no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Five Card

June 25th, 2007

Some things I come across, I have to weigh in on – like this gem from Rick at AtlasBlogged.com – which tells how Harrah’s casino has been banning players for being lucky – not counting cards, mind you.

“My Libertarian nature tells me that a casino should be able to deny service to anyone it darn well pleases…Wouldn’t it be wiser for them to just change the rules of the games they run, to make sure players, on average, lose more money than they win?”

On average, players do lose more than they win. For every big winner like Brodie, there are a thousand old ladies who get cleaned out on the slots, or drunk frat-boys dumping tuition money into the blackjack tables with their “system” that doesn’t work.

He’s right about the “rake” on table poker – that’s not money that you can “win back” because you don’t play against the house. I’m sure he’s right about the mechanics of video poker, too. The only way a casino can consistently lose money is through inept management. They know with certainty what their margins will be (basically, the weighted average house-advantage) +/- a little bit. If they can’t keep their costs under control, that tells you something else about Harrah’s management…

Of course, Rick’s libertarian side shouldn’t shouldn’t be too dismayed. It’s unlikely that such practices would arise in a truly competitive environment. OTOH, when the casinos and the gaming board control licensing, shit like this is to be expected. Card-counting, of course, would still be frowned on – perhaps to the point that Casinos stopped hosting games that rely on such a degree of skill over luck; blackjack, for instance, isn’t a game of chance as much as it is one of skill – even inexperienced players rely on some degree of counting – they’re just lousy at it.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics