Source: Casino Creations
The following was originally
in the October 2001 issue of Native American Magazine.
When I was a young man breaking in as a dealer, way back in medieval times, circa 1975, the operational methods we used in making decisions in table games were very much different than today. In those days, the old time pit bosses lacked a basic understanding of casino mathematics principles and analytical methods. This group of managers relied on superstition much more than fact to make operational decisions. Who could blame them for this? The industry was in its infancy with no formal educational information available about gaming at this time.
I have to look at the calendar to see what year we are in because some
of the methods I see in use in certain table games operations smacks of
the old time superstitious, voodoo type methods that these old time pit
bosses used. Especially when it comes to the use (or misuse) of personnel
and the changing of operational methods to try in some ways to beat the
What do I mean? Here is what used to happen in those medieval times…
In most casinos of today the effective table games manager knows that game outcomes are based on basic casino mathematics and not finding the lucky dealer. Although luck is a factor it is not the determinant of most table games managers decision. At least it better not be!
table games staff knows that casino games make money based on a simple
mathematical formula not on luck.
The formula: Casino Advantage x Decisions Per hour x The Bet
It’s a pretty simple thing. The customer makes a bet on the outcome of an event. The casino makes a payoff of an amount less that the probability of the event dictates, thus creating a casino advantage. The dealer cranks out a certain amounts of decisions per hour.
The pit personnel’s role is to insure the formula stays intact. If we do not change the casinos advantage (changing payoffs), if we insure the right amount of decisions per hour and keep chips in the betting circles, the pit makes money.
Over the years I have produced a training course for table games supervisors called Pit Boss 101. I have produced this training course for over 100 tribal casinos, I am writing this from a casino in the mid-west where I am producing this program at the moment. The first hour of this program is designed to insure the pit supervisor understands that mathematics is the determinant not superstition.
ceases to amaze me is the amount of table games staff I run into that are
still in tune with the old school, Voodoo type methods they believe can
in some way alter this formula. In the last few years I constantly run
across pit bosses that use superstitious methods I have not seen done in
a successful commercial casino in decades!
Hey table games managers, you know who I am talking to. Get a clue here!!
Mind-boggling as it seems to me, I still see in many Indian casinos:
When you rotate dealers or change your shuffle or change equipment in search of a luck change all you are doing is destroying both the integrity of your casino and the business itself. Get real here, its 2002 for crying out loud!
A number of the casinos I work for as a trainer are in the Caribbean. A number of years ago on one of the islands one of my clients told me that his ancestors were witch doctors who practiced Voodoo. As a gift he gave me a Moko Jumbe, a kind of Voodoo doll.
I should get some of these voodoo dolls for the pit bosses that are still
using these old methods. Do you think sticking some pins in a Moke Jumbe
has the same effect as changing the dealer?
Vic Taucer is president of Casino Creations; a Las Vegas based casino educational and consulting company. A current professor of casino management for the University & Community College Systems of Nevada, Vic has recently served as Director of Casino Training for the Paris resort in Las Vegas.
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