Ask the Wizard #88
You asked the right person! I’m quite good at shuffling poker chips. Unfortunately I don’t often get to show it off because when I do play with chips it is usually counting cards or hole card reading, and in either case I don’t want to look like a pro. Anyway, start with a stack of 10 chips. Then cut them in half, putting two 5 stick chips side by side. Think of the two stacks as an 8. Put the 8 at about a 45 degree angle to your plane of symmetry. Put your thumb on the bottom of the 8, your index finger where the two stacks come together, and the other 3 fingers at the top of the 8. All five fingers should be barely touching the table. Then using your index finger gently lift both stacks while the other four fingers gently push the stacks together. After your index finger is about a quarter inch from the bottom of the table quickly move it away and keep pushing the stacks together with your other four fingers. It takes practice. I would recommend getting 10 nice clay chips and practicing at home or work. During commercials or whenever you have a minute to spare you can work on it. Before you know it you you’ll be riffling chips like a pro and casting fear in your fellow poker players.
Although this is easy with video poker with slots there is no way to tell without knowing how the machine was programmed.
The probability of winning the hard 4 bet is 1/9. So the probability of winning four times in a row is (1/9)4 = 1 in 6561.
Thank you for the kind words. Much like multi-play video poker the house edge is the same for multiple action blackjack as regular blackjack, assuming the same rules. It is true that if the player has blackjack he wins on all three hands. However if the player has a 16 he has to play it on all three hands. Overall everything balances out.
For the sake of simplicity let’s assume each hand is dealt from a fresh deck. The probability of a four of a kind is 13*48/combin(52,5) = 624/2598960. The probability of exactly 3 out of 40 four of a kinds is combin(40,3)*p3*(1-p)37 = 1 in 7378135, where p = 624/2598960. So that is more like a 1 in 7 million shot.
This would be a good time to either bet small, go to the bathroom, or just leave, depending on your style of play. Personally I hate bouncing up and down and would just bet small. There are lots of books that explain specifically how to count cards. However for the amateur if you see a disproportionate number of tens and aces leave the deck bet less. Likewise bet more if lots of small cards leave the deck, especially fives and sixes. Thanks for your kind words about my site.
I seem to get a variation of this question at least once a month. Let’s assume for now the deck is shuffled after every hand, to make the math easier. If the probability of something happening is p then the probability of it happening n times in a row is pn. The probability of a blackjack in a single deck game is 4*16/combin(52,2) = 64/1326. So the probability of four in a row is (64/1326)4 = 16777216/ 3091534492176 = 1 in 184270. However the actual probability is much less, because as the player gets each blackjack the ratio of aces to cards left in the deck decreases. Without knowing what cards the dealer got I can’t tell you the exact answer.
You’re welcome, thanks for you compliments. The probability of being dealt 3 jokers in a row from a six deck shoe (plus the 3 jokers) is 1/combin(315,3) = 1 in 5,159,805. Another solution is (3/315)*(2/314)*(1/313).