Ask the Wizard #238
Pete M. from Glendale
I asked two Las Vegas casino executives about this. The first one said their policy on all games with a jackpot-based side bet is to first pay the primary bets (i.e. not the side bets) to the full odds. The aggregate cap only applies to the side bets. In the event the side bet wins exceed the aggregate maximum, then winners are paid on a pro-rata basis, according to their win. For example, if the aggregate is $50,000, player 1 won $50,000, player 2 won $10,000, and player 3 won $100, then each player would get paid $50,000/($50,000+$10,000+$100)=83.19% of what he would get without the limit. The second casino executive, with another company, said the same thing except they pay the side bets in full and pro-rate the primary bets.
Jim from Boring, OR
Probabilities for Long Suit in Hearts
Mark Estes from Seal Rock
I think your odds are best with the big Table Master units with big video screens housing attractive dealers. These are getting easier and easier to find, but I don’t know of any specific list of them. Your odds of finding them will be better in low-roller casinos. Some pay 3 to 2 on blackjack, and some only pay 6 to 5. An an example, the unit at the Riviera has the following rules:
- 6 decks (shuffled after four decks)
- Blackjack pays 3 to 2
- Dealer hits soft 17
- Double after split allowed
- Double on any two cards allowed
- Surrender allowed
- Split to two hands only
- Seven Card Charlie (un-busted hands of 7 cards automatically win)
- Bet range: $2-$200
The house edge under these rules is 0.68%. If you play an even-money game, the house edge will be 1.4% to 2.0%, depending on the other rules. Be sure to use a player card to earn whatever cash, free play, or comps the casino offers.
The picture below shows one of these products.
Mark from Pahokee
The game shuffles after every hand, so the count is always zero at the start of the hand. However, when there is a cut card, a negative count tends to be very slightly correlated to positive results since the start of the shoe. That is because the negative count means that more good cards than bad have already been played, which would have been good for the player.
Shawn D. from Pittsburgh, PA
I asked the Bone Man of NextShooter.com about this one. He said there are two reasons for the tap. The first is a way of thanking the player for the tip. A good dealer will verbally thank the player making the tip while making the tap. The second is a measure to keep the dealers honest. It has happened many times where dealers pocketed tips in casinos where tips are supposed to be put in a pool. Game security is not my strong point, but procedures like this are put there to make it harder to cheat, and easier to get caught if you do.