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Best of Alan Krigman
Hey, Buddy! Wanna Buy Some Match Play Tokens? Cheap?9 August 2004
What if you could buy match play tokens from the casino or a third party? They may be a sweet deal. Or, a bad bargain.
At over $0.50 per dollar of "face value," you'd be wasting money.
For instance, pretend a $10-denominated match play token cost $6. This and $10
in cash chips could gain you $20 minus $6 for the match play token the casino
will keep -- a net of $14. But a loss would set you back $16. So you're putting
up $16 for a $14 profit on a bet where $16 at risk should earn you $16.
As another possibility, the casino or some third party might offer match play tokens at under $0.50 per dollar of face value. For example, at 25 percent discount, a $10 match play token would cost not $5 but $3.75. Betting $10 in cash with one such token, you'd collect $20 on a win but give up the match play, netting you $20 - $3.75 or $16.25. You have $10 + $3.75 or $13.75 at risk. The even-money proposition gets you $16.25 for $13.75.
Edge under various circumstances depends on the specific wager. Bets on Player
at baccarat illustrate the effect. With match play costing $0.375 per dollar
of face value, you have a 10.5 percent edge as opposed the casino getting 1.3
percent. You expect to make eight times as much per dollar as the bosses would
with a pure cash bet. You can therefore go eight rounds betting $10 in cash
for every round at $10 in real money plus $10 in match play tokens that you
bought for $3.75 each, before the house regains the edge. That's nine rounds
you enjoy as a favorite for every match play token bought at 25 percent off
$0.50 on the dollar.
R=0.25*[(D/e) + 1].
2) Bet at the previous cash level (e.g., if you were risking $25 cash and $25
match play, continue at $25)
3) Bet at half the previous cash level (e.g., if you were risking $100 cash
and $100 match play, continue at $50)
Trying a few typical values will quickly show you that the deeper the discount and the lower the "official" edge, the more action you can obtain with positive expectation. And, of course, more discounted tokens let you play longer at an advantage overall. In a game with low normal house edge, like blackjack with good Basic Strategy (e=0.004), as few as 10 tokens discounted by 25 percent (D=0.25) can get you an entire casino visit in the catbird seat. Demonstrating the ditty penned by the poet, Sumner A Ingmark:
In resolving an impasse you may find it effective,
Best of Alan Krigman