Baccarat without Banjos

Question: Why are there no banjos on Star Trek?
Answer: It’s the future.

I wonder what the future will hold for game protection when devices like Google Glass become part of the mainstream of technological gadgets. In this recent post, I discussed the possibility of baccarat being vulnerable to “perfect play” using an Android app. I showed that if the technologically adept player gets a significant rolling chip rebate, 9-to-1 odds on the Tie bet and deep cut card placement, then he may be able to get enough of an edge to pose a threat. I warned the game protection community to start thinking about this possibility. Continue reading

November 17, 2014: Pre-Conference Workshop at Raving’s Cutting Edge Table Games Conference


Four Uni-Directional Cards

I went through my collection of more than 750 different cards and found four that were uni-directional. I don’t know any current examples, though I am certain there is a casino somewhere that is learning this tough lesson.

Click on the images below to see a full-sized version:

Cool_Casino_Uni_Directional Las_Vegas_Club_Uni_Directional River_Road_Uni_Directional Harolds_Uni_Directional

Double Draw Poker Collusion

Double Draw Poker (DDP) is a relatively new game that appears to be gaining ground in some markets, both in the US and internationally. The first time I saw DDP was at the Global Gaming Expo in 2013. After learning how DDP was played, I immediately commented to the game developer that DDP appeared to be extraordinarily vulnerable to collusion (information sharing among players). Over this last week, I finally did the work to quantify this vulnerability. The edge the advantage player can gain over DDP rivals hole-carding Mississippi Stud (see this post and this post). DDP collusion is in the stratosphere of advantage play opportunities against proprietary games. For the AP who is looking for the greatest new thing out there in proprietary games, DDP collusion must surely be near the top of his list. Continue reading

A Survey of Casino Cards by Manufacturer

Back in 2012, I was very fortunate to be able to speak at the annual convention of the Casino Chip and Gaming Token Collectors Club. There was an expo associated with the convention, where people were selling casino collectibles of all sorts. My interest was in obtaining a collection that had a single card representing each distinct design used by each U.S. casino, as well as casinos worldwide. There was one vendor who was selling exactly what I was looking for (and much more): a collection of 750 distinct playing cards along with six books that cataloged these cards. These are a must-have for the card collector. Though it took me a while to buy the full set of cards and books (until last week), I am completely satisfied with the purchase. One glance will tell you that putting together this collection was an act of love.

Here is a picture of the collection (click for larger image): Continue reading

Perfect Play against the 21+3 Extreme Blackjack Side Bet

One of the first games I posted about on this blog was the blackjack side bet Twenty One Plus Three (21+3). In this post, I showed that there was very little possible profit against 21+3, even using perfect play. Nevertheless, this post on card counting 21+3 is the most viewed blackjack side bet article in this blog, getting about 70% more hits than this second place post on Lucky Ladies. The 21+3 post ranks 6th in overall views. It continues to be one of the top posts accessed each day. I don’t know why. Continue reading

Richard Munchkin’s Interview of BJ Traveller

Last night as I was re-reading an old copy of Arnold Snyder’s “Blackjack Forum” (2003, Vol. 23, #2), I stumbled on the article “The Traveller” written by Richard W. Munchkin. You may recall that Richard is the one who created and posted this hilarious video parody of me. Richard is most well know for his book of interviews, “Gambling WIzards” as well as co-hosting the radio talk show Gambling with an Edge. The article I re-read was an interview with an advantage player by the name of “BJ Traveller.” I wrote to Richard, asking if I could re-post his extraordinary interview here. He wrote back with a link to the interview on his blog, asking that I re-direct people to his site. And so, I would like to recommend the following article to you: Continue reading

Almost Worth the Price

[edit 07.31.14. Sold at $575]

It has been a long time since I have seen (or heard about) a copy of Beyond Counting (2000) by James Grosjean selling for less than $1000. The following has a “buy-it-now” price of $575. Although this price is still too high in my opinion, it’s about as good as you’re going to find if you want an original copy. Continue reading

Card Counting the Golden 21 Blackjack Side Bet

During a recent trip to Las Vegas, I saw a new (to me) blackjack side bet in a downtown casino called Golden 21 (G21). What struck me as immediately suspect were events listed in the pay table corresponding to the player getting an unsuited blackjack, a suited blackjack or a suited A/K. Wagers based around blackjacks are usually very vulnerable to card counting. However, in the case of G21, there are also events in the pay table paying if the hand is a straight (consecutive ranks) or a pair, so the most obvious vulnerability was certainly mitigated. Continue reading

Optimal Play against Baccarat Rolling Chip Programs

Although baccarat is dealt from a shoe, it does not have a substantial vulnerability to card counting (see this post). During a recent training I delivered, one of the attendees pointed out that there is an Android APP that allows a user to compute the exact edge for the Banker, Player and Tie bets at any point in the shoe. To use the APP, the player enters the exact cards as they are played from the shoe. Before placing his wager, the player hits a “compute” button, which then outputs the edges. After seeing the APP in action, I wondered if it (or an equivalent technology) could be used in combination with a rolling chip program to yield an edge for the player. Continue reading