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Ask the Wizard #193
Scott F. from Philadelphia, PA
The game you refer to is by Shufflemaster for their TMS-300 series of games. It is mathematically equivalent to a hand-dealt game. Conventional basic strategy should be used. In Pennsylvania, to meet gaming regulations, a separate shoe is used for each player, so one player’s actions do not affect other players. In all other states a single shoe is used. Shufflemaster tells me the following rules are common to all units.
Double after split allowed.
Late surrender allowed.
Player may split only once.
Split aces get one card each.
In six-deck games the cards are shuffled after 2/3 shoe penetration. The player is not informed when the shuffle takes place. In single-deck game the cards are shuffled after every hand.
The following table shows the configurable rules and the house edge under each variation, assuming total-dependent basic strategy.
Shufflemaster TMS-300 Video Blackjack
|6||3 to 2||Stands||American||0.39%|
|6||3 to 2||Stands||European||0.50%|
|6||3 to 2||Hits||American||0.59%|
|6||3 to 2||Hits||European||0.69%|
|1||6 to 5||Stands||American||1.25%|
Ted H. from Salt Lake City
It depends on the number of seats in a cluster. Most domestic flights have three seats on either side of the aisle. That would make 60 3-seat clusters. After the first one of you is seated, there will be two seats in the same cluster out of the remaining 179, so the chances of being in the same cluster are 2/179 = 1.12%. Then you can’t have somebody else in the middle seat. The chances of the third person being in the middle seat are 1/3. So the answer is (2/179)*(2/3) = 0.74%, or 1 in 134.25.
Thanks for an awesome site! I get lost in your odds calculations sometimes, but it’s just so damn informative!
Jon B. from Napanee, Ontario
Thank you for the kind words. It would be perfectly acceptable to give advice in that situation. In general, it is acceptable to give solicited advice, even to strangers. The dealers don’t like it when a player gives unsolicited advice. It gets into a grey area if it isn’t clear whom a player is soliciting advice from. If the player seems to be asking the dealer, then you shouldn’t advise. When in doubt, my policy is to keep my mouth shut.
p.s. I only play this game because of your book and when one of my sloppy blackjack dealers is dealing Three Card Poker. First time I played I got a straight flush, and the reaction from the table "experts" tearing into me for not playing pair plus was worth the 40 to 1 bet I didn't win. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.
Brock W. from Bible Hill, N.S.
Thank you for buying my book. I heard somebody out there bought a copy. The difference in house edge between the usual 1/4/5 and the 1/3/4 pay tables is 0.46%. So that would lower the player advantage from 3.48% to 3.02% if you can tell the dealer's rank exactly, 1.95% if you can tell only ace/paint/no paint, and increase the house edge to 2.89% if you can tell paint/no paint only.
I've suffered in silence the Pairplus lecture many times, so I know how you feel.
For more information, please see my page on flashing Three Card Poker dealers.
Rodger from Phelpston ON
The reason is my blackjack basic strategy is based on 8 or fewer decks, and the flashing dealer strategy is based on an infinite number of decks. In an infinite-deck blackjack game you should hit A2 vs. 5 as well. An infinite-deck assumption is the lazy way to analyze blackjack. The reason I went that way is I believe that is not a frequently used page, and the cost in errors is very small, only one unit for every 202,000 units bet.
Place 4,10 - 9 1/2 to 5
Place 5,9 -7 to 5
Place 6,8 - 7 to 6
Any Craps - 7 1/2 to 1
Hardways 4,10 - 7 1/2 to 1
Hardways 6,8 - 9 1/2 to 1
Aces/Midnight - 33 to 1
Ace,Deuce/Eleven - 16 to 1
Ron L. from Brunswick, GA
I just added a section to my craps section on the Rendezvous Rules.
Ed from New York
Yes, there must be. Cryptologic Internet casinos have been offering the game, under the Vegas rules, for years. They also offer the version where you turn over the cards in the tableau one at a time, but can only run through it once. As under the Microsoft Vegas rules, the player gets back fives time the bet per card for each one he puts in the stacks. I would bank that game all day long, if I could.