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Blackjack busts and slot revenues13 September 2015
ANSWER: Actually, players bust less often than dealers – a LOT less.
In a common six-deck game, dealers bust about 29% of the time if they stand on all 17s, and just under 30% if they hit soft 17. Basic strategy players bust about 16% of the time.
That’s because players hit fewer hands than dealers do. If you have 16 and the dealer has a 6 face up, you can stand. If the dealer has 16, he has to hit, no matter what the players have.
It can seem like you bust more often, because every time you bust, you lose. The dealer can bust and lose to some players, but all the players who already have busted still lose. That’s where the house edge comes from in blackjack: Players risk going bust before the dealer hand is played.
Players don’t bust more than dealers. Player busts just hurt more.
QUESTION: You answer a lot of questions and give a lot of advice. Is there one thing you’d say is the most important thing for a player to remember? This can be for one game, or for play in general.
ANSWER: Don’t overbet your bankroll is rule No. 1 when it comes to casino gambling. Unless you’re the rare player who can by count cards at blackjack, control the dice at craps or play at expert level at the best video poker games, you’re not playing for profit. You’re playing for fun, and enjoying the wins when they come.
For most players, there are going to be more losing sessions than winners. When those losers come, you don’t want to be gambling with money you need to pay the rent or mortgage, put food on the table or send the kids to school. Gambling money needs to come out of your discretionary entertainment budget. Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose while still taking care of life’s necessities.
QUESTION: My wife, her brother, his wife and I were talking about how much casinos have changed. The big thing is how slots dominate now. When we started playing a long time ago, tables were the main games. Do you think the change is because casinos opened all over the country, instead of just Nevada and New Jersey, where they had been for a long time?
ANSWER: The nationwide expansion of casino gambling that started with legalization on tribal lands in the late 1980s and on riverboats at the start of the 1990s certainly accelerated the trend to more slots. Suddenly, millions of people were going to casinos for the first time, and the easiest starter games were slot machines. Anyone on a first casino trip could quickly figure out the slots.
But the rise of slots had already started. In Nevada, slot revenue exceeded table revenue for the first time in 1981. Technology that enabled bigger, more frequent jackpots, more payouts between filling machines with coins, the beginnings of video poker and other factors helped kick-start an increase in play on electronic gaming devices.
Had casino expansion beyond Nevada and New Jersey not brought an influx of new players, we probably would not as quickly have reached today’s point where millions and millions of dollars are spent on research and development for new games. But slots still would be much more prominent than they had been in earlier in times. The change was already underway.
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.
Best of John Grochowski