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Before you go gambling: The best and worst casino game odds
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Blackjack, Craps or Baccarat: Which game has the best odds?
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If you play a mixture of six-deck games, some where the dealer hits a soft 17, The cost in errors due to playing the wrong strategy is times.


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The Blackjack basic strategy is a set of betting and hit/stand rules to statistically maximize your chances of winning. While not complex, it will still take some time​.


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When you add gaming tables or slots at a fancy new venue like Revel, or like the Borgata, which opened in , the novelty may initially draw crowds, but adding gaming supply without enlarging the number of customers ultimately hurts everyone. An ordinary guy in a red cap and black hoodie had struck it rich, had beaten the casinos black-and-blue. The player still loses. He started to learn a lot about gambling. The tactic requires both great memory and superior math skills. Little interferes with his concentration. Hard times do not favor the house. Johnson had not played a game at the Borgata in more than a year. When his second hand was dealt a two, he doubled down on that, too. For Johnson, the game began before he ever set foot in the casino. The headline in The Press of Atlantic City was enough to gladden the heart of anyone who has ever made a wager or rooted for the underdog:. He worked with a physician to keep weight off, fighting his natural growth rate with thyroid medication that amped up his metabolism and subsisting on vitamin supplements. You play against the house. Because the casino values high rollers more than the average customer, it is willing to lessen its edge for them. The marketers present casinos as glamorous playgrounds where workaday worries and things like morality, sobriety, and prudence are on holiday. The new Parx racetrack and casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, a gigantic gambling complex, is less than 80 miles away from the Atlantic City boardwalk. Word spreads when the betting is that big. Nobody gets that lucky. High rollers are lured with free meals and drinks, free luxury suites, free rides on private jets, and … more. It seemed a fantasy come true, the very dream that draws suckers to the gaming tables. More useful, for his purposes, is running a smaller number of hands and paying attention to variation. Almost everyone knows them. By April, combined monthly gaming revenue had been declining on a year-over-year basis for 32 months. Caesars had cut him off, he says, and then effectively banned him from its casinos worldwide. Fifteen million dollars in winnings from three different casinos? Compared with horse racing, the odds in blackjack are fairly straightforward to calculate. He does not just walk into a casino and start playing, which is what roughly 99 percent of customers do. The industry pays close attention to high-level players; once a player earns a reputation for winning, the courtship ends. Pennsylvania is likely to supplant New Jersey this year as the second-largest gaming state in the nation. As another skyscraper of chips was pushed into his skyline, he signaled for the next hand. Many casinos sell laminated charts in their guest shops that reveal the optimal strategy for any situation the game presents. The way averages work, the larger the sample, the narrower the range of variation. About a decade ago, he founded a business that does computer-assisted wagering on horses. With their table-game revenues tanking and the number of whales diminishing, casino marketers began to compete more aggressively for the big spenders. Some wear disguises when they play. They negotiate. As good as he is at playing cards, he turns out to be even better at playing the casinos. Johnson won all four hands. In his best years as a professional jockey, he was practically skeletal. Scanning the cards on the table before him, the player can either stand or keep taking cards in an effort to approach His next two cards, surprisingly, were also both eights, so he split each again. The first and most obvious suspicion was card counting.

D on Johnson how to play blackjack best odds it hard to remember the exact cards. He stood 6 foot 1 and weighed only pounds.

In most states but not New Jerseyknown practitioners are banned. His body quickly assumed more normal proportions, and he went to work helping manage racetracks, a career that brought him to Philadelphia when he was about He was hired to manage Philadelphia Park, the track that evolved into the Parx casino, in Bensalem, where he lives today.

The goal is to get academy playtech 21, or as close to it as possible without going over. Two cards are placed faceup before the player, and two more cards, one down, one up, before the dealer. When this happened to Johnson, he knew the ground rules had skewed against him.

So it was no longer worth his while to play there.

It hurt. Johnson was on an amazing streak. At the height of his hour blitz of the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last April, he was playing a hand of blackjack nearly every minute. He has served as a state regulator in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Wyoming. But even though he has been around the gambling industry for all of his 49 years, Johnson snuck up on Atlantic City. By late , the discounts at some of the strapped Atlantic City casinos began creeping upward, as high as 20 percent. D espite his pedestrian attire , Don Johnson is no average Joe. The towers of chips stacked in front of him formed a colorful miniature skyline. The basics of blackjack are simple. He was the only Atlantic City casino executive who agreed to talk to me about Johnson. The way any discount works, you have to lose a certain amount to capitalize on it. Johnson says he was once dealt six consecutive aces at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. A tlantic City did know who Johnson was. The software his company employs analyzes more data than an ordinary handicapper will see in a thousand lifetimes, and defines risk to a degree that was impossible just five years ago. Card counters seek to gain a strong advantage by keeping a mental tally of every card dealt, and then adjusting the wager according to the value of the cards that remain in the deck. Johnson was in charge of day-to-day operations, including the betting operation. For most people, though, the newspaper headline told a happy story. He had beaten the casinos fair and square. Who could? He had been trying to figure out its blackjack game for years but had never been able to win big. It was a growth industry. Beyond the usual high-roller perks, the casino might also sweeten the deal by staking the player a significant amount up front, offering thousands of dollars in free chips, just to get the ball rolling. He had the money to wager big, he had the skill to win, and he did not have enough of a reputation for the casinos to be wary of him. He is a veteran player. Dozens of spectators pressed against the glass of the high-roller pit. Made famous in books and movies, card counting is considered cheating, at least by casinos. But the vast majority of players lose, and the longer they play, the more they lose. He was neither nervous nor excited. When revenues slump, casinos must rely more heavily on their most prized customers, the high rollers who wager huge amounts—tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a hand. Arrayed on the table before him were the four eights. But two years ago, Johnson says, the casinos started getting desperate. What gives Johnson his edge is his knowledge of the gaming industry. But the story was even bigger than that. All of these gambling houses were already hurting, what with the spread of legalized gambling in surrounding states. When casinos started getting desperate, Johnson was perfectly poised to take advantage of them. He was just getting started. The last thing a skilled player wants is a big reputation. Whenever the racily clad cocktail waitress wandered in with a fresh whiskey and Diet Coke, he took it from the tray. How did he do it? The regimen was so demanding that he eventually had to give it up. A session of, say, hands will display wider swings, with steeper winning and losing streaks, than the standard casino charts. For one thing, he is an extraordinarily skilled blackjack player. To look at him, over six feet tall and thickly built, you would never guess that he was once a jockey. But he was not considered good enough to discourage or avoid. For the casino, the art is in telling the skilled whales from the unskilled ones, then discouraging the former and seducing the latter. The wagering of card counters assumes a clearly recognizable pattern over time, and Johnson was being watched very carefully. He drew a 10, so the two cards he was showing totaled This was a good bet: since all face cards are worth 10, the deck holds more high cards than low.