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Ask the Wizard #30
Ron from Manchester, New Hampshire
The double or nothing feature in video poker is the only other casino bet, besides the odds in craps, with no house edge. Whether or not you take it depends on your reason for playing. If you are playing a negative-expectation game, for purposes of entertainment, then I think you should accept the double-up option in moderation, depending on on your desire or aversion to volatility. The reason is that it is better to play a game with zero house edge than a positive one. However, you have to balance that against your tolerance for risk. If you are fortunate to be playing a positive-expectation game, then I would decline the opportunity to double.
James from Palo Alto, California
According to my blackjack appendix 4, the probability of an overall win in blackjack is 42.22%, a tie is 8.48%, and a loss is 49.10%. I'm going to assume you wish to ignore ties for purposes of the streak. In that case, the probability of a win, given a resolved bet, is 46.36%. The probability of winning n hands is a row is 0.4636n. So the probability of winning six in a row is 0.99% and seven in a row is 0.46%.
Allan from San Gabriel, California
Three that I know have it are the Caribbean Gold, English Harbour, and Silver Dollar. Also, using all capital letters is rather obnoxious.
Rolland from Buffalo, USA
I've never heard of a Las Vegas casino paying 3-1 on both the 2 and 12, but the Santa Ana Star in New Mexico does (at least as of this writing in 2013). This rule results in a house edge of exactly 0.00%.
Yvan from Quebec, Canada
The rare times that I play a negative expectation game it is for entertainment. pai gow (tiles) is the only game I find enjoyable enough to play without an advantage.
Brantley from Waycross, Georgia
All betting systems are flawed. Progressive systems like yours usually do when but with occasional large losses. Over the long run, you will do no better nor worse than the flat bettor or user of any other system.
Steve from Detroit, USA
Generally, no, the odds do not change depending on the number of players. The only exception I can think of is side bets like Fortune in Pai Gow Poker, which feature an envy bonus, and thus pay better according to the number of players.
Randy from Aurora, Illinois
I am tempted to learn more about futures trading but for now I simply don't have the time. My income comes from both advertising revenue on this site (please click through the banners) and consulting fees on the analysis of new casino games.
Abraham from Ocean, New Jersey
Sorry, there isn't.
Dave from Provo, USA
Thanks for the compliment. You should use appendix six only if the dealer is showing a ten in a Unified Gaming blackjack game. There are no exceptions to the Unified Gaming basic strategy when the dealer has an ace showing.
Dave from Provo, USA
Your math is correct. For every 100 bets at $10 you make, you could expect to make $5.70 assuming you follow my basic strategy. Keep in mind this is a long-term return and in the short run you could easily lose. There is also a problem with broken connections with Unified Gaming casinos, which slows down the number of hands playable per hour. Somebody told me that turning off the sound card can take care of this problem. Whatever your gambling bankroll is, I would recommend dividing that by 100 and bet in those units. So to bet $10 a hand you should have $1000 to risk.
Steve from Lyon, France
There is no simple answer to which is better, a deposit bonus or cash back based on total money bet. You have to consider the percentages offered, the amount of play required, and the house edge of the games in question. This 5% cash back promotion sounds great for any game with a house edge of less than five percent. The house edge on the small and big bets in sic bo have a house edge of only 2.78%. Video poker may be even lower depending on the pay table. I would be interested to know who is offering this.
Chris from Gaithersburg, Maryland
What you have experienced is likely the result of some very bad losing streaks. It may also be the result of progressive betting or mistakes in strategy. The basic strategy flat bettor should have a roughly symmetrical expectation in terms of steep ups and downs, slightly favoring steep downs due to the house edge and a 48% chance of a losing hand compared to 43% chance of winning. If I'm playing for fun then I leave the table when I'm not having fun any longer.
Rick from Jacksonville, USA
Please see my page on rummy, which is the blackjack variant popular in Costa Rica.