What We Know About Poker Pro Fred Sarge Ferris

When you think of all-time greats in the poker world Fred “Sarge” Ferris has to be at the top of your list. Ferris played poker and played it well. Realizing that some people play poker for fun and some played it as a hobby, few of them had what it took to play for a living. Fred “Sarge” Ferris knew he did.

Fred “Sarge” Ferris grew up in the Great Depression and his father did everything to put food on the table. Living in poverty, his brother enlisted in the Navy and later became a well-known watchmaker and jeweler. He wanted to choose a different path. So he picked up gambling. He didn’t call it gambling. He was a consummate professional, never showing off his cards or giving away any information.

Although not much for publicity, Mr. Ferris started getting the attention of the other players and media as well. He started winning big pots, and high stakes cash games garnering the respect of his peers. His first big win came in a deuce-to-seven draw in 1980 winning $10,000. He then won $150,000 and a gold bracelet in the World Series of poker. After collecting his winnings, Fred Ferris was approached by a man named Stu Ungar.

Ungar did everything he could to convince Ferris that he could win the World Series Of Poker, but needed Fred’s help with the entry fee. Fred was unconvinced at first to help him out, after Ungar told him he had never played in a tournament before. Never the less, here stood a man so convinced he could do that Fred gave him a shot. Fred approached it as no different than playing cards; to him it was just another gamble. Ungar played masterfully, out dueling Fred’s arch rival Doyle Brunson to win the World Series of poker.

On April 22nd 1983 IRS agents approached Ferris in the card room and seized $46,000 in chips. It made headlines in on news circuits while sitting at Binion’s Horseshoe at high stakes games. The money was then reportedly seized because of back taxes Ferris owed to the federal government. One of the agents told Ferris to use the remaining money and buy a taco.

Fred “Sarge” Ferris and his scandal outrage the local Hispanic communities. Protesting that one of the agents mocked Ferris’ ethnicity. His parents were born in Lebanon but he was somehow mistaken for a Mexican. This was all a misunderstanding. Ferris said the agent was trying to be nice. The incident died off eventually.

During most of his life, he spent all of his time at the poker table. It seems appropriate to have his tombstone made out of a poker table, he died there. On March 12th, 1989, after playing in a high-stakes cash game, He suffered a massive heart attack. His funeral was held in Las Vegas. Many people attended his funeral. People came to show their condolences, some were happy he had died.

However after everything Ferris brought to the game he became the 18th inductee into the poker hall of fame. Later that year after a long investigation by both Las Vegas casinos and the Indian gaming commission, Ferris would be linked as one of five men who was in debt to the mob. To Fred’s credit the mob would never see their money.

He will be remembered for his accolades and achievements in the world of poker. His intelligence for the game and his techniques have earned him the respect of future poker players. Fred “Sarge” Ferris was called a “consummate pro” for a reason.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Casino Gambling

Mobile casinos are ideal for people who love playing casino games but do not have time to make it down to a real casino due to their busy lifestyles. However, as with any new gaming technology there will be advantages and disadvantages. Below are some of the positive and negative aspects of mobile casino gambling.

Firstly, the main advantage about a mobile casino is that you do not have to travel anywhere to get to it. The casino can travel with you inside your pocket or bag so you don’t have to worry about physically making your way down to a land based casino. You can play a game of mobile poker or roulette anytime of day or night you want to and whenever you feel the urge.

The size of the casino is reduced to that of mobile phone screen which can conveniently fit into your pocket. This is far better than having to lug a bulky laptop and it’s accessories around with you just in case you want to play a bit of blackjack.

On the flip side some people may take a bit of time to adapt to the small screens on mobiles phones. They might find it difficult to view the casino games in a very much smaller format than they would if they were in normal online casino. They are also limited to using the mobile phone keypad as the control keys which is a lot smaller in comparison to a computer keyboard. In an online casino they can view the games on a larger monitor and can easily make movements using the mouse. However, these days mobile phone manufacturers are building phones with gaming in mind so they come equipped with larger, clearer screens and more user friendly controls.

When changing from a land based casino to mobile casino you may be tempted to wager a greater amount as the money cannot be seen on the virtual betting tables. This can be a danger as you could end up spending more money than you would in actual casinos since there are no physical chips seen anywhere. Physical chips in live casinos take a person away from thinking they are using real money however, with virtual chips it can feel as if no money is involved at all which can be risky.

Secrets of Sic-Bo

Sic-Bo uses three dice, although the term “sic-bo” actually means “dice pair.” A lavishly lit Sic-Bo table can be found in most casinos that have Asian Game rooms. There are many bets, all of which are explained on the gaming table.

Each number from four to seventeen is a point and after all the bets are made, the dealer “shakes” the dice container. No one in this game actually touches the dice themselves, and each game begins on a new “shake,” after all the bets are placed.

In Sic-Bo you have 14 point numbers (4 to 17). Besides betting on the 3 dice totals that form the points you can also bet the following –

THREE OF A KIND – (like 6, 6, 6) (must specify which number)

TWO OF A KIND – (like 6, 6) (must specify numbers)

DUO – Two different numbers (like 4, 5) (must specify numbers)

ANY THREE – (like 5, 5, 5) (will win on any three of a kind)

SMALL – The sum is ten or less (excludes any 3 of a kind)

BIG – The sum is 11 or more (excludes any 3 of a kind)

ONE – Any specified number that appears on 1, 2, or 3 dice

These seven basic bets plus the 17 point numbers and more are all graphically illustrated on the beautifully lit Sic Bo table. When a decision is reached, the dealer lights up the winning combinations, removes the losing chips and pays the winners at the house odds.

Unfortunately the house odds are not standardized and may be slightly different from casino to casino.

The two bets with the lowest casino advantage are the “Big” bet and the “Small” Bet. These both provide a 2.7% house edge, which is the best you’ll get in Sic-Bo.

Sic Bo is a fast moving, exciting game, but it is usually called in Chinese. Also you must exchange your chips or money for Sic Bo chips, which are similar to roulette chips. The table minimums and maximums are posted. Most people play flat bet systems on the Big and Small numbers. An easy system is to increase your bet by one unit when you win and decrease your bet by one unit when you lose.

Although the odds are better in craps, Sic-Bo is a lot of fun to play – if you can find it!

The Crapshooter © 2006 by Larry Edell

Did You Ever Lose Big on a Slot and See the Next Player Win the Jackpot? Don’t Cry! Here’s Why

The Random Number Generator is here. In fact, it’s been here since the 1980’s, when casinos noticed that more patrons were playing slot machines than table games. The device is a computer chip that’s in every machine game in every casino worldwide, including slot machines, video poker and video keno machines. This chip allows the unit to continuously roam through random number combinations at the rate of thousands per second. These are mapped to specific outcomes.

Players’ Slot Scenario

If you are a dedicated slot player you probably experienced a time(s) where your favorite machine ate your last $20. You leave feeling frustrated, turn to a waiting patron and say, ” Don’t bother playing. It’s not hitting.” Nevertheless, the patron starts to play. Walking away, you can’t resist a final glance at the screen, and there it is! JACKPOT! With lights blinking, music playing, and screen graphics going wild. The lucky player watches the credit meter run up to stop at $1,000! “I should have won,”you grumble.”If only I played one more time!”

The bad news is you lost your $20. The good news is you would not have won anyway. Here’s why: In the extra time it took for you to get up and the other patron to sit down, insert money and press spin, millions of numbers were being drawn combing through different outcomes. The Random Number Generator will not stop to select a display until the spin button is pressed. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Jackpots can happen anytime, even when the machine is not in play.

When the reels are spinning They’re only doing so to amuse you. The machine already knows where it’s going to stop. Each spin is independent of the next one. They have absolutely no effect on one another.

Pseudo Random

Numbers that are generated by the chip are not truly random. A computer may be fast but it is not intelligent. The industry calls it pseudo-random. Pseudo meaning false, and random meaning no specific pattern. The process also has to be given a seed (starting point) and an algorithm (mathematical formula.) The seeds constantly change.

Loose and Tight Machines

The terms loose and tight refer to certain payback percentages that are made at the factory upon the request of the casino(s). They can vary between 85% & 98% depending on jurisdiction requirements.These are the percentages of monies that are returned to players over a long period of time. Hence the house takes between 2% and 15%. The casinos hold is usually larger on the smaller denomination machines such as pennies, nickles, and quarters. The payback percentages can only be set and changed by the manufacturer.

Contrary to what many players think, casinos cannot change payback percentages at will. Strict jurisdiction laws also prohibit this. If you find a machine that boasts a 98% return, it will be a 98% return every hour, every day, no matter where it’s moved on the floor, until the casino gets rid of it.

Playing Tips

The popular penny machines have the lowest return of about 85%. Hence, a house edge of 15%. A $3 or $4 max bet on these machines will return less to players over time than the higher denomination machines such as dollars, which can return up to 98%. Although the penny units have attractive bonus features, think about playing the higher denominations such as dollars, which can return more to players over time.

Here’s another tip. If you see a bank of machines with one sign that boasts a 98% return, not every machine in that bank will return 98%. It may only one or two from a bank of twelve. However, if the 98% return tag is on the individual machine, that’s the one you want to play. GOOD LUCK.

The Better Poker Player

Poker is often played in a casino. This is the same type of establishment where slot machines are pulled, dice are rolled, and roulette wheels are spun. Maybe because of this association, many people lump these games into the same category. But poker is not like these games. Poker is a game that can be routinely beaten, because it is not a game of luck but rather a game of skill. You don’t play against the house or dealer but rather other human opponents. When a player sits across the table from another, the player with the most skill will certainly have the advantage. The longer the two play, the more likely the better player will end up with all of the chips. The question that I am addressing is “What skills determine who the better poker player is”? There are 3 fundamental areas where one player can have an edge over the other.

1. Understanding the math.

Poker is very much a math based game. A large emphasis is placed on probability and statistics. Many of the games mathematical decisions are made from understanding that there are 52 cards, and that there are a certain amount of cards left to be dealt. Good players only put chips in the pot (the total amount of money played by each player in a particular hand) when it is favorable to do so. The determining factor of rather not it is favorable, is a concept called “pot odds”. Pot odds are the ratio of the current size of the pot to the cost of what it takes to call the previous bet. Pot odds are compared to the likeliness of hitting your hand by the river/ The likeness of hitting your hand is also called equity.. When your odds of hitting the hand are better than your pot odds, then you should call the bet. The player who can more accurately determine his equity and pot odds has a large advantage against those who cannot.

2. Gathering information quickly

Poker is a game of impartial information. You can never be sure of the 2 cards that your opponent holds in his hand. But, there are many cues that can help you piece together a range of hands your opponent is likely to have, thus allowing you to make the correct decisions. Examples of these cues include, Body language, siting position of a pre flop raiser, even assumptions like age of the opponent or how a person dresses can be valuable in aiding to narrowing a players hand range. Probably the action that gives the most information is bet sizing. Bet sizing in relation to the size of the pot can be very telling, especially when bets are abnormally large or small. It is important to gather as much information as possible, but a good player uses that information to pick up on the tendencies of his opponent, then exploits them. The player who gathers the most info and uses it correctly will have an advantage.

3. Aggression

Poker favors aggressive actions. Aggression in poker can be rated based on how often you bet and raise rather than check or call. Aggression often allows you to win pots without having to show your hand. This allows you to conceal how you are playing from your opponents, as well as potentially win hands when you don’t actually have the best hand. Putting pressure on your opponents will force them to make decisions. Forcing decisions increases your opponent’s chance of making a mistake. This is clearly an advantage. Winning players make less mistakes then their opponent. Aggression is an important factor in making that happen.

Working on these 3 aspects of your game will get you closer to your goal of being a good poker player.