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Playing Blackjack One-on-One Against the Dealer

1 December 2012

By John Marchel

Playing blackjack one-on-one with a dealer can be both good and bad for the player. With only one at the table, the player can provide a major role in controlling the speed of the game. At times a dealer might rush a player, maybe hoping the player would make a mistake on a given hand. It has also been suggested it is one way for a dealer to display who is in charge of the game, a type of “I’m the professional and I’m the king-of-the hill attitude.” However, the player can take his or her time by slowly placing a bet, or taking extra time to make a decision on what to do on a specific hand. Those two actions can certainly help the player control the speed of the game.

On the other hand, there are times when a player would like another player at the table to help during a losing streak. For example, while playing against a shoe game, a series of hands, for some unknown reason, displays for the player a bunch of lousy cards while the dealer continues to turn up a 10 starting hand, round after round. One technique a player can do is stop playing and go to the restroom. A player can also sit out a few hands. What the player is trying to do is “change the flow” of the cards, hoping the cards will change and the player will get “good” cards and the dealer will than get the “bad” cards. Many casinos will allow a player to sit out a few hands without any trouble. [The predictability of the flow of the cards is a myth believed in by many players.]

That is where the problem comes in while playing one-on-one. When you come back from the restroom, the flow of cards has not changed simply because no one else has played. By sitting out, no cards have moved in the shoe, again, nothing has changed. The only way the player can change the flow is to stop playing altogether. Move to another table, pit or even another casino. Don’t sit there and lose all your chips hoping things will change. They might, maybe next Tuesday, but not tonight, a player’s best action is to move on while still having some bankroll left.

Bet - You Didn’t Know

• All casinos and card rooms in the U.S. require English only be spoken at the poker table. This prevents collusion on the part of any of the players.

• The largest Lotto jackpot in California was a MEGA Millions ticket worth $315 million and was hit on Nov. 15, 2005.

• In Nyala, Nevada a man is forbidden from buying drinks for more than three people other than himself at any one period during the day.

• Eight players put up $5,000 to enter the 1972 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Benny Binion, the owner of the Horseshoe, added $5,000 to each entry bringing it to $10,000, which he thought would made for better headlines in the press.

• If blackjack dealers must stand with 17-21. This turns out to be about 67% of the time. They bust about 28% of the time, and they can also expect to catch a natural 21 nearly 5% of the time.

• The hand-blown glass flowers, Fiori di Como, by Dale Chihuly, that hangs from the 2,000 square foot ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio hotel & casino in Las Vegas, weights 40,000-pounds and cost $1.9 million. Today it is insured for $11 million.
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

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Books by John Marchel:

KISS Guide to Gambling

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