If there's one popular clichÃƒÆ’Ã‚© that is dangerous to believe, it's this one.
"If it's too good to be true, it probably is."
Actually, I can even live with that phrase literally. But most people take it to say "If it's too good to be true then it DEFINITELY is."
That's dangerous because it programs the mind to disbelieve things that are wonderful. This is too good - forget about it. There must be a catch.
I just got back from the casino on the Queen Mary 2, which made me think about this subject. I went in, sat down at a slot machine, and made $8 in about five minutes. I didn't get lucky - it was a beatable slot machine. Eight dollars is peanuts, but focus on the fact that this slot machine is actually beatable.
Too good to be true?
A few years back I was doing a workshop in Vegas with Mystery. Before the workshop a bunch of us were hanging out in the Hard Rock Casino. A friend of a friend asked me what I did.
"Gambling, mostly. Some workshops with Mystery, too."
"I'm a professional gambler too."
"Oh yeah? What do you play?"
Probably poker. That's the only way to really make money in casinos these days.
Too good to be true? I was skeptical.
"If you promise not to tell anyone, I'll show you how."
For the next couple of hours he took me around from casino to casino, showing me which machines could be beaten and how to do it. I was totally blown away - I had no idea that any slot machines could be beaten.
It was a little too time consuming and brick-and-mortar specific for me to get into it, but now whenever I'm on a cruise ship or in a casino I check for the machines. They usually make me a few dollars every time I play them. Not a fortune, but enough to make a hundred or so for free every cruise.
If they had $1 or $5 denominations, of course, that could become more serious money.
Anyway, my whole gambling thing was another example. I remember one friend who I tried to teach it to. Brilliant guy, but very much into the "follow the herd" mindset. Good grades. Good college. Internship. Law school. BMW. Lawyer job.
I don't hold that against him in any way, by the way. He's an awesome guy who is really happy with what he's doing and does it excellently. That's all that ever matters - period.
No matter how much I told him about the money in gambling, he never once believed it. To demonstrate once I took his credit card, signed him up for a casino, did my thing, and made him $400 in half an hour. In two weeks they sent him the check for it.
"Thanks. I won't do it again, though. They took too long to pay. They're obviously making money off the interest."
WHAT? We had deposited $1000 from a CREDIT CARD (not his money) and he made 40% in two weeks. Is it possible that the casino could somehow make 40% in two weeks? No way - if they could they would just do that and forget the casino business.
But he couldn't accept that it could be real. It was too good to be true.
For a while I was making a lot of money with it. More than he would later make as a lawyer. I bought a house, two Mercedes, and a bunch of other junk I didn't need.
I would hear that he would complain to people about how much money my (middle class) parents were giving me and how I abused their generosity. The truth is that I had cut myself off a long time prior, but he couldn't see that. Too good to be true.
What about pickup? How many people read about it and then discard it instantly?
Oh, you mean that I can actually change my "luck" and get the girls I pine after? Nah, that sounds too good to be true. I'll go sit in the corner in the bar with my friends instead.
If I were in charge of the vault of idioms, I'd change that one to this:
"If it seems too good to be true, drop everything and check it out."
Not as catchy, but a lot more accurate and useful. If you want for truly amazing and incredible things to happen to you, consider taking advantage of things that seem too good to be true instead of running away from them with blinders on.
very interesting and glad i read your blog i have just started online gambling and tryed all the systems and they do work!! i just need to learn how to read the win lose cycles! i just seem to stay even i could win one or two days then be b ack to squar one and i am managing my money! i could be at wrong casinos.
any advice would be much apprectated
Some rare slot machines payout over 100%. But it's usually for promotions and they'll be filled up with people.
The beatable slot machine is probably due to the specific payout schedule of that machine, and is probably a rarity and hard to find, and when you do find it, people in-the-know may be camped out on it. Also, if a machine's current progressive jackpot is unusually high, say $10k when it's usually just $3k, it may be worth it for you to put in a good $3-$4k to get that $6-7k profit.
That's all I know about slot machines. There are ways to beat blackjack and video poker as well. Everything else you're screwed.
Tynan, when you drop something crazy like the idea that you can consistently make money on slot machines, it makes me simultaneously skeptical and curious. I always thought slot machines were specifically programmed to have a negative expected value for the gambler. Perhaps you could write more about this in a future article.
Great post and awesome blog. It's funny that I stumbled upon this page because this was the very thing I was talking with my friends about. It's so cool to see it simply explained, and with a cool slot machine story.
Cheers brother! I'll be adding your blog to links!
Everyone: Thanks for the comments. Sorry, I can't tell anyone about how to make money gambling.
Mike: I was a professional gambler for 7 years. I know the difference between "right time, right place" and a positive EV situation.
Your comment sort of underscores the point I'm trying to make.
I hate to disagree with you, but there are no systems nor can anyone find or predict when a slot machine is goig to payout. I spent over 8 yeard researching slot machines and how they operate and I think you just happend to be in the right place at the right time.
I've eb=ven written a book on the subject. If anyone is interested let me know.
Whoa, i was thinking about this very same subject this morning! No one I know does anything really that intersting to me, and everyone seems to scoff at all my ideas.
I just have to ignore them.
I've even had similar gambling experiences, especially with my mom. She considers poker luck, and goes on to say that I "just got lucky." I don't even bother trying to explain logic because it would be a waste of my time.
Even though I know I am usally right, I am still sometimes ashamed of what I am doing because I know people won't approve. It is extremely stupid, but I figure the more I go against the current the more used to it I'll get.
First of all, great post, I think everybody will agree.
A quick suggestion is to encourage readers to post comments and take part in the blog. I've only posted a few times, and I hope people enjoy and learn from my comments the same way I do theirs. This post in particular would be even better if everyone else shared their own "too good to be true" experiences.
Just a thought. Keep up the great work.
I had never gambled before and knew nothing about it, but I'd gotten too many e-mails like it. I was at my parents house for winter break during my first year at UT, and I was bored.
"Free $50 just for downloading our casino!"
Hmm. That doesn't seem very risky. I might as well download to see what it's all about.
Gambling Tales had a good collection of gambling stories. All the tales - such as, gambling addiction, violence in the casino, crimes against gambling outlets - were not mysterious. They were reported cases in which lawbreakers were brought to justice. This story about stealing from the casino published by 8 News Now on 27 Sep 2014 had an uncanny twist. It took place at the Stardust Hotel and Casino 22 years ago and the whereabouts of the thief remains unknown today.
The thief was an employee of the casino named Bill Brennan. He worked for the casino as a sports book cashier. After being on the job for four years he decided it was time to leave. On Sep 22, 1992 Brennan simply walked away with $507,361 in cash and chips in the morning. He did not use force or violence. "It appears he left the casino without being filmed by the surveillance cameras," Metro Police Lt. Joe Greenwood said in an interview in 1992.