The casino industry is one of the biggest, and by far most secretive, in the world. Any avid gambler knows there are things going on behind closed doors that customers were never meant to understand. Nothing illegal or deceptive, per say, but the type of information that could detriment their profit margins if players knew.
But not all gaming executives feel the need to hold onto their casino secrets, because in the end, the gambling industry is a highly competitive business that gains exponentially from the loyalty of their customers. And sometimes, revealing the lesser known intricacies of the business can be a positive.
That was surely the thought process of Todd Haushalter – who possesses one of the most extensive and impressive resumes in the gambling industry – when he began answering some very interesting questions from gamblers.
Haushalter has seen it all, heard it all, and experienced it all first hand. With a couple of Masters Degrees in tow, he started as a casino dealer in London before becoming a research analyst for the American Gaming Association. He’s since held positions as a Senior Gaming Analyst with Wynn Las Vegas, Product Director for SHFL Entertainment, VP of Business Strategies for Bally Technologies, VP of Gaming Operations for MGM Resorts International, and his current role, Chief Product Officer for Evolution Gaming.
As you can see, he knows the business inside and out, from every angle, having worked on the casino floor, behind the scenes, and developing the games we play, in both live and online casino venues. If anyone is capable of revealing casino secrets, Todd Haushalter is your man.
What’s the Best Gambling System?
Haushalter approached this question from two angles. He first noted that the best systems – those that can potentially produce “an advantage over the house” – involve the most work on the player’s part, such as “counting cards, doing your homework for sports betting, jackpot hunting on slots, taking advantage of bonuses, etc.”
But for players who want a more relaxed experience, Haushalter said, “I would suggest breaking your nightly bankroll into 10 separate units. Then set a goal to win just 5 units profit and quit when you do.”
For the best chance of this system working, he said to pick a game/bet with the closest to 50/50 odds, such as blackjack, baccarat or roulette’s red/black, high/low, etc.
“Bet 1 unit at a time then when you win two [consecutively]… press to two units for the 3rd bet. You will have a legit shot at a 50% gain,” he said. “But then it’s critical that you stop and that’s the hard part.”
Are Slots Programmed for Near Misses?
We’ve all seen this happen. The reels spin and, as they come to a stop, every symbol needed to hit the elusive grand prize jackpot falls right into place… except one, which landed just one position away from setting off the bells and whistles.
Its’ one of the most clever casino secrets out there, called the “near miss”, said Haushalter. “And yes, it is something that is done by slot makers to ensure that the players are reminded that there is a jackpot they could win.”
And he should know, having spent more than two years heading up business strategies for slot maker Bally Technologies.
Are Digital Craps Tables Rigged?
Like any electronic gambling device, there’s always the question of whether a casino might have programmed the game to be less random, and more in favor of the establishment. According to Haushalter, “No, [they are] not rigged. Government regulators protect you there. The two dice will land just as random as any other real dice would.”
However, the pay tables may be less attractive than most live craps tables. “You need to pay attention to the odds and payouts because sometimes they are more aggressive in favor of the casino compared to a normal craps table.”
Continue to Part 2, where Todd Haushalter reveals more casino secrets regarding how to beat the casino at blackjack, slots and sports betting.