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Math Games

Computer-Based System To Crack Down On Casino Card Counters 597

Posted by timothy
from the de-niro-system-more-effective dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Yahoo Tech outlining a system currently being researched: "Card counting is perfectly legal — all a counter does is attempt to keep track of whether the cards remaining in a deck are favorable to his winning a hand (mainly if there are lots of tens and aces remaining in the deck) — but it's deeply frowned upon by Vegas casinos. Those caught counting cards are regularly expelled from casinos on the spot and are often permanently banned from returning. But given the slim house odds on Blackjack, it's often said that a good card counter can actually tip the odds in his favor by carefully controlling the way he bets his hands. And Vegas really doesn't care for that. The anti-card-counter system uses cameras to watch players and keep track of the actual 'count' of the cards, the same way a player would. It also measures how much each player is betting on each hand, and it syncs up the two data points to look for patterns in the action. If a player is betting big when the count is indeed favorable, and keeping his chips to himself when it's not, he's fingered by the computer... and, in the real world, he'd probably receive a visit from a burly dude in a bad suit, too. The system reportedly works even if the gambler intentionally attempts to mislead it with high bets at unfavorable times." It's not developed in Vegas, though, according to the brief description (the other projects are also interesting) from the University of Dundee's release, but rather in conjunction with the Dundee Casino.
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Computer-Based System To Crack Down On Casino Card Counters

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  • by 42forty-two42 (532340) <bdonlanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:16AM (#29766121) Homepage Journal

    Look at it from their point of view - all they want to do is win their games, too. The only difference is, instead of bet/no bet, their choice is bar/don't bar from the premises.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:17AM (#29766123)

    Then they shouldn't have the game on the casino floor. Don't get all pissy when people figure out how to put the odds in their favor.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:19AM (#29766135)
    Fuck them.
  • by tangent3 (449222) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:20AM (#29766141)

    The few casinos I have visited (around East Asia) use continuous shuffle machines with multiple decks. Seems like a far cheaper method of defeating card counters without having to confront them with big burly dudes and earning bad PR.

  • Pointless in Vegas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evel aka matt (123728) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:22AM (#29766149)

    Las Vegas has made card-counting a non-factor. Between high deck-count shoes, variant games with unfavorable rules ("Super Fun 21"), and early shuffle thresholds, even a player keeping a perfect count cannot create a significant edge. And the million people who show up to try their hand at it and fail far make up for the cost of the few who can eek something out anyway.

  • False positives (Score:4, Insightful)

    by razvan784 (1389375) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:23AM (#29766163)
    Do they say something about the reliability of the method? Percentage of false positives? Those can mean angry customers and lost business.
  • by jjohnson (62583) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:25AM (#29766169) Homepage

    I've also heard Vegas bigwigs say that they love card-counters because very few of them do it well enough to actually make money. A lot of money is made off of gamblers who think they have a winning system.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:26AM (#29766173)

    The very premise of a casino is that it's a business that plays games for money. These games are conducted fairly and have public rules set out in advance. The profit comes from structuring these games such that the casino has a slight edge. Everyone knows that.

    The problem comes when the casino breaks its own rules. It's a fundamentally deceptive business practice in any field to tell public that one set of rules applies, then to actually enforce another. If Blackjack is not profitable, the game should be modified or dropped. "You are not permitted to win" is not a fair rule, especially when it's a hidden rule. It's no different from rigging the odds of slot machines, and there are laws against that [wikipedia.org].

  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:32AM (#29766187) Journal

    Casinos have an obligation to follow the outlined rules. They do not however, have any obligation to lose money.

  • They use 8 damed decks for blackjack. Poker is a joke. The perpetually spinning roulette wheel is an abomination. Video slots are stupid. It does not pay to play at all.

    There are two reasons to go. For the whores...oh wait Vegas can't stand the competition so you have to drive an hour north for that. So the only reason to go there is so you can say you've been there and paid 8 bucks for a V8.

    A friends wife sums it up nicely:

    "Vegas is like Monte Carlo as re-imagined by white trash." --blkkitty mzmadmike's wife
    http://mzmadmike.livejournal.com/ [livejournal.com]

  • by EvanED (569694) <evaned@@@gmail...com> on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:48AM (#29766229)

    If someone's able to use their ability to their advantage, why the hell wouldn't they?

    You mean like using the fact that you own the casino to your advantage by kicking people out who are counting cards?

    Personally, I think the present situation is eminently fair. You are free to choose to go to Vegas and play blackjack or not, and the casino is free to provide service to you. You are free to count cards, and the casino is free to kick you out.

    Put it this way: many swimming pools would probably kick you out if you were running around the deck of the pool. Because it's their ground, so they get to set the rules.

  • Well of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:48AM (#29766231)

    Casino's would go broke if the odds weren't in their favour. The whole way they stay profitable is because the odds are for the house. Not a whole lot in most games, and what the odds are is tightly regulated (at least in Nevada), but they are ALWAYS in favour of the house. Even if they were slightly in favour of the players, even 1%, the casino would lose money in the long run.

    If you gamble in a casino with the belief you can win in the long run, you are an idiot. Winning is an anomaly, it has to be for the business to work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:53AM (#29766247)

    Although I'm not a gambler myself, I find the ban on "skilled" gamblers repulsive.
    The casinos themselves try to have croupiers that are skilled at tipping the odds in the casinos favor, so the fact that they go to such lengths to stop gamblers from doing exactly what they themselves do is quite off putting.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:00AM (#29766257) Homepage

    FTA: "By comparing the cards and gambling patterns, the computer can identify a card counter inside 20 hands - even if the gambler starts off with a run of high bets to confuse the system."

    Yeah, right...

  • by moogsynth (1264404) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:10AM (#29766283)
    That seems just as snide as catching the counters with machines, possibly worse. People like to play Blackjack because they know it can be beaten. Whether they actually will beat the house is another matter entirely (and most probably won't). Having enormous, permanently shuffling decks completely blows that illusion away. I can see it turning more people away than bringing them in.
  • by moniker127 (1290002) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:11AM (#29766291)
    The "our house our rules" mentality is bullshit. They are taking peoples money, not offering a fair game. Whenever someone starts to win- they kick them out. That just simply isn't fair to whoever was winning.
  • Re:Burly Dude (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hab136 (30884) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:12AM (#29766297) Journal

    In fact, if they suspect you of counting they simply politely ask you to stop playing.

    The person politely asking is usually burly. Or at least well-muscled.

    I would not take on any of the security folks I saw in Vegas.

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:12AM (#29766299) Journal

    Why don't they just get it over with, and just take your money?

    It's not like making a game, with rules and all, really makes that much difference if they just decide that because you are playing the game by the rules, that you are somehow bad because you succeed? So, you can play the game by their rules, so long as you lose?!?!?

    This is retarded. I've given the casinos less than $10 of my money for gambling. I'll never give them more than $20. Fuck them and their stupid "you can play by our rules so long as you lose!" mentality. Nevermind their billion dollar profit margins...

  • by ztransform (929641) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:16AM (#29766307)

    "You are not permitted to win" is not a fair rule, especially when it's a hidden rule.

    After all, if the computer is keeping a count of when conditions are favourable, the casino could quickly expel any winners even if they are not counting cards.

    Thus there is no more element of chance in the game. The casino will accept all bets that lose, and eject any winners.

    Sounds like the insurance industry to me (who never deny an insurance application, but always investigate the application when you make a claim).

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:19AM (#29766319)

    The real question is; will casino's allow you to cash in your winnings to do they kick you out AND keep the money?

    Card counting isn't illegal. You get you keep what you have won so far. They can legally kick you out and ban you any time they like but they can't deprive you of property you legally own.

    Casino's love a few winners. They give the losers hope and keep them playing and the house always wins in the end.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:22AM (#29766329) Homepage

    I thought blackjack cart counting schemes only worked when you already had a significant number of cards pass by? How could a computer identify a card counter inside 20 hands when a card counter hasn't even started using their count by then?

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:27AM (#29766345)

    The "our house our rules" mentality is bullshit. They are taking peoples money, not offering a fair game. Whenever someone starts to win- they kick them out. That just simply isn't fair to whoever was winning.

    It's fair. As a gambler you also have the right to walk away from the game whenever you like to take your winnings or cut your losses.

    However if they didn't have a house edge they would not stay in business so gamblers always lose in the long term.

  • Discipline (Score:2, Insightful)

    by br00tus (528477) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:32AM (#29766361)
    From a technical standpoint, they probably DO have a winning system. In a real world implementation, they don't.

    I know someone who did this seriously, and I looked into it for a while. If you really dedicate yourself to it, and can follow the system, you can succeed. One thing to remember is it is all mathematical. Theoretically (although not in reality), you can place bets only when odds are in your favor! When the first hand is put out of a new deck, the odds are against you. Let's say for the first few hands of that new deck, most of the 4s, 5s and 6s from the deck have been dealt out, and none of the 10s or Aces. The odds swing into your favor, and get better and better as that pattern continues. Theoretically, you can watch the game, and only sit down and start betting when the odds turn in your favor. In reality, this will mark you as a counter, especially if you place large bets when you sit down.

    The initial problem with counting is, you dedicate many, many hours to getting good at counting, but as soon as you start making money, you go in the "face book" and are banned from casinos (or at least banned from playing blackjack).

    So you have to get a team together. Most teams have a lot of low level counters who bet small and when a decks odds turn in the player's favor (or when a deck turns significantly in the player's favor) they signal a "big player" on their counting team, who sits down and starts making big bets. If your team is betting big money and is successful, eventually they'll figure this out as well, but if you keep trading players out and are clever, you can keep it going, and make some money.

    The problem is it takes a lot of discipline. With a team, you need good discipline from a lot of people. You need to trust everyone with large amounts of money. One person screwing up can blow your whole team's security. It is not an easy thing to do. On top of it all, even if you succeed in getting a disciplined team, once you get rolling, Griffin will begin figuring out who you are. Remember, you have dealers, pit bosses, floor managers there not to mention the cameras which have film saved for quite a while and then Griffin investigating. If you can get a competent, disciplined team like that together, why not start a company or something, without having the pain of all that security breathing down your neck once you get good? Ultimately, you have to do it for enjoyment as much as the money. Because it takes a lot of work, discipline, and relations with regards to the team.

  • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:32AM (#29766365)

    This.

    The point of a casino is that they make money by running games of chance where the odds are in favor of the house. Card counters are just a scapegoat used by casinos to get rid of anyone they want with an accusation that can't be disproven.

    All this system does it automate the already extremely easy process of detecting someone that doesn't fail miserably at blackjack and give them an even better "computers don't lie" excuse to get rid of that person.

  • Re:Discipline (Score:4, Insightful)

    by silentace (992647) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:47AM (#29766417)
    You just got done watching "21" didn't you... it's alright, you don't have to lie.
  • by Jay L (74152) * <jay+slashNO@SPAMjay.fm> on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:56AM (#29766451) Homepage

    "You are not permitted to win" is not a fair rule, especially when it's a hidden rule

    True, but why worry about small-time scams like casino gambling? There are larger issues at stake; this is a matter of principle.

    I say we take on the thermodynamics lobby. Who's with me?

  • by lxs (131946) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:01AM (#29766471)

    They also don't have an obligation to offer blackjack. If they can't make money on a game without throwing good players out, maybe they shouldn't offer the game in the first place.

  • Re:Discipline (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jimmyharris (605111) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:10AM (#29766493) Homepage
    Can you explain what version of Blackjack you are playing when you can possibly have 3 x 10 value cards and not be bust?
  • Re:Discipline (Score:2, Insightful)

    by garompeta (1068578) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:34AM (#29766563)
    He probably read "Bringing Down the House", which is a real story, he knows more than what it is shown in the movie.
  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:40AM (#29766589)

    They basically only want stupid people to play.

    The game has been carefully designed to statistically create a profit for the casino, assuming that the deck of cards is too complex for players to memorize.

    For really smart people who can count really well, assumption is false, so the system fails.
    But for stupid people, the assumption is true and the system works.

    So, they want only stupid people.

    ~I prefer to spend my money in the bar: enter being smart, and become stupid as a result of spending money.

  • by Ost99 (101831) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:52AM (#29766623)

    This would not be legal everywhere.
    Discriminating based on mental abilities would be just as illegal as discrimination based on ethnicity, religion or sex in many European countries.

  • The last time I was in Atlantic City (around 1980), they were using multiple decks and had a "shuffle now" card. When it was "dealt" to a customer, the current hand finished, the multi-deck shoe was shuffled, and the customer fit the "shuffle now" card randomly into the shoe.

    If I recall correctly, the shoe looked like it held 6 or 8 decks (LOTS of cards!).

    Personally, I gave up on casinos when I realized that they couldn't afford all that glitz and glamor unless they were winning a whole lot more than they were losing.

  • Re:Burly Dude (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Imsdal (930595) on Friday October 16, 2009 @04:11AM (#29766689)
    The person asking you to leave often isn't burly. However, that matters little. The three people he will call on if you don't follow his directions will be. And you are right that it is a supremely bad idea to try to "take them on".
  • Re:Well of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday October 16, 2009 @04:25AM (#29766753) Journal

    If you gamble in a casino with the belief you can win in the long run, you are an idiot.

    Well, not exactly. If you have an infinite supply of money, then you can always win in the long run, but you can only win a small amount. The strategy for doing this is to double your bet every time, and eventually you make a profit of your initial stake. Then you stop playing.

    In a game like roulette, if you place a bet on red, for example, then there are 18 winning positions and 19 losing ones, so your probability of losing in the first round is just over 0.51. Bet $1 and if you lose, you double your bet. The probability of losing both rounds is now 0.26. If you lose, double again, but the probability of losing 3 times in a row is only 0.14. After ten rounds, the probability is down to 0.0013, but the stake will be $512, so if you lose your total loss will be $1023, but if you win then your total winnings will be $1.

    By the way, casinos love people who play this strategy on tables with a limit. If they win, then they've won a tiny amount, and if they lose then they lose whatever the limit is.

    My point is that, over an infinite time period, the casino will win. On average the casino will win. At any given point, the player may be winning, and cashing out at this point lets you walk away with more money than you started with, although the effort to reward ratio for this is generally much lower than a minimum wage job. Of course, the only good long-term strategy for gambling with a casino is to buy shares in the company that owns the casino...

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Friday October 16, 2009 @04:31AM (#29766775) Journal
    I've visited Vegas a couple of weeks ago... Lots of fun! No need to gamble either, we put a buck or two in the 1c video poker machine and played a bit for a couple of free beers. But there's plenty to see outside the astounding tackiness of the Strip. Trips to Red Rock, lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, etc. Some very good restaurants there, and there's plenty of shows to go to in the evening.

    Monte Carlo (or Monaco in general) is a playgfround for the rich... you are allowed to walk around and gape at a 90 year old corpse clambering out of a Ferrari with his young blonde trophy wife going for a night at Baccarat, but that's it. Oh, it's interesting to see the roads where they have the F1 race, and there's a nice botanical garden. For the rest it's boring as hell. If I had a choice to spend a week in Monaco or Vegas, I'd pick Vegas any time.
  • by jimicus (737525) on Friday October 16, 2009 @04:52AM (#29766853)

    Fuck them and their stupid "you can play by our rules so long as you lose!" mentality. Nevermind their billion dollar profit margins...

    Little secret for you - in most reasonably respectable businesses (and yes, I know the gambling industry is frequently far from respectable), a "billion dollar profit margin" requires a trillion dollars of turnover.

    In other words, while your gross profit may be huge (which it would be for a casino - the product essentially costs nothing so every penny you get out of your customers is gross profit), your expenses (staff, "complimentary" drinks which aren't because you're hoping to get at least that much money back out of the customer, maintenance of machinery, heating & lighting) quickly bring it right down. You shouldn't be too surprised to find that many businesses make a net profit of around 5%.

    It doesn't take a mathematical genius to realise that a few mistakes in the arithmetic and suddenly the net profit of 5% becomes a loss.

  • Re:Discipline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaffray (6665) on Friday October 16, 2009 @05:31AM (#29766969)

    Option 1: Your analysis is incomplete and inaccurate.

    Option 2: Countless media portrayals and first-hand accounts of card counters making money are all wrong. Media reports of expensive anti-counting technical measures are part of a casino conspiracy to make people believe blackjack is beatable. Books and conferences on blackjack game protection are hoaxes. People who've been barred from multiple properties based on information in the Griffin book are making it all up. Lawsuits against casinos whose security guards have roughed up card counters are actually filed by insiders as part of this elaborate theater they're putting on to increase public interest in blackjack.

    You're pretty smart. Can't be #1. Must be #2!

  • by chrisG23 (812077) on Friday October 16, 2009 @06:02AM (#29767061)
    Since you have no legal "right" to be allowed to play a gambling game that a privately owned company is legally offering, your proposal of a law makes no sense. You being allowed to gamble in a casino is a privilege the casino confers on you, not a right granted by the constitution or other laws.

    If you are upset that the casino offers no games where they do not have an advantage and thus lose money, then don't go to the casino. If you want to make money gambling, play poker. You don't play against the house, you play against other players (so its purely skill vs skill.) You pay the casino a relatively small percentage of each pot (called the rake) for basicly "renting" the table you play on and the safety (try coming up a few tens of thousands of dollars in a game at Bob's house downtown and not getting robbed on your way home.) Also casinos attract people who want to play, so you are paying for the ability to always have people to play against, many of which have huge bankrolls for you to win (or to lose to. Depends on your level of skill at the game).
  • by maxume (22995) on Friday October 16, 2009 @06:21AM (#29767121)

    Why not just say that you don't think casinos should be allowed to offer blackjack?

    No one would bother running a blackjack table if they had to face ridiculous shit like that. I mean, you didn't even put anything in there for people that are being disruptive (say they are ripping drunk or whatever); I imagine you would be fine with such a provision, but once you split the hair, it is a matter of where you stop, not whether you are going to split the hair.

  • by GospelHead821 (466923) on Friday October 16, 2009 @06:40AM (#29767187)

    That's true, but casinos aren't there to provide a fair game and they never have been. They're there to provide the illusion of a fair game and to make money while doing it. The money you lose while gambling is the cost of the entertainment you're receiving from the casino. If you're successfully avoiding losses through something you're doing, then, to the casino, it's like you're trying not to pay them for their services.

  • by jonadab (583620) on Friday October 16, 2009 @06:49AM (#29767229) Homepage Journal
    > Why don't they just get it over with, and just take your money?

    That's what they're doing. That's what casinos have always done.

    But they can get *more* of your money if they can get more of you playing and/or keep you playing longer. (By "you" I of course mean people who are bad at math; people who are good at math, as a rule, don't buy lottery tickets or play casino games.)

    So in order to get more of you playing and keep you there longer, they take your money gradually, a little at a time, while maintaining an illusion that "you could win". They work very hard at maintaining the pretense that you can win, because it takes your guard down and allows them to rob you blind.

    Like I said, people who understand math don't play casino games much.
  • by lorenlal (164133) on Friday October 16, 2009 @06:50AM (#29767231)

    I was in Vegas recently for a wedding... And before anyone asks: No, not mine. And yes, it was planned.

    We were hanging around up at the top of the Stratosphere, looking at Las Vegas Blvd. My cousin said to me, "Looks awesome doesn't it? Just remember, that wasn't built on winners."

  • by jonadab (583620) on Friday October 16, 2009 @06:57AM (#29767265) Homepage Journal
    > Casino's love a few winners.

    Casinos love *occasional* winners, people who spend thirty thousand dollars a year on a gambling habit but get very excited and act like winners when they turn three hundred dollars into a couple thousand dollars on a particular day. Woot!

    And if somebody just happens, by pure chance, to win the first time he ever gambles, hey, it's once, no big deal. It all comes out in the wash.

    But they don't like *consistent* winners, like card counters for instance. They show those people the door and ask them not to come back.
  • by jonadab (583620) on Friday October 16, 2009 @07:13AM (#29767319) Homepage Journal
    > They are taking peoples money, not offering a fair game.

    Well, duh. These are *casinos* we're talking about, not Milton Bradley.

    The only reliable strategy for winning casino games is to run the casino. Anybody who hasn't figured that out is an idiot and deserves to lose.
  • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday October 16, 2009 @07:40AM (#29767477) Journal

    You saying you can open a bar in New York and stick a 'No Blacks' sign in the window?

    And why exactly shouldn't you be allowed to do this? Your business won't last long -- the community will see to that -- so why do we need the Government to force you to let blacks into your business when the marketplace will see to it that you don't have a business for very long?

  • by phoenix321 (734987) * on Friday October 16, 2009 @08:05AM (#29767645)

    Well, it is their house, isn't it? Would you keep guests at home that you don't like? Guests that overextend their stay, cost you money and steal the booze? Who would NOT throw them out?

    The fact that you invited them in doesn't change a bit. Everyone could invite anyone at their home but kick them out a second after they've arrived. It's not going to win any friendships, it's pretty crazy and probably immoral - but we already knew casino owners were an immoral bunch, didn't we?

  • by Pinky's Brain (1158667) on Friday October 16, 2009 @08:14AM (#29767697)

    Casino's explicitly make it possible to do card counting ... they make more money convincing the people who are bad at it to try while banning the people who are good at it than they would be simply introducing continuous shufflers. Like everything else in a casino, the non prevention of card counting is a carefully calculated strategy to optimize profits for the casino.

  • by RenderSeven (938535) on Friday October 16, 2009 @08:23AM (#29767789)

    This is nonsense too. You saying you can open a bar in New York and stick a 'No Blacks' sign in the window?

    A fair point. But I think it has less to do with restrictions on businesses and more about having established protected social and racial classes, the latter meaning that rules can be unevenly applied. For example you cant open a men-only gym but you can open a women-only gym (IANAL/IIRC the case law said men didnt need protection from women but women needed protection from men). More to the GP post you can throw out smart people all day because you're a private business and smart people aren't in a protected class; you cannot throw out stupid people because they fall into a 'disadvantaged/protected' class.

    And what intolerant morons modded you 'troll' because you used the work 'black'? I agree with Shakrai and dont care for legislation creating protected classes, but you are absolutely correct that they exist and do establish restrictions on private businesses.

  • by CraftyJack (1031736) on Friday October 16, 2009 @08:26AM (#29767807)

    And why exactly shouldn't you be allowed to do this? Your business won't last long -- the community will see to that -- so why do we need the Government to force you to let blacks into your business when the marketplace will see to it that you don't have a business for very long?

    Wow. You might want to read up a little on the history of civil rights in the United States. Your faith in "the marketplace" is cute.

  • by phoenix321 (734987) * on Friday October 16, 2009 @08:51AM (#29768005)

    If supply and demand teaches us anything, lower pay for women tells us that women are either in greater supply or in lower demand than men for a particular job. Either that or it means most women don't negotiate as successfully as men, which would not be discriminatory, because if some men don't negotiate well, they also get less pay.

    As men and women are close to 50:50 of our population, it seems that employers prefer people of gender XY over people with gender XX. I don't know if that's fair, but I am not socialist and therefore cannot judge what a particular person or skill is worth or even guess why this disparity exists at all. It just seems that XX people are valued less by employers resulting in lower pay for equal supply.

    Result: the female workforce earns less per person than the male workforce.

    Over here in Europe, women and men get the same pay for the same jobs. By law.

    Now if we take the laws of supply and demand again as the basis for price and exchange rate determination, we would conclude that in a situation, where supply is equal and price is equal, we probably get a lower demand. And what do you think? For all equal pay and stuff, our employers here in Europe surely prefer men over women when they have to pay them the same amount of money.

    Result: the female workforce earns less per person than the male workforce. They're now just divided into fully-paid employees and non-employees that lost against a male candidate. Which is arguably worse for the individuals that got passed on the job.

    Price fixing leads to all kinds of bad stuff happening. Every time.

  • Re:Burly Dude (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigbigbison (104532) on Friday October 16, 2009 @08:51AM (#29768007) Homepage
    Then you are trespassing and they call the cops who take you away.
  • Not surprising (Score:1, Insightful)

    by KiwiCanuck (1075767) on Friday October 16, 2009 @09:00AM (#29768123)
    Vegas is an illusion of wealth.. except for top casino execs (and possible shareholders). As a player, if you actually manage to win, you're banned from playing. Cheaters have used tech to steal from casinos. Now the casinos are using tech to stop "cheating". Card counting is viewed as cheating b/c it has the potential, if done properly, to give the player the advantage. Thus, taking money from the casino.
  • by Gorm the DBA (581373) on Friday October 16, 2009 @09:11AM (#29768227) Journal
    "Why people play with their money against clearly unfavorable odds is beyond me" It's called entertainment. I can go to Atlantic City, be treated like a King for 3 days, staying in a top class hotel room I didn't pay for, with people tending to my every whim, simply by being willing to risk some cash at the tables. And the games themselves are fun as well. There is a group energy behind a winning craps table, or the tension of the moment the roulette wheel is about to drop, or even the (generally) goodnatured cutthroated competition of a poker table. And yes, I generally drop 2-300 bucks over the course of the three day trip. But I got three nights in the hotel, food, drink, and fun for that $300. Or I could go to a MLB game, drop that same amount of money, with no possibility of getting it back, and emerge a mere 3-4 hours later.
  • by Bobtree (105901) on Friday October 16, 2009 @09:11AM (#29768229)

    is to not gamble at all.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Friday October 16, 2009 @09:12AM (#29768239)

    Just remember, that wasn't built on winners.

    Did you toss him off the Stratosphere for that? Honestly, I have little patience for people who think pointing out most people lose at gambling is some sort of deep and wise utterance.

    The answer is "so what?" People are entertained. What other form of entertainment has at least a chance of winning money back?

    The thing that's bizarre to people like me, people who win at gambling because we choose out battles carefully, is that the casinos are going to such lengths to go after what is really nothing more than a chimera. There's no massive threat from good players. In fact, a guy having a good run at a table was once considered free PR for the casino. The noobs would figure the table was "hot" and start gambling there. These places must spend more on cocktail napkins in a day than a busload of counters could hope to take out of them. And as some other posters said, the idea of there being a beatable game draws in a lot of amateur counters who just wind up contributing to the napkin budget.

    People make the "it's a business" argument to excuse all sorts of douchebaggery these days, but let's go with that. Are these systems ever going to pay for themselves, or just start alienating people even more as word of false positives get around? It's like the ridiculous extremist stuff Homeland Security comes up with that sounds all high tech and cool but won't actually accomplish anything positive.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @09:55AM (#29768757)
    And exactly who would that benefit? Not the card counters, they would still not be able to play. Not the casinos. Not the 99% of the people who play blackjack for the fun of it (and because they hope they win). Sounds like a great decision.
  • by The Night Watchman (170430) <smarotta@g m a il.com> on Friday October 16, 2009 @10:00AM (#29768815)

    What it says is that everyone has a different idea of fun. The parent said nothing about addicts. Contrary to your belief, not everyone who goes to casinos is an addict. Some, yes, but not all. Most are there just to have a good time.

    As for throwing money away, the parent made it pretty clear that he is spending money on an experience that he enjoys. It's pretty likely that there are people who consider the things you call fun to be a waste of money and time. It's all relative.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday October 16, 2009 @10:01AM (#29768833) Homepage Journal

    it would be impossible to make money (it is really hard to pay employees, build facilities, etc when your net income is zero).

    And yet we expect musicians, authors and inventors to do so.

  • by FunkSoulBrother (140893) on Friday October 16, 2009 @10:42AM (#29769291)

    Have you been to a casino before? Even in rural America, they somehow manage to attract a ton of non-americans and first generation immigrants. This really ain't an American thing.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday October 16, 2009 @10:45AM (#29769335) Homepage

    ...sounds remarkably enlightened.

    I never really understood how it could be considered legitimate
    to kick out counters. They are just good players. A casino
    shouldn't be able to kick out people "just because they win".
    If the mark has no chance of winning then the whole enterprise
    is a total con and should be treated like such.

  • by FatAlb3rt (533682) on Friday October 16, 2009 @11:10AM (#29769657) Homepage
    Do you really think that someone needs to push a button to let the machine know what happened?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @11:14AM (#29769711)

    Bullshit. Casinos will not treat you like a king for a measly $300 spend...well, maybe in their darkest days, but I doubt it.

    Maybe if you drop $300 every weekend?

    Come on dude, you know your math ain't right.

  • Re:Well of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tyler Durden (136036) on Friday October 16, 2009 @11:46AM (#29770099)
    I do understand this. The reason I replied is that you said "The probability of losing both rounds is now 0.26" after mentioning losing the first. So I thought that you were implying that the outcome of the first result affects the probability of the second, which (of course) isn't the case. The probability of losing two rounds in a row is always 0.26. The probability of losing any one round is always 0.51. Sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying. Thanks for not being a dick about it or anything...

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