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Ask the Wizard #106
I’ve never heard of this rule before. According to my analysis, being allowed to double after splitting aces decreases the house edge by 0.08%. However not allowing resplitting any pair, compared to resplitting to four hands, increases the house edge by 0.06%. So the combination of the two rules decreases the house edge by 0.02%. Following is the basic strategy of when to double after splitting aces, assuming 4 to 8 decks and the dealer stands on soft 17:
Soft 12 to soft 16: double against anything
Soft 17: double against 2 to 9
Soft 18: double against 3 to 6
Soft 19 to 21: never double
I believe what happens in this situation is the player to the dealer’s right would win the progressive jackpot and the other one would win only $10,000. This is because the dealer pays players from right to left so player to the right would be paid first, the meter reset to $10,000, and then the second player paid. However I think the second player would have a legitimate complaint on his hands. The probability of this happening in a full table is 1 in 20,103,110,301. So I would doubt this has ever happened or ever will happen.
In Scottsdale, the hottest casino to work at right now is a go for your own joint that has over 100 tables. The dealers there are consistently making several hundred dollars per day working there and everyone from across the country wishes they were there.
The only dealers that I see that wish it were pooled are those that lack personality or have poor dealing skills (or both). The only way those dealers make any money is to pool their tips. And just for the record, the top moneymakers at the casinos I’ve been at are ALWAYS men, and not even very attractive men. While some of the really attractive ladies do indeed make good tips without even trying (or so it seems), the best dealers are truly entertaining personalities with a fast, clean game.
Thanks for your comments.
Jonathan Falk, actuary
I had a feeling one of my fellow actuaries might disagree with me on this one but I stand by my answer. I see this as a question of expected value rather than probability. The writer used the word "ensure", which is related to the word insurance. An insurance policy would have a fair cost of 1, which is simply the product of the probability (1/2infinity) and amount covered (2infinity). As I said in my original reply, 2infinity/2infinity = 1. So the player would give up his one unit win to pay for the insurance policy. You might argue that the insurance company would never have to pay because they could claim an infinite number of flips have not occurred yet, but I’m assuming a timeless quality in the question. If we did consider time I would be even more right because the player would never live long enough to play an infinite number of flips, and any finite number of losses is definitely possible.
Three of a Kind 30:1
Straight Flush 50:1
Thanks. This pay table has a house edge of 5.10%.
Video poker does not suit itself well to books. There are so many different games and pay tables, and they add new ones so quickly, that a book would be dry and quickly outdated. I recommend getting video poker software that can produce a strategy for almost any game. Two examples of such software are Video Poker Strategy Master and Frugal Video Poker.