Gambling problem?

Help is available from the following organizations: Nevada Council on Problem Gambling,, 702 369 9740, or, 702 363 3633. Also, Nevada casino operators themselves offer help – it is in their own best interest.


Out of the goodness of my heart and through experience gained through many, many years of gambling I am giving all of you this advice for free:

If you really, really want to win get one the magic Lucky Angel Gambling Pins; they are available for bingo, slots, craps, blackjack and roulette. and they can be ordered when you click on our online shop. Go ahead, order them, what do you have to lose? You might get lucky and win that million dollars.

Compulsive Gambling

Gamblers Anonymous, Tel: 702-785-77323.

Gambling can be a real problem for some people. It can get out of hand real fast. Call the above number should you need help.

Cheating at Gambling

Gaming Control Board, 555 E. Washington Av., 702-486-2000 (even after hours).

People always try to cheat. They think past-posting, palming, shaved dice etc. cannot be detected. My advice to you would be: do not try it, do not even think about it. You will get caught and you will spend time in the can.

If you think you are getting cheated call the above number. They will investigate.

How to Win at Gambling

There is no sure-fire way. Luck determines everything. Skill comes into play at poker only. One fact remains:  some people are luckier than others. Like that lady last year who won $27 million after having previously won $850,000.00. What are the odds of this happening to you? Trillions to one?  But there are ways to reduce the odds, legally that is. For instance do not play the field, the proposition bets or the Big 8 or Big 6 on a craps lay-out. The casino makes its money off people that hang around hour after hour. Get in, make a few bets. You lose, take off. You win, hang around until you are starting to lose, than take off. Stay away from low value machines, if you can (5 cent, 10 cent or 25 cent.) You may win a jackpot but $7.50 does not get you very far these days. Play the largest machine you can find and let the chips fall where they may. Win, lose or draw. Set a budget and do NOT exceed it. The hotels will be here another day. They are not going anywhere. Stay away from the booze while gambling. Keep a cool head, do not chase your money. You lose, write it off. You win, take the money home and enjoy it. Remember $20-$50-$100 is not a win, it is chump change. Maybe a tip in a gourmet restaurant. Do your due diligence before playing, read books on the subject.

A Few Gambling Odds and Tips

Blackjack: never split 4-5-10, always split 8 or Aces.

Craps: on field bets the house gets 6% (way too much).

Place bets: Always place 6 or 8. The house gets only 1.52%. Other place bets are not so good. The house advantage on those goes from 4% to almost 7%.

Big 6 and big 8:  A sucker bet. The house pays even money, the true odds are 6/5.

Proposition bets:  A worse sucker bet. The house gets from 10% to 17% on those. Forget it!.

Always, always, always take the odds. On regular odds the house gets only 0.8%. On double odds only 0.6%. The only place in a casino where the odds are almost even. The odds are those bets that you place BEHIND your bet that sits on the regular betting line.

Gambling and Taxes

Yessiree, the taxman watches you even here. Here are a few taxing rules. Remember, I am not a tax consultant and/or attorney. The rules change from time to time. Consult with a competent CPA for further information.

Gambling wins/losses can be reported only in the year they occur.

Bingo and slot wins over $1200 require a W-2.

Keno wins over $1500 require a W-2.

Horse, dog, lottery, jai-alai wins over $600 require a W-2, but only if the win is at least 300 times greater than the amount wagered.

Wins on table games require no W-2, but the casino collects taxes on wins of $5000 and over making the casino a de-facto government tax collection agency. If you have real large table game winnings I would change only amounts of less than the amount stated above each trip to the casino cage.

Here is a good one: comps are taxable income and need to be included in reported winnings. Believe me, the Feds will check.

Non resident aliens pay 30% tax of their winnings up front but blackjack, craps, baccarat, big 6 and roulette winnings are excluded and are instead reported on form 1042-S.

Gambling losses can only be offset against gambling wins and only in the year they occurred. And never against ordinary income.


Keno is a simple game. Fill in the numbers and wait for them to be called. What is complicated about the game is trying to figure the odds. Oddsmakers spend a lifetime figuring the odds on new combinations of keno tickets. I have found good Keno games at local casinos.

The loosest Slot Machines

Gamblers on the whole are a very superstitious bunch. They go through all kinds of contortions and pray to a diverse array of gods, and saints. Me, I just go and stick coins in the slot machine willy-nilly. And you know what? I have just as much luck as the next guy. It is a fact that some casinos have better pay-outs than others. Since I live in Las Vegas I must tell you that we that live here have our own favorite places and they are almost never on the strip, that’s for tourists. As for me, I seem to do better in smaller, local places. I found that for playing the slot machines one casino works best for me. It is Arizona Charlie’s West. I have from time to time left that place with substantial amounts of money. So, go around here and there, find out what works for you, don’t be a fuddy-duddy and stick to one place. Go where your luck is better.

The Green Felt Jungle

Do you prefer table games over slot machines? Do you know the difference of odds that are 15 TO one versus odds that are 15 FOR one? Are you the kind of guy that bets the propositions and the Big 6 and Big 8 at the crap table? Do you hit your hard 12 at the 21 table when the dealer has a hard 16? Do you ever sit down at a poker game without asking about shills or proposition players? Do you ever play on poker machines that pay poor odds? Do you even know what those odds should be? Maybe you should get some gambling books and study them before spending even one Dollar in a casino. Some casinos have free lessons. Take advantage of that, it’ll make you a better player. You might not win, but your gaming money will sure stretch a lot farther.

The Worst Slot Machines

Remember, I am talking about my own personal luck (eh, I mean Bad Luck). Your luck may be better at this particular place. There is just no telling. I can tell you this much: In fifteen years of playing the slots on and off at Palace Station I have yet to hit my first jackpot, that’s pretty bad. It has gotten to the point where I have cut my Boarding Pass and quit the place entirely. I am outta there. I sure hope your luck will run better there.

Gambling Language

Yes, just like in any other trade or profession there exists a specialized language pertaining to gambling only. Here are a few helpful words for the casual tourist.

Action. Total amount wagered. Here is an example. When you play maximum coins in a 25 cent video poker machine you generate about $600 of action each hour. Surprised?

Buy-in-bonus. Some extra benfits given when the promotion is in effect such as chips and coins.

NNBPTW. Need Not Be Present To Win. Most of the time you Do need to be present to win (a promotion for instance).

Payback. The percentage a game returns to the gambler. If the payback is 97.5% the game hold 2.5 % of the amount wagered. Payback is the opposite of the HOLD.

HOLD. The opposite of payback. The worst hold, I belief, is on the big wheel, about 22%.

A peasant. A gambler without any coupons or comps. No free stuff. Me for instance.

Positive Expectations. You enter a gambling establishment knowing you will win. Unfortunately that machine was hit just before you got there or it hits just after you left.

Jacks or better. The original design of the video poker machine where you had to have a pair of jacks or better to win anything.

Local. A resident of Las Vegas and environs.

Loose. A slot machine or a casino where the machines are purported to be loose. i.e. they pay often. Las Vegas is always full of rumours about a casino or certain casinos having loose machines. Bunk I think.

MBPTW. The opposite of NNBPTW. Must Be Present To Win. At free drawings etc. You must be there when your ticket is called.

Book. A RACE book or a SPORTS book is where bets are placed.

Bookie. Abbreviation for bookmaker or a person who takes a bet.

Spread.  Point spread, the listed odds on a game. Also called the”line”.

Dog.   The underdog in a wager.

Spoon. Cheating device for slot machines.

Hit me.  At card games, I need another card.

Eye-in-the-sky. Overhead security camera.

Comp. Complimentary- free stuff.

RFB comp. Free room, food, beverages.

Toke. Tip, gratuity.

High roller. Big gambler, he is the one that receives the comps.

Marker. An I.O.U. from you to the casino. You need to establish credit first.

Shooter. The dice roller at the crap table.

Limit. The amount you may bet at any given game.

Pit boss. In charge of a group of dealers at table games.

Stickman. The person with the long stick at the crap game.

Shoe. Container holding cards.

Box man. Handles the money at the crap game.

Croupier. Dealer at roulette.

In red. On the casino computer screen. Preferred customer.

Whale. Big time gambler and spender.

I have the nuts. My poker hand will beat your poker hand.

Dark. The showroom or whatever is closed.

Flop. In Texas Hold’Em poker. After the first two cards are dealt the next three are community cards. That is the “flop”.

Turn. The sixth card dealt in Texas Hold’Em.

River. The seventh card dealt in Texas Hold’Em.

Juice. To have influence, to have connections to decision makers.Also: the commission paid to a bookmaker. Sometimes also called the vig or vigorish which apparently is a Jewish word meaning percentage.

Pan. Short for Panguingue, a sit down card game whose objective it is to assemble runs or same colors. Played mostly at the Sahara and Plaza hotels.

Shill. A player compensated by the casino to make the gaming tables look more occupied. Mostly at poker and baccarat. Must be identified by the dealer when asked by the patron.

Getting down.  Making a wager.

Rake.  The percentage of a gamblers wager retained by the casino for the use of the table and the hire of the dealer. Poker is one of the very few casino games where the hotel only acts as a middleman and enforcer of the rules. It does not have any other monetary interest in the game itself.

Chalk. The favorite bet..

Circled Game. A game where betting limits are lowered. Usually because of injuries and/or wheather..

Cover. To win by more points than were laid, or to lose by more point than were taken with a pointspread win.

Even money. A bet where one side lays no juice or vigorish

Futures. Bets made today that take place at a later date..

Getting down. Place your bet (s). .

Hedge. To decrease the action by betting the opposite of a previous bet.

Pick. An even game as there is no favorite.

Push. Point spread tie.

Rundown. Listing of odds on a spicific game day.

Straight bet. One wager, not a parlay.

Sucker bets. Methods used by bookies to lure rookies to make more bets.

Teaser. A bet where you can adjust the point spread your way.

Rundown. Listing of odds on a spicific game day.

Vigorish. Originally a jewish word. It is the commission taken by the house for providing gambling facilities. For instance a poker room.

Betting line, money line also simply called the “line”. Established by the house or purchased by a gambling establishment from a company or individual who calculates odds and makes betting lines. The casinos vigorish or commission (or profit) is built into the line.Similar to a bet at a baccarat table or poker table where the croupier (dealer) takes (or rakes) a certain percentage of the bets and deposits it in a slot at the table.

Point spread. Pertains to sports where the points scored decide winning or losing a game. For instance football. Buit not baseball for example.

The Worst Las Vegas Sucker Game

I have not quite made up my mind but I think Roulette comes first and then The Big Wheel. I was going to rank it the other way around but Roulette is played by far more people than the Big Wheel (where the hold is 22% I believe). Let me give a concise explanation why I think Roulette is such a bad bet in Las Vegas. The roulette layout has 36 numbers. That makes the odds 36-1. Las Vegas casinos (the ones I have played at) only pay you at the rate of 35-1. The kicker is the zero. European tables have only one zero. That makes the odds 37-1. Las Vegas tables have a zero and a double zero. Now your odds are 38-1. So, the real odds are 38-1, you get paid at the rate of 35-1.Here comes the bad part. Most, if not all, players do not place their bets straight up. They split them between various numbers. Let us say you put your chip where it splits four numbers. One of the numbers hits. You should get 91/2 chips for your win (38 divided by four). In actuality you will receive only 8 chips. That’s what the casino figures you deserve. Instead of the true odds of 38-1( when the zero and double zero are included), they pay off at only 32-1. Horrible. It does not seem like much at first glance but try and play for a while at those odds and you will soon be stripped of your money. Truly a sucker’s game.

I think I should add blackjack to this list. Back in the good old days a blackjack would pay 2-1. It then went to 3-2. It now is 6-5 in some casinos. A real suckers game at those odds. Stick to the crap tables if you must gamble. So long as you don’t bet on the propositions or the field. The propositions are the hard six, eight, four etc. And always take the odds. You can shave the house advantage to a fraction of a percent.

Shills and Proposition Players

Contrary to popular belief shills and proposition players are not crooks trying to rip you off. They are merely players hired by the casino to make the poker table look busy and to attract business and get a game started. By law they are supposed to identify themselves when asked by the dealer. If you feel uncomfortable in any way ask the dealer about shills and prop. players. He will identify them for you. They always leave anyhow once a poker table gets busy.


There are people in Las Vegas making a living gambling, poker for the most part, but there are also a few PAN (panguingue) lounges. They do it all the time and are good at what they do. All totally legal. They are good players, that is all. If you think you are good go ahead and swim with the sharks. Just don’t wind up as shark fodder.