By Bill Zender and Associates
(Reprinted with permission)
August 7, 2018
Dear Friends and Business Associates,
Just so everyone is clear, UNR/OSU cancelled the table game track of their presentation in Tulsa, and I won’t be traveling to Oklahoma to teach. Instead, I have enrolled in the 11thAnnual Las Vegas Anti-Money Laundering Conference and Expo. The conference and expo, presented by Casino Essentials, will be held the week of August 13that the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino. I plan on attending a majority of the meetings Tuesday through Thursday, including all of the events put on by Dowling Advisor Group (DAG). Jim Dowling and his company are working closely with Artichoke Joe’s Casino in order to upgrade our casino’s BSA/AML program. All of Artichoke Joe’s key executives will be attending this conference. From what I understand, this Casino Essentials event in Las Vegas is considered the “Superbowl” of casino industry BSA/AML conferences. For more information on the conference, please go to http://www.casinoessentials.com/events/title-31-las-vegas/.
Answers to Important Emails
Correcting a loop-hole in their manual multiple deck shuffle
Below is the follow up to an email I received two months ago. The casino executive contacting me had been watching a BJ customer punishing him with occasional large bets in the casino’s multiple deck shoe game. The game was a higher limit table, and was hand shuffled. Base on the original email I noted that the shuffle they used did not incorporate a deck “strip” in the shuffle procedure. When questioning this oversight, I was told that any shuffle, or change to the shuffle, had to be approved by the gaming regulator. I advised the casino executive that it was imperative that the casino insert a deck strip during each card grab selection where the cards are riffle shuffled. I received the following reply the middle of July;
Reply by the casino executive:
I just wanted to drop you a quick follow up…
We obtained approval to change the shuffle procedure to incorporate a more standard riffle, riffle, strip riffle for all cards during the shuffle, and…
Our most recent suspected AP and associate returned, checked into a comped room, bought in for a large amount, observed the shuffle, played utilizing a minimal bet spread redeeming all the match plays available to him, retired to his room with his associate cashed out a short time later checked out of his room and left property in an Uber. I can’t thank you enough for your insight and recommendations.
Additional comment on this subject:
Regulators need to understand that for the most part, they do not possess the knowledge needed to judge and dictate various procedures required to make their casino providers’ games safe from scams and advantage play. I appreciate the job done by regulators, and I respect their watch-dog position for protecting the industry, however many regulators need to lose their egotistic attitudes, admit they don’t know the best method for conducting certain tasks and procedures, and seek outside expertise.
No commission Pai Gow Poker Variations
Email from a Director of Casino Games:
Have you ever seen a commission free PG that offered player banking? I can’t think of anything that would vary the math away from the house and that would be different from a standard commission game. In the game in question a Q High Pai Gow for the Banker results in a push of all Pai Gow hands. We would just simply add a rule that states if a player is banking and the dealer’s hand is a Q high Pai Gow the “Banker’s” hand would then always push with the dealer. Have you even seen a casino do this?
Thanks for any input. Also thanks for your input a few month ago about Baccarat. Our game is up and running now and doing quite well. Hope this finds you and yours well.
There are versions of “Pai Gow Poker” where the game is dealt without charging the customer a commission on winning “player” bets. I have attached a PDF of a slide I use in my math presentations. It show three forms of PGP where commission is not charged on the customer’s winning player bets. Remember, the banking customer is either prohibited from banking or still charged a 5%commission on winning banking results. These games are based on a joker being used wild for straights/flushes, and as an Ace otherwise.
- You can change the standard PGP game to commission-less, however it reduces the H/A% from 2.7% down to 1.23%. All customers banking results are still charged 5%, and are subject to the standard H/A% of 0.12%.
- In “Commission Free” PGP the bank pushes ALL bets with a 9 high (or less) low hand (based on house way). Because a “9-high” low hand can be manipulated, customers are not allowed to take the bank. House H/A% of 2.5%.
- In “EZ Pai Gow Poker” the bank pushes ALL bets with a Queen high (or less), and the customers can still bank, but are charged a 5% commission on all winning bank outcomes. House H/A% of 2.47% on the player hands, and I’m not sure about how the customer bank is handled.
That should help answer that question. I do believe that the Commission Free PGP and EZ PGP games are both proprietary (if the patents are still good), and you will have to contact with the vendors.
There has been a lot of interest in the past several years for different versions of blackjack. The most popular by far is “Spanish 21” which is a copy of Australian Pontoon. The next popular variations is the BJ series of “push 22” designed and patented by Geoff Hall. More lately, is the Dave Wisler creation of Down Under Blackjack. For those who are unfamiliar with the game concept, Wisler has developed a hole-card peeking system that actually informs the player about the approximate value of the dealer’s hole-card on every hand. This information is broken into three different categories of “Blue” (low 2-5), “Red” (medium 6-9), and “Gold” (high T & A). The information is helpful to a point, but it still presents the player with a number of hole-card value possibilities that the player has to consider before reaching a hand play decision. Following is my Q&A with this executive.
I am sure you know Dave Wisler from Masque Publishing. He just got “Down Under Blackjack” approved in this State. I remember looking at the game last fall at G2E. Please share your opinion when you have time.
In reality, it’s another BJ variation in the same fashion as Geoff Hall’s “22 push” series of BJ games. The H/A% will be the same as your standard BJ games give or take a small percentage, but it will cater mostly to lower limit players (and the occasional high limit player who is temporarily curious). You should also get a high degree of side betting action on the Match the Dealer which should raise the return high enough to easily offset the proprietary fee. To my knowledge, DUBJ does not pose any new game protection issues, however the game does require the floor/surveillance to understand three different basic strategy charts correlating to the three hole-card categories of small hole-card, medium hole-card, and high hole-card. That is my two cents on the game. I hope to see you at one of the conferences this fall.
Note: DUBJ strategy charts can be found at: https://wizardofodds.com/games/down-under-blackjack/
Scheduled Seminars and Workshop
University of Nevada Reno Extended Studies: Table Game Management – September 17ththru 20th, 2018 – Reno Nevada
I always enjoy presenting at the UNR Extended Studies Gaming program regarding table games management. The students are from different gaming regions throughout North American, and occasionally, from around the world. I will be covering the topics of Casino Mathematics and Table Game Management on September 19thand 20th. Following are the topics covered during my two-day portion of the four-day program:
- Hold-percentage analysis as a management tool
- Game probability and profitability factors
- Game selection, location, mix and pricing
- Marketing strategies and customer development
- Customer service strategies and applications
- Maximizing department profitability and efficiency
- Casino database management for table games
As I mentioned previously, these are the days I will be presenting; however, to attend you need to sign up for the entire week’s program. I truly believe that price and time spent in this University of Nevada Extended Studies program is well worth it.
See the Gaming Management Series overview for a full schedule of upcoming courses. Email [email protected], call 1-800-233-8928 or visit the website for information about gaming management education from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Table Game Cutting Edge – November
Cutting Edge Table Game Seminar – Monday,
November 5th, 2018 – Paris Resort – Las Vegas Nevada
I will be presenting once again on the first day of the Cutting Edge Table Games Conference. This is another conference at which I like to present. This year’s session covers a lot of the information presented last year, however I have included mathematics on electronic Table Games (ETGs) I always like to update my information and slip in topics that I feel need to be covered regarding the operation of table games. Following is an outline of this year’s session and the times:
- Table Games Mathematics (including ETGs) – 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM
- The Cost of Table Game Promotions – 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM
The conference will be held at the Paris Resort in Las Vegas, November 5ththrough 7th. For more information please go to their website www.tablegamesconf.com/. I hope to see you in Las Vegas in November.
On the Move
I don’t have any travel plans other than in the northern California area and home to New Mexico. I will keep everyone informed when that changes. Following are a few of my obligations for the summer and fall of 2018:
The 11thAnnual Las Vegas Anti-Money Laundering Conference and Expo (I’m only attending).
UNR Extended Studies: Table Game Management, Reno Nevada
Table Game Cutting Edge Seminar in Las Vegas
Don’t forget the World Game Protection Conference in February/March 2019 in Las Vegas.
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