Ask the Wizard #56
Dustin from Austin, USA
Thanks for the compliments. Most online casinos shuffle the cards after every hand. At single deck casinos (Boss Media version 1, Microgaming, Unified Gaming) you can use the cards already on the table to alter your play sometimes. See my blackjack appendix3A for all the details. There are some casinos that play into a shoe a little way but not far, and have restrictive betting limits. I have yet to be convinced of any worthwhile opportunity on the Internet to count cards.
Bruce from Williston, Vermont
The probability of getting three queens in one hand is combin(4,3)/combin(52,3) = 0.000181. The probability of doing it twice in a row is 0.0001812, or 1 in 30525625. The probability of them being the same three suits both times is 0.0001812/4, or 1 in 122102500.
Victor from Yakima, Washington
According to Stanford Wong’s ’Basic Blackjack’ he says the player’s edge given the first card is an ace is 50.5% (page 124). Your question however could be rephrased as, "what is the value of the ace, given that the other card is not a ten." Using an infinite deck for the sake of simplicity we can breakdown Wong’s number as follows: 0.505 = (4/13)*1.5 + (9/13)*x, where x is what you want to know. Doing some simple algebra we get x=28.5%.
Michael from South Haven, Mississippi
There are 32 possible natural straight flushes (4 ranks times 8 possible spans of 7 cards). There are combin(53,7) = 154143080 possible ways 7 cards can be drawn out of 53. So the answer is 32/154143080, or 1 in 4816971.