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Best of John Grochowski

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The rude dealer

24 January 2019

QUESTION: I had a blackjack dealer rooting against me, which was kind of weird. Actually, she was rooting against the whole table.

When she rotated onto our table, she took cards out of the shuffler and said, “Let’s lose some money!” A couple of guys said, “Yeah!” but the rest of us looked at her funny. She said, “I bet you thought I was going to sake ‘make some money.’ You don’t sign my paychecks.”

That took me aback, but I though it was probably a joke and she’d loosen up as we played, but she didn’t. She had this permanent scowl on her face and would mutter things like “One for me” when someone busted.

Two guys who’d had a few drinks said her attitude was refreshing. They tipped her pretty liberally. I don’t think anyone else tipped her even once. I sure didn’t.

Why would she cop an attitude like that? That can’t be good for either her tips or the casino’s goodwill.

ANSWER: I can think of any number of reasons for the attitude. Maybe she was having a terrible day and being unpleasant was her outlet. Maybe she thought she was being funny and couldn’t quite pull it off. Maybe she’s found that whenever she pulls that act, there are a couple of guys who find it refreshing and tip enough that it makes up for everyone else holding back.

I’ve had similar encounters with dealers who actively root against players, though not for a long time. I once told a dealer who rotated onto my table, “I hope you’re not pooling tips with her,” and she gave a big eyeroll and a shrug. No doubt she’d heard it before.

Most dealers know their tips are heavily dependent on players winning, or at least having some hot streaks that keep them in the game. Players whose money disappears rapidly don’t tip, so dealers commonly root for players.

On top of that, dealers are the casino’s first point of contact with table players, and casinos want the player experience to be pleasant. If the casino gets enough complaints about the dealer’s attitude, she’ll hear about it.


QUESTION: I’m confused about a point in basic strategy for splitting 9s. The table says you should stand on the 18 against 10s and aces. I’m good with that.

It also says to split against everything else expect 7s and that you should stand on 18 against a 7. Why that exception? Why is it better to stand against a card that’s not as good as the 8s or 9s where you should split?

ANSWER: The key difference is that when the dealer has a 7, then a 10-value face down will give him a 17 that will lose to your 18. A 10-value turns 8 into 18 that could push you, and turns a 9 into a killer 19.

In a six-deck game in which the dealer hits soft 17, standing on 9-9 against 7 brings an average profit of 40 cents per dollar wagered. Splitting brings a lesser profit of 36.4 cents per dollar of your original wager.

If the dealer has an 8 up, your average profit of 10.1 cents per dollar when standing rises to 23.1 cents per dollar of your original wager when splitting. Part of that is once you split, a 10 value on your 9 brings a 19 that beats a dealer 8 plus 10.

When the dealer has 9 up, your 9-9 is a losing hand, splitting decreases the losses to 8.1 cents per dollar of your original wager vs. 18.5 cents when you stand.
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:

The Craps Answer Book

> 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