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Readers Write

28 October 1999

Dear Frank,

Loved your book Bold Card Play. I'm a Let It Ride fan. During one hand last night, the dealer turned over my cards to reveal 10-J-10 (exactly as he dealt them to me), a player seated next to me kindly suggested I always put pairs together.

"Even the small pairs," he said. "It improves our odds."

I'd heard this before, but thought is was just player superstition: placing two of the same cards together will "attract" the third. His comments made me curious, so I asked him why he thought putting pairs together increases all players' chances?

He replied that pairs are more likely to stay together when that deck is next shuffled by the dealer and then put through the Shuffle Master. If everyone does it, this increases the chances that the same pairs will return to the table again. He said that some of his friends will go so far as to leave the table if players don't follow this playing custom.

In fact, this fellow said he's seen sympathetic dealers quickly place pairs together before depositing the cards in the discard tray in an effort to help players. He said he asked a dealer if the casino frowned on this behavior (since it supposedly decreases the house edge) and was told casino management would prefer they didn't, but no dealer had ever been reprimanded.

Your thoughts? Fact or bunk?

Derek

Dear Derek:

The shuffle machines of single-deck games are pretty thorough. However, it is possible that there is something to the idea of keeping pairs together in the hope that they won't stray very far during a shuffle and might come out of the pack together, or close enough together to make an impact on your bottom line, more than randomness would indicate. I don't know if this is so but I can say this -- it can't hurt to keep them together. If the shuffle really splits them and randomizes the deck, you haven't hurt yourself. But if the shuffle isn't thorough enough and the cards stick together, you might help yourself.

I am going to send this question along to John May, who might know the answer. John has studied and executed in casinos shuffle-advantage-play techniques. I am posting this reply ASAP, but if John can also answer your query, we'll put his answer up as soon as it comes in.


For more information about Let It Ride, we recommend:

Bold Card Play: Best Strategies for Caribbean Stud, Let It Ride & Three Card Poker by Frank Scoblete
Recent Articles
Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

The Captain's Special Report

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete