My suggestion? Invest the time to learn how to do your own handicapping. Limit play to the games where you believe you have an edge. And remember, just because you’re a Chicago fan doesn’t mean “Da Bears” are going to win Monday night. Bet with your head – not your heart.

Poker. Poker is a close second to sports betting in my book. But poker players are completely different kinds of gamblers. Yeah, they have their superstitions just like craps players. I know of one Vegas poker pro who refuses to play with anything but green chips. But at the end of the day poker is a game of skill. Players compete against each other – not against the house. The only “vig” is a small “rake” the house takes on each pot. Learn to play properly and it’s fairly easy to play with an edge. Invest in some decent poker training software and start out playing on-line for free. Put in your time and by the time you hit the poker rooms you’ll good to go. But remember – if you don’t know who the sucker is at the table – it’s you.

Blackjack. Learn to play perfect strategy and count cards and you can play with an edge. You can learn a simple strategy like the KO count system with a couple of days practice. Or you can learn the EZ Opt system in a matter of hours. It’s not as powerful as the KO system, but it will still let you play with a small advantage. Pick the best games, learn to count under the radar, mask your skills, and take advantage of the volatility of the game. It’s not that difficult to walk away with a win. Some advantage players will argue with me on the next part of the equation. The key is to walk away with that win – not to continue playing and give it back. Employ a loss limit and win objective and focus on ending every session on a win.

Video poker. Video poker is another game of skill you can play profitably. Pick the correct game and play correctly and you’ll be battling a very small house edge. There are still a few games out there that offer over 100 percent payback to players utilizing perfect mathematical strategy – particularly if you take advantage of the comps you can earn. Learn to play perfect strategy and pick the correct machine by utilizing computerized training program’s such as Bob Dancer’s Video Poker for Winners.

Pai Gow Poker. Pai Gow Poker is a card game derived from the Chinese game of Pai Gow, which is played with tiles and dice. The Americanized version is a game that carries a relatively low house edge – particularly if you elect to serve as “banker” of the game. When you bank the game you pay a five percent commission to the house. You win the bet of any player you beat. The game also has a lot of “ties” where nobody wins – or loses. Of course, while all this is going on the comp clock is running and you’re still earning perks. Pai Gow Poker requires skill in setting of the hands but the dealer will help you out if you’re new to the game. A skilled player can gain the advantage over a less knowledgeable player, so you’ll want to learn the game as quickly as possible. There are many good books and videos on the subject. John Patrick’s Pai Gow Poker DVD ranks right up there in my book.

Baccarat. Both Baccarat and Mini-Baccarat are played by the same rules. The major difference is the table minimum and the fact that the croupier deals the cards in Mini-Bac. In traditional Baccarat the players deal the cards. Both games give you the option of betting Player or Bank. The player bet is also a good bet with a house edge of only 1.24 percent. The Baccarat bet a player wants to avoid is the tie bet which is one of the worst bets you can make. The banker bet in Baccarat has a smaller house edge than the player bet but it requires you to pay a commission when you win. The house edge is 1.06 percent for the Banker bet. Some players believe they can count cards or shuffle track at Baccarat and play with an edge. As far as I’m concerned the jury is out on that one. But because of the low house edge, the ability to flat bet, and a tendency to get streaky – system players enjoy testing their strategies against the game.

Bubble Craps. Yes, it’s taken me a long time to get around to adding this one to my list. Frankly, at the end of the day this game is a slot machine. However, it does offer play options that are attractive me – including the fact that I can bet the Don’t Pass in tandem with Place Bets – a strategy we’ve come to know as the “One Hit – Can’t Miss,” and one I’ve had good success with on Bubble Craps. You can also play as little as $1 on the numbers on most of these machines and get a correct payoff, making them even more attractive. And at the end of the day – it’s craps. The negative? It takes some time to familiarize yourself with the betting interface and the clock is ticking. You have a limited amount of time to get those bets in, so get those late bets in early.

Stadium or Arena Table Games. The latest wave of “table game” simulators – Stadium Games offer a variety of games with a single automated or live dealer and comfortable individual betting terminals. They’re starting to show up in many large market casinos now – primarily manufactured by InterBlock Gaming, who brought you games like Diamond Dice and MiniStar Dice, as well as Diamond Roulette and Automated Roulette. They’re also responsible for that annoying automated Big Six Wheel you see standing in many large casinos. The Stadium Table Games can accommodate up to 27 player stations and can operate in Dealer Assist mode or fully automated mode. Players can play Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps, Sic-Bo and even Keno or Bingo while listening to their favorite music or watching their sports on the Big Screen TV. All players receive the same game results, which are random, at same time. Meanwhile, there is also an option to play traditional Casino Table games individually - and Video slots, video poker or Video Keno as well. If it sounds like there’s something there for everyone – there almost is. There’s something there for everyone except the advantage player.

Roulette. Yeah, I always include this, even though I know I’ll get some arguments about it. For years Roulette was my sit-down game of choice. In a couple of cases I tracked wheels for months looking for bias toward particular numbers. I also tracked individual dealer results looking for signatures. Bottom line – I fared very well against certain properties. On the other hand, I’ve seen a few dealers who were simply too good at steering the ball. They could help you or hurt you. Mostly, you’d come out on the “hurt” side because they weren’t interested in losing their job over a $10 toke for hitting a specific number.

If you want to play roulette search out a single zero wheel. Odds are they’ll be in the high limit area so be prepared to play larger bets than you would on a double zero wheel. You should also be prepared for a different level of companionship than you find at the craps game. Roulette is the game where many of the loveliest ladies in the casino hang out, and the game’s slow pace give you plenty of time to enjoy the view.

Of course, it’s hard to find a cheaper way to play than to utilize the slot “free play” the casino awards you. If your free play is for a relatively small amount – say $10 – then head to the penny or nickel slots and look for a lightning strike. If you win $25 or more take it to the quarter slots and continue to play. Can you work it up to $100? If so then move on to the $1 slots – then the $5 machines. But don’t play your balance down to zero. Cash out for at least the initial $10 the casino gave you. It’s free money and it’s all yours.

Has the casino gone over the top and issued you a larger free play chit? I recently had $300 in free play to use at one property. I took it directly to the $10 machines and cashed out $450. What’s more, the casino’s tracking system gave me credit for playing the $300 through the machine, resulting in an additional breakfast comp the next morning. You can’t beat free on top of free.

Bottom line – if the casino is beating you one way there are always other games to play. Take the time to learn them and you may find yourself dollars ahead at the end of the day.
"Get in, get up, and get gone."
- Heavy

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