This machine is a winner, for the house that is

Is there any slot machine that guarantees the house a higher percentage back so I can avoid playing it? Carol W.

Unquestionably, the ATM machine in a casino has the best hold. ATMs require no gaming license, no installation cost, no maintenance fees, and the casino is guaranteed a double kickback-a rental fee for having the machine placed in its joint-but better yet, another shot at your already liquidated assets.

ATMs are machines no gambler should be playing. These bankroll busters are a direct pipline right into your bank account. ATM gambling is nothing more than a desperate and doomed measure to stay in action. Always leave your credit and bank teller cards at home so you will not be tempted with the easy convenience of getting cash. Most players who use them are doing nothing more than chasing losses.

Who is credited with inventing the game of roulette? Kenny B.

Said by many to have perfected the theory of probability while solving a dice problem for a friend, Pascal is credited with the present-day sequence of figures on the roulette wheel. The roulette wheel itself comes from some medieval monks in Venice. They invented the rotating flywheel with its 36 black and red slots.

You mentioned in a previous column the term “counting down the deck.” What did you mean by that? Paul S.

Counting down a deck is one of many card-counting systems wherein a player mentally keeps track of what cards have been dealt and what cards remain in the deck.

Counting down a deck is also utilized by pit bosses, security personal observing your game (eye-in-the-sky), and even bored dealers like me. It is often said, facetiously of course, that dealers learn to deal so automatically that pitching cards is a good way to get eight hours sleep without going to bed. Instead of taking a siesta, I occasionally counted down the deck.

Why do you recommend Jacks or Better when first learning how to play video poker? Tim G.

Because Jacks or Better is the most natural game in terms of hand recognition, and most players, even with limited kitchen table experience, are pretty familiar with the standard non-joker card hands. Plus, Tim, it is one of the more available choices you will find in every casino, with nickel machines to learn on at a minimum of expense to your gambling budget.

Of course, Tim, it would be penny-wise but pound-foolish for you to select any video poker game and then fail to play the best paytables and neglect to employ the best playing strategies. Right? RIGHT!

Exactly what is a toke? Is it a form of tipping? Walter S.

The term “toke,” relating to tips and tipping, is a word used exclusively in the green felt jungle subculture.

A “toke” is money handed to a dealer as a gift, or a bet for the dealer made by the player. If it is a bet and won, both the toke and the payoff become the dealer’s.

Technically, Walter, dealers do not consider a toke a tip or gratuity, as this would hint at special treatment, which of course, dealers are not allowed to show any player.

Gambling thought of the week: “Casinos and prostitutes have the same thing in common; they are both trying to screw you out of your money and send you home with a smile on you face.” -VP Pappy