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The House Database

To avoid the perception of being a sensible person, little matchplayer has to accept a little more variance and play a little longer. Variance means that swings in fortune are fast and wide. The severity of fluctuations in a bankroll are determined by the size of the bets (see page 8). The careful bonus player needs to accept a few losses in order to get the larger wins. The 10 to 20 percent deposit bonus will put you ahead overall.

When going for a $200 bonus on the usual $I,000 deposit, do not stop at one or two hundred ahead. Keep playing either until there's a healthy-looking win, or a notable loss. A formula that is probably undetectable but still has a healthy edge is to play until either doubling the deposit or losing half. (If a doubling comes quickly, it is probably wise to play some more and grind it out with small bets.) Neither computer nor operator will be able to distinguish such a person from a gambler.

Advantage players should strive to appear like regular gamblers. By betting bigger and accepting more variance, they can present a difficult puzzle. Consider this: to the house, the most desirable gamblers are those who bet wildly on hunches, or chase losses by pressing their bets (shop talk for increasing the size of the wagers). An e-casino's risk analysts could automatically review any bonus claim where the action does not equal double the deposit. An aggressive player betting $100 a hand can burn through a $500 deposit in 60 seconds. He might just barely reach the minimum action of deposit plus the bonus, much less reach an audit threshold of double. Is the e-casino is going to deny a bonus to this most valuable of all players? A few might, but they are losing the cream to the dairy processors.

Draws on Fifth Street
Try to get a good look at the boards on fifth street, because this is when players are most likely to fold. In a hand where many players have stayed in, you have ~seen enough up cards that the richness or leanness of your outs in the deck will have a bigger impact on your decisions. Remember, the ratio you are referencing for this ~ is the odds of hitting on individual cards. Very rich decks can make betting for value the right play with a flush draw or high straight draw. A lean deck for a middle or low straight draw might not be worth a call now if higher draws are apparent among your opponents. As for your opponents' outs, you should continue to monitor key ranks that help their pairs, and you should also take a look at which cards they might need for straights. Knowing that these cards have been burned can be very valuable information after sixth street falls.
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