Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I’m thinking about starting an Indian tribe. It turns out that one doesn’t actually have to be an Indian in order to become one. Furthermore, one doesn’t need to live on a reservation to create one. All one needs to do is declare that they are Indian, adopt some ancient tribe name, and then buy some land to claim as a reservation. Once one acquires the land, it becomes a sovereign nation, exempt from many laws of the land.

I note that the Wampanoag Indians, who greeted the Pilgrims in 1620, and whose population was drastically reduced by epidemics spreading from the French colonies, eventually being killed off by the settlers (because they kept killing settlers), are now emerging as a new tribe in Massachusetts.

This is so they can run a casino or something like that. Since President Bush claims to have descended from the Wampanoag Tribe, tribal recognition was assured. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for letting the Indians run the casinos as long as the Indians first compensate the families of the settlers they killed. If they can’t find the settlers, then they surely can’t find the Indians.

I noticed that the Wampanoag Tribe suddenly appeared in Wikipedia about the time they filed for recognition. I don’t suppose the two events were correlated at all. James Fenimore Cooper’s Novel, The Last of the Mohicans, didn’t anticipate a casino in Connecticut but I suggest we stop all this nonsense once and for all. Just make it legal for ordinary people to run casinos in Massachusetts. Then, the cost of a hand of Blackjack might become more reasonable in the Northeast.

Slot Machines
A slot machine is an instrument that provides a game of chance. There is absolutely no skill required to win playing a slot machine. Furthermore, there are a lot of slot machine concepts that are absolutely bogus. I’m going to quote some here.

O It’s just about to pay up. I fed it lots of money, so it is going to pay soon.
Fact: Although unlikely, it may NEVER pay anything. Every time you place a bet, it is EXACTLY like the first time. The slot machine doesn’t “remember” anything. It just creates random numbers thousands of times a second. When you place a bet, the random numbers generated at that instant are used to set the reels.

O I cashed out because it wasn’t paying anything, then another came and got a jackpot, taking all my money.
Fact: Once you place a bet. The money belongs to the casino. If you had continued to play, it is unlikely that you would have gotten the jackpot because you couldn’t have placed the bet at the exact same instant that the new player did.

O The casinos tighten up the slots on weekends when there are a lot of players.
Fact: The payout is set during manufacture or software upgrade. The payout is regulated by the Gaming Commission. There is no way for the casino to change it very quickly such as during weekends.

O Slot machines are for losers. You can never win anything of value. Real gamblers play card games.
Fact: Slot machines are the most used form of gambling. Regulated by law, they pay out between 75 and 95 percent. Since they are games of chance, it is certainly possible for a player to “hit” a jackpot. It happens thousands of times per day in large casinos. But, gambling may not be for some people. Some people are just not lucky! Other people may get so mesmerized by gambling that they spend too much money.

O If you have a “system,” it is possible to make lots of money playing slots.
Fact: There isn’t really any system that will work because slots are games of chance, not skill. The only system that will work is to quit before you lose too much, or quit when you have enough of the casino’s money. Nobody seems to know how much money is enough to win. That’s why many people lose. Discipline should be your guide when playing slots.

O The slot machine knows when I put in my card, so it automatically prevents me from winning. Therefore, I never use the card.
Fact: There is nothing that software that reads your card and keeps track of the money you have bet, could do to prevent you from winning. The slot machine has its own payout schedule and it doesn’t know nor care who is playing.

O The best way to win is to make a bet on a machine and if it doesn’t pay out, move on to the next machine.
Fact: Whether or not you win is based upon placing a bet at the instant that a certain random sequence of numbers is generated. All the machines use this same scheme so moving to another just adds delays between bets. Find a machine that you like, that has a reasonable payout, and stick with it for awhile. You can take as much time as you like between bets, emulating exactly what happens when you move from machine to machine.

O If I put my hand over the cash-out button, threatening to cash out, I am more likely to win.
Fact: The machine doesn’t know where your hands are! If it makes you more confident to “threaten” the machine with cashing out, then by all means do it! However, it just makes you feel better. The machine doesn’t even know. The same thing goes for making threatening motions to the machine. Just don’t strike the machine and break it! If the machine breaks, you may lose any money you have stored in the machine. It may “forget” that you just inserted a one-hundred dollar bill!

O If I hit the jackpot on a progressive machine, the casino will pay me.
Fact: There is some fine-print on the machine that says, “Malfunction voids all bets and payouts.” If you were the expected recipient of a substantial payout, it is likely that the casino would investigate whether or not there had been a machine malfunction. You may have to hire a lawyer and take the casino to court to establish that a large payout does not, in itself, represent a machine malfunction, something that the casino may claim.

You should consider that a casino, whose very existence is based upon fraud which may be the case in so-called Indian casinos, may not be very forthright when it comes to payouts. You haven’t won anything until the money appears in your bank statement.

O With “spin-to-win” machines, I have the same chance of hitting the high numbers as the low numbers on the Monte Carlo wheel.
Fact: The numbers are weighted so that you have much less of a chance of hitting 1,000 than you do 25. It is not an equal-probability spin. In fact, although not publicly documented, it appears as though the chances of hitting twenty-five are about one in twenty-five, while the chances of hitting one-thousand are about one in one-thousand.

O As long as I don’t attempt to break the machine, a casino can’t prevent me from playing slots.
Fact: There are reports of casino employees removing a player because of what they thought was unruly behavior. In one case the player swore at a machine in other cases, players merely made unbecoming gestures towards the machines. Basically, you don’t have a “right” to play a machine. Instead, you are a guest of the house and you need to play by the house rules or they can escort you out. Courts have upheld such actions by casinos.