Match play has been around for years as a staple of marketing used to attract table game play. Nevertheless, there are still a number of misunderstandings and misconceptions about its value, its use, and its vulnerabilities. In light of the explosion of free play for slots, there is pressure to issue more match play to keep up. Just as determining the cost of free play is a challenge, match play coupons are also a source of complicated and important questions.
Consider a $100 match play coupon that a player can use on any table game. If this player uses his coupon to make a red/black wager on roulette (house edge = 5.26%), then the coupon is worth $42.11 to the player. However, if the player can use this $100 match play wager to wager on a number straight up, then that same coupon is worth $86.84. A $100 match play coupon is worth 106% more when played on a number straight-up in roulette then when it is played on an even-money bet. The cost more than doubles!
Here is the combinatorial analysis showing the computation of match play value for roulette:
A similar situation occurs in baccarat. If a 0 match play coupon is used on the Player wager and left there until it resolves, it is worth .95. If it is used on the Banker wager, it is worth .98. But if it can be used on the tie bet that pays 8-to-1, that same 0 coupon is worth .77. Even though the Tie bet has a huge house edge (14.36%), the coupon is still worth 31% more to the player when used on the Tie bet than if used to make a Banker bet.
Here is the combinatorial analysis showing the computation of match play value for baccarat:
The value of a match play coupon depends both on the house edge of the wager and volatility of the wager. A higher house edge decreases the cost of the coupon. Higher volatility usually increases the cost, as the roulette and baccarat examples show. For this reason, match play coupons should be restricted to even-money bets only. But, curiously, volatility of the wager doesn’t always come at a cost.
Hikaru is now in Haze Middle School and joins the Go club. Akira Toya is now in Kaio. He pays a visit to Haze and challenges Hikaru to a match. Will Hikaru accept to play him?
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Even if you play at a dismal 0.90 Return On Investment, you would be making $9 a pop.
A gift is a gift!