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A Story about Probability


Hi Hi

I like to share a true story, that came to mind in my studies of Poker Math.

A part of my degree i took courses in probability and statistics (SPSS).

before I came engrossed into NLH i studied and played a lot of live BlackJack, I good at it, with optimal play, staying focused and sober i can keep the house edge at 0.5% at our local casinos.

In fact in Vegas at Treasure Island get liberal BJ rules (dealer stand on soft 17 and BJ still pay 3-2, and can double on any hole cards... so edge gets closer to 0.25% but need play $25 min)

To give you an idea of my indepth study of blackjack, i did a paper on the effect on house edge with them using 8 decks rather than one.... it increases house edge by 0.61% (decreased probability for a natural bj) and i learn and practice count cards lol
there are some casinos still use one deck but bad other rules defeat you.. anyway


Few years ago I was out with a friend for dinner in a restaurant in Vancouver. In the hallway by the bathrooms I found a wide, heavy gold band with a diamond in it. I turned it into the staff.

It was late and we were nearly ready to leave when an old guy in white uniform come to us. It was his ring and he worked a cook helper in the kitchen. He incredibly appreciate. Seems ring from his dead wife and mean very much to him. Restaurant about to close and he ask buy us a drink and join at table.

His name was Klas. He very sweet fascinating guy and when it become 2-3 drinks we talked lots. He say at end of month he moving to Las Vegas to retire. Said he spent last few years develop roulette betting system, to pay his retirement.

My ears perk up. I studied roulette and various systems. I consider roulette a scam with house edge on even money bets about 5 1/4%.

Klas explain with his pension, all he want do is win $200 each day. He saved up $22,000 for this adventure. His pension cover more than his rent, he goin live in basement suite of his brother-in law. He tell us his secret cause i returned his ring.

Simply is...

Each day go to any casino. Watch a roulette wheels, wait and when it go 5 times in a row same colour (say red)... bet next spin $200 on black. If win he go home be done for day. If he lose, he bet black again $400 and if lose next $800 etc until win $200 and go home.

I dubious and ask if he know power of doubling. Like the fable of a peasant ask reward of the emperor - one grain of rice on first square of chess board double each square... so 1 grain, 2, 4, 8 etc by square 64... makes more rice than is on the planet earth?

Or if i want work for you 5 weeks and i say pay me this ok? - first day 1 cent, then for each next days keep double it. By week five it over 1 million dollars lol?

I ask what of table limits? He say in Vegas he can play at certain tables have $10,000 max. I say ok what happens when you hit that max? He say you just need ask they raise the limit. And in his years of record roulette spins, that so so seldom where same colour comes 10x a row. Says odds of that like be hit by lightening.

hummm... i take a napkin and write it out. By spin 6 you at table max... if they allow you by spin 7 you bet $12,800 to make $200 and your odds be about 46%, there are two green zeros. (and if you have monies and they allow spin 8 be $25.6k omg)

He no convinced. We end it by him give me his b-inlaw phone number so when i come Vegas that Spring for a wedding we get together.

That Spring i catch up with Klas. Best was he show me good eat places. The buffet at Main Street Station (downtown) wow spectacular and cost dinner $11.99, and in NY NY i had the best burger ever had at Shake Shack under $10. Plus enjoy $1 beer at Casino Royale.

All great, I was stay at the Wynn and you need a bank loan to eat or drink there hahaha.

Anyway Klas was doin fine and his scheme was work well, he happy and enjoy LV on $200 a day spending money. Other than his scheme, he gamble zero.

This year I was in LV in May. I try contact Klas. No luck - talk his b-inlaw. Klas lost all his savings and returned Canada. Wow, that so sad. I cringe imagine Klas at the roulette, bets what left his life savings to win the elusive $200 cries


This come to mind in my study of poker math EV and odds. I need remember probability is predicted outcomes over an infinite number of events, more than a zillion lol.

If i toss a coin and the last dozen times it come up heads, that has zero relevance to the next toss. Each event is independent to all previous events. The chances for a tails remain exactly same.


  • 1warlock
    edited August 2018

    Well done @krista - knowing how probabilities function and the dependence or independence on previous outcomes is very important. Same with probabilities and distributions of same. Most people (like your friend) do not understand this. Heck, most people playing roulette don't understand the significance of having the 2 green zeros on the American wheels vs the single 0 on European ones. Math is the language of poker and being fluent in it will serve you well.

  • krista

    hi hi
    yes, and no i not a math wizard... i study stats, probability and logic at school only cause i needed some science courses for my degree, and they accept those as science, and i a gambling gal lol

    i get a message ask why i no play BJ now...
    well the greedy gangsters here changed BJ rules...

    8 decks CSM, dealer now hits soft 17, can double only on 10-11, can't resplitand bj pays now 6-5 sighs

    so i wait play BJ when i get to LV only

    am going LV Xmas break... who down for that?

    we get together have fun... is impossible I play poker live (i get to excited) but we can have good fun?


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