Ask the Wizard #26
- The dealer deals from an infinite deck
- Dealer stands on soft 17
- No surrender allowed
- Player can split any pair
- Player can re-split, except for aces
- Insurance offered only when player has two cards
- Player can double down on any hand
- Player can double after a split
These are the rules at 4 Aces casino, where I always seem to bust if I hit a 12 or 13 and the dealer wiped me out with a mind numbing over 40 21’s including twice 21’s four times in a row. They do allow late surrender even though it states otherwise in their rules. What is an infinite deck? If these are good rules could you point out a good strategy.
Douglas from Cumberland, Maryland
According to my blackjack house edge calculator, the house edge with these rules, assuming eight decks, is 0.45%. The effect of infinite decks, compared to eight, is 0.10% in the house's favor. So, the total house edge would be 0.45% + 0.10% = 0.55%.
You also seem to also imply that this casino is not dealing a fair game. Unless you provide some hard data I can't comment on that.
Denise from Placerville, USA
I don’t think the board would say "20-5" but rather reduce the ratio to 4-1. That means that the bet will pay 4 to 1. So you will win 4 times your bet, plus get the original bet back, if you win. Thus a $20 wager at 4-1 would win $80. When you take the ticket to the window they will give you $100 ($80 winnings plus original $20 bet returned).
Kim from Helsinki, Finland
I have actually seen these rules when I went to Helsinki in 1986. Without a doubt, the worst blackjack rules I have ever seen.
To answer your question, my blackjack house edge calculator says the house edge is 0.54%, before considering the rule that ties lose on 17-20. My list of rule variations says the effect of losing on 17-20 ties is 8.38% in the house's favor. So, the overall house edge would be 8.92% (ouch!).
James from USA
Here are the hands from highest to lowest, for both five- and seven-card poker: straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, pair.
Jim from USA
Unlike most slots, this game has different types of wins according to the number of coins bet. The first coin enables the player to win the small frequent "bar" wins, from 2 to 60. The second coin enables larger "seven" wins from 100 to 500. The third coin doubles the wins for sevens, except it also qualified the player for the progressive jackpot for three sizzling sevens.
The ways these games are programmed is to give the player a slightly higher return on each additional coin bet. For example, the first coin might have a return of 92%, the second 93%, and the third 94%. You seem to think the return for one coin would be very low, due to the small wins, but those wins happen more often than the wins for sevens.
In Nevada, regulations require slots to theoretically pay at least 75%. Even the games at the airport, which are very tight, still pay at least 85% or so. I'm quite sure that the return for any number of coins bet in Blazing Sevens conforms to industry norms.
Rick from Gardnerville, USA
Assuming you draw five cards, and count all hands with exactly two jacks, then the probability would be combin(4,2)*combin(48,3)/combin(52,5) = 6*17296/2598960 = 3.99%.
Jon M. from Danville, New Hampshire
I played it in practice mode and it seems to be a legitimate no-zero roulette wheel. There is no system that can either beat or lose to this game in the long run. The more you play the more the ratio of the net win to the total amount bet will get closer to zero.
Update: This casino has since closed.
Steve from New York, USA
Your comp offers will depend on the product of your average bet, time played, hands per hour, house edge, and some "comp" constant, which is usually 33% to 40%. I indicate what one Vegas Strip casinos assumes for house edge and hands per hour in my house edge summary.
Ralph Harpster from Turlock, USA
Saying the odds of something happening are x to y means that the event in question will happen x times for every y times it doesn't happen. To make the conversion let p be the probability of some event. The odds could also be expressed as (1/p)-1 to 1. Lets look at an example. The probability of drawing a full house in five-card stud is 0.00144058. This could also be represented as 693.165 to 1.
Jeff F. from Hammonton, USA
If you could see both the community cards, then your edge would be 42.06%. I don't know the advantage for one card, I'm afraid, but I am sure it would be high, especially if the second one were exposed.
Gordon Maska from Lewiston, New York
Assuming you played conventional 8/5 strategy the return in your example would be 99.68%. However, if you played optimal strategy for this jackpot the return would be 100.08%. So, Wong was not wrong.