Page 8 - Jackpot Magazine South ~ August, 2024

P. 8

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PLAY TO WIN
Some advice: slow down when playing
“Anything worth doing is worth
basic strategy players
can, and sometimes
do, win money in the
short run when the
cards come their way.
However, over time, the half-percent edge will slowly but surely grind down a player’s bankroll. It has to be so because the casino has the indisputable odds in their favor over basic strategy players.
So what’s a basic strategy player supposed to do about this dilemma, Tamburin asked. Ideally, players should learn a card-counting system that would put the half-percent edge in their favor (rather than the casino’s favor). However, let’s assume for the moment that a vast majority of basic strategy players are unwilling to learn card counting. For these players, Tamburin offers this advice to reduce their losses.
For starters, s-l-o-w down your game. How does one do this? Play at crowded blackjack tables rather than empty tables. The reason is, if you play at a blackjack table that has, say, six players, you’ll be dealt fewer hands per hour and this will decrease your exposure to that half-percent casino advantage. Still not convinced this will help cut your losses? Look
at these numbers. Assume a basic
strategy player plays at a full table and is dealt 60 hands per hour (that’s about the average number of hands each player will get at a full table). Assume he bets $10 on each hand. In one hour, he stands to lose $3 due to the half a percent house edge ($10 average bet times 60 hands per hour times 0.5 percent house advantage = $3).
Therefore, over time, the basic strategy player will average a theoretical loss of $3 per hour.
Let’s suppose, instead, that our basic strategy player always decides to play at a blackjack table with only one or two other players. Yes, the player has more elbow room but it comes at a price. With fewer players, the dealer will deal more hands per hour and the game plays faster. Instead of being dealt 60 hands per hour, he will get about 100 hands per hour. If you do the math, his theoretical hourly loss increases to $5 (nearly a two-fold increase). Notice that nothing about the game has changed except the speed (the number of hands he played per hour).
Can you think of anything else that can speed up a basic strategy player’s game and hurt his bankroll? How about that dastardly continuous shuffling machine (CSM)? A CSM is an automatic shuffler with this characteristic: After each round (or several rounds) the dealer will place the discards back in the CSM where they are randomly mixed with the unplayed decks of cards (usually a CSM holds four to five decks).
With a CSM, there is no pause in the action for shuffling, just non-stop play: therefore, the dealer can deal more hands per hour — about 20 percent more on average — and that’s not good for the basic strategy player because that means his hourly theoretical loss will increase by 20 percent.
To beat the heat and not take a beating at the blackjack table, just slow down this summer.
Do you have a question on the best way to play to win? Email us at jackpotmagazine@gmail.com.
Play To Win Again
The Best of... Series
doing slowly.”
— Actress Mae West
It is no secret Mississippi summers are hot. Really hot. And that heat can take its toll. Doing too much too fast is not good for your body, your mind or even your pocketbook. That goes for everything from running errands in the middle of the afternoon to playing cards at night.
Gaming expert Henry Tamburin, author of Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, had some advice that could apply to those out and about in the heat or to those playing in their favorite casino. That advice: Slow down. And for blackjack players specifically, slow down your game.
Tamburin explained most recreational blackjack players have
different levels of
playing skills. At one
end of the player
spectrum are the
hunch players, who
either never, or rarely,
use the basic playing
strategy. The casino has
an edge of one percent or higher against these players.
At the other end, are the basic strategy players. These smart players utilize the basic playing strategy to reduce the house edge to roughly half a percent. Notice he said “reduce” the house edge and not eliminate the house edge. Even though the basic playing strategy
is an essential tool for blackjack players, basic strategy alone will not completely eliminate the house edge.
While you might think that a half- percent edge isn’t much to worry about, it translates to a theoretical loss of 50-cents for every $100 wagered. And, for sure,
8 JACKPOT! MAGAZINE • August 2024
THE SOUTH’S LARGEST GUIDE TO GAMING & FUN • www.jackpotmagazine.com
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