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Last Updated: May 10, 2005

Catch a Wave game

Introduction

Catch a Wave is a table game formerly played at Foxwoods from about 2001 to 2005. However, in April 2005 it was replaced with Card Sharks.

Rules

The game is played with eight standard decks of cards. Cards are ranked according to poker value, except aces are always high. The suit does not matter. Play starts with the player making a wager. Next the player and dealer each receive one card, both face up. At this point the player must either hit or stand. If the player hits he must indicate whether the next card will be higher or lower than the first one. If the player hits and his call is incorrect or if the cards are equal in value, then the player loses and his wager and cards are immediately collected. If the player's call is correct he again has the option to stand or hit. If he hits he again must indicate if the next card will be higher or lower than the last one. This process repeats until the player either makes an incorrect call, stands, or successfully hits six times. If the player does hit correctly six times (catching a wave) then he automatically is paid 6 to 1 on his original wager.

After all players have taken a turn, and assuming at least one bet is still active, the dealer will then play his hand in a similar manner but according to predetermined rules. The card dealt to the dealer at the beginning shall be the dealer's first card. If this first card is 7 or less the dealer must call higher. If the first card is 8 or more the dealer must call lower. In the event the dealer calls incorrectly or the cards match all player bets that are still active win and pay 1 to 1. After this first hit the dealer will call higher on 4 or less, stand on 5 to 10, and call less on jack or higher. The dealer will keep repeating this until he either stands or makes in incorrect call. Unlike the player there is no automatic win or stop at six cards for the dealer.

If the dealer makes an incorrect call then the player is paid 1 to 1 if he is still in the game. Otherwise, if the player and dealer have both stood then the total number of hits is compared. If the dealer has more hits then the dealer wins. If the number of hits is equal to the dealer then the bet is a push. If the player has more hits then the player wins by a multiple of the difference between the player's total and the dealer's total. For example, if the player hit 5 times and the dealer 2 times then the player would be paid 3 to 1.

Strategy

The following table shows when the player should stand according to the dealer's first card and number of prior successful hits. If the player should not stand then obviously he should call "higher" with a card lower than the stand range and "lower" with a card higher than the stand range. For example, if the dealer is showing a 5 and the player has already had 3 successful hits then the player should stand on 6 to 10. If the table says "none" then the player should always hit, even with an 8. If the player should hit an 8 then he should use the cards seen on the table to determine whether the remaining deck has more high or low cards, and hit accordingly.

Player's Stand Range

Dealer's
Card
0 hits 1 hits 2 hits 3 hits 4 hits 5 hits
2 none 8 7-9 6-10 6-10 7-9
3 none 8 6-10 6-10 6-10 7-9
4 8 7-9 6-10 5-J 6-10 8
5 7-9 6-10 6-10 6-10 7-9 8
6 5-J 6-10 5-J 6-10 7-9 8
7 4-Q 5-J 5-J 6-10 8 none
8 4-Q 4-Q 5-J 6-10 8 none
9 4-Q 5-J 5-J 6-10 8 none
10 5-J 6-10 5-J 6-10 7-9 8
J 7-9 6-10 6-10 6-10 7-9 8
Q 8 7-9 6-10 5-J 6-10 8
K none 8 6-10 6-10 6-10 7-9
A none 8 7-9 6-10 6-10 7-9

House Edge

Following the above strategy the house edge is 0.50%.



Written by: Michael Shackleford

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