.An excerpt from my novel 'Cruise Quarters'

An excerpt from my novel 'Cruise Quarters'

When people sat down at Sarah Seldon’s blackjack game, they always wanted to talk about The Book. “Should I double down? Should I hit? Dealer, I know you’re a gambler; you could let me win if you wanted to. What does the book say?” She had never read this book, this mythical Bible for gamblers. The truth is there are 2256 books, each teaching its own foolproof winning system. But Sarah had been in the casino business long enough to think with a gambler’s mind. Gamblers knew they could follow all the rules of basic strategy, utilize money management and still lose if they weren’t dealt the right cards. The allure and curse of gambling was that there were no sure things. In the end it all came down to luck; gamblers prayed that Lady Luck would show up and that she would stick around for awhile.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This weeks blog was written by Ray.
I just found an interesting article and experiment on spin control with roulette wheels. I for one don't believe that any dealer can control the ball to the degree required to hit a specific number or section. If it were really possible to do this, then the game of roulette as we know it simply could not exist. And that for me is a very simple proof showing that spin control is all in the dealers head.
I started in the casino business at a major London casino, and the standard spin was very slow, only about 4 or 5 times around the wheel, and also with the wheel just turning at a fairly leisurely speed. The idea was to get as many spins in a day as possible. We never reversed the spin either, and guess what, it made not a whit of difference in anyone's ability to predict the number. The casinos P/C was the same as anywhere else. I was very surprised when a few years later I started work at another casino and discovered the dealers whacking the ball around at a hundred miles an hour, changing the spin direction and also using such high wheel speeds that the ball would sometimes bounce clean out of the wheel! No doubt this was all mandated by management’s belief that this would prevent players/dealers from predicting the outcome, or that it would make the result more ‘random’ in some fashion.
Modern wheels and even the balls are highly sophisticated pieces of fine engineering. Also nowadays the separators between the pockets are very low, ensuring that the ball will jump into and out of many pockets before coming to rest. Generally the ball will fall into a pocket when it begins to slow down, but then the ball will bounce out and around the pockets landing in many numbers until the ball finally stays in one pocket. If you spin the ball enough times a pattern will ‘seem’ to develop, just like when you flip a coin a hundred times, it will very rarely land on fifty heads and fifty tales. So some numbers will win more often on the wheel but that pattern can not be predicted. That is just the randomness of numbers and the proclivity of the human brain to see ‘patterns’ where there are none. It is simply how we have evolved to make sense of our big scary world.

About the author:
Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"

Below is the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships

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