Stacking the Deck, by Marjorie Preston

[Marjorie Preston contacted me about this article a couple of months back. I am no longer in the business of doing the mathematics for casino table games. I liked (most) of my clients and always wanted them to succeed. I always advised my clients NOT to try to create a new casino table game. But, when people get the bug, they’re going to do what they want.]

Creating a successful casino table game is like winning the lottery or becoming a movie star—the odds against it are astronomical, but that doesn’t keep people from trying.

 “I’ve probably done the mathematics for hundreds of table game ideas over the decade-plus I’ve been doing this, and I cannot think of one that’s gotten really widespread placement,” says Eliot Jacobson, and he should know. The president of Santa Barbara-based Jacobson Gaming is also the author of Contemporary Casino Table Game Design.

Continued here …

How ‘Advantage Players’ Game the Casinos, by Michael Kaplan

[Note. Michael Kaplan has previously written about James Grosjean (“The Game Killer” in Cigar Aficionado magazine, March/April 2009). This is Kaplan’s second article featuring Grosjean. But this time he goes much further. In fact, he appears to be giving up a currently available high-level play. Certain shufflers have “issues.” Now you know a little bit about one of these issues.]

On Flamingo Road in Las Vegas, James Grosjean sat at a steel table outside a Starbucks. In the near distance stood a sign for a local casino, the Palms, where he has been shown the door more than once. Being run out of casinos is an occupational hazard for Grosjean, a professional gambler who majored in applied math at Harvard and briefly considered careers on Wall Street and in academia. …
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‘Lucky idiots’ may be bigger casino threat than card-counters, by Mark Gruetze

[Note. Mark 

Casino bosses who agonize about blackjack card-counters might be focusing on the wrong type of advantage player, a top gambling mathematician says.

Instead, they should look closer at the “lucky idiot” who repeatedly plays poorly yet amasses huge winnings, says Eliot Jacobson, owner and president of Jacobson Gaming and operator of , which analyzes casino games, side bets and methods of advantage play.

Continued here …

Card Counting Over/Under (The Table Game)

Over/Under (O/U) is a new table game that has recently been approved and is starting to get domestic placements.  There has been considerable discussion on advantage play message boards about card counting this game and an associated side bet (see  this thread at and this thread at In this post, I examined card counting the “Bonus” side bet that accompanies this game.  In the present post, I am going to cover card counting the main game and also discuss a two-person team approach to playing against the main game and the Bonus side bet. Continue reading

Card Counting the “Bonus” Side Bet in Over/Under

Over/Under (O/U) is a new table game that has recently been approved and is starting to get domestic placements.  There has been considerable discussion on advantage play message boards about card counting this game and an associated side bet (see  this thread at and this thread at Last week, the inventor of O/U contacted me to promote his game. With all of this attention, I feel I should come out of my recent lazy phase and do a bit of work on this game. Continue reading

Commentary by Richard Schuetz in Global Gaming Business Magazine

[The casino industry is not well-known for its high moral standards. I often lament that there are few progressive voices who devote themselves to moving the industry forward. It is for exactly this reason that Richard Schuetz is one of my heroes. The following appeared in Global Gaming Business Magazine, dated March 23, 2016. Richard is not satisfied with just pointing out the problem of gender-based wage discrimination — he goes one critical step further and offers a practical solution.]

What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us, by Richard Schuetz

Several years ago, I was honored when this publication accepted an article I wrote that addressed the period in Nevada’s history where people of color were not allowed within the casinos of the Las Vegas Strip.

Up until the early 1960s, the Las Vegas Strip was known as the Mississippi of the West. Black entertainers could appear on the Strip, but they could not stay overnight, and the normal black patron, well, forget about it. It was a regulator who helped break down this racial barrier through a most ingenious plan. Continued here … 

Simulations, Combinatorial Analysis and Biscuits

It’s a math geek thing. People who don’t understand what I do often think that everything is simulated. I can’t tell you how many times my work has been misunderstood as entirely simulations – that I let a random number generator play some very large number of hands to figure out everything from the house edge and game strategy, to counting systems and the edges from various types of advantage play.

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I’m at a Loss about Loss Rebates

A short time back, I was contacted by a casino interested in offering a high rolling blackjack player a 30% cash rebate on  losses he had incurred. The player apparently made this demand to the casino, saying he would not play again unless he was given this rebate. Management was trying to understand the mathematics behind DOLs (discount on loss) before making their decision. Good for them. Unfortunately, a 30% rebate was so much higher than anything I had seen before at a table game, I fear that my overreaction may have come off as arrogance instead of well-intended advice. After our brief discussion, I haven’t heard back from them. Continued here …

Is Your Shuffle Procedure All Mixed Up?

Things are really mixed up. At least, they should be.

I’ve been thinking about commonalities between recent successes that some players have had against casinos. While the cultural and casino industry obsession with card counters is not fading, the powerful methods advantage players and cheaters use to beat the house continue on in relative obscurity. Many of these methods share one thing in common: they exploit some weakness in the shuffle procedure. Continued here …

Ultimate Texas Hold’em Goof

A week back in a discussion of Ultimate Texas Hold’em (UTH), I read the following on the WizardOfVegas message board:

I found a venue that will allow a 4x bet on the flop. Surely there is some sort of edge there?

Posted by HeyMrDJ, February 28th, 2016

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