Not Much Bonus

Last weekend I played a point multiplier at Sam’s Town on  Friday and Sunday and then on Monday I played a point multiplier at Fiesta Henderson.  Each day I played dollar 9/6 Jacks progressive, but didn’t hit any royals.  On Monday at Fiesta Henderson, I lost $600 and didn’t really hit anything. So now I’m down $1000 for this trip without any royals.  I have a few hundred dollars of free play on my card at both Boyds and Stations, so that is some consolation.

Today I went to South Point in the afternoon to sit in on Bob Dancer’s Jacks or Better video poker class. His classes are fine if you are just learning about video poker. It really becomes clear when I listen to other video poker players interact how uninformed most players are.  I guess that makes sense considering most casinos offer games with terrible paytables, and players still seem to be playing them.

I constantly hear gambling commentary from the player’s perspective complaining about bad paytables (via podcasts and blogs). These commentators usually bemoan bad odds, and claim that the casinos would make more money if they offered better odds because the increased revenue would more than make up for the lower house edge. But I think its pretty clear that casinos have done their research.  The casinos understand that most players don’t have much idea about the odds being offered, and so the casinos have learned that if they increase the house edge on their games, the corresponding decrease in revenue is offset by greater overall profits. Witness the steady increase in house edge on a wide variety of games on the strip and around Las Vegas over the past few decades.  The key to this debate is obtaining data on demand elasticity. But I think this is beyond the scope of gambling commentary.

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