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.


Elliot Frome


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.



Sequentially Speaking

           In my office, there hangs a plexiglass sign that comes from an older style video poker machine.   Essentially it states that if you get a Royal in sequence (either direction) it pays Triple with maximum coins bet.  When you consider the fact that any 5 cards can appear in 240 unique sequences and that they are willing to pay you 3x if you get either one of two of them, the offer is a bit less generous than it sounds.  Of course, like anything in video poker, the more you pay for it, the more often you can make it occur.  But I'll get to that in a second.

Playing for Pride

 If there is anything I've learned in about 12 years of doing gaming math professionally, along with another 20+ years of doing it 'unprofessionally', is that the math is completely misunderstood by most.  This goes for virtually every aspect of it. 

Introduction to Strategy Tables

   In last week's column, I explained how a bit about the 32 different ways that a video poker hand can be played.  This accounts for all the different ways a Player can discard 0 to 5 cards from a five card deal.  Each of these 32 ways is assigned an expected value by looking at every possible draw for that discard combination.  Whichever of these 32 ways has the highest expected value is the right way to play the hand.