Bill Zender and Associates Newsletter
January 9, 2017
Dear Friends and Business Associates,
I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season, and is looking forward to a prosperous year in 2018. I have planned to kick off the first quart of this year with a seminar on “Optimal Defensive Card Counting”, February 6th and 7th at the Tuscany Suites Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. I usually get really “pumped” about a new seminar topic, but I’m especially charged up about this program. Participants in this two-day session will come away with enough information and understanding to successfully defend any size casino property from attacks by the professional level card counter.
I feel the four most important points in this seminar are; (1) the myths, history, and mathematics portion which will provide the participant with an understanding of how card counting works, and why this threat is both limited to a specific educated player (successful attacks anyway), and in most cases, “revenue loss” not from the card counters, but from unnecessary prevention procedures every casino still employs.
Information gleaned during this seminar will also, (2) greatly improve your floor and surveillance staff’s ability to detect a situation of card counting, and the information on “charting” will allow any casino, regardless of its size and technical ability, to (3) confirm a suspect is counting cards (or not) with a high degree of accuracy. Finally, the session will examine (4) different casino strategies for mitigating the effect of the card counter once that person has been confirmed as a long-term threat (notice I did not say “feel” they are counting). For more information, please scroll down to the third section of this eBlast titled, “Scheduled Seminars and Workshops”.
Cheers to you all, and I hope everyone has a wonderful and “lucky” New Year.
Emails I have received
Following are several email questions I have received over the past month that I felt were important enough to pass along to friends/associates.
Note: I received a text message from a casino executive who had not used a continual shuffling machine (CSM) previously. Although I answered his text message regarding game effect of using a CSM, I felt he needed to know some more important information regarding using a CSM for the first time. Following is my reply through email. My thumbs are too fat for texting any quantity of information.
It appears that you haven’t used One2Six shuffling machines (CSMs) before. Following are some things you need to know when using an One2Six shufflers:
- Be sure the dealers are “trained” to pick up the cards and place the cards face up in the machine. If the dealers aren’t trained correctly, the game will slow to nothing while the floor supervisor has to remove the “upside-down” cards from the interior wheel of the machine. I learned about this the hard way.
- You need to stay on the dealers about maintaining an adequate game pace. For some unknown reason, the dealers will slow their game pace on CSMs. I think it has something to do with the removal of the deck manual shuffle or transfer time when using batch shuffling machines.
- Don’t allow the dealers to keep several previous hands in the discard holder before placing them into the machine. CSM machines can’t be traditionally counted; however holding out groups of cards can make it a countable game. I would remove all discard holders from the CSM table, and force the dealer to insert each round that has been dealt immediately into the CSM.
- This is really important: The lip of the One2Six shuffling machine is quite high as compared to most dealing shoes. Some dealers will have a tendency to stick their thumb of their left hand (dealing hand) under the drawn hole-card. If the dealer does this, the hole-card can be lifted and exposed accidentally to a customer sitting at third base. Make sure all dealers remove their hole-card while the thumb of their left hand is away from the edge of the card.
I would imagine you know most of this, but since you haven’t used CSMs machines before (to my knowledge), I would feel bad if something happened and I hadn’t mentioned it. Have a great holiday season my friend.
My question is for a player’s average bet on Ultimate Texas Holdem. Should the “play wager” be counted in a player’s average bet?
With UTH, the average bet is the amount of the ante plus the blind, i.e., the amount of money on the layout when the first hand is dealt. Any additional wagering is optional, and is not included. In addition, the H/A% for UTH in most player tracking systems is usually wrong. The game has a 2.2% H/A [applied using the ante/blind wager] if the player uses optimal computer strategy. No one uses optimal strategy, so the true H/A% is probably around 3.5%. Note that I didn’t include any UTH side bets. They differ, are optional, and the average bet wagered in the side bets varys. It’s better to leave their existence out of the player “average bet” rating equation. BTW, the 3.5% suggested also includes a gain in H/A% from any side bet/jackpot bet H/A% influence.
Good afternoon Bill, what is the more effective/profitable to have a table of 6 players compared to 2 tables with 3 players in terms of hands per hour?
Good question. It would be better for gaining more bet decisions if more tables were open and less players were on each game. This is a problem for brick and mortar casinos, though. You have limited space, and the increased cost of personnel and equipment need to be considered as well.
There is some table game yield management information out there on the Internet that recommends 3 to 4 player hands per table (check Tangam Gaming http://tangamgaming.com/). You would need to do your own cost analysis before making an educated decision whether this is better for you at your casino or not. Personally, I would open enough games to allow for a couple of unoccupied betting circles per table average.
Once it starts to get really busy, the 3 to 4 player hands per table advantage goes out the window, and then the strategy is to open games to accommodate players. At this point you may also consider raising minimum limits in order to maximize revenue potential. I guess that is table game yield management in a nut shell.
Scheduled Seminars and Workshop
Optimal Defensive Card Counting Seminar – February 6th and 7th, Las Vegas – Tuscany Suite Hotel
I will be offering a two-day seminar Optimal “Defensive” Card Counting in Blackjack. This will be a seminar on blackjack card counting that “drills down” into all aspects of counting including the history and development of card counting techniques over the past 50 plus years. In addition, I will spend a large portion of the time on detection and confirmation. The one tried and true method for confirming any person is counting cards is through the process of “charting”. Charting identifies whether or not the suspected player shows a sign of correlation between his/her wagering and the “true” count of the cards. Unless a card counter strictly wagers into positive true counts, that counter will not be able to gain a long-term advantage over the casino. [Note: Anyone can learn how to chart]. Any participant in this seminar will definitely come away with the ability to detect if a player is counting cards, and learn the process needed to confirm a suspected player is counting on a level that places your bankroll at a long-term risk. Some of the areas covered in this two-day seminar are:
- Myths and history of card counting
- Different count systems (including computers) and why these systems work.
- Counting strategies against single and multiple deck games
- Counting strategies for attacking side bets and variations of standard blackjack.
- Simple methods for better detection of card counters
- Methods for better confirmation that a person is counting. Learn how to “chart” card counter play.
- Mitigation of confirmed card counters: Back-off or discourage through procedural changes; what’s good, what’s bad.
Important: Requirements to attend:
- Presently work in the casino industry (not open to the general public).
- Have knowledge of multiple deck basic strategy.
- Have a working knowledge of the “Hi/Lo” count system (also known as “basic plus-minus”).
- A laptop computer (PC or MAC) compatible with Excel (used on second day to “chart”).
Because of room restrictions, I have to limit the number of participants to 40. If you are interested, please contact me at [email protected], and I will send you a registration form. BTW, I am now in a position to take Credit Cards.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me, [email protected].
Certificate in Gaming Leadership – University of Nevada, Reno Extended Studies and Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business – January 22-25, 2018 – Hard Rock Casino, Tulsa, OK
I will be working with the University of Nevada Reno and Oklahoma State University to help put on the programs “Track C: Table Games Operations”. I will be joining several other great instructors including San Manuel Surveillance Director Jessie Beaudoin and slot expert Jeff Jordan, CEO of GameCo Inc. My schedule and Track C topics are as follows:
- Introduction to Table Games Operations; How Casinos Make Money; Probability, Odds, Payouts – Monday, January 22nd from 10:15AM to 12:15PM.
- Table Games Operations: Using Earning Potential as a Management Tool – Tuesday January 23rd from 8:00AM to 10:00AM.
- Table Games Operations: Maximizing Table Games; Math & Statistics of Casino Gaming – Tuesday, January 23rd from 1:00PM to 3:00PM.
- Optimizing Table Games Mix – Tuesday, January 23rd from 3:15PM to 5:15PM.
- Table Games Operations: Live Game Promotion – Wednesday, January 24th from 8:00AM to 10:00AM.
- Table Games Operations: Player Development and Database Management – Wednesday, January 24th from 10:15AM to 12:15PM.
- Table Games Operations: The Principles of Leading Your Table Games Operation – Wednesday, January 24th from 1:00PM to 3:00PM.
For additional information, please visit the following website: https://business.okstate.edu/cepd/open-enrollment/pds/gaming-leadership.html.
World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas – Bally’s – March 12th – 15th
It appears I will be presenting again this year at the WGPC. This year I plan to speak about the problems and protection strategies with Electronic Table Games (ETGs). Is it a slot machine or table game? Does it take a different mindset to safely protect ETGs, or do we need to look at these games from different directions in order to block the various known and unknown avenues of attack.
ELECTRONIC TABLE GAMES: A GAME PROTECTION CHANGER – 50 minutes
Electronic Table Games (ETGs) are becoming a crowd favorite with players and are taking up an increasing amount of space on casino floors. But are they slot machines or a table games? More importantly, how do they work and how do you protect them from cheats, thieves and advantage players. If this is the ‘evolution of gaming’, it seems no one consulted with game protection professionals. In this session Bill examines the popular e-table games on the market and the relatively new concept of stadium gaming. You will hear about vulnerabilities that have been exploited in recent times and Bill’s thoughts on the best ways to protect these new-age games
For more information on the World Game Protection Conference please go to; http://www.worldgameprotection.com/
On the Move
I understand you can’t hit a moving target, but I still have some time available through the end of the year. I always have time open to conduct winning player reviews. If you have any questions, please let me know at [email protected].
UNR/OSU Tulsa Gaming Leadership
Optimal Card Counting Seminar LV
World Game Protection Conference
Please let me know if I can provide one of my services for your organization.
I’m always available to answer your questions. If you have any questions on gaming; don’t hesitate to contact me through email. I answer close to a half dozen emails on gaming every day [email protected].
Cheers and good luck.
Bill Zender and Associates