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Best of John Grochowski

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Electronic and 6:5 blackjack

2 October 2016

QUESTION: I saw a blackjack table where there was a dealer and real cards, but the bets were on a screen. Every player had a screen and touched it to make bets. I like the feel of chips myself, but does the screen betting make any real difference in the game?

ANSWER: Electronic wagering speeds up the game. The dealer doesn’t have to take time to make payoffs. Except in cases of malfunction, the electronic wagering also eliminated mistakes.

The casino benefits by not needing to buy, stock, sort and stack chips. Electronic wagering also helps in player rewards systems, since wagers can be tracked as accurately as on slot machines. Table wagers are estimated in most reward systems.

For players, the biggest potential drawback is the speeding of the game. Faster games with more hands per hour benefit whoever has the mathematical edge. Card counters and other advantage players like a faster games, but the vast majority of players will lose less money per hour with a slower game.

Accurate tracking for comps also limits opportunity for comp wizards who try to enhance comps by trying to make it appear their average bets are bigger than they really are. But for average players, accurate bet tracking could turn out to be a plus.


QUESTION: This is more a comment than a question. One of my regular casinos went to 6:5 blackjack. I complained to a manager I know, and he gave me a big song and dance. He told me he always thought it was wrong players got paid more on blackjacks anyway, that we have just as much a chance at getting one as the dealer and the house doesn’t charge extra on dealer blackjacks.

I told him I’d agree with him as soon as the dealer started taking the chance on going bust first. He said the house had to make its money, and I told him they could make it off someone else because I wasn’t playing that game.

Have you ever heard anything like that?

ANSWER: I’ve not heard of anything quite like a manager telling a customer that the players have had it too good until now, no.

I have at various times spoken with casino managers about changes in blackjack rules. One on my regular rounds evolved from having two- and six-deck games, stand on all 17s and late surrender to elimination of two-deck games to elimination of surrender to a big switch to hit soft 17 on six-deck games.

That evolution took about eight years. I spoke with managers after two of the changes: the elimination of two-deck games and the switch to hit soft 17. Both gave me the same answer, almost word for word: “This is something we had to do for our business.”

A different casino has 6:5 payoffs on blackjacks on low-limit tables. I was meeting with an exec about other topics, but she asked me if I’d played blackjack there lately. I told her my bankroll wasn’t stretching to $25-and-up blackjack at the moment, and she said, “We always have $10 tables.”

I said, “Yes, but they’re 6:5, and I won’t play that game.” She told me, “That’s something we had to do for our business.”

I think the response is wrongheaded. Even players who know little about blackjack notice their money is disappearing faster. Through most of the country, there are fewer blackjack tables than there once were. Some of that is because of an overall business decline since the recession, of course.

But as for the cockeyed response you got, that it was unfair for players to get more for their blackjacks, that’s a new one on me.
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski