Quantcast

«

»

Feb 19 2013

Spotting the Sucker at a Poker Table

The first line of the movie Rounders, which helped spark the poker boom in the late 90s, is “If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.” I played poker with a guy recently who made it incredibly easy to spot him as the sucker (or one of them).

I’d seen the guy in the poker room a few times, but he rarely played in the cash games, only tournaments. His name is Ron. Friday night he sits down at the cash table and at some point during the game he mentions that he saw the “slot guru” at Soaring Eagle casino a couple days earlier. I didn’t know what he was talking about, so I asked. The slot guru, it turns out, is a guy from Michigan who claims to have a winning system for playing slot machines.

Ron tells me this guy has won millions of dollars playing the slots and that he does it for a living. I start to chuckle. He tells me that this guy was at the casino playing a bunch of slot machines all at once and winning like crazy, and that he was giving away $100 bills, and his BMW with his logo and name all over it was parked right in front of the casino. I start to chuckle louder. Oh, and the best part: “He’s got a book that explains how to do it and it’s only $25. I’m gonna buy one. You can get it at the casino gift shop.” Imagine that.

Let me make this very clear: If anyone tells you that they make a living playing slot machines, they’re lying. And if they tell you that they can show you how to do it for $25, they’re scamming you. And if you’re not bright enough to figure that out, you’re the sucker — and not just at the poker table. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, you can do to increase your odds of winning a jackpot playing a slot machine.

Needless to say, I had to check it out. And guess what his secret to winning is? Karma. He gives money to people randomly and that’s why he wins.

Today, Earnest stays true to his early teachings. He shares his passion for winning and giving back. The Slot Guru understands that to be a winner you have to want to win and he attributes his success in life, as well as the casino, to the SPEC Principle: SELECT – PROJECT – EXPECT – COLLECT. You can learn more about the principles that have won him millions at one of his upcoming seminars.

Most of the Slot Guru’s winnings are given to complete strangers. “I love to give money to people who never expect it. Going up to someone and handing them a $100 bill in the casino when they least expect it makes me happy. Giving to others is what I believe the lord wants me to do. It’s all about Karma,” said the Slot Guru.

Norman Vincent Peale meets Lucky Luciano. The video on this page is hilarious.

I have one of many methods when I gamble. When you first walk into a casino, you have to be alert, attentiveness.

Attentiveness to what, exactly? He doesn’t say, of course.

One of the main things when you come into a casino, you have to wanna win.

Wow, that’s brilliant. I’m sure none of the players who lose their ass to the casino wanted to win. If only they’d thought of that.

When it’s all said and done, my method is to go in there and to play the slots that I feel are going to hit.

Well that is just fucking genius!

I use what I call the SPEC method — Select, Project, Expect and Collect. I select the machine that I want, then I project it. I, the slot guru, look at the machine and say “okay, I want $20,000 or $30,000 out of this machine.” Then the slot guru really believes it, he expects it just like everybody expects to get paid every week. Then I, the slot guru, collects it.

He claims that if he goes to the casino 1000 times, he leaves ahead 950 times. And if you believe that, you are a first class moron. And that is exactly what Ron is, which is why he’s the sucker at a poker table too.

29 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Reginald Selkirk

    Unless Ron is such a fucking genius that he appears to be the sucker in order to draw you in.
    But I doubt it.

  2. 2
    daved

    One wonders if Ron is actually in possession of some crafty method of making the slot machines pay out more than they are supposed to, and is using this SPEC stuff as a cover.

  3. 3
    tubi

    I’m assuming they’re typos, but “slut guru” made me chuckle.

  4. 4
    Larry

    One wonders if Ron is actually in possession of some crafty method of making the slot machines pay out more than they are supposed to

    If that were true and this guy wins as much as he claims to, the casino security guys would be all over him looking for how he’s gaming the system. He can SPEC all he wants but, without cheating, he will lose over the long term. The laws of probability are a cold bitch.

  5. 5
    Michael Heath

    Tubi,

    I’m guessing the first slut guru wasn’t a typo, where the one in the last blockquote is a typo. It certainly reads funnier that way.

  6. 6
    Zeckenschwarm

    The silliest thing to me is that Ron seriously believes the Casino would sell a book that helps people win there.

  7. 7
    Trebuchet

    Hmmm, if he had an infallible secret for beating the house, would they sell it at the casino gift shop? I suspect not!

    Ron could also just by a copy of The Secret, except he probably already has.

  8. 8
    Trebuchet

    “by” should be “buy”. I can haz edit function, pleeze?

  9. 9
    montanto

    When you got to the “wanna win” part I couldn’t help thinking of a line from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods about how people go to casinos to loose money.

  10. 10
    daved

    If that were true and this guy wins as much as he claims to, the casino security guys would be all over him looking for how he’s gaming the system. He can SPEC all he wants but, without cheating, he will lose over the long term. The laws of probability are a cold bitch.

    Oh, I realize that. having a diversion would be a big part of it. On the other hand, do we really know how much he’s winning? For all we know, he’s shilling for the casinos and pretending to be winning, just to increase business at the slot machines.

  11. 11
    otrame

    I couldn’t help thinking of a line from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods about how people go to casinos to loose money.

    If I ever go to a casino I will be going there to lose money.

    When I was about 10 my Daddy taught me to play poker. He told me two things. 1. Always cut the cards. 2. Set aside how much money you want to lose in this game, mentally tear it up and flush it. Then enjoy your game. When you’ve lost it all, quit. If you win anything, that is just gravy.

    *sigh

    I love my Daddy very much. He is in his 80s now and has some serious memory issues among other signs of dementia. To a very large degree he is already gone. I miss him.

  12. 12
    Bronze Dog

    The only slot machines I’d ever trust are the ones in video games that are designed to pay out if you follow all the logic puzzle hints the villagers give you.

    That, and the ones in that zombie mall game my brother played that give you three automatic wins if you see money on the floor beneath it. Then you break open the machine to take the rest ‘cuz, hey, the security guards are more interested in eating you than arresting you.

    Too bad real world slots don’t work that way… unless they’re computerized and you have a means of deciphering the seed number for the RNG without attracting attention. Good luck on that last part.

  13. 13
    Moggie

    Karma (n): a mystical force by which the universe rewards you more for giving money to gamblers with disposable income than for giving it to the starving poor.

  14. 14
    Ed Brayton

    Oops. Yes, “slut guru” was definitely a typo. And just to make clear, Ron was not the slot guru, he’s the one who is being fooled by him.

  15. 15
    eric

    daved @2: the casino knows how much he (doesn’t) win. The fact that he’s still playing is pretty good evidence that he’s lying. If he really did come out ahead on 90% of trips, only playing slots, then even if they couldn’t figure out what he was doing, he’d probably be banned. The casinos know statistics just as well as any mathematician; if some result is best explained by cheating, they have no problem stopping you from making any additional bets until they figure out what’s going on.

  16. 16
    Ace of Sevens

    There are systems where you can come out ahead 90% of the time. In practice, 90% of the time you’ll leave after winning once, putting you about 5 ahead. The other 10% of the time, you’ll lose everything you brought.

  17. 17
    arakasi

    I’m not surprised that the casino has the book in their gift shop. They probably sell lots of copies to people who think that there is a way to game the universe. Then the same people will turn around and drop hundreds into the slots while trying to make the Slot Guru’s methods work.

    Are we completely sure that the Slot Guru isn’t actually employed by the casinos?

  18. 18
    jaytheostrich

    Pretty sure that, cheating or not, if you win that much in a casino you’d be black listed very fast. They have no obligation to let you play as far as I know, and they can just say ‘We don’t know how he’s cheating, but he must be’ and you’re out.

  19. 19
    Abby Normal

    Are we completely sure that the Slot Guru isn’t actually employed by the casinos?

    That was my first thought.

  20. 20
    daved

    They have no obligation to let you play as far as I know, and they can just say ‘We don’t know how he’s cheating, but he must be’ and you’re out.

    Absolutely true — and they can decline your business for any reason, not just because you’re cheating. Card counters don’t last long at the blackjack tables, either, if the casinos figure out who they are.

  21. 21
    Shawn Smith

    Bronze Dog #12,

    Too bad real world slots don’t work that way… unless they’re computerized and you have a means of deciphering the seed number for the RNG without attracting attention. Good luck on that last part.

    Even knowing the PRNG seed isn’t going to help you. Ever since the Ron Harris clusterfuck, all electronic gaming machines in Nevada (basically all slots and video poker/keno/roulette/craps machines) must generate at least 100 random numbers every second, whether they are being played or not. Most PRNGs generate them quite a bit faster. Good luck hitting that spin/deal button at just the right instant, because that is what determines the game outcome.

  22. 22
    fifthdentist

    It’s funnier if you read the quotes from the slot/slut guru using the voice of Jon Lovitz’s “lying guy” character from SNL.

    I’m also thinking that the guru should have thrown some of those $100 bills at an editor.

  23. 23
    Red-Green in Blue

    @Moggie #13 is full of win.

    And I second (or third) @arakasi’s comment. I suppose one might improve one’s chances of winning at a slot machine by getting other people to feed it loads of money first and then playing it straight afterwards – but the only sure-fire way to beat the odds is to own the machines.

  24. 24
    mikel

    When I play in the poker room of a casino I like to watch for players who play Keno. Anyone ignorant enough or indifferent enough to swim upstream against 30%+ house percentage has “mark” written all over him.

  25. 25
    Shawn Smith

    Red-Green in Blue,

    Unless you’re talking about a machine with a stand-alone progressive with a maximum value, you are engaging in the gambler’s fallacy. Each spin on a slot machine is an independent event, just like throwing a pair of fair dice at the craps tables.

    And you can beat the odds if you cheat–like working as a slot mechanic and hooking up a machine in the back room to the in-house slot system but having access to the cash box of the machine. Maybe you can find a machine where the Bill Validator is not working right and for some reason credits the machine without dropping the bill. In either case, just load it up with credits and cash out immediately. Also, I would never go back to that casino without a disguise, because it’s pretty easy to find out who the cheater is by looking at the logs and surveillance videos.

  26. 26
    kyoseki

    I’m just glad that gambling is one vice I never did develop a taste for, probably because I hate losing money more than I like winning money :)

  27. 27
    left0ver1under

    otrame (#11)

    If I ever go to a casino I will be going there to lose money. [...] 2. Set aside how much money you want to lose in this game, mentally tear it up and flush it.

    Or as I’ve heard it said, if you can’t afford to lose, you can’t afford to play.

  28. 28
    Martin

    A simple Google search (i.e. Video Poker bug) shows that Video poker can have bugs just like other software. Additionally some of these are not clearly bugs, but a mistake in the game design that assumes a person is employing a particular strategy and setting the payouts and odds based on that mistaken assumption (e.g. does the game assume you will keep AA or AKQJ if you get AAKQJ and are the payouts for 3 or 4 of a kind properly balanced against a straight – or even flush based on ALL the strategies the player could employ). Watch out, in some cases (per Google) employing these intelligent strategies has resulted in the player being criminally charged for figuring out a winning strategy.

    That said, I’m not disputing that most people who think they have a slot system are mistaken or that the player Ed is referring to was a sucker. Just that it’s not impossible for some machines to have design flaws.

  29. 29
    eric

    mikel @24:

    When I play in the poker room of a casino I like to watch for players who play Keno.

    I don’t know whether to thank you or be angry. I hadn’t thought of that, and its very smart, so thanks for pointing this out. But now I’m going feel almost compelled to throw away several dollars on Keno next time I’m at at a table, just to fake tell.

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site