Your Questions to GOMQ: Dear GOM, How much money, on average, will a casino win from a player?
A: Land based casinos usually take about 10% of what the player gambles. However, that is usually the fault of the player rather than the casino. Casino games generally can be played to what is called the “perfect strategy”. If you play by this perfect strategy you can whittle the casino edge down to less than 2% on some games. Now in Las Vegas casinos you’ll usually get the boot, or at least a few odd stares, if you pull out a casino strategy guide and play by the numbers. But when you are online and at home, there is nothing to stop you from pulling out your strategy tables and hammering the casino.
Q: GOM, if casinos all have different variations in their rules, is one casino giving a better advantage than another?
A: Absolutely. Rule variations differ from country to country, from state to state, and sometimes from casino to casino. Online, the situation gets even more complex. Online casinos can change their rules at will, and there is very little regulation to stop them. The good news is that you will be able to spot changes in rules very easily. Rule variations take the form of either the ability to make extra decisions, or the inability to place certain bets.
For example in English blackjack, you can only double on 9, 10 and 11. This rule is designed to protect the player from mistakenly doubling at any time when a double bet would work to his detriment. On the other hand, some casinos don’t allow splitting Aces. In this case, the casino has just taken away your ability to place an advantage bet.
If one day your casino lets you double Aces, and the next day it doesn’t, you’ve spotted a rule change.
Q: What happened to CasinoMerlin.com?
A: Dear Reader, You question prompted our interview with Real Time Gaming executive Michael Staw in this issue. It appears that Casino Merlin has fallen on hard times, and was forced to close when its credit card processor went belly up. However, the casino’s software provider, Real Time Gaming, has been working to make sure that all the CasinoMerlin players are either re-housed in another casino or get their money back.