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Will this system work to get the advantage at roulette?

26 August 2013
Question: A friend told me a roulette system based on the third 12-number column of the betting layout having eight red and four black positions. You bet $5 on this column and $5 on black, and should win an average of $25 in every 38 spins. Is this true? Answer: I've run into this error before. Here's how the system is usually explained for 38 "statistically-correct" spins. ... (read more)
 

In blackjack, why can you only hit aces once after a split?

19 August 2013
Question: After splitting a pair in blackjack, you can normally play each side like a regular hand. The exception occurs when you split aces. Then you can only hit once on each side. Why is this? Answer: The casino has an edge in blackjack because players must complete their hands before the dealer acts. ... (read more)
 

What's the best strategy for doubling-down when it's offered at video poker?

12 August 2013
Question: Some video poker machines offer "double down." If you win a hand, you can go for double-or-nothing and keep going as long as you keep winning. Are there rules about whether or not, when, and how many times to take this bet? Answer: You have a 50-50 chance, one out of two, to win even money on double down at video poker. ... (read more)
 

Why is the payoff range at sic bo so wide?

5 August 2013
Question: In sic-bo, payouts for various three-dice totals run from a high of "1 wins 60" for a four or 17, to a low of "1 wins 6" for a nine, 10, 11, or 12. Why is the spread so wide? Answer: The spread in payouts counterbalances the spread in the chances of making each total. "Outside" numbers are toughest and pay most. ... (read more)
 

Do casinos monitor how much you get when you “cash out” at the slots?

29 July 2013
Question: Is it true you can remove your players' card from the slot machine reader before you press the "cash out" button, and the casino won't know how much you won or lost? Answer: Slot player "tracking" systems normally do work this way. The casinos monitor the totals bet and actually paid out, but not the intermediate wins registered on the credit meter. ... (read more)
 

Why can you “double for less” but not “split for less” at blackjack?

22 July 2013
Question: In blackjack, you're allowed to "double for less" than your initial bet but not to "split for less." Why is this? Answer: Doubling down involves making a second bet after seeing your initial hand and the dealer's up-card, then drawing exactly once. Made properly, the extra wager boosts your expected profit. ... (read more)
 

What are the rules for drawing and standing at baccarat?

15 July 2013
Question: I know that in baccarat and mini-baccarat, decisions to draw or stand are predetermined. But, what are the rules? Answer: Player and Banker each start with two cards, then stand or draw once. As you note, the rules for doing so are rigid. Remember, ace through nine have corresponding values of 1 through 9; 10 through king equal 0. ... (read more)
 

What are “working” odds at craps?

8 July 2013
Question: I played craps last weekend. Whenever a shooter made a pass and had a come-out roll for a new point, one player told the dealer he wanted his odds to "work." What does this mean? Answer: Certain craps wagers are normally taken temporarily out of action during a come-out roll. These include place and buy bets, the hardways, and the odds on come bets. ... (read more)
 

Should you change your bet if you see a pattern?

1 July 2013
Question: If you've been at a blackjack or other table and it’s been hot or cold – the house is beating everybody or giving away money – should you lower or raise your bets based on what seems to be a pattern? Answer: Take blackjack, although the same applies to other games. You sit, shoe after losing shoe. ... (read more)

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Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.