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Ask the Wizard #20

Dear Mike, in baccarat the odds for Banker, Player and Tie are 45.843%, 44.615% and 9.543% as mentioned. Can you please clarify on how you arrive at 1.064% and 1.228%, please?

Steven from Miri, Malaysia

The expected player return per unit wagered on the banker is .45843*.95 + .44615*-1 = -.01064. The player's loss is the casinos gain. Thus the house edge is -1*-.01064 = .01064 = 1.064%. Likewise, the expected return on the player bet is .45843*-1 + .44615*1 = -.01228. Thus, the house edge on the player bet is 1.228%.

Are there any states, other than Nevada, where it is legal to bet on professional sports such as baseball and football?

Roger from Bloomington, Indiana

The only state besides Nevada with legal sports betting is in Delaware. In that state it is run through the lottery, so the odds are pretty bad.

What is the average number of rolls until a shooter "sevens out"? I know that a 7 will appear every 6 rolls, but with come-out 7-11s and craps, plus the possibility of shooters making multiple points, I think the average number of rolls may be higher than expected. Is there any mathematical reference material on this?

Grshooter from Kansas City, Missouri

The average number of rolls per shooter is 8.525510. For the probability of exactly 2 to 200 rolls, please see my craps probability of survival page.

I have never seen any tips on blackjack where the dealer is dealt only one card. This seems to be a totally different game than regular blackjack. When you take a hit, you are taking what would be the second card of the dealers hand. A lot of online casinos have this game. Do you have any suggestions as to the best way to play these games? Thank you.

Darrell from Coos Bay, U.S.

It doesn't matter which card the dealer takes. What is important is whether the player can lose more than their original wager if the dealer has a blackjack. For example, at Starnet casinos, if the dealer has a ten up, and the player has an 11 and doubles, then the dealer can draw an ace afterward, for a blackjack, and the player will lose both the original bet and the double. To adjust for this European no-peek rule, the player should be more conservative about doubling and splitting when the dealer has a potential blackjack.

For more information on the European no-hole-card rules, please see my European blackjack basic strategy.