Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
John Marchel Archives
More Strategy Experts
1 August 2015
By John Marchel
I was recently traveling in Washington State and stopped by an Indian casino to partake in some of their gaming. The state has two types of gambling: card rooms and Native American casinos. The card rooms have a variety of games, all dealing with playing cards. The Native American casinos have the full-blown Las Vegas-type games: blackjack, craps, roulette, plus slot and video poker machines.
I was traveling back to California so I didn’t stay too long. Before I finished playing I asked the pit boss for a deck of their cards and he gladly provided me with one. A short time later I opened the deck to see its makeup. Sometimes Indian cards have unusual face or court cards. They will profile Indian chiefs in lieu of the standard jack, queen and king royal figures.
What caught my attentions in this particular deck was an extra card that displayed basic strategy for multi-deck blackjack. Comparing it to the blackjack strategy card from Instructional Services, found in many gift stores in Las Vegas, it had the same strategy.
Looking back at my experience playing in that specific casino and seeing all the bad plays being made by my fellow players, I was surprised they played so poorly since the casino provided the knowledge on how to play blackjack correctly.
However, those Washington patrons seemed to play their own "bad" way. In fact, at the few tables I played at, everyone except me, played the side bets each hand, and most took insurance every time the dealer showed an ace. Based on their play, the casino was making a lot of extra money from these unskilled players! Each of those actions has a high house advantage and is a bad move on the part of players.
The visit seemed to boil down to a simple concept: To bring blackjack close to an even game requires a two-step process. Number one, you need to obtain a strategy card, and in this case the casino provided it, and number two, the most important action -- read the card!
BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW
• Many believe Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769) wrote the first book on card games. However, Charles Cotton published The Complete Gamester in 1674 in London. He laid out the rules and basic strategy for more than a dozen card games.
• The computer tells us that blackjack dealers will break, on average, approximately 28% of the time. Basic strategy players, on the other hand, will bust only about 16% on average.
• It was in March 1964 that Life magazine published a major nine-page article about Dr. Edward Thorp’s book Beat The Dealer and his work about blackjack strategy and card counting.
• Larry Evans (1932-2010) was a rare individual who mastered both blackjack and chess strategy. He became an International Grandmaster and the U.S. State Department’s “Chess Ambassador.” He also used his refined memory to make extra dollars in casinos playing blackjack. Eventually, he was banned from all the casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere.
• Originally, baccarat in US casinos had a side bet that the Bank hand would receive a natural 8 or 9, with payout odds of 9 to 1. Edward Thorp, who popularized card counting at blackjack, used a counting system for the side bet at baccarat. When casino management discovered he was hitting the “natural” more often than normal, they dropped the optional side bet.
• Washington State has only 29 Indian tribes, but they operate 33 casinos.
Join John on his website at www.johnmarchelgamblingtips.com.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
11 July 2015Keno is considered to be one of the oldest of all gambling games. Its history can be traced back almost 2,000 years to the Han Dynasty of China. The original game required you to pick 10 Chinese characters out of a total of 120. Chinese laborers who came to the United States in the mid-1800s to build the railroads brought along the game, which was called Chinese lottery. ... (read more)
13 June 2015Many counting systems don’t keep track of aces in the card count. The reason is they don’t have much effect on basic strategy. However, there are still changes that should be made depending on how many aces have been played. Some players use external things such as chips, fingers or feet to keep track of how many aces have been played. ... (read more)
4 April 20157 Simple and Winning Gambling Tips Playing in a casino can be fun, exciting and even profitable; on the other hand, the profitable part can be difficult at times. If you are an occasional player who just likes to enjoy the fun and excitement that a casino visit brings to you, that's fine, but maybe you would like to have a better winning experience while playing. ... (read more)