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More Dangerous Traps

9 May 2024

CINDY: We all know this but it is always worth repeating. Every casino game has a house edge and that edge works against the player. In short, over time – a little time (even one decision), a medium amount of time (whatever the definition of that is) or a somewhat longer time, the player must ultimately lose.

ABBY: That is our lot in life as casino players.

CINDY: That is not to say that a player playing the proper strategies doesn’t have a chance to win, now and again, because that player can keep the game somewhat close against the casino but in the end…well, it’s the end.

ABBY: All the games have potential traps; situations where the player can face a misstep and come crashing down in defeat. Sometimes players aren’t aware of this or they think they can figure out a way around this. In truth, playing correctly can still result in miserable losses due to these missteps. The players might not even be responsible for these missteps as they are just a part of the game they are playing.

CINDY: Let us take the most popular table-game, blackjack, and see where the traps can exist. Blackjack players must play “basic strategy” which is the computer derived play of every player hand versus every dealer up-card. Doing this will keep the casino edge somewhere around a 50-cent loss for every hundred dollars the player wagers. That is a great house edge, one-half percent!

ABBY: There are some players who refuse to follow the basic strategy perfectly. They are making a big mistake following gambling writers who recommend changing basic strategy to avoid trouble. These folks are just asking for trouble. Give Frank Scoblete’s book “Beat Blackjack Now” a read.

CINDY: Splits either make the player more money or lessen the actual amount the player will lose. There are definite rules for when to split your cards. If you have doubles, some of them can be split all the time – aces and eights – some can be split on some occasions. Know which are which!

ABBY: Splitting properly is an absolute must. Now, here is a big but – even splitting can go wrong. You do not win every side of a split or even either side of a split. The split is just the proper strategy and in the long run it is the only strategy to use when given pairs. It is, overall, the most helpful way to play but it is not perfect.

CINDY: There is no perfect way to play except if you get a blackjack and the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack.

ABBY: Some players will take insurance if they have a blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace up-card. Nooo!!! That is a losing way to play but players do play this hand incorrectly all the time. This mistake is called “taking insurance” in order to make sure you win your blackjack hand against a possible dealer blackjack hand. All it does is make that great hand an average win and gives the casino a very large edge over the player.

CINDY: You can also double-down on certain hands by putting up a bet on your first two cards and only getting one card. The hands you double are in the basic strategy chart. Doubling is good.

ABBY: Now, doubling certain two-card hands and splitting pairs are the right strategies but they can go wrong. Even right moves could be losers at times. The “trap” in blackjack is when your splits and double-downs are losers. Get a few of these and you could be in a big hole, one that is very hard to climb out of. But playing these hands properly is essential to have a chance to beat the dealer.

CINDY: Next week let’s go through some of the other traps players face in trying to beat the house.
Royal Flushes

Abby Royal is a lawyer and Cindy Royal is a school administrator. Together, they are the Royal Flushes. The sisters play weekly or bi-weekly in such venues as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos throughout the country. They also enjoy the casinos on cruise ships. They know their stuff and have some great stories about their exploits.
Royal Flushes
Abby Royal is a lawyer and Cindy Royal is a school administrator. Together, they are the Royal Flushes. The sisters play weekly or bi-weekly in such venues as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos throughout the country. They also enjoy the casinos on cruise ships. They know their stuff and have some great stories about their exploits.