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Just spent the last 3-4 hours playing poker at the Brisbane casino, and the guy next to me started talking about crypto. It's becoming surreal how often it comes up in every day life (without me mentioning it first)
Just spent the last 3-4 hours playing poker at the Brisbane casino, and the guy next to me started talking about crypto. It's becoming surreal how often it comes up in every day life (without me mentioning it first) /r/Bitcoin
I work at a crooked casino. You don't gamble with money here.
Hi, everybody. My name is Sid, and I’m an addict. It took me a long time to accept that. But when you take a job in a casino just so that you can be there all the time and try to gain an edge, you’re an addict. It’s obvious even to me. More so to my family and friends, who I barely see anymore. It’s not pills or coke, booze or heroin that I’m hooked on. I’m addicted to gambling. The casino that made me so obsessed is not an ordinary one, though. It’s far from ordinary. You don’t play for money at Fantasy Casino. You play for your dreams. I hear you laughing. But have you ever had a really, really great dream? One that got so good you snapped awake the second it started to get really excellent? Well, imagine that times a thousand. Times a million. A dream so real and so perfect that all of your fantasies become reality. Time stretches out. You feel like you are there forever. A lifetime passes before your return. Infinite wealth, the ability to fly like superman, you’re surrounded by sex and beautiful people all day as you relax in a palace built to your mind’s most exacting specifications of perfection. But then you wake up, and in an instant it is gone. The power, the wealth, the endless sex and supernatural powers. Everything is suddenly NORMAL again. And so you go back to the casino. I went back to the casino. But the problem with gambling is that you don’t always win. And when you lose, suddenly the winnings are gone as well, vanished without a trace. All I knew was that I had to have that feeling again. So I went inside the giant building and then followed the secret signs which led to a door that led to a staircase going downwards. I went down the stairs and knocked on the door marked “Private” and waited for an answer. “Password.” The voice on the other side of the black door waited for my response. “Seramth Gin.” I said the unnatural words carefully and deliberately, still not knowing their meaning. A friend had told me the password, a fellow gambler who I would later find dead in his apartment. His corpse white, bloated, and maggot-infested. His eyes were black and filled with blood which streamed from his eye sockets like tears. He had bit his tongue clean off and his fingernails were found lodged in various surfaces throughout his apartment. Like he had been trying to claw his way out of a steel box that only he could see. But I’m getting ahead of myself. That was later. At this point I was still hopeful for another wonderful dream. Still thankful for his advice to seek out the place. The door opened and I walked inside. It was the same as it had been the day before, only less busy at this time – still early afternoon. I approached the table I had been sitting at the night before. Poker – Texas Hold ‘em: Ten dream limit – the sign read. The rules were simple. You got a stack of chips. If you doubled them, you received a dream. If you lost them, you lost a dream. I wasn’t concerned about losing dreams yet, I still didn’t understand exactly what that meant. When I lost my first stack of chips, I quickly bought in again. And again. And again. Pretty soon I realized I had lost eight dreams with no winnings whatsoever. I was in a slump. A losing streak. I decided to go home and count my losses. Literally, since I had no idea what that even meant. As I got up to leave the table, the dealer looked at me. His eyes were remorseless and cold. “See the cashier on your way out,” he said, handing me eight black chips. I gulped and walked over to the glass window where the cashier sat waiting. Handing him the eight chips, he raised his eyebrows and clicked his tongue. “That’s a shame. Hold out your hand please.” Two men in black suits came up behind me suddenly and stood on either side of me, intimidating in their stature and demeanour. I did as he asked and held out my hand with the palm facing up. The cashier pulled out a strange-looking device from beneath the counter. It had a vial of vermillion-coloured liquid at the top that was attached to the rest of it which resembled a gun with a hypodermic needle at the end. I screamed and tried to pull away, but the two men grabbed me and held my arm through the window. Thrashing and elbowing them, I tried to get away but it was useless. The cashier injected the stuff into my veins quickly and it felt cold and slimy going through my system. I could feel it suddenly in my heart, turning it cold and then up into my mind and my lungs and all extremities causing me to shake and violently seize. I writhed on the floor, blood pouring from my ears and my eyes. Finally the feeling settled down into a numbness that prickled the insides of my blood vessels. It wasn’t until later, once I realized what the casino really was, that I found out what they had done. I went home with the certainty that they had injected me with something. If winning had resulted in the greatest dream I had ever had – essentially an almost never-ending fantasy – what would happen after a loss? Nightmares. That was what it would be. I was sure of it. I settled into bed that night and closed my eyes, drifting off to sleep quickly after such an emotionally exhausting afternoon. As soon as my eyes closed, they opened again and it was morning. It felt as if I had not slept at all. My mind was fuzzy and it was difficult to focus. My eyes wanted to close again but my alarm was telling me that it was time to get up for work, so I hit the “dismiss” button and hopped in the shower. I threw on my clothes and went out the door. At work I noticed a few people looking at me strangely, but I didn’t realize until someone pointed it out to me that my shirt was on inside-out. At this point I was still working in an office doing commodities trading and such lapses were frowned upon. If you couldn’t focus enough to put your shirt on properly in the morning, how could you focus enough to get the work done in such a demanding environment? Millions of dollars changing hands with each transaction meant that such trivial things were put under a magnifying glass and coupled with other subsequent mistakes each following day after that, I found myself in the boss’s office by the end of the week being handed my walking papers. Desperate for rest after days of not feeling any benefit from sleep, I went back to the casino. They knew just by looking at me how to dig their claws in further. After a couple hours I had managed to win myself a dream. They handed me the complimentary cocktail as they had the time before. I hadn’t realized the significance of it and still didn’t, despite the unusual vermillion colour of the drink. I swallowed it in one gulp and went out the door practically dancing and clicking my heels, ready to go home and feel rested again. My dream that night was wonderful. Everything I had hoped for in many ways. But not as good as the first time. I wanted that feeling back again. Knowing that it was a dream the whole time and realizing that it was going to end seemed to shorten the fantasy, made it seem hollow and manufactured. If I could win again maybe it would be like that first time, I thought. The casino drew me in again and again. I found myself a zombie most days, exhausted, at my wit’s end. Ready to call it quits for good and say goodbye. But then I would win again and it would all seem to be alright for a while. My debt kept growing and growing with nearly every trip. The hypodermic needle would be plunged into my skin and every time they had to hold me down. Every time I would feel a little more empty. A little more hollow. Waking up every day began to feel the same. Nothing had definition or purpose. “You’re here all the time,” one of the goons whispered to me as they shot the needle into my vein the time after that. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? You should just get a job here and then at least you’ll be in on the secret.” I applied the next day and got an interview with the boss. I would find out later that if you got someone to apply there you got a one dream bonus. In his office, the well-dressed man was sitting behind a massive polished ebony desk. The room was adorned with paintings, sculptures, and other high-priced artwork. He had photos everywhere of himself shaking hands with world leaders, new and old, for hundreds of years. His face never changed. Never aged. “So, you want to work with us? Tired of dreamless nights without end? You want to have some relief, is that it?” “Yes. Please. Anything. I’ve been coming here for so long and it’s an endless cycle. I want back what I’ve lost but I keep finding myself more and more in debt with each visit.” “Ah, so do you understand it now, then? What the ‘injections’ are?” It finally dawned on me, sitting there. Not injections at all. They weren’t putting something in us. They were taking something out. The vermillion-coloured liquid in the vials – our dreams. “If I take a job with you, will the same rules apply? Will they still take my sleep, my rest, every time I lose?” “Yes. We can’t have the employees living by different rules than everyone else. But we will give you an alternative injection, so that you feel well-rested when you come in for your shift.” “I’ll do it. I need to rest. I need to get some meaningful sleep. My life has been miserable ever since coming here.” “Well, I can’t promise that this will help,” he said, getting up from his desk with a hypodermic gun in his hand. The vial of fluid sitting atop this one was jet-black and looked evil and poisonous. He rolled up his sleeves as he primed it and I watched a few beads of it drip oil-like out of the tip of the needle. “What the hell is that!? I don’t want that stuff in me!” “But you need to sleep, my dear worker. I can’t have you passing out at the blackjack table like a narcoleptic! You agreed to this, after all. You wanted to rest, and the only way for that to happen is for you to have SOME sort of dream. Not everyone is as lucky as you, you know. To have that wonderful vermillion fluid in your veins. Some people come to us begging to take it from them. Some of our employees for example, the ones who do the recruitment for us, are full of this black stuff.” “What?” I had gotten up from the chair and was backing away from him towards the door. But I found it was locked as he approached. “First you have to tell me the password, Sid.” “Seramth Gin.” I said the words that I had said every time to gain access to the casino, only this time I pictured the letters and rearranged them in my mind. “Nightmares.” He smiled as he injected me with the vial of black hate, and it went into my veins feeling hot and unpleasant. I began to sweat and the beads of it turned cold on my skin as I shivered. I’ll sleep tonight. I might even wake up feeling rested. But as long as I live and work at that casino, I’ll be afraid to dream again. Because now my unconscious hours are occupied by the most terrifying experiences imaginable. Nightmares beyond imagining in their awfulness. That is my fate. Unless… Just maybe, I can win one more time. JG TCC
I was asked to make a post about some stories within the Casino grounds so I thought I'd share. I have many so I'll do my best to pick the better ones. Some back information: I've been a Casino Dealer for 11 years, I've been a supervisor for five years, and I've been a Surveillance Operator for one year. I've worked at three properties, none of which are connected or owned by the same company. I've worked on : Government/Private/Native American owned casinos.
From Hero to Zero.
At my first Casino, I was one of the first group of people who were trained to deal Roulette . After 4 weeks of working 6PM-3AM then doing roulette training from 3AM-8AM (Not paid) , I actually really enjoyed the game and after about six months I became extremely quick at the number game and the pace of the action was steady with very low margin of errors. Young man walks in, cashes in for $500. He buys in for $2 chips and just loads the board. After a few spins and pretty decent hits, he then changes his chips from $2 to 5$ then to $10 and racks his winnings up to $10,000. It was then, five spins in a row, he loaded the board with some pretty gross bets, and every spin I would hit the ONE number with either NO CHIPS on it, or maybe 1 chip , He lost all $10,000 in a matter of minutes. He leaves , and I go on break. After my break I was going back to the same table and wouldn't you know it, the same young man walks in and cashes in another $500. He tells me he just sold his car outside and this is all that he had left. So we do the same deal, buys in for $2 chips, then slowly starts betting $5 chips, $10, $25...and he makes $10,000 AGAIN. Within the next 25 minutes it was straight agony. Every spin, same thing, he would bet $2500 in chips, and win only $250, $400, and after about a half hour he lost it all . Never saw the guy again. 2) Man down At this property, we are 24 hours for table games. It's currently 5AM , and I'm dealing some $25 Blackjack to this guy. He's probably early thirties , heavy guy. He's sober as can be, but right away I can tell he's been losing. We know how much you've bought in for, how much your down, or up, and I could see he was down $2000+. After about twenty minutes of pure losing, his temper starts to flare.At this point I now have two other guests at my table. Drinking coffee, not saying a word, just losing their money. After losing hand, after hand, this guy looks me straight in the eye, seized up, starts shaking, he can't move. He tries to punch towards me and smashes his stack of chips all over the place and falls backwards to the floor. I call for security, we cannot touch him due to liability . I can't move from my table because, well, liability / casino cash property, all I can do is try to talk to him. As I'm doing so, these other two woman who are sitting at my table just look at me and one says "OK, dealer, cmon lets go " as she taps the table telling me to start dealing and forget about the guy having a stroke on the floor. As security takes him to the ambulance out front, I had to stay behind for a couple minutes and give a statement. I go on break. I come back, and 45 minutes later, he comes right back in with a oxygen tank and keeps gambling for the remainder of the morning. 3) You get a dildo, and YOU get a dildo! On a late summer Saturday night, we had a large event for these massive muscle guys/strongman competition type thing. After their show, I'm at the roulette table , and five of these boys come over to play. They were absolutely hilarious. They were feeling pretty good, cashed in somewhat large amounts and I could tell this was going to be a fun time. After about a hour of dealing to these guys, it's almost midnight, everybody is pretty hammered , I spin the ball, and all five of these guys take out these god damn (what I can only tell was) two feet purple dildos from inside their pants, and wiping them around in the air. The ladies were just loving it, one of the dildos landed in the roulette wheel and we had to shut the table down to re-calibrate the wheel to make sure nothing had been changed. I just remember that night was so much damn fun, I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I would never forget it. 4) Full Moon On this day, I was actually training dealers / supervising them on small games like Three Card poker. We opened the table at 10AM, and this older man came and sat down . He played all day. The jackpot was $21,000 and that was pretty high for this table. He played, and played and played. He's one of the players where you know he's wearing a diaper because he's been drinking coffee/pop all day and hasn't moved in eight hours. As the day went on, this man never moved from his chair. Getting closer to midnight, he was aggravated and said "I need to go have a smoke, I'm getting killed in here". He left, and the very next hand, the lady beside him was dealt the jackpot . He didn't say much, but you could just tell he just hated life at that very moment because had he not gotten up, it would of been his hand. The man calmly took his cane , his hat, jacket, coffee, and left. The next morning I found out when he did leave he drove his car straight through his bank and was arrested. 5) Slick Robber I actually give props to people who can actually pull this off. This story may confuse you so I'll try and explain things as best as possible. A lot of casinos have machines as soon as you walk through the front doors. A man walks up to one of these machines and sticks in HIS $100 bill. He doesn't gamble it, instead he hits the cash out button and gets a $100 TITO ticket where he then takes the ticket to the ATM machine to get his $100. Now remember, his Original $100 is in the slot machine. He then takes the $100 from the ATM and goes back to the same machine, and repeats this process over a hundred times. Essentially he's taking money from the ATM, and loading up the Slot Machine . Now he knows he can't do it too much because if the slot machine gets full of money, the machine will shut down and the slow attendant will have to take all the cash out. So he deposits over $10,000 , then has a small crowbar, he cracks the machine open and makes a run out the front door. To my knowledge he was never caught . But damn, that was pretty smart . EDIT: 6) Mental Health is a thing. 10PM man walks in to play some high limit BlackJack. This guy knows the game and played well. Dressed nice, drank juice/tea , a little bit of a attitude, cashed in over $10,000. When this man was half way down his buy in, he said something a long the lines of "If I don't win here tonight, I'm going to go set myself on fire." I wasn't sure if he was serious because when people are down, they tend to say a lot of nonsense. I actually left early that night, and from a third party was told he did exactly that in the parking lot. The next day it was clear something terrible had gone wrong in the parking lot . EDIT: 7) Nothing good happens after midnight After a busy Saturday night, I was dealing a mix of games, and during this story I was in the middle of Blackjack. I had one young kid (probably 19) sitting in the middle, one older male probably in his later 40's sitting beside him on his right, and I had a really nice couple in their 20's sitting together at the other side. This young kid wasn't playing just sort of watching, and ever time the old man won he would give this young guy some of his winnings. The older man, was a wine drinker, and he had black between all of his teeth, I'll never forget. He's a little drunk but nothing terrible. As the night goes on, the older man goes and uses the washroom, at which point the couple asked the young guy "Oh was that your dad?" and the young guy says "Hah, no I wish!". The couple and I just looked at each other. This old guy, was in complete control over this kid. Absolutely disgusting. The night ends, and I find out the couple called a few of their friends, and they all waited outside by this old mans truck and beat the living hell out of him. 40 years old, sleeping with a 19 year old, completely brain washed . Very weird. 8) That one co-worker where you just wish they would quit. One of our co-workers, nice guy but had a very big ego and we as employees just sorta left him alone. One day he had enough of the atmosphere and quit. Now usually when you quit, you cannot come back until you paperwork is finalized. How ever, HR was in that day, and he was given the paperwork the very next day. He came in, cashed in $1000, and made $50,000 in about a hour at the Baccarat table. My manager, was extremely annoyed, because now this guy is just mocking the casino and having the time of his life (Thanks for the big tip by the way :) ) and so he decides to call it quits. He wants to ban himself and he wants $50,000 in cash. The casino says Nope, we are going to give you a cheque. Now here's the thing, most business people will take the cheque, how ever you CANT CASH the cheque until the following monday because it's on that day where the funds are available. The casino on the other hand will cash their own check in anytime , because they want you to play. So this guy pretty much said go to hell I want my cash, and he called the police. Police show up, and management promptly gave him the cash.I though it was absolutely hilarious . 9) No good deed goes un punished I was dealing Three Card Poker, and the jackpot was around $17,000. This old man (a regular) was sitting there all day grinding it out. Super nice guy, always a pleasure to deal to. Well, after hours of playing, he stands up and says "Hey john!, can you come here for a minute?" so his buddy John comes over. He says to John "I need to go take a piss real quick, can you play my card until I get back?" John agrees . John takes the chips and I stop him and explain he can't play his friends chips, he needs to cash in and play his own. And he does. Welp, second hand out and bam, doesn't he win it. The old man comes back and is so happy, he can't believe it. John, took his $17,000, didn't say a word to his "buddy" and walked away. I never felt so much hatred in all my life. Didn't give him a dollar, not a thank you, nothing. The old man sits back down again, the progressive resets to $2500, and he sat there grinding away again. 10) The Top Knot I had this player , young guy, who was born into a fortune. One of his relatives passed away and left him a pretty big sizable amount of money, so he played poker every single day for the rest of his days. I will add, he IS a good player. I did not enjoy his company just because of the "Know-it-All" attitude, but he was good. We'll call him John. John is 5'10, and well build, with muscle. John also decided today was the day to show off his Top Knot. (google top knot if you're not sure what I mean) So he sits down, and he's absolutely KILLING the table. Every hand, after hand, after hand. And because he's in such a good mood, he's playing any two cards, calling any $500 bet, and he's just dominating. This one guy at the table decided he had enough. He got up, without saying a word and left. A moment later, he comes back in, walks behind John, and takes a pair of scissors , and cuts off his Top Knot. I for one couldn't believe it, dying laughing inside, and it just turned into one big brawl. That was a good day. 11) That one bad seed One of my best friends who I haven't seen in YEARS ended up being part of the crew. Was kind of nice to catch up. We never really got along as we grew up because he has a very high picture of himself . He wanted that 10/10 woman. A mansion, and a new Corvette. So every month or so we would all go up to the other casino to play. I myself would bring no more than $500, but I couldn't understand how this guy (we'll call him Kyle) was spending THOUSANDS of dollars at the tables. So this wen on for a few months. Well, one day, as we're closing the casino, he and I are in the High Limit room and we're getting ready to close the tables. We are told to take the chips out, count them, put them back, sign this piece of paper and that's it. Well as the supervisor was locking the tray, the piece of paper fell to the floor, so she asked Kyle to grab the piece of paper. As he bends over, a great big $500 chip falls right out of his sock. Kyle was fired immediately , but it all made sense. They offered Kyle a deal where if he replaced all the stolen chips they would not make it public. Not sure how that turned out. 12) If I ever decide to write a book, this will be the last chapter: <3 After working at my first Casino for five years, I met a Indian woman who was visiting from another part of the country. During this time I was explaining a game to her, which honestly I don't think she even cared. She explained she was visiting and sight seeing , and that was that.Well, two years later I ended up moving to the other side of the country and transferred casinos, and low and behold she worked there as a Dealer. We got married , and it's been 5 years. 13) The Tip One of our tables that we've had for a couple years had a progressive jackpot that had reached $100,000. The dealer at the table was sitting pretty lonely. Nobody really played the game because people knew it was extremely difficult to win the jackpot. My memory is a tad foggy, but you somehow needed to flop the royal flush. This young guy sits down and says to the dealer, we'll call him John. "John, if you pay me that jackpot, I will tip you $10,000" Well John started dealing, and about a half hour into his shift, he F*cking did it. He dealt him the royal. And you know something?This young lad, kept his word, and he made sure there was a audience, and he tipped exactly $10,000. That was a moment right there. That pay cheque was real nice. I think we all got about $500 more than usual. The moment that jackpot was awarded they got rid of the table because the money it was making was not near what the casino wanted. I'm sure there have been bigger tips at other casinos, but that was something special . 14) The Lawsuit Now this story I'm going to have to beat around the bush a bit due to the nature of what happened. I can't won't answer any questions that you may have on this topic other than what I have to say because it had a lot of publicity . The waitresses at this casino had to wear very thin sexy clothes. Not borderline legal, but it was noticed. One day they called all the waitresses to come in and explained they were changing their outfit to something even more sexier. Now these new dresses were very very borderline legal . The staff said No way. We're not wearing that.So , friday night comes, and the staff work their whole shift, then at the end of their shift were called into a meeting and were all fired. Welp, one of those ladies father was a pretty big time lawyer. Brough the casino to court and won. They won big. Good for them. We had no waitresses for a couple days haha. Thanks for reading along, I have many more I can add as the day goes on, those were just some off the top of my head. Feel free to ask any questions of the Casino industry. I don't really have many stories about the surveillance department because that's the one area where I can't really say a whole lot due to its privacy and contracts I was and still am under.
Ended my gambling career (for now) on a high note - jackpot handpay to end 2020. My thoughts and ramblings as a now-retired gambler.
Warning: long rambling stories ahead. I am bored and waiting to get through my first day back at work since before Christmas. You've been warned! I've been going to the casino pretty regularly for the past few years. Before that, I played occasionally. I exclusively play slots. I view it as a night out - first with friends back when I brought $50 and played penny denom minimum bet spins and prayed to win $20, and then eventually shifting my mindset to playing higher bets and denominations. I hit my first jackpot handpay a couple of years ago. I hit $3700 on a $27 bet on a Geisha machine. I've hit a few other jackpots here and there, culminating with my biggest jackpot ever this past summer. I hit $12K on a $50 bet on a Pompeii slot machine. Well, the long story short is that I have fallen out of love with gambling. I have somehow managed to have a positive ROI on gambling. I track my withdrawls and win on a spreadsheet. To put it bluntly: I have been extremely lucky over the past few years. I know that slots are not a viable way to win money in the long run, so I made a decision a few months ago to "retire" from gambling at the end of 2020. I went to my local casino last Wednesday. It just so happens when I hit a jackpot that I usually do it within the first half hour or so I'm at the casino. Well, it happened again. After going up $600 or so on another slot machine (I don't remember the name), I went to one of my most hated/favorite old school slots - Zeus dollar denomination. One of my worst moments in all of gambling was a few years ago. I got a bonus round on the Zeus dollar denomination on max bet of $45 a spin. I was BEYOND excited. I've seen Youtube videos where people have won tens of thousands of dollars in that exact scenario. Much to my shock, I won nothing. In that game, you don't win anything for triggering the bonus. So I actually *lost* $45 on getting the bonus. I cashed out and left immediately. Anyway, last week I hit a modest $4500. It was exciting...but not as exciting as I thought it should be. I was cool, calm, and...detached. The wins didn't mean much to me, and the losses mean absolutely nothing. My wife and I are in the EXTREMELY fortunate position that losing $500 or so every week or two at the casino is affordable. I'm not ignorant to how lucky we are to be in this position. After getting paid out, I played a bit longer. But that hand pay drove home the realization that I had a few months ago: it was time to stop gambling. If I can't get pumped about a big win like that, and if I'm not even phased a little bit by losing, it's just not worth gambling any more. I used to go for entertainment, but even now gambling doesn't provide that much. As I sit now, I am up roughly $18K over three years of slots. Not bad, but not life changing. Enough that I bought my wife a Burberry and Louis Vuitton handbag on separate occasions. The rest if stashed in savings or in an investment account somewhere. But I am 100% committed to being done. At least for 2021, and probably longer. If anyone is interested in hearing my thoughts on how to win...I don't have any insight to share. It's luck. I got lucky. I know I got lucky. The usual tropes about setting win and loss thresholds is good advice. Sometimes I chased payouts and hit them. Sometimes I chased and lost. But I managed to hit more than miss, and for that I'm lucky. And thankful. Anyway. I don't have a major takeaway or anything. I don't have many people I can talk about this with in my personal life, so I figured I'd share a bit of my story here. If you do gamble, please do so responsibly. Good luck, and try to have fun. If you're not having fun, it's probably not the right way to spend your time or money. EDIT: I just wanted to say to anyone who reads this in the future that I appreciate the nice responses and PMs from people. It's nice to share a positive experience with others! I sincerely hope that if any of you choose to play in the future, you choose to do so responsibly. Gambling can be a hugely problematic lifestyle for some people. Stay safe. (end of preaching here). I also want to take a second to address some comments from some people about slots being skill based. This is 100% false. The concept of slots being skill based in any way is demonstrably untrue with three seconds of reasonable thinking. If we accept that there is a hypothetical slot game which is based on skill and not pure luck, what are the consequences of that? First of all, this information would leak out. There would be no way to contain it. If one person can solve the system, another an as well. Subsequently, someone would write a book on the subject. Think about all the poker and blackjack strategy books out there. These are games where skillful play can increase your odds of winning. Last I checked, there aren't any books or Supersytem-level analyses from prominent individuals willing to stake their names and reputations on publishing a "slot technique" book. There's a reason for this. And also - think about this: casinos still carry blackjack tables for a reason: they still have an edge to win. If there is a surefire way for individuals to win when playing slots, casinos would 100% for sure take these games out of circulation. Casinos are not in the business of giving away money. Any claim there is a foolproof way to win money playing slots does not make sense when critical thinking is applied to the circumstances. Slots are not like card games. Finding and playing only games where there is a "must win by" progressive is not the same thing as skillful play. That's more akin to something like card counting in blackjack. Many people who design slot machines and engineer the software behind the scenes have posted on Reddit and elsewhere that wins are based on random number generators running behind every spin. There is literally no skill involved - you win or lose each spin based on pure random luck. I am saying this because there are a number of people who come to this subreddit to look for ways to cheat the system and get easy money. I see posts like this fairly often, and I'm only browsing this subreddit occasionally. Gambling is not, and should not, be a way for anyone looking to make a quick buck. If you're looking to get an edge playing slots because you need to pay bills or make a quick buck, you are already in serious trouble. Do not buy into the delusion that you can get an edge or guarantee a win. People saying this are snake oil salesmen who do not care for you or your well-being. Anyway. I'm going to stop monitoring this post. I'm still open to receiving PMs or messages, but I've had my fun with this so far. I could do with fewer trolls, but this is the internet. I knew what to expect. Bon chance, everyone!
Feel like shit after being up $350 and finally losing $200
This was my second time at a casino. I was playing this machine poker game which was called four of a kind bonus poker or something. I know how to play poker but didn't know about this game and gave it a try anyway I hit some crazy hands and was up $350. Went down to being up $50, somehow made it back to $350 and my dad told me I should leave while I'm ahead and I knew I should too because I almost lost all those winnings and somehow made it back. But I just kept playing and playing like a zombie. I could actually feel that I'm losing track of what I'm even doing anymore and I could have quit while I was still winning something Then I lost the $100 I started with and ended up losing another $100. So I basically went from being $350 up and losing $550 from there Now I'm feeling like shit, wondering why I didn't just get up the second time and wishing I could turn back time to that moment because it just doesn't make any sense to me that I didn't leave while I was ahead
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I want my players to go through and plan a heist in a casino, the only problem is I have no clue how to set this up. I am planning on making my own map for the casino using these assets as the base: https://marketplace.roll20.net/browse/set/1806/casino-gaming-floor-pack The target of the heist is to rescue 3 hostages spread out through the bottom floor and an undisclosed magical item hidden at the top in the owner's office. The magical item is a monocle that vastly increases the wearer's wisdom (to about 26) but after being in touch with the object for a week the wearer is corrupted and becomes evil and desiring power (this is a running trend throughout the items my party is sent to retrieve throughout their adventure each item increases a different stat). The origin of the Casino is that it used to be a random casino in the middle of a nowhere town when a beholder decided to make the town it's home base. with the assistance of the magical monocle, he is able to cheat his way through the casino until he wins a bet with the owner in which he wins the casino. I am undecided if the heist will take place through the whole town or just in the casino, seeing as I have limited time though probably just the casino. Sae Nijjima's Palace from Persona 5 would be a huge inspiration to the layout of the casino. The party's level is 5 and there are only 3 members so I DO NOT want them to fight the beholder, if they get into an encounter with the beholder he agrees to play a game of chance for the item/hostages, being either a rigged game of poker where the party has to cheat in creative ways to win or a game of Russian Roulette (by a different name as Russia does not exist or with a different reason for the name like Russia being the last name of the person who invented it). Sorry for anything that does not make sense or is written badly as this was more of a brain vomit rather than a well-written thing. if you want any more details I will answer in the comments. Some specific questions: What should I add to make this Heist feel like a heist movie? How should I set up and do guard patrol? How should I protect the objectives? I have the backstory ready but don't know what to do for the story that unfolds while they are going through, any ideas?
Chae’Sol stood at the centre of a large command deck, meticulously peeling the protective film from his new captain’s chair. The sensation of the slow but steady yielding of the film, the sweeping line following the contours of the seat in flowing curves; it was incredibly satisfying. Finally, with one last gentle pull, the last of his chair was uncovered and he stood back to admire his throne. Aside from the freshness of the seating itself, there were shiny new holo displays, touch sensors, and comms relays that were within easy reach of his seated fingertips. This ship would be the jewel in any fleet, a prototype Dreadnought made by the infamous Bardul of Shi’an. The Gowe Military faction had run into financial problems, and it had been left unpaid and unclaimed. What sorcery Kadir had used to find it, and purchase it, he did not know. His comms unit beeped and Danyd’s voice came through. “Chae’S-” -He grumbled incoherently- “Captain, we’re ready to get underway.” The Niham turned and sat back on his pristine chair, swinging his long legs over the armrest. “That was quick, Chief Engineer Ef’Yto” Danyd grunted at the use of his title. “Aye, these Awakened are efficient bastards.” The Satryn looked around at the enormous engineering bay. The entirety of the Porkchop Express could comfortably sit inside, and two of them could likely squeeze in. “Plus, this thing has never been used; feels weird not having anything to work on. It’s state of the art, and I’m having to read the manuals on half the new systems.” Chae’Sol laughed, looking around at the Awakened as they were preparing their workstations. “Yeah, this command deck is a little intimidating. Even the Niham Armada didn’t have ships like this. There are fifteen weapons stations here, what in Tulseria’s name were the Gowe planning to do with this thing?” “No idea.” The chief engineer walked to the large seat in front of his new work terminal, and hopped up onto it. The protective covering squeaked. “This thing has more firepower than half their fleet, it must have been something big. We’re lucky Kadir found out about the graveyard of unclaimed ships from one of his contacts.” The newly-minted captain swung his legs down and sat up, straightening his black uniform and white collar. “That’s another thing: how does he have so many contacts? I was in the Tulseria-damned military, and I had no idea they would sell us fighters and weapons.” “I know the feeling.” Danyd watched a junior engineer – Lily, an Awakened who wore a headband in her silver hair that sported long Kittran ears on it – begin running diagnostics on the Hoban Field Generator. “I'm aware he got the automated weapons for the system port from my people, somehow. As for how he accomplishes all he does, I think his time working with that fancy Anatidae councillor opened more than a couple of doors for him.” Chae’Sol stood, running his fingers through his perfect hair. “Doors, windows, rear entrances and damned secret portals, all leading to a dark realm of shady deals and supplies. We have an Imperium Capital Ship for Tulseria’s sake! Nobody knows where he got it, or where he’s now hidden it.” He looked at his holo display, noting the specks springing blinking into existence as the other ships of Federation origin came to life. “Let’s just be glad he’s on our side.” The chief engineer tugged at the green collar to his uniform. “Our side used to be a damn sight smaller.” Lily had finished her diagnostic tests and sent the results to his console. Her report included an adjustment that would create a potential three percent increase in crystal efficiency, and a small drawing of a smiling leokit with a crim-bar. He groaned, then reported back with, “We’re ready to go when you are.” The Niham strode confidently across the command deck, stopping to stand in front of the huge vid screen at the front of the room. All around him were his crew, made up mostly from the Ashi, Awakened, and Kasurians. “Let’s get this show started.”
Jaym sat with a bowl of Tony the leokas cereal in front of her. It wasn't just a catchy advertising slogan - it really was great. She and Elizabeth had worked together so much in the engineering section of the Porkchop Express that they had become close, often spending their free time together. Indeed, Elizabeth currently sat opposite her, carefully rebuilding a power coupling and occasionally tapping at her datapad. Shortly after the results of her most recent tap played out, Elizabeth paused her work on the power coupling. Without speaking, she held up her datapad so that Jaym could see. On the screen was Tony and his mate Jolie, and Skeena’s voice could be heard excitedly talking about collecting urine samples from the female. Jaym screwed up her face at first until Skeena announced the pregnancy test was positive. Tony was going to be a father! She couldn't contain her joy and screamed loudly, grabbing the screen and running all the way to the bridge to show the others. Ranjaz was stretched out across the captain’s chair as Jaym burst in, and didn’t open his eyes until she began shaking his leg. Even then he didn’t pay much attention. “I told you not to let Elizabeth play with any more systems till after the mission.” She blushed slightly, as their last improvement had inverted their water treatment system and blown six power couplings. "It's not that!" she said, holding up the datapad and starting the video. "Look!" At the first syllable of Skeena's voice, Ranjaz sat bolt upright. The video held his full attention, and when Tony's impending fatherhood was announced the Kittran's whoops of delight could be heard all through the Porkchop Express. He reached underneath his seat and retrieved a small, fluffy bed, then picked up Aiov. Ranjaz led his unusual dance partner in a quick spin of joy before replaying the GalacTube video for her. “You’re going to be an Aunty!” Eruwenn leaned back in the large seat that had once been Embar’s. “I didn’t think they were related?” The Kittran nodded. “Aiov is Tony’s sister. Aaron adopted them both, and that’s how human families work. They just keep adding members, like a Dular adding shells to its burrow. Family is family.” Cygna pressed a few buttons on her Navigator terminal, moving the video to the main screen as well as starting it over. “I still can’t believe you keep one of these under your seat. I mean, it’s a leokas!” Ranjaz held Aiov up and they briefly rubbed noses. “Just a little one!” The Anatidae laughed. “I can see living with the human has had quite a profound effect on you.” With one of his trademark grins he held Aiov out towards Eruwenn. “Wanna nose rub?” "Ah," the councillor said, shrinking back from the offer, "despite her size she is still a predator, and I am not quite ready for such a close encounter.” From the pilot seat Ripley stood, taking Aiov from Ranjaz. “She is not a toy.” She briefly snuggled the tiny leokit to her chest, then passed her to Jaym. “Take her for food and exercise; she must grow up strong.” Jaym also cuddled the wriggling Aiov close, and not just because the little leokit was adorable. Aiov had tripled in size, and was becoming a bit of a handful. “Thor was preparing her food; I’ll take her down to him.” Once the junior engineer had left, and Ripley returned to the pilot seat, Ranjaz began tapping on the console in front of him. “Looks like we’ll be free to take the shuttle down to the surface with the next group.” Cygna drummed her fingers on the arms of her chair. “I didn’t realise it would be so busy.” Ranjaz shrugged. “There was a quake on the fourth planet, so mining colonies are shut down while the nerds poke around. Along with that, we got three big freighters waiting for resupply. That’s a lot of bored folks looking to kill time.” Ripley grunted, prompting a chuckle from the Kittran. “You don’t approve of their choice of leisure activity?” After their few cycles together Eruwenn was already learning a lot about her shipmates. Ripley, for instance, wasn’t one for talking. She decided to interject before the Captain irritated her too much, as they would need her focus soon enough. “Gambling and pleasure palaces are not to everyone's taste, of course, but these sorts of things are covered under local governance.” Without skipping a beat Ranjaz replied, “I know that’s the official line, but you sure as shit have tax codes for all of it. If you want to look down on folks, don’t pretend you aren’t profiting from it.” Cygna, ever defensive of her mentor, jumped in. “That’s a bold statement for someone who never paid a credit in tax until it was automatically deducted from his Galactic Federation pay.” Ranjaz laughed, then continued, keeping his voice care-free. “Taxed on what? I never owned anything.” Eruwenn could see the trap her junior was walking into but decided to let this be a learning experience. The Kittran was wily, and the Anatidae found him entertaining. Cygna, as she had predicted, scoffed at his claims. “I’ve read your file. When you were arrested you had a ship, five shuttles and thousands in valuable goods confiscated.” “Exactly!” His eyes lit up as he cornered her. “It was confiscated because it was stolen, so I didn’t own it. Imagine a world where you can keep stolen goods if you pay tax on them. Even I think that’s crazy.” The Fae’Dan paused, and the anger evaporated from her voice as she realized what he had said, replaced by a slightly impressed tone of surprise. “Well, maybe, but… Really? You stole all of it?” Ranjaz shrugged. “Or won it. I’m pretty good at Dalcho.” Cygna perked up. “I play Dalcho myself, we shou-” “No,” Eruwenn interrupted. Some lessons were too expensive. “Do not play Dalcho with someone who can get free priority entry permits to a casino.” The former operative shook her head. “I’m a great player, you’ve seen me in the council chambers. I took that Ley’Rulian trader for five hundred credits.” The Anatidae smiled kindly. “And he had five shuttles when he was arrested.” Cygna slowly turned from Eruwenn to Ranjaz, noticing his grin and the sparkle in his eye. It was most definitely the smile of a predator. He gave a little chuckle. “Don’t worry, it’s been a long time since I played. No gambling on Galactic Federation ships, you know.” He laughed again. “Oh wait, you read my file.” The Fae’Dan nodded. “Perhaps we should focus on the mission.” She gave a slight bow to Eruwenn before returning her attention to her console. Ranjaz looked at Eruwenn and stuck out his tongue. “Don’t ruin my fun!” The Ambassador smiled. “I don’t play Dalcho, but there is a human game called chess I quite enjoy. Perhaps we could play sometime?” The Kittran gave a nod. Keeping his voice neutral, he replied. “I don’t know that one, but there’s another human game we could try. Poker?” "We have permission to dock at the holding ring and send down a shuttle," Ripley abruptly called out. "Let’s get this whatever it is and make the rendez-vous.” Both of Ranjaz’s fangs showed as he grinned. “If we’re going to pull a job on Chisola Prime, first you’re going to need to look the part!”
Aaron walked down the corridor of the Hive ship, the strange spiderlike creature trailing behind him as he followed one of the corpse vines as it receded deeper into the ship. He turned and watched the creature, which shrank back from him and crouched low to the ground. “I’m sorry I kicked you. You simply startled me; you don’t have to hide.” The lighting never changed in the endless corridors of the ship, and only the most uninteresting of doors deigned open for him. At this point, he had lost track of time completely. Through perseverance he’d made several important discoveries. The bulbous shapes in the flower vase room were seats; he was fairly certain of that after finding another room with bodies sitting in them. The vines that came for them were the ones he was now following, and by now he must have seen hundreds of dead Hive. The second discovery was that the Hive came in a variety of shapes and sizes. There were two main ones, as far as he could tell, and the first were the four legged kind that had so kindly thrown him in the rejuvenating jelly bean. The second was bipedal, and looked a hell of a lot meaner. While the ones he deemed workers looked somewhat like ants to him, in shades of reds and browns, the second type looked much more commanding. Their carapace had thicker layers of armour in green, gold and red, and was spiked at the shoulders and joints. Even their legs had spines and to top the look off their heads were much more angular. Whether they were soldiers, commanders, or something else, he didn’t know. Through observation of the corpses he had discovered the most confusing feature yet: a strange section in the centre of their abdomen that was filled with what seemed to be a grey fluid. Ahead of him, not skittering away like the rest, was an aphid that no longer emitted a pale green glow. Something whooshed overhead towards the slow and sluggish aphid, and Aaron instinctively threw himself to the ground before he realized what it was. "That's how you get kicked!” He stood up, brushing himself off. “Fuck, that scares the ever-loving shit out of me every fucking time.” The huge creature looked up at him and whined as it munched on the sick aphid. He was probably imagining the apology in its eyes, but Aaron still shook his head. “I know, I know. It’s your job. They clean the floors, you keep their population healthy. Just stop leaping over me like that, fuck. I’m going to have a heart attack.” It whined and backed away from his angry words, and he tried to keep his voice to calmer tones. “Don’t be like that. I’ve told you enough times.” When he looked down the corridor again, the retreating corpse vines had disappeared around a corner. Aaron began to jog after them, and after he'd put some distance in he heard the pattering footsteps of his terrifying shadow. He tried to pay it no mind. Once the vines were back in sight he slowed and followed behind them, singing his direction song quietly to himself. “Left, right, straight. Left, left, right. Straight, straight, left, left. Right, right, straight, right, right.” The ship was massive and, other than some areas smelling funkier than others, there was no variation in lighting, decoration or layout. The song was his map back to the rejuvenation pod, which was his only safe source of hydration. His companion padded along behind him, a friendly nightmare to accompany him on his seemingly endless journey. “We really need to give you a name.” He wished he had his phone with him so he could channel all his nervous energy into making a video. “The audience demands a name. Plus, I won’t be able to sell merch without one.” He turned and looked at the creature. “I’ll probably have to create space-halloween first, or maybe I’ll get lucky and find that you’re cute to some species.” Aaron returned to following the corpse vine, waving a hand high as he spoke, gesticulating to the heavens. “The name is what matters: a good name makes all the difference.” He began seriously pondering the naming matter. “Aragog, Shelob; you know, lean into your size for a characterization. But then again, that's not really going to make people like you.” He looked back over his shoulder as the unnamed beast trotted happily behind him. He assumed happy, at least. It now tended to make an odd gurgling noise after eating, and it roamed closer to him than before. “You know, I never got to name Sassie – she’s my dog. I told you about her yesterday, or the day before.” He really was losing track of the days he’d been here. “I got her from a rescue. She was skinny, and so damn angry, with scars on her legs and under her fur. I had to have special visits before I could keep her. Prove I was worthy.” Talking helped take his mind from the gnawing emptiness in his stomach. Hydration and nutrients osmotically obtained from some weird pod were nowhere near as satisfying as a burger and a cold beer. “Her first visit, she had a rubber ball. It was her only possession, and she loved it.” There was a touch of pride in his voice. “Took me an hour before she gave it up to play. The lady from the rescue centre said I was the first.” He choked up, blinking back tears. “Anyway, couple more visits and she got to stay. Crazy dog was such a handful. She once tried to climb a tree to chase a squirrel. Got her legs over the first branch and just dangled, kicking her back legs.” He began chuckling to himself. “She once tried to jump through a car window; some guy was parked at the lights as we walked past.” He was just chatting now, lost in his memories as he walked. “You know the type, loud radio, windows rolled down on a sunny day, annoying the shit out of everyone in the town. He tossed some litter out of his window and she just launched herself at him. Scared the life out of me at the time - funny as fuck now, of course.” He laughed again. “Then there were the swans. Man, were they not ready. She loved to swim – I told you that before – swimming and splashing was her favourite release. Well, that and chasing rabbits which is, kinda, how I ended up here. Anyway, she would just swim up and down, right past the ducks and stuff, somehow never interested in them. Then one summer these swans came along...” He paused, realising his new friend didn’t know what a duck or a swan was, or even summer, probably. Before attempting to explain, he realised they also didn’t understand english, so it really didn’t matter. “Anyway, swans being belligerent bastards, I called her out of the water straight away. Those mean white fuckers chased her all the way to shore.” He turned around, now grinning broadly. “But, once her feet hit the ground in the shallow water and she was able to stand, did those sons of bitches turn and swim away as fast as they could.” He paused, trying to remember his original point. He really was very hungry. “Oh yeah, so trying to stop her fighting everything that moved meant I didn’t have time to teach her a new name. Figured it would be confusing to her. Sassie she was, and so Sassie she stayed.” There was a tightening in his chest as he thought of her missing him. “Took a lot of years and a lot of time for her to get where she is now. I know Alexa will take care of her, but still, it’s my job, and I need to get back to doing it. She won’t understand…” He choked up completely, taking a moment to compose himself before clearing his throat and returning his monologue to its original course. “Anyway, names. Names matter.” “Maybe you’re a girl monster. Charlotte?” He shook his head. That name just didn’t seem fitting. “We could call you Peter Parker? Although, you’re more of a man-sized spider than a spiderman... Parker Peter? Then again, big, scary spiders say one thing to me. Australia. You like to jump, we could call you Roo? Or, how about Ozzy? Or Bruce? Hmm, that’s a sharks name though… can you swim?” His train of thought derailed suddenly as he saw an open door ahead of them through which the vines were receding. The pair of them continued walking behind the vine until it disappeared into the doorway and Aaron ran forward, pulling something from his pocket. He’d been saving the foil wrapping from the ration bricks, folding them together to form a wedge. He jammed his makeshift door stop under the bottom corner of the door as it began to slide shut. It ground to a halt. “Boom! Told you it would work.” He stood and finally looked into the vastness beyond. Through the doors was, somehow, a rolling meadow, complete with trees, giant mushrooms and plants he had no name for. Vines were also everywhere, receding further across the great wilderness. “What the hell? I thought I was on a spaceship? Am I underground?” Staring intently at the sky, he stepped onto the deep moss beyond the door. He looked at the wall around the interior and saw it was rock, and more plant life clung to every crack and crevice. As he walked slowly forward his eyes followed the vine as it headed for a large, colourful, monolith. He approached and saw that its shape was similar to the vase flowers. He watched as the corpse vines deposited their cargo on top of the monolith. Not on, he corrected himself;they were dropping inside. He looked back to the door, nervous that it might close and lock him in. A large black shadow lurked just beyond the door, and he was torn. Should he explore this 'outside' world, or retreat to the place where he at least had the rejuvenation pods? He looked up at the sky, basking in the warm and invigorating embrace of the sunlight. He blinked at the brightness, being cautious to not look at the sun directly, and something else suddenly caught his eye. It was, incredibly, a door. A door that floated in the sky. The thing about human eyes is that they might be easily fooled, but a shift in perspective can easily change what you see to something entirely different. Aaron was looking up at a ceiling, like the one in the Atrium back on the Azrimad, but a hundred times more convincing. Once back inside the doorway he watched the spiderling he was beginning to think of it as a friend dancing back and forth a short distance away. It seemed… happy. “Ok buddy, I’m back.” Aaron’s stomach made a loud gurgling sound and he rubbed it, trying to squeeze the hunger away. Fingers found muscle easier than usual, and he knew he was definitely losing weight. “We should head back. I need sleep.” He thought for a moment and made a final decision, bending down to pull the foil wedge clear. “I doubt there’s a communicator or command deck in there. Let’s go home, Ozzy.” The trip back was uneventful, Aaron sang his direction song as they navigated the labyrinth. A few more aphids were snacked on by his leggy companion, but his own legs were heavy by the time he was almost back to the jelly beans. Despite being exhausted he had made two stops to create another pair of flower vases for the aphids, as well as scattering a ration brick as he passed by. The aphids waited, as they always did, till he and Ozzy were far enough away before enjoying his bounty. Still, the human derived satisfaction from their presence. Exhausted and weary, Aaron was glad to finally make it back to the room he was reluctantly calling his temporary home. As the door to the rejuvenation pod slid open he was met, forcefully, by the barrel of an energy rifle. Unfortunately for Aaron, due to a considerable height difference, the barrel had struck him squarely in the groin, and he instantly fell to his knees. He came face to face with his attacker with tears in his eyes, clutching his tenderness and coughing. From the other being came incomprehensible yelling, as well as a lot of gun waving. Also, there was coughing. Aaron, eventually mustering enough self-presence to do something other than deal with the after effects of the gun-to-groin encounter, wiped the moisture from his eyes and tried to butt in to the one-sided conversation. "Relax! I'm the one who just got snookered in the fucking balls, here! Why in the world are you so mad?"” The gun was pressed to his forehead by the tiny attacker, who shouted something unintelligible with their black eyes focused on him. They paused to cough, then stepped back, glaring at Aaron until they seemed to feel comfortable enough with the situation to take one hand off of their weapon and pull out a datapad. They held it up, and Aaron frowned at the familiar but still unintelligible colours that swirled on the screen. Then a small vent at the bottom of the device squirted out a puff of sickly sweet scent. Aaron pulled back from the odour. "What the fuck was that?" With some distance between them, the human finally got a good look at his opponent. They were barely waist-height, furry, with a long nose and dark banding across their brown fur. The banding was heaviest across their eyes and although that’s where the similarities ended, it was enough for the human’s brain to forge a connection. “Listen, Rocket, there’s a virus on this ship. You need to get in the jelly bean. Trust me.” The rifle was thrust at him shakily in one hand, the tablet again was raised and a swirl of colours and shapes greeted him. “I don’t speak fucking winamp plugin!” On the wall behind his captor Aaron spotted a dull orange aphid, struggling to climb the wall. He smiled as he slowly leaned to one side. “Have you met Ozzy?” The huge arachnid leapt over them both, causing the newcomer to blindfire at the wall. Aaron seized his chance and snatched away the weapon. He grabbed the newcomer by the front of their armoured uniform and slammed them to the ground. They cried out in pain and began their incomprehensible yelling once more. The accompanying coughing fit was bad, and Aaron dragged them to their feet. Realising that his solitude had caused him to revert to English, he switched back to galactic standard to offer a warning about the disease. “You’re going to die!” A shocked look crossed their face as the human effortlessly lifted them and slam dunked them into a blue jelly bean. Ozzy gurgled happily through his aphid crunching. Aaron snatched up the energy rifle, but found it was difficult to hold due to its small size. He leaned over the jelly bean, noting the occupant drifting off to sleep. Hunger and tiredness were forgotten as adrenaline flooded his system. There was no way the newcomer was alone. He left the pod room to begin searching, and Ozzy seemed to pick up on his intention and followed behind, keeping close to the human. “Good boy!” He had no idea what prompted it, likely some automated response, and it was as though he watched his movements from outside of his body as he reached back and gently scratched the arachnid's head. He was rewarded with happy gurgles, or at least that's what he hoped the noises were. “You did good back there.” He made his way along the corridor towards the same airlock he had once chosen as his final exit. His recent suspicion proved correct as he heard a strange sound up ahead, as if someone was running a wet finger around the rim of a glass. He carefully leaned around the curve and saw another figure, dressed in the same uniform as the first. No fur on this one, although they were equally small in size, and they somehow looked like they were made of glass which couldn’t decide on a colour. This time he remembered to use galactic standard. “Keep your hands where we can see you. We’ve got you surrounded!” The figure was clearly startled, as the ambient resonating noise began varying wildly in pitch at the same moment as their colour shifted to a solid blue. Aaron cursed. He didn’t have a translator, having instead opted for learning standard and winging everything else. The whole federation knew standard, so he hadn’t truly considered getting the implant. “Something is wrong with our translators,” he continued to bluff. “Do you speak galactic standard?” A datapad was hastily pulled from a pocket, and as buttons were pressed the resonating sound became more rhythmic. From the datapad sprung noises. No, it was a voice! “Why do you speak Procyon? Where is Commander Bertolannixostraphes? Aaron began relaxing at the situation he found himself in, but inside he was brimming with joy. Finally, he could talk with someone! “There is a virus on this ship, and many are dead. If your commander is the raccoon-looking guy, I got them into a healing pod. They’re going to be fine.” Under his breath he added, “probably.” The resonating began and shortly afterwards the voice translated, “Who are you? Why did you not answer our communications.” Opting for honesty in the hopes of leniency, Aaron stepped into view. “I’m a passenger. I don’t have access to the ship's systems.” The newcomer was looking at the tiny gun, so the human tossed it forward. “I didn’t know if you were friendly. I can take you to your friend, and you should probably get treatment as well.” The now-orange alien walked forward, their movement accompanied by the strange sound of ceramic plates rubbing together. “That won’t be a problem, we Tricinic do not catch meat diseases. I am Tsy'lo, take me to the commander.” They turned to look behind them. “Where are the others?” Aaron pointed to Ozzy. “It’s just us two.” Colours swirled and the small glass person thrummed. The datapad spoke, “You are the last human, the Ambassador. Correct?” Turning and gesturing to be followed, he began to lead the way to the rejuvenation room. “I am the first human, Ambassador Aaron Cooper, professional bounty hunter. Just call me Aaron. Are you the rescue party? Is Alexa here? Did she bring Sassie?” It took a moment for the translation to come back. “I don’t know those names. We are the Special Tactics and Rescue Squad and we responded to distress calls and found this ship. Adrift.” They had walked a little way when Tsy'lo stopped and regarded Ozzy, who was still faithfully following behind. “Why does the achalo follow you?” “Ozzy?” Aaron shrugged. “I think he was lonely. So, were you sent into Hive space to find me, or are you on some top secret mission? You aren’t with the Sentinels, are you?” “Lonely? But it is an achalo.” Tsy'lo was confused and their colour visibly swirled. “Why would a rescue mission be secret? And, we weren’t sent, we were already here.” Now it was the human who was confused. “Like spies behind enemy lines? Is that why you are in Hive space?” The Tricinic hummed at a higher frequency. “It is our space. We are the Hive!”
Admiral Pelar of the third fleet stood in the centre of the training mat. On the floor around her were four tough looking Ashi, while a fifth was now squaring off against her. She blocked the jab and the surprise knee strike that followed, turning effortlessly to bring her elbow to her opponents ribs. With another deft turn she was behind him and kicking his knees forward. He tried to roll clear but she had anticipated the move and, as he rose, her spinning boot struck the side of his head. “Nice try gentlemen.” She walked away and caught a towel thrown by the drill instructor. “That last one has potential,” she said, and the drill instructor nodded. “Next time, I expect at least one of them to land a hit. If not, I’ll have you in the ring instead, to make sure you still have what it takes.” She saw the fear in his eyes. “I accept nothing but the best from the Third Fleet.” The medics ran onto the mat as she dabbed at her forehead, and she spotted Jar’Bek sitting on a bench nearby. She walked over to him and he stood, straightening what was no doubt an extremely expensive suit. “From one disappointment to another.” The lawyer smiled. “Imagine only seeing your son when he is paid to be in your presence,” he countered. She smirked. “Your tongue is still your most deadly weapon.” He nodded. “Ah, but it must make you proud to see me make use of the things you taught me.” Her face twitched. “I taught you to be a true Ashi, a soldier. I taught you to respect-” Jar’Bek held up his hand. “I’m here on my client’s business, not yours. And, as I am paid a considerable sum per gal, let us not waste their money on matters that are concluded.” He enjoyed the irritation on her face. “I am here to finalise the amnesty treaties, and conclude your membership as citizens of Earth.” The Admiral held up her hands, looking down at her combat training clothing. “I must shower and change first. Please, wait for me in my private office.” She smiled politely. “No.” His smile seemed to hover as if it was a mask that could slip at any time. “You may have disowned me, but I still remember your tricks. You knew the time of our meeting; you had me brought here so you could intimidate me with this display of aggression. Then you ask me to wait in your office amongst your memorabilia and trophies.” He watched the anger behind her eyes. “You really think these tired old tricks will work on me?” She sneered. “At least you remember something.” “Oh, I had the scars removed, but I kept the lessons.” He walked away. “My client's time is valuable and I have scheduled a meeting with the other fleet Admiral’s for later this cycle. Since we have no time for your games, let us go to the briefing room. My team is already set up. If you wish to shower, know that it is more of your negotiating time you are wasting, and I do so hate waste.” He collected his briefcase and walked out of the room. Captain Loring hurried after Jar’Bek, catching him as he entered the elevator. “You sure you want to antagonise the Admiral like that?” He leaned back against the wall of the elevator and relaxed, letting out a small sigh. “A little negotiating trick a Kittran taught me. Anyway, she is no longer my Admiral.” Elora’Tan leaned back on the opposite wall. “She is your mother, Jar.” “Ha.” Jar’Bek laughed. “She disowned me. This is the first contact we’ve had in I forget how many celes. Her first thought is to try and intimidate me with that display. She likes to beat on cadets, she likes to cause pain, and she wanted me to watch.” Loring gave a weak smile. “It forges strong soldiers. We can’t afford weakness.” The elevator stopped and Jar’Bek took a step closer to Elora’Tan. “You think it was weakness that made me leave?” He didn’t let her answer, turning and exiting into the hallway. His voice now resonated with authority as he growled, “In case you people have forgotten, the Ashi will operate under the same rules as the rest of the colony. My mother is not the law... I am the law.”
I want my players to go through and plan a heist in a casino, the only problem is I have no clue how to set this up. I am planning on making my own map for the casino using these assets as the base: https://marketplace.roll20.net/browse/set/1806/casino-gaming-floor-pack The target of the heist is to rescue 3 hostages spread out through the bottom floor and an undisclosed magical item hidden at the top in the owner's office. The magical item is a monocle that vastly increases the wearer's wisdom (to about 26) but after being in touch with the object for a week the wearer is corrupted and becomes evil and desiring power (this is a running trend throughout the items my party is sent to retrieve throughout their adventure each item increases a different stat). The origin of the Casino is that it used to be a random casino in the middle of a nowhere town when a beholder decided to make the town it's home base. with the assistance of the magical monocle, he is able to cheat his way through the casino until he wins a bet with the owner in which he wins the casino. I am undecided if the heist will take place through the whole town or just in the casino, seeing as I have limited time though probably just the casino. Sae Nijjima's Palace from Persona 5 would be a huge inspiration to the layout of the casino. The party's level is 5 and there are only 3 members so I DO NOT want them to fight the beholder, if they get into an encounter with the beholder he agrees to play a game of chance for the item/hostages, being either a rigged game of poker where the party has to cheat in creative ways to win or a game of Russian Roulette (by a different name as Russia does not exist or with a different reason for the name like Russia being the last name of the person who invented it). Sorry for anything that does not make sense or is written badly as this was more of a brain vomit rather than a well-written thing. if you want any more details I will answer in the comments. What should I add to make this Heist feel like a heist movie? How should I set up and do guard patrol? How should I protect the objectives? I have the backstory ready but don't know what to do for the story that unfolds while they are going through, any ideas?
How I discovered the KKC - in JAIL. Lol. Also do you think corners and spades are the same game?
Warning this is a long tale of many prisoners, starting with me, getting hooked on KKC while serving time. Also a tale of friendship and running a gambling empire behind bars as well as my theory that the games corners and spades are one in the same. So I have a history with drugs and it got me on probation which ended me in jail several times bc I didnt quit. The legal system isn't great at getting ppl off drugs but it's super good at putting us nonviolent offenders in jail where private jails can make money from the taxpayers for keeping us locked up. I've completed my probation now and had my record expunged so it's all behind me now but here's the story of how I found the Kingkiller Chronicle. So I was in jail and I had a super whiney older guy as a cellmate. He seriously wouldn't stop whining and crying about having to be in jail for 2 more weeks. I knew I would be there at least 6 months and I thought I was going to prison for a couple years after that since this was my 4th probation violation. Luckily the judge liked me and let me off super easy. Well my whiney cell mate had 3 books sent in. I didnt have anyone to send me books, write, visit or put money on my books. It sucked. I tried telling my cellmate jails not so bad, I'd been a bunch. It's mostly like a really boring camp with awful food. He was scared of the other inmates. I told him I'd protect him lol. Even tho I was new there were a couple of people i knew from other places and they'd introduced me to all the cool people and I'd made friends with the important ppl to make friends with. I did my very best to keep my short timer cellmate calm while listening to him talk about how he cant do 2 weeks while i had years hanging over me. Then one day my cellmate does something extremely dumb. He went to the guard and said he couldnt take it anymore. That he was losing it. I'd warned him about this. Told him how they wouldn't take him somewhere nice and comfortable and hold his hand and make him some relaxing warm tea. The damage was done though and so they got him and took him to the mental health pod. The kind of place with such nice amenities as non stop 24 hour screaming, throwing and smearing feces as well as the unpredictable violently insane. Oh well. I warned him. When he left he left his books though. Score. 2 of these books were junk but hmm what's this? The Name of The Wind. This looks cool. I'll give it a try. I was hooked. On free time when everyone's allowed out of their cells I asked some of the guys about it and no one had heard of it except a guy we will call H. H was a big guy and quite feared. I liked him and would sometimes talk to him about game of thrones, wheel of time, red rising and other nerdy stuff. The vast majority of ppl in our unit were terrified of H tho. He was big but it was more his attitude. I once saw him get into an argument with a member of the bloods. H challenged him to fight and walked over to a place where the guard and cameras couldnt see. The gang member was scared and said something about having to "talk to his people." H without missing a beat told him "bring your people!" He was ready to fight them all. There were like 4 or 5 bloods in that unit and H would've wrecked them. Aside from being bigger than any 2 of them combined you could just tell he was the last guy in there to mess with. He was like a modern day viking berserker. The bloods sent 1 of their ppl to go apologize to him. Was hilarious. Another reason everyone feared him was bc when he was in prison 3 men with knifes came into his cell to rob him of his commissary. He was stabbed multiple times but gouged one mans eye out and literally beat another to death by getting him down and punching his throat multiple times. He also didnt lose his commissary. H wouldn't talk about this until I'd known him for months. I originally heard the story from another guy who had been at that prison. When we were finally close enough for me to ask he told me the whole story, every detail, with a far off glassy look in his eyes and he showed me where they'd stabbed him up. Anyway, he had read NOTW and WMF both and said they were incredible. Since we had discussed books a bunch I knew we had the same taste in them. I read NOTW on lockdowns and played a card game called spades on free time when we were allowed out of our cells. Spades is very serious business in jail and prison. Surprisingly H barely knew how to play and he was very bad. I however was as good as anyone in there. I was definitely a candidate for best player, if not best then top 3 for sure. I started teaching H to play well and training him to be my cards partner. Then something very sad happened. I finished the Name of the Wind. The next free time I brought out TNOTW and gave it to H bc he wanted to reread it. I told him how empty my life had become since finishing it. He said "hold on" and went to his cell and came back with a brand new copy of Wise Mans Fear!! Even though he had read it he was such a bro he had his ppl send him a copy bc they'd send him as many books as he requested. I was elated. Those 2 books made my time so much better when I read them. I'd read straight from lockdown at 10 30pm until breakfast at 3 30 am then go to sleep after breakfast. By this point H was a very good spades partner and wed taken to calling it "corners" like in the books. I think spades may have been the inspiration for corners bc they seemed very similar. After H finished Name of the Wind he asked if another fantasy book nerd could read it. I was happy to let them. From there the book traveled all around the unit with everyone loving it. Hardened criminals talking about Kvothe or how much they hate Denna. I once heard a member of the Mexican mafia explaining to his homeboys how badass Bast is and quoting what he told Chronicler. The "I'll make a game out of you" threat. It was crazy. If you asked around what the best book in the unit was the answer youd get was NOTW and WMF. I finished WMF and it started making its travels around the dorm also. H had ordered slow regard for silent things but I didnt like it as much. Still glad I read it. H also started ordering this series called the Gray Man which i really liked but i had several of the gambling inmates come to me with an offer. They wanted me to be in charge of all the gambling for the unit. Basically I'd hand out poker chips and keep up with how much each person had lost or won. I'd make sure losers paid and winners got paid. Everyone recommends staying away from stuff like this bc if you get caught you go to the hole (the 3 before me were caught), ppl could lose a lot and then say they weren't going to pay so youd either have to fight them or look weak and once you look weak in there it's over for you and also you become the person with the most commissary items of anyone in the unit so you can pay the winners which makes you the very best person to rob, you are basically a 1 man casino after all. The benefit is every hand of poker played I earned 2 poker chips. 10 poker chips was worth a pack of ramen noodles/65 cents. These guys played poker for 8 hours a day 7 days a week. I made $25 to $40 worth of food every day 2 poker chips at a time. I had no reason to hoard this stuff since i only had 5 weeks left before release when i got put in charge of poker. I also was slick with it. I was good friends with the 2 biggest meanest dudes in there and so if anyone acted like they wouldn't pay their debt I'd say "that's fine, I'll cover your debt out of my pocket and you'll just owe me but I'm going to send you to collections" then I'd point out H and the other huge guy "and if they have to go in your cell, beat your ass and take your shit they're taking everything. Not just what you lost at poker. Then they're probably going to keep doing it every week bc you cant stop them and you tried to fuck over their good friend (me)" everyone paid after that warning. One day I even overheard the crips talking about "robbing the poker game" aka robbing me. This was laughable. By this time H and I were cellmates. There were only 3 crips in the unit and as H was fond of saying "none of them weigh more than 90lbs soaking wet that's why they joined gangs". I told them any time they want to run into me and Hs cell they were welcome. Just lmk I'll leave the door open. They later came and apologized and said they were just talking shit. Running the poker game was stressful but worth it. Myself, H and a few other ppl who looked out for me when I had nothing lived like kings with what I earned off the table. We feasted everyday and had unlimited coffee. I also helped out other ppl who didnt get any store bc they feed you dinner at 3 30pm and you dont eat again til 3 30 am so if you cant buy food you starve all evening and most of the night. They fed us very little and the food was only edible if you had to eat it to live. I never got caught running gambling. A long time ago I learned the Masonic code that freemasons used to use bc I was a really weird kid (it's super easy) so I just kept my records in that. Not a single person refused to pay their debt to me (and risk collections lol) and I made sure winners were paid out at the start of each day. And I knew which items each player liked the most and made sure they got them. Previous ppl in my position kept all the best items and paid out BS. There was a fight once when one guy got paid with 2 bottles of water. I didnt accept bottled water and envelopes and dumb stuff like that lol. By the time I left 75% of the unit had read the kkc. None of us knew book 3 wasnt out yet so you often heard ppl saying they were going to get it as soon as they got out. Alas I said this myself. The rumor was that it was only out on hardback and we weren't allowed to get hardbacks. Well that's my wacky story of how I got introduced to the KKC and it lead to me becoming great friends with the guy even the guards were scared of. Hes in prison now but I write him every couple of months. He was such an awesome dude bc he would say whatever he thought like "oh you're in that gang? I think they're all a bunch of pussies" and "oh you're friends with so and so? Yea I know him I beat his ass and took his dope. Knocked him out cold. Hope that's not your homeboy". I later found out he just didnt like most people bc he thought they were fake and scared to be themselves and always obsessed with appearing tough. He said my immediate willingness to nerd out about fantasy books showed I had no problem just being me and thats why he warmed up to me and not many others. I was the same book loving nerd in jail as out lol. He gets out in January. I intend to hang out with him. I still haven't broke it to him about book 3 lol. Also let me clear up that with my history and all my trips behind bars I can definitely defend myself though I'm an average sized guy. I've never backed down from a fight in jail and always refused to show weakness but having H as my best friend definitely made life easier on me bc to fight me they would've had to have fought him also. He would tell ppl that he and I were brothers and it was us against the world. Kinda a joke since all gang members call other members their brothers. Also gang members have these intricate dumb secret handshakes so we made our own which was just doing a fist bump but as soon as our fists hit we would both put our thumbs up. It was dumb and really must've pissed off the gang members. Looking back I'm lucky he didnt get out before me or they wouldve beat the shit out of me hahaha unlike him I cant take on 3 or 4 ppl lol or 2. It was really cool seeing groups of tattood up hardened criminals sitting around talking about how they'd break out of the jail if they could use sympathy and all kinds of crazy kkc convos hahaha. If anyone knows how to play spades how close to the game of corners do you think it is? Sorry if yall read this and considered it a horrible loss of time you'll never get back. Just wanted to share how I found these great books. TLDR Went to jail and was given the Name of the Wind and loved it and it lead me to making friends that made my stay in jail much better and 75% of the guys I was locked up with read and loved KKC. Also how I ran an illegal casino in jail. Also I think corners and spades are the same games.
Why are Americans forced to use shitty off-shore sites like ACR, BOL and Bovada?
Title says it all. Its 2020 and outside of a few states, 90% of American players are forced to use totally shady, unregulated, rigged-ass poker sites that are run by pieces of shit. Is there billionaire casino owners that lobby each year to keep online poker illegal? The US legalized sports betting, how the fuck is online poker not within the scope of those federal laws? This country just decriminalized fucking coke, heroin, and meth in the state of Oregon, but I can't sit in my living room and play poker at PartyPoker or Pokerstars?? I see online gaming companies, such as DraftKings, operating fine domestically, in both public operations and US-facing advertisement. I don't understand why its illegal for Americans to play on trust worthy, reliable, US-facing sites. As you can tell, I am tilted as fuck. I just got another PARTIAL refund from ACR because I was playing against two fucking bots at the same table. They wouldn't even GIVE ME A FULL FUCKING REFUND. Fuck the free world. Fuck everyone. I want the Full Tilt days back... (before black Friday obviously) Update: Please keep the up/down vote number at 69 ;)
Need help, on a downswing and a 'friend' is pissing me off even more
So i had a downswing recently, lost abt 5k, thats around 25 buyins playing 200NL online. I figured I may need to take a course and get my strategies solidified. I have a fulltime job and fortunately money isnt an issue right now. The 5k I just lost was actually from an upswing I had turning a deposit of 50 into 5k at 50NL, 100NL, 200NL. But the real issue to me is this poker friend that I have, he has gambling issues of his own. He lost 40k in blackjack at the end of 2019 and hasnt been playing since then. Says he is now off the addiction and is saving up money to build a roll. But I feel like his true test will come when the pandemic is over. Now the problem is he keeps giving me free advise about how I should conduct myself related to poker. That I shouldnt play for a while, or not play online at all etc. Curiously all his advise comes right after I have a downswing. When I am on an upswing he stays calm. It just feels to me that he is being hypocritical when he says I should not have done that, that I should be more careful about money. We have been friends for 4 years now. And this seems to happen often. For example he advises me to play less poker and then he just plays like a 48 hour session of live poker and claims "the action was good", also there was a period of 30 days when he went to the casino everyday. It is tough to listen to someone go off and advise you on things which they dont seem to follow themselves. I have told him as much and he says me calling him a hypocrite wont help and that instead I should take his advise and get better. This leads to arguments and I feel like I should say goodbye to this poker friendship. What are your thoughts?
Looking for your feedback and opinions on my results in microstakes MTT's so far.
Hi there /r Poker, I've been a very casual live recreational Texas Hold'em Tournament player for a little over ten years at my small local casino. I have just under $12,000 in live tournament winnings ($11,374 if it had to be an exact figure), and after tournament buy-ins totaling $6000, I have a total net profit of $5,374, for a 47% ROI (Approximately 100 tournaments played, averaging $60 a tournament buy-in) Since the beginning of October I have started playing online micro MTT's on Pokerstars (mainly the $0.25 45 and 90 player MTT SNG's they offer. Looking to bankroll 150-250 BI's to $1 versions of these plus the 180 player SNG's by the end of next summer) and have compiled a small sample of tournament data in that time. I would like to get any kind of thought or critique/constructive criticism on how I am doing so far for my online tournament play. I have purchased Poker Copilot, the $7 introductory course on post-flop play on upswing poker, and I'm going to be purchasing a 6 month subscription to the Upswing Lab shortly after new year's. I have a 43k hand sample obtained so far. Between these stats and what my Pokerprolabs player account information has provided me, here are my following stats and I would simply like to know if it possible to tell if I am playing well, or on a really good heater right now. Hand Total: 43,576 Tournaments played: 617 Total Winnings: $284.89 Total Tournament cost: $147.45 Total Profit: $101.39 Average profit per tournament: $0.16 ROI: 68.74% First Place: 19 Second Place: 28 Third Place: 13 VPiP: 21% PFR: 15% Agg: 48% 3-Bet: 6% 4-Bet: 15% C-bet: 56% Check-Raise: 7% All-In Equity: +7200BB over 43,576 hands All-In Equity Value: +5400BB over 43,576 hands Poker Copilot Leak Detectors over 43,576 Hands Pre-Flop Aggression: Everything is listed as good except Big blind as "passive" at 35%. "Raise more, call less" Positional Awareness: All listed as "Good" Blind Stealing: Attempt Rate: 44% (Good) BB won/100 hands from blind steal attempts: 84.94 BB won/overall: 16.55 Based on these statistics, I was thinking of starting to take shots in the $1 tournaments once I get bankrolled above $100 and/or I've played 1000 total $0.25 SNG MTT's. Would I stand a chance, or is this just looking evident of a heater run? I could easily deposit more money into my account, but I am honestly fully embracing the grind of trying to turn my $15 deposit into a proper bankroll (currently sitting at $82.53 this morning) and adhering to strict bankroll management in this regard.
Pre-Conference Question - What do you think he'll announce?
A harsher lecture on being a GOOD NEIGHBOR?
Modified Phase 3 ala New Orleans?
Moving back to Phase 2 or 1?
Or will it be an unexpected Stay At Home order?
Some other option?
NOTE: The summary of this press conference is transcribed LIVE. The summary may contain spelling and grammatical errors which until it is able to be corrected once the conference concludes. NOTE: The summary may contain spelling and grammatical errors. Gov JBE
Anyone who has been paying attention to the news whether internationally, nationally, or state you know COVID-19 is going in the wrong direction unmoving very fast in the wrong direction.
Louisiana is experiencing the third surge of COVID-19.
Nov alone the US has had more new cases than in any other months and hospitalizations are at a record high nationally. Higher than other surges.
Yesterday the US added more than 169,000 new cases in one day and 898 deaths.
This week's WH Coronavirus Taskforce Report shows 474 new cases per 100,000 people last week we had 172 new cases per 100,000 people. The national average is 356 cases per 100,000.
So this is the first week in many weeks that LA has had more new cases than the national average.
Today we report ___ new cases and sadly 39 additional people have lost their lives to the virus for a Toal amount of ___ deaths. Reporting 1,052 hospitalizations, not the first of the month we had less than 600. Today we are up 40 than yesterday with more than 350+ net new COVID19 hospitalizations. 113 patients on mechanical ventilators.
When we see what's happening in state and across all regions we have to be very cautious about hospitalizations and maintain the capacity to give life-saving care to covid and non-covid patients.
Trajectory we are on it is imperative we take action now.
If we could flip a switch and get 100% adherence to mitigation measures to all measures we are still 2 weeks from seeing changes.
We are in for a rough patch, and the degree we flatten the curve and are successful will depend on eery Louisianan.
We are stepping a step back to a revised Phase 2. So Phase 2 with some modifications.
We got out of the prior surge by moving to Phase 2.
What does that mean?
Will get into that later...
Wants to get ahead of the Thanksgiving Holiday and the extended holiday season.
Data includes info thru Friday, Nov 20.
Thanks National Guard, GOSHEP, and the LDH for working very hard and working over the holiday.
Gating Criteria Slides:
What we are seeing is as concerning as it has ever been. We were lucky to have a reprieve from the rest of the countries rise in cases for a few weeks we are now where a large portion of the country is.
Top left shows % of patients coming into ER departments across the state with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 you can see the prior spikes and now it is increasing again.
Top right show new cases on a rolling 7-day average you can see the first and second spikes and now the increase we are on which is almost identical to where we were going up in the second spike and clearly we have not hit the top yet.
Bottom left you can see the % positivity dated back to the date of collection and that is increasing as well up to 8.1% now will be posted on the dashboard tomorrow. You will see testing volume is also increasing. There is more COVID so more people are getting tested due to more exposure plus the increase around testing around the holiday. An increase in testing volume has no bearing on testing positivity. An increase in positivity and testing volume is a strong signal we are experiencing a lot of COVID.
Bottom right is the amount of hospitalized patients with COVID19 you can see the two spikes and now a sharp increase. It is a rate of increase that our hospitals cannot stand for very much longer.
Region analysis - every region across the state are seeing similar increases.
Region 1 Orleans - increase across the board.
Region 2 EBR - increase across the board.
Region 3 River parishes - increase across the board.
Region 4 - increases across the board.
Region 5 Lake Charles - increases across the board.
Region 6 Can LA - increases across the board with a very sharp increase in new cases and hosp.
Region 7 - increase across the board.
Region 8 - increase across the board.
Region 9 - increases across the board.
A month ago it was a mixed bag with some areas plateauing or increasing.
Now the entire state for all gating criteria is increasing, (only Can LA is plateauing for COVID-like illness reports).
Still have capacity across the state but this is a lagging indicator so if you act when hospitals are at capacity it is too late.
People waiting a long time to get a bed. One ER had to use recliners in the ER while people waited for a bed to open up.
Rural/smaller hospitals are having a difficult time transferring patients to other locations. Not every ICU bed is equal and some conditions require more expertise from an advanced center. Only a handful exist across the state. Even if a rural hospital has an ICU available if a patient presents with needing an advanced team and there are none available they may have to wait a couple of days before they get transferred in. That's a delay of care and has consequences.
Hospitals are stretched and already at staffing capacity. A nurse may typically care for 4-5 patients may now be caring for 6-7.
These things have consequences and it is just the beginning because we haven't hit capacity yet. This is a warning we have to act now. There are things we are working to preserve in the state and the ability to access normal hospital care is one of those priorities. We do not want to have to delay scheduled procedures.
The path ahead is dangerous. This is a dangerous time for Louisiana.
The trajectory we are on is dangerous. We are on a similar trajectory as before.
Now it is flu season so we have extra patients in the hospital.
Weather turning cold so more people indoors = more transmission.
Peak of the holiday season coming up so there's a temptation to gather. Gathering = more transmission.
Previous increases we were not in lockstep with the rest of the country. Every other state is seeing runs on hospital care and demands of their hospital staff at the same time we are. If we need to ask for help, it may not be there this time. In fact, we don't think they will be available because they will be caring for their own state's patients.
Questions for Dr Kanter about data
Related to Halloween? Seems people are willing to gather for Thanksgiving. Are we going to see a worsening 2 weeks after Thanksgiving We are already seeing just about as steep of an increase as we can get it really can't get much steeper than that. I don't know, looking back to Halloween, it was part of it. I think increases from other states was bleeding over into our particularly in Northern LA. Plus we are tired, COVID fatigue is real, and it's easy to get complacent. Even without Thanksgiving coming ahead we will continue to get worse. I don't know how much worse it gets with Thanksgiving. I cannot emphasize this more than enough if you need to make a decision for your family talk to someone who has had it, experiencing the disease, or someone who has worked in the affected healthcare facilities during those two surges. How much is being driven by small gatherings indoors and if so it doesn't seem restrictions matter than much Small gatherings have been a larger component than months ago, there is no question about that but that is just one slice. We continue to see a lot of cases tied to bars, restaurants, events, and churches as well. Mitigation measures are going to be significant in their effect but not absolute. The other side is that people really need to make responsible decisions when no one is looking. No one will police who parities but I want families to take it seriously and know what the real risks are and make an informed decision. The more families are informed the more they will be likely to say for this year, for my family, it is just not worth it. Gov. JBE
We have already been told that for example if we will request help from he Fed gov in respect to medical care to Louisiana there are 12 individual and discrete things we have done first before we can be considered.
Strong indication we cannot count on that.
Difference between Spring and Summer surges when we did have medical personnel available from requests to the Federal government at that time.
Partially important for Northern and Central LA. I do not know how hard it will be to go back in the gating criteria for those regions but if you go to Region 6. If you look right at the summer surge we never got those numbers as far down as we wanted to we never got those numbers down to where we wanted to. So the baseline of going into the third surge is much higher relatively speaking to the state as a whole. So we are already in a much more difficult place.
Statewide the non-COVID patient population is higher now than it was in the Spring or the Summer.
Region 7 you will see the right of the summer surge the numbers did not come down to be even close to where they were before the summer surge started. So they have a very high baseline of cases.
Region 8 the same thing.
Our numbers are worse and they are getting worse everywhere so I hesitate to bring up regions 6,7, and 8 because people might think that's the only places we need to be focused on. That is not true, but I will tell you its a particular concern if you are in Central or Northern LA because you have such a high baseline going into this.
While we need adherence to restrictions everywhere it is particularly acute in Regions 6,7, and 8.
Breakdown of Phase 2 (modified) will become effective tomorrow and last 28 days (4 weeks) expiring on Dec 23:
Statewide surge requiring a statewide effort.
Follows the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations.
Last time we had such a large single-day increase was in July -- which is when we took action through implementing Phase 2 and the mask mandate -- and collectively the people across Louisiana responded and we bent the curve.
Time for us to rise again and meet the challenge before us.
With the Holiday season before us we really gotta pay attention to this now so we do not overburden our hospitals to not deliver care. I do not want to have hospitals have to cancel elective surgeries or medical procedures want. Delayed non-emergency procedures and surges often transmit into emergencies later on. Do not want doctors to have to make crisis care decisions pitting cases against one another due to a lack of resources.
We have avoided crisis care during our previous waves because we worked together to flatten the curve.
If there was ever a time to step up and be a good neighbor, whether it is to your actual neighbor or to someone in LA you have never met, that time is now.
People do not stop having car accidents because of a pandemic. There are still critical care needs apart from COVID.
Do it for the medical professionals as well who have been overworked since March.
To keep schools open.
Encouraging all employers public and private to maximize the use of telework where possible.
Ask families to engage in safe holiday-related activities. When you gather with those outsides from your household the more times you do it the more you roll the dice and the more likely it is that you or multiple people get sick. With community spread the dice are loaded against you. I ask you not to do this, especially during the holidays. It is what the CDC and LDH recommend.
Start planning now for a safe Christmas and Hanukkah.
Reduction in gathering sizes for businesses & houses of worship
50% for occupancy with social distancing and masks for restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, gyms, casinos, and video poker, and non-essential retail businesses.**
Essential is determined by the Dept. of Homeland Security.
75% for occupancy with social distancing and masks for churches and places of worship.**
Reduction in gathering sizes at bars other restrictions remain in place.
Bars in parishes with greater than 5% must close to indoors consumption can have outdoor seating of up to 50 people, seated and spaced out, and masks mandated.
Bars in parishes with less than 5% can allow indoor consumption up to 25% occupancy seated and spaced out; outdoor consumption encouraged and masks mandated.
Reduction in gathering sizes at event centers
Indoors limited to 25% occupancy, make required up to 75.
Outdoors limited to 25% occupancy, masks required, up to 150 where social distancing is not possible.
Reduction of sporting event occupancy
Limited to 25% occupancy.
When LDH updates the two-week case incidence numbers tomorrow there will be some parishes where bars close, that were going to happen regardless of these changes because those parishes would have exceeded the 10% that was previously required.
Now allowing outdoor seating.
Statewide mask mandate remains in effect
It was a critical part of slowing the spread in the summer and is a critical part now.
Now we know wearing a mask also reduces transmission to you as well as those around you.
Doing everything we can to keep schools open.
Local decision how schools do this.. if they are in person, vertical, or hybrid.
Do not have an expectation that by Dec 23rd we will reduce restrictions a couple of days ahead of Christmas.
All data indicates we in for a couple of rough months.
No one should believe we will relax restrictions around that time.
I hope and pray, and believe, we will not have to put more restrictions in place before then.
Will be dependent on if the people of Louisiana embrace the mitigation measures and flatten that curve again. If we stay on the current trajectory we will be forced to put more restrictions in place.
Everyday households need to stick together and reduce interaction with those outside of their household.
Any activities that do take place should take place outside rather than inside.
Odds are 20x higher to catch the virus indoors than outdoors when the same activity takes place.
We are expecting rain this week perhaps staying with us through Thanksgiving and after.
Even if you planned the safest possible event with it intended to be outdoors there is a good chance you will not be able to do that.
Now is your opportunity to adjust your Thanksgiving plans.
Do not have people from different households come indoors together. The virus doesn't care if you are a relative.
If you want a Christmas without loved ones in the hospital, or worse, you need to be extremely careful on Thanksgiving and every day.
Next few weeks would normally be holiday party time - office, block, family, etc.
Holiday parties are a recipe for disaster now. Asking people to forgo those parties.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is not a high-speed train heading in our direction, I believe in a few months we will be able to put the pandemic behind us. Next month we can start vaccinating in small numbers and will take some time to get to the general population. Do not get in your mind we will have to mask up and physically distance forever. There is an excellent chance that next Thanksgiving will be the best one ever. While there is COVID fatigue and I know it is real, it is also real that we are looking for renewed interest and compliance for a finite amount of time. I hope it inspires people to do what is required and know they won't have to do it forever. The next few months are critical. We need everyone to be on the same page.
Holidays are about showing your love for those you care about. The best way to love someone right now is to give them COVID. So like it says, "pass the pie and not COVID" that is our mission. That is the mission for everybody in Louisiana.
Follow the commonsense public health measures, the restrictions, and mitigation measures.
They work and have worked before.
Mitigation measures: wear a mask, stay 6ft apart from that outside of your household, wash your hands for 20 seconds, stay home when sick, and protect the most vulnerable from this disease (65+ in age and those with co-morbidities).
Thanks to all public health workers.
Owe a debt of gratitude for those who have worked so hard for months now. We should not make it harder than it needs to be. We should all do our part.
Epidemiologists in Louisiana say we may be getting diminishing returns on our introduction of restrictions than what we previously saw. Are you concerned that the impact of the introduction of these restrictions will be more gradual and the implications that may have I am concerned about an awful lot as it is related to COVID19 and this pandemic. There is not one easy decision I have made nor one that has brought me joy. I am convinced that if the people of Louisiana will embrace these mitigation measures and restrictions, be patient and selfless, and ensure compliance that we will flatten the curve again. That is what I know. There are no magic tricks to be worked here. The only way to stop a surge is with restrictions and mitigation measures. So with the numbers increases here and around the country as they are the sense of urgency that you see coming out of leaders in Washington right now, as seen with Vice President Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force the other day, everyone should understand that this a very very serious situation. We have to do our part in order to slow the spread. It has to be a collective effort. No one should say is 99% of the people do it that's good enough I don't have to personally do it... that doesn't work. We all have to see it as a common effort that we all play our part. If someone would have presented a better option to flatten the curve I would have taken it. I know we have COVID fatigue here and around the country. If there was something other than wearing masks, washing your hands and staying home when you are sick, and so forth I would embrace it. It doesn't exist. That is why you hear this coming out of Washington and all the other healthcare workers how important these are. So let's do it. Let's flatten the curve again. I feel very comfortable that in several months, not sure when we will have enough of our population vaccinated that I believe we can start putting in the rear view mirror. Until now and then we have to do what is necessary. I do not know if there is another surge after this one, I pray not, but we know we are surging now. Are you trying to change the way enforcement has been handled on these public health issues. Obviously the problem is people aren't following previous guidelines.. so are you making changes to enforcement? We will continue to work with businesses of all types and venues to ensure that they understand that the restrictions are what rules they have to abide by. Individuals and businesses can get more information at opensafely.la.gov and you will get more information. Will there be enforcement? Yes, there will be, but I am going to say what I've said back in March and every time since then, if the people in Louisiana insist we enforce our way through this we are doomed to failure. There are 4.66 million Louisianas and 10s of thousands of business and quite frankly we cannot enforce our way through this. We are going to be asking people to comply, do compliance visits, respond to complaints, and where people refuse to come int o compliance you can expect enforcement. That will not get us through this surge. That will not protect the health of our fellow Louisianans, it is better than not doing any enforcement. We need to have people doin this because it is the right thing to do. They need to embrace it, not because it is pleasant but at the end of the day this about people's lives are talking about. We are doing our very best to strike the balance between lives on one hand and livelihoods on the other. When it comes to economy, to business, to employers, to livelihoods, the best thing we can do is put this virus behind us. Are the rules for temporary conditional permits allowing bars to operate as restaurants remain in effect? Yes and we currently have 372 bars using conditional permits to operate as restaurants. They are not a hybrid, they are not part bar or part bar. They operate as restaurants if they are operating properly and they follow all rules for restaurants. For other establishment that continue to operate as bars they need to follow the way we outlined bars operate today. What are you doing for your Thanksgiving celebration. You have a son who is coming home from college because LSU is going virtual for Thanksgiving Yeah I have a son who actually lives here in Baton Rogue and he will likely be coming home to spend some time with us. I will tell you we will stay in baton Rogue at the mansion and have a Thanksgiving meal that consists of the immediate household. We will gives thanks because even during this pandemic which has been so tough on people, even after the 3 hurricanes that hit this year, we have so much to be thankful for. God has truly blessed us. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and that is important to me and my family and we are going to do it, but last year I remember my 84 year old mother came, my 6 siblings all came with their spouses and children and grandchildren. We had 80 or 90 people. You will not be seeing that this year and you will not see it at Christmas either. I hope and pray that if you are with me on Thanksgiving Day of 2021 you will see that. I believe that you will, but between now and then we all have to do our part. Did you tell Legislative leaders about these new restrictions before you came out here today? What was their response? Yes, I did. You need to know that I routinely send data and information to the Speaker and to the President. We have complete transparency on the data we are relying on because we update it every day aside for Saturday. We also have sent Legislative leadership, and I believe every member of the Legislature, every White House Coronavirus Task Force report whenever we get them. This morning in a addition to those things we presented all gating criteria slides to the Speaker and the President. We talked about where we were especially in light of our hospital capacity and our need to go back to a modified Phase 2 in order to flatten the curve again. They asked some questions, expressed concerns to makes sure whether the Fire Marshall or ATC will work with proprietors and bar owners to maximum extend possible so they can know hat is expected of them and be given an opportunity, if they are operation in good faith -- of which the overwhelming majority of businesses are -- to come into compliance. That has been our approach throughout the pandemic. We have always bent over backwards to make sure individuals know what the rules give them every opportunity to come into compliance and only after persistent shortcomings/refusal to do any real enforcement actions like citations take place. I assured him our approach would not change. Does the influx of new vaccines change our prognosis at all We have a draft plan in Louisiana that we continue to update and revise daily. The reason it is a draft plan is that we still don't know the day that we will get the first vaccines nor the number of doses that will be there. I have every expectation that around mid-December we should receive some doses of the Pfizer vaccines first. We don't know how many it could be as few as 30,000 or might be 60,000 we do not know for sure. We think the first doses of the Moderna vaccines would come weeks later, perhaps with a smaller number available initially. We continue to work with our federal partners. We were on the phone with Azar yesterday and talked about the logistical aspects of Project Warpspeed. Once the vaccine gets the EUA from the FDA we will have the vaccine in route to our location(s) of choice in 24 hours. The first shipment will be prioritized to healthcare workers, then high-risk groups (nursing homes, assisted living centers, congregated shelters), then the list expands from there out. Ultimately we want to get to a place where we put a call out to the general population they can go to their health unit (hospital, doctor's office, or pharmacy) and get the vaccine. This is not a one and one vaccine, it requires a second dose, depending on the manufacturer that could be between 21-28 days later. More vaccines may come only over time and some of these things may change. I do not want talk of the vaccine, it is critically important and no one is more excited than I am, but I do not want the talk of the vaccine to cause people to not pay attention to what is imperative right now. That is why you hear Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, Azar, talking about the term of bridging to the vaccine and needing to double-down on measures until the vaccine is widely available. The vaccine will not be here in the numbers we need soon enough to reverse the trajectory and numbers we went over today. I do want to mention I have every confidence that when the FDA issues that EUA that that vaccine will be safe and effective. I hope my fellow Louisiana will embrace the vaccine. A vaccine saves 0 lives but vaccination can save a lot of lives. The vaccination requires the vaccines and an individual to receive that vaccine in two injections. So please understand the FDA has not cut out any steps required to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these vaccines. In fact, the trial sizes were 5x-6x more than one would normally see in a trial. They took steps consecutively instead of sequentially to make this vaccine thereby shortening its time for production. They started the mass production while trials were still happening. So if that authorization comes they have the vaccine to distribute and more to be distributed and you don't have to start that manufacturing process up from the beginning. So I really want people to embrace this and understand they will be safe and effective once the call goes out to start vaccination. Does the state have enough cold storage for the vaccines or does the state have to put in some money for that? We've identified the cold storage capacity that we need pursuant to our plan to administer the Pfizer vaccine. Its a combination of cold storage capacity and dry ice. We will be in good shape there. This is why you have to have really good hard work going on hard in advance. That way working with hospitals and universities you are able to identify all the cold storage you have, where is available for these vaccines and then you plug that into your plan. That will not be a limiting factor in terms of receiving the vaccine. Logistically it makes it more complicated because you have to receive it at those sites and distribute it from there. They are still evaluating how long the vaccines remain stable once they thaw out. We will be all over that so we will make sure if that vial falls out it will be administered while it is stable and making sure that people come and get the second dose as well.
Thank you for continuing to cover this. We do not anticipate another press conference until next week, date unknown.
As I mentioned awhile ago, despite how difficult this year has been for all of us both individually and as a state, there is a lot for us to be thankful for. That is always the case. So Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for the blessing we enjoy and I would encourage people to find ways to have a celebration that is safe so we can be thankful for the blessings we have while being mindful of the dangers of this pandemic. There are dangers if we insists on celebrating the holidays as we have in past. I cannot strongly encourage people to be patient. I know you are tired of this but be patient and love your loved ones by making sure you do not expose them to unnecessary risk. We close to them through the phone, FaceTime, and other ways. Let's look forward to getting together without restrictions and mitigation measures. Unless between now and then we are too risky with our behaviors and we'll be lamenting the fact that we didn't do what we were asked to do. That some of our loved ones won't be with us when the time comes to celebrate in person. When that next birthday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas happens. I encourage everyone to do their part. You've done it before. We can do it again. I am not asking for you to do this forever. There is finite time I am asking for. I cannot tell you when, but I believe in several months we will be putting this in our rearview mirror, but it is not today. In fact, it is not in our rear-view mirror it is in our grill and it is a nasty nasty situation here in Louisiana like it is around the country. We do not have a moment to waste. Everyone has to do their part. If we do, and I'm sure we will, we will get through this. I have every confidence of the people in Louisiana. They have always inspired by their kindness, goodness, and generosity and I believe they will do it again. So let's work together. Let's save lives. God bless and thank you.
I would like to know what you think please. What's the right thing to do in this situation?
This isn't really about the poker hand itself or about how I should have played it. This is about what happens at the end of a hand after I go all-in on the River. So here's the setup: I was playing 1-3 NLH at the casino on a Saturday morning. I'm in the 6 seat and Villain is in the 9. The table has 9 players. The table plays a couple orbits and I've not been too involved deep into any hands. I can only tell a little about Villain at this point. He is ~75yo, probably European based on his accent, and he uses table talk liberally while in a hand as a part of his game. He's clearly not a calling station or a maniac based on what I've seen. The hand starts and we're ~$375 effective. I'm in the LoJack with 10s9s. I open to $15 pre-flop which has been standard for the table. Action folds to the Villain who calls on the button and BB calls. The flop is 4d-8c-Js. I bet my open ended backdoor flush draw for $25 and Villain calls. BB folds. Pot is $89 after rake. Turn is 5s. I continue with a $75 turn bet setting up a river shove whether I hit or not and Villain calls. Pot is $239. River is 4d. I go all-in as there's no way I win at showdown and he hasn't shown any strength. Must be a marginal made hand I think. Now for the fun part: Villain goes into the tank. He's holding his cards, looking at them, and starts doing some of his table talk. He's watching me carefully for any reaction and so I sit still, staring at the wall and let him do his talking. After a couple minutes he holds out his cards, kinda level and face down, looks right at me and says, "ok, I give it to you". He doesn't make any action and neither do I. He freezed up just like me. After about 1.5 seconds of us not doing anything the dealer announces, "player calls". I was floored because I was expecting the dealer to push me the chips. What do you think?
Tourneys/Games at MGM National Harbor? Perspective for cheap players?
The changing online poker landscape leaves me unsatisfied, and I've always preferred live poker for the social side of it, live tells etc. I want to play more live poker, but I'm a cheapskate. I play poker for fun, gambling and the prospect of small wins. My biggest buy-in is $5, tourney or cash games. I just can't justify regularly risking more than that, I have plenty of bills and I'd rather keep some money in my fun budget for movies, hobbies, etc. I've been to MGM Natl Harbor twice, and the smallest buy-in for cash games is $100. Both times I said "hey, it's a rare chance I get to come here, if I lose like $50 I'll pack it up, if I ship it with kings and run into aces, oh well". But I want to play more often, which means I'm risking that stack regularly, and moreover I love tourneys/sitngos, but it's either win or lose your whole $100. Any regulars at Natl Harbor? Can you tell me if the games are soft, like I have a reasonable chance to at least break even? How do you guys justify the high buy-in of live poker, whether at Natl Harbor or elsewhere? Out of curiosity do other casinos nationwide offer like, $20 tourneys?
Introduction Seriously? Another poker guide? Surely we already have enough that describe optimal play. Well yes, but no . As those guides will get you 95+% of the way there, my goal was mainly just for fun, but it also allows me to share a few extra simple rules to get even more out of the game. For those who just want to know the strategy and no details you can skip until the TLDR. Before I lose your attention here are the new questions that I tackle (note: natural pair means a pair formed without the use of a joker)
When dealt a starting hand with both a natural pair and 4 of a particular suit, should you keep the pair (go for 2 pairs, 3 of a kind, etc.) or keep the 4 of a particular suit (go for a flush)?
When dealt a starting hand with both a natural pair and 4 cards of a straight, should you keep the pair (go for 2 pairs, 3 of a kind, etc.) or keep the 4 cards (go for a straight)?
How much extra value does the card counting strategy bring in the higher-lower game?
Have These Questions Really Not Been Answered Yet? While there are excellent guides on the overall strategy (see YANFLY) , one that calculate the odds of winning poker hands (u/PinoyEvan5), and one that calculates the expected returns of playing higher-lower (u/BillsHere1), there is still no full game solution. The probability of winning poker hands only matters when we know the expected returns of playing higher-lower for various multipliers. That is for a complete solution we need to combine and expand on the previous guides. How Do I Answer These Questions? I wrote code to simulate the games and then played them millions of times. For anyone interested, I wrote a ten page document that explains the entire process and shows the code. If anybody wishes to implement it themselves I can send you the R Markdown file if you DM me. Results Preliminaries Before we an answer any of the questions, the first thing that needs to be done is to solve the expected value of playing the higher-lower game. Following past guides, we will be playing the 2 card higher-lower for 1000 chips. The optimal strategy is as follows:
If face up card is higher than 8, choose low
If face up card is lower than 8 choose high
If face up card is 8, choose either
Using this strategy, and implementing it in my higher-lower game, I ran 10 million simulations and got the following results for various multipliers (+/- gives the 95% confidence interval).
x1 (2 pairs, 3 of a kind): 42832 +/- 114 [6.2% probability of positive winnings]
x3 (Straight): 101322 +/- 231 [7.2% probability of positive winnings]
x4 (Flush): 135350 +/- 309 [7.2% probability of positive winnings]
x10 (Full House): 236347 +/- 458 [9.3% probability of positive winnings]
x20 (4 of a kind): 320897 +/- 525 [12.5% probability of positive winnings]
x25 (Straight Flush): 271965 +/- 372 [17.0% probability of positive winnings]
x60 (5 of a kind): 440917 +/- 501 [23.0% probability of positive winnings]
x250 (Royal Flush): 839932 +/- 612 [42.0% probability of positive winnings]
Question 1 Now that we know the expected returns of various multipliers we can figure out whether keep the pair or the 4 of a suit when dealt a starting hand with both. As there are many cases, I decided to again estimate these through running millions of simulations (see the document for details). In the end (got lazy with errors, but with this many simulations and a difference that wide should not be a problem), I got the following expected values to the various strategies:
Keeping the natural pair (go for 2 pair, 3 of a kind, etc.): 18971
Keeping the 4 of a suit (go for flush): 28198
In these situations you should GO FOR THE FLUSH Question 2 The analysis for the straight is quite similar but here we need to consider that inside straight draws on open ended draws have different odds. Fortunately, keeping the pair is better in both cases so it simplifies our overall strategy. The following shows the expected value for going for a straight when you have 4 in a row (i.e. an open ended draw), which has a higher expected return than an inside draw
Keeping the natural pair (go for 2 pair, 3 of a kind, etc.): 18971
Keeping the open ended straight draw (go for straight): 18998
The difference here is not statistically significant and quite negligible. While one should be indifferent between the two from an expected return perspective, from a human perspective it is easier to remember that you go for the pair in all such situations. In these situations you should KEEP THE PAIR. Question 3 Question 3 is particularly interesting. A key part about playing the higher-lower game is that cards will not show up twice - this means card counting is a viable strategy. As has been pointed out in many guides, a simple card counting strategy is as follows:
Start running tally at 0. If card is below 8, add -1. If card is above 8, add +1.
If face up card is anything except 8, use the old strategy.
If face up card is an 8, choose high if tally is negative, choose low if tally is positive.
The question is how much of a gain is this card counting? If the gain is small, then the player probably cannot justify using it if it adds extra time to playing. However, if the gains are large then it might be justifiable even if it slows down your ability to play. To test this I ran 10 million simulations using this card counting strategy for the x1 multiplier situation and go the following outcome:
x1 (No Card Counting): 42832 +/- 114
x1 (With Card Counting): 43385 +/- 115
The results are it adds about 1.3% to your expected return. Personally, I think using it adds well more than 1.3% to my playing time so for me personally counting cards is not a viable strategy. For extra analysis, I looked into a full solution card counting strategy (one that allows for cases when picking lower is better for a 7, picking higher is better for a 9, etc.), but these cases are so rare it adds essentially nothing (0.1% gain which is non significant). Acknowledgements Thanks to u/Aerdra for the crucial feedback and correcting an error in my code. This has now been corrected in both the post and document. TLDR - Summary Provides a summary of the optimal strategy for playing poker. Contributions added in this post are in bold, while all the rest was previously known in previous guides. Poker Phase: General Strategy
Keep all cards that are part of a winning hand. You should replace any cards in that hand that do not contribute to winning
If dealt a natural pair, keep the pair and replace the other 3 cards
If dealt 4 of a suit (including if one is a joker), keep all 4 and go for a flush
If dealt 4 cards of a straight (including if one is a joker), keep all 4 and go for a straight
Otherwise replace all cards (except for a joker in which case you should keep it) [You may also want to consider keeping hands with 3 cards of a flush or a straight as pointed out by u/Aerdra but as u/Storm1k points out playing fast is best - the payoffs are so low it is probably more optimal to save time with fewer button presses]
Poker Phase: Tiebreaks
If dealt a hand with a natural pair and 4 cards of a suit, go for a flush
If dealt a hand with a natural pair and 4 cards of a straight, keep the pair and replace the other 3 cards
Higher-Lower Phase In higher and lower you should play until the game ends either by losing, completing round 10, or passing the cap limit by using the following strategy:
If face up card is above 8, play low
If face up card is below 8, play high
If face up card is 8, play either [might be easier to press "low" as pointed out by u/hkidnc]
Additionally, a +/- 1 card counting strategy can be used for additional gains of 1.3%. [A benefit which for most players is too small to justify the effort of card counting] Happy Halloween! And grinding!
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