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Ask the Wizard #55

I was recently put on the "list" and can not play at the casinos. Could you tell me how I got my name on the "list" and how do I get my name off of it? Thank you for your response.

Brian from Milpitas, USA

I don’t the reason in your particular case because I don’t have access to the blacklists. The fastest way to get on the list is to make a chargeback. That is making a credit card purchase, blowing it in the casino, and then reversing the charges. This is something the Internet casinos do not mess around with and they share lists with each other of players who have made even one chargeback, regardless of the reason. There are also blacklists for bonus abusers. These are harder to get on and are not circulated as widely. Once on a list there is just about nothing that can be done about it. Internet gambling is still mostly unregulated so there is no higher authority to turn to.

What is the probability of any one die showing ONE when 3 dice are throw together. My understanding is it should be 50% chance (1/6+1/6+1/6=1/2 -->50%) But in your odds table it shown 34.72%. Please help.

John C. from Singapore

The probability of rolling exactly one one with three dice is 3*(5/6)2*(1/6) = 75/216 = 34.72%.

Are there any circumstances in Caribbean Stud where it is a good bet to raise on less than A/K? i.e. You have an Ace or King and match the dealer upcard, reducing his odds of a pair and of the high card?

George from Boston, USA

No. This is a hard and fast rule, you never raise in Caribbean Stud Poker with less than ace/king.

What table game has the best odds for winning and is user friendly for a novice gambler? Thanks in advance.

Dave from Port St. Lucie

For the person with no casino gambling experience who puts an emphasis on something easy to play I would start with baccarat. Just bet on the banker every time.

What would be the odds of having a red number turn up 18 times in a row on Roulette.

Doug from Eugene, USA

(18/38)18 =~ 1 in 693745.

Hi, which Las Vegas casinos offer the best blackjack game? Is there a website you know which lists the Vegas casinos and their BJ rules? Thanks for any help you can give me.

Daryl from Buffalo, USA

I usually use Blackjack Conditions and Specials for information on where the best blackjack games are in Las Vegas. Surprisingly they say that Caesars Palace has the best basic strategy game: double deck, double on any two cards, dealer stands on soft 17, and late surrender for a house edge of 0.13%.

hi your favorite game to play in ac is triple action blackjack...i wanted to know if u had a strategy chart for that game, and if the strategy changes, which it must.....ex...16 against i face card i usually stand in this game since the dealer usually breaks once....let me know...thanks

Brian from West Hartford, USA

For those who don’t know what you’re talking about, Triple Action Blackjack is a blackjack variant in which the dealer plays out three different hands, all starting with the same up card. The player makes three bets and his one hand is played against the three dealer hands individually. The strategy for this game is exactly the same as conventional blackjack.

Mr. Wizard, cool web site. Recently I was playing Blackjack and myself and friends were very generous to the dealer playing tip hands for him. We roughly broke even after about an hour or so. Later in the night I was playing Deuces wild poker. The dealer from the BJ table came over to deal and I played some tip hands for him again. I hit a Wild Royal for about $1600 and about 20 min later hit a straight flush for another large win. My question is this, since there was only 1 deck and I was the only player and the dealer shuffled and cut the cards himself do you think he may have set the deck because I was generous to him?

Mike from Jacksonville, USA

That was nice of you to tip generously. The Wizard definitely supports tipping the dealers when given good service. I’m 99% sure that you were just lucky. If the dealer did have the ability and will to cheat for the players he probability would have arranged for an accomplice to get the big wins and they would have split the money later. I have heard of stories of dealer overpaying players who tipped well, as long as they always tipped back a portion of the overpayments. Of course I don’t approve of any form of cheating.

When playing video poker with a single deck, what are the odds of getting 4 of a kind when you hold just one card. This happened to me this last weekend. I wound up with 4 aces and 4 kings when just starting with one of each. I know holding a pair and drawing the other two to make your quad is 360 to one, but I have never seen odds for drawing 3 to make four of a kind.

Gary from Milwaukee, USA

Let’s assume you hold the ace of spades and toss away four non-ace singletons. There are 44 ways you can get a four of a kind in aces. The 44 is the number of possible singletons you could get on the draw along with the other three aces (52 cards less 4 aces and the 4 singletons you discarded). You might also get a four of a kind in one of the other 8 ranks besides aces and the four you discarded. So the total ways to get a four of a kind on the deal is 44+8=52. The total number of combinations on the deal is combin(47,4)=178365. So the probability of a four of a kind is 52/178365 = 1 in 3430.

My Grandmother was born on October 28, 1912, she recently passed away on October 28, 2001 (her 89th birthday). My cousin asked me what the statistical odds were of this occurring. I know there is about a 1 in 365 chance of dying on any day throughout the year. But what are the odds of that day being a person’s birthday?

Loren from Petersburg, Alaska

You should have asked me this while I was still an actuary at the Social Security Administration. I could have easily have done a nationwide query on death records. I would say the answer is close to 1 in 365. It probably is a little less because infant mortality rates are disproportionately high after birth. For births in the year 2000 the probability of death within the first year is 0.71% of male infants and 0.59% for female infants. In other words those infant deaths are unlikely to occur on the birthday because once the first birthday arrives the child is outside of the danger period. Also, and I don’t know this to be a fact, but on the shoe ’Six Feet Under’ they said that the business for funeral directors picks up in January, evidently because people try to hold on for just one more Christmas holiday and then let go. This same logic might apply to reaching a birthday. Consider George Burns, he died 48 days after his 100th birthday.