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Eight Common Mathematical Misunderstandings

The casino industry is built on mathematics. It starts with probability theory and goes on from there. Concepts like variance, hold, house edge, odds and theoretical can each crash a casino’s profits. Advantage players understand mathematics. They find errors and pounce. It is not just a question of games having weaknesses, it's a relentless search for an edge. These edges can come in many forms.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
July 2, 2012

Dealing in an iDEAL World

I'm back from Las Vegas. I planned on leaving one afternoon open to walk through as many casinos as I could with camera in hand. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Still, I managed to find three more examples of iDEAL shufflers with discard trays positioned strategically in front of them. I spotted a hole-card at each of these games. Note that the shufflers are inset to the tables, unlike the pictures in the previous post about this shuffler, thus proving that it's possible to screw things up even after getting things right.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
July 27, 2012

Video: An Introduction to Edge Sorting

Edge sorting is a technique that is not well explained by blog articles or pictures. There is tremendous visual impact in seeing how easy it is to do in practice. For that reason, I decided to create a video demonstration.

This is my first "home video," which means that simple things like light and sound were not up to amateur video standards. In other words, the production value is very low. But, I cleaned the room, gave my dog Rosie a toy to chew on, and did it in one take.

Here is the video:

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
November 30, 2012

7 Reasons to NEVER Count Cards

The very first thing people think about when the topic of beating casinos comes up is blackjack card counting. The reason is simple - card counting is everywhere in our culture. For example, an Amazon.com search on books written about "blackjack card counting" returns 182 titles. Even more amazing, a Google search on "blackjack card counting" returns 363,000 results.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
January 25, 2017

Card Counting the Knockout Baccarat Side Bet

Baccarat side bets that consist of a group of related wagers have a history of big game protection problems. A team of card counters targets the side bet by dividing up the individual wagers among their group. When a team member wagers on his particular side bet, the rest of the team follows by betting on the same side bet. In this way, each member of the team gets the full effect as-if they were counting every side bet on the layout.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
January 15, 2017

Dragon 7 and Panda 8 Known Card Play at Baccarat

One of the most persistent and powerful methods used to beat baccarat has been to use the knowledge of the rank of exactly one card in the shoe, (see this post). A "known-card" AP patiently counts down the shoe until their card reaches the window where it is eligible to be dealt in the following round, that is, the card is one of the next six in the shoe.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
February 13, 2017

Card Counting the Super Six Baccarat Side Bet

The way baccarat usually operates, a winning Banker wager is charged a 5% commission, creating a house edge on the Banker bet of about 1.0579%. Another way of saying this is that a winning Banker wager pays 19-to-20. As commissions are collected and accounted, this challenging payout causes the game to slow down, losing profit for the house. One solution to this problem is to offer a "commission free" variation. These commission free versions work by choosing a rare winning Banker hand and not paying it full value.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
April 26, 2017