I read about an injury on the set of America’s got talent. It was an escape stunt where the stunt man was suspended between two swinging cars. The man needed to escape in order to not be crushed by the cars.
My opinion is that the so called stunt man was an untalented amateur who had no idea what he was doing. The people in charge of that show are no better. The situation is perfectly summed up by Penn Gilette.
I believe it’s morally wrong to do things on stage that are really dangerous. It makes the audience complicit in unnecessary risk.
Stunts like this should carry the APPEARANCE of danger, but not the reality. This is how a professional does it:
The 1980s Canadian rock band Rush is apparently hated by the left. It seems that the band’s drummer, Neil Peart, was a huge Ayn Rand fan. (Incidentally, I think that Peart was one of the greatest drummers of all time.) Since Peart was the writer of most of the band’s lyrics, many of the band’s songs had significant libertarian themes.
No, his mind is not for rent To any god or government. Always hopeful, yet discontent He knows changes aren’t permanent – But change is
Tom Sawyer, by Rush
The author of this story says that Rand had objectivist fantasies of self-reliance before going on to lament that some members of Congress “would rather leave billionaires untaxed than take care of America’s children.” I wasn’t aware that it was the responsibility of billionaires to care for America’s children.” He ends the article by saying “So, in closing, fuck you, Rush.”
Rush wasn’t my introduction to the ideals of liberty and freedom. For me, it was Robert Heinlein’s excellent fiction. Rush just gave those ideas a tune.
Fuck Rush? No, fuck you commie leftists.
My three favorite Rush songs (in no particular order) are:
The Spirit of Radio:
Then there is Red Barchetta, a song about the joy of driving a car in an era where cars have been outlawed, proving that Rush was truly ahead of their time:
So I am going to have to disagree with Linda on this one. She states that the liquor being rationed due to shortages is only expensive because men use expensive liquor to impress women. Liquors that cost more aren’t just for impressing women. As a person who is a fan of Tequila, I can tell you that price is usually related to quality. Like most things, the more the quality, the more you pay, even though there are some exceptions.
Most people you meet who tell you that they don’t like Tequila have usually only had Jose Cuervo Gold when they were in college. That swill is only good for college frat boys to get themselves and the cheap tarts they are chasing drunk enough to rub genitals. The lower end Tequilas (like the aforementioned Cuervo Gold at $15 a bottle) are horrible for any purpose. They taste like paint thinner and cause horrible hangovers.
Many “house Margueritas” that get sold by bars and restaurants are made from this junk. If you are going to drink these at a bar, ask what their call brands are, and pick a better one. I always avoid Cuervo.
The middle Tequilas usually cost $30 to $60 a bottle are good for mixing drinks like Margueritas. My go to for this is usually Herradura. I am partial to Reposados, and the Herradura Reposado runs about $45 a bottle. Don Roberto is decent for making drinks and costs about $35 a bottle. Another that I recommend is 1800, which also runs about $35, as well as Casa Noble.
At the low end of the sipping Tequilas, Cincoro runs about $80 to 100 a bottle. This is a good enough Tequila that you don’t want to be covering up the taste with mixers. Do not waste your money getting an expensive Tequila mixed drink. You drink good Tequila straight, like a good sipping whiskey. I use whiskey stones to chill it, because the melting of ice waters down the wonderful, smooth taste of a good Tequila.
One of the Tequilas on the above rationing list is Don Julio 1942. A bottle of that will set you back $150, but it is a great Tequila for sipping. Other Tequilas in this price range that I will tell you are just as good: Clase Azul, and Casamigos.
Remember earlier when I said price usually equals quality? The exception to me is Patron. Everyone gushes about the quality of Patron. I don’t like it. My opinion is that Patron is overpriced and overhyped.
If you are one of those who like good spirits, try one of the high end Tequilas. If you are a fan of Margueritas, try a good mixing Tequila and follow the recipe below, you will be surprised at the difference it makes:
6 ounces of Herradura Reposado Tequila
8 ounces Grand Marnier
8 ounces lime juice
6 ounces simple syrup
Mix the above in a pitcher, then pour over ice into a glass. I like mine without salt on the rim. My wife chooses to salt the rim of her glass. YMMV.
As usual, I gain no profit, nor do I have any financial interest in the products on this page. I simply am a customer and a fan.
A continuation of my Craps posts. As I have been saying: There is no way to beat math. There are some who will tell you that you can “call your shots” by throwing the dice a certain way. That is balderdash that the casinos actually encourage people to believe, because it makes the gullible actually gamble more.
Why isn’t it possible? The rules of the game include a proviso that the shooter must throw the dice far enough that they hit the back wall of the table. The wall is covered in a rubber bumper that has little pyramid shaped bumps on it. Those bumps are designed to deflect the dice in unpredictable directions. If you are good enough to nail those in the same exact spot every time, you need to be playing professional golf or basketball, you will make more money than at the casino.
No, the winning strategy doesn’t involve the way you play the game. It involves the way that you bet.
I enter the casino with a daily budget. Let’s say that I am spending a weekend at a casino. I have budgeted $500 to gamble with. Since I will be there for 2 evenings, I will lose no more than $250 a day. I walk into the casino with $250 each evening, and once that is gone, I am done for the evening.
So let’s say that I enter the casino and due to random variation, I enter the casino on Friday evening with $250. I leave the casino with $375. When I enter the casino on Saturday, I do it with $250. Win or lose, yesterday’s play is yesterday. By doing this, I limit my losses while making my wins unlimited. This works pretty well. There are days that I have lost the $250 in less than an hour, and that stings. There are also days that I have walked in with $250 and then left the casino with more than $4,000.
First, don’t take the sucker bets with YOUR money. Use the casino’s money. I only take sucker bets (low chance of winning, high payout, high house edge) when I am far ahead. What this means is that you don’t make the risky bets until you have doubled the money that you started with. If you walked into the casino with $250 for the day, don’t make risky bets until you have more than $500.
Second, the best bets on the table are the pass line bet, place bets on the 6 or 8, and taking odds on your pass line bet. (I don’t like to play the “dark side” bets like “Don’t Pass.” Yes, they are bets with a low house edge, I just can’t have fun winning while the table is losing.) Personally, a sound bet to me is any bet with a house edge of 2% or less. Here are the tables for calculating house edge on multi roll bets. Stay away from single roll bets until you are gambling with their money.
Third, if the table is cold- walk away and come back later. Tables tend to run cold and hot. I know that mathematically, this shouldn’t be true- but it seems to work that way.
Lastly, make sure that you frequent one chain of casinos and make sure that you are in their player’s club. The free comps you get may well be the best part about gambling and the only way to come out ahead. Free rooms, free drinks, free food, and more. I always stick with MGM casinos and have spent my way into Platinum status there. I get free hotel rooms, sometimes free airfare, and other perks. A four night stay in a room at the NYNY Hotel in Las Vegas normally costs $500, so getting a free, four night stay is a win.
My next trip out to Vegas is already booked. They are giving me a four night stay for free (we are paying for a 5th), plus $100 resort credit for meals, plus $200 in casino credit to gamble with. (I am not specifically endorsing MGM resorts- any of the big name casinos would work just as well.) My budget for gambling for the 5 days is $1,500, but I am getting $800 in perks.
Just remember, win or lose, I play because it is FUN. Also remember my rules for gambling:
1 I know that I will lose money over the long term. It is mathematically certain. So budget your gambling and stick to it.
2 I gamble because it is fun and entertaining. If I ever find myself gambling while desperate to win because I need the money, it is time to quit.
3 Don’t ever gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. If you are gambling your rent or grocery money, that isn’t entertainment, it’s desperation.
The one set of bets that are horrible are all of the “one roll” bets. Bets where you bet on the outcome of a single roll are all found in the center of the table. They all have a house edge of between 11.1 and 16.9.
These bets include “any craps” which is a bet that the next roll of the dice will be a 2, 3, or 12. If the dice come up as a 2, 3, or 12, the payout is 7 to 1. The house advantage is 11.1. Similar is betting on either the 3 or the 11. Either bet pays 15 to 1, and the house advantage is still 11.1. You can bet the “Big 7” which pays 4 to 1, but has a house advantage of 16.9.
So how exactly do we make money on Craps, if all bets are losers? There are many theories and tactics. Some people recommend things like trying to control the dice and can make them land on a certain number. That won’t work. The game can’t be rigged, it can’t be cheated, and it can’t be beat in the long term.
It CAN be beat in the short term by being a smart player. That is where we find the fun. More on that later.
The best bet in a casino is called “pure odds.” This is a largely theoretical bet where the probability of that event occurring is the same as the payout. (For a discussion of probability, see my last post on this.) For example, let’s say that you are betting that a ‘6’ will be rolled on the dice. Out of 36, there are 5 ways to roll a six (and win) while there are 6 ways to roll a ‘7’ (and lose), so your probability of winning would be 5 to 6. In a “true odds” bet, a five dollar bet on the six would pay you 6 dollars if you won. However, casinos want to make money, so the payout is structured in such a way that the casino makes more money. In the case of our example of betting on the six, a six dollar bet would win you seven dollars. This ‘house edge’ is the casino’s cut, called the ‘vigorish’ or ‘vig’.
So obviously, a good bet is one that has the smallest house edge. There are some bets that have a small edge, and others with a large one. Let’s start with the good bets, the ones that are the closest to true odds.
The Pass Line Bet
The most basic bet you can make in Craps is the pass line bet. You are betting that the person shooting the dice will win. (Refer to the basic rules of the game here) A pass line bet is placed before the shooter rolls the dice for the first time (this is called ‘coming out’). If the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11, he wins. If he wins, all Pass line bets win as well, and they pay at even money. (A $10 bet pays $10) If the come out roll is a 2, 3, or 12, the shooter loses, and so do all pass line bets. Any other roll ‘sets the point’ meaning that this is the number that the shooter must roll again before he rolls another seven in order to win. Once you place a pass line bet, it must remain in place until the shooter either wins or loses. You place a pass bet by putting your chip down on the pass line, just like the $10 (red) chip in this picture.
For example: You place a $10 bet on the pass line. The shooter rolls a seven. You win $10. Congratulations, pick up your $10 in winnings. The shooter rolls again. Since no point was set, it is again a ‘come out roll.’ He rolls a 12. You lose. Easy come, easy go. Replace the $10. The shooter again comes out, and this time he rolls a 9. The 9 is now ‘the point’ and the shooter must roll another 9 to win. If he rolls a 7, he loses and passes the dice to the next shooter. (This is called “sevening out”) The house edge for a pass line bet is 1.41.
“Taking odds” is mathematically the best bet in the casino, and is a part of the pass line bet. However, it can be a good bet, or a bad one. Taking odds is a way of increasing your pass line bet, but at true odds. You can take odds by betting more money after the point is set. If a 7 is rolled, you lose your pass line bet AND your odds bet. If the point gets made, you win the pass line bet AND the odds bet pays at true odds.
Let me explain. You place this bet by putting more money behind the pass line. If the point is a 9 (as in our example above) and the 9 hits, the odds bet pays out at true odds. True odds can be found below. To place an odds bet, after the point is set, you put more chips behind the pass line bet (where the blue chips are in the picture above). Odds bets can be placed or taken down at any time, as long as the dice are not actually in play. (The dealer will say “Dice are out- no more bets, watch your hands.” whenever the dice are in play)
A place bet is where the gambler bets on a particular number being rolled. The bet pays each time the number is rolled. (see the “True odds” section below) If a seven is rolled, the bet is lost. You place a place bet by putting your chips on the playing surface between you and the closest dealer (while the dice are not in play) and tell him “$xx on the number 6”. The house edge on a place bet varies with the number you are betting on. For a 6 or 8, the house edge is 1.52. For a 5 or 9, the edge is 4.0. If you are betting on a 4 or 10, then the house edge is 6.7.
If the point is a 6 or 8, true odds is 6 to 5. Place bet pays 7 to 6.
If the point is a 9 or 5, true odds is 3 to 2. Place bet pays 7 to 5.
If the point is a 4 or 10, true odds is 2 to 1. Place bet pays 9 to 5.
The good bets.
So the long and the short of this is:
The best bet on the table is the pass line bet. With a house edge of 1.41, this is the best bet to make. However, if this is the only bet you make, you are going to get bored.
The next best bet to make is a place bet on the 6 or the 8. The house edge on this bet is 1.52. When I play, I will put a $30 bet on the six or the eight, then every time that number is rolled, I collect $35. Of course, once a 7 is rolled, I lose the $30. The hope is that a 6 or 8 will get rolled at least once before a 7 makes an appearance, and I make money.
Later, we will talk about the mediocre bets, dark side bets, then some betting strategy.