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Old 03-31-2017, 07:03 AM   #1
HitNRunSpecialist
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What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

There is a prize draw at the local casino every week where the prize draw winner is offered $5,000 cash or the option to pick a mystery bag containing one of the following prizes:

-$2,000 cash;

-$4,000 Non-Negotiable Chips;

-$6,000 Non-Negotiable Chips;

-$8,000 cash; and

-$10,000 cash.

What would you choose and why?
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:29 AM   #2
NewOldGuy
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Re: What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

So the chips cannot be cashed in but must be wagered at a table game? We need to determine their redemption value based on churning them in a negative EV game until they all get replaced by real chips. That's going to be a small fraction of their face value. Once we have that we just average the bags.

If we count them as zero, the 5 bags have a average cash value of $4000.

I take the 5k.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:37 AM   #3
Didace
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Re: What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOldGuy View Post
So the chips cannot be cashed in but must be wagered at a table game? We need to determine their redemption value based on churning them in a negative EV game until they all get replaced by real chips. That's going to be a small fraction of their face value. Once we have that we just average the bags.

If we count them as zero, the 5 bags have a average cash value of $4000.

I take the 5k.
Half on red, half on black.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:39 AM   #4
David Lyons
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Re: What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

In case anyone is wondering, generally the best way to churn non-negotiable chips is to bet them on single roulette numbers.

Put it all once on single roulette numbers (in double-zero roulette) and your EV is $1,842 in cash chips. The smaller denominations you bet, the lower variance you will get.

Try and convince the house to allow you to bet the non-negotiables on single numbers.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:40 AM   #5
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Re: What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Didace View Post
Half on red, half on black.
That is terrible advice, if you are allowed to bet longer odds bets in roulette.

Your EV for this is $947
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:05 PM   #6
NewOldGuy
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Re: What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Didace View Post
Half on red, half on black.
Some casinos won't allow this on the same spin. But if we go with David's number of $947, then the bags have an expected value of $4947 vs the cash $5000. But we also have to consider that the $5K cash has ZERO variance. It's guaranteed. So even if we come up with a wagering scheme that puts the average bag value over $5K, we still might lose all our non-negotiable chips and have nothing.

I take the $5k, all day.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:12 PM   #7
Didace
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Re: What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Lyons View Post
That is terrible advice, if you are allowed to bet longer odds bets in roulette.
I was responding to this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOldGuy View Post
We need to determine their redemption value based on churning them in a negative EV game until they all get replaced by real chips. That's going to be a small fraction of their face value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOldGuy View Post
I take the $5k, all day.
I agree. Unless the $5k was a trivial sum to me. Then it's gamble it up.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:59 AM   #8
browni3141
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Re: What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

Take the bag. It is significantly higher EV, nearly $6000.

Non-negs are actually very close to the full value of regular chips, depending on how you play them. They should be played at Blackjack according to Wizard of Odds.

https://wizardofodds.com/gambling/promotional-chips/
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:23 PM   #9
doylebrunson1337
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Re: What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

Losing 3k or winning 1k as I see it.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:39 AM   #10
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Re: What would you choose - THE MONEY OR THE BAG?

the answer obviously depends on your BR/financial situation - that being said, the best play I see is to take the $5k in cash. If it were in neg chips maybe I'd consider the bag, but all things equal the smart play is cash up front IMO
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