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Author Topic: StrikeSapphire - NEW Bonus - New $15 Blackjack - New 15 BTC in Weekend prizes!  (Read 2566 times)
ssaCEO
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June 12, 2012, 01:33:30 AM
 #21

Dooglus: Then don't take the bonus and gamble with your own money.

We are in the business of providing a place to risk and win/lose, not a bitcoin faucet. Your contributions to bug-testing the site have been significant and are appreciated; but ultimately this is not a platform for you to spend 24 hours a day trying to figure out ways to get one over on us.

So: If you want to come and gamble, you know what the RTP is and that our games are fair. If you want to find a place to milk for bonuses and referral fees and haggle with, go somewhere else. That's the point of the new rule.

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dooglus
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June 12, 2012, 03:00:05 AM
 #22

So: If you want to come and gamble, you know what the RTP is and that our games are fair. If you want to find a place to milk for bonuses and referral fees and haggle with, go somewhere else. That's the point of the new rule.

I'm not trying to haggle.  I don't even play much roulette.  I've been trying to reach an understanding of the mathematics involved.  You were under the impression that by betting big a player would have an advantage playing 30x deposit+bonus at 5% house edge roulette, but I didn't think that was the case.  Whenever I see something that seems wrong to me, I try to understand it, and point it out.  Sometimes you find that helpful, other times you get mad, and I have a hard time knowing which of the two will happen until it does.

I'm sorry if by arguing the point I upset you.

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June 12, 2012, 12:00:52 PM
 #23

The thing is: Previously Roulette, Craps and VP5 didn't count at all towards WR. Now they do, at 20%. If you check terms at other casinos you'll find they don't do that. Those games don't usually count at all.

The math isn't really the relevant thing here; someone who's fully hedging roulette bets on a bonus isn't trying to win at Roulette, they're trying to grind out the bonus. So basically it's an issue we would have with the attitude of someone was trying to do that. I don't believe "spirit of the bonus" clauses are enforceable, but we do want to set clear rules that will discourage bonus hunters, because they're not the kind of players we want. The point of the bonus isn't that you necessarily walk away with the whole bonus plus winnings. It's that it gives you depth in your bankroll to go back up if you take a loss. It's completely optional. You can always leave with the cleared portion of the bonus while you're ahead, but in order to do that there has to be some risk to your capital involved or else we wouldn't be in business.

If you're wondering why I'm angry, we want players who come to gamble. Live poker bets and tournament buyins (excluding freerolls, obviously) still count 100% towards WR... but you won't join them. You find a lot of issues but you gamble in a way that's always exactly calibrated only to clear bonuses and win leaderboards with a minimum of risk. For poker you join freerolls but no real games - even the ones where there's a guaranteed pot twice the size of what players have put into it. In total, you've won about $89 in poker, almost exclusively from freerolls. You're up about $20 on roulette, down about $39 in blackjack, even though your blackjack RTP is 99.2%. Meanwhile, you've collected $273.75 in bonuses, referrals and leaderboard wins. This doesn't even include the other accounts associated with you or which we've had questions about being associated with you, e.g. bijoux and gettin_luck, who just collected deposit bonuses on which you then got referral bonuses - not surprisingly, in exactly the amount that would maximize everyone's bonuses and not a penny more. Petrescuerz is up another $50 or so in freerolls +$40 in bonuses. In other words, while you have deposited to claim bonuses, you've never actually played with your own money. It wouldn't be going too far to say that you have literally made a science out of finding loopholes in our system that would get you more free stuff. And being the generally good-natured guy I am (haha), I've basically just continued to watch this for months now despite a player complaint about possible collusion and the fact that you've slowly driven both me and FragileJD nuts. But if nothing else, since this is exactly the kind of thing we'd like to discourage, it's helped me shape policies that will lower the incentive for other people to come looking for loopholes and bonus-hunting; and if that drives away some set of players, then that's what it's designed to do.

dooglus
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June 12, 2012, 07:24:09 PM
 #24

The thing is: Previously Roulette, Craps and VP5 didn't count at all towards WR. Now they do, at 20%. If you check terms at other casinos you'll find they don't do that. Those games don't usually count at all.

I had a look around.  Lots have worse terms than Sapphire, some have better.

http://www.williamhillcasino.com/ has a 150% up to $100 bonus with a 20x deposit+bonus WR where roulette bets count for 25% and blackjack bets count for 20%.  That's an effective 80x and 100x playthrough respectively, compared to a 150x playthrough at Sapphire.

http://www.partycasino.com/promotions/welcome-bonus.html has a 50% up to $200 bonus with a 100x playthrough, but where blackjack and roulette bets count for 100%.  They also have a 100% up to $500, "recommended for Roulette players" bonus with a 50x playthrough where roulette bets count 100%.  That's a whole 3 times better than Sapphire's terms for roulette.

But you're right - most casinos say things like: "Classic Blackjacks, All aces Video pokers 2%
All Roulette, Sic Bo, Craps, Baccarat, Table Poker, Casino War, Red dog 0%"

The math isn't really the relevant thing here;

Oh, OK.  Scratch the above then.

someone who's fully hedging roulette bets on a bonus isn't trying to win at Roulette, they're trying to grind out the bonus. So basically it's an issue we would have with the attitude of someone was trying to do that. I don't believe "spirit of the bonus" clauses are enforceable, but we do want to set clear rules that will discourage bonus hunters, because they're not the kind of players we want.

Fair enough.  The point I'm making though is that even if they do try to grind out the bonus by placing large bets, they still have a large negative expectation due to the playthrough requirements, and so it doesn't make sense to discourage them.  You're effectively turning away profit by doing so (assuming they can and bother to do the maths.  That's possibly a poor assumption).

The point of the bonus isn't that you necessarily walk away with the whole bonus plus winnings. It's that it gives you depth in your bankroll to go back up if you take a loss. It's completely optional. You can always leave with the cleared portion of the bonus while you're ahead, but in order to do that there has to be some risk to your capital involved or else we wouldn't be in business.

That's right, of course.  It's about finding a reasonable balance for that risk to give the player a chance.

If you're wondering why I'm angry, we want players who come to gamble. Live poker bets and tournament buyins (excluding freerolls, obviously) still count 100% towards WR... but you won't join them.

I do join them.  Look at your records from yesterday.  Other than the freerolls, how many buy-ins where there into poker tournaments?  Two.  Both from me.  Both were cancelled because nobody else bought in:

Quote
12:01 PM (23 hours ago)

Dear dooglus,
We regret that the tournament you joined, "Nightly Tournament #1 - $3.25 GUARANTEED", was cancelled because not enough players joined.

Quote
1:30 PM (22 hours ago)

Dear dooglus,
We regret that the tournament you joined, "NIGHTLY 200 Player Points - $1 Freeroll", was cancelled because not enough players joined.

I wouldn't be surprised if I've bought into more tournaments than any of your other players.

You find a lot of issues but you gamble in a way that's always exactly calibrated only to clear bonuses and win leaderboards with a minimum of risk. For poker you join freerolls but no real games - even the ones where there's a guaranteed pot twice the size of what players have put into it. In total, you've won about $89 in poker, almost exclusively from freerolls. You're up about $20 on roulette, down about $39 in blackjack, even though your blackjack RTP is 99.2%. Meanwhile, you've collected $273.75 in bonuses, referrals and leaderboard wins.

I'm losing 0.8% on blackjack when the house edge is only 0.51%?  How many hands is that over?

Your terms and conditions say:

The Casino respects mathematical prowess, and shall not deprive any winner of earnings gained by leveraging a found mathematical advantage in one of our games

I was considering the combined positive expectation of losing slowly at blackjack and winning bonuses and leaderboard competitions as a "mathematical advantage".  You're mad because I don't lose fast enough to counteract the bonuses you offer?  From the numbers you give above, it sounds like I'm around $300-$350 up overall.  I hate to think how many hours that has taken, or how much that works out as per bug I've helped you find, but I think it's got to be pretty cheap on both counts.

This doesn't even include the other accounts associated with you or which we've had questions about being associated with you, e.g. bijoux and gettin_luck, who just collected deposit bonuses on which you then got referral bonuses

Nor should it.  They're friends whose business I sent your way.  I think you'll find them to be profitable for you.  Next time they deposit, they won't have the 200% bonus available.  Maybe they'll use the 50% bonus.  After that there are no more bonuses that I know of.  If you don't want people referring their friends, please make that clear.

- not surprisingly, in exactly the amount that would maximize everyone's bonuses and not a penny more.

Here's how that went down.  Bijoux contacted me, completely confused about how to deposit onto Sapphire.  I offered to help her deposit, and did so.  I told her about the bonus too.  Is it meant to be a secret?  She suggested funding her boyfriend's account too.  I didn't suggest an amount, she chose $20 each, since that's the bonus limit.  I would expect that you got a lot of $20 deposits from people taking advantage of the $20 bonus...

This happened a couple of hours before the weekend leaderboard competition ended, and I could have done without the interruption to be honest.  At the time I had completely forgotten about referral bonuses, and only remembered later.  Anyway, here's the chat log:

Quote
(02:27:46 PM) Bijoux: hey buddy.. i trying to make a cash deposit to play rouleete and i guess they need a webcam or phone and fax
(02:28:01 PM) Chris: hi Bijoux
(02:28:03 PM) Chris: what site?
(02:28:05 PM) Bijoux: so i contacted them by email and n/a yet..is there another way?
(02:28:10 PM) Bijoux: saphire
(02:28:18 PM) Chris: I don't think they take cash, only bitcoin
(02:28:42 PM) Chris: how would you deposit cash anyway?
(02:28:49 PM) Bijoux: ahhhhh..so if i play on pokerseals club then i can use that?
(02:28:56 PM) Chris: yes
(02:28:59 PM) Bijoux: by credit card.lol
(02:29:06 PM) Chris: if you win some on seals, you can withdraw it into sapphire
(02:29:13 PM) Chris: and vice versa
(02:29:40 PM) Bijoux: great...so can i transfer only 90 bitcoin? or is there a minimun?
(02:30:00 PM) Chris: 90 bitcoin is $500 or so
(02:30:14 PM) Chris: do you mean 90 seals chips?  seals chips are 0.001 bitcoin each
(02:30:20 PM) Bijoux: oops...i meant points heheh
(02:30:32 PM) Chris: 90 seals chips is about $0.50
(02:30:51 PM) Bijoux: right..ok.. i get it now.. lots of work ahead of me lol
(02:30:54 PM) Chris: do you have paypal?
(02:30:59 PM) Bijoux: i do
(02:31:13 PM) Chris: if you want to send me some paypal, I can deposit it on seals for you
(02:31:17 PM) Chris: I mean on sapphire
(02:31:31 PM) Chris: I don't think there's really a minimum
(02:31:48 PM) Chris: they have a nice bonus at the moment - anything you deposit up to $20 they give you 3 times that amount
(02:31:52 PM) Bijoux: ok..so i get unto paypal and how do i send it to you?
(02:31:56 PM) Chris: so if you deposit $20, you get a total of $60 in your account
(02:32:20 PM) Bijoux: awesome..lets go for it
(02:32:33 PM) Bijoux: can you show me how to do it?
(02:32:47 PM) Chris: yeah
(02:32:49 PM) Chris: log in to paypal
(02:33:03 PM) Chris: then click 'send money'
(02:33:15 PM) Chris: in the 'to' box, put [my paypal address]
(02:33:27 PM) Bijoux: i can open it but if i am on paypal, can i use my paypal to do it for gettin_luck too? and he gets some too?
(02:33:38 PM) Chris: sure
(02:33:40 PM) Bijoux: or does it have to be 2 different paypal accounts?
(02:33:43 PM) Chris: send a single payment for both of you
(02:33:51 PM) Chris: and tell me how much for each
(02:34:25 PM) Bijoux: ok so i will sent you 40 so each gettin_luck and i have 60 right?
(02:34:48 PM) Chris: right

Petrescuerz is up another $50 or so in freerolls +$40 in bonuses.

She's the one who referred me to your site.  I believe you met her on Seals and told her about your casino.  So in the end it's all her fault.  That's what I reckon.

In other words, while you have deposited to claim bonuses, you've never actually played with your own money. It wouldn't be going too far to say that you have literally made a science out of finding loopholes in our system that would get you more free stuff.

I am scientific by nature.  I tend to play the games which have the best expectation for me.  The tagline: "Strike Sapphire - Intelligent Entertainment for the Thinking Player" lead me to believe that this would be OK.  I don't think I'm exploiting loopholes.  I'm taking advantage of the generous bonuses and competitions that you offer.  "Loopholes" makes it sound like I've found things you didn't intend.

And being the generally good-natured guy I am (haha), I've basically just continued to watch this for months now despite a player complaint about possible collusion and the fact that you've slowly driven both me and FragileJD nuts. But if nothing else, since this is exactly the kind of thing we'd like to discourage, it's helped me shape policies that will lower the incentive for other people to come looking for loopholes and bonus-hunting; and if that drives away some set of players, then that's what it's designed to do.

That's fair enough.

Just out of interest, I plotted the probability distribution functions of the profit when clearing a $20+$40 bonus on roulette with the new 20% rule (x-axis = final balance, y-axis = probability):



This assumes the player plays through the 60x WR to the end, win or lose, and has infinite bankroll.  Notice the green line is the "hedger", betting max-bet on red and black.  He does worst of all, with a tiny fraction of a chance of ending up with $60.  The guy with the best chance of coming out on top is the one who bets max-bet on red every spin.  All 3 players can expect to lose $60.00 * 30 * 5 * 2/38 = $473.68, but the $50-on-red guy has big enough variance that he has a decent chance of ending up positive.

Oh, and now I've missed the $0.75 buy-in $3.25 guaranteed poker tournament, damn it.

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June 12, 2012, 07:57:38 PM
 #25

Man, sometimes I don't know whether I want to hire you or kill you. I suspect a bit of both. As a programmer I respect your mind. As a casino owner I go crazy over accounting for house rules with this level of nit-picking detail. I won't deny that your winnings are a good bargain for me as payment for bug testing, and I would recommend you to other site operators on that score (actually, I have done).

In any case, your case is compelling and we'll take it under consideration to do away with the roulette hedging rule. I'll also ask around to other casino owners as to why they have this rule.

To answer your question, you've played 10,924 hands of blackjack. The expected RTP was arrived at by this calculator, BTW: http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/calculator/

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June 12, 2012, 08:06:10 PM
 #26

Man, sometimes I don't know whether I want to hire you or kill you. I suspect a bit of both.

You're going to have to chose one I'm afraid.  I suspect I'd be a lot less effective as a corpse.

As a programmer I respect your mind. As a casino owner I go crazy over accounting for house rules with this level of nit-picking detail.

I think part of the problem is that you encourage me.  You care about getting it right.  If you just said "that's how it is, accept it or sod off", that would an the end to it.  What's that?  You've said that several times already?  Oh, I don't know then.

I won't deny that your winnings are a good bargain for me as payment for bug testing, and I would recommend you to other site operators on that score (actually, I have done).

In any case, your case is compelling and we'll take it under consideration to do away with the roulette hedging rule. I'll also ask around to other casino owners as to why they have this rule.

I was going to post a question about it on the stackexchange gambling site.  But I couldn't find it.  I'm sure I've seen it before, but now there's no sign of it ever having existed.

To answer your question, you've played 10,924 hands of blackjack. The expected RTP was arrived at by this calculator, BTW: http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/calculator/

That's where I got my basic strategy from.  And I follow it.  And I'm still losing 0.8% when the house edge is only 0.51%.  Wouldn't you think 11k hands would be enough for variance to take a back seat?  I do remember one night when I played drunk, early on in my "Sapphire career", and lost about $20 very quickly betting $5 per hand.  Perhaps that accounts for the difference.

dooglus
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June 13, 2012, 06:39:30 PM
 #27

There's a poker tournament at StrikeSapphire starting at noon PST, 8pm in the UK, which costs $0.75 to buy into, and has a guaranteed prize pool of $3.25.

I'm currently the only one signed up for it.  If someone else signs up, we have an expected win of $1.67 each - more than double our buy-in.

(All balances and bets are denominated in US dollars, but deposits and withdrawals are done using Bitcoin, converted to/from USD at the MtGox spot price at time of deposit/withdrawal).

Seems like a good deal to me, especially if it ends up just 2 players playing.

If you use my referral link then I get a bonus when you deposit at no extra cost to you.

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June 15, 2012, 02:27:57 PM
 #28

Couple of new features to report!

1. After many requests, we've finally gotten around to adding a 4-color poker deck option in Account > Preferences.

2. We've improved the No Limit / Pot Limit poker chip slider, so that clicking behind the chip stack ow will increase the stack by one raise increment. If you hold down shift and click, you can still get the old behavior that jumps the slider to the point you're clicking at.

More new stuff on the way  Smiley

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