Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How poker room jackpots and promotions work

Over on allvegaspoker.com, friend and reader Grange has written a truly excellent, detailed description of the most common forms of jackpots and bonuses offered by Las Vegas poker rooms, including such things as eligibility rules, how to expect the poker play to be affected by the presence of the promotions, and who are the demographic long-term winners and losers at these things. You can read it here.

I have seriously toyed with the idea of writing a book that would teach casino poker newbies all the little things that we regulars tend to take for granted. (As one of many, many examples, I have several times heard first-timers ask if they can leave their chips at the table while they go to the restroom. It's kind of funny, but you can't blame them for not knowing things; there just aren't any good sources for such information other than asking.) If I ever get around to actually writing it, I wouldn't bother writing a chapter on jackpots and promotions. Instead, I would just try to get Grange to let me use his explanation as chapter guest author. My ego is such that if I think I can't improve on the writing of something in a subject that I know pretty thoroughly, well, it's about as high a compliment as I can pay.

11 comments:

Cardgrrl said...

You might want to link to the post...

Rakewell said...

Oops. Certainly meant to do that--just forgot. Link is now added in.

Bradford D. Boyle said...

as a poker "n00b", i think your book idea is a great one. i've often wondered how tipping, going to the bathroom, etc. works. by the way, great site.

Sean G said...

Lee Jones has a section in "Winning Low Limit Hold'Em" that covers a lot of the basics, which was good for me since that is the first poker book I ever read. Today I imagine that book collects a lot of dust on the shelves, and none of the other books I've read even touch on how to enter a card room, get on the waiting list, and so forth.

There are some who call me... Tim said...

Ummm, as somebody who has never been to a Vegas poker room, wants to visit one, and has a small bladder, what is the proper procedure when heading off to the rest room?

Thanks Master Grump!

Anonymous said...

In terms of what populations are benefited by promotions, the article seems to miss one important topic.

Most of these promotions favor limit players over no-limit players, for the simple reason that there tend to be more low-limit players in any given hand after the flop, and there tend to be more showdowns.

As a result, even though no-limit players are paying the same jackpot drop per hand at the same room, limit players are more likely to hit a promo (especially BBJ promo) than no-limit players, per hand.

It's not a major effect, but you might be losing 10c per winning hand to the 4/8 LHE table when you play 1/2 NLHE.

Grange95 said...

Thanks for the kind remarks; I have great respect for your writing, so your comments carry a lot of weight with me.

Since my article suffers from my usual flaw of "anything worth saying is worth beating to death in multiple paragraphs", allow me to summarize it for your readers:

a) Promos are a necessary evil;

b) High hand jackpots and aces cracked promos are minor annoyances to serious players; and

c) Bad beat jackpots and freerolls deserve to be relegated to the 9th level of poker hell.

Since you are a regular grinder at games/rooms with promos, I'd be interested to know if you have ever modified your play to take promos into account, or taken advantage of players who did so.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you give the restroom answer in your post?

John said...

Jackpots are a necssary evil..as an old limit player i am amazed how no one pays attention to the drop.. I used to whine at paying 2.5 max 5%..in a 11 player game.now you have to win 35 to 40hr to break even

Anonymous said...

I read your blog almost every day and really enjoy it! I have never played in a casino, mainly because of the apprehension about the ins and outs of buying in, poker room etiquette, etc. Your book idea is an excellent one, I know many who would be interested!

lnewcomer said...

an eBook on something like that might be an interesting idea. you could self-publish and you avoid the distribution hassles.