Thread Rating:

teddys
teddys
Joined: Nov 14, 2009
  • Threads: 150
  • Posts: 5441
February 10th, 2010 at 2:02:30 PM permalink
I was playing $15 Pai Gow poker recently and banking. (I always bank). There were one or two other people at the table. A couple turns went by without incident. Then a woman sat down and began playing two spots. She was of Middle Eastern/Balkan extraction, I think -- I only mention it because her communication skills were not exemplary.

When it becomes my turn to bank she reduces her bet to $20 (she was betting greens mostly). She plays the (horrible 7% edge) bonus bet too. She tells me she will "play for a push" and I say okay. I get three pair, and play it the only way possible: one pair up top, two pair in the back. I win all the hands.

All of a sudden she starts demanding her bet back from me. I say I played the hand the only way I could have. She says that I should pay her regardless of whether I win or lose. I decline to pay her and fortunately she does not make a scene but mutters to the dealer and pit boss some spurious things and play continues.

Now, what would you understand "playing for a push" to mean? As I understood it, if I had a hand that could be played more than one way, then I would set the hand the way that would most likely result in a push. I did _not_ understand it to mean that I would pay her if she lost and she would pay me if she won. That's why I bank -- I put my money at risk to have the chance at winning other people's money.

Has anybody ever encountered this practice before? The other players seemed to agree with her. The pit boss and dealer (wisely) remained silent.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
jeremykay
jeremykay
Joined: Feb 5, 2010
  • Threads: 0
  • Posts: 69
February 10th, 2010 at 3:11:16 PM permalink
I've never seen that! If her intention was you and she would settle up after so neither lost any money to the other, then she should have just sat out the hand. (PS, I HATE when other players sit out while I'm banking... they'd rather give their money to the house than to me?)
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
  • Threads: 1234
  • Posts: 20436
February 10th, 2010 at 5:13:27 PM permalink
I don't see any merit to her complaint at all. "Playing for a push," means to balance the two hands, even if it lowers the combined expected value a bit. For example, splitting up a low two pair with an ace kicker. Splitting up the two pair has a high chance of pushing, but retaining the two pair has the greater expected value.

In the case with three pairs, if you played the highest pair in front, that would be playing for a push, and obvioulsy the right thing to do.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
  • Threads: 176
  • Posts: 10066
February 10th, 2010 at 5:24:31 PM permalink
I've never heard that either, but, in the context you describe it, I'll take a stab:

You had three pair. Sure, the logical / best play is to put your highest pair on top.

But, in my ignorant concept of 'play to push', you would keep your two best pairs together, and then SPLIT the lowest pair, putting two lousy singles on top. That way, you're probably not going to win, but you'll probably not lose either.

Personally, I would have told her to pound salt!



FYI: A pit boss once told me that 'House way' is NOT to win the most, but to lose the least. Very subtle difference.



Quote: jeremykay

(PS, I HATE when other players sit out while I'm banking... they'd rather give their money to the house than to me?)

I don't bank, but never sit out when another player banks. After all, I'm there to win. If some sucker wants to play banker, I'll be just as happy to take his money as the house's. If I didn't think I was going to win, I wouldn't be in the casino. (I know I'm not winning every hand, but you get my point.)
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
teddys
teddys
Joined: Nov 14, 2009
  • Threads: 150
  • Posts: 5441
February 10th, 2010 at 7:44:15 PM permalink
Thanks for your comments. I thought I was in the right. Apparently there is some weird "pact" that some players have where playing for a push means you settle up afterwards so nobody loses. Of course I will make it clear next time that when I bank, I intend to bank, period.

The subtext of the whole incident is that this woman just wanted to play the bonus without risking anything else. I was loathe to say this in the original post, but she is a total degenerate who bets huge on the bonus and spreads to two spots with bets of $25-$100s. Needless to say she is a valued customer of this particular casino...


Quote: DJTeddyBear

I don't bank, but never sit out when another player banks. After all, I'm there to win. If some sucker wants to play banker, I'll be just as happy to take his money as the house's.



Heh. I'll be glad to be that sucker!
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
boymimbo
boymimbo
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
  • Threads: 17
  • Posts: 5988
February 10th, 2010 at 8:19:52 PM permalink
When I am at the casino, I am there to play the "house". Players take it too personally when you beat them, and for me, I'd rather take a walk to the washroom than participate in a "bank". And if I choose to bank, I don't make any deals with anyone.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
bilcgo
bilcgo
Joined: Aug 25, 2010
  • Threads: 0
  • Posts: 11
April 15th, 2011 at 3:09:05 AM permalink
Whenever I hear a player talk about "playing for a push," I smile to myself. There is a common myth that house way is designed to maximize pushes, which is nonsense. Most house ways are designed (if imperfectly) to maximize the house's expected win. In many cases where there are two ways to play a hand, one of which is likely to result in a push, and the other giving the player more of a chance to win, the latter also gives the player a much greater chance of losing. So, is the player really "playing for the win"? Kind of like hitting a hard 17 at blackjack when the dealer has a 10 showing. Yes, if you draw a 3 or 4, you look like a remarkably lucky gambler and are far more likely to win, but overall you've made a terrible play.
gofaster87
gofaster87
Joined: Mar 19, 2011
  • Threads: 3
  • Posts: 445
April 15th, 2011 at 7:16:08 AM permalink
.....
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
  • Threads: 262
  • Posts: 13928
April 15th, 2011 at 7:48:13 AM permalink
What would the dealer have said if the casino was banking and you said to him precisely what she said to you?
I think you should have said nothing to the player at all. Unless some thing such as "Good Luck" or "would you like to come up to my suite for the night". Well, okay... "Good Luck". Thats about it.

Its like chatting with someone at an auction. Don't do it. If you are banking, you say nothing not pertinent to the game and entertain no discussions not pertinent to the game. As you said, you are putting YOUR money at risk. Don't let anyone else increase that risk.

At blackjack, where you are never the dealer and never the banker, sure chatter away if you've a mind to, but its best to just keep your eyes on the cards that are being dealt.
gog
gog
Joined: Jan 7, 2011
  • Threads: 5
  • Posts: 105
April 15th, 2011 at 8:17:35 AM permalink
Im going to play devils advocate and say you agreed to her terms by saying 'ok'. If playing to push was accepted terminology for just settling the hand (i wouldn't know) and you accepted her offer, then she should expect her money back. Assuming she would have paid you back on a win then it does look like she got jipped.

In PGP the team vs house mentality is fairly strong and often I see players banking to 'mess up' a dealer's streak; lowering the house edge rarely factors into their decision. In fact the old timers keep bugging me with stories about how 'once there was this idiot who didn't pull back his bet even though I was banking', followed by the obligatory heroic wicked beat hands that sent them home crying. Does it make math sense, no but its always good to get a feel for the local culture.

  • Jump to: