Ask the Wizard #181
Dan from Las Vegas
You’re right. If the player makes an ante bet for the dealer then he doesn’t seem required to match it with a raise bet if he raises his own bet. The optimal strategy on the tip is to raise with K/Q/10 or better. To keep it simple, this is almost the same as ace high. Anything less and the raise portion of the tip is a bad bet. Following this strategy will result in an advantage of 26.09% on the combined tip bets.
Lorne from Richmond Hill
Those ideas sound like flagrant cheating. However, putting ethical issues aside, I would find a game of Caribbean Stud Poker with a high progressive jackpot. Then I would arrange the cards to give myself a royal flush and the dealer a qualifying hand. After resuming time make the $1 side bet and the maximum ante bet.
Kathy S. from Pueblo
I’m afraid that 100% of casinos using Playtech software are closed to U.S. players.
Jon from Knoxville
First play optimal strategy using software such as Winpoker, Video Poker for Winners, or Frugal Video Poker. Then keep track of how much you get each hand compared to expectations, which both programs can calculate. Finally do a chi-squared test of the results. If you need help with the last step you can send your results to me, as long as you have a sample size of at least 300 hands.
Timothy Rowland from Orilila
Wow! The probability of this is (combin(24,6)/combin(312,6)) * (24/306) * (combin(18,5)/combin(305,5)) = 1 in 287,209,346,813,617.
In order to be "On Fire" you must win three hands in a row. You will notice the On Fire gauge at the bottom of the game screen. When this gauge fills up, you will be on fire. Once you have accomplished this, all winning blackjack hands pay you at 2-1 odds instead of 3-2 odds, dramatically increasing your potential pay out. However, if you are on fire and you lose a hand, you lose your current on fire status and must go back and try to win three hands in a row. Pushed hands do not affect your On Fire status.
How much does this lower the house edge? Would it be +EV if you raised your stakes every time you were On Fire? Would love to hear your thoughts. The casino is jonwoodgaming.com, by the way. Thanks
Mick from Port Kembla
My blackjack appendix 4 shows the probability of a net win, loss, and draw in blackjack are 40.59%, 42.69%, and 12.44% respectively, assuming Atlantic City rules. The probability of a win, not counting ties is 40.59%/(40.59%+46.97%) = 46.36%. The probability of three consecutive wins, skipping ties, is 0.46363 = 9.96%. Assuming six decks, blackjack paying 2 to 1 is worth an extra 0.02267. So this gives the player 0.0996*0.02267 = 0.002258. The house edge is usually higher than that, but it is a nice reduction. All this assumes you are flat betting. If you could bet more on the "on fire" hands you could destroy them with a house edge of 1.5% to 2.0%, depending on the specific rules.
Dan from Las Vegas
At some count you should start to accept insurance. However, the point of the ace/five is to be simple. If you’re willing to memorize index numbers you should learn a more robust count strategy, like the plus/minus.
John G. from Bellingham, WA
9/6 Jacks or Better can still be found at most casinos, although often limited to the high limit room. I suggest VP Free 2 for the latest video poker offerings.