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.
When I decided to go into gaming analysis more than a decade ago, I did my best to tell prospective clients that I wasn't just "the math guy", but rather a true consultant. I'm now in my late 40's, and I started doing this professionally in my mid 30's. But, I've been doing this for 'fun' for over 30 years. It started by programming the high school computer to analyze blackjack. I started going to Atlantic City casino (with my parents) when I was in my mid teens. They bought me a fake ID so that I could get in without issue. My first trip to Las Vegas was when I was 18. Hopefully the statue of limitations has run out on these offenses.
When I tell people that I do gaming math for casinos, the usual first question is "you mean slots?". I've actually never done math for a slot machine. While I'm sure there are aspects of slot math that make it more straight forward than it might seem, I have heard people refer to slot math as a proven product. I mean there is really nothing that stops a slot company from taking a proven machine based on one theme and merely change the theme leaving virtually all of the math elements the same. Further, slot mathematicians have a clear advantage over table games. They can make up all the frequencies. If they want a particular combination to occur 1.2345787674% of the time, they just make it happen. With table games (which are predominately cards), we're stuck with whatever probabilities the random occurrences bring us.
If you were to walk through a casino about 20 years ago, your choices would be a bit more meager than today. The casino would still be split between 'slots' and 'table games', but what you would find on each side would be vastly different from the 21st century. You will find video poker on the slot side, but not nearly as prolific as it would become. Of course, the slot side would be filled with mostly mechanical slots and video poker machines that play a single denomination and a single version of the game.