Casino Games for Teaching Math and Statistics

Teaching and learning are not the simple transmission of a set body of knowledge from an authoritarian teacher and to a passive classroom of students.” -Bill Gates on Education Reform

Whether or not you like or agree with Bill Gates, you have to acknowledge his business and individual successes, and his passion for education reform. One thing that we should all agree upon is that the status quo is not acceptable. We need to find new ways to engage students at critical points in their development to insure that FUNDAMENTALS are not just learned and understood, but become second nature to them. Back before calculator were invented, students had to memorize multiplication tables. How many 5th graders today can rip out the multiplication tables as well as their parents?

Some private schools and even charter schools that do not have their hands tied by the same constraints as general public schools have implemented new techniques designed to engage their students by introducing practical applications to fundamental mathematics and statistics. One of these techniques is the use of casino games.

Games of most any type capture the attention of students and adults alike. Take the game of Monopoly for example…the rule are laid out, the players each formulate their own individual strategy based upon the rules, there is an element of chance with the dice and the cards, and there is ultimately a winner. These are the primary element of just about any ‘game’, and games that help teach while in the process of playing them are a Win-Win for everyone. The one feature of all casino games is that they have all been developed by mathematicians and time tested to produce a statistical advantage for the casino, otherwise places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City wouldn’t exist. The fun part for the students is in learning and playing the games (not for real money of course), and CRACKING THE CODE of the statistical house advantage. Besides for learning mathematics and statistics, they will also learn that they CAN’T WIN in the long run!

Examples of Casino Game Math

Roulette is a popular casino game and probably the easiest example for illustrating mathematics and statistics. The roulette wheel has the numbers 1-36 plus 0 and 00 making for a total of 38 possible outcomes from a single spin. If you place a bet on a single number on the board and win, the casino will pay you 35-1. In this example, the casino has a statistical advantage of 5.26%. How did we get that? There is a probability of 1/38 that the player wins 35 times the bet, and a 37/38 chance that the player loses their bet. The expected value is:

−137⁄38 + 351⁄38 = −0.0526 (5.26% house edge)

The ‘House Edge’ is what keeps casinos alive and well. It means that for every $1 bet the casino will statistically make 5.26 cents on this particular bet.

Another bet in the game of roulette is called the “Top Line” where the player places a single wager which covers 1,2,3,0,00 (five numbers) and will pay 6-1 if any of those numbers are spun. In this case, the expected value is:

-1x 33⁄38 + 65⁄38 = −0.0789 (7.89% house edge)

Which bet will cost the player the most money in the long run?

Every bet on the roulette wheel (and on virtually every bet on every game in a casino) has a house edge, so more than others as you can see.

Another example is the game of Craps where 2-dice are used. Understanding the probabilities of rolling a given number using a pair of dice is critical to being able to calculate the house edge on any given bet.

2 (1): 1-1

3 (2): 1-2, 2-1

4 (3): 1-3, 2-2, 3-1

5 (4): 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1

6 (5): 1-5, 2-4, 3-3, 4-2, 5-1

7 (6): 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1

8 (5): 2-6, 3-5, 4-4, 5-3, 6-2

9 (4): 3-6, 4-5, 5-4, 6-3

10 (3): 4-6, 5-5, 6-4

11 (2): 5-6, 6-5

12 (1): 6-6

Two dice with six sides each which produces 6×6=36 possible combinations with symmetrical distribution of the numbers. For a one roll bet on the number 12 the casino will pay 30-1. What is the probability of rolling a 12? How do you calculate the house edge on this bet?

Endless Possibilities for Workshops

These examples show just a few of the bets on a few of the more popular casino games. These are the easy ones to illustrate and calculate. Throw cards and slot machines with virtual reels and jackpots into the mix and you will have an endless array of practical examples ever increase complexity into the underlying calculations. The professional dealers with iHostPoker have volunteered their time to perform educational workshops to assist the teachers in bringing these important disciplines to light and hopefully making a difference in the education experience for a few, and the well-being of our community as a whole.

Established in 2005, iHostPoker provides a genuine casino gaming experience using professionally trained dealers, custom-made equipment, and complimentary event coordination services. Whether it be a Corporate Casino event, a non-profit fund-raiser, or an in-home party, iHostPoker has a solution to fit your needs and your budget.

iHostPoker gladly volunteers the services of its professional dealers to Houston-area high schools and colleges to help illustrate practical applications of mathematics and statistics in casino gaming.

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Online Casinos – Error Free Dealers

With the coming of online casinos, gone are the days of the dealer making a big error, and making the players pay for it by wasting their time fixing up the problem. The last time I was at a casino playing roulette, the dealer made an error when spinning the ball, and it ended up taking 1 hour to fix. What an absolute waste of my precious time, and I didn’t even get an apology. That problem has been solved with the advent of online casinos. Online casino dealers are absolutely perfect and never make any errors. What advantages does this offer a player? It offers several advantages, including the following:

1) Faster Game Play

Games won’t be stopped and brought to a halt due to an incompetent dealers bad dealings. You will experience much faster game play, far more superior to that of any human dealer.

2) Error Free Results

If you win $100, you will get paid exactly $100. You will never get ripped off, which means more profits in the long term, especially if you never keep track of all your payouts.

3) More Professional Service

Since an online dealer is absolutely perfect, they will give you a better, more professional service every single time. Online dealers never a bad day, and they never get angry, frustrated, or behave rudely.

I’m very happy with the service I’ve been getting from my online casino dealer! Since returning to the local land based casino and receiving bad service from real life human dealers, I have since learned why I started betting at online casinos in the first place.

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Playing Online Blackjack for Free

Do you love to play blackjack, but you don’t have a casino nearby? There are many places that will allow you to play online blackjack for free. This is a good way to get better at the game and it is also a great way to have fun with your favorite hobby. Here are some of the things you should know about free online blackjack.

Finding out about playing free online blackjack can be very easy because there are sites that are dedicated to it. It just depends on what you are trying to find because some sites will let you play for free and others just have free information. Some of the sites might teach you how to employ card counting strategies or how to make money while playing online blackjack.

Most of the sites that you can play free casino games like blackjack will also offer a paid option if you want to gamble a little bit. This is not something you should do if you cannot afford to gamble, but if you want to learn how to play blackjack online for money this is a good way to start.

There are a few different ways that blackjack is played online including the flash version and the multiplayer games. Some websites will make you download a program to play online, but others will have the game available with no download at all. It just depends on the site you choose and how they are set up.

You can learn the rules, systems, strategies, history, and definitions that go along with blackjack from one of these sites. This will help you if you are planning a trip to Las Vegas or to any other area with a casino. If you don’t know how to play the game yet playing it on online for free can really help you to learn before you go play for money.

Free blackjack online is also good for meeting other people. Some of the casino sites that offer blackjack for free will also have a chat feature. This allows you to talk to other players through an instant message program that goes right with the game. You could meet a new friend or even find someone to fall in love with by playing blackjack with other players.

Whether you decide you just want to play online blackjack for free or you want to play for real money it is important to understand the rules of the game first. If you already know the rules and you just want to hone your strategies, then you can try playing free online blackjack first, then switching over to playing for real money once you know your strategy works well.

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West Virginia Blackjack – West Virginia Casinos

For a long time, gamblers in West Virginia had to travel somewhere else to play blackjack games, craps games, roulette games, etc. The only casino gambling action available to them was slot machine gambling and horse betting. But recently, Wheeling Island Gaming and Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort received permission to add table games to their offerings. So the gamblers who used to travel to Indiana can now get their blackjack fix a little closer to home.

Blackjack isn’t the only new game that’s available to gamblers in the area. Texas holdem grows ever more popular, and both of the locations already mentioned now have poker card rooms where aspiring Doyle Brunsons can now go all-in and hope they don’t get a bad flop.

Wheeling Island Gaming

Wheeling Island Gaming is located on an island in the Ohio River. The casino offers a tropical island ambience including a waterfall and multiple faux-palm trees. The island itself is only about 2 miles long, and Wheeling Island Casino offers several restaurants and bars. Be warned that this casino is extremely popular, and the blackjack games there are a big attraction. You should be prepared to wait if you want to play blackjack at any stakes lower than $50 per hand. (The higher stakes tables aren’t as crowded.)

Gamblers who are tired of slot machines, blackjack, and craps can step outside and spend some time betting on the dog races that are also offered at the location. Or if you’re not the rough and rugged outdoors-y type, you can watch the races from inside as well.

Mountaineer Casino Racetrack

The Mountaineer Casino Racetrack is located in the countryside, somewhat removed from the rest of civilization. Like Wheeling Island Gaming, the Mountaineer offers multiple restaurants and bars. They have a radically different decor and theme though, favoring a 1920′s gangster/speakeasy decor over the tropical island theme present at Wheeling Island. The casino is a little bit larger, and finding a lower stakes blackjack table with a seat open is a little bit easier here.

And if you get tired of gambling, a golf resort is located nearby, so you can get some fresh air and exercise while taking a break from the tables and the slot machines.

Some Blackjack Advice

If you’re new to blackjack strategy, here are a few tips for how to minimize the house edge:

When you’re not sure about the correct play, assume that the dealer has a ten as her hole card, and also assume that you’re going to be dealt a ten. The deck has more tens in it than any other card, so this is a decent assumption about what’s going to happen next, and the basic strategy decisions become pretty obvious.
Always split aces and eights. If you’ve got aces, you get twice as many chances at a blackjack by splitting. And you’ll often draw a ten when you hit. 10+8=18, which is a mighty respectable blackjack hand any time.
Never split fours, fives, or tens. A pair of fours is a hard total of eight, which means you’re next card, if it’s a ten, will be an eighteen, which is a mighty good hand. (Two hands with a total of fourteen each would be a bummer to play though.) A pair of fives is a total of ten, so doubling down is a good idea here, since you’re hoping to catch an ace for a 21 or a ten for a total of 20. And a pair of tens is a total of 20, which is an outstanding hand no matter what.
Don’t play with money you can’t afford to lose.
For more blackjack strategy advice, including a hand-by-hand guide to basic strategy, visit Blackjack Hero’s blackjack basic strategy tutorial.
To practice a little blackjack online before your tips, try the free blackjack games available with no download at Free Flash Blackjack.

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