Puppy Mills, Fake Rescues, Animal Thieves, And Now Dog Flipping! Just How Low Can The Sleaze Go?

It has now been almost a year since I had a very bad experience with a local puppy mill dog rescue. That experience caused me to start researching the various aspects of puppy mills and dog rescues. In this research, I have come across far too many activities that are the work of truly sleazy people. Even as I start to question WHY anyone would do these things, I realize I know that the answer is about money, more money, and even more money.

Until just a few years ago, I had no idea what a puppy mill was or that the adorable puppies in the pet store window most likely came from such a place. When I heard about or saw a poster of a “lost dog,” I never even considered the possibility that someone had stolen the dog to then sell to an unsuspecting dog lover. Only recently did I find out that puppy mill owners are beginning to falsely identify themselves as animal rescue groups to attract buyers on social media websites

Just when I think the sleaze can’t go any lower, a new “sleaze scheme” comes along. One of the newest is called “dog flipping.” The “flipping” concept was first applied to the housing market. In good economic times, people can buy a house, make a few improvements to the house or simply let a little time pass, and then sell the house for more than they paid. Voila! Money in their pockets for very little effort.

There is nothing illegal about house flipping. People are just gambling that house prices will continue to increase. Dog flipping is similar in concept and is not illegal. However, because it is based on lies to unsuspecting people and involves our faithful pets, it is at best sleazy.

Dog flippers are individuals or small groups of people who scour the newspapers and sales websites, like Craigslist, to find dogs that people have listed as “Free to good home” or “Small rehoming fee required.” The flippers then visit the individual or family advertising the pet. Dog flippers arrive will a sob story about their family and/or why this particular dog is so important to them. “Fido looks just like the dog I had as a child.” They also have a sob story to explain why they have no money. “I just lost my job, but little Johnny has his heart set on a new puppy.”

The unsuspecting family turns their dog over to the flipper feeling relieved of a responsibility while at the same time feeling that they have done a good deed for others. The family has no idea what is really going to happen to their pet.

The flipper takes the dog to a location where other dogs obtained by the same method are housed. These living conditions in no way can be considered a loving home. The flipper next places ads in the very same places initially checked; but this time, the same pet is being SOLD for $60, $100, $200, or whatever he/she thinks the dog will bring. The flipper may “earn” several hundred dollars on the dog the family thought they were giving to a needy family.

This scheme first came to light when a young woman found a listing on Craigslist for the very same dog she had given away the day before. Is the practice of dog flipping illegal? No. Is it “right?” This is a much more difficult question to answer. There are those who would respond that business is business. Some people consider dog flipping as no different than finding a special buy at a rummage sale for $1 and then reselling that item for $1000.

As you might infer from my use of the term “sleazy,” I do not share the views mentioned above. I do not consider a pet to be a commodity to be given away when it no longer fits or becomes inconvenient. Just as we make accommodations when our children sometimes cause problems, we can and should do likewise for our pets. Our pets look to us to care for their every need for their entire life. Taking on a pet should be considered a commitment to do exactly that.

I do realize that sometimes bad things happen and cannot be helped. The Sheltie I just adopted came to me as a result of such a situation. I also know, however, that we can totally eliminate dog flipping by relinquishing our pet to a No Kill shelter or rescue rather than advertising our faithful family member as “Free to a good home.”

Aspects of Playing For Complimentary Gifts (Comps) From Casinos – Enhancing Player Expected Value

Casinos compete for gambler’s time and money by compensating them with complimentary gifts (comps). These comps involve free drinks, meals, free or reduced rate rooms, show tickets and extend to RFB (all costs for room,food,and beverage), airfare reimbursement or flyback certificates, and Super Bowl tickets. Comp programs are inherently designed to build customer loyalty and to foster return visits with the patron’s wallets and/or purses in hand. Customers do not have to be high-rollers to receive these incentives; many low-midlevel gamblers can and do receive a surprising amount of freebies and discounts. This is particularly relevant presently in part due to the current state of our general economy; in Las Vegas, visitor counts and gambling bankrolls have dipped significantly and this has increased comp offers from gaming properties in their attempt to encourage gamblers to enter their doors. On a recent (late October,2008) nine day stay in Vegas, my wife and I didn’t have to pay for a single night’s stay (all comped rooms) and we are absolutely not upper crust gamblers. Our gambling efforts involve blackjack at 10 – 25 dollar minimum bet tables and penny or nickel denomination slots and video poker with bets ranging from 40 cents to $ 2.00 per spin.

Comp awards are generally determined by average bet x hours played x bets per hour x expected house edge x % casino comp return to players (generally ranges 25 – 40% of expected win by the casino). For example, let’s assume you play a decent blackjack game (player favorable rule set and you play accurate basic strategy) and your average bet is 10 dollars per hand. If you play an “average ” 6-deck shoe game you can expect to see 60 – 80 hands per hour if the table involves 3 or 4 other players. Many casinos use 60 hands per hour and a house edge of 2% when figuring their expected dollar returns from players and resultant comp calculations. Most casinos will return approximately 40% of their expected win back to a player in the form of comps. For the above game, let’s assume you play 5 hours (hopefully at more than one table); a reasonable comp calculation would be $10 (average bet) X 5 (hours played) X 60 (hands/hr.) X .02 (house edge) X .40 (proportionate casino return to players). This means cumulatively you wagered approximately $ 3000.00 (surprised?) X .02 = $60.00 X .40 = $24.00 in earned comps.

A key tip to remember about comps while in Las Vegas or elsewhere…ASK for them..in a courteous manner. At some Vegas properties, you might be required to wager $15 or $25 per hand to even get rated for table game comps. Some off-strip Las Vegas casinos are more liberal with their meal comps than many of the Strip locales; on several different trips I’ve played for 2-3 hours at the Orleans with a 10 -20 dollar average bet and have never had a problem obtaining buffet comps for two when asked for appropriately. There is a huge variation in comp programs between casinos and corporate gaming entities. Players should determine where they like to play and avail themselves of comp program specifics at a given locale. Don’t be surprised if a player’s club representative / host is vague about precisely how they calculate earned comps; awarded comps can vary with season and any factor that increases patronage (weekends vs weekday, holidays, major events / conventions). Low to midlevel players will find it more difficult to get comped during these high traffic situations at times. It’s suggested that gamblers familiarize themselves with a slots / table games host that they are comfortable with; generally speaking, it’s a good idea to solicit a host of the opposite gender. Communicating with a host can lead to real dollar value for future visits (minimize losses / enhance winnings); part of a host’s job is to enhance the player’s experience while gambling. At many properties, pit bosses can award meal comps. Key elements for playing an enhanced-value comp game are to gamble within your prescribed bankroll, playing games with lower house advantage, know the property comp program, and ASK. On the other hand, “chasing” comps (ie playing too long just to obtain a meal) can lead to increased overall gambling losses, particularly if you’re losing hand after hand, dice roll after dice roll, or slot pull after slot pull. Common sense applies.

Blackjack is an excellent game to acquire comps due to generally lower house odds when compared to all other casino games provided players select games with player-favorable rules and learn accurate basic strategy for the specific game played. If a player avails themselves of these conditions and employs tactics that decrease the speed of the game (fewer hands played per hour), they have employed some basic tactics to enhance their comp accrual. Factors that can slow down a game include playing at crowded tables, talking with other players regularly while the game is in progress, extending decision times on hand plays, and taking frequent bathroom breaks or cell phone call breaks. Another tactic to enhance comp accrual at blackjack involves increased bet levels when pit bosses and / or table hosts are observing specific play; these should enhance your table play ratings and accrued comp levels. Bet levels can be reduced if desired when one is not being scrutinized by casino staff members.

Slot / video poker (VP) play tracking for comps requires that players have their player’s club cards inserted and inserted properly to accumulate points; always determine that this is the case and periodically check during sessions at a given machine. Video poker generally offers higher payback return percentages vs slot machines but comps for VP play are generally less for the same wagers / time played as compared to slots. It’s a standard casino tradeoff mechanism. If you find a casino that you like to play in, you enjoy the slots, and you have ample time, I believe it’s possible to identify some particular machines that exhibit a higher payback percentage than others (we know this is fact; the key is in identifying them). Generally speaking, the higher denomination machines have higher payback percentages (ie $1 slots vs penny machines); your ability to play these will depend on your bankroll and a money management scheme that involves common sense. There are wide variations in payback percentages even among penny slots; observation, common sense, and a willingness to play these games can lead to identifying some of the better paying machines. The key is to not get soaked for a huge loss expecting that next pull..and the next one..to result in a big payout. Regarding slot machines, we suggest a stop-loss approach. We always stop playing a given machine if we’ve reached 40 – 50% of the original buy-in amount (ie $20 -25 dollars credit remaining following a $50.00 original buy-in). Admittedly, the average slot machine will drain your bankroll but if players can identify the higher payback machines (by observation and actual play) these are reasonable alternatives for accumulating comps. Video poker with solid paytables (minimally 9/6 Jacks Or Better or Double Bonus; this paytable means the machine offers a 9 for 1 payout on a full house and 6 for 1 on a flush) is an excellent means to accrue comps (albeit slower relative to most slot machines at the same wager levels). It’s important to realize that the key factor is identifying the machines with greater payback percentages (ie “full-pay” machines or those with close to 100% payback over time, though individual sessions can and do still result in losses, of course).

While seeking out individual casinos to play any game, always seek out player’s club promotions (eg point multiplier days, blackjack enhancements) and use gambling coupons (blackjack match play and first -card ace coupons); use of these will enhance player expectation through increased returns / minimized losses while playing the comp game. The current economic climate in Las Vegas specifically, though generally down, is conducive to comp offer acquisition.

Good cards…

Chuck60 @ Frugally Vegas

Mini-Baccarat Side Bets Are Tempting, But It’s a Bad Bet For Players

Mini-Baccarat was developed as a floor table game in casinos to accommodate the average player. Along with that however, optional side bets were also introduced to increase the house edge. Before I detail them, I’ll explain how the game is played is played.

Objective

The objective of this table game is the same as original Baccarat where player must come as close to the number nine as possible. Aces count as one, two’s through nines are face value, and Tens through Kings count as zero. Regardless of the number of players, the dealer only deals two hands from a 6 or 8 deck shoe. Prior to the deal, players must place one bet on either the Bank hand, player hand, or tie.

When a hand is totaled, it cannot exceed nine. If the two cards total more than nine, the first digit (number one) is dropped. The second digit becomes the total. A few examples are:

7, 8 = 15 (drop 1) total = 5

4, 3 = 7 (two cards, face value)

10, 6 = 6 (10 is zero, 6 is face value)

K, 9 = 9 (King is zero, 9 is called a natural)

Baccarat requires no skill on the part of the player. All s/he needs to do is decide where to place one bet before the deal. The dealer examines both hands and then decides if a third and final card should be drawn for either hand. The determination is made according to a fixed set of game rules.

A bet on the player’s hand returns even money if won. A bet on the Banker’s hand returns even money minus a 5% commission to the house if won. A tie bet returns 8 to 1 if won, otherwise it is a push when not bet. The reason for the 5% commission on the Bank’s win is that the drawing advantage is with the Bank, according the following game rules:

Player

The player position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2,3,4,5 unless the Banker has a natural 8 or 9. The player always stands on 6, 7, 8, and 9. When a player has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Banker

The Banker position always draws on a 0, 1, 2 unless the player has a natural 8 or 9.

The Banker always stands on 7, 8, and 9. When a Banker has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Baccarat Side Bets

There are a number of optional side bets available at Mini Baccarat tables everywhere and like any side wager, all of them exist to increase the house edge. Nevertheless, Players are attracted to them because of the hefty winning payouts. Here are some of the popular ones:

Dragon Bonus

The bettor may wager on the Player or Banker side that the hand will win by a natural or by 4 or more points. The bet must be made before the hand is dealt. The greater the number that the hand wins by, the greater the payout:

Win By: Payout

9 – 30/1

8 – 10/1

7 – 6/1

6 – 4/1

5 – 2/1

4 – 1/1

Natural – 1/1

The house edge for this bet is 2.7%.

The payouts are the same for a bet on the Bank side however the house edge jumps to 9.7% if chosen.

4-5-6

This is a side wager that the total number of combined cards to complete the Player and Banker hand will be 4, 5, or 6.

# Cards Payout House Edge

4 – 1.5/1 – 5.3%

5 – 2/1 – 8.9%

6 – 2/1 – 4.7%

3 Card Six

This is a bet for a winning 3 card six. If player and banker have a 3 card six, the wager pays 100/1. If there is only one three card six, the bettor wins 8/1. The house edge is a whopping 13.4%!

Royal Match

Wagering that the player or banker hand will have a king and queen on the first two cards drawn, called the Royal Match. Not to be confused with the option of the same name found in the game of Blackjack. The bet pays 75/1 for a suited king & queen, and 30/1 for an unsuited royal match. The house edge has been calculated at about 2.1%.

Dragon 7

Dragon 7 is an optional side bet found in EZ Baccarat, which is played the same as regular Mini-Baccarat except the game has a commission free bank hand with one exception: A winning bank hand with a three-card total of seven will push instead of paying even money. A player may wager on that outcome for which the winning payout is 40/1. The house edge is about 7.6%.

Panda 8

The Panda 8 side bet is sometimes found in EZ Baccarat games. The wager pays 25/1 if a player hand has a three card total of eight. As for the house edge, it’s 10.2%.

Tie Bet

The Tie Bet is not considered a side wager, as it is included on all Baccarat table games. However, due to the atrocious house edge of 14%, it should be avoided at all times.

Remember that Baccarat, next to Blackjack, has a very low house edge of 1.2% when the Play bet is chosen, and a lower edge of 1.06% when betting the Bank when you avoid the side bets.

Good Luck!

How to Win Roulette – A Foolproof Roulette Strategy

Winning is the main objective in playing roulette or any game of chance for that matter. The satisfaction and ecstatic feeling of euphoria brought about gaining money from betting is beyond comprehension. This is one of the reasons why gambling is a popular, simple way to make money or a simple way to lose money. In gambling nothing is required except money, neither educational attainment nor vast experience is needed to play the game.

Casinos’ house built-in advantage puts players at a drawback and gamblers also seek ways to improve their chances in order to acquire financial success from gambling. One of those ways is to come up with winning strategies and techniques that forms part and parcel of players’ tools.

And this is the problem many players who indulge in the game of chance face. Developing and formulating an effective method of play that will bring them ahead of the game. Although it is not given on a silver platter and knowing how difficult it is, players are willing to have that coveted proven technique or method of plays no matter the struggle may be.

There are however materials players can take advantage of, the availability of printed and software materials for their perusal and evaluation. Over the net, thousands of written materials abounds giving players’ information and various data they can use. And not only that, there is vast number of software that claims to help gamblers overcome house built-in advantage.

The next process now will center on finding out how accurate and precise these materials and software at formulating a winning strategy. A series of tests mostly consisting of trial and error are the best way possible. Eliminating hype materials from promising ones is an important step in making your winning roulette system and strategy.

After the process of trials is done through a process of elimination, the next move now will be to practice this newly developed roulette technique to perfection. One must remember that the path that leads to perfection is constant practice. Total dedication and full adherence to that technique and method of play will definitely elevate players betting patterns.

One of my favorite methods of a betting pattern has always been double your bet on every loss. Marginal roulette as it is more commonly known is a controversial yet effective brand of betting pattern. Some quarters claim this system has its flaw such as players are more expose to heavy losses.

However it really depends on the individual on how they perceive it to be, as double your bet is so effective at tables with large difference between minimum bet and maximum bet. Most of these tables can be found at high end casinos where players can use double your bet 7 times before going over the limit.