Ten Best Bets in the Casino
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For years it was obscure, then it was popular, and now it has faded.
The game of blackjack dates to the middle of the 18 th century.
Like many other gambling pastimes poker, for oneit originated in France, although Americans gave the game its present form.
The player gets two cards, and the dealer gets two, only one of which is visible to the table.
The player then decides whether to hit get another cardstand, split if dealt two identical cards, for example a pair of eightsor double down double the wager and receive one, and only one, new card.
All other bets pay even money; if the player busts before the dealer, he loses, and if the player and dealer tie, it is a push neither side wins.
For about two hundred years, blackjack was the casino equivalent of a benchwarmer.
Blackjack, by contrast, is a game that pits each player individually against the dealer and often each other.
In 1956, a quartet of U.
Army mathematicians—who have gone down in the annals of blackjack as the —published an article in the that described for the first time a mathematically correct set of rules for the game.
Known asthis approach dictates to the player how to proceed with any hand.
Basic strategy, perfectly executed, cut the house edge to almost zero, which turned a few heads.
Then, in 1962, UCLA math Ph.
Ed Thorp publisheda best-selling paperback that explained to the general public how, by counting cards keeping track of how many craps or blackjack better odds cards remained craps or blackjack better odds playplayers could actually have a statistical advantage more info the house.
This was the casino equivalent of splitting the atom: an awesome, unpredictable power unleashed.
Smart, disciplined players could be guaranteed—at least statistically—to beat the casino.
There were craps or blackjack better odds new layouts, no attempts to make the game more social, no outreach to customers.
If anything, antsy casino managers often made the game less welcoming.
And yet blackjack grew, in spite of the casinos, because the customers had figured out a way to, at least sometimes, win.
For decades, blackjack remained the king of the tables.
The game even had a revival aftera 2008 film based on the real-life exploits of theintroduced counting to a new generation.
But nothing lasts forever, and on the Las Vegas Strip, at least, blackjack has of late played second fiddle towhich is preferred by Asian ultra-high rollers.
The first step was changing the rules on how the dealer acted when dealt a soft 17 an ace, which can count as an 11 or one, and a six.
Traditionally, the dealer stood on soft 17.
Modifying the rules to mandate the dealer take another card on soft 17 added about 0.
It went over as well with serious blackjack players craps or blackjack better odds did withand rightly so: 6:5 blackjack bumps the house edge on a perfectly-played basic strategy game to nearly.
Walking a casino floor and seeing 6:5 tables packed with smiling players, they might be right.
But the numbers tell a different story.
Since 2000, the number of blackjack tables in the state of Nevada has fallen by.
Factoring inthough, the amount Nevada craps or blackjack better odds have won at blackjack has fallen by.
It might be said that the expansion of casino gambling to other states is more to blame than anything inherent in blackjack itself, and that might be somewhat right.
But baccarat and sports betting in Nevada have made real gains over the past two decades.
Those games, it must be said, have for the most part resisted the belt-tightening of blackjack.
And only resort fees and paid Strip parking have attracted the level of that has.
The lesson of blackjack goes beyond the gaming craps or blackjack better odds />Anyone who sells anything to other people, be it hospitality, food, or even words, should pay attention.
It would be great for our business if they always craps or blackjack better odds the highest margin items, letting us make an easy living.
On paper, card-counting was a game-breaker, but in reality, most players lost because counting is easier said than done.
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read article grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and worked in casinos there, catching bad guys and selling nuts not simultaneously.
That's how I got interested in studying… Read More I grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and worked in casinos there, catching bad guys and selling nuts not simultaneously.
That's how I got interested in studying casinos, gambling, games, and tourism.
Day job is directing the Center for Gaming Research and teaching history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Personal highlight: being interviewed by Henry Rollins for "Ten Things You Don't Know About Las Vegas.
How to Play (and Win) at Blackjack: The Expert's Guide
In order, these are the casino games with the best odds:. Casinopokerguru; Blackjack (0.5% - 2%); Baccarat (About 50/50); Craps (About 1.5% with Pass Line ...
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