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The 10 common player "mythtakes" of table games23 April 2012
Mythtake #1: In blackjack, the dealer probably has a face-down 10-value card.
Not so. He is much more likely to have a non-10 in the hole because in a deck of cards, there are only 16 cards valued as 10 and 36 cards not valued as 10. Now, keep in mind we don't play basic strategy based on what we guess the hole card of the dealer is. We play it based on the face-up card. The computer simulations take into consideration every single possible hole card the dealer could have and in what proportions.
Mythtake #2: The casino always wins.
No. There are plenty of people who are ahead when their playing session is over. If there were never winners, the casinos would close. Who would ever play in a casino if every time you lost? In the long run, the casino does win owing to three variables: the casino edge on almost all games, the casino bankroll that can weather hot streaks by the players, and the poor play of many players.
Mythtake #3: All casino games are just dumb luck.
Not so. Games such as blackjack, poker, video poker and craps (with dice control) can actually have player edges. On a given hand, on a given night, luck does play a role, that is true; but in the long run, how skillfully you play will determine just what the casino wins from you -- or what you win from it!
Mythtake #4: You have to be a genius to count cards at blackjack.
Sorry, this is not true. Even with the traditional card counting systems such as Hi-Lo you just have to know how to add, subtract, divide and, sometimes, multiply. With the new Speed Count from my book Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge, you just have to know how to add and subtract. You don't have to be a genius to do those two things.
Mythtake #5: New games are introduced to give the players more choices.
New games are introduced to give the casinos increased revenues. You'll notice that all new table games come in with higher house edges and/or faster speeds than more traditional games. Even a relatively good new game such as Spanish 21 needs the player to memorize a new basic strategy in order to reduce the house edge to under 8/10 of one percent.
Mythtake #6: Counting cards and dice control at craps are illegal.
They aren't. Card counters are not violating any laws, unless there is a law that says you can't think; and the casino gives the dice to the player to roll them. No player is expected to deliberately try to lose on his or her rolls, so attempting to win is no crime. So why have the courts (thus far) upheld the right of a casino to refuse someone's action? Casinos are under an ancient law/custom called the "Innkeeper Law" that states a man's "Inn" is his castle and he can serve or not serve whomever he pleases. In the United States, if you are counting cards or controlling dice in a casino, you can be told you can't play.
Mythtake #7: The pit boss always ignores me.
I doubt that. You might be ignored if you are obnoxious, loud, drunk or otherwise a ploppy. If that pit boss, or floor person, is at the computers, it probably means he or she is checking on a comp or a rating. Chances are they don't see you waving. When they do, they'll usually say: "I'll be right with you."
Mythtake #8: Dealers make a lot of money, that's why they all wear so much gold on their arms.
Some dealers do make a lot of money. Some dealers don't. It all depends in which casinos they work. Many dealers' salaries are sometimes not more than minimum wage. They need tips to make ends meet. Dealers are in the "service" part of the casino industry, very much like waiters, waitresses, bartenders, valet parkers and bellhops. As to the gold that festoons many a wrist, finger and forearm, those are there for decorative purposes since players watch dealers' hands at certain games.
Mythtake #9: If a craps table has been hot, it will continue to be hot. If it's cold, it will continue to be cold.
One of the biggest myths in gambling. Remember this: What happened on the last decision has no influence on what will happen on the next decision. That is absolutely true as long as the game is random.
Mythtake #10: Professional blackjack players make millions.
I wish. In blackjack, it is rare that anyone makes millions at that game -- unless he starts with millions. Despite the fact that some teams are making hundreds of thousands or, perhaps, millions overall, these teams are few and far between and they are heavily bankrolled. The best blackjack pro I ever met was the late PK, who played five nights a week, 52 weeks a year. He earned between $20,000 and $30,000 per year playing blackjack. He had to supplement his blackjack income with a job in a bookstore. He was the best, mind you, the very best at what he did. For most mortals, the sky is not the limit on blackjack winnings -- the ceiling of a typical lower middle-class house is. However, for the recreational player who has no illusions about being a "professional," it is always better to play with an edge over the casino than to play without an edge. Obviously, you want to play the very best games that excite you and play them in the very best way. But millions? I'm afraid it isn't in the cards for the majority of card counters, unless they play as much as the average citizen works in a week.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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