Inside the Minds of Pro Gamblers - Good JUJU Bets’ Peter & Ryan

Heather: Thank you so much for joining us. Please tell us a little more about yourself.

Peter: Heather thanks for having us on. I am Peter and this is my Co-host, Ryan. It’s great to be on with you. We have been hosting a podcast of our own covering sports and casino gambling for about a year now.

Ryan: Gambling with Good JuJu.

Peter: Gambling with Good JuJu is the name of the show. We have been gambling ourselves – the one thing we have learned, Heather on this podcast is that everyone that has a story about them getting into gambling generally starts in childhood. You would think it would be 21 when it is legal no, no, no, most stories start in childhood as do ours. That is kind of the sense of the podcast that we have as we go along. We are covering kind of our journey in sports gambling when we started the show. We thought we were very informed and intelligent sports gamblers, and what has happened over the course of the year has been kind of mind blowing to us both in what we have been able to learn and what we have been able to share with guests throughout the course of the conversation.

Heather: Awesome. I recommend everyone that is watching to check out your videos and podcast. What is your YouTube channel and do you have a website with your podcast on it?

Ryan: Goodjujubets.net is our website. That is where you can find all the details where the podcast is of course on Spotify, Apple, etc. Our social accounts are @goodjuju.

Heather: Awesome. Cool. I think you guys bring up a great point. I think it would be a great way to start this segment. In childhood how did you get started with gambling?

Ryan: I definitely learned how to play poker with my grandparents when I was very young for pennies at the kitchen table. My grandpa had a couple handheld slot machines and poker machines that he would play while we were watching westerns. It was definitely always around and then quickly rolled into grade school, parlay cards for football season etc. I even ran a little makeshift casino in my friend's basement for a while. Yeah. To say I have been gambling for a long time to say the least.

Peter: Heather my first experience gambling I was eight years old, my parents took us on a vacation up to Chicago. I have got four older brothers who are much older than me and we went to Arlington Race Track. That is a horse racing track in the Chicago area that was quite famous and now is shut down and owned by the Chicago Bears. I got to go up to that window and hand my brother the money. I got to tell them what horses I wanted and it was the greatest thrill of my life trying to determine whether or not that horse would finish in the top 3. I was a kid, I was scared to bet on them, to win a race. I only bet them to finish in the top three. By the end of that day the teller was familiar with me that she would let me give her the money directly. From that point on I was completely hooked.

Ryan: That is hilarious.

Peter: I have been running a NCAA Tournament Basketball Pool for 25 years now. Something along those lines. We started off with daily fantasy and once legal sports gambling came to Illinois we took it from there.

Heather: I bet you guys were so excited when gambling became legal.

Ryan: You have no idea.

Peter: We don’t want to call it life changing because that sounds to degenerate. But it was a big deal.

Ryan: Lifestyle changing.

Heather: I have seen degenerate, I doubt you guys are anywhere close to that. I completely get where you are coming from. I want to know what the largest amount you won when you were betting on the horse racing?

Peter: On the horseracing – I don’t think I have ever – well I would say it was this year Kentucky derby we took Mystik Dan.

Heather: When you were a kid.

Peter: Oh when I was a kid I think it was $2. I think that is the most that I won in that particular horse racing event.

Heather: I bet you were so excited about that.

Peter: I think my parents let me bet $10 the entire day. I was about to bet $2 and I would pick horses that would give me an even payout and I won a couple.

Heather: So learned the slot machine – the whole theory about the slot machine where you put $5 in and you win $2 and it does the lights and the sounds. You have won and you are a big winner. Wait a minute, didn’t I lose $3. How does this work again?

Peter: I fell hook line and sinker. I mean I didn’t know what I was doing but the – we talk about endorphins a lot. We like to chase the endorphins on our show. That was my first experience doing it and I have been hooked on it eversince.

Ryan: I bet you were so nervous.

Peter: I was giddy. I was a little kid. I was very hyper Heather.

Heather: That sounds like fun. The horse racing is perfect. You have a lot of room to run around and a lot of excitement.

Peter: Absolutely.

Heather: So my question is as someone who is a seasoned gambler, I would love to know the answers to these questions. When you sit down and you play at a table game, what inspires you to tip the dealer? Is there something that they do in particular? Or is it a vibe? How do you decide to tip that person or not?

Ryan: Do you want me to start first?

Peter: You go first.

Ryan: Yeah okay, so I like to play a number of table games. It’s a little bit different between the different games right? So when I am playing craps, I will typically always tip when I am shooting, like with me playing right? And then as I start building my bets up, and I start getting in the middle of the board I will start doing the hard ways. Once I get a couple bucks on a hard way then the dealer starts getting a couple bucks on a hard way too. I always typically tip at the end of my session of craps as well.

Blackjack is a little bit different. I like to tip – basically as a bribe I call it when I need a change of luck so that is how I decide to tip while I am playing. And then at the end of the session as well.

Peter: Do you always tip even if you are down.

Ryan: Unless it’s like I got nothing. I try to save at least a couple reddies for the dealer for sure.

Peter: Is it inappropriate if you only tip if you are up Heather?

Heather: Any time the player tips we are very appreciative.

Ryan: Yeah.

Heather: Do you give the dealer the tip or do you play the tip for them?

Ryan: I try to play the tips like during my session. Then I tip at the end just like here is for like the toke box right?

Heather: Yeah the toke box.

Ryan: What is the preference?

Heather: For?

Ryan: What’s the preference for the dealers between playing with the tip or just tipping the cash?

Heather: Every dealer is different. If you ask the dealer, if you want them to play or just give to you. The casino requires the dealer to answer, “Can you just give us the money.” That’s it, don't play it for us. The reason why is because if you play for the dealer and you win, when that dealer takes the toke money and puts it in their toke box that money is gone. The casino can’t get it back so it has lost money. If the player wins money, let's say if the player wins a lot of money and they win big, the casino is fine with it because they are like as long as we keep this person in the chair and keep them playing we will get all this money back. With tokes it is like lost money and they don’t like that. So they tell dealers to just drop it and don’t play.

Ryan: Yeah got ya.

Peter: So I’ll tip on a heater when I am down. So if I’m down and I get on a heater and I am still down I will still throw a tip if I’m going on a heater. But generally once I get - if I get going, we all get going kinda guy. I will tip as we go along when I am up. I will always tip at the end of the session if I am up, or if I am around even. If I am down, it’s kind of a bummer for all of us in my mind. Including the dealers.

Ryan: Right. Right.

Heather: How do you decide how much you are going to tip? Is it just a $1? Is it $5? How do you make that determination?

Peter: It depends on what I was gambling at. For the most part it is generally a rounded off – at the end of a session it would be a rounded off number based on how much I brought back. So if it's a good amount I will round to a bigger number. If it’s a smaller number I will round to a smaller number.

Heather: If you have a 50 cent piece you are rounding it to a dollar.

Peter: No it’s higher than that. I wouldn’t be rude.

Heather: Oh okay.

Peter: If you walk away up 30 and you have a 25 and a 5 I am going to throw them a 5 and walk away with a 25 chip. If I walk away 250 well then I will throw them a 25 chip or something like that.

Ryan: Yeah!

Heather: Well that is pretty generous. Thank you.

Ryan: So I haven’t tried this yet but I have heard that you can tell the dealer at like blackjack, hey here I have $10 and another $5 on top for you and then just exchange this through the process. Have you seen that done before?

Heather: Yes. So what you are talking about is parlaying. So you are not allowed to parlay the tip for the dealer, however there is a way around it. You just explained it. Instead of tipping the dealer, putting the money out. So if you have a chip here and you put the tip out here you can’t parlay it. If you put their toke on top of the money you can parlay it. However it is still the players' money. So it is actually pretty risky for the dealer to do it this way. If the player parlays and they wins and parlays and wins and parlays and wins there is nothing stopping the player from saying hey that’s my money I am taking it. They don't’t get it. It’s their money. So there is a bit of a risk. But if you can’t parlay your tokes that is one way to side step that rule.

Ryan: Okay cool. I am going to try that.

Peter: We can’t stop being interviewers.

Ryan: Hey I have a question for you Heather.

Peter: Sorry we are taking over.

Heather: Oh no I just hope you don’t mind this going a little longer than what I said.

Ryan: No please this is fun.

Heather: What are you looking for in a dealer?

Peter: I look for a social personality if I can try to spot it. It’s not always easy. Let’s be honest, that most tables, we are looking for an open spot.

Ryan: I definitely like to feel out the vibe of the dealer. I try to not get more talkative than I think everybody wants. I will be social. A big thing for me at the craps table is that two or three passes in they figure out what I am doing and then we can just kind of jive there a little bit. Not that I am not the most complicated craps player but they should be able to figure out what I am doing pretty quickly.

Heather: So for our viewers that are casino game inventors, what kind of new games would you be really excited about? What do you want to see? Is there something that you are like I wish they would do a game like this? I would love to see this.

Peter: I mentioned on our podcast the three dice football that was at O’sheas. I am on a bandwagon. We need to bring that game back. Heather ask your audience, they will know. Three dice poker.

Ryan: Three dice football.

Peter: Any games like that that entice more action and excitement in the way that craps does. I know you talk about space being a problem and complicated rules and things along those lines. I would love to see more variation and terms of out of the box thinking. When I walk the line of carnival games right now at a casino they all look pretty similar to me. So I would just like to see something that breaks the mold.

Heather: So does that mean poker style games don’t wet your whistle?

Peter: How many of them do we have to have?

Heather: Yeah.

Ryan: I have never played Mississippi Stud or Caribbean Stud or any of that stuff.

Peter: Like I would play War before I would go play Three Card Poker.

Ryan: Oh Three Card Poker is kind of fun.

Peter: I am just saying. It’s personal.

Heather: So out of the carnival games that are really normal that are in the casinos. The ones that you see everywhere are Three Card Poker, High Card Flush, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Four Card Poker, Casino War, which games do you really enjoy playing?

Ryan: Out of those style games I prefer Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. Again like I said I have not played all the stud games, but it kinda makes you feel like you are playing poker and you really are not. It’s like a builtin Jackpot, which is more fun. Especially if you are playing with people that don’t gamble a lot, they are not going to understand the grind of a dice game or blackjack necessarily. So it is a little bit more social with casual gamblers I think.

Peter: Yeah. All the traditional ones don’t really do it for me. If I am looking across the regular set, the one that stands out in my mind the most was when I played War. I mean none of the traditional ones are going to be ones that I go to instinctively. But all the ones that oh my gosh I have never seen that before, that looks interesting. I think I would be a trialist of carnival games more than I would be one that plays a steady and established game.

Ryan: Interesting.

Heather: If you see a new carnival game are you immediately there trying it out?

Peter: That is my personality. I would definitely be there trying to laugh about it, trying to talk about it and trying to figure it out. Trying to have fun RJ talking about it. And being like, what’s going on here? Just the fact of getting to talk about it with the dealer because of its newness and excitement would bring an element of intrigue for me.

Ryan: I am quite the contrary. I would spend five hours on a simulator and like read the whole article on Wizard of Odds before I would even sit down.

Heather: Wizard of Odds is such a wonderful website. It’s so wonderful. I can not say enough stuff about it.

Ryan: Absolutely I love it.

Peter: We went out to Las Vegas last August. He had fist a craps simulator and then a roulette simulator on his phone and I kid you not hundreds of hours. Hundreds of hours practicing.

Heather: That is a great way to save money.

Ryan: That’s right practicing at home.

Peter: He did lose less than me. Good job.

Ryan: There you go.

Heather: Does this mean you guys have tried all of the casino games. Big Six, Pai-Gow Poker, Baccarat? Everything?

Peter: I have actually not played Baccarat.

Ryan: I haven’t either.

Peter: That is the one we are interested in. We have a friend that likes to play baccarat. If you ever checkout a podcast The Better Life, with Tim Lawson. He is great. He talks about baccarat a lot.

Heather: Yeah he is great.

Peter: That is probably the one that I haven’t. Most the others, yes I have played.

Ryan: I gotta say, I actually did a few hours on the simulator on baccarat and I still am not going to sit down and play this.

Heather: What don’t you like about it? I am just curious.

Ryan: The rules are really complex. All the different numbers and you have to know what they are. I am petrified I am going to sit down especially at our local casino. I know the newbees deal baccarat. I am so afraid they are not going to do it right and I am not going to win or loss and I won’t know how to correct it. That keeps me from doing it.

Peter: I just realized I need to revise my answer. It is no longer War. You brought up Pai-Gow Poker, I have very strong memories of Pai-Gow Poker from when I was a fresh 21 year old out in Vegas. Too poor to properly gamble, being told by everyone that if you just sit at a Pai-Gow Poker table they will feed you drinks for hours and you won’t really gain or lose any money. So carnival games, shout out Pai-Gow Poker taking care of a poor broke college kid way back in the day.

Ryan: Kind of an unsung hero of the casino Pai-Gow Poker. Well it’s so wonderful because every single hand is like push, push, push, push oh hey I won one. It is actually just like you described. It’s a poker game, You are playing poker, but it has these really large payouts if you play the fortune bonus. You can get up to 8,000 to 1 on it. It is really amazing. I was wondering if you played that.

Peter: It was my goal to play it 8 hours straight. Lose less than $100 and walk out of that casino with my fellow beverages.

Heather: Nice.

Ryan: Maybe a breakfast comp.

Peter: There you go, a breakfast comp.

Heather: For baccarat it’s a lot easier than you think. I know it seems really complicated but once you get the hang of it it’s really easy. It’s a fun game. Well that is pretty much it. Thank you guys so much for joining. Can you tell the audience one more time where they can find you or follow you on social media?

Ryan: Our podcast is Gambling with Good JuJu. Goodjujubets.net is our website and our social media is @goodjujubets. Our episode with Heather will be live on Thursday this week.

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