Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Gamblers Superstitions

Hello Everyone,

Is everyone tired of winter yet? Well, today, I'm giving you a break from the snow, ice, sleet, wind, slush, mud and whatever else you have in your winter. A couple of weeks ago, I visited a blog and they talking about superstitions. My first thought was this ties in with The Odyssey Mysteries trilogy I wrote. There's no group of people more superstitious than gamblers. Ha!

Here are a few of the more common lucky or unlucky symbols and objects that gamblers think give them an edge. Wink! For starters, the rabbit's foot (remember the old movies where the gambler rubbed his rabbit's foot?), some believe wearing the same article of clothing such as hat or jacket brings them luck, a figurine, and wearing red underwear (red is considered the color of prosperity and good fortune).

The number eight in Asian culture is lucky because the word for eight in Chinese is similar to the word prosperity. Four is an unlucky number because the word in Chinese is pronounced like the word for death. In Asian cultures, flowers are considered good luck and water is a sign of prosperity and plentiful luck.

Some gamblers hold their cards or throw their dice a certain way. Don't tap someone on the shoulder when they are playing--that's considered bad luck. Don't sit cross legged when gambling, you will cross out your luck, and don't drop a card on the floor during a game.

Some other popular superstitions are it's unlucky to enter the casino by the main entrance. This superstition started when MGM in Las Vegas was themed after the MGM film studio and the main entrance was the mouth of the lion. Many players considered it a double curse to walk into the mouth of the beast along with the fact that it was the main entrance to the casino.

Many gamblers believe $50.00 bills are unlucky and will not accept being paid with them. Some people regard the $2.00 bill as unlucky. Never count your money while you are playing is a common belief. Kenny Rogers even immortalized this concept in his song the Gambler. Singing or whistling while gambling is considered bad luck.

Some guests at a hotel casino may ask the dealer or some other guest to not look at them because they believe it brings them bad luck. If you're a high roller, you can even ask to have a new dealer if the player thinks the one at his table is causing him bad luck.

Professional poker player, Johnny Chan has a lucky orange and poker star, Annie Duke, uses math and skill. Duke has a degree in cognitive science and a master's degree in math and probability. She says she encourages superstitions in other players because then they play badly. Former baseball player, Giannos, carries a red envelope he received as a gift 20 years ago. Some people believe it's lucky to set the dice a certain way, but Giannos just picks them up and throws them.

Did you know that some casinos in Vegas even keep the items on their property that many of the high rollers believe are lucky. For instance, the MGM Grand keeps a lucky frog figurine on property for one high roller so his lucky charm will be waiting for him.

Next, is the superstitions of the slot player. Wink! Now, I'm really shaking my head. Slot machines are a game of chance but not to some people. lol Some people think it has to do with the temperature of the coin that you put in the slot. They think the hot coin tricks the slot machine into paying out, while others think it's the cold ones. Some think if you stand you'll win more and others think if you are too relaxed at the slot machine you'll lose. lol

Others think that the casino is watching your every move and if you are winning a lot they cause the machine to quit paying out. If you're losing they will cause you to win so that you stay longer. Casinos do not have the power to change the slot machine. This is why they have regulators who check the slot machines for tampering. There are those who believe if an operator comes along to interrupt their play to inspect the slot machine that they are setting it to lose - not true, and also against the law.

Often people believe the newer casinos and machines pay out better than those that are older. There are many slot myths out there, and here are the more common ones.

Slot machines have a set pattern or sequence of spins that can be determined through careful and intense study. Not true -- there is a random number generator numbers which generate millions of combinations of numbers a minute. Whether or not you win this time, the first time, the last time, your chances of winning are the same each and every time. You could play for three hours and the next person walks up and wins. This doesn't mean they got your win, they just got lucky.

Someone just sat down where I left and hit a big jackpot. If I would have just stayed longer, it would have been mine. For this to be true, you would have had to push the spin button or pull the handle at exactly the same split micro second that the other player did. Any change in timing yields a different result.

I have played this machine for 5 (or 8 or 20) straight days and haven't hit the jackpot. It has to be ready to hit any time now. The odds of hitting the jackpot are exactly the same on the first spin and the fifteen thousandth spin. Slot machines are never due. Remember that all of the percentages are based on millions of spins, and for a player to even 500,000 spins at 500 spins an hour he or she would have to play for 1,000 hours. And even that is no guarantee of a jackpot.

That slot machine jus paid out a big jackpot. I'm not going to play it because it has to make up for the big win. Remember that slot machines are designed to average a certain payout percentage over millions of spins. The short term means nothing so a machine that just paid out a jackpot has the exact same odds before and after the jackpot.

Slot machines pay more often if I only bet one coin at a time. The mechanism that runs the slot reels, whether they are real or videos, doesn't know how many coins you put into the machine. It will produce the same spin whether you play one or max coins.

Casinos control when jackpots will be hit. The random number generator in the slot machine determines when the jackpot will hit. The casino can't control this in any way.

I have a better chance to hit a jackpot when the casino is busy. While this is true, the reason for this is that more people are playing. For example, let's say a machine hits one time out of every 1,000 spins, if the machine gets 200 spins when the casino is slow and 800 spins when it is busy, which time will it more likely hit?

All information for this blog came from Slots Hero,; Slot Machine Fan,; Gambling Superstitions at and Pressing your luck in Vegas and Vegas Superstitions. You can find all of these and more by searching Google.

This week, I earned ninth place for my blog in Bold eZine. I was very flattered to win such a high spot with them.

I hope you have found my blog of interest today. Until next Sunday, have a great week.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Thanks to Annie Nicholas for awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award. You may visit her site here.

According to the award, I have to tell you seven things about myself. Yikes!

1. I have traveled in Egypt and there is so much history there. I could spend all my time

2. When I was a kid, I loved picking peas out of the garden and eating them.

3. My husband made me make a choice between him and my horse, when he saw my
horse almost kick me in the head. He didn't want to be married to a vegetable.

4. I love to read but rarely have time to any more, since I'm a published author.

5. I have two cats named Dora and Midnight. It was a year February 18, 2010 when our
cat, Maxie, died. My dh and I still miss him.

6. I love the mountains, the ocean, the forest, the desert, and everything about our earth.

7. Colorado is a beautiful state, and I love to go there to visit my sister and her family.
We have so much fun together.

If you haven't seen my YouTube videos yet be sure to take a look:

Have a great week everyone. See you next Sunday.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Real Life Story

Hello Everyone,

Please welcome a dear friend of mine, author, Marianne Stephens. Marianne writes both fiction and non-fiction. Today, we're going to discuss her latest release, a non-fiction book titled, GUILTY SURVIVOR: MEMOIRS OF TAMERLA KENDALL.

SKM: Marianne, I'm curious to know what prompted you to write this book?

MS: Thank you for having me here today, Sandy! A friend knew I was an author and that Tamerla was looking for someone to write her story. After talking to her, I felt she had a fascinating story to tell.

SKM: Did you meet this lady?

MS: I met Tamerla almost three years ago. Started meeting with her to gather information and take notes…also tape-recorded our sessions. It took two years to gather information and write her story…longer than I’d planned…because I ended up having lots of medical issues/surgeries for most of the first two years.

SKM: Is it easier to write non-fiction than fiction? How long did it take you to write this book?

MS: It took longer to write this, only because of my medical problems. In a way, it’s easier to write nonfiction because the facts are there and that’s what you follow. You still have to be creative in organizing the facts into story form. Then again, in a way it’s harder than writing fiction…can’t be as creative with the story and characters.

SKM: Marianne, tell us a bit about Tamerla Kendall.

MS: Tamerla had a fascinating upbringing and job experiences…model, hairdresser, college student, etc. Her past helped her when war came, since she needed to be self-reliant and find the courage to remain in Sarajevo in the hopes of saving her family restaurant business. Someone without inner strength would never have stayed. Every experience made her stronger, but still vulnerable to hurt and heartache. She’s a busy, active woman, now living in the US as a citizen and hoping to earn a college degree as she works.

SKM: List where we can find you/your books.
Marianne Stephens (mainstream romance and nonfiction)/April Ash (erotic romance)!/profile.php?id=1518319389!/profile.php?id=1683746739
My Books:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, OmniLit, Book Stand

SKM: Do you have a blurb or an excerpt you would like to leave for my readers?

MS: Here’s my press release:

She looks like any woman you see rooting for her son at a sporting event or shopping for groceries. Yet, Tamerla Kendall's past includes masquerading as a United Nations soldier and riding in a tank in order to cross Bosnian War (1992-1995) checkpoints to visit family...and facing interrogation by the police because someone betrayed her trust.

Another dangerous trip had her switching cars and drivers to get through checkpoints, done to get her daughter to the safety of family outside the war zone in Sarajevo...only to return and find her home torched and family restaurant robbed. Her daughter, brainwashed by her father, believed she'd been abandoned by her mother, causing years of heartbreaking separation and non-communication.

With either trip, she risked getting caught, arrested, or shot. And, with each trip, came the critical decision to return to Sarajevo to save the family restaurant business. Each day presented the challenge of finding supplies on the Black Market or by bartering with the military to keep her restaurant operating.

"Guilty Survivor - Memoirs of Tamerla Kendall" by Marianne Stephens, presents the memoirs of Bosnian Croat, Tamerla Kansas City resident and US citizen. Grenade bombings of her restaurant, cleaning blood off the streets and buildings after random attacks, and witnessing people dead and dying, convinced her she'd be able to shoot the gun she'd bought for protection. When a gun was pointed at her head and her family threatened after the war because she'd married an American, Tamerla made the crucial decision to move to the United States.

SKM: This sounds like such a wonderful and heartbreaking story, Marianne. I wish you the best in getting Tamerla's life story out for everyone to read.

Have a good week everyone and see you next Sunday. Yay! The snow is melting. Grin.

Have a loverly Valentine's Day tomorrow.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do You Like Social Media?

Hi Everyone,

There are social media's like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace to name a few. Do you prefer these places to keep in contact with family, friends and for making new friends? Or do you prefer email, or even receiving mail through the postal service?

For me, I still love to receive real Christmas, Valentine, birthday and thank you cards more than eCards for those occasions. The reason I do is because they are more personal and if it says something special I'll keep them. Yep, I'm a pack rat when it comes to cards.

Do you like social media and is it important to you? I'm an author, and I mostly use places like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to promote my books. For the last few days, I've read blogs that address how to use social media for promotion. I've learned that I'm doing it all wrong.

What am I doing wrong? I'm not participating on these sites, not even on my home page. You should join a few groups you're interested in. I do belong to a few groups, but most of them I have not stayed in contact with. Sometimes, I post promo on my books or let everyone know I have a new blog post. That is a no-no if you don't stay around to chat.

Time decides if I can stay around to chat even a few seconds. I have a love-hate relationship with social media. Because of social media I don't have to go away from home to promote my books, but it still eats up a lot of time

Social media can be a blessing or a curse. What do you think?

Until next Sunday, have a great safe and warm week.