Most gamblers are so dumb.

I went to a casino for the first time yesterday… I wasn’t especially tempted by it, but I needed something to do to kill time and they had a poker room.

While I waited on the list for the Big Game (it wasn’t really big, but it was a small poker room, $10/$20 omaha split which played like a $20/$40 because we were very frequently triggering the kill, but it was roped off and fancy. I felt special :p) I decided to kill time by playing $5 blackjack.

It probably wasn’t more than 5 minutes before I was berated by the first Dumb Assed Gambler. I don’t remember basic strategy for blackjack and I was just throwing money around and playing at a whim to kill time, so I made a marginally bad play. I can’t remember what it was precisely, but I stayed when I should’ve hit. The dealer ended up getting a good card after me (at this casino, the dealers only dealt the second card to themselves after they’d dealt to everyone else - I thought the standard was dealing to themselves face down before hitting the players). Anyway, if I would’ve hit, I would’ve been okay, and the dealer might not have got a good card, so the guy starts saying “oh my god, he fucks everything up for $5” (he was betting $30-$50).

Yeah, because I knew exactly what card was coming.

Blackjack idiots seem to have the impression (and this was more than one person that did this) that if someone makes a sub-optimal play, it somehow damages the chances of everyone else at the table. If you fuck up, the dealer is going to get a better card, they seem to think).

It’s complete nonsense. The next card to be dealt is effectively random. It’s not like there are magic blackjack fairies who stack the deck so that if everyone makes the correct move then the dealer would get screwed. But that’s what half of those idiots (or more?) seem to think.

They don’t realize that it works both ways. In a later situation, I hit when I shouldn’t have, and I ate a face card that would’ve otherwise gone to the dealer to make them a hand that beat everyone, I think. In that case, my bad move saved all of them. But did I get thanked? Of course not, they didn’t notice it, and they probably wouldn’t even understand what happened if I explained it to them, because they’re dumb. Not that there was anything to thank me for, rationally - my move had no effect in the theoretical sense on their chances of winning, but if they’re going to blame me when a bad move incidentally helps the dealer, they should be thankful when a bad move incidentally helps them.

Later, I had a guy look over the table before he’d make a move… “I don’t want to fuck us up guys, so… let’s see… you have a 17, you have a 19… uh… stay”. Like he was reading the magic juju of the cards. He wasn’t card counting or anything. Even though the cards dealt to everyone were effectively random events, and what other people have has no bearing on what he’ll get (effectively, in his mind, as he’s not card counting), he seemed to want to survey the juju to figure out what action to take. He’d apologize and look really dissapointed with himself if the dealer ended up beating everyone.

I had a conversation with a guy once who tried to convince me how much more money you could make at blackjack playing at a table alone. Not because it was faster, or anything like that, but because “uh… well… there are more possible card combinations you can get each shuffle that way… or something.”

I know a guy who is absolutely convinced he’s good at roulette. I mean… good at picking random numbers. He tried to explain to me, as a contrast, that there’s a guy who just bets money on number 7 (or something) all night, and that he’s clearly a good roulette player because his more conservative (less variance) strategy of betting odd/even, red/black, whatever was better.

I explained to him what variance and expected value was, and that while his strategy had a lower variance, it had the exact same expected value, so he’d lose the exact same amount of money as the other guy over a lot of trials, I even wrote out the math to show exactly why they had the same expectation. Explained it thoroughly.


“So you think the guy who bets on 7 all night will make [lose, really] as much money as me?”

“Yes. It’s easy to prove.”

“You’re a fucking moron.”

It’s remarkable how dumb people are when it comes to stuff like this. It’s just common sense. No high understanding of math is required, just a little thought.

I forgot to mention I’ve also heard, in regards to blackjack, something like:

“We were doing really well at that blackjack table, everyone was kicking ass. So the house brought in one of their really good blackjack dealers and he/she just totally kicked out ass. They got us good.”

So apparently whether you win or lose at blackjack is up to the dealer’s skill… the dealer who just deals cards in a totally mechanical way, with no choice whatsoever in how they do stuff, where every dealer follows the exact same procedures… apparently some dealers have magical blackjack fairies that follow them around and help them win.

I hear ya.

It’s gotten to the point that I refuse to play blackjack because I can’t stand these dinks who get offended that I’m trying to win money instead of trying to win money for the table.

Are you giving me a piece of your winnings? No, then shut the fuck up about how I gamble my money.

That is one of the main reasons I stay away from blackjack. I prefer craps, if played a certain way the odds are very good, but even if you play less than optimally it is generally a good time. The whole table is either suffering or winning together and most folks at the craps table can handle losing so either way they are havinga good time. Of course the biggest problem with craps is it can eat your money much faster than blackjack.

Yes, gamblers are dumb. That’s why poker can be so profitable.

I know a guy who told me one time, “I work with a woman who has a good blackjack system.”

Me: “Yeah, well, blackjack is a winnable game if you can count cards, and are at a table that allows you to spread your bets over a wide range.”

Him: “Oh, it’s nothing complicated like that. She bets $5. If she loses, she doubles her bet, if she. . .”

You can figure out the rest.

And that’s another thing, if you’re going to be 30 to 50 a hand, stay away from the $5 tables. At the casino I go to there are 1, maybe 2 or, if it’a a really good night, 3 $5 tables. I don’t want to spend 20 a hand, but you do, so save that seat for someone who doesn’t want to gamble as much!

All it takes is a glance around a casino to see the intelligence level of the typical serious gambler. These guys don’t appear to be the college grad types who took a lot of math courses.
A good blackjack dealer to a casino is one who has speed and accuracy in what they are doing. Not one who plays really good and can beat people. The house already has the edge. All the dealer has to do is keep the cards flowing and do it accurately like he was taught and he’ll bring in money for the casino.

Preach it, Brother!

I have had to explain that shit to more people than I can remember. The light bulb turns on maybe 5% of the time. Fucking idiots with their “systems.” It took me over an hour once to explain to someone that you can’t win at roulette by figuring out the pattern.


I don’t know where you were playing, but I’d offer my observation that the idiots congregate in greater numbers at the $5 tables as opposed to, say, the $25 tables.

I don’t even try the rare $5 table in Atlantic City, because of the population of idiots that either make comments like the ones recounted in the OP, or dither over simple situations… "Let’s see, I have a 9-6 and the dealer has a ten. I should stay, right? Or may be I should take a card?’

Needless to say, these complex mental ruminations are conducted out loud. Play crawls to a halt. It’s excruciating.

Y’know what’s funny? This sounds eerily similar to guys who think strippers really “like” them. :smiley:


They have those LED bars next to roulette games now that list out the last few numbers to come up. Ingenious, really. Such a simple thing. It inspires people to be dumb. They think they can see a pattern, and predict the next number.

The funny thing is, too, is that the predictions you get, while all dumb, can be totally different. If the last 5 numbers were black, half the people will say “black is on a streak! bet black!” and the other half will say “black has been coming up, red is due”… two sides of the idiot coin.

Slots, too… what’s up with that? They seem so popular. It’s people sitting in front of a screen doing nothing but hitting a button over and over again watching shiny lights. I think lab rats would get bored of that quickly, but people seem to be able to do it all day.

Most gamblers are morons. This fact can be used to your advantage, just as casinos depend on the stupidity of their customers. Stay sober while making sure the other guys keep drinking and whatever game you are playing stops being gambling and becomes a charity benefitting you. However, this only works when playing directly against them, as in poker, not when all and sundry are playing against the House.

I can’t see the appeal of playing against the House because the odds are always stacked against you. It must bring the Don Quixote out in some guys who know that, in the long run, they cannot win. The ones who don’t know this, the vast majority, are just morons and you and the House are within your rights to clean them out.

I liked the way one of the online casinos stuck posters up all around the Tube recently loudly proclaiming (in 8 foot high gold letters, no less) the 97% return rate. Ninety-seven, I tells yer!

I mean, I know this is a better return rate than the average bricks-and-mortar casino, but it still strikes me as a bit odd that a casino will advertise the exact proportion of money you’re going to lose, and present it as a good thing.

Nope. Lab rats get hooked just like people.

The odds are not always stacked against you. Card counting can give you a slight edge in blackjack. And you can clean up in roulette, if you have a freakin laser beam/computer device to help you. :smiley:

Well, let’s not pit gambling. It is fun, after all.

You take a game like craps. You get drinking and rolling dice and rooting for numbers and high-fiving each other. It’s a friggin blast.

And, sometimes you get PAID to have a friggin blast. There’s nothing like it.

Even if you lose, there’s the excitement. . .the exact reticence you show about giving money to the casino is what makes it fun. You have something to root against.

However, some of us realize what’s going on, and willfully accept it and have fun doing it. Then, there are people who think “you took the dealers card” or “red is due” who are real dumb about it. That’s what Beef is on about.

Sure the odds are always stacked against you … but you know the slot machines at the ends of the aisles always win more than the other ones. :rolleyes:

Also, what’s that expression? “Lotteries are a tax for stupid people.”

I was taken aback at the thread title for a moment. Sam Stone calling gamblers dumb?

Then I remembered, Sam’s not a gambler. He’s a poker player.

Is it “an edge” or is it really “slightly improved odds?” Doesn’t matter because as soon as the casinos see that players have a system that works they make that system illegal (arresting card counters) or impossible (mutiple and/or constantly changing decks).

I’m not intentionally pitting gambling and I am sorry I gave that impression. If you enjoy the games, party atmosphere, and comraderie while understanding that you are far more likely to lose than win that’s great. Hell, I prefer the nickle slots as a pastime because my money lasts slightly longer than it does when I play regular video games! But on those rare occasions when gambled seriously I preferred playing against the guys with systems and convictions that were not based in reality, especially if they had been drinking. It makes the transfer of wealth all the easier. :slight_smile:

Yeah, and slot machines are also programmed to let you win a little when you sit down to string you along. . . :rolleyes:

These are rough numbers from memory, but the most house-friendly game in the casino are the slots, with a slot machine taking like .90 for every dollar bet (some are .80, some are .90+).

A state lottery returns, I think, .50 for every dollar bet. I’m not sure if that includes scratch-offs, too.

If you had an eye for cynical irony, you might view the Lottery as the state’s way of just taking back the taxes that go to the poor.