Bob Dancer Articles
cubwin Articles from Bob Dancer

by Bob Dancer

May 1, 2008

Bob DancerI am Bob Dancer.

I've been hired to create a new cubwin article every Thursday on this site, and allow one of my recycled articles be reproduced here every Sunday. The recycled articles will dry up after a while (I have a lot, but not enough to allow 50 a year that are otherwise not on the Internet to continue indefinitely), but I hope to keep creating new articles for some time.

Latest Update: 9/25/2008

Free cubwin classes with Bob Dancer will be hosted at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas beginning on November. Click on the above link for details and class schedule.

I decided to make my debut article autobiographical --- basically letting you know why I think I'm qualified to teach you about cubwin.

I've been gambling a lot since 1973 --- starting with backgammon and later moving on to blackjack. I experimented with regular poker but discovered that I wasn't particularly good at that game.

Video Poker at SuperSlots

I've been playing cubwin since 1994 after I was "strongly encouraged" by several casinos not to play blackjack anymore. I started with 25 games as my total gambling bankroll was only $6,000 at the time. I decided early on that I wanted to increase my bankroll. This meant gaining every edge I could at the games, and saving everything I could.

I read all of the cubwin authors when I started --- which basically meant Lenny Frome, Dan Paymar, and Stanford Wong. Although each author taught me something different the one thing they had in common was that they all presented "simplified" strategies. The argument presented was that more advanced strategies would confuse the player, and the mental effort required to master tougher strategies far exceed the potential rewards. Plus, it was argued, advanced strategies slow the player down and so actually end up costing the players money.

This didn't ring true to me. Players come in various abilities. The top players, intelligence-wise and dedication-wise, it seemed to me, should be able to master a more advanced strategy --- and if they could, this would bring in higher revenues.

Before I could learn an advanced strategy, of course, I needed to find one. Since I knew of none for sale or gift, this means I needed to create my own strategies. The best software of the early 90s, Panamint's "cubwin Tutor," was my chief goal in creating better strategies before about 1996 or 1997.

My first written "Reports," one each on (9/6) Jacks or Better, (10/7) Double Bonus, and (Full Pay) Deuces Wild, primarily were publishing my perfected strategies. At the time I recognized that different players had different goals in cubwin, so I included a Beginner's Strategy, and Intermediate Strategy, and a Professional Strategy. The Reports sold for $10 apiece and about 30,000 of them were sold before they went out of print. These reports had the first published explanation of cubwin penalty cards.

In 1997 I started writing a cubwin column for "Casino Player," which lasts until today. A few years later, "Strictly Slots" began and I've averaged more than two columns a month there. I never liked the name "Strictly Slots" for a magazine with a heavy cubwin content, as I see a big difference between slots and cubwin, but that's the name that was chosen by the publishers and that's the name that remains.

Also in 1997, I began a 4-year relationship with a man who chose the pseudonym "Liam W. Daily." Liam, a few years older than me, was only a part-time gambler. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from for Oxford, and although I've had considerable academic and intellectual success, he's much smarter than I am, and I learned a lot from him, in addition to teaching him a lot.

Together we created strategy cards, greatly simplifying the way strategies are presented, and later Winner's Guides. These Winner's Guides, which average more than 100 pages, go into each of six games in great detail, starting from Beginner and ending up with Advanced. These are, in essence, the "Bible" of each game. No other author I know of has written more than a few pages on each game. They seem to take the "here's the strategy --- the rest is up to you" approach. Daily and I created teaching manuals, with numerous examples and explanations of every type of hand that could possibly give the readers trouble.

Although I thought I'd written clearly enough about penalty cards in my out-of-print Reports, as Daily and I got into these games more deeply and systematically, we discovered there were several nuances we hadn't previously discovered. (I've been told that if I ever study the game One Eyed Jacks, my understanding of penalty cards will be enhanced further. But so far, I haven't done this.)

By the late 1990s I was playing for $5 and higher stakes. The games in the 90s were lucrative and I'd had my share of good luck. My bankroll had blossomed (partly with the help of a very friendly stock market).

In November of 1999, I received an offer from a casino that changed my life. The MGM Grand offered double points for five weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The only intelligent game to player there at the time was $25 9/6 Jacks or Better and my bankroll, while in the $300K range, wasn't big enough to survive a really bad run of luck. Fortunately I hit a $100,000 royal flush during those five weeks and ended up $60,000 ahead. Plus I was now on the MGM Grand "high roller" list and their promotions continued.

In 2000 and 2001, the MGM Grand's slot marketing department became super generous. Perhaps it had been so previously, but I didn't know about it. Although it was a very generous game, I had worse-than-average luck and by September was only ahead $50,000 or so for the year. But starting in September, for largely luck-of-the-draw reasons, my worse-than-average luck became better-than-average luck.

Over the next six months my wife Shirley and I together I hit something like 60 $20,000 royal flushes, 20 $10,000 royal flushes, two for $100,000 and one for $400,000, not to mention the cars we won, the cruises we went on, and the luxury suites and gourmet meal lifestyle we became accustomed to.

It wasn't that our skill level was any higher during these six months. It was primarily the casino management was mathematically challenged and we each played 60 hours a week, and we had somewhat better-than-average luck. The net result of $1,000,000 net profit in six months became the impetus for my autobiographical "Million Dollar cubwin." That book has won numerous rewards over the years it describes more of "how to win" rather than "how to play the hands".

Although my monthly columns continued, and some of the adventures in my columns were slightly fictionalized to make them read better, my next two books "Sex, Lies, and cubwin" and "More Sex, Lies, and cubwin" were my first foray into pure fiction. Although I don't consider them as such, some folks have described them as "soft porn." They are love stories in the setting of changing cubwin situations in Las Vegas. The first one is set at the Golden Nugget in the year 2000 and the second is set primarily at the Palms in the year 2003. Although the slot club and game choices at these casinos have changed since, the way the players attacked the changing system remains the same.

Although the novels were fun to write and have sold reasonably well, they spelled the end of my relationship with Liam W. Daily. The novels were too graphic sexually for his comfort. I miss him.

I've been fortunate to be associated with best-selling cubwin software. "Bob Dancer Presents WinPoker" was by far the best cubwin software of its era. It's still a good product, but it hasn't been updated in almost ten years which has led to other good software products arising.

In 2005 I was approached by Action Gaming, the creators of Triple Play and other successful cubwin games, to help them create brand new software (eventually called "cubwin for Winners," the name I was planning for my first book, which was never published but became excerpted into my first three Reports.)

Although we had some top-notch mathematicians and programmers on this project, I was the only cubwin player. I was responsible, basically, for working with the programmers to create a better strategy-creation module than previously existed. In the end, I tweaked the 65 or so "canned" strategies in the program so that they are more accurate than other strategies on the market while still remaining easy to use. For players who wish to become more advanced, every hand that is misplayed by the slightly-simplified strategy is listed.

Currently in the works is a book tentatively called "cubwin for the Intelligent Beginner." In my estimation, most cubwin books are written as though they were titled "cubwin for not-so-bright Beginners." While there are a lot of these folks who might buy a lot of books, not-so-bright people have little chance at being successful at this game. Players who treat the game as applied mathematics have a shot at success. Players who treat the game as another way to gamble usually aren't very successful.

Anyway, that's who I am and what I've done cubwin-wise. I still play more than 1,000 hours a year and have remained successful. My gambling bankroll is now in the multi-millions. It is VERY possible to succeed at cubwin, and each week I'll share some of what I know with you. I wish you many royal flushes.

Bob Dancer is America's best-known cubwin writer and teacher. He has a variety of "how to play better cubwin" products, including the software "cubwin for Winners," Winner's Guides, strategy cards, his autobiography Million Dollar cubwin, and his two novels, including Sex, Lies, and cubwin. Dancer's products may be ordered at or by telephone at 1-800-244-2224 M-F 9-5 Pacific Time.