Friday, December 14, 2007

An 827% player edge at the office Christmas party

The theme of the office Christmas party was "Vegas, Baby," and I looked forward to some fun times at the poker table. Everyone got somewhere around $200 in play money to start, and after folding pre-wager on a hand of indian poker, I got dealt KJ in Texas hold 'em, in the small blind. It was $20 to me, and I raised to $40. Six callers, and the flop comes QT3, with one heart. I bet $40 again, and get two callers. The turn is a second heart, so I've got 23 outs on the river. I bet another $40 and get called. The river's a brick, I check and fold. Dang.

The next game is five card draw, and after my draw, I push all in with a set of tens. I'm beat by a set of kings, and leave the table after only three hands.

Ryan tells me that the roulette wheel's got crazy-wrong odds, and gives me $100 to play it. "Bet red and black and you'll come out way ahead," he tells me.

The payout for any bet is 20-for-1, except that individual numbers pay 30-for-1. Betting $20 each on even, odd, black, red, high, low, and the 0/00 split is an average payout of $1157, and is typically $1200. The table ran slowly, particularly because they quickly were running out of $100 bills, but after four spins, I ended up with $4820. I "tipped" the croupier a fake $20, gave the fake $100 back to Ryan, and won first place in the office Vegas pool, bringing home a basket of fancy chocolates, candies, and ... pickled asparagus? Good times.

(Yes, it's sad that I'm calculating the edge for games at the office Christmas party. I'm quite the geek, I'm afraid.)

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