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Ask the Wizard #10
Jim from Atlanta
The simple answer is no, it neither helps you nor hurts you. However, you will have less bankroll variance by betting two hands of x as opposed to one of 2x. Card counters are an exception to the simple no, they may play multiple hands to draw more cards out of a deck rich in good cards, thus improving their odds.
Vpwhiz from Long Beach, California
As you read on my page, this has happened to me a few times. When it happened to me, the banks and the casinos each blamed each other for deeming the transaction as a cash advance. Since that time I have found that many credit cards now tell you up front that casino chip purchases are considered a cash advance. This seems to be the situation with your card so I'd say that you are stuck with the fee. If you read the fine print of the Yahoo or Ebay credit card agreements they say this directly. To quote from the Ebay Visa terms and conditions, "Transaction Fee for purchase of wire transfers, money orders, betting or casino chips or similar items, purchase of foreign currency and travelers checks from other than a bank; and use of convenience checks 2% of the transaction amount, with a minimum of $5."
Now, I use a debit card for most of my online casino purchases and never have to worry about cash advance fees. The reversals seem to happen faster as well with a debit card. However, I still use the Next Visa and MBNA Mastercard for my big Golden Palace purchases and they have never charged me a cash advance fee.
Kal from Chicago
First, let me say that I'm not an expert on poker. It is no big secret that Texas Hold 'Em is the most popular form. In this game there are five community cards and only two down cards per player so a person good at calculating probabilities has more to go on. However, even the best math genius may make a bad poker player if he can't read the other players or the other players can easily read him (both of which I think are true in my case).
Michael from Sand Springs, Oklahoma
The probability that the banker will win is 45.843%, player 44.615%, and tie 9.543%. So the return of the banker bet with a 4% commission is .45845*.96 - .44615 = -.00606 . So the house still has a thin 0.6% edge.
For the benefit of others, let me explain that in European blackjack the dealer does not check if he has a blackjack until all players have finished playing their hands. If the dealer does have a blackjack and a player doubled or split, then the player will lose his entire bet. In the United States, the player can lose no more than the original bet if the dealer has blackjack. As you pointed out, online casinos that use Microgaming software follow the European rule. However, Microgaming casinos also play a single-deck game and let you draw to split aces which is unlike the European rules. To make a long story short, please see my European basic strategy.
A casino I played at had the 3,4,5 odds system where you were allowed 3x on the 4 and 10, 4x on the 5 and 9 and 5 x on the 6 and 8. I feel that with this "system" of placing odds, you reduce the fluctuations (with respect to standard 5x odds on all numbers) in your bankroll, and change the distribution of net gain/loss per session, i.e. you would produce a sharper peak located slightly more to the loss side than with 5x odds. Is this so, and could you put some numbers to it?
That is known as 3-4-5X odds, and is now pretty common. The following table shows all the possible outcomes, for the pass and odds combined, with full odds.
Return Table with 3-4-5X Odds
|Pass line win||1||0.222222||0.222222|
|Pass line loss||-1||0.111111||-0.111111|
|Point of 4 or 10 & win||7||0.055556||0.388889|
|Point of 4 or 10 & lose||-4||0.111111||-0.444444|
|Point of 5 or 9 & win||7||0.088889||0.622222|
|Point of 5 or 9 & lose||-5||0.133333||-0.666667|
|Point of 6 or 8 & win||7||0.126263||0.883838|
|Point of 6 or 8 & lose||-6||0.151515||-0.909091|
The standard deviation per pass line bet is 4.915632.