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Best of Frank Scoblete

Gaming Guru

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Readers Write

27 October 2001

Dear Frank:

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, my husband and I were staying at Bally's and playing Three Card Poker. When we visited the other casinos on the Strip, we would wander over and have a look at their action. We noticed something that really surprised us. Usually when you play Three Card Poker, if you get three of a kind, on the Pair Plus bet you get paid 30 to 1. Well, we were observing the game at the new Aladdin Casino and their three of a kind pays only 25 to 1. When I asked a pit boss about this, she had no answer. I thought that all of these games were regulated by the Las Vegas gaming commission and therefore all had to be the same.

However, last fall, while in Atlantic City, we were staying at the Claridge and I decided to play the game. Sometimes, I only want to play the Pair Plus bet. The dealer wouldn't let me. She said I had to play both bets, or not at all. When I questioned the pit boss, he told me that the rules in Atlantic City were different than in Vegas. He said that when the game was presented to the AC gaming commission, all of the casinos wanted it that way.

I try to follow your tips. When playing blackjack, what are your thoughts on even money on your blackjack hand when the dealer is showing an ace? I don't think I have ever read anything about this. I usually take even money because, I figure, on a $10 bet getting $10 is better than a push with the dealer. However, is this statistically a good idea? I follow basic blackjack strategy to the letter, I never deviate (this is really hard sometimes, as gut instinct can take over, but...) I know that the basic strategy takes into account all of the possibilities and is therefore, the best course of action to follow.

Thank you for reading this email.

Yours truly,
Linda H.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Dear Linda:

The Vegas and Atlantic City casinos operate under different rules. Vegas casinos have much more autonomy and can offer variations of blackjack, Three-Card Poker, craps and so on without having to get permission or have standardized rules. So the Aladdin's skimping on the payout for the three of a kind is perfectly okay -- for the casino. Of course, it stinks for the player as it increases the house edge on a game that already has the player behind the 8-ball on that account.

In Atlantic City, the Casino Control Commission regulates the games much more closely. In AC, you'll find that most casino games are the exact same from place to place. Yes, that is dull and offers the players few options. The fact that they force players to make the ante and play hands in order to be allowed to place the Pairs Plus bet at Three Card Poker is sheer greed. And dumb, as it will limit players such as yourself from playing at all. So instead of getting a crack at some of your money, they get nothing.

As far as taking even money at blackjack when you have a blackjack and the dealer shows an Ace -- don't do it. Even though you will be winning an even money bet, guaranteed, you will lose $3.80 more than you would have had you not insured. (Or 38 cents each and every time you have a $10 bet and a blackjack vs. a dealer Ace.) In short, you make more money by not insuring than you do by insuring. Hard as it is to do, insuring against a blackjack is one intuitive play that has to be abandoned.

All the best in and out of the casinos.
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:

> 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:

Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!

> More Books By Frank Scoblete