The premier casino gaming consulting firm for two generations.
What is Gambatria?
It is a combination of Gambling and Gematria, which is a system whereby numerical values are assigned to letters and/or words. Gematria usually provides two meanings – the ‘revealed’ form which is the straight numerical equivalent of the word and the ‘mystical’ form generally associated with Kaballah (the mystical branch of Judaism that so engrossed Madonna!) This applies to gambling too. Parts of the math are quickly and easily revealed like the payback. Then there are the parts like the strategy and what to expect that take on a more ‘mystical’ flavor.
The company was founded by Lenny Frome, who revolutionized the casino by developing the first analyses and strategies for video poker. He also had a hand in developing many of the table games you see on the casino floor. Working hand in hand with inventors by refining the math and strategy, Lenny assisted in the creation of Three Card Poker, Let It Ride, Spanish 21 and Caribbean Stud Poker.
Since 1998 when Lenny passed away, the company has been run by his son, Elliot Frome. Elliot has made his own marks in the industry by helping to launch Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker, Mississippi Stud, House Money, Boston 7 Stud, Six Card Pai Gow and Imperial Pai Gow.
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I never know if my explanation of how an expected value is calculated is really being understood by my readers. It seems obvious enough to me, but I've been working on casino games for nearly 30 years. In my writings, I've generally tried to explain by using an example which I think explains it clearly enough. I usually use one of a couple of examples that my father originally used in his Expert Video Poker for Las Vegas book. This book starts by using a Three of a Kind and follows up with a 4-Card Straight that is also a Low Pair.
A few months ago, I volunteered at my son's school at their book fair. During slow periods, the parents shoot the breeze while getting to know one another. My job is relatively unique, so it tends to get a lot of attention. This inevitably leads to me telling the story about how my dad got started analyzing casino games. It started one day when he walked into a casino and saw a video poker machine. This was the late 1980's (maybe early 1990's?). A short time later he walked into a different casino and saw a similar video poker machine. The two machines advertised very different paybacks. My dad didn't understand how two machines with identical paytables could have different paybacks.