Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Sethbets real-time trial update, and some credit where credit is due...

The ongoing real-time trial applying Target rules to short odds underdogs started its 10th month this week, and established a new high-dollar mark yesterday.

There's a quick visual update below, and more information at the website.

I don't see how after all this time anyone can have any doubt that backing dogs within a tight odds range is a far better bet than following the herd and chasing negative paybacks (less than even money) on favorites.

But most punters are happily stuck in their ways, and we have to respect their right to choose.

And now for something completely different...

A few months back, I spared no effort in lambasting Bodog for a blackjack game that was clearly crooked, with a house edge exceeding 60% overall and an algorithm that handed out wins on small bets but snatched bigger wagers in dealer streaks that were beyond suspicious.

We all know that in small samples, the predicted house edge for any table game is meaningless and wild swings in either direction are common.

But the longer you play, the more likely it is that negative expectation will match the known HA of 1.0% or less.

It's often said that anyone who risks real money in an online "casino" deserves to lose, and that may be true.

But when an online operation promotes itself as King of the Hill, it seems reasonable to expect fair play.

There is, of course, no way that Bodog or any of its competitors can rip off a sports bettor, aside from refusing to pay out on wins and vanishing into the virtual ether.

But games of chance presume a degree of trust, and in my experience, Bodog blew it.

I told myself that in future I'd stick to bets on outcomes that are a part of the public record, and stay away from ventures vulnerable to Bodog-style skulduggery.

But then a friend tipped me off to table games offered by an outfit called 5Dimes.

I have been very cautious in easing back into what may yet prove to be another snake-pit, but I have tracked every one of hundreds of bets in the past few days.

And I have to give credit where it's due and congratulate 5Dimes on playing it as straight as any of the "land-based" casinos in my neighborhood.

They have some pretty quirky "casino" offerings: reverse commission on Pai-Gow Poker and 3x paybacks on both 2 and 12 in the field at craps, for example.

But when I'm not backing underdogs, Target-style, blackjack is my favorite way of passing the time and hopefully making a few bucks.

I am not, as a casino shill called the Wizard of Odds would have it, a sore loser. I expect to lose about as often as I win, and rely on consistent money management to make me a modest profit along the way.

I also rely on the casinos I frequent to offer games that are honest and above board, a concept that perhaps escapes the Wiz and his sponsors at Bodog!

This is not, I promise you all, an ad for 5Dimes.

I just felt that having blasted Bodog, I am obliged to give the nod to a competitor with higher standards.

This is also an expression of profound relief that somewhere online, a fair game can be found.

I am sure there are others, but I doubt I will spend any time looking for them - sports betting long ago eclipsed table games, as far as I am concerned.

Bet randomly or emotionally or get greedy when things are going right, and 5Dimes will beat you, as it expects to beat the majority of players, however straight the game.

Most players play badly, remember, and beat themselves without needing an extra push over the edge by a crooked "dealer"!

An important reminder: The only person likely to make money out of this blog is you, Dear Reader. There's nothing to buy, ever, and your soul is safe (from me, at least). Test my ideas and use them or don't. It's up to you. One more piece of friendly advice: If you are inclined to use target betting with real money against online "casinos" such as Bodog, spend a few minutes and save a lot of money by reading this._